Illinois Wesleyan University
Bloomington, IL, USA

Reviews

Illinois Wesleyan University
3.90 Average Rating

Tess from LA Grange, IL

a current student here
2 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Illinois Wesleyan is an amazing small liberal arts university focused on giving the students a great well rounded education through classes and activities. The community is incredibly welcoming and supportive.
Tips for prospective students
Be open to a liberal arts education! It's great being able to take interesting classes that don't necessarily connect with my major, but still count towards my degree.
Academic Rigor
The expectations of the students are pretty high but the professors are always willing to work one on one with students to ensure success.
Dorm Life
Some of the dorms are a little outdated, but the communities in the dorms are fun and supportive. Most physical problems are solved within a couple days.
Food and Dining
There aren't too many dining options on campus, but each one offers quite a bit a variety.
What to do for fun
Hansen Student Center always has events going on that are free to students. The Shirk Fitness Center is open to all students and has a lot equipment for play or a great workout.
Bang for the buck
It is quite expensive, but by far worth the price. Great professors, wonderful new facilities, and a wonderful reputation that comes with the IWU name!
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
The fourth floor of Ames Library is filled with first editions and beautiful stained glass from Oxford University.
Great for these types of students
Great for students who love to learn and are interesting in many different things.
Clubs and Activities
There are so many clubs here that it is hard to pick which ones to be in! Because there are so many, it is easy to get involved and easy to take a leadership position in a club you're passionate about.
Greek Life
The Greek Life on campus is small but mighty. There not that many sororities or frats but each one is fairly prominent on campus. That being said, the greek life is not so ingrained in the social life of the university that not participating in greek life leaves you left out.
Campus Safety
The campus is pretty small so you're never far from another student or security personnel. Fairly often are blue call boxes that call security incase of an emergency. The surrounding area is pretty nice and residential; it is mostly filled with students, professors, and employees of State Farm Insurance.
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Zitlalic from West Chicago, IL

