The Illinois Wesleyan University student body represents all 50 states, as well as over 50 countries across the world. Attending students and alumni are held in high regard in the professional world as the majority of students obtain an advanced degree and an array of professional skills while attending. Many students pursue degrees in the Business, Commerce and psychology programs offered at Illinois Wesleyan University. This encourages a broad range of educational structure for each student, receiving a quality perspective on a combination of liberal arts, science and professional studies. With over 50 majors offered on campus, students will not have difficulty finding a program that meets their individual needs. Offering 8 additional professional programs has created a healthy balance of variety and successful graduates.
The Illinois Wesleyan University faculty and staff have been dedicated to servicing the students and local communities since the College was established. Implementing the unique 4-4-1 calendar on campus enables students to enhance their education with a May term. This has helped many students maintain a steady and comfortable pace for their coursework, without feeling rushed or overwhelmed. The mission of the College is to establish, provide and maintain a specific strategic plan for each student, supported by an array of strategic initiatives to ensure student success.
Since 1850, when Illinois Wesleyan University was founded, the College has serviced the community and student body diligently. Established by a group of civic and religious leaders as Illinois University, the mission of the early facility was to establish an “Institution of Collegiate grade.” Shortly after establishing the ground work, the group solicited the support of the United Methodist Church, creating the current name Illinois Wesleyan University and opening enrollment to male students. As this affiliation began, so did the self-governing aspect of the College. Since 1855, the Illinois Wesleyan has established a community of students, faculty members and supporters that maintain all aspects of education within the campus walls, with the commencement of the first president, Clinton W. Sears.
Illinois Wesleyan University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
In 1867 john Wesley Powell, founder of the National Geographic Society and reputable explorer-geologist joined the Illinois Wesleyan University faculty. The one-armed Civil War veteran developed an extensive science program at the College, as well as expedited the first student expedition just two years later in the Colorado mountains. This same year, enrollment became open to black students, followed by women in 1870. Just two years later, Hanna I. Shur, was honored as the first female graduate at the University. In 1880, Gus A. Hill was also honored as the first black student to be awarded a degree, receiving an Illinois Wesleyan University law degree. Since then, the College has honored international students such as Y. Osawa and K. Tanaka who arrived from Japan in 1889.
The 11:1 student-faculty ratio creates a small community-like atmosphere on campus, maintaining close relationships with both students and faculty members. The smaller sized classes help students to establish a strong sense of the community that the College based on. The beautiful residential campus offers a wide variety of activities, live events, music performances and plenty of housing option s for students to take advantage of. There are over 150 student organizations that meet routinely around campus, hosting events, fundraisers and awareness or the student body and local communities.
There are over 20 different housing options available on campus. Since over 95% of students live on campus, it creates a home away from home for many students – making the vital essentials available right on campus. Although many students prefer to house in one of the residence halls, many students also take advantage of the historic homes that are available throughout the campus, just outside of the Quad. Many of these homes were built in the early days of the College and still remain as active sorority and fraternity housing for students.
There are over ten different sorority and fraternities for students to pledge to. It is these opportunities that offer students the ability to develop strong bonds and a lifelong support system. Greek Life has been a strong presence on campus since the early days of operation to establish a stronger sense of community and civility among students. For students that prefer a more athletic-driven community setting, Illinois Wesleyan University offers an intense athletic program, consisting of 20 varsity teams that enable students to compete in the College Conference for both Illinois and Wisconsin.
Illinois Wesleyan University offers students a high quality education with the respect and understanding that the financial costs may be difficult for most. For this reason, the College has implemented extensive financial aid resources for students to explore and secure funding. By providing students with such resources and assistance from qualified members of the Office of Financial Aid, each student is given the opportunity to advance their college experience to the next level, without worrying about cost. This type of security in combination with a challenging education, provides students with a higher return on investment after graduation.
With over $30 million dedicated for scholarships and grants each year, Illinois Wesleyan provides a wide array of funding to qualifying students. Each year, all students accepted to the school, are automatically considered for a variety of merit and athletic awards to help with the cost of tuition and out-of-pocket expenses. All students are encouraged to apply for all forms of government aid, third party funding and scholarships awards in addition to funding directly from the College. This ensures that all students are given ample opportunity to alleviate as much as possible for their college experience.