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2021 Top Illinois Men's D1 Basketball Schools

12 Colleges
$29,447 Avg Tuition & Fees*
44% Avg 4-Year Grad Rate*

When pursuing a degree in today's world, student athletes have many different options to choose from. Our mission at College Factual is to arm you with as much information as we can to help you make that decision. Our Best Colleges for Division I Men's Basketball in Illinois ranking is one tool we have developed to help in this regard.

We analyzed 12 colleges and universities across Illinois to determine which were the best for D1 Men's Basketball athletes in Illinois. Our ranking is based on several objective factors, including the school's overall quality and the athletic competitiveness of the school. We steer clear of subjective measures since they don't give a clear picture when determining how one school compares to another. So, even if a school has a great team, it won't place well if it is also considered a low quality college or university.

See what other factors we include in our ranking methodology.

Customizing Your List

Since one ranking on its own is not enough to give you a complete understanding of your educational options, you can refine this list by location. We've also developed a number of other tools and rankings based on other factors. These other rankings highlight colleges that excel in other factors such as value or diversity as well as schools that excel in serving different groups of students such as online students or returnings adults.

One of our other unique offerings is College Combat. This tool lets you build your own customized comparisons utilizing the factors that are most important to you. Test it out by comparing your favorite schools against others you are considering, or bookmark the tool so you can experiment with it later.

Top Colleges in Illinois for D1 Men's Basketball athletes in Illinois

See which schools came out on top of our ranking:

#1

Northwestern University

Evanston, Illinois

Northwestern University tops this year’s ranking as the best school for D1 Men’s Basketball athletes in Illinois. Located in Evanston, Illinois, the large private not-for-profit school awarded 2,770 diplomas to qualified bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

The D1 Men’s Basketball team at Northwestern made $12,669,660 in revenue, while incurring $10,646,711 in expenses. So, the team made money for the school, bringing in $2,022,949 in profit. Sports aren’t the only thing that the team excels at - they had a perfect academic progress rate of 1000.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 98%. Northwestern also made our overall quality list, coming in at #1.

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A rank of #2 on our list means University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a great place for D1 Men’s Basketball athletes in Illinois working on their bachelor’s degree. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a large public school located in Champaign, Illinois that handed out 8,983 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The team at UIUC took home $21,419,589 in revenue and paid out $10,480,939 in expenses in recent times. Thus, the team actually made $10,938,650, which isn’t bad at all. The academic progress rate of the team is 948.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 92%. In addition to its Best Colleges for Division I Men’s Basketball in Illinois ranking, and one of the reasons why the school is on the list, UIUC is ranked #3 for overall quality in Illinois.

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#3

Illinois State University

Normal, Illinois

You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend Illinois State University. It ranked #3 on our 2021 Best Colleges for D1 Men’s Basketball athletes in Illinois list. Illinois State University is a large public school located in Normal, Illinois that handed out 4,822 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The D1 Men’s Basketball team at Illinois State brought home $2,440,752 in revenue in a single year. The academic progress rate of the team is 961.

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#4

Loyola University Chicago

Chicago, Illinois

The excellent sports programs at Loyola University Chicago helped the school earn the #4 place on this year’s ranking of the best schools for D1 Men’s Basketball athletes in Illinois. Loyola Chicago is a private not-for-profit institution located in Chicago, Illinois. The school has a fairly large population, and it awarded 2,792 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The D1 Men’s Basketball team at Loyola Chicago brought home $4,348,837 in revenue in a single year. The academic progress rate of the team is 959.

In addition to its great ranking here, Loyola Chicago is in the top 15% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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#5

Bradley University

Peoria, Illinois

You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend Bradley University. It ranked #5 on our 2021 Best Colleges for D1 Men’s Basketball athletes in Illinois list. Bradley is located in Peoria, Illinois and, has a medium-sized student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 1,048 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergraduates.

On the financial side of things, the D1 Men’s Basketball team at Bradley made $3,778,660 in revenue. The great academic progress rate of 995 shows that team members perform well in the classroom, too.

With a freshman retention rate of 86%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. Bradley also claimed a spot on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 15% of all schools in this category.

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#6

DePaul University

Chicago, Illinois

DePaul University ranked #6 on this year’s Best Colleges for Division I Men’s Basketball in Illinois list. Chicago, Illinois is the setting for this large institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 3,518 students in 2018-2019.

The D1 Men’s Basketball team at DePaul brought home $6,793,520 in revenue in a single year. The academic progress rate of the team is 968.

On top of its placing in this ranking, DePaul also did well on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 20% of all schools reviewed in this analysis.

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University of Illinois at Chicago ranked #7 on this year’s Best Colleges for Division I Men’s Basketball in Illinois list. Located in Chicago, Illinois, the large public school handed out 4,524 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Speaking financially, the D1 Men’s Basketball team at UIC took home $2,248,503 in revenue. The academic progress rate of the team is 954.

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Southern Illinois University Carbondale landed the #8 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges for Division I Men’s Basketball in Illinois ranking. SIUC is a public institution located in Carbondale, Illinois. The school has a fairly large population, and it awarded 3,120 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Speaking financially, the D1 Men’s Basketball team at SIUC took home $2,482,549 in revenue. The academic progress rate of the team is 962.

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#9

Northern Illinois University

Dekalb, Illinois

Northern Illinois University came in at #9 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for Division I Men’s Basketball in Illinois ranking. This fairly large public school is located in Dekalb, Illinois, and it awarded 3,441 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

On the financial side of things, the D1 Men’s Basketball team at NIU made $1,775,696 in revenue. The academic progress rate of the team is 951.

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#10

Eastern Illinois University

Charleston, Illinois

Eastern Illinois University did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges for Division I Men’s Basketball in Illinois ranking, coming in at #10. Located in Charleston, Illinois, the medium-sized public school awarded 1,244 diplomas to qualified bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

The D1 Men’s Basketball team at EIU brought home $1,146,676 in revenue in a single year. The team has a respectable academic progress rate of 955.

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#11

Western Illinois University

Macomb, Illinois

Western Illinois University did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges for Division I Men’s Basketball in Illinois ranking, coming in at #11. WIU is a medium-sized public school situated in Macomb, Illinois. It awarded 1,785 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The D1 Men’s Basketball team at WIU brought home $1,190,756 in revenue in a single year. The team members aren’t slouches in the classroom either, since the team academic progress rate is an excellent 995.

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#12

Chicago State University

Chicago, Illinois

Chicago State University did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges for Division I Men’s Basketball in Illinois ranking, coming in at #12. This small public school is located in Chicago, Illinois, and it awarded 353 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

CSU brought in $978,120 while tallying up $801,305 in expenses for its D1 Men’s Basketball team. That boils down to a yearly profit of $176,815 for the sports team. The team has a respectable academic progress rate of 915.

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Best Colleges for D1 Men's Basketball in the Great Lakes Region

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Notes and References

Footnotes

*Avg Tuition and Fees and Avg 4-Year Grad Rate are for the top 12 schools only.

References

  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of our data about colleges.
  • Revenue and expense information comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s Equity in Athletics Data Analysis (EADA) website.
  • The academic progress rate (APR) of each team was made available by the NCAA.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Information about the national average student loan default rate is from the U.S. Department of Education and refers to data about the 2016 borrower cohort tracking period for which the cohort default rate (CDR) was 10.1%.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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