Aurora University - Colleges of Distinction - Colleges of Distinction
Aurora University
"Aurora University is an inclusive community dedicated to the transformative power of learning. At...

Aurora University

Aurora, Illinois

Aurora University is one of the premier Illinois universities. Its mission statement: “an inclusive community dedicated to the transformative power of learning” is experienced each day in the lives of AU students. Aurora University believes in taking students from where they are to where they want to be by following its core values of integrity, citizenship, continuous learning, and excellence.


AU, a private institution founded in 1893, offers more than 40 undergraduate degree programs. Students who are unsure of an exact major are welcome to start their college career by exploring both classes and volunteer opportunities that interest them. Aurora University gives students time to discover their true passion through general education classes and thoughtful conversations with advisors and professors.

Student Profile

Fall 2014 Enrollment
3,204 undergraduate students
88% of undergrad students are full time
33% male — 67% female
20% of students are from out of state

Faculty Profile

2014-2015 Academic Year
135 full-time faculty
359 part-time faculty
16 to 1 student/faculty ratio

Residence Life

55% of freshman live on campus.

School Location

Aurora, IL


71% of students began in Fall 2013 and returned in Fall 2014 (full time, first time freshmen)


58% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 0%
Hispanic/Latino 23%
Black or African American 9%
White 57%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0%
Asian 2%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 3%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 6%


Division III, 22 varsity sports.
Mascot: Spartan, Colors: Blue and White


Aurora University is a 4-year private institution founded in 1893.

Academic Programs

Students Who Serve

Aurora University students are active members in shaping the community around them. Students complete numerous off-campus internships and take part in service and educational events around campus. This year students participated in “A Day Without Shoes,” where members of the campus community spent a day barefoot to bring awareness to global poverty. AU students also hosted “Sleep out on the Quad” to bring an understanding to the issue of homelessness. Programs like this go beyond classroom learning to engage students with issues within their community and throughout the world. Students take advantage of international and domestic study/travel opportunities during Travel in May to places such as Berlin, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Puerto Rico.

Hands-on Learning

In class, AU students from various majors take advantage of special hands-on learning opportunities. The psychology majors conduct research studies and present their findings to the campus community. Students in the Dunham School of Business gain practical knowledge as well as engage with the local community through the VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program. Aurora University is one of the few universities in Illinois to be licensed by the IRS to be a VITA partner.  Through this program, accounting students prepare tax returns free of charge for taxpayers, including persons who are elderly, low income, individuals with disabilities, and those who are non-English speaking.

Undergraduate Research Conference

A highlight each spring is the Undergraduate Research Conference. Students have the opportunity to explore topics in-depth, and they gain valuable experience presenting to their peers, professors, and surrounding community.

One-on-One Learning

Students looking for expert faculty in small classes, hands-on learning, and a strong academic tradition should strongly consider Aurora University. Professors, whose first priority is teaching, are approachable and know students by name. Aurora students transform themselves through one-on-one learning, off-campus internships and clinical experiences.

Academic Support

Aurora offers students the personalized attention and resources that leads to success.  Phillips Library provides numerous research tools, a knowledgeable staff, a computer lab, and a quiet place to study. Additional assistance is offered in Academic Support Center. Professionals offer free math and writing tutoring as well as peer tutoring for specific courses.

Spartan Cast

One way in which students and faculty engage with the campus community is through the “Spartan Cast,” a student-run digital radio station.
Features include the latest news, events, trends, and popular music, as well as faculty and student podcasts pertaining to campus life and debates on local, global and philosophical issues.

Life Outside the Classroom

Aurora students also get involved outside of the classroom in a growing list of activities. AU offers 22 NCAA Division III men’s and women’s sports, including the most recent addition of women’s bowling. Intramurals sports are also available to those who wish to promote the value of fair play and a healthy lifestyle.

Clubs and Organizations

More than 50 musical, literary, religious, social, and service organizations keep students connected to the campus and local communities. Students can also develop leadership skills in the Aurora University Student Association (AUSA), the student government organization. Students interested in helping determine campus events can join the Activities Programming Board, which plans over 80 events a semester such as concerts, comedy shows, Homecoming, AU Luau, and other such events both on- and off-campus. Students interested in the arts may enjoy singing in the University Chorale or performing in one of the many theatre productions.  