a current student here
2 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
The pearl of the Bloomington-Normal community.
My first and only choice; a home away from home.
A genuine life experience full of self discovery, opportunities to develop leadership skills, and a rigorous course schedule to keep you on your toes, with a campus community comparable to your own family; a true college experience that I wouldn't have any other way.
Tips for prospective students
Do not be afraid to explore, whether it be a class, a sport, or a club. Illinois Wesleyan has so much to offer, way more than one would expect from a private university. Take your classes seriously the first semester so you won't be behind second semester; IWU's classes are not to be taken lightly but can be a joyful learning experience if you keep up. Don't be afraid to go to Shirk, an incredibly high percentage of students work out, even if they are not competing for Wesleyan. Embrace the variety that Wesleyan encourages. Major props to my small, private university of a little over 2000 students for collaborating with students and expanding new ideas whose origins are in places other than the United States. Take risks! No matter what you believe, students can still be shy even in their college years. Speak up, stand up, and work towards the change you wish to bring forth in your community. Another thing about community, the Bloomington-Normal community provides endless volunteer opportunities, take advantage of those to expand your horizons!
Academic Rigor
Material covered in each course and expectations are very clear and appropriate based on the level. Even a 100 level course will quickly teach students to be organized and responsible. Although classes are rigorous, they are doable if students keep up with the material and study, a lot. By the end of freshman year students' research skills drastically improve.
Dorm Life
The RAs do an excellent job of easing students into their halls. Floors and even entire halls come together for different activities that their hall councils hold. Students tend to become very good friends with other students in the same residence halls rather quickly, which always makes for a more pleasant experience.
Food and Dining
No campus food experience is perfect, but Wesleyan food is definitely the best among the other colleges that students visit. IWU has it all, pizza, pasta, burgers, chicken, mashed potatoes, corn and other veggie favorites, as well as asian cuisine and a variety of desserts and ice cream. Make sure to keep a lookout for IWU's incredible ice cream bars which include the create-your-own or the ice cream that comes with caramelized bananas! Students also do not want to miss the chocolate fountain or Sunday Brunch, which has students waking up early on a weekend just to get a taste of personal omelettes, Belgian waffles, fresh fruit, and much much more. The amazing Saga Dave makes sure that our Thanksgiving and Valentines Day dinners are memorable by creating an atmosphere similar to fancy restaurant, fully equipped with themed foods and goodies. Wesleyan also has outdoor picnics with free food, as well as breakfast-at-night events. One of the favorites is definitely Carnival Night, where students are served up carnival-style food such as chicken strips, hot dogs, burgers, fries, funnel cake, ice cream, popcorn, cotton candy, and snow cones. IWU even hires balloon artists from Funbelievable Balloons to create anything the students' inner child desires.
What to do for fun
Illinois Wesleyan makes a point of having activities not only over the weekends but during the week as well. Students can always find a movie screening, a dance, a comedian, a concert or talent show, and even game shows. If IWU faculty and staff is not in charge of some event, there is always a registered student organization providing entertainment for the student body. There are cookouts and student concerts, athletic activities, and volunteer opportunities. The activities are endless at Wesleyan, students will sometimes have to choose which activities to attend!
Great for these types of students
Literally everyone. If students are set on what they want or if they come in with an undeclared major, students of all ethnic backgrounds, athletes and musical geniuses, students that are unsure if they prefer a big or small university (since Wesleyan is neighbors with Illinois State University students are able to experience the best of both worlds).
Clubs and Activities
There is literally a club for everything. There are academic clubs, clubs for activism, athletics, clubs for volunteering, spiritual clubs, media clubs, fine arts, musical, and cultural clubs. If we do not have a club it is in the students' power to create a new one.
Greek Life
Although Wesleyan is a small university Greek Life has established its presence for years, with 1/3 of the student population participating. This means IWU has a lot of members in the Greek Community, but if fraternities and sororities are not your thing, you are definitely not left out! Students in Greek Life are just like other students, and there is no crazy drama between fraternities or sororities.
Campus Safety
Bloomington is a very safe place, and students on Wesleyan's campus can see three different emergency light stations from anywhere on campus, so no matter where students are on campus they are always near a station in case they need help for any reason. Campus security will escort students from academic buildings to residence halls during the nighttime hours if they are studying late and do not feel comfortable walking to their dorms alone.
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Alexandra from Mahomet, IL

a current student here
2 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Academic Rigor
The required gateway is definitely a hit or miss, because some are really easy, and others require more time and effort. Unfortunately, they change every year so there is no way to be forewarned.
Am enjoying being here
There is so much to be involved with here, and everyone wants to make new friends.
Bang for the buck
There is an event at Hansen student center almost every other weekend and they are things students want to actually go to - like new movies, concerts with popular bands, etc.
Tips for prospective students
- Apply early acceptance!
- Visit on a prospective student day, but also visit on a random weekday to see what campus is usually like.
Great for these types of students
- VERY studious!!!
- Want to know a lot of people on a small campus.
- Want to be in a college town, but not quite in the middle of one.
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Colleen from Elmhurst, IL

a current student here
2 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
I have had the fortune of already having some wonderful professors that I have learned so much from. Also, I have learned from fellow students through group and in-class work. Not only have I grown academically, but the college experience at IWU in general has helped me to learn about life.
Am enjoying being here
I have met some amazing people here that I know I will have in my life even after we graduate. There are so many opportunites to get involved in clubs, sports, Greek life, musical ensembles etc. IWU campus life makes it easy to meet new people and experience new things. The weekends are never boring, even if that means just hanging in a friend's dorm and watching a movie.
Bang for the buck
Illinois Wesleyan is expensive, but the quality of the education you will receive is worth the price of tuition. There are some wonderful professors here that you will be glad you were able to have class with. Not only that, but having the Illinois Wesleyan University name follow you into the job market will be extemely benefical.
Tips for prospective students
Illinois Wesleyan wants well rounded students in their university, so try to diversify your interests and activities. If you haven't had much diversity or life experience, admit to it, but say that is what you are looking for in your college experience.
Great for these types of students
IWU is for those students who care about getting a quality education and enjoy learning, and prefer smaller class sizes with more opportunity for one on one instruction. Also, if you want a great community feeling with ample opportunity to get involved in campus life and activities, IWU is perfect.
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Holly from Peoria, IL

