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Illinois Wesleyan University appears in these rankings:

50 Best Value Rankings: Best Small Colleges

30 Best Value Colleges and Universities in Illinois

Though Illinois was already home to several larger colleges in the 19th century, a group of locals living in the Bloomington area wanted a college that would appeal more to the students living in the local community. After getting help from the United Methodist Church, that small group gained the land and money needed to build a new college. Though founded in 1850, it took four years before the city established the campus and opened the first building on that campus. The college now called Illinois Wesleyan University encourages students to work both in and outside of their classes. It was one of the first colleges in the country that offered independent learning projects and sent students outside into the world to learn more.

IWU offers degrees and programs through three separate colleges, which each have their own departments, on campus: College of Liberal Arts, College of Fine Arts and the School of Nursing. The university also has a deep commitment to its history. Students still take classes in buildings constructed during the middle and late part of the 19th century, and students can enjoy relaxing in the wooded areas surrounding the campus. Those wooded areas are home to more than 1,000 trees. Though IWU does not have a national ranking in terms of its programs or campus, it does rank as one of the country's more affordable private colleges.

Illinois Wesleyan University Accreditation Details

The United States Department of Education recommends that students look at accreditation types because only schools with regional accreditation can officially give students financial aid packages that include government assistance. Regional accreditation generally comes from a regional branch of a nationwide organization. This ensures that students learn from good teachers, take the right type of classes and earn a degree that will do them well in the future. Illinois Wesleyan University has its regional accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. IWU students studying select topics may enroll in a program that has specialty accreditation too. Its nursing programs have accreditation from the Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education and the National Association of Schools of Music granted IWU accreditation for its music programs.

Illinois Wesleyan University Application Requirements

Illinois Wesleyan University offers two different types of acceptance: early decision and regular decision. Early decision is best for those who want to apply prior to other students. They will need to apply by the middle of November and will receive a notification letter within a month. Most programs will only accept students until are spots fill up, and early decision lets students apply before the university fills those available spots. Regular decision applicants will receive a notification letter by the middle of January and will have until the beginning of May to make a final decision. IWU allows students to apply to other schools after filing an early decision application.

Though IWU does not charge any type of application fee, it does require that students either fill out its own online application or use the Common Application. They will then to mail in three pieces of information to the university or make arrangements for others to send in those documents. They must send in an official SAT or ACT score, and international students will need to submit a TOEFL score or a score from a similar test. IWU also asks for an official high school and/or college transcript and a letter from a teacher or counselor. Counselors and teachers can fill out a standard evaluation form or write a letter of recommendation.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Private colleges like Illinois Wesleyan University always charge higher tuition rates that public colleges do because those schools have higher operating costs and expenses. IWU strives to keep its prices down and works hard to limit the number of tuition increases that students will face while working on their degrees. Tuition costs around $21,000 a semester or around $42,000 a year and allows students to take up to 15 credit hours of courses each semester. The cost of living in a standard dorm room on campus is around $3,000 a semester, but some residence halls and apartments cost more. Students taking music classes will need to pay a small fee for using the music rooms and resources on campus.

IWU understands the not all students can afford to pay so much for school, but more than 90% of its students receive at least one form of financial aid. If you want to see how much help you can get to attend IWU, you should file the FAFSA in the late winter or early spring. The university will contact you and give you a complete list of all aid you can use, including state or federal grants, government loans and admission to a work study program. IWU will also give you information regarding how you can apply for some of the university's scholarships.

Studying at IWU

Choosing a major is sometimes hard because you aren't sure what you want to study or what you want to do with your life. IWU encourages its students to spend some time studying various topics as a freshman before officially declaring a major the following year. Its Bachelor of Science in Business Administration is one option that those with professional career goals like. The general management program gives you a broad overview of how companies operate and what you need to do to run your own business. You can also select a concentration in marketing or management. The marketing concentration requires that you take classes relating to advertising and social media marketing, while the management concentration deals more with inspiring and getting others to respond to you.

One of the newer degree programs launched by the university is its Bachelor of Music in Performance. This major comes in three concentration options: instrumental, piano and vocal. The university requires that students take courses in playing different types of instruments like pianos and guitars and that they take music theory courses that show them some of the older and more modern methods of thinking about music. Illinois Wesleyan University offers music majors the chance to play live in a number of different ways, including through school musicals, its collegiate choir and university sponsored bands.

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