From the School

Lake Forest offers students a rare combination: an exceptionally beautiful residential campus offering a rigorous curriculum, and the opportunity to tap into the many academic, cultural, and social resources of nearby Chicago.

Founded in 1857, Lake Forest College has a long tradition of academic excellence and is known for its innovative curriculum. In addition to majors in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, the College features programs of study in pre-law, pre-medicine, communication, business, finance, computer science, and still other practical areas. Lake Forest prepares students to lead successful lives, and many go on to competitive graduate programs and top jobs. Abundant internships, research opportunities, personal guidance from professors, and connections to nearby Chicago also set the Lake Forest apart. Students learn in a rigorous academic environment in small class settings where professors do all the teaching and also serve as advisors and mentors. Professors are accomplished scholars, published authors, and recipients of prestigious grants. Many have come from some of the top PhD programs in the country.

Students represent nearly every state and 76 countries around the world and international and ethnic minorities make up more than 25 percent of the student body. Together they comprise a learning community that prepares them to succeed in a global society. More than eighty student groups provide a host of extracurricular opportunities that develop leadership skills and enhance students' campus experience and post-college prospects. Lake Forest College offers recreational music, art, and theater programs, as well as 19 varsity sports and intramural and club sports. It competes in NCAA Division III.


From The School

The criteria used for selection include assessment of a student's program of study, academic achievement, aptitude, intellectual curiosity, qualities of character and personality, and activities.

Standardized test scores (ACT/SAT) are optional, except for international or home-schooled candidates, and those applying for some academic scholarships. A personal interview is required for students who do not submit scores.


Acceptance Rate
Average HS GPA

GPA Breakdown

Over 3.75
3.50 - 3.74
3.25 - 3.49
3.00 - 3.24
2.50 - 2.99
2.00 - 2.49

Test Scores

Learn about new SAT scores and college admission here
SAT Reading
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
480 - 610
SAT Math
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
500 - 600
SAT Writing
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
460 - 580
ACT Composite
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
22 - 28

Testing Policies

ACT Writing Policy
ACT with or without Writing accepted


Early Decision
November 15

Early Action
November 15

Other Admission Factors


Rigor of Secondary School Record
Application Essay

Extracurricular Activities
Talent / Ability
Character / Personal Qualities

Selectivity Rating


From The School

Academic Programs

The First-Year Studies Program (FIYS)
First-year studies classes are small in size to encourage interaction and discussion. The FIYS professors also serve as the students' primary academic advisors and help them navigate the College's academic offerings during their first year. With many topics to choose from, first-year studies courses cover a wide range of academic interests from music, art, and politics to neuroscience, terrorism and religion, many with a focus on Chicago or directly utilizing the resources available there. Chicago plays an integral role in the FIYS program. Students travel to the city with their class during orientation week, providing a first-hand introduction to how the educational, cultural, and social resources of Chicago will influence their coursework and experiences during their four years at Lake Forest.

Honors Fellow Program
As part of the first-year student admission application process, select students are invited to apply to the Honors Fellow Program.

The Richter Apprentice Scholars Program This program provides students, early in their academic careers, with the opportunity to conduct independent, individual research with Lake Forest faculty. In the summer after their first year, each student in the Richter Program is employed for a ten-week period and does independent research one-on-one with a faculty member.

The Independent Scholar Program
This program allows students to develop an academic major of their own, working closely with a faculty advisor, culminating in a thesis or a creative project.

Majors and Degrees Offered

The academic calendar is based on two 15-week semesters, beginning in August and January. Students normally take four course credits per semester (the equivalent of 16 semester hours).

There are no teaching assistants at the College. Courses are taught in small classroom settings by professors who are experts in their fields and who also serve students as one-on-one advisors. In addition to classroom studies, students are encouraged to complete an internship, conduct original research, and study abroad for a semester.

A Lake Forest graduate will have studied a broad range of ideas; developed real competence in writing, speaking, and quantitative skills; and gained significant experience in humanities, natural sciences and mathematics, and social sciences while completing requirements for a major in an academic department or interdisciplinary program. The College's General Education Curriculum, advising system, and major requirements are designed to support these educational ideals.

