If there is one thing we know about colleges in Illinois, it’s that attending them is quite costly. Perhaps a lesser known figure is which university in the state is the most sought after by prospective undergraduate students?

Using the National Center for Education Statistics database, eCollegeFinder created a map of the “most desirable” college in each state based on the number of undergrad applications received last fall for the 2014-15 academic year.

Since many Illinois high school graduates apply to in-state colleges or to those in our five bordering neighbors — Indiana, Wisconsin, Missouri, Kentucky and Iowa — in case you needed quick geography refresher, here is a breakdown of universities that received the most applications.

*The number of applications received presumably does not include ones received earlier this year. Additionally, some university websites include estimated costs for 2014-15, whereas others only had 2013-14 tuition expenses available.

 

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

 

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign:

  • Applications received – 33,203
  • Acceptance rate – 62 percent
  • Total undergraduates – 32,281
    • 56 percent male / 44 percent female
  • Total estimated costs for 2014-15 academic year:
    • Residents – $30,150 – 35,154
    • Non-residents – $44,776 – 49,780
  • Application deadline – Jan. 2
  • Location – Champaign, Illinois

 

Indiana University

Indiana University:

  • Applications received – 37,826
  • Acceptance rate – 72 percent
  • Total undergraduates – 32,371
    • 50 percent male / 49 percent female
  • Total costs for 2013-2014 academic year:
    • Residents – $23,832
    • Non-residents – $45,974
  • Application deadline - Nov. 1 (priority deadline for maximum scholarship consideration) & Feb. 1
  • Location - Bloomington, Indiana

 

marquette

 

Marquette University:

  • Applications received - 23,432
  • Acceptance rate – 57 percent
  • Total undergraduates - 8,293
    • 50 percent male / 50 percent female
  • Costs for 2013-2014 academic year:
    • Tuition – $35,480
    • Typical room and board – $11,000
    • Fees – $450
    • Total – $46,930
  • Application deadline - Dec. 1
  • Location - Milwaukee, Wisconsin

 

Washington University in St. Louis

Washington University in St. Louis:

  • Applications received – 30,117
  • Acceptance rate – 16 percent
  • Total undergraduates - 7,259
    • 48 percent male / 52 percent female
  • Costs for 2014-2015 academic year:
    • Tuition - $45,700
    • Student activity fee - $457
    • Student health and wellness fee – $310
    • Average university room and board – $13,888
    • Total cost – $60,355
  • Application deadline - Early/Regular decision (Nov. 15/Jan. 15)
  • Location - Saint Louis, Missouri

 

University of Kentucky

University of Kentucky:

  • Applications received – 19,810
  • Acceptance rate – 69 percent
  • Total undergraduates - 20,827
    • 50 percent male / 50 percent female
  • Tuition for 2013-2014 (per semester):
    • Lower Division Resident – $4,983
    • Lower Division Non-Resident – $10,526
    • Upper Division Resident – $5,127
    • Upper Division Non-Resident – $10,677
    • Mandatory fees – $549
  • Application deadline - Feb. 15
  • Location - Lexington, Kentucky

 

University of Iowa

University of Iowa:

  • Applications received – 21,642
  • Acceptance rate – 80 percent
  • Total undergraduates – 21,999
    • 48 percent male / 52 percent female
  • Total estimated costs for 2014-15 academic year:
    • Residents – $20,861
      • Tuition and fees – $8,079
    • Non-residents – $40,191
      • Tuition and fees – $27,409
  • Application deadline – Nov. 15
  • Location – Iowa City, Iowa

 

While tuition alone for non-residents is daunting — as is cost of attending the “most desirable” school in Illinois —  there are plenty of other higher education options that won’t be as strenuous on your bank account. Either way, applying for college should not be based on a popularity contest, but what institutions can offer prospective students to be successful in the real world.

Shifting to a nationwide overview, here are the top five universities with the most and fewest applications received.

Top 5 Most:

  1. University of California – Los Angeles – 72,676
  2. New York University – 57,552
  3. Pennsylvania State University – 47,552
  4. Northeastern University – 47,364
  5. University of Michigan – Ann Arbor – 46,813

Top 5 Fewest:

  1. University of Alaska – Anchorage – 3,062
  2. University of Wyoming – 4,181
  3. South Dakota State University – 4,851
  4. North Dakota State University – 5,812
  5. University of Hawaii at Manoa – 6,901

Also, eCollegeFinder created this map below that shows each state’s most applied-to college by undergrads.

Most Desirable College by State


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