September 16, 2020 at 11:30am
Dane Lisser

Millikin ranked among top regional colleges for Best Undergraduate Teaching

Millikin University has once again been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a leading institution in higher education in its 2021 "Best Colleges" guidebook, released on Sept. 14, 2020. Millikin is ranked No. 12 in the Best Regional Colleges in the Midwest category, making Millikin the highest ranked college in Illinois on this list.

Millikin was also recognized for distinction in several other categories, including Best Value Schools in the Midwest at No. 29 and Social Mobility at No. 35.

For the first time, Millikin University was ranked among the top regional colleges in the Midwest for Best Undergraduate Teaching at No. 11; Millikin was the only Illinois school to make the Regional Colleges Midwest list.

"We are always encouraged to be ranked among the very best Midwestern institutions of higher learning by U.S. News & World Report. What is most gratifying is to note that Millikin was ranked very highly for the work we do to provide both excellent instruction for our students and for our commitment to helping students with significant financial need to finish their education and graduate," said Millikin President Dr. Jim Reynolds. "We continue to use positive rankings like the ones found in U.S. News & World Report as a marker for the success of our curriculum, our dedication to Performance Learning and our community of caring that is so vital to students today. Millikin University is a special place, and rankings like this reinforce that to us all."

Millikin University

Best Regional Colleges, Midwest

The Best Regional Colleges category, which Millikin is included in, is comprised of 366 schools that are divided and ranked in four geographical groups: North, South, Midwest and West. Millikin has participated in U.S. News & World Report's "Best Colleges" publication and data collections for over 20 years. For the majority of those years, Millikin has been ranked in the top 18 or higher.

Best Value

At No. 29, Millikin is the second-highest ranked college in Illinois for Best Value Schools in the Midwest. To determine which colleges and universities offer the best values for students, U.S. News & World Report factors academic quality and cost. The ratio of quality-to-price accounted for 50 percent of the overall score, the percentage of all full-time undergraduates receiving (federal/state) need-based grants accounted for 20 percent and the average discount accounted for 10 percent. The 2021 edition also introduced a new ranking indicator for Best Value Schools, contributing 20 percent toward the proportion of need-based aid in the form of grants and scholarships.

Social Mobility

U.S. News & World Report recognized Millikin University as a Top Performer on Social Mobility in the Midwest, listing the University as the third-highest ranked college in Illinois at No. 35. Social Mobility measures how well schools graduated students who received federal Pell Grants. Pell Grant recipients typically come from households whose family incomes are less than $50,000 annually, though most Pell Grant money goes to students with a total family income below $20,000.

Best Undergraduate Teaching

Millikin University was the only Illinois school to be named to U.S. News & World Report's Best Undergraduate Teaching Midwest Regional Colleges list at No. 11. The rankings for Best Undergraduate Teaching focus on schools where faculty and administrators are committed to teaching undergraduate students in a high-quality manner. College presidents, provosts and admissions deans who participated in the annual U.S. News peer assessment survey were asked to nominate up to 15 schools in their Best Colleges ranking category that have a strength in undergraduate teaching.

"Millikin has been recognized again this year as one of the best institutions of its kind in Illinois and across the entire Midwest. One thing that makes the U.S. News & World Report rankings meaningful is that they rely not only on data about the institution, its students, faculty and resources, but also on surveys of college and university leaders all across the nation," said Millikin Provost Dr. Jeffery Aper. "That means that when Millikin receives a high ranking for something as important as teaching (tops in Illinois for Regional Colleges), it is due not only to quality learning outcomes for our students, but because our peers across the region also recognize the achievements of our faculty and our students as teachers and learners."

Millikin University

To place each school in its ranking, U.S. News strictly mapped its categories to The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education's Basic Classification system. Each school had an overall rank that was calculated from 17 key measures of quality. U.S. News uses multiple measures to capture the various dimensions of academic quality at each college, such as graduation and retention, graduation rate performance, social mobility, undergraduate academic reputation, faculty resources, financial resources, expert opinion, student excellence and alumni giving.

Dr. Aper added, "Millikin's Performance Learning gives an extraordinary additional dimension to both teaching and learning, and that additional dimension is recognized in the quality of the experiences and the outcomes our students demonstrate both on campus and in the larger world."

The complete 2021 edition of U.S. News & Report's "Best Colleges" guidebook, and nearly 50 different types of rankings and lists, is available at

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.