Illinois State University is a public research university in Normal, Illinois. Founded in 1857 as Illinois State Normal University, it is the oldest public university in Illinois. Illinois State students complete their degrees on time. ISU's retention rate remains among the highest in the nation at over 84.2 percent, and our high graduation rate (68.1 percent) is well above the national average.Illinois State remains a first-choice institution. We have a strong enrollment of more than 20,000 students, while maintaining academic quality and small class sizes.Illinois State has been recognized with the Elective Classification for Community Engagement, as a Excellence and Innovation Award for Civic Learning and Community Engagement, and as a Voter Friendly Campus. These honors demonstrate our campuswide commitment to civic engagement, a core value of the University.We were ranked by College Factual as the 22nd Best College for the Money out of 1,200 schools across the country.