Guide to Online Colleges in Illinois for 2017

When the Illinois Public Agenda for College and Career Success was established in 2010, online colleges in Illinois improved drastically. Now students have more options than ever before to enroll in a distance-learning program in this state. Online learning is a great way for people with hectic schedules to receive a quality education. The growth of online options has also attracted many students outside of Illinois. Of the students who attend a higher education institution in Illinois, 10.1% of them are enrolled fully online. Of this percentage, 72.5% are undergraduates, and 39.7% are in-state students.

Students have access to Illinois Community Colleges Online, which is a database of courses and programs at community colleges in Illinois. This organization also offers valuable resources to new distance learners. The effects of this group of community colleges extend to colleges throughout Illinois. These colleges benefit from Illinois Community Colleges Online’s resources and support and receive training to improve online programs.

Online learners also flock to online colleges in Illinois because of the Midwestern Higher Education Compact. Illinois and 11 other states have partnered to provide students with affordable and accessible education throughout the region. This means out-of-state students pay lower tuition rates, nearly equalling in-state tuition in any of these states. This is a crucial component when considering which online college you will attend. Students need to find the price that is right.

Here are the top Online Colleges in Illinois

1. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

online_colleges_in_illinois

Dori/commons.wikimedia.org/

  • Graduation Rate: 84%
  • Tuition & Fees: $15,020
  • Accreditation: The Higher Learning Commission
  • City: Champaign
  • School Type: Public, 4-year or above
  • Degree Levels: Bachelor’s Degree, Certificate, Doctoral Degree, Master’s Degree, Post-Master’s Certificate

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers more than 75 online degree, certificate, and endorsement programs. One notable program at this university is the bachelor’s in liberal arts and sciences, which is available to transfer students.  An online degree is appealing, but it is not for everyone. While that is true, many students have great use for an online course or two during their college experience. For these students, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers 800 online courses, which 2.6 million Massive Open Online Course learners are enrolled in. If that isn’t enough reason to enroll today, let us give you one more. Students who enroll today join a university that has educated 23 Pulitzer Prize-winners, such as Roger Ebert and George F. Will.

2. DePaul University

online_colleges_in_illinois

Just/commons.wikimedia.org/

  • Graduation Rate: 68%
  • Tuition & Fees: $29,770
  • Accreditation: The Higher Learning Commission
  • City: River Forest
  • School Type: Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above
  • Degree Levels: Bachelor’s Degree, Certificate, Doctoral Degree, Master’s Degree, Post-Master’s Certificate

Before we get to the online programs at DePaul University, let’s mention that DePaul has one of the best game design programs and is one of the best film schools in the USA. A top-notch faculty gives students the push they need to become successful after college. 90% of students who graduate from this university are either employed, moving on in higher education, or not seeking employment the first six months after they graduate. Online bachelor’s degrees include communication, computer science, psychology, and computing.

3. Loyola University Chicago

online_colleges_in_illinois

Amerique/commons.wikimedia.org/

  • Graduation Rate: 70%
  • Tuition & Fees: $37,412
  • Accreditation: The Higher Learning Commission
  • City: Chicago
  • School Type: Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above
  • Degree Levels: Bachelor’s Degree, Certificate, Doctoral Degree, Master’s Degree, Post-Bachelor’s Certificate, Post-Master’s Certificate

Students enjoy an intimate class setting thanks to a 14:1 student-to-faculty ratio at Loyola University Chicago. Nursing, applied studies, psychology, criminal justice, information technology, and management are the degree programs that students can complete fully online. Students have access to resources that will support them, creating an environment that almost feels like it’s on-campus.

4. Eastern Illinois University

online_colleges_in_illinois

Nyttend/commons.wikimedia.org/

  • Graduation Rate: 60%
  • Tuition & Fees: $11,108
  • Accreditation: The Higher Learning Commission
  • City: Charleston
  • School Type: Public, 4-year or above
  • Degree Levels: Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree, Post-Bachelor’s Certificate, Post-Master’s Certificate

Like Loyola University Chicago, Eastern Illinois University also has a 14:1 faculty-to-student ratio. Students can complete programs in general students, psychology, organization and professional development, and RN-to-BSN fully online. One of the well-known online programs at this university is the general studies degree. The program is catered to people 25-years or older, and they must have their associate’s degree to enroll in this program. EIU has partnered with many community colleges to make this one of the best childcare programs in the state.

