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Eastern Illinois University (EIU) is a public institution located in Charleston, Illinois. Founded in 1895, it was originally a two-year teacher’s college. Today, Eastern Illinois University offers a broad curriculum including education, business, arts, sciences, and humanities degrees at the bachelor’s and master’s levels. The campus sits on 320 acres and offers many housing options for students including 11 residence halls, a Greek Court, a University Court, and university apartments.

Overview of Eastern Illinois University (EIU)

According to a recent National Science Foundation survey, the university is proud to prepare more undergraduates who go on to enroll in doctoral degrees than any other academic institution in Illinois. It’s also home to one of the largest biomass facilities in the United States. This, coupled with the new Center for Clean Energy Research and Education facility, makes the school an ideal option for students concerned about the environment.

Eastern Illinois University also boasts a lively campus experience. Students can participate in any of the over 170 recognized student organizations, as well as numerous sports at the NCAA Division I competition level. There’s also a Student Recreation Center which serves more than 2,000 students each day and offers indoor sports courts, an eight-mile jogging track, a free-weight area, and a dance studio.

The school employs approximately 378 faculty full-time and 136 part-time, all of whom provide instruction to students and are known for excellence in teaching, research, creative activity, and service. This makes the student-faculty ratio 1 to 14, which means class sizes are relatively small and students typically have little trouble receiving one-on-one attention from their professors. Personal connections with faculty and staff are encouraged in order to support student academic success.

Notably, Charleston is ranked as one of the “Safest Cities in Illinois” by Safewise. It was also ranked as the second “Most Affordable College Town in the Country” by Business Insiders in 2015.

General Information

School Type Public
Campus Setting Town: Distant
Campus Housing Yes
Student Faculty Ratio 14:1
Graduation Rate 51%
Year Founded 1895

Student Enrollment

Total Students7,806


Undergraduate Student

Male 2,678
Female 3,551

Graduate Student

Male 678
Female 899

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EIU Acceptance Rate and Admissions


Male 3,511
Female 5,488


Male 1,896
Female 3,128

Acceptance Rate56%

Male 54%
Female 57%

Enrollment 907

Male 342
Female 565
Application Fee $30
High School GPA Required
High School Rank N/A
High School Transcripts Required
College Prep Courses Required
Recommendations Recommended
Formal demonstration of competencies Recommended
SAT/ACT Required
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Required
Application Deadline Rolling
Common Application Accepted No

EIU Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

Washington Monthly ranked Eastern Illinois University among the top “Bang for the Buck” colleges in the Midwest. The overall cost of living and learning at this institution varies, however, depending on residency and degree type sought.

The average cost per undergraduate credit for Illinois, border states, and distinguished out-of-state students is $322, or $9,661 per 15 credit hour semester. Non-border state students pay slightly more, with tuition rates of $402 per credit hour, or $12,077 per 15 credit hour semester. Notably, other fees, room and board, etc. are all charged at the same rates. Students should expect to pay $3,078 in fees, $298 for textbooks or rentals, and $10,342 for room and board.

It's important to note that Eastern Illinois University offers in-state rates for border-state students enrolled in undergraduate degree programs. This means that residents of Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, and Wisconsin can attend the school for less. Notably, the institution also already has the lowest administrative cost per student in the state.

Tuition for graduate students is somewhat higher and border-state students are not entitled to the same rates as in-state students. The average cost per graduate-level credit for Illinois residents $326, or $7,190 per 11 credit hour semester. Out-of-state students pay almost twice this amount, with tuition rates of $784 per credit hour, or $17,257 per 11 credit hour semester. Again, other fees, room, and board are all charged at the same rates. Graduate students should expect to pay $2,961 in fees, $218 for textbooks, and $10,342 for room and board.

Eastern Illinois University offers a number of financial aid options to help pay for education, including federal and state funds and scholarships from the institution itself. All students are encouraged to complete the FAFSA, as well as search for additional funding options on the web. Approximately 98% of full-time beginning undergraduate students receive some form of financial aid. While many students receive some form of grant or scholarship, 70% still require loans to maintain enrollment.

