Best Online Colleges in Illinois
for 2022

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We Can Help You Find an Online Program in Illinois

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The economy in Illinois is growing; unemployment claims have fallen from a high of 437,800 down to 333,100 between July, 2021 and December, 2021. In June, the state had 6,206,600 employed and in December, this number was around 65,000 higher. You’ll find that, for most employment sectors, employment rose during this time, though financial activities and government both experienced temporary dips.

For instance, the construction industry saw employment go up and dip down, incrementally. Manufacturing saw a percentage change going up—more manufacturing companies were hiring employees toward the end of 2021 than in the middle of the year. Trade, transportation and utilities experienced one of the larger percentage increases; beginning in June, the percentage was 2.9% and, in December, this had increased to 4.1%.

This puts new students and college graduates in a good position to take advantage of a steady, or even expanding, economy. If you have been thinking about taking a break from school or are worried about where the economy in the state will be when you graduate, these numbers might give you the impetus you need to start your college search and find the right institution to get you into the workforce.

Online Higher Education in Illinois


  • What do the enrollment numbers look like for distance learners versus on-campus students?
    Online enrollment is popular in Illinois. For students who are considering enrolling only in online courses, 350,900+ students currently fall into this category. Around 149,800 students have enrolled in some online courses but are also attending courses on-campus for their degree programs. This is out of a total enrollment of 693,740 students attending undergraduate schools, 397,018 who are enrolled in online courses, and 103,713 who have taken at least one graduate course online rather than in-person.

    These numbers illustrate the growing popularity and accessibility of online learning.

  • What are the differences in costs for online students such as those for books, supplies, and more?
    One of the reasons that students are considering online learning more often these days is the fact that these degrees are just as respected as traditional degrees and the difference it can make in the cost of your schooling. Students should, of course, consider the cost of books and supplies when they consider what their financial obligation might be for school.

    In 2021, distance learners paid $1,264 for books and supplies. Students living in campus housing, such as college apartments or dorms, tend to pay more than those students who live off-campus. For online learners, the average living costs for colleges and universities in Illinois was $12,571 for the 2021 academic year. As costs go up for everyone, there is good reason to think about where you can save during your college career.

Our School Rankings Methodology


Our researchers take the task of determining college and university rankings seriously. Taking the numbers and putting them together into an intelligible picture can help students and their parents decide which colleges and universities they want to attend.

Our school rankings use figures for retention rates, admission rates, graduation rates, and graduating salary figures, among others to decide which schools are the best in every category. And, as students read through our rankings, they will soon be able to put together a picture that tells them where they are likely to benefit the most. You already know what you want out of a school subjectively; here you can learn some objective facts that can help you find the school that is right for you.

We collect our data from the most reliable sources. These include educational and government resources such as the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

What are the Best Online Associate & Community College Programs in Illinois?


Community college students may want to earn an associate degree via distance learning if they need to take care of other obligations outside of school, such as work or family. Like students attending four-year colleges or universities, community college students are concerned about the value of their education.

Our college rankings use data from sites such as the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and institutional websites. We question which organizations offer the lowest cost, but we also look for schools with a variety of options, accreditation that will allow your earned credits to easily transfer to a higher-level education, and more. Here you’ll find some of the best online community college programs in the state of Illinois.

Oakton Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Student Population
8,083
Graduation Rate
28%
Net Price
$6,559
Grads Salary
$43,600
William Rainey Harper College
College Type
2-year, Public
Student Population
13,477
Graduation Rate
35%
Net Price
$8,874
Grads Salary
$44,500
Moraine Valley Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Student Population
13,032
Graduation Rate
29%
Net Price
$1,850
Grads Salary
$37,200
Waubonsee Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Student Population
7,564
Graduation Rate
34%
Net Price
$4,059
Grads Salary
$40,300
John Wood Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Student Population
1,881
Graduation Rate
44%
Net Price
$6,601
Grads Salary
$34,000
McHenry County College
College Type
2-year, Public
Student Population
7,814
Graduation Rate
32%
Net Price
$6,768
Grads Salary
$39,400
Carl Sandburg College
College Type
2-year, Public
Student Population
1,925
Graduation Rate
36%
Net Price
$4,030
Grads Salary
$34,800
Lincoln Land Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Student Population
4,977
Graduation Rate
38%
Net Price
$5,495
Grads Salary
$33,300
Triton College
College Type
2-year, Public
Student Population
8,819
Graduation Rate
22%
Net Price
$5,987
Grads Salary
$39,300
Richland Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Student Population
2,846
Graduation Rate
43%
Net Price
$6,067
Grads Salary
$34,400
Full Ranking Report

What are the Best Online Universities & College Programs in Illinois?


One-hundred eighty-five degree-granting online colleges and universities claim Illinois as their home. Many of these schools fall into non-profit status and there are a huge number of public institutions that offer excellent financial aid and low tuition for in-state students.

These schools were ranked using the same criteria as the Illinois community colleges. While in-state students will receive lower tuition rates at many of these schools, 54% of the online only students attending Illinois schools in a recent year were attending from out-of-state. Obviously, if you’re looking for a quality education, Illinois is a great place to start your search.

Northwestern University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Student Population
22,603
Graduation Rate
95%
Net Price
$28,344
Grads Salary
$85,000
University of Illinois Chicago
College Type
4-year, Public
Student Population
33,518
Graduation Rate
63%
Net Price
$12,614
Grads Salary
$74,000
University of St. Francis
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Student Population
3,529
Graduation Rate
60%
Net Price
$16,761
Grads Salary
$81,000
Saint Xavier University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Student Population
3,764
Graduation Rate
56%
Net Price
$13,326
Grads Salary
$76,000
Lewis University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Student Population
6,437
Graduation Rate
70%
Net Price
$20,022
Grads Salary
$72,000
University of Illinois Springfield
College Type
4-year, Public
Student Population
4,146
Graduation Rate
55%
Net Price
$11,628
Grads Salary
$70,000
Northern Illinois University
College Type
4-year, Public
Student Population
16,769
Graduation Rate
48%
Net Price
$14,397
Grads Salary
$73,000
Bradley University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Student Population
5,855
Graduation Rate
76%
Net Price
$25,850
Grads Salary
$71,000
Olivet Nazarene University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Student Population
3,764
Graduation Rate
65%
Net Price
$20,006
Grads Salary
$68,000
Southern Illinois University-Carbondale
College Type
4-year, Public
Student Population
11,366
Graduation Rate
48%
Net Price
$15,638
Grads Salary
$73,000
Full Ranking Report