5. The University of Illinois at Chicago

online_colleges_in_illinois

Hied5/commons.wikimedia.org/

  • Graduation Rate: 58%
  • Tuition & Fees: $13,634
  • Accreditation: The Higher Learning Commission
  • City: Chicago
  • School Type: Public, 4-year or above
  • Degree Levels: Bachelor’s Degree, Post-Bachelor’s Certificate, Doctoral Degree, Post-Master’s Certificate, Master’s Degree

Besides its excellent online programs, the University of Illinois at Chicago is known for its research in cancer detection, wound healing, and climate change. Several of the brightest students in the nation take part in that research. You may not engage in such research, but there are 15 bachelor’s programs you can complete fully online. These include business administration, English, and mathematical sciences. There are also bachelor’s degree completion programs (meaning you must have an associate’s degree to enroll) in nursing and health information management.

6. The University of St. Francis

online_colleges_in_illinois

Smallbones/commons.wikimedia.org/

  • Graduation Rate: 56%
  • Tuition & Fees: $28,790
  • Accreditation: The Higher Learning Commission
  • City: Joliet
  • School Type: Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above
  • Degree Levels: Bachelor’s Degree, Certificate, Doctoral Degree, Master’s Degree, Post-Bachelor’s Certificate, Post-Master’s Certificate

The University of St. Francis offers more than 120 online programs. Of these programs, business administration, RN-to-BSN, and healthcare leadership are a few that students can complete fully online. However, one must have an associate’s degree to complete the RN-to-BSN degree online. Students can contact their professors through a discussion forum, which is easy to navigate. If the students need any help with technical issues, they can communicate with the help desk anytime via email or phone.

7. Olivet Nazarene University

online_colleges_in_illinois

http://www.olivet.edu/campus-map/

  • Graduation Rate: 57%
  • Tuition & Fees: $31,390
  • Accreditation: The Higher Learning Commission
  • City: Bourbonnais
  • School Type: Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above
  • Degree Levels: Associate’s Degree, Bachelor’s Degree, Doctoral Degree, Master’s Degree

Olivet Nazarene University is a private, Christian university that offers undergraduate degrees, degree completion programs, and graduate degrees online. The options alone make it one of the best online colleges in Illinois. Students can complete programs such as business administration and RN-to-BSN completely online in two years or less. If you want to finish your degree online but still want to be involved with on-campus activities, then you can choose from more than 100 organizations to join.

8. Western Illinois University

online_colleges_in_illinois

Hedrich Blessing Photographers/commons.wikimedia.org/

  • Graduation Rate: 54%
  • Tuition & Fees: $12,217
  • Accreditation: The Higher Learning Commission
  • City: Malcomb
  • School Type: Public, 4-year or above
  • Degree Levels: Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree, Doctoral Degree, Post-Bachelor’s Certificate

Western Illinois University was established in 1899 and has come very far since its establishment. The school is best known for its law enforcement and justice administration, biology, and agriculture degrees. However, as far as online degrees go, WIU offers general studies, nursing, instructional design and technology, and elementary education programs as well as an MBA. There are also many online minor programs such as fire administration, anthropology, management, women’s studies, computer-mediated communication, marketing, computer science, economics, and pre-MBA.

9. Northern Illinois University

online_colleges_in_illinois

Christopher Schmidt/flickr.com/

  • Graduation Rate: 54%
  • Tuition & Fees: $13,505
  • Accreditation: The Higher Learning Commission
  • City: Dekalb
  • School Type: Public, 4-year or above
  • Degree Levels: Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree, Doctoral Degree, Post-Master’s Certificate

There are about 19,000 students at Northern Illinois University, and many of these student are enrolled in online classes. Students can complete their courses through the Blackboard educational platform. Online programs include management, health and human services, and manufacturing and engineering technology. Distance learners do not need to worry about getting confused during their courses. They have tools like academic advising, tutoring, and career services available to them. It is easy to transfer credits to a bachelor’s program online at NIU.

