Maybe you've got a soon-to-be college student at home, and you've been doing the college visit tour thing with them as you try to decide which institution will best fit your scholar, and more importantly, your budget. Many of us would like to keep our kids at a school somewhat close to home (rather than halfway across the country), and wonder which college or university in Illinois is the right pick.

A good start would be to look at some college rankings. The personal finance site, WalletHub put their numbers-crunchers to work, and they've come up with 2018’s Best College & University Rankings.

Here's what they looked at to come up with their findings:

To help college-bound seniors choose the best schools within their states, WalletHub’s analysts compared nearly 1,000 higher-education institutions in the U.S. based on 26 key measures grouped into seven categories, such as Student Selectivity, Cost & Financing and Career Outcomes. The data set ranges from student-faculty ratio to graduation rate to post-attendance median salary.

For the nation overall, these are the top 5 best colleges and universities:

1) Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

2) Princeton University

3) Harvard University

4) Stanford University

5) California Institute of Technology


Here are Illinois' top ten best colleges and universities, according to WalletHub:

Top 10 Colleges & Universities in Illinois

1 University of Chicago 6 Wheaton College
2 Northwestern University 7 University of St. Francis
3 University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign 8 Governors State University
4 Illinois Institute of Technology 9 Dominican University
5 Illinois Wesleyan University 10 Bradley University


Here's a closer look at the top 3 in Illinois, along with how they did in certain metrics:

School Snapshot: University of Chicago (1 = Best; 18 = Average; 35 = Worst)
1st – Admission Rate
34th – Net Cost
1st – Student-Faculty Ratio
5th – On-Campus Crime
3rd – Gender & Racial Diversity
1st – Graduation Rate
3rd – Post-Attendance Median Salary

School Snapshot: Northwestern University (1 = Best; 18 = Average; 35 = Worst)
2nd – Admission Rate
35th – Net Cost
2nd – Student-Faculty Ratio
10th – On-Campus Crime
5th – Gender & Racial Diversity
2nd – Graduation Rate
2nd – Post-Attendance Median Salary

School Snapshot: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (1 = Best; 18 = Average; 35 = Worst)
15th – Admission Rate
25th – Net Cost
34th – Student-Faculty Ratio
27th – On-Campus Crime
4th – Gender & Racial Diversity
5th – Graduation Rate
4th – Post-Attendance Median Salary