Blackburn College

Blackburn College has a strong tradition of academic excellence and is nationally recognized as having the only student-managed Work Program in the U.S., begun in 1913. The combination of quality education, valuable work experience, and a pledge to meet 100% of students’ financial need allows Blackburn to make a quality liberal arts college education affordable for thousands of first generation and under-served students.

Founded in 1837, Blackburn College launched its student work program in 1913 as a way to make a quality liberal arts college education affordable for thousands of first generation students. With the only student-managed work program in the country, it’s no surprise that Blackburn was ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the #2 Best Value College in the Midwest. Over the years, students have built Blackburn—literally brick by brick. Ten campus buildings including residence halls, the library, athletic facilities, academic buildings and the administration building were constructed with the help of student workers. The Washing Monthly ranked the college as the best baccalaureate college in Illinois and among the top 50 in the U.S. In addition, Blackburn now extends the Blackburn Promise--a commitment to meeting 100% of a student's financial need; a student's EFC is all they will pay to attend!


Fast Facts

  • Located in Carlinville, Illinois — 1 hour north of St. Louis, Missouri and 45 minutes south of Springfield, Illinois in west-central Illinois.
  • Blackburn was founded in 1837 by Gideon Blackburn
  • The student-managed Work Program was established in 1913
  • Situated on an 80 acre residential campus with 20 buildings including a new state-of-the-art fitness facility.
  • U.S. News & World Report 2018 Rankings—one of the Midwest regions “Best Regional Colleges”
  • #5 on U.S. News & World Report’s 2018 “Great Schools/Great Prices” in the Midwest region
  • #1 Best Baccalaureate College in Illinois, 2017 Washington Monthly
  • Most popular majors for fall 2017 entering class: Biology Pre-Med and Other Health Professions, Business Management, Teacher Education, Justice Administration, Psychology
  • Dual degree program in Nursing with St. John’s College of Nursing
  • Pre-professional programs in Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Science, Law, Theology, and Nursing
  • Blackburn is one of only nine nationally recognized work colleges and the only student-managed Work Program
  • Blackburn meets student financial need. As part of the only 6% of all U.S. colleges and universities that meet-the-need of each student, Blackburn provides customer financial aid packages that only require the student to come up with the EFC (Estimated Family Contribution) as shown on the FAFSA form.
  • Blackburn is the least expensive, private four-year residential institution in the state of Illinois.
  • Work Program jobs are primarily on campus and are essential to the day-to-day operation of the campus and its services and facilities
  • Our direct cost for incoming new students (freshman or transfer) for the 2018-2019 academic year is only $29,930 – including room and board! Subtract your $5,000 work credit, and the remaining amount is just $24,930. That’s before a single grant or scholarship, and is substantially less than any other private college in the state.
  • Curricular and extracurricular theatre and music programs–All Steinway School
  • The student newspaper. The ‘Burnian, is the longest continually published student newspaper in Illinois

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