Public Accountability Report Public Accountability Report

Illinois State University
(Appropriated Spending in Thousands)
  FY 2021 FY 2020
Reporting Programs Expenditures Headcount Expenditures Headcount
Illinois State University $ 69,644.3 3,423.9 $ 69,769.3 3,423.9
Totals $ 69,644.3 3,423.9 $ 69,769.3 3,423.9

Amounts may not sum to total due to rounding.

Agency Narrative

Illinois State University’s strategic plan, Educate, Connect, Elevate Illinois State – The Strategic Plan for Illinois’ First Public University 2018 - 2023, aligns with two statewide outcomes: (a) improving school readiness and student success for all, and (b) increasing employment and attracting, retaining, and growing businesses.  

Improving School Readiness and Student Success (Increase percentage of Illinoisans equipped with skills and knowledge needed for postsecondary and workforce success):

  • Illinois State University enrolled 20,233 students in Fall 2021. Of this total number, 17,674 students were enrolled in undergraduate study and 2,559 were enrolled in graduate coursework. This fall’s new student enrollment for both first time in college (FTIC) students and for transfers is up from last year, showing total increases of 1% and 6%, respectively.
  • Despite challenges of a pandemic, ISU enrolled an FTIC cohort of 3,374 students. Illinois State’s strong fall enrollment figures attest to the University’s commitment to providing an excellent educational experience and individualized attention, even during the most challenging circumstances.
  • Illinois State consistently admits students with strong academic profiles. The academic quality of this year’s freshman class has increased further with a high school GPA of 3.6 on a 4.0 scale and an average ACT score near 24. The incoming freshman class also includes more than 447 new students in the Honors Program, the largest incoming class ever.
  • Illinois State’s student body is becoming more diverse as well, with 35% of this year’s freshman class coming from traditionally underrepresented groups. Twenty-seven percent of the total student population comes from traditionally underrepresented groups. 
  • Eighty-three percent of students who enrolled for the first time in college in Fall 2020 returned to the University in Fall 2021.
  • Illinois State is one of about 350 institutions nationwide to hold the prestigious Elective Classification for Community Engagement from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. 
  • Illinois State has been recognized with an Excellence and Innovation Award for Civic Learning and Community Engagement and as a Voter Friendly Campus. These honors demonstrate our campus-wide commitment to civic engagement, a core value of the University.
  • Illinois State made U.S. News & World Report's 2022 rankings of America's best public national universities at No. 104, based on academic quality and excellence.
  • Illinois State University has been recognized in U.S. News & World Report’s annual “Best Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs” as the second-best program in Illinois and the 14th-best program in the United States. The ranking encompasses two undergraduate programs at Illinois State University: Mennonite College of Nursing’s online RN to BSN and Department of Health Sciences’ online health informatics and management.
  • Illinois State University graduate programs in the College of Business, College of Education, and Mennonite College of Nursing are recognized in U.S. News & World Report’s graduate rankings. 
  • Illinois State University is recognized in Phi Theta Kappa’s Excellence in Community College Transfer Honor Roll for 2021. The honor identifies four-year colleges and universities that offer exemplary support for community college transfers.
  • Illinois State is ranked among the top 10% of College Factual's Best Colleges for the Money. In addition, Washington Monthly named the University among the Best Bang for the Buck Colleges in the Midwest.
  • Washington Monthly also ranked the University No. 57 out of all national universities for the institution's contribution to the public good through social mobility, research, and public services.
  • Illinois State supports veterans and those in the military. We have been designated a Military Friendly School by VIQTORY, and we are ranked among the country's best universities for veterans by College Factual.
  • Illinois State University alumni go on to successful careers, shown in the very low student loan default rate of its graduates (4.4%) compared to the national average (9.7%).
  • Illinois State students complete their degrees on time as is evidenced by the University’s six-year graduation rate of 67.3%.
  • Of FTIC students who graduated in fiscal year 2021, 70.9% completed their baccalaureate degrees in four years or less.
  • The Teaching Materials Center is a unique collection of pre-K through Grade 12 materials to support the teacher education programs at ISU. Set up like a school library, the Center provides education students with resources to enhance their collegiate experience and help prepare them for their careers as teachers.

Increasing Employment and Attracting, Retaining, and Growing Businesses (Close the opportunity gap in Illinois by ensuring the labor force has the skills necessary to meet the needs of employers and maximize earning potential, and increase business investment and entrepreneurship in Illinois):

  • Illinois State University conferred 5,571 degrees in fiscal year 2021, including 4,420 baccalaureate degrees and 1,151 graduate degrees.
  • National Center for Education Statistics data illustrates the University’s graduation rates exceed the national average of 61% for public institutions. 
  • Sponsored research, instruction, creative works, and service approximated $42.4 million in fiscal year 2020.

Awards by Type of Funding

FY2018            FY2019             FY2020             FY2021

Federal Awards             $12,915,365     $17,754,982    $28,722,554       $78,298,180 

Federal Flow-through     $5,784,719       $6,929,681       $4,603,715         $6,700,287 

State Awards                   $2,374,834       $2,253,484       $7,671,336         $3,171,794 

Corporate/ Other            $3,162,557       $1,599,159      $1,447,288         $1,868,988 

Total                               $24,237,476    $28,536,306     $42,444,892       $90,039,249 


  • The College of Education collaborated with Chicago Public Schools and the City Colleges of Chicago on the Teach Chicago Tomorrow teacher pipeline initiative. The initiative is part of a long-term strategy to prepare quality teachers to teach in Chicago schools. These students will join ISU in the fall of 2023 after completing an associate’s degree in Chicago’s community colleges.
  • In Spring 2021, a new cohort of 20 students from Peoria began taking special education courses at ISU through the CommuniTeach initiative. Most students in the program are paraprofessionals in special education classrooms in Peoria school districts and those surrounding Peoria.
  • The University is home to the only Dance Teacher Education licensure program within the State of Illinois.
  • Cybersecurity, the newest major in the School of Information Technology, is exceeding enrollment expectations and garnered corporate support in the form of an endowed chair.
  • The Accounting program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) which is the gold standard in professional accreditation for business schools worldwide and held by only 1.8% of schools.
  • Illinois State offers the only major in International Business in the state of Illinois. 
  • The Mathematics department at ISU is the only university in the world that has a Center of Actuarial Excellence, a two-time recipient of the Casualty Actuarial Society’s University Award, and recognition by AM Best Magazine as one of the top risk and insurance management programs. This attests to the strength and quality of our Actuarial Program as one of the top programs in the world.
  • The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders continues to produce successful speech-language pathologists and audiologists. The 2020 pass rate on the Praxis exam for our Doctor of Audiology and Master of Speech-Language Pathology was 100%.  
  • With enrollment that has more than doubled in size within the last six years, the Creative Technologies program has a 90% job placement rate for graduating students. CTK alumni work for well-known companies such as Major League Baseball, The Walt Disney Company, State Farm Insurance, Digital Kitchen, and Imagine Artists.


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