10. Aurora University

online_colleges_in_illinois

https://www.aurora.edu/about/mission-history.html#.WaSYgsiGPIU

  • Graduation Rate: 52%
  • Tuition & Fees: $21,320
  • Accreditation: The Higher Learning Commission
  • City: Aurora
  • School Type: Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above
  • Degree Levels: Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree, Doctoral Degree, Post-Master’s Certificate, Post-Bachelor’s Certificate

Aurora University is one of the best online colleges in Illinois in-part due to its excellent faculty. Professors at this university are dedicated to the transformative power of learning. If you choose Aurora, you choose flexibility and interactivity. Courses are 5-8 weeks long and are offered all year. Students can complete online degrees in business administration, computer science, general studies, social work, RN-to-BSN, and criminal justice. These degrees require two years of work experience or military service. This is another university that it is easy to transfer credits to.

11. Benedictine University

online_colleges_in_illinois

Pbrozynski/commons.wikimedia.org/

  • Graduation Rate: 53%
  • Tuition & Fees: $26,558
  • Accreditation: The Higher Learning Commission
  • City: Lisle
  • School Type: Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above
  • Degree Levels: Associate’s Degree, Bachelor’s Degree, Certificate, Doctoral Degree, Master’s Degree, Post-Bachelor’s Certificate

Benedictine University focuses on scholarship, service, truth, and justice. You can become a part of this culture through various online programs. These programs and courses can be completed in any order. Students can transfer 90 credits to a bachelor’s in management or organizational leadership online. Ben U offers a complimentary success strategies course that helps students master the online format. They also provide 24/7 technical support to students.

12. Quincy University

online_colleges_in_illinois

http://www.quincy.edu/

  • Graduation Rate: 56%
  • Tuition & Fees: $26,572
  • Accreditation: The Higher Learning Commission
  • City: Quincy
  • School Type: Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above
  • Degree Levels: Associate’s Degree, Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree

About 92 percent of graduates from Quincy University find a job or start graduate school six months after they receive their degree. This fact, as well as many others, makes this university one of the best online colleges in Illinois. 98 percent of students receive some financial aid. There are 40 undergraduate and four graduate programs that can be taken online. Quincy also offers degree completion programs that can be taken fully online. Students use Moodle to complete their courses.

13. Judson University

online_colleges_in_illinois

RSchulenburg/commons.wikimedia.org/

  • Graduation Rate: 50%
  • Tuition & Fees: $27,530
  • Accreditation: The Higher Learning Commission
  • City: Elgin
  • School Type: Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above
  • Degree Levels: Bachelor’s Degree, Certificate Master’s Degree, Doctoral Degree, Post-Bachelor’s Certificate

Judson University is a Christian university that incorporates Christian teachings and values into its programs. Students can enjoy an intimate class setting thanks to a 10:1 student-to-faculty ratio. Online degrees include business administration, applied psychology, and human services. Students do not have to worry about the affordability of these programs. 99 percents of students receive some financial aid. Online students also have many options when it comes to internships and study abroad opportunities.  

14. McKendree University

online_colleges_in_illinois

Robert Lawton/commons.wikimedia.org/

  • Graduation Rate: 49%
  • Tuition & Fees: $26,900
  • Accreditation: The Higher Learning Commission
  • City: Lebanon
  • School Type: Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above
  • Degree Levels: Associate’s Degree, Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree, Doctoral Degree, Post-Master’s Certificate

McKendree University may be the oldest college in Illinois, but that doesn’t mean it is outdated in its online options. Graduates from this university typically go into careers in business, politics, and public service. Online programs are created by the excellent faculty, and they go through an extensive peer-review. Each distance learner has an academic advisor as well as access to tutoring and writing support services. You will get your money’s worth at McKendree, as the school is one of the best for lifetime return-on-investment.

15. Concordia University-Chicago

online_colleges_in_illinois

https://www.cuchicago.edu/experience/

  • Graduation Rate: 49%
  • Tuition & Fees: $28,718
  • Accreditation: The Higher Learning Commission
  • City: River Forest
  • School Type: Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above
  • Degree Levels: Bachelor’s Degree, Post-Bachelor’s Certificate, Doctoral Degree, Master’s Degree, Post-Master’s Certificate

Concordia University-Chicago is a school that is affiliated with the Lutheran church. Concordia University-Chicago stands out amongst online colleges in Illinois because of its accelerated undergraduate degree programs. Fully online bachelor’s degrees include organizational management, sports and recreation, and management information systems. Students can get a head start on their education if they have prior experiences like workshops, corporate training, or military training. Distance learners always have access to assignments, books, and discussions. 100 percent of student receive some financial aid.