a current student here
2 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
I am learning an incredible amount as a music education major. I will be one of the most prepared people I know, no matter what the situation I encounter when I graduate and go out into the world. My education outside of the music department has been wonderful as well.
Am enjoying being here
I have made a ton of friends, and it is a fantastic place with lots of opportunites to hang out and meet people. The entertainment and movies they bring in are fantastic and there are a lot of great university sponsored events that happen year round. The music building is especially close, it is like one giant family and there are always people around and everyone, including the professors, care about you.
Great for these types of students
Great for students that love to learn in all aspects of education, love the one on one opportunity with professors, and love getting to know people on a personal level.
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Dominique from Mount Prospect, IL

a current student here
1 person found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Illinois Wesleyan takes pride in the attention professors and advisers give to students. It is a place where students can reach their fullest potential, and we are encouraged to challenge ourselves. It is a community that cultivates excellence.
Tips for prospective students
Take advantage of the resources available to you! Professors and advisers are always more than willing to make themselves available to help, and go to great lengths to offer unique opportunities to students willing to work for them.
Academic Rigor
Illinois Wesleyan's reputation as a good school is not baseless; students are expected to put in the effort necessary to excel in school, which can be difficult but is ultimately very rewarding.
Dorm Life
Dorms offer an amazing community feel and the residential advisers are a great resource for freshman to meet new friends upon starting their first year of college. The dorms themselves are spacious and clean.
Food and Dining
For such a small campus, it is surprising how many options students have to choose from in terms of restaurants and the dining hall. The food is good, and management does a good job paying attention to needs of students with alternative diets and allergies.
What to do for fun
The campus is located within a walkable distance from Downtown Bloomington and Uptown Normal, which offer plenty of shops to peruse and fun places to grab a bite to eat or some coffee. On campus, there is always something going on in the Hansen Center so students can have a movie night together, enjoy student artwork, or participate in fun game shows and contests.
Bang for the buck
Illinois Wesleyan's tuition is expensive, but they do offer lots of financial assistance and I couldn't imagine a better education anywhere else. For students who truly want to learn and excel in their field, Illinois Wesleyan is the best option. I am always amazed at the lengths my professors and advisers will go to make sure I can fit all classes and study abroad opportunities into my 4-year plan in order to make me a marketable candidate for graduate schools or to begin my career. I believe this shows that Illinois Wesleyan is willing to go the extra mile for students, which is an invaluable characteristic in an undergraduate university.
Great for these types of students
It is perfect for hardworking and motivated students who value their education and are willing to take an extra step to take advantage of resources like research opportunities or unique study abroad programs that will push them ahead in their careers.
Greek Life
About 30% of the students are Greek, so it plays a big part in the social atmosphere of the school. However, students who choose not to go Greek are still welcome at Fraternity houses and most Fraternity and Sorority events.
Campus Safety
Illinois Wesleyan takes all the standard safety precautions and has never felt like a threatening place.
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Andrea from Peoria, IL

accepted here and planning to attend soon
1 person found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
I can't wait to start going to IWU. It seems like a great place and I love the environment.
Academic Rigor
IWU had courses that some of my other options didn't.
Dorm Life
All of their dorm buildings look nice and I love the lounges that they all have.
Food and Dining
The food options were great last time I visited.
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Nick from Lexington, IL