Lake Forest awards the Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in both traditional academic departments and interdisciplinary programs. Areas of study include: African American studies, American studies, anthropology, area studies, studio art, art history, art education, Asian studies, biology, border studies, business (concentration in accounting available), chemistry, cinema studies, classical studies, communication, computer science, digital media design, economics, education (elementary and secondary), engineering (dual degree), English (literature and writing), environmental studies, finance, history, international relations, Islamic world studies, Latin American studies, legal studies, mathematics, media design and technology, metropolitan studies, modern languages and literatures (Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish), music, music education, neuroscience, philosophy, physics, politics, psychology, religion, rhetoric, social justice, sociology, theater, women's and gender studies. Lake Forest also offers pre-professional programs in law, medicine, dentistry, and veterinary medicine.

Accelerated and dual-degree programs are offered. Three-year degree programs are available in communication and philosophy. Dual-degree programs are available in law, international studies, pharmacy, and engineering. Lake Forest is affiliated with several competitive law schools that allow students to complete a bachelor's degree and a law degree in a total of six years, rather than the usual seven. Qualified Lake Forest College students may be admitted to the Monterey Institute of International Studies with accelerated status, and can complete their master's degrees with 48 credits as opposed to the 60 normally required. A dual-degree program has been arranged, leading to a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biology from Lake Forest College and a Doctor of Pharmacy from the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science. The engineering program is in cooperation with the Sever Institute of Technology at Washington University (St. Louis).

Faculty and Class Information

Total Faculty
with Terminal Degree


Most frequent class size
10 - 19
Most frequent lab / sub section size
10 - 19

Graduation Rates

Graduate in 4 years
Graduate in 5 years
Graduate in 6 years


  • Area, Ethnic, Cultural, and Gender Studies

  • American/United States Studies/Civilization
  • Area Studies, Other
  • Asian Studies/Civilization
  • Latin American Studies

  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences

  • Biology/Biological Sciences, General
  • Neuroscience

  • Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services

  • Business/Commerce, General
  • Finance, General

  • Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs

  • Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric

  • Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services

  • Computer Science

  • Education

  • Education, General
  • Music Teacher Education

  • English Language and Literature/Letters

  • English Language and Literature, General

  • Foreign languages, literatures, and Linguistics

  • French Language and Literature
  • Spanish Language and Literature

  • History

  • History, General

  • Mathematics and Statistics

  • Mathematics, General

  • Natural Resources and Conservation

  • Environmental Studies

  • Philosophy and Religious Studies

  • Philosophy
  • Religion/Religious Studies

  • Physical Sciences

  • Chemistry, General
  • Physics, General

  • Psychology

  • Psychology, General

  • Social Sciences

  • Anthropology
  • Economics, General
  • International Relations and Affairs
  • Political Science and Government, General
  • Sociology

  • Visual and Performing Arts

  • Art/Art Studies, General
  • Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General
  • Music, General

Students Say

Lake Forest provides a broad-ranging general education curriculum. One student points out, "The teachers really challenge you and generally are really nice and easy to access." The academic breadth at Lake Forest College is both challenging and inspiring. Another student adds, "The small school size means administration can help you, and they actually do. The class sizes and teachers won't let anyone hide or get away with spotty work." The emphasis is giving each student an individual and well-rounded education in the liberal arts, and this cross-disciplinary education is accessible because of the attentive faculty and staff. A current student tells us, "Lake Forest is a solid college with great financial aid." Another facet of the learning experience that Lake Forest students appreciate is that the college provides and promotes numerous opportunities outside of the classroom. Studying abroad, internships, community service, and career development are all encouraged and presented across campus. Overall, the impression is that of "the world is at your fingertips and your campus experience should allow you to sample many options and explore and create in a supportive environment." Lake Forest's professors are by far its strongest asset. A sophomore tells us, "They're accessible, highly knowledgeable in their designated areas of expertise, and have very high expectations for student performance. Additionally, they encourage us as students to learn by doing as opposed to simply lecturing."


