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Illinois is a state in the mid-west of the United States. It borders Wisconsin to the north, Lake Michigan to the north-west, Indiana to the east, Kentucky to the south-east, and Missouri and Iowa to the west.

The 2010 census records a population of 12.8 million. The state capital is Springfield, and largest city is Chicago. Illinois is known as The Prairie State.

Education in Illinois

The Illinois State Board of Education or ISBE, autonomous of the governor and the state legislature, administers public education in the state. Local municipalities and their respective school districts operate individual public schools but the ISBE audits performance of public schools with the Illinois School Report Card. The ISBE also makes recommendations to state leaders concerning education spending and policies.

Education is compulsory from kindergarten through the twelfth grade, commonly but not exclusively divided into three tiers of primary and secondary education: elementary school, middle school or junior high school, and high school. District territories are often complex in structure. In some cases, elementary, middle and junior high schools of a single district feed into high schools in another district.

Using the criterion established by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, there are eleven "National Universities" in the state. Three of these rank among the top 100 National Universities in the United States, as determined by the U.S. News & World Report rankings: the University of Chicago (8), Northwestern University (12) and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (40). The other eight National Universities, including two more that rank in the top 120 are: Illinois Institute of Technology (102), Loyola University Chicago (116), DePaul University, Illinois State University, Southern Illinois University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, Northern Illinois University and Trinity International University.

Besides the "National Universities", Illinois has several other major universities and colleges, both public and private, including: Eastern Illinois University, Northeastern Illinois University, Western Illinois University, Columbia College Chicago, Bradley University, Roosevelt University, Chicago State University and Robert Morris University Illinois. There are also dozens of small liberal arts colleges across the state.

Additionally, Illinois supports 49 public community colleges in the Illinois Community College System via the Illinois Community College Board.

For a more comprehensive list see

Virtual schools in Illinois

The statewide Illinois Virtual School (IVS) serves students in grades 5-12. The full time The Chicago Virtual Charter School (CVCS) opened in 2006. For more information, see:


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