Facts and Figures

How we’re better

  • Nearly twice as many Lake Forest students reported talking to professors about their career plans “very often” or “often” than students at larger universities, according to the 2014 National Survey of Student Engagement.
  • They also talked more to their professors about course topics, ideas, and concepts than students at other colleges and universities. 
  • Lake Forest is among the top 10% of 650 participating colleges and universities in effective teaching practices, student-faculty interaction, discussions with diverse others, and supportive campus environment, according to NSSE. 
  •  Lake Forest is ranked #11 in the nation for “Best Return on Investment” (ROI) among liberal arts colleges by Payscale.com and #1 in Illinois.  
  • Forbes Magazine lists Lake Forest in the top 7% of colleges and universities in the number of alumni with the highest salaries. 
  • Princeton Review lists Lake Forest as a Best Midwestern College
  • Washington Monthly Magazine recognizes Lake Forest College for being in the top 10% of liberal arts colleges with a serious commitment to community service.


Lake Forest College is located in the suburban town of Lake Forest, a half mile from Lake Michigan and 30 miles north of downtown Chicago. The College’s 107 acres are spread out across three campuses that are divided by wooded ravines. It is home to more than 250 species of naturalized plants and 187 bird species.

With classic 19th and 20th Century architecture, mature oak trees, and numerous green spaces, the College has been and remains a popular place to film movies.

Student Body


Full-time enrollment 1,592
Women 916
Men 676
International students (including dual citizens)  242

Our students come from 43 states, Washington D.C., the U.S. Virgin Islands, and 73 countries.


Lake Forest professors regularly include undergraduates in their primary research and supervise independent research projects.

Teaching faculty 178
Full-time faculty holding the PhD or equivalent 97%
Student–faculty ratio 13:1
Average class size 19

They receive fellowships and grants from such notable organizations as the Fulbright Program, National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, National Endowment for the Humanities, Freeman Foundation, Mellon Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Getty Trust, Goldsmith Foundation, and Kemper Foundation.

Areas of Study

The College has 30 majors, plus minors and special programs. Students can declare up to two majors and one minor, or one major and two minors.

Academic Year

The year includes two 15-week semesters and two summer sessions.

Off-campus study options

Beijing, Border Studies (Mexico), Botswana, Costa Rica, Florence, Granada, Greece, India, Japan, London/Florence, New Zealand, Paris, Tanzania, Chicago (Chicago in the Loop, Urban Studies, Chicago Program in Business and Society, Newberry Library Program in the Humanities), Oak Ridge National Laboratory (Tennessee), Washington Semester (American University).


Students pursue a wide range of internships in the Chicago area, nationwide, and abroad. In recent years, students have held internships with such organizations as the Alliance Française de Chicago, The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago Blackhawks, Chicago Board of Trade, Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Edelman Public Relations Worldwide, French Connections Films (Paris), International Herald Tribune (Paris), Morgan Stanley, NBC Chicago, Paine Webber, Second City, Senator Barack Obama, and the John G. Shedd Aquarium.

Adult Education

The College serves adults living in the region through the Office of Community Education.  The College currently offers a  Master of Liberal Studies (M/LS) program and Master’s of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program.

Center for Chicago Programs

The Center for Chicago Programs connects Lake Forest students to the educational and cultural riches of Chicago both on campus and in the city. The Center is an integral part of the student and faculty experience at the College.


Lake Forest has 19 Division III teams, including 10 women’s (basketball, cross country, handball, golf, ice hockey, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, and volleyball) and nine men’s (basketball, cross country, football, golf, handball, ice hockey, soccer, swimming and diving, and tennis). Many students are also involved in club or intramural sports.

Team name: Foresters
School mascot: Boomer the Bear
School colors: Red and black


The College and its Alumni Board host events around the country. More than 13,000 alumni, in 63 countries and all 50 states, participate in student mentor programs, assist with internships, and support the College through donations.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

Lake Forest College admits students regardless of their ability to pay, so that qualified students from all economic backgrounds have the opportunity to pursue their academic goals. Lake Forest is committed to meeting as much of a student’s demonstrated financial need as possible, which may include a combination of federal/state/college grants, loans, and work-study opportunities. The College offers several merit-based scholarships, recognizing academic achievement, talent, and community engagement.