Skip to main content

Main Area

Main

50 best colleges in the Midwest

  • Angela Davies // Wikicommons
    1/ Angela Davies // Wikicommons

    50 best colleges in the Midwest

    Some of the best Midwestern colleges and universities can thank the Morrill Act of 1862 for their existence. This law gave states 30,000 acres of federal land to establish institutions that offered practical and agricultural educations to a wider public. Today, many of these land-grant colleges have a history of being powerhouse research institutions, boasting developments like the first internet browser and performance of the first successful open-heart surgery.

    America’s heartland claims a number of well-respected institutions of higher education, including famed public research universities and renowned small liberal arts colleges. Using Niche’s 2019 Best Colleges in America list (updated August 2018), Stacker sorted out the best 50 schools in the Midwest. Niche’s rankings use data from the U.S. Department of Education on academics, admissions, and student life, along with reviews from current students and alumni. Only colleges located in Midwestern states (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin) were included.

    Click through our list to find which colleges made the cut, and if the top spot went to a big name football school, a land-grant, or a bucolic liberal arts campus.

  • Troy Johnson // Wikimedia Commons
    2/ Troy Johnson // Wikimedia Commons

    #50. Creighton University

    Location: Omaha, NE
    Acceptance rate: 71%
    Net price: $30,353
    SAT range: 1050-1280
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $56,100
    Overall rank: #212

     

  • Paul Sableman // Flickr
    3/ Paul Sableman // Flickr

    #49. St. Louis College of Pharmacy

    Location: Saint Louis, MO
    Acceptance rate: 71%
    Net price: $26,252
    SAT range: 1121-1265
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $120,400
    Overall rank: #207

  • Scott McLeod // Flickr
    4/ Scott McLeod // Flickr

    #48. DePauw University

    Location: Greencastle, IN
    Acceptance rate: 58%
    Net price: $30,863
    SAT range: 1180-1360
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $50,700
    Overall rank: #205

  • AlexiusHoratious // Wikimedia Commons
    5/ AlexiusHoratious // Wikimedia Commons

    #47. Augustana University

    Location: Sioux Falls, SD
    Acceptance rate: 69%
    Net price: $19,974
    SAT range: 930-1230
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $41,600
    Overall rank: #203

  • Joe // Flickr
    6/ Joe // Flickr

    #46. College of Wooster

    Location: Wooster, OH
    Acceptance rate: 58%
    Net price: $29,813
    SAT range: 1070-1350
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $45,400
    Overall rank: #200

     

  • Ejd24 // Wikimedia Commons
    7/ Ejd24 // Wikimedia Commons

    #45. Calvin College

    Location: Grand Rapids, MI
    Acceptance rate: 75%
    Net price: $25,446
    SAT range: 1050-1285
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $43,300
    Overall rank: #197
     

  • Dori // Wikimedia Commons
    8/ Dori // Wikimedia Commons

    #44. Milwaukee School of Engineering

    Location: Milwaukee, WI
    Acceptance rate: 66%
    Net price: $23,998
    SAT range: 1160-1340
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $67,400
    Overall rank: #196

     

  • Joe Ravi // Wikimedia Commons
    9/ Joe Ravi // Wikimedia Commons

    #43. Illinois Institute of Technology

    Location: Chicago, IL
    Acceptance rate: 57%
    Net price: $25,847
    SAT range: 1130-1360
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $69,800
    Overall rank: #193

     

  • Andrew Higley // Wikimedia Commons
    10/ Andrew Higley // Wikimedia Commons

    #42. University of Cincinnati

    Location: Cincinnati, OH
    Acceptance rate: 76%
    Net price: $19,978
    SAT range: 1030-1290
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $39,500
    Overall rank: #188

     

  • Bmamlyuk // Wikimedia Commons
    11/ Bmamlyuk // Wikimedia Commons

    #41. Ohio Northern University

    Location: Ada, OH
    Acceptance rate: 64%
    Net price: $24,348
    SAT range: 1030-1235
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $62,800
    Overall rank: #186

