The results are in, and has ranked the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign the sixth best college for statistics degrees for 2020, second overall for public institutions. Rating over 100,000 college degree programs and taking into account data from the U.S. Department of Education’s resources on over 5 million graduates across the nation, Optimal’s (formerly SR Education group) GradReports rankings are the most comprehensive collection of data-driven college rankings available to date.

The Statistics program at the University of Illinois comes in sixth place on a list topped by Harvard University and only second to the University of California-Berkeley when rating public schools exclusively. The median salary reported of students receiving their bachelor’s in Statistics at Illinois is at $57,200, with significant potential to increase earnings by pursing further advanced degrees. In comparison to the annual tuition rates ($31,194 as of 2019-2020) and median debts after graduation ($16,875), the University of Illinois Statistics program is a cost effective consideration for potential students when deciding which college to pursue. Only three other universities in the top ten best colleges list have cheaper tuition rates in comparison to the amount charged by Illinois (Brigham Young University, Purdue University, and the University of Minnesota-Duluth).

Often students are concerned with their career prospects after graduating from a degree program, but may not take into the consideration the overall financial cost of their education versus the potential income after graduation. Taking into consideration the debt after graduation should be a driving force for potential students to make smart decisions when it comes to choosing a degree program and a college to pursue their higher education goals. That is why the launching of this comprehensive list could be a valuable tool for potential students to evaluate all available data when making a decision about their future. The rankings provided by GradReports give potential students additional tools to help identify programs in their fields of interest to help determine their earnings potential post-graduation versus their potential for debt-to-income ratio.

The GradReports ratings are based on the potential earnings and post-graduation debt of graduates from the ranked degree programs across over 70 various majors at the bachelor’s and master’s levels. This system is the first to incorporate available data from the U.S. Department of Education to use information on the medium salary and median debt by college major to provide these rankings. In addition to the resources made available by the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard and over 30,000 student reviews and recommendations for more than 2,000 schools, was able to generate these rankings based on an abundance of data.

For additional rankings based on earning potential in statistics, you can review the complete list here:

2020 Best Colleges Methodology (provided by Optimal)

Our Best Colleges rankings are based on data published by the U.S. Department of Education in November 2019. Schools are ranked in descending order of their graduates' median salary. Salaries are specific to the degree level and the program of each list. When median salaries were equal, median debt was used to break ties.

To be considered for our Best Colleges program rankings, schools needed to have a reported median salary and an unsuppressed sample size for graduates for the degree program of the ranking list. For all schools, we manually researched their degree programs to confirm the existence of degrees before ranking them. If a school had a salary reported but no existing degree program, it was excluded from the list. Additionally, if a program's median salary or earnings count were "privacy suppressed" by the Department of Education, the school was not eligible to be ranked for that program list. In cases where median salaries were equal and one school had a median debt that was "privacy supressed," the school with a reported debt was ranked above the other.

Data Sources

Program data including available degrees and details about program coursework were collected from official school websites, reflecting data for the 2019-2020 school year. These data were collected between December of 2019 and January of 2020.

Median salary and median debt were collected from the U.S. Department of Education via the College Scorecard website. These data were published in November 2019 and reflect median debt and median salary for graduates one year out of college.

Tuition data were collected from the National Center for Education Statistics. The NCES is the primary governmental entity for gathering and presenting data related to education. NCES data is updated annually. The NCES does not release data in downloadable formats until it has been approved, so the most current available data will not be for the most recent academic year.