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Higher education

Eastern Illinois University
Eastern Illinois University, home to more than 10,000 students, is well known for its excellence in academics, the arts and athletics. Founded in 1895, the beautiful campus provides diverse architectural styles that reflect the university’s history. 

Eastern Illinois University, located in Charleston, has a rich tradition of preparing students to accomplish their life goals through a great combination of quality academics and personal relationships. 

Consistently ranked in the top third of Midwest universities in its class by U.S. News and World Report, Eastern has earned its reputation by offering a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate programs taught by an experienced and caring faculty. In addition to reasonable tuition, fees, and room and board rates, Eastern offers a textbook rental system, saving the average student hundreds of dollars per semester.

Student graduation and retention rates are well above state and national averages, and that success continues after students earn their degrees – year after year, Eastern ranks high in job placement, alumni satisfaction and employer satisfaction.

Lake Land College
Lake Land College, located on 308 acres just south of Mattoon is a wonderful school and community resource. It offers career programs that lead to immediate employment, transfer programs that lead to baccalaureate degrees, liberal arts, adult education, special job training and retraining programs.

It’s enrollment is 7,400 students from across East Central Illinois and the faculty has received numerous state and national awards for excellence in teaching. Lake Land College is one of the best - and safest - colleges in the United States. Its academic excellence was recognized by the Aspen Institute when it ranked Lake Land in the top 10 percent of all community colleges in the country. In addition, the website named Lake Land the safest college campus in the state of Illinois and the fourth safest campus in the United States.

U of I
The nationally renown University of Illinois, located in Champaign-Urbana, is just 45 minutes to the north. It is a favorite destination to enjoy Illini football, basketball and the arts.

Primary education

Mattoon Community Unit School District #2

Mattoon Community Unit School District #2 supports two new elementary schools grades K-5; a refurbished middle school, grades 6-8; and a renovated high school, grades 9-12.

Mattoon school district report card

Student athletes participate in the Apollo conference, while high school students can earn dual college credit from Lake Land College for specific honors classes.

Charleston Community Unit School District #1

The school district includes learning centers:

Mark Twain: serves preschool and kindergarten students.
Carl Sandburg: Elementary School serves students in first through third grades.
Ashmore Elementary: serves the small community east of Charelston
Jefferson Elementary: School serves children in 4-6 grades
Charleston Middle School: serves children in grades 7-8
Charleston High School: serves children in grades 9-12

Charleston School district report card

There are also private schools in and around the area including:
St. John’s Lutheran School - Mattoon (grades preschool-8th)
Sacred Heart School  - Effingham (grades K-8)
St. Anthony Schools  - Effingham (grades K-12)