     

  • EmilyMarvin // Wikimedia Commons
    12/ EmilyMarvin // Wikimedia Commons

    #40. Illinois Wesleyan University

    Location: Bloomington, IL
    Acceptance rate: 58%
    Net price: $31,227
    SAT range: 1130-1400
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $55,600
    Overall rank: #183

     

  • Picture Des Moines // Wikimedia Commons
    13/ Picture Des Moines // Wikimedia Commons

    #39. Drake University

    Location: Des Moines, IA
    Acceptance rate: 69%
    Net price: $28,088
    SAT range: 1050-1340
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $56,800
    Overall rank: #180

     

  • Mulad // Wikimedia Commons
    14/ Mulad // Wikimedia Commons

    #38. University of St. Thomas - Minnesota

    Location: Saint Paul, MN
    Acceptance rate: 83%
    Net price: $30,791
    SAT range: 1050-1290
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $55,600
    Overall rank: #178

     

  • Bkell // Wikimedia Commons
    15/ Bkell // Wikimedia Commons

    #37. University of Nebraska - Lincoln

    Location: Lincoln, NE
    Acceptance rate: 75%
    Net price: $16,462
    SAT range: 990-1280
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $43,700
    Overall rank: #175

     

  • Prizm // Wikimedia Commons
    16/ Prizm // Wikimedia Commons

    #36. Luther College

    Location: Decorah, IA
    Acceptance rate: 68%
    Net price: $25,404
    SAT range: 928-1198
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $43,500
    Overall rank: #174

  • Adavidb // Wikimedia commons
    17/ Adavidb // Wikimedia commons

    #35. Missouri University of Science & Technology

    Location: Rolla, MO
    Acceptance rate: 79%
    Net price: $13,874
    SAT range: 1186-1376
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $67,100
    Overall rank: #169

  • Rough Tough, Real Stuff // Wikimedia Commons
    18/ Rough Tough, Real Stuff // Wikimedia Commons

    #34. University of Missouri

    Location: Columbia, MO
    Acceptance rate: 75%
    Net price: $16,317
    SAT range: 1020-1290
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $46,100
    Overall rank: #168

  • Paperraven // Wikimedia Commons
    19/ Paperraven // Wikimedia Commons

    #33. Kansas State University

    Location: Manhattan, KS
    Acceptance rate: 94%
    Net price: $16,431
    SAT range: Data not available
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $43,800
    Overall rank: #162

  • Gen. Quon // Wikimedia Commons
    20/ Gen. Quon // Wikimedia Commons

    #32. University of Kansas

    Location: Lawrence, KS
    Acceptance rate: 93%
    Net price: $18,014
    SAT range: Data not available
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $46,500
    Overall rank: #159

  • EEJCC // Wikimedia Commons
    21/ EEJCC // Wikimedia Commons

    #31. Miami University

    Location: Oxford, OH
    Acceptance rate: 65%
    Net price: $20,186
    SAT range: 1130-1350
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $45,200
    Overall rank: #156

  • Namtrofk // Wikimedia Commons
    22/ Namtrofk // Wikimedia Commons

    #30. University of Dayton

    Location: Dayton, OH
    Acceptance rate: 60%
    Net price: $34,019
    SAT range: 1020-1240
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $51,600
    Overall rank: #154

     

  • Wilson Delgado // Wikimedia Commons
    23/ Wilson Delgado // Wikimedia Commons

    #29. Saint Louis University

    Location: St. Louis, MO
    Acceptance rate: 65%
    Net price: $33,222
    SAT range: 1110-1330
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $54,400
    Overall rank: #145

  • Daderot // Wikimedia Commons
    24/ Daderot // Wikimedia Commons

    #28. Oberlin College

    Location: Oberlin, OH
    Acceptance rate: 28%
    Net price: $42,105
    SAT range: 1250-1450
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $40,200
    Overall rank: #141

