September 21, 2020 at 12:45pm
Dane Lisser

Ranking measures resources, engagement, outcomes and environment

Millikin University is among the elite colleges and universities recognized in the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education (WSJ/THE) 2021 College Ranking released on Sept. 14, 2020. Millikin is ranked No. 371 of 797 institutions nationally, and 85th out of 212 institutions in the Midwest.     

The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Ranking is a pioneering ranking of U.S. colleges and universities that puts student success and learning at its heart. Almost 20 percent of the WSJ/THE College Ranking relies on a powerful student survey dataset – the annual THE U.S. Student Survey, which captures the voices of over 170,000 U.S. students across all ranked colleges.

Developed in partnership with U.S. experts and universities, the ranking adopts a balanced scorecard approach. WSJ/THE uses 15 individual performance metrics grouped into four pillars representing Resources (30 percent), Engagement (20 percent), Outcomes (40 percent) and Environment (10 percent). The ranking includes clear performance indicators designed to answer the questions that matter most to students and their families when making one of the most important decisions of their lives – who to trust with their education.

Millikin University Commons

Millikin University's strongest pillar was Engagement with an overall score of 78. To capture engagement with learning, WSJ/THE looked at the answers from the following four key questions:

  • To what extent does the student's college or university support critical thinking?
  • To what extent does the teaching support reflection on, or making connections among, the things that the student has learned?
  • To what extent does the teaching support applying the student's learning to the real world?
  • To what extent do the classes taken in college challenge the student?

"This year's college ranking by the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education shows Millikin University as an institution that gives students extraordinary opportunities to work closely with highly-qualified faculty who are dedicated to their success," said Millikin Provost Dr. Jeffery Aper. "The WSJ/THE data show that Millikin students have greater opportunities than most of their peers at other institutions when it comes to active engagement in learning and interaction with faculty and staff. All of this just goes to affirm the value of the work that Millikin faculty and staff do in helping students develop their talents and potential to the highest degree possible."

Data for the ranking is gathered from a variety of sources such as the U.S. government (Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System – IPEDS), the College Scorecard, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), the U.S. Student Survey, the Academic Survey and the Elsevier bibliometric dataset.

Millikin University

The THE Student Survey captures milestones in the student's educational journey with their institution, covering motivation, engagement with learning, career impact, and satisfaction and value.

The 2021 survey instrument contains 12 core questions, framed by demographic questions to capture the students' background and degree status.

For more information about the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education 2021 College Ranking and the ranking methodology, visit

Millikin University

Millikin University is a private, comprehensive university with a diverse student population of approximately 2,000 undergraduate and graduate students. A Millikin education features Performance Learning, a unique learning approach offered only at Millikin that gives students the chance to build the confidence and skills to succeed before and after graduation. Millikin offers more than 50 majors in the College of Fine Arts, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Professional Studies and Tabor School of Business, and is located on a 75-acre residential campus in Decatur, Ill. Last year, 96 percent of Millikin graduates gained employment or continued their education within six months of graduation.