Reputation, Rankings, and Facts

Lake Forest College again gets high marks in national rankings 

• U.S. News & World Report rated Lake Forest College #2 in the nation for  Social Mobility, up from #3 last year, and #16 on the Best Value list, up five positions from last year, in its report released on September 12, 2022. Overall, U.S. News ranked Lake Forest College  #85 on its list of the  Best National Liberal Arts Colleges.

U.S. News & World Report rankingsThe Social Mobility designation measures and ranks a college’s success in graduating students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Ranking second in the nation in this category is a particular point of pride for Lake Forest College, which has long emphasized its accessibility and affordability to highly motivated students from all backgrounds.

For its Best Value list, U.S. News evaluated a school’s academic quality and net cost of attendance for a student who received the average level of need-based financial aid.

Forbes ranking• Forbes named Lake Forest College among the Best Colleges in America on its annual list released on August 30, 2022. 

“We know that a college degree is a significant investment for any student, and one that’s been compounded by recent years of financial turmoil for many,” Emma Whitford, senior education reporter at Forbes, said in a release. “This list reflects the public and private universities that are going above and beyond to deliver on that investment.”

• The Princeton Review also recommended Lake Forest College in its annual college guide, The Best 388 Colleges: 2023 Edition, released on August 23, 2022. In this latest edition, Lake Forest College ranked #3 for Best Health Services, #4 for Best Science Lab Facilities, #12 for Best Student Support & Counseling Services, #14 for Best School for Internships, and #22 for Most Accessible Professors.

“We salute Lake Forest College for its outstanding academics and its many other impressive offerings. We’re delighted to recommend it as an ideal choice for students searching for their ‘best-fit’ college,” said Rob Franek, The Princeton Review’s Editor-in-Chief and lead author of The Best 388 Colleges.

Lake Forest College has experienced a consistent upward trend in national rankings over the past several years, reflecting the College’s continued focus on providing a rigorous undergraduate education that prepares students for meaningful and rewarding careers.

Princeton Review rankings

Facts and Figures


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

Total undergraduates 1,727
Women 1,011
Men 716
International students (including dual citizens) 265
  • Our students come from 43 states, Washington D.C., the U.S. Virgin Islands, and more than 80 countries.
  • 47% are either domestic students of color or international students
  • More than 40 languages are spoken on campus


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

Teaching faculty 181
Full-time professors holding the PhD or equivalent 96%
Student–faculty ratio 12:1
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 32 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 three four-week terms in the summer session.

Off-Campus Study

Participating in an off-campus program, whether to study, intern, research, or volunteer, can be a life-changing experience and is highly encouraged at Lake Forest. Students may participate for credit in a total of two semester-long programs chosen from our list of 200+  programs in 70 countries. The programs on this list may be sponsored by Lake Forest College, the Associated Colleges of the Midwest, or one of several trusted program providers.


The College was ranked #14 on The Princeton Review’s list of Top 20 Schools for Internships (Private Schools) in  The Best 387 Colleges: 2022 Edition, based on students’ ratings of accessibility of internship placement at their school. In recent years, students have held internships with such organizations as The Art Institute of Chicago, Abbott Laboratories, the American Writers Museum, Chicago Botanic Garden, CDW, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Goldman Sachs, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Morgan Stanley, Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital, the Shedd Aquarium, StarCom, Stout Advisory, University of Chicago Medicine, University of Chicago Press, and WNBA Chicago Sky.

Community 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 25 Division III teams, including 12 women’s (basketball, cross country, distance indoor track, distance outdoor track, golf, handball, ice hockey, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, volleyball, and lacrosse) and 11 men’s (basketball, cross country, distance indoor track, distance outdoor track, football, golf, handball, ice hockey, soccer, swimming and diving, tennis, and lacrosse). 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.