  • Jlencion // Wikimedia Commons
    25/ Jlencion // Wikimedia Commons

    #27. Gustavus Adolphus College

    Location: Saint Peter, MN
    Acceptance rate: 65%
    Net price: $24,293
    SAT range: 1080-1340
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $48,400
    Overall rank: #138

  • Chamberednautilus // Wikimedia Commons
    26/ Chamberednautilus // Wikimedia Commons

    #26. Denison University

    Location: Granville, OH
    Acceptance rate: 44%
    Net price: $32,023
    SAT range: 1190-1380
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $48,400
    Overall rank: #137

  • Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons
    27/ Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

    #25. Wabash College

    Location: Crawfordsville, IN
    Acceptance rate: 63%
    Net price: $24,245
    SAT range: 1020-1230
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $53,600
    Overall rank: #136

  • Pixabay
    28/ Pixabay

    #24. Lawrence University

    Location: Appleton, WI
    Acceptance rate: 63%
    Net price: $29,230
    SAT range: 1180-1390
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $41,700
    Overall rank: #129

  • Cade Ullerich // Wikimedia Commons
    29/ Cade Ullerich // Wikimedia Commons

    #23. Iowa State University

    Location: Ames, IA
    Acceptance rate: 87%
    Net price: $13,623
    SAT range: 980-1270
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $48,600
    Overall rank: #128

  • Tony Webster // Wikimedia Commons
    30/ Tony Webster // Wikimedia Commons

    #22. University of Iowa

    Location: Iowa City, IA
    Acceptance rate: 84%
    Net price: $14,161
    SAT range: 1020-1320
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $50,200
    Overall rank: #123

  • Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons
    31/ Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

    #21. Indiana University - Bloomington

    Location: Bloomington, IN
    Acceptance rate: 79%
    Net price: $12,621
    SAT range: 1060-1290
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $46,100
    Overall rank: #119

  • jcvertin // Wikimedia Commons
    32/ jcvertin // Wikimedia Commons

    #20. Michigan Technological University

    Location: Houghton, MI
    Acceptance rate: 76%
    Net price: $16,276
    SAT range: 1068-1335
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $64,700
    Overall rank: #117

  • Daniel Edwins // Wikimedia Commons
    33/ Daniel Edwins // Wikimedia Commons

    #19. St. Olaf College

    Location: Northfield, MN
    Acceptance rate: 45%
    Net price: $27,284
    SAT range: 1120-1400
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $47,300
    Overall rank: #116

  • Neatpete86 // Wikimedia Commons
    34/ Neatpete86 // Wikimedia Commons

    #18. Wheaton College - Illinois

    Location: Wheaton, IL
    Acceptance rate: 79%
    Net price: $27,840
    SAT range: 1170-1400
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $45,200
    Overall rank: #107

  • Jeffness // Wikimedia Commons
    35/ Jeffness // Wikimedia Commons

    #17. Michigan State University

    Location: East Lansing, MI
    Acceptance rate: 66%
    Net price: $14,970
    SAT range: 990-1260
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $51,500
    Overall rank: #103

  • Yipdw // Wikimedia Commons
    36/ Yipdw // Wikimedia Commons

    #16. Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

    Location: Terre Haute, IN
    Acceptance rate: 61%
    Net price: $41,691
    SAT range: 1200-1430
    Median earnings six years after graduation: 79,200
    Overall rank: #99

  • Kevin Payravi // Wikimedia Commons
    37/ Kevin Payravi // Wikimedia Commons

    #15. The Ohio State University

    Location: Columbus, OH
    Acceptance rate: 54%
    Net price: $17,971
    SAT range: 1160-1410
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $43,700
    Overall rank: #91

  • Ben Franske // Wikimedia Commons
    38/ Ben Franske // Wikimedia Commons

    #14. University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

    Location: Minneapolis, MN
    Acceptance rate: 44%
    Net price: $16,242
    SAT range: 1180-1450
    Median earnings six years after graduation: 49,800
    Overall rank: #88