16. Elmhurst College

online_colleges_in_illinois

Cornelius Koelewijn/commons.wikimedia.org/

  • Graduation Rate: 67%
  • Tuition & Fees: $33,950
  • Accreditation: The Higher Learning Commission
  • City: Elmhurst
  • School Type: Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above
  • Degree Levels: Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree

Online students enrolled at Elmhurst College can access everything they need on Elmhurst College Online Center. They can also use services such as tutoring and career services. Students can complete courses fully online or simply take a few courses online. Distance learners improve upon what they already know or learn something new at Elmhurst.

17. Greenville College

online_colleges_in_illinois

Nyttend/commons.wikimedia.org/

  • Graduation Rate: 54%
  • Tuition & Fees: $24,360
  • Accreditation: The Higher Learning Commission
  • City: Greenville
  • School Type: Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above
  • Degree Levels: Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree

When you graduate from Greenville College, it is more likely than not that you will move on to your next goal. 98 percent of students are employed in nine months or fewer after graduation. This is due in-part to the excellent network students are a part of when they enroll at Greenville College. Degrees a Greenville include business administration, criminal justice, organizational leadership, and health psychology. You don’t have to have a high school diploma to earn college credits at Greenville. High school students can enroll in online courses and start earning credits.

18. National Louis University

online_colleges_in_illinois

Diego Delso/commons.wikimedia.org/

  • Graduation Rate: 44%
  • Tuition & Fees: $12,867
  • Accreditation: The Higher Learning Commission
  • City: Chicago
  • School Type: Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above
  • Degree Levels: Bachelor’s Degree, Doctoral Degree, Master’s Degree, Post-Bachelor’s Certificate, Post-Master’s Certificate

National Louis University is another university on this list that has been around for quite some time. Throughout its history, it has been amongst the best colleges in Illinois. Now, with advancing technology, the school continues to impress with their online programs. These programs include applied communications, business administration, criminal justice, healthcare leadership, human services, and management information systems.

19. Lincoln Christian University

online_colleges_in_illinois

https://legacy.lincolnchristian.edu/about-us/sites.php

  • Graduation Rate: 45%
  • Tuition & Fees: $16,050
  • Accreditation: The Higher Learning Commission
  • City: Lincoln
  • School Type: Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above
  • Degree Levels: Associate’s Degree, Bachelor’s Degree, Certificate, Doctoral Degree, Master’s Degree

About 20 percent of the student population at Lincoln Christian University complete their degrees online. This demographic alone shows that Lincoln Christian is one of the best online colleges in Illinois. Students can earn their degree fully online in programs such as Bible studies, business administration, Christian ministry, and psychology. Students at LCU typically receive some sort of financial aid and tuition is quite affordable.

20. Governors State University

online_colleges_in_illinois

http://www.govst.edu/Academics/Colleges_and_Programs/

  • Graduation Rate: 40%
  • Tuition & Fees: $9,386
  • Accreditation: The Higher Learning Commission
  • City: University Park
  • School Type: Public, 4-year or above
  • Degree Levels: Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree, Post-Master’s Certificate, Post-Bachelor’s Certificate

Governors State University offers more than 120 online and hybrid classes per semester. On top of that, there are two fully online degree programs: interdisciplinary studies and nursing. Governors State is associated with 17 Chicagoland community colleges. Because of this partnership, transferring credits to this university is simple.

The Ranking Process:

We ranked these colleges based on their graduation rates. It’s obvious that the most important thing you get from college is a degree. We focused on the colleges that are successful in getting students to that stage while mom and dad take pictures. We also ranked the schools based on the annual cost and the number of degree types they offer. We provided the location, school type, and accreditation of each college; however, they are all accredited, and they are all 4-year universities.

If your school is on this list, and you would like to update or edit your information, please contact us. If your school did not make the list, please contact us for consideration for future lists.