Online Colleges in Illinois

OnlineSchools.org

Earning your degree from an online college in Illinois can qualify you for more and higher-paying career options. Studying online can save you money in the process. We've designed this guide to help you determine if pursuing an online degree in Illinois is the right choice for you by providing information on the state, the cost of tuition, and tips for finding financial aid.

Higher Learning Initiatives in Illinois

Illinois Online Network

First created in 1997 when there were just a handful of online courses to choose from, the Illinois Online Network was originally a collaