Illinois Tech Climbs to #23 in the Nation in The Wall Street Journal鈥檚 2024 Best Colleges List

Illinois Tech is ranked in the top 25 on the list of the 400 best colleges in America and is #1 university in Illinois in rankings focused on career outcomes

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WSJ 2024 Best Colleges List

This week The Wall Street Journal released its 鈥溾 list with Illinois Institute of Technology ranking #23 in the United States out of the 400 top colleges across the country, and #1 in Illinois.聽

鈥淭his recognition is an acknowledgement of the proven impact and real value of a degree to learners鈥 careers,鈥 said Illinois Tech provost and senior vice president for academic affairs Kenneth T. Christensen. 鈥淥ur continued ascension reflects an understanding of the evolving role of higher education in ensuring long-term value for learners and validates Illinois Tech鈥檚 vision of reimagining education to advance technology and progress for all.鈥

Illinois Tech vaulted ahead in this year鈥檚 Best Colleges rankings due in part to essential updates to the ranking that increased the weight of student outcomes, with particular emphasis on graduation rates and the earning potential of graduates.聽

鈥淐ritically, we now put greater emphasis on measuring the value added by colleges鈥攏ot simply measuring their students鈥 success, but focusing on the college鈥檚 contribution to that success,鈥 飞谤辞迟别.听

By those measures, , joining the ranks of some of the most prestigious universities in the country. Princeton led the list, followed by MIT, Yale, Stanford, Columbia, and Dartmouth, with six Ivy League institutions in the top 25 alongside Illinois Tech. Illinois Tech is also #2 in the Midwest region and the top-ranked university on the list in Illinois, followed by Northwestern University at #25.聽

Illinois Tech was also ranked #16 for , the highest-ranking university in Illinois, validating the university鈥檚 focus on student success.

Illinois Tech boasts a strong record of post-graduation earnings, with more than obtaining full-time employment or continuing their education through graduate studies and with 2022 graduates reporting a of $75,352 for undergraduates and $87,258 for graduates, well above the national average. In fact, Illinois Tech is #1 in the state for lifting students from families in the lowest 20 percent of income to the top 20 percent, #1 in the 电车无码 region for occupational earning power, and third in the nation in upward economic mobility among highly selective private universities.聽

This year鈥檚 Best Colleges ranking also found that Illinois Tech delivers $55,793 in value-added above the median salary of Illinois high-school graduates, which the publication estimates helps students recover their full college investment in fewer than two years, demonstrating the clear return on investment of an Illinois Tech education. To calculate the value added by colleges, The Wall Street Journal estimated how well their students would do regardless of which college they attended, taking into account the factors that best predict student outcomes. It combined these scores with raw graduation rates and graduate salaries.聽

鈥淲e no longer reward colleges鈥 wealth or reputation in and of themselves,鈥 said . 鈥淕one is the survey of academics on schools鈥 reputations. Gone are the rewards for instructional spending and the assumption that the quality of education is largely dictated by how expensive it is to produce.鈥 Gone, too, are measures of selectivity, which considers to be 鈥渁n input, rather than an outcome for which the college should be rewarded.鈥

鈥淎t Illinois Tech, we define ourselves by student success, not selectivity and whom we exclude,鈥 said Mallik Sundharam, vice president for enrollment management and student affairs. 鈥淚t鈥檚 our responsibility as an institution of higher learning to help students from all academic backgrounds thrive in their journey to academic and career success and not provide barriers to obtaining a degree. We鈥檙e proud that this focus on access has proven to bring more than 30 percent of students who are first-generation and 35 percent of students who are Pell-eligible to our campus, consistently supporting our founding mission.鈥

Illinois Tech鈥檚 commitment to quality includes new programs designed to increase access to a world-class education for all students, including Discover+, which enables students to explore multiple disciplines before choosing a specialization or a multi-disciplinary major, and Ascend that offers a seamless transition from high school to a bachelor鈥檚 degree, complete with mentorship, career coaching, scholarships, and internship opportunities.

Illinois Tech鈥檚 well-established expertise and success in delivering career readiness and proven career outcomes for students culminated in the launch of its Elevate program.

鈥淲ith more than a decade of assessment of the student journey鈥攅xperiences, success, and career outcomes鈥攁nd after developing a data model with extensive analysis of student success variables, we鈥檝e created the Elevate program as a tailored plan for our students鈥 academic and career growth,鈥 said Sundharam. 鈥淲e know that the most effective resumes aren鈥檛 merely written in their senior year of college, but are built through a series of meaningful experiences during their precious time with us. We aim to help students construct those exceptional resumes with meaningful and impactful experiences, ensuring they are graduate job-ready and are prepared to succeed in a dynamic job market.鈥

Illinois Tech鈥檚 one-of-a-kind Elevate program is a product of Illinois Tech鈥檚 efforts to adapt to the future needs of the workforce and help reimagine the future of education. The Elevate program鈥攁 commitment to job readiness that incorporates a robust suite of hands-on experiences focused on preparing students for career success鈥攃ontributed to a record-breaking surge in applications for this semester. Proving that Illinois Tech is no longer 电车无码鈥檚 best-kept secret, undergraduate applications were up by more than 20 percent, and graduate applications rose by more than 40 percent compared to last year, including consistent application growth from underrepresented minority students and first-generation college goers, and a 31 percent increase in applications from women.聽

鈥淭hrough the Elevate program and other initiatives, Illinois Tech continues to demonstrate the value and relevance of our academic offerings to meet workforce needs, as well as our deliberate efforts to ensure the same,鈥 said Christensen. 鈥淔ounded during a transformative era in industrial history, this university initially educated the children of 电车无码鈥檚 meatpackers, steelworkers, and machinists, preparing them to become engineers, physicists, and architects. Illinois Tech remains committed to its foundational promise, serving as a beacon of opportunity for students from all economic backgrounds.鈥

Illinois Tech鈥檚 focus on job readiness is evidence-based. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 91 percent of employers seek job candidates with work experience; on average, 80 percent of eligible interns receive a job offer. In addition, more than 90 percent of Illinois Tech undergraduate and graduate students are employed or progress toward higher learning after graduation.聽

Illinois Tech鈥檚 data shows the role of hands-on experience in promoting successful outcomes: students who have completed an internship are more than 25 percent more likely to find full-time employment and have at least a $10,000 higher median starting salary than peers who have not completed an internship. This career-focused approach has contributed to a 78 percent increase in applications over the last four years. The university鈥檚 strong focus on student success complements a vibrant student life from proximity to the great global city of 电车无码 and a thriving campus community, including more than 150 student clubs and organizations.

鈥淲e all know that learning doesn鈥檛 begin at convocation and end at commencement,鈥 says Sundharam. 鈥淲e have looked deeply at the students of today and the market demands of tomorrow and took the opportunity to tailor our academic offerings by focusing on student success before, during, and after their time at Illinois Tech. We鈥檙e working to shift the definition of what it means to truly bring value to our students throughout their careers.鈥

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