Celebrating Arts and Ideas Series

The Celebrating Arts and Ideas series at AU has brought the campus and community together in appreciation of fine arts and learning. Through music, lectures, museum and art exhibits, film, and theatre, a diverse collection of free events has represented the creative collaboration between community members, businesses and organizations, students, faculty and staff.  The 2015-2016 season brought a variety of lecturers as well as faculty and student theatre productions of “Machinal” and “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”.

Office of Student Employment

In addition to extracurricular activities and artistic events, students engage with the campus and local communities through work. Federal Work-Study jobs and other student employment opportunities on campus not only provide students income, but also the opportunity to network and gain valuable skills for future employment. Students work with the Office of Student Employment to find job postings both on- and off-campus.

My Time After-School Program

An interesting and popular opportunity is the “MyTime After-School Program,” which is a joint venture between AU, the City of Aurora and Communities in Schools. MyTime serves more than 1,000 students from the Aurora elementary and middle schools every afternoon. The free program engages students in positive activities in academics, fine arts, recreation and community service. Approximately 120 AU undergraduate students are employed as activity leaders, building their résumés as they prepare for careers in fields such as education and social work.

Service Learning

The core objectives of an Aurora University education are excellence, integrity, citizenship, and continuous learning. These objectives are proliferated through service learning, which is emphasized throughout each major. Students learn to see the world holistically and are prepared to leave, not only with a degree, but also with the ability to make an impact in the world around them as they become leaders. Hands-on learning is emphasized in all programs by providing students with practical experience in their chosen fields.

Real-World Experience

Education students are immersed in on-site classrooms beginning their sophomore year as well as through student teaching during their last semester of school. Students in the Schools of Nursing and Social Work complete clinical and practicum hours at local hospitals, mental health clinics and schools throughout their undergraduate careers. Athletic training students apply their burgeoning skills by working with student athletes. Through these initiatives and many others available in all programs at AU, students gain real-world experience to compliment and deepen what they learn in the classroom.

Crouse Center for Student Success

Advisors in the Crouse Center for Student Success hold special sessions, as well as individual appointments, to assist students with resume building, interview preparation and job searches. This begins as early as a student’s sophomore year.

Ready to Succeed

AU’s goal is to provide comprehensive professional preparation for today’s competitive job market. Students leave AU with a strong sense of self, their community and the world. Graduates are employed in various fields and carry on the values of Aurora University through their leadership, integrity and commitment to serving others.



2,323 Total Applicants
1,884 Total Admissions
591 Total Freshmen Enrollment

81.10% of applicants admitted


  25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Critical Reading 450 540
SAT Math 460 560
SAT Writing    
ACT Composite 19 24
ACT Math 18 24
ACT English 19 23
ACT Writing    


Aurora considers students for regular freshman admission who meet the following criteria:

  • Graduation from an accredited high school (in a college-preparatory curriculum) or completion of a G.E.D. certificate.
  • GPA of at least a 2.5 on a 4.0 scale
  • ACT composite score of at least 19 on the first or second attempt (with no subscore below a 17) or combined SAT scores of at least 910 (with an English subscore of at least 410).


Aurora University offers an affordable education and will work with students to make their education a reality. 98 percent of full-time Aurora traditional undergraduate students receive financial aid. Merit-based scholarships for incoming students are awarded based on high school or college GPA and ACT or SAT score (for first-year students). More than 23 million dollars in financial aid were awarded in 2014-2015.


Net Price Calculator


Tuition $21,120
Fees $200
Total $21,320
Room and Board (on campus) $10,350
Room Only $5,750
Board Only $4,600
Estimated Total On Campus $31,670


Financial Aid Breakdown 2014-2015

100% of full-time first-time undergraduates receiving any financial aid
70% of full-time first-time undergraduates receiving student loan aid

$14,543 Average amount of federal, state, local, or institutional grant aid received
$6,113 Average amount of student loan aid received by full-time first-time undergraduates