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EIU Notes Rise in U.S. News Rankings; Urges Prospective Students to Base College Decision on Personal Needs

Sep-12-2013

Eastern Illinois University saw a significant increase in its placement in the U.S. News and World Report college rankings to No. 7 among Midwest public master’s institutions.

"We're pleased that our rankings have increased and that because of U.S. News’ change in methodology, that they are more focused on the quality of college education,” said Blair Lord, provost and vice president for academic affairs.  “We continually improve our programs, but not because we are overly focused on ratings.  We want to stay focused on helping our prospective students find if they're a good fit for us and if we are a good fit for them."

In addition, Lord said, Eastern is focused on continuing to keep college affordable and in giving EIU students the best possible education.

“We also believe that relationships are critical to the success of our students and we’re focused on keeping our classes small and our faculty accessible,” Lord said.  “Our faculty members know our students and work closely with them to create a great learning atmosphere.  In the end, those efforts are more important to us than any ranking – even when there is a big jump in the numbers.”

Lord noted that there are many good reasons for students to choose Eastern for their college education.  He noted that Eastern:

  • Maintains graduation and retention rates that are consistently above the national average.
  • Has actively committed to keep costs low and offer special features like the textbook rental program and the Commitment to Excellence merit scholarships.
  • Understands the value of relationships and pride ourselves in providing individual attention to students.
  • Provides 58 high quality undergraduate majors.
  • Provides students with a rich set of activities outside of the classroom including more than 200 registered student organizations and 21 NCAA Division I sports teams.
  • Takes pride in a 320-acre campus that is one of the safest in the region and the work that is continuously underway to keep it that way.

“As Americans, we have a real fascination with contests and rankings and this report plays to that interest,” Lord said. “But we hope in the end that prospective students consider their own talents and interests and pick a university based on the best fit for them – the place where they can thrive.”