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Governors State University (GSU) is a four-year, public institution that supports degrees at the bachelor's, post baccalaureate certificate, master's, master's certificate, and doctoral levels. Located in University Park, IL, just south of Chicago, GSU is the academic home to around 3,000 undergraduate and 1,500 graduate students. These scholars are pursuing degrees in one of four primary colleges at GSU: arts & sciences, business, education, or health & human services. GSU also supports students in its school of extended learning and their dual degree program.

Overview of Governors State University (GSU)

GSU students do more than spend their time with their nose in a book. They earn well-rounded educations through GSU's plentiful on-campus resources. There are loads of recreational opportunities, clubs, and events that let students cut loose while also developing into tomorrow's leaders.

After class, students can take advantage of the Athletic and Recreation Center, which is home to a lap pool, fitness classes, exercise equipment, racquetball courts, and a lounge that offers more laid-back recreation such as video games, television, ping-pong, and billiards, among other choices. The campus is also home to countless clubs, organizations, and events that keep students busy all year long.

General Information

School Type Public
Campus Setting Rural: Fring
Campus Housing Yes
Student Faculty Ratio 12:1
Graduation Rate 24%
Year Founded 1969

Student Enrollment

Total Students4,789


Undergraduate Student

Male 1,186
Female 2,020

Graduate Student

Male 586
Female 997

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GSU Acceptance Rate and Admissions


Male 498
Female 936


Male 214
Female 440

Acceptance Rate46%

Male 43%
Female 47%

Enrollment 231

Male 86
Female 145
Application Fee $25
High School GPA Required
High School Rank NA
High School Transcripts Required
College Prep Courses Required
Recommendations NA
SAT/ACT Required
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Recommended
Application Deadline April 1
Common Application Accepted No

GSU Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

Governors State University delivers a terrific academic experience to its students, but new applicants are interested to learn what their costs are going to be. After all, affordability is a key factor for many households seeking to send their young ones off to school. Since GSU is a state-funded institution in Illinois, state residents will find a terrific financial value there.

Indeed, Illinois residents pay only around $11,000 in gross costs for tuition, books, and supplies, among other academic costs. Their out-of-state friends pay almost $19,000 for the same academic experience. On top of that, living expenses hover between $13,000 for on-campus living and $14,000 for an off-campus experience. Thus, the gross costs for a year at GSU run around $26,000 for Illinois residents and $33,000 for out-of-state students. However, gross costs are just part of this educational equation.

The GSU financial aid office is able to mitigate costs for their students by applying grants and scholarships to the ledger. In fact, they are able to reduce total costs down to an average net price of a mere $10,000, including living costs. This figure dips to $8,600 for the lowest income students and only rises as high as an average of $19,000 for households that earn $110,001 and more.

Average net price 2018-2019
Net Price $11,498
Average Total Aid $10,002
Students Receiving Financial Aid 93%
Room & Board $9,181

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $10,070
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $17,582
  • Books and Supplies - $1,000
  • Room & Board - $9,181
  • Other - $3,000


Students have many reasons to choose Governors State University for their undergraduate education. It may be close by, friends may also be enrolled, or it may be the alma mater of a mentor. However, the best reason to attend GSU is the academic preparation it offers. When educational researchers dig into the numbers, they find that GSU's reputation is well-earned. They evaluate the retention rate, graduation rate, and other factors to arrive at an objective view of the school.

The retention rate is a measure of how many first-time, full-time students return to campus for a second year. GSU currently reports that 58% of these students return, indicating a solid level of satisfaction with the faculty, curriculum, and campus resources, among other factors. Though GSU's graduation rate is 24%, that number can be augmented by the 42% transfer-out rate. Many students who transfer rather than withdraw are motivated and often seek more or different challenges from other Illinois colleges or universities. Thus, GSU can be said to prepare up to 66% of students for a college diploma, whether from their University Park campus, elsewhere in Chicagoland, or down-state Illinois.

Student Population Total

Student Population 4,789

Evening Classes : Yes
Online Learning : Yes

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

Health Professions and Related Programs 158 Total Graduates / 19%
Community Health and Preventive Medicine 50 Graduates
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse 42 Graduates
Hospital and Health Care Facilities Administration/Management 38 Graduates
Communication Sciences and Disorders, General 28 Graduates
All Business Majors 142 Total Graduates / 17%
Business Administration and Management, General 87 Graduates
Accounting 42 Graduates
Operations Management and Supervision 13 Graduates
Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities 108 Total Graduates / 13%
Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies 108 Graduates
All Psychology Majors 96 Total Graduates / 11%
Psychology, General 96 Graduates
All Computer Information Science Majors 80 Total Graduates / 10%
Computer Science 41 Graduates
Information Technology 39 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 30%

Outcome & Salary

Every student and their family is eager to calculate an anticipated return on investment (ROI) for their academic dollars. While this is nearly impossible to project, much less guarantee, educational researchers do evaluate alumni surveys that indicate the top-earning degrees from Governors State University. When they looked at the top-earning alumni, researchers found that GSU's nursing students, as a whole, reported the highest median earnings of $88,000. Even the fifth-highest earning alumni, computer and information systems students, reported median earnings of $46,000.

While sometimes these median salary numbers may not look very impressive, it's important to realize that these are entry-level earnings and that they don't reflect other sorts of compensation. Workers, especially in the world of business, may earn bonuses, receive strong benefits packages, and more.

Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary $46,200
College Grads Average Salary $65,391
College Grads Mid Career Salary $74,400
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $653,910
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential $1,397,910
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $45,992
10 Year Projected ROI $607,918
20 Year Projected ROI $1,351,918
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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