Believe it or not, America has the best colleges in the world. It's been proven by data (and surveys) that the U.S. educational system is of the highest quality
It's actually not even close and Illinois is home to a handful of them.
While we could debate which colleges within the are the 'best,' that's not the goal of this post.
Instead, ride along with us as we determine which college towns in Illinois are the best.
You know, the type of places where there's energy and stimulation, but the type of place you can walk around at night. The happiest, chillest, most downright fun places where you can send your kids off to college where you won't break the bank, or worry about their well being.
Without further ado, here are the best college towns in Illinois for 2022.
While some of these may not seem like a 'real' college town per se, when you look at the numbers, it's hard to argue against.
And for those who live in Normal, Champaign and Evanston - we tip our hats to you and we'll schedule a tour for next week. You can see where Normal ranks in terms of the best college town in America.
Finally, if you live in Decatur, IL - it's officially the worst college town in Illinois. Sorry, Decatur!
Read on to find out more or for more on Illinois check out:
% Undergrad Pop.: 33.0% (6th best)
Median Rent: $852 (16th best)
Unemployment Rate: 388.1% (12th best)
Crime Rank: 18th best
More on Normal: Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report
Colleges: Illinois State University, Heartland Community College, Paul Mitchell the School-Normal
% Undergrad Pop.: 32.2% (7th best)
Median Rent: $922 (19th best)
Unemployment Rate: 499.4% (19th best)
Crime Rank: 36th best
More on Champaign: Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report
Colleges: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Parkland College, Regency Beauty Institute-Champaign
% Undergrad Pop.: 12.2% (10th best)
Median Rent: $1,433 (35th best)
Unemployment Rate: 501.2% (20th best)
Crime Rank: 25th best
More on Evanston: Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report
Colleges: Northwestern University, Pivot Point Academy-Evanston, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary
% Undergrad Pop.: 46.4% (3rd best)
Median Rent: $716 (9th best)
Unemployment Rate: 667.9% (29th best)
Crime Rank: 25th best
More on Charleston: Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report
Colleges: Eastern Illinois University
% Undergrad Pop.: 22.1% (8th best)
Median Rent: $1,309 (30th best)
Unemployment Rate: 419.3% (14th best)
Crime Rank: 15th best
More on River Forest: Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report
Colleges: Concordia University-Chicago, Dominican University
% Undergrad Pop.: 60.3% (2nd best)
Median Rent: $737 (11th best)
Unemployment Rate: 1223.7% (4best)
Crime Rank: 16th best
More on Macomb: Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report
Colleges: Western Illinois University
% Undergrad Pop.: 3.9% (23rd best)
Median Rent: $622 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 536.6% (22nd best)
Crime Rank: 35th best
More on Galesburg: Real Estate | Cost Of Living
Colleges: Carl Sandburg College, Knox College
% Undergrad Pop.: 16.9% (9th best)
Median Rent: $526 (best)
Unemployment Rate: 104.4% (best)
Crime Rank: 11th best
More on Greenville: Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report
Colleges: Greenville College
% Undergrad Pop.: 37.8% (5th best)
Median Rent: $921 (18th best)
Unemployment Rate: 729.3% (3best)
Crime Rank: best
More on Edwardsville: Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report
Colleges: Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville
% Undergrad Pop.: 8.6% (16th best)
Median Rent: $1,333 (3best)
Unemployment Rate: 481.5% (18th best)
Crime Rank: 25th best
More on Lisle: Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report
Colleges: Benedictine University, Universal Technical Institute of Illinois Inc, Empire Beauty School-Lisle
To crunch our data on Illinois's best college towns, we had to first decide which qualities (or rankings) make sense to use in the data, and then crunch the numbers for our rankings.
First off, we firmly decided that only cities with a 4 year college should make the cut -- so there has to be at least one college granting bachelors degrees in town.
You might be surprised to hear that there are only 33 places in Illinois with an institution of higher learning with that criteria.
Source of data include OpenStreetMaps, the College Scorecard, the U.S. Census, and FBI reporting data to include the following factors:
We ranked each city across each of the criteria, with one being the best.
We rolled up the individual scores into the category and ranked them again based on the category.
Finally, we took the average rank across each category, with the city posting the lowest overall score being crowned the winner of the title "Best College Town In Illinois For 2022".
And it looks like Normal placed Summa Cum Laude.
If you're looking for the best college towns in Illinois, you came to the right place.
These places all have great college sports programs, tons of stuff to do, and are great places to raise a family.
If you're curious, these are the worst college towns in Illinois, starting with the absolute worst, Decatur:
For more reading, check out:
|5||River Forest, IL||10883|
|11||Palos Heights, IL||12460|
|15||Lake Forest, IL||19497|
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