Another way to look at it might be "Hey, you're going to accrue a massive amount of student loan debt, so why not spend it at these places?"

I'm sure that the centers for higher learning here in Illinois would rather that you forget about that student debt thing.

Personal-finance site WalletHub put their numbers-crunchers to work for their piece "2020's College & University Rankings," and this is what they used for their criteria:

WalletHub compared more than 1,000 higher-education institutions in the U.S. across 33 key measures. The data set is grouped into seven categories, such as Student Selectivity, Cost & Financing and Career Outcomes. The metrics range from student-faculty ratio to graduation rate to post-attendance median salary.

Recognizing the challenge of predicting future outcomes, WalletHub’s Best Colleges ranking also analyzes post-attendance metrics — the student-loan default rate and the share of former students outearning high school graduates, for instance — to show the value of the education students can expect to receive beyond their undergraduate studies.

Here's WalletHub's list of the ten best colleges and universities in Illinois, followed by a breakdown of their individual numbers:

Top 10 Colleges & Universities in Illinois

  1. Northwestern University
  2. University of Chicago
  3. Illinois Institute of Technology
  4. University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign
  5. University of St. Francis
  6. University of Illinois-Springfield
  7. North Park University
  8. Lewis University
  9. Dominican University
  10. Chicago State University

School Snapshot: Northwestern University (1 = Best; 19 = Average; 37 = Worst)

  • 2nd – Admission Rate
  • 2nd – Student-Faculty Ratio
  • 12th – On-Campus Crime
  • 6th – Gender & Racial Diversity
  • 1st – Graduation Rate
  • 2nd – Post-Attendance Median Salary

School Snapshot: University of Chicago (1 = Best; 19 = Average; 37 = Worst)

  • 1st – Admission Rate
  • 1st – Student-Faculty Ratio
  • 8th – On-Campus Crime
  • 3rd – Gender & Racial Diversity
  • 2nd – Graduation Rate
  • 3rd – Post-Attendance Median Salary

School Snapshot: Illinois Institute of Technology (1 = Best; 19 = Average; 37 = Worst)

  • 15th – Admission Rate
  • 17th – Student-Faculty Ratio
  • 8th – Gender & Racial Diversity
  • 8th – Graduation Rate
  • 1st – Post-Attendance Median Salary