The American Midwest – A Good Place To Study In?

Midwest is a good option for students wanting to study in the USA. Moving to a new country can be tough and you need mental support from your peers and university. The people from the Midwest states are very friendly. When you decide to move to Midwest for studies; remember, that the University of Chicago could be a great place to study in. The midwest hosts a huge population from hundreds of different nations. You will find some of the biggest international student populations in Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio.

Why colleges in the Midwest provide good value for your parents’ money

As a traveler, you may have traveled to the East or West Coasts and visited places like New York, Boston, and San Francisco which are pretty expensive. Everything from housing and food to entertainment will cost more. In the Midwest, whether your education, rent, entertainment, or groceries is a good value for your money. You need not live on a shoestring budget.

Even with a student’s budget, you can afford to live like a king! It is much more affordable for students in comparison to other cities in the country. If you plan to study in smaller cities and towns across the Midwest, the costs are even lower than in Chicago. College towns offer everything a student needs within walking distance and the facility for a shuttle ride from campus is easily available.

Quality of life

A student’s life at the University in the US is very different from your colleges in your country or hometown. There is a community outside the classroom – engagement. The US colleges and universities try to meet the student’s needs in the real sense. Facilities come in a colorful package like recreational, libraries, student organizations, concerts, comedy shows, or sporting events. The College campus is closer to cities and towns.

Several big companies have their offices here and there are good job opportunities which again is an added value for students looking out for part-time jobs and internships. Business potential is high. International students can gather work experience during and after their studies. It is an advantage to have more potential employers. Such facilities are found even in rural and suburban towns.

Plenty of Events

Besides, the Midwest not only provides students with good schools but with plenty of adventurous activities throughout the year that include –

  • Skiing, Snowboarding, and Ice Skating
  • Seasonal Festivals
  • Museums
  • Art Festivals
  • Beaches, Boating, and The Great Lakes
  • A Strong “Foodie” Scene
  • Diverse Cultural Experiences
  • Historical Monuments
  • Hiking Trails
  • Sand Dunes
  • Bike Trails
  • State and County Fairs
  • Farmers’ Markets


The first and foremost concern for any international student is the cost. By cost, we not only mean the tuition but living expenses as well. You also need to consider if any scholarships are available from colleges of your choice.

It may be mentioned here that studying in Midwestern colleges is cost-effective and scholarships are also available during the time of admission. We can sum up saying that Midwestern colleges and universities actually provide excellent value for your parents’ money.

Pros and cons of attending Midwest colleges

While Midwestern schools offer a high quality of life and scholarships to students who need financial aid; it also has their pros and cons if you are not from the Midwest. The tuition fees are higher in public colleges and universities if students are out of the state. This is because the schools receive funds from the state to help balance the tuition of in-state students.

The con is you may feel lonely if you are attending a school in a different country as you will be away from your family and friends. Being far away you cannot make regular visits to your home which will make you feel homesick.

The positive side is, you will come out of your comfort zone being far away from home. Meet a lot of new people and make friends and get along with those who are different from you. Life will teach you important lessons, about diversity and empathy.

top colleges in the midwest
Map of United States split into Census regions and divisions. Region definition is widely used for data collection and analysis. Most commonly used classification system. Source: iStock

Are Colleges in the Midwest Diverse?

Universities in the Midwest like Mount Mary University, Augsburg University, and Calumet College of St. Joseph are among the most diverse colleges in the Midwest, while Shawnee State University, Cedarville University, and the University of Wisconsin-Platteville are among the least diverse. The reason is to attract students from different ethnic and regional backgrounds.  This is done by offering scholarships based on ethnic background and special tuition fees to foreign students.

Diversity is important as it increases creativity, improves performance, and innovation, and encourages personal growth and productivity. Diversity help people from different background come together and enrich the environment with innovative ideas. Thus the entire team helps in the improvement of productivity.

Diversity increases the number of creative inputs and helps increase innovation as a result. Every student does what they are best at, thus the overall performance of the group is better. Diversity helps students’ personal growth. You learn to adjust to people who are different from you. You learn about new cultures, languages, and food habits and thus become a better person.

How to Choose Colleges in the Midwest

It is you who will ultimately decide which colleges to apply to keep in mind the three factors- location, the right fit, and program offerings. For getting admission at any Midwest college, ensure your GPA and test scores are high, secure strong recommendation letters, and write great essays. You can also take the help of admission counselors to enhance your chances of acceptance.

Best Colleges in the Midwest

  • University of Chicago
  • Northwestern University 
  • Washington University in St. Louis
  • University of Notre Dame
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • University of Michigan—Ann Arbor
  • University of Wisconsin – Madison
  • Illinois Urbana champagne (UIUC)
  • University of Illinois – Chicago
  • Iowa State University
  • University of Iowa
  • Ohio State University
  • University of Minnesota – Minneapolis
  • Purdue University
  • Indiana University – Bloomington
  • Kansas State university
  • University of Kansas
  • Michigan State University

 Best Small Liberal Arts Colleges in the Midwest 

  • Carleton College 
  • Macalester College 
  • Grinnell College 
  • Denison College 
  • Kenyon College 
  • Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology 
  • DePauw University 
  • The College of Wooster 
  • Illinois Wesleyan University 
  • Gustavus Adolphus College 

Final Thoughts 

When you think about study-abroad opportunities in the United States, the first thought that comes to mind are of coastal cities, like San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, or Washington D.C. what you opt out of is that there are plenty of learning and career opportunities in the Midwest, as well. Top Midwest cities like Chicago, Detroit, Madison, Milwaukee, and others offer a wide range of learning opportunities and career growth.

The Midwest has many excellent colleges. You can decide on a small Midwest college or a buzzing one, there is something for all of you.  Finally seeking admissions to the best Midwest colleges is entirely your decision and your application needs to be perfect to show admissions officers why you are a perfect fit. Last but not the least, attending a Midwest college is within your reach; provided you have the dedication, enthusiasm, and tenacity.

Featured Image Taken From Amtrak.

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