If one were to remark to one of Illinois State University’s 20,000 students (the Redbirds) that life in the ‘real world’ is nothing but a crazy circus, they’d likely understand. After all, ISU is home to one of only two collegiate circuses in the nation! (Gamma Phi Circus.) But that’s not at all that sets this highly-rated public university, located in Bloomington-Normal, IL, apart from the pack. Founded in 1857 as a teacher’s college, Illinois State now has seven distinct colleges and offers 175 bachelor’s programs in fields as varied as Kinesiology, Criminal Justice and International Business. Special events and programs on-campus include the President’s Speaker Series, multiple career fairs occurring each semester, and a new study-abroad partnership with Universidad Veritas in San Jose, Costa Rica. And when students here are stressed, the Bone Student Center (open 24 hours a day during finals weeks!) and Bowling and Billiard Center offer the perfect escape. ISU offers top-notch value and prepares its students for a strong future.