(IRN) – A list is out of America’s worst colleges, and Illinois is – depending on your perspective – well or not well represented.

Considering the costs, default rates, graduation rates, and other factors, the Washington Monthly list of the overall worst features five Illinois schools in the top (bottom?) 20: Columbia College Chicago, DeVry University, Midstate College, Shimer College, and the International Academy of Design and Technology.

East-West University and Rockford University are mentioned in other breakouts, while Shimer is the absolute worst when the graduation rate and net price are adjusted for consideration of low-income and minority students.

All of the Illinois schools mentioned are private; only Shimer, East-West, Rockford, and Columbia are non-profit.

“We have to protect the student,” says Jonathan Lackland, deputy director of the Illinois Board of Higher Education. “If we have a student that contacts us and says that they have an issue with an institution, yes, we take it seriously. We want to help the student as much as possible.”

Lackland says the IBHE’s jurisdiction is largely that of determining whether to approve new programs, and that such a “worst colleges” list represents a consumer concern probably more than an academic one.



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