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The University of St. Francis was founded in 1920 and is a private, not-for-profit university located in Joliet, Illinois, which is a suburb of Chicago. USF is an incredibly small university with just under 4,000 students. In an interesting twist, the university has more graduate students than undergraduate students. Students can enjoy the tranquil, picturesque campus setting centered in an all-American town, as well as a student-to-faculty ratio of 17 to one.

Overview of University of St. Francis

Students at USF are often interested in business, health administration, nursing, or education. Some students also pursue degrees in the arts and sciences. Program participants come from all over the US and even over a dozen countries in the world and undergraduates can participate in study abroad programs in a variety of countries such as Sweden, Italy, Brazil, Spain, England, France, Ireland, Costa Rica, and Austria. Online programs are also available for greater convenience for those who require more flexible educational opportunities.

Leaders at USF understand the importance of a broad and diverse educational experience. As such, the university offers athletics for both men and women including basketball, baseball, football, bowling, golf, soccer, cross country, tennis, volleyball, and others. Over 44 student clubs and organizations are also available as a way to integrate and engage with other students on campus.

General Information

School Type Private not-for-profit
Campus Setting Suburb: Large
Campus Housing Yes
Student Faculty Ratio 13:1
Graduation Rate 62%
Year Founded 1920

Student Enrollment

Total Students3,927


Undergraduate Student

Male 538
Female 1,091

Graduate Student

Male 758
Female 1,540

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St. Francis Acceptance Rate and Admissions


Male 818
Female 1,455


Male 368
Female 669

Acceptance Rate46%

Male 45%
Female 46%

Enrollment 240

Male   67
Female   48
Application Fee NA
High School GPA Required
High School Rank NA
High School Transcripts Required
College Prep Courses Required
Recommendations Recommended
SAT/ACT Required
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Required
Application Deadline May 1
Common Application Accepted Yes

St. Francis Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

As a private school, USF is more expensive than many regional state schools. However, it is in line with the costs of higher education in the Chicago metro. The net price students can expect on average is $17,687. The cost of tuition is $34,000 whether you are an in-state or out-of-state student. Additional education-related expenses will also exist including food, rent, supplies, books, and fees. These additional costs will amount to nearly $14,000.

An entertainment and lifestyle budget may be needed for students who wish to participate in events and activities that are not provided on-campus for free. Such activities and events might include dining out at restaurants, going to the movies, paying for monthly streaming services, shopping for seasonal clothes, and much more. An estimated 100% of all USF students accept some form of financial assistance to help lower the immediate financial obligations of students.

Average net price 2018-2019
Net Price $17,687
Average Total Aid $24,242
Students Receiving Financial Aid 100%
Room & Board $10,010

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $34,000
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $34,000
  • Books and Supplies - $800
  • Room & Board - $10,010
  • Other - $3,000


USF has a solid retention rate of 79% alongside a wealth of career opportunities. Degrees are available at all levels including bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, doctorate degrees, and certificates. At the bachelor’s degree level, students can choose from a BA or a BS in a variety of colleges. The specialized colleges are quite diverse in their offerings and include the College of Arts & Sciences, the Leach College of Nursing, the College of Business and Health Administration, and the College of Education.

The university also features the Regional Educational Academy for Leadership (REAL). Within the REAL institution, students have access to some of the most difficult curriculum and strongly research-based programs available in the area. Professional development and graduate courses at USF provide advantages to students such as endorsement courses, workshops and conferences, partner courses, experiential learning, and more.

Another perk and advantage for all students is the Academic Resource Center. This center offers support services to help students enhance their learning experiences, as well as to improve the skills necessary to succeed in any career. Despite these resources, the graduation rates for four-year and six-year students is still relatively low at 42% and 62% respectively. The low four-year rate could be, in part, due to the fact so many students are in pursuit of master’s degrees and doctoral degrees and the six-year rate is closer to the average from all colleges.

Student Population Total

Student Population 3,927

Evening Classes : Yes
Distance Learning : Yes

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

Health Professions and Related Programs 185 Total Graduates / 46%
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse 102 Graduates
Health/Health Care Administration/Management 57 Graduates
Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiographer 11 Graduates
Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist 8 Graduates
All Business Majors 66 Total Graduates / 17%
Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration, General 15 Graduates
Management Science 13 Graduates
Finance, General 13 Graduates
Accounting 12 Graduates
All Education Majors 25 Total Graduates / 6%
Elementary Education and Teaching 17 Graduates
Special Education and Teaching, General 6 Graduates
Art Teacher Education 2 Graduates
All Biological & Biomedical Majors 25 Total Graduates / 6%
Biology/Biological Sciences, General 21 Graduates
Biochemistry 4 Graduates
Public Administration and Social Service Professions 20 Total Graduates / 5%
Social Work 20 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 19%

Outcome & Salary

Every student at USF will have access to the Career Success Center and a number of memberships including the Illinois Cooperative Education and Internship Association, College Career Consortium of Illinois, and the National Association of Colleges and Employers. The career center provides assistance in many areas such as resume writing, career counseling, job searching, and developing professional skills.

For greater hands-on experience, the university will also help students find ideal internship opportunities. Students will have access to employment listings and information about potential employers through the university’s Careerlink, CCCI, and Handshake programs. Alumni will also be able to use these career services and students and alumni will be able to participate in a variety of volunteer opportunities.

Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary $49,200
College Grads Average Salary $76,599
College Grads Mid Career Salary $88,200
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $765,990
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential $1,647,990
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $70,748
10 Year Projected ROI $695,242
20 Year Projected ROI $1,577,242
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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