Post-Bachelor's certificate

Career Services

On-Campus Job Interviews Available

Career Services

Alumni Network
Alumni Services
Interest Inventory
Regional Alumni
Opportunities at School


Notable Faculty

Prominent Alumni

Diana Nyad
World Champion Swimmer, National Women's Hall of Fame

James C. Foster
Forbes Entrepreneur of the Year;President/CEO, Charles River Laboratories

Richard Armstrong
Director, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation

Nicholas J. Pritzker
Chairman and CEO, Hyatt Development Corp.

Nate Berkus
Celebrated interior designer and television host

Philippa Cooper Holland
Executive Producer, CNN-New York

Sigvard G. Gissler
Pulitzer Prize Administrator, professor Columbia University

Academic Rating

Graduation Rates

Graduate in 4 years
Graduate in 5 years
Graduate in 6 years

Career Services

On-Campus Job Interviews Available

Career Services

Alumni Network
Alumni Services
Interest Inventory
Regional Alumni
Opportunities at School


ROI & Outcomes

Information from PayScale:

Starting Median Salary (Up to Bachelor's degree completed, only)

Mid-Career Median Salary (Up to Bachelor's degree completed, only)

Starting Median Salary (At least Bachelor's degree)

Mid-Career Median Salary (At least Bachelor's degree)

Percent High Job Meaning

Percent STEM

Students Say

Rest assured that when it comes time to cross the dais on graduation day, Lake Forest students are prepared to meet the future head on! In fact, more than 90 percent of these newly minted alums landed jobs or secured admission to grad school. More specifically, over 90 percent of Lake Forest students who applied to medical school were accepted. And 95 percent of education majors immediately found school gigs. This success is certainly made possible through the guiding hand of a fantastic career services office. For example, undergrads here can participate in the Forester Career Plan, which helps students develop and implement career strategies throughout each academic year. This action plan really helps undergrads to focus their goals and professional aspirations. And, of course, the office hosts plenty of fun (and effective!) events from major and career exploration workshops, industry-focused events, to Speed Networking.

Colleges that Create Futures


From The School

Tuition, Room, Board and Fees

2016 -2017 Tuition:$43,392.00
Room: $4,684.00
Board: $5,126.00
Fees: $724.00

Financial Aid

Lake Forest College provides an affordable, high-quality education through maintaining a strong commitment to supporting each student's demonstrated financial need.

The College offers academic scholarships up to $30,000 and talent-based scholarships in music, studio art, and theater.


Application Deadlines
May 1
Notification Date
Mar 1

Required Forms


Bottom Line

Students choosing to enroll in Lake Forest College will receive a tuition bill of $41,920. Undergrads face an additional $724 in required fees. They can also expect to spend roughly $1,000 for books and various academic supplies. And, of course, room and board is estimated to cost $9,570. Fortunately, these figures become a little more palatable after learning that the average financial aid package is $35,800.

Bang For Your Buck

At first glance, Lake Forest might seem a tad pricey on paper. Thankfully, an active and caring financial aid office strives to help families mitigate costs. These efforts don’t go unnoticed. After all, a handful of students report that their “financial aid [package] was a big factor” in deciding to attend Lake Forest. As a sociology major explains, “the financial aid office bends over backwards to help students and offers many grants. It was cheaper to attend LFC than the other private schools I was accepted to.” In fact, 95 percent of undergraduates receive some form of need-based aid. Some of this money comes from the Lake Forest College Grant which awards gifts ranging from $5,000 to $30,000 each year. The Illinois Monetary Award Program also helps students meet their need with grants up to $4,720. Of course, we’d be remiss if we didn’t also point out that the average need-based loan is $5,000.