a current student here
9 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
The starting points for classes are well tailored to your high school work. I was placed onto the Analysis track based on my AP scores, but the new information I was acquiring was similar to my sociology class. I have never taken sociology before, but in both cases I learned an incredible amount of information.
Am enjoying being here
The sense of community is extremely strong here and I get along with everyone that I live with. It may take a bit of effort to get some people to talk, but everyone here is surprisingly friendly. That includes the frats/sororities.
Bang for the buck
Wesleyan is very expensive, but has its reasons. You are paying to live in a small, tight-knit community focused on academic excellence. If you are someone that Wesleyan wants they'll be sure to help you through, which is a major relief. A lot of people say you pay for your University's name on you diploma, and Wesleyan carries a lot of weight with it.
Tips for prospective students
The essays are important, and are your chance to present yourself. If you don't have a lot of life experience they can be hard to write, but there is a reason for that. Wesleyan is looking for the bright and the involved, so those clubs will definitely count too.
Great for these types of students
This school is greatly for those seeking an academically nurturing environment, while not wanting to become a number to a massive university. City folk are very common, but small town kids won't feel out-of-place. Its a nice blend between the two lifestyles, and gives you room to grow.
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Musician

a current student here
4 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
The classes are small and involved with impressively bright, qualified professors who have a lot of office hours. There are interesting options for all general requirements and they feel more fun and informative than required.
Am enjoying being here
You won't make close friends with just students, but faculty and staff as well. Illinois Wesleyan is a tight knit community with a lot going on for all different types of interest. There is a place for everyone.
Bang for the buck
Wesleyan on your diploma looks better than a lot of state schools, but it isn't particularly well-known outside of Illinois. If you take advantage of the availability of professors and extra activities, you will get yourself a wonderful education. If you aren't on scholarship and aren't motivated to go above and beyond, Wesleyan will be a waste of money.
Tips for prospective students
It is a small school, so represent yourself how you want to be seen at all times. Develop good standing with the faculty you interact with and incredible opportunities will open up for you. Take advantage of the personal small school atmosphere.
Great for these types of students
Self-motivated, dedicated, inspired, passionate and interested students. This isn't a school to simply go to for four years. It is a four year experience that you need to be ready to take advantage of.
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guadalupe from chicago, il

a current student here
2 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
illinois wesleyan university is the school for me. i always thought people were joking when they said you'll know when you find your perfect school. i ended up visiting, felt that connection, and have been here ever since.
Tips for prospective students
i advice to try to get involved in any clubs on campus that you are interested in. you will be able to meet different people along the way that can turn into friends. you never know what can come from this adventure.
Academic Rigor
classes are difficult, but that does not have to be a bad thing. that means that you were chosen out of thousands because the school believes that you are up for the challenge. professors are more than wiling to help you. some have even met with students over the weekend!
Dorm Life
dorm life is what you make of it. it is possible to visit your friends at whatever time of the day and night as well. there are going to be different events that are put on by your resident advisor that will help you interact with other people on your floor.
Food and Dining
food is good. after a certain time you get used to it, but that what you are going to hear from every school if they give you a honest answer.
What to do for fun
you can do a lot of things here at iwu. there are always a lot of events happening all over campus. even if you're not looking for fun things to do, fun things will sure come your way.
Bang for the buck
of course you get the best bang for your buck! if you did not, then it wouldn't have the wonderful reputation that it does.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
there is an old tradition to give a concrete pineapple, which symbolizes the spirit of friendship and gracious hospitality, a gentle touch at graduation to recognize all of the friendships you have formed on this campus.
Great for these types of students
calling all hardworking students! calling all students who are up for the challenge to attend a highly selective university!
Clubs and Activities
there are so many different registered student organizations (rsos) also known as clubs and activities here at iwu. i am even going to start a new rso really soon. i am getting so much support from faculty, staff, and friends that i have met here at iwu.
Greek Life
i am not in any greek life, so i cannot talk a lot about this; however, those who are in greek life seem to really like it.
Campus Safety
illinois wesleyan university is in bloomington, illinois. this means that the whole town is really safe, and the campus is even safer.
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