Western Illinois University

Western Illinois University Enrollment and Financial Aid Info

Located in Macomb, Illinois, Western Illinois University is a public, 4-year school that offers undergraduate and graduate programs. Read about the pros and cons of the school, plus ranking, tuition and admission information.

Is Western Illinois University the School for You?

The main residential campus of Western Illinois University (WIU) is located in the remote town of Macomb, Illinois. A second, non-residential campus can be found in the more metropolitan Quad City, which is 77 miles north of Macomb. Bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees are available for you to pursue, as well as pre-professional and certificate programs. Check out the pros and cons below to help you decide if WIU is the school for you.


  • Ranked #13 among Top Public Schools by U.S. News & World Report
  • Average student debt is $1,667 less than the national average
  • Accepts dual, Advanced Placement (AP), and life experience credit
  • Provides remedial services and day care on-campus for the children of students
  • Endowment has grown by 18.3% between 2010 and 2011


  • Total cost (including tuition, fees and living expenses) is $6,515 more than the national average for comparable schools
  • Graduation rate is 9 percentage points lower than the national average
  • High number of TAs teaching classes

About Western Illinois University

U.S. News & World Report (USNWR) ranked WIU #13 among the top public schools in the nation in 2014. The school also ranked #48 among Regional Universities (Midwest). WIU offers you 65 undergraduate degrees and 38 graduate degrees (including one doctoral degree) from which to choose. Endowment increased by 18.3% between 2010 and 2011, which is a good sign for the stability and growth of available programs.

Graduate teaching assistants make up over 39% of the teaching population, meaning many of your classes may not be taught by faculty members who already hold a graduate degree. To possibly lessen the amount of classes you have to take during your undergraduate studies, you may apply certain credit from high school to your degree, such as AP and dual credit.

The total cost to attend WIU in 2012-2013 was $24,375 for in-state, on-campus students, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). This is more than the national average of $17,860 for public, 4-year schools in that year. However, your financial debt after graduation should be around $24,993 according to USNWR, which is actually $1,667 less than the national average. Your financial situation may differ, however, if you do not start and finish your degree at WIU; NCES reports that WIU's 4-year graduation rate was only 31% for students who started at the school in 2006, which is nine percentage points below the national average.

Getting In & Financial Aid at WIU

When applying to WIU, make sure you have your application sent before the deadline of May 15. Your application also needs to be accompanied by a $30 fee. Other required documents that need to be sent and play an important role in the admissions decision process are your high school GPA and SAT or ACT scores. Letters of recommendation and personal statements may also be sent to possibly boost your chances of admissions, especially if your GPA or test scores are not high enough to be considered alone.

To help pay for your expenses while studying at WIU, you can apply for financial aid with the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). You may send in your application at any time, but you will have a higher chance of getting more aid the earlier you apply. According USNWR, the priority filing date for financial aid is February 14th.

USNWR reports that in 2012 the average financial aid package was $10,146. With this amount, you might be part of the low percentage of students that actually have all their financial needs completely met; College Board lists this number as only 24% in 2012. Be mindful of your financial situation after you graduate because NCES reports that 10.7% of students as of 2009 defaulted on their loans.

Application and Tuition Info
Regular Application Deadline (2011) May 15**
Financial Aid Application Deadline (2011) Rolling, but with a priority filing date of February 15**
Application Fee (2012-2013) $30*
All Tuition & Living Expenses (2012-2013) $24,375*
Average Financial Aid Package (2012) $10,146**
Percent of Students with Need Met (2012) 24%***
Student Loan Default Rate (2009) 10.7%*

Student Life at Western Illinois University

The city of Macomb is considered remote and rural, as stated respectively by NCES and USNWR. If you are like 44% of students that choose to utilize on-campus housing, your choices are somewhat limited and only include coed dorms, apartments for married students, special housing for international students, and theme housing. Note that you are required to live on campus for your freshman and sophomore years.

NCES reports that 93% of undergraduate students at WIU are from Illinois. Whether you make up this percentage or the smaller percentage of out-of-state or international students, you will find plenty of extracurricular activities to keep you occupied during times when you are not in class or doing research through one of WIU's six libraries. WIU offers you over 250 registered clubs and organizations to allow you to pursue a special interest and just spend time doing something different. There are clubs for archery, canoeing and kayaking, recycling, roller hockey, and botany.

Student Life Info
Campus Setting Remote town*
Student Population (Fall 2012) 10,263 undergraduate students*
1,942 graduate students*
Male-to-Female Student Ratio (Fall 2012) 52% to 48%*
% of Full Time Students (Fall 2012) 89%*
% of In-state Students (Fall 2011) 93%*
% of International Students (Fall 2011) 1%*
Retention Rate (Fall 2012) 68%*
Campus Housing Available Yes*
% of Students Living on Campus 44%**
Number of Libraries 6****
Extracurricular Activities 250 registered clubs and organizations**
Noteworthy G.I. Jobs Magazine designated WIU as a 'Military Friendly School' for its welcoming attitude towards students who are U.S. military veterans****

Sources: *NCES College Navigator, **U.S. News and World Report, ***College Board, ****Western Illinois University.

School Contact Information

  • Address: Undergraduate Admissions Office, Sherman Hall 115, Macomb, IL 61455 USA
  • Phone: (309) 298-3157