Financial Aid Statistics

Average Freshman Total Need-Based Gift Aid

Average Undergraduate Total Need-Based Gift Aid

Average Need-Based Loan

Average amount of each freshman scholarship/grant package

Financial aid provided to international students

Expenses per Academic Year

Required Fees
Average Cost for Books and Supplies

Tuition / Fees Vary by Year of Study
Board for Commuters
Transportation for Commuters

On-Campus Room and Board
Comprehensive Fee

Available Aid

Financial Aid Methodology
Federal and Institutional

Scholarships and Grants


Need-Based College/University Scholarship or Grant Aid from Institutional Funds
Need-Based Federal Pell
Need-Based Private Scholarships
Need-Based SEOG
Need-Based State Scholarships

Institutional non-need-based scholarship or grant aid is available

Federal Direct Student Loan Programs
Direct PLUS Loans
Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans
Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans

Federal Family Education Loan Programs (FFEL)
College/university loans from institutional funds
Federal Perkins Loans

Is Institutional Employment Available (other than Federal Work Study)

Direct Lender

Financial Aid Rating


From The School

Lake Forest College is a place to study, work, and live. With the diversity of the student body there is an eclectic mix of activities and opportunities outside the classroom.

Student organizations include student government, international interest groups, Greek Life, academic honor societies, community service, publications and media, music and performance, spiritual and religious groups, and many others.

Students have a voice in how the College is run and are actively involved in governance committees such as the College Council and have representation on the Board of Trustees. Student writers and performers can showcase their talents on stage with the Garrick Players, by hosting a show on "WMXM," the College's FM radio station, or through the student newspaper, literary magazines, chorus and instrumental ensembles. Academic honor societies enjoy active student participation as do the community service groups and many special-interest clubs. The College provides and maintains a comprehensive intramural and intercollegiate athletic program. There are two national fraternities and five national sororities, all housed within the residence halls. All students have equal opportunity to take advantage of the richness of the College's programs.

Lake Forest College competes in the NCAA Division III fielding nine women's and eight men's intercollegiate varsity teams. Women's teams include basketball, cross-country, handball, ice hockey, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, and volleyball. Men's teams include basketball, cross-country, football, handball, ice hockey, soccer, swimming and diving, and tennis. The College also offers an extensive roster of intramural and club sports.

The College's Center for Chicago Programs facilitates engagement with the resources of Chicago which often complements programs for student organizations as well as provides students with information on cultural and social activities happening downtown. The train to Chicago is a short walk from campus and students enjoy traveling to the city for fun and entertainment. The College shuttle provides service seven days a week to popular shopping areas and destinations around campus.

Student Body Profile

Total Undergraduate Enrollment
Foreign Countries Represented



56% female
44% male
36% are out of state
99% are full time
1% are part time

Students Say

Student organizations are very strong at Lake Forest, and, therefore, there are always studentrun events on campus that are frequented by the student body. "A typical Lake Forest student is usually pretty involved whether it is in a sport, club, theater, or music," says one sophomore. "Everyone usually finds a group that they fit into with friends with similar interests." Another student adds, "Everyone is different, and everyone fits in." Like any college, students say they can get "stressed out, but [are] generally upbeat. At this school it is considered normal to be in a thousand different clubs and extracurricular activities and to attend campus events and campus parties." A sophomore explains, "Life at my school can be very challenging because your classes will push you. However, there is still time for fun, and you will see a good number of your peers at social events on campus. One of the most common is the ACPs (All Campus Parties) that are held on Fridays and hosted by various student organizations." In the end, it all comes back to balance—and at Lake Forest students can cultivate the many experiences available into one productive adult life.


From The School


Just an hour's train ride to Chicago, the College is located in the town of Lake Forest, Illinois, 30 miles north of the city along the shores of Lake Michigan. The 107-acre residential campus is a safe academic home in a beautiful wooded suburban setting within walking distance to the train to downtown Chicago, historic Lake Forest, and the beaches of Lake Michigan.

The College is only 25 miles from O'Hare International Airport and is also served by Midway Airport and Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee.

The campus is surrounded by lush wooded neighborhoods, ravines, natural prairies, the beautiful beaches along Lake Michigan, and an extensive network of bike and running trails. Nearby Chicago boasts nearly 70 world-class museums, more than 200 theaters, seven major league sports teams, and one of the nation's top opera companies. Chicago is known for its cleanliness, abundant green space, good transportation system, and friendly people.