  • Appraiser // Wikimedia Commons
    39/ Appraiser // Wikimedia Commons

    #13. Macalester College

    Location: Saint Paul, MN
    Acceptance rate: 37%
    Net price: $28,528
    SAT range: 1260-1490
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $45,300
    Overall rank: #85

  • Diego Delso // Wikimedia Commons
    40/ Diego Delso // Wikimedia Commons

    #12. Purdue University

    Location: West Lafayette, IN
    Acceptance rate: 56%
    Net price: $11,693
    SAT range: 1070-1320
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $55,000
    Overall rank: #80

  • Daderot // Wikimedia Coimmons
    41/ Daderot // Wikimedia Coimmons

    #11. Case Western Reserve University

    Location: Cleveland, OH
    Acceptance rate: 35%
    Net price: $33,124
    SAT range: 1280-1490
    Median earnings six years after graduation: 69,900
    Overall rank: #76

  • Curt Smith // Wikimedia commons
    42/ Curt Smith // Wikimedia commons

    #10. Kenyon College

    Location: Gambier, OH
    Acceptance rate: 27%
    Net price: $28,192
    SAT range: 1230-1440
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $44,300
    Overall rank: #73

  • Aureliusxv // Wikimedia Commons
    43/ Aureliusxv // Wikimedia Commons

    #9. Grinnell College

    Location: Grinnell, IA
    Acceptance rate: 20%
    Net price: $30,010
    SAT range: 1320-1530
    Median earnings six years after graduation: 44,300
    Overall rank: #68

  • Killivalavan Solai // Wikimedia Commons
    44/ Killivalavan Solai // Wikimedia Commons

    #8. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    Location: Champaign, IL
    Acceptance rate: 60%
    Net price: $16,683
    SAT range: 1285-1480
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $57,600
    Overall rank: #64

  • James Steakley // Wikimedia Commons
    45/ James Steakley // Wikimedia Commons

    #7. University of Wisconsin

    Location: Madison, WI
    Acceptance rate: 53%
    Net price: $15,874
    SAT range: 1200-1420
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $54,200
    Overall rank: #60

  • Roy Luck // Wikimedia Commons
    46/ Roy Luck // Wikimedia Commons

    #6. Carleton College

    Location: Northfield, MN
    Acceptance rate: 23%
    Net price: $28,587
    SAT range: 1320-1540
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $52,600
    Overall rank: #35

  • GoodFreePhotos
    47/ GoodFreePhotos

    #5. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

    Location: Ann Arbor, MI
    Acceptance rate: 29%
    Net price: $16,107
    SAT range: 1310-1500
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $60,100
    Overall rank: #23

  • Adam Jones // Wikimedia Commons
    48/ Adam Jones // Wikimedia Commons

    #4. University of Chicago

    Location: Chicago, IL
    Acceptance rate: 8%
    Net price: $31,068
    SAT range: 1450-1600
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $65,500
    Overall rank: #15

  • Madcoverboy // Wikimedia Commons
    49/ Madcoverboy // Wikimedia Commons

    #3. Northwestern University

    Location: Evanston, IL
    Acceptance rate: 11%
    Net price: $29,326
    SAT range: 1400-1560
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $65,900
    Overall rank: #14

  • Michael Fernandes // Wikimedia Commons
    50/ Michael Fernandes // Wikimedia Commons

    #2. University of Notre Dame

    Location: Notre Dame, IN
    Acceptance rate: 19%
    Net price: $26,683
    SAT range: 1350-1540
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $71,600
    Overall rank: #13

  • Bachrach44 // Wikimedia Commons
    51/ Bachrach44 // Wikimedia Commons

    #1. Washington University in St. Louis

    Location: Saint Louis, MO
    Acceptance rate: 17%
    Net price: $28,824
    SAT range: 1400-1570
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $66,300
    Overall rank: #11

2018 All rights reserved.