Best Colleges in Illinois

Illinois College Guide – What You Need to Know

The best colleges and universities in Illinois also happen to be some of the best in the nation. The Chicago area is home to Northwestern University, the University of Chicago, and University of Illinois at Chicago, to name just three of the top schools. When you venture out of that sprawling megalopolis, you'll find countless opportunities for post-secondary education, including the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Wheaton College, and Bradley University.

Illinois not only has great universities, but it also has excellent opportunities that await its graduates. After you toss your cap in the air, there are plenty of employers waiting to snap you up for their management training programs, entry-level positions, and more. You can start off in the Chicago area, which is home to many Fortune 500 companies, top financial firms, and countless small businesses. Alternatively, you could take your world-class degree anywhere your heart desires. Illinois' fantastic opportunities will be waiting when you return.

What are the most popular bachelor's degrees offered in Illinois?

Illinois, the Land of Lincoln, is home to the United States' third largest city, borders a Great Lake, and grows tons of grains across its expansive plains. Bachelor's degrees in Illinois are also plentiful and you can study nearly anything you wish at one of the state's many public and private universities. Since Chicago is a hub of finance, the most popular bachelor's degrees include business, finance, and accounting. However, engineering is also strong in Illinois, as are health sciences.

Top Majors in Illinois

Education Level & National Average Median Compensation


NO FORMAL EDUCATION HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA ASSOCIATE DEGREE BACHELOR’S DEGREE MASTER’S DEGREE DOCTORAL DEGREE
$30,784* $38,792* $46,124* $64,896* $77,844* $96,772*

Best Associate Degrees in Illinois


In Illinois, students can choose amongst nearly 50 public community colleges that offer associate degrees in various educational arenas. You can find amazing two-year degree programs all over the state. For those interested in the top associate programs in Illinois, look for degrees in nursing, engineering, biology, social work, liberal arts, business, or social and behavioral sciences. No matter your interests. It’s never a bad idea to start out with an associate degree.

Fox College
College Type
2-year, Private for-profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
451
Graduation Rate
78%
Net Price
$13,195
Grads Salary
$33,500
Coyne College
College Type
2-year, Private for-profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
530
Graduation Rate
61%
Net Price
$18,373
Grads Salary
$37,700
Frontier Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
1,719
Graduation Rate
72%
Net Price
$7,152
Grads Salary
$26,600
Oakton Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
8,083
Graduation Rate
28%
Net Price
$6,559
Grads Salary
$38,500
Elgin Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
9,931
Graduation Rate
42%
Net Price
$4,159
Grads Salary
$32,300
Olney Central College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
1,034
Graduation Rate
59%
Net Price
$7,580
Grads Salary
$29,500
Wabash Valley College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
2,646
Graduation Rate
61%
Net Price
$6,040
Grads Salary
$27,800
William Rainey Harper College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
13,477
Graduation Rate
35%
Net Price
$8,874
Grads Salary
$37,300
Kishwaukee College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
3,060
Graduation Rate
41%
Net Price
$7,324
Grads Salary
$34,100
Moraine Valley Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
13,032
Graduation Rate
29%
Net Price
$1,850
Grads Salary
$33,700
Full Ranking Report

Best Bachelor's Degrees in Illinois


Consistently, the best colleges in Illinois offering a variety of majors in which you can earn a bachelor’s degree. Keep in mind that effective and influential bachelor’s degree programs can be found at over a dozen higher learning institutions in Illinois. Here you can see which one will be the right fit for you. The top bachelor’s programs in Illinois include business, education, research, digital forensics and internet security, management, marketing, biological and biomedical sciences, health professions and, psychology.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
52,679
Graduation Rate
86%
Net Price
$13,517
Grads Salary
$78,700
Northwestern University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
22,448
Graduation Rate
95%
Net Price
$28,344
Grads Salary
$83,800
University of Illinois Chicago
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
33,518
Graduation Rate
63%
Net Price
$12,614
Grads Salary
$73,400
University of St. Francis
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
3,529
Graduation Rate
60%
Net Price
$16,761
Grads Salary
$79,200
University of Chicago
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
17,452
Graduation Rate
96%
Net Price
$36,584
Grads Salary
$81,500
Saint Xavier University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
3,623
Graduation Rate
56%
Net Price
$13,326
Grads Salary
$76,000
Principia College
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
407
Graduation Rate
75%
Net Price
$15,630
Grads Salary
$65,600
Lewis University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
6,359
Graduation Rate
70%
Net Price
$20,022
Grads Salary
$71,100
University of Illinois Springfield
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
4,146
Graduation Rate
55%
Net Price
$11,628
Grads Salary
$68,800
Northern Illinois University
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
16,609
Graduation Rate
48%
Net Price
$14,397
Grads Salary
$72,200
Full Ranking Report