Campus Facilities & Equipment

A $40 million renovation and expansion project of the Johnson Science Center will be completed by 17-18 academic year.

A new 230-bed residence hall opened in August 2013 and features doubles, suites, and super suites with living rooms, lounges, kitchen, and a mutlipurpose room for group events.

The Sports and Recreation Center is a popular facility on campus and includes multipurpose courts, a suspended running track, an aerobic and dance studio, a batting/golf cage, strength, cardio, and fitness spaces, a pool, and an indoor ice rink just next door.

The Mohr Student Center is a student-centered social space that is the hub of social activity on campus. It features pool tables and other games, stage and performance space, large-screen TVs, lounges, deli/snack bar, grocery store, and an outdoor terrace with seating.

Center for Chicago Programs
Chicago provides a hands-on resource for student learning through research, internships, study, and fun. It is the hub for all Chicago-related programming. At the Center, students can plan visits to the city and professors can get help incorporating Chicago resources into their classrooms. The Center also brings well-known Chicagoans to the College for lectures and performances.

Off-Campus Opportunities

Lake Forest encourages students to take advantage of study, internship, and research opportunities in Chicago, around the United States, and abroad. Internship opportunities are plentiful in the Chicago area and students have interned at places such as the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago Blackhawks, Chicago Board of Trade, Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Edelman Public Relations Worldwide, Morgan Stanley, NBC Chicago, Second City, and the John G. Shedd Aquarium, among others. Students can choose to spend a semester living an interning in Chicago through the College's In The Loop program.

In addition to a well-established internship program, Lake Forest College students gain international experience through access to over 200 study abroad and internship options in more than 70 countries. There are international and/or domestic programs suited for every major, minor, or program, at Lake Forest. Students can choose a program based on major, minor, language ability, and desired semester. Most students' financial aid packages can be applied to the program of choice.

Campus Life

Undergrads living on campus
Help finding off-campus housing

First-Year Students living on campus

Campus Environment

Housing Options

Apartment Single
Disabled Student
Dorms Coed
Theme Housing

Students Say

When students consider Lake Forest, a word that might come to mind is "balance." One student explains, "The town of Lake Forest is not at all a college town, and you'd be hard-pressed to find anything more than a grocery store and a few places to eat. However, almost everything you need is on campus." The beautiful 107-acre campus is located thirty miles north of downtown Chicago, providing access to the city with the respite of a more laid-back town along the shore of Lake Michigan. "Chicago is a huge asset both socially and academically," says one student. "[It] is ever-changing and does not get dull." The school offers transit passes for a discounted price, and students visit the city often. A ten-minute walk will easily get you into the main part of town, and it is an easy train ride to Chicago, but equally attractive is that in the same ten minutes you can walk to the beach and enjoy the shores of Lake Michigan. A freshman describes, "Lake Michigan, and a beautiful beach, is only half a mile from campus, and the campus is beautiful especially in the fall and after the first snowfall." Another student sums it up nicely, saying, "At Lake Forest College, students get a world-class education and the skills they need to succeed in life while immersed in a schoolspirit-rich campus lifestyle that doesn't compare to any other school."

Special Needs Admissions

College Entrance Tests Required

Interview Required

Special Need Services Offered

Student Activities

Registered Student Organizations
Number of Honor Societies

Number of Social Sororities
Number of Religious Organizations

19% join a fraternity
21% join a sorority


Athletic Division
Division III

40% participate in intramural sports
26% participate in intercollegiate sports

Men's Sports (Foresters)
10 Sports

Cross Country
Ice Hockey
Women's Sports (Foresters)
11 Sports

Cross Country
Ice Hockey


Campus Security Report

Campus Security Report

The Jeanne Clery Act requires colleges and universities to disclose their security policies, keep a public crime log, publish an annual crime report and provide timely warnings to students and campus employees about a crime posing an immediate or ongoing threat to students and campus employees.