Average net price 2018-2019
Net Price $14,146
Average Total Aid $10,368
Students Receiving Financial Aid 98%
Room & Board $10,030

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $11,989
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $14,269
  • Books and Supplies - $150
  • Room & Board - $10,030
  • Other - $2,484


Eastern Illinois University strives to offer superior and accessible undergraduate and graduate education. Academic programs are designed help students learn the methods and results of free and rigorous inquiry in the arts, humanities, sciences, and various professions. The school also fosters opportunities for applied learning experiences in order to develop student abilities to reason and communicate clearly as responsible citizens and leaders in the future.

Students can choose from a wide variety of areas of study.

The institution offers programs from the following academic schools and colleges:

  • Lumpkin College of Business and Technology
  • College of Education
  • College of Health and Human Services
  • College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
  • Graduate School
  • Honors College
  • School of Continuing Education

As previously mentioned, there are various undergraduate and graduate degree options available, as well as undergraduate and postgraduate certificates. With 51 bachelor’s degree programs, 32 graduate degree programs, and 10 post-baccalaureate certificate programs, students have plenty of choices. Opportunities do vary based on the program selected, however, with some disciplines offering more graduate-level courses than others. Graduate students are able to enroll in Master of Arts (MA), Master of Science (MS), Professional Science Master’s (PSM), Master of Science in Education (MSEd), and Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs.

The total student population as of fall 2020 was 8,626, including full-time and part-time students. Approximately 6,969 were enrolled in undergraduate programs. Of those, 59% attended classes full-time. There were also 1,657 graduate students, 63% of whom attended classes part-time.

The retention rate at Eastern Illinois University for first-time students pursing bachelor’s degrees in fall 2020 was 74% for full-time students and 33% for part-time students. Retention rate statistics are important because they measure how many freshmen students choose to return to an institution to continue their studies for a second year. The national average retention rate is 68%, which indicates that the majority of full-time students enrolled at Eastern Illinois University are satisfied with their overall experience at the institution.

Additionally, the overall graduation rate in 2020 for Eastern Illinois was 51%, with 34% of tracked students transferring out before their final academic year. This data is important for prospective students because it highlights the percentage of first-time students who earn their degree or certificate within 150% of the standard completion time.

Eastern Illinois University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of College and Schools and by the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparedness (CAEP). Many specific programs are also accredited by CAEP including their Early Childhood Education, English Education, Mathematics, School Psychology, Social Science education, Technical Education, and Special Education K-12 programs.

Student Population Total

Student Population 7,806

Evening Classes : Yes
Online Learning : Yes

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

All Business Majors 178 Total Graduates / 15%
Management Science 58 Graduates
Accounting 39 Graduates
Marketing/Marketing Management, General 39 Graduates
Finance, General 25 Graduates
Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities 123 Total Graduates / 11%
Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies 123 Graduates
All Education Majors 121 Total Graduates / 10%
Elementary Education and Teaching 49 Graduates
Special Education and Teaching, General 22 Graduates
Kindergarten/Preschool Education and Teaching 15 Graduates
Health Teacher Education 12 Graduates
Parks, Recreation, Leisure, Fitness, and Kinesiology 100 Total Graduates / 9%
Exercise Science and Kinesiology 79 Graduates
Parks, Recreation, and Leisure Facilities Management, General 16 Graduates
Sport and Fitness Administration/Management 5 Graduates
All Psychology Majors 100 Total Graduates / 9%
Psychology, General 100 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 47%

Outcome & Salary

In general, most on-campus students enrolled at Eastern Illinois University can expect to graduate within six years. Only 35% of students who began school in fall 2014 graduated within four years, but 51% graduated within six years.

It’s also worth noting that Eastern Illinois University career outcomes exceed the national average by 8.3%. Students have access to a wide variety of resources including professional development tools, campus outreach opportunities, and job fairs. According to PayScale, the average base salary for graduates from this institution is $62,000.

Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary $46,300
College Grads Average Salary $61,160
College Grads Mid Career Salary $87,600
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $611,600
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential $1,487,600
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $56,584
10 Year Projected ROI $555,016
20 Year Projected ROI $1,431,016
No College Education Salary Comparison
National Average Salary $38,792
10 Year Projected Income $387,920
20 Year Projected Income $775,840

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