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50 best colleges in the Midwest

  • Michael Fernandes // Wikimedia Commons
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    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.

    The sprawling states of the Midwest form more than just “flyover country.” America’s heartland claims a number of well-respected institutions of higher education—not only famed public research universities, but also 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 the list to find which colleges made the cut, and if the top spot went to a big name football school, a land-grant, or an idyllic liberal arts campus.

    ALSO: 50 best colleges on the East Coast

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    #50. University of Evansville

    Location: Evansville, IN
    Acceptance rate: 71%
    Net price: $22,068
    SAT range: 990–1220
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $40,300
    Overall rank: #222

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    #49. Marquette University

    Location: Milwaukee, WI
    Acceptance rate: 84%
    Net price: $33,502
    SAT range: 1040–1270
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $59,000
    Overall rank: #219

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    #48. DePaul University

    Location: Chicago, IL
    Acceptance rate: 70%
    Net price: $32,084
    SAT range: 1050–1260
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $51,000
    Overall rank: #214

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    #47. 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

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    #46. University of Mississippi

    Location: University, MS
    Acceptance rate: 78%
    Net price: $14,678
    SAT range: 1000–1230
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $41,100
    Overall rank: #209

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    #45. 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

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    #44. 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

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    #43. 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

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    #42. 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

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    #41. 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

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    #40. 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

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    #39. 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

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    #38. 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

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    #37. 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

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    #36. 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

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    #35. 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

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    #34. 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

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    #33. 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

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    #32. Mississippi State University

    Location: Mississippi State, MS
    Acceptance rate: 56%
    Net price: $15,628
    SAT range: 960–1260
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $40,300
    Overall rank: #163

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    #31. 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
     

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    #30. 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
     

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    #29. 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

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    #28. 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

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    #27. 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

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    #26. 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

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    #25. 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

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    #24. 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

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    #23. 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

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    #22. 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

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    #21. 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

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    #20. 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

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    #19. 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

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    #18. 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

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    #17. 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

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    #16. 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

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    #15. 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

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    #14. 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

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    #13. 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

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    #12. 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

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    #11. 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

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    #10. 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

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    #9. 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

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    #8. 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

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    #7. 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

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    #6. 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

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    #5. 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

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    #4. 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

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    #3. 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

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    #2. 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

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    #1. 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
     

     

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