Please visit The Princeton Review’s page on campus safety for additional resources:

The Princeton Review publishes links directly to each school's Campus Security Reports where available. Applicants can also access all school-specific campus safety information using the Campus Safety and Security Data Analysis Cutting Tool provided by the Office of Postsecondary Education of the U.S. Department of Education:

Other Information

Campus-wide Internet Network

Email and Web Access Available

% of Classrooms with Wireless Internet

Number of Computer Labs / Classrooms

Average Number of PC's per Lab

Network Access in Dorm Rooms

Network Access in Dorm Lounges

Fee for Network Use

Student Web Pages Permitted

Student Web Pages Provided

Partnerships with Technology Companies

Online Class Registration Available

Personal computer included in tuition for each student

Require Undergraduates to Own Computers

Undergraduates that Own Computers

Discounts Available with Hardware Vendors


Webcasting, Digital Audio or Video-Streaming of Courses

Webcasting, Digital Audio or Video-Streaming of Campus Radio / TV Stations

Campus Visits Contact

Lake Forest College
Office of Admissions

Office of Admissions Lake Forest College
555 N. Sheridan Rd.
Lake Forest, IL 60045



Experience College Life

Most Popular Places On Campus
Donnelley and Lee Library
Mohr Student Center
Sports and Recreation Center
Center for Chicago Programs
Career Advancement Center

Most Popular Places Off Campus
Market Square, Lake Forest
Downtown Chicago
Magnificent Mile, Chicago
The Art Institute of Chicago and other museums
Lake Forest Beach on Lake Michigan
The train to Chicago is just a few blocks from campus. The train also serves all towns along the North Shore including Highland Park and Evanston where Northwestern University is located. A campus shuttle operates 7 days a week shuttling students to area shopping malls and other destinations.

Campus Tours

Campus Visiting Center
Monday-Friday (Saturday by appointment only in summer)
8:30 am-5 pm

Campus Tours
Appointment Required: Yes
Dates: Year-round
Times: M-F 10am, 11am, 1pm, 2pm, 3 pm
Average Length: 1 hour

On Campus Interview

Campus Interviews

Information Sessions
Not Available


Faculty and Coach Visits

Dates/Times Available
Academic Year

Contact Admissions Office

Advance Notice
1 week

Contact Email Address for Visit

Class Visits

Dates/Times Available
Academic Year

Contact Admissions Office

Overnight Dorm Stays

Overnight Dorm Stays
Not Available


Types of Transportation Available to Campus
O-Hare International Airport (Chicago) is 25 miles from campus. Bus and limousine service are available from the airport to campus. Call O'Hare Midway Limousine (847-234-4550) and ask for shared ride service or call American Taxi. Make arrangements one day in advance. Amtrak trains and Greyhound buses serve Chicago. The METRA/Chicago and North Western North Line commuter railroad serves Lake Forest.

Driving Instructions to Campus
From the North, take I-94 S. from Milwaukee. Just past the Wisconsin-Illinois border, stay left to get onto U.S. Rte. 41. Continue south on U.S. 41 to Deerpath Road in Lake Forest. Exit and turn left (east) on Deerpath toward the town of Lake Forest and the College. Proceed east through the Lake Forest business district and cross the railroad tracks. At the second stop sign beyond the tracks, you are at Sheridan Rd., facing the entrance to the College's North Campus. For Middle Campus and most College offices, turn right (south) onto Sheridan Road and go 1 block to College Rd. Turn left(east)at College Road into Middle Campus. The entrance to South Campus is at Maplewood and Sheridan roads, a few blocks south on Sheridan form Middle Campus. From the West/Southwest, take I-294 (Tri-State Tollway), which becomes I-94 N. to Illinois Rte. 60 (Town Line Rd.). Exit and turn right (east) on Rte. 60. At the first stop light, turn left (north) on Illinois 43 (Waukegan Rd.). At the first light, turn right (east) on Deerpath toward the town of Lake Forest and the College. [continue directions as above] From Chicago, take I-94 N. (the Edens Expy) toward Waukegan. When I-94 splits off toward Milwaukee, stay on the Edens, which has become U.S. 41. Exit at Deerpath in Lake Forest and turn right (east) on Deerpath toward the town of Lake Forest and the College.

Rankings & Lists

From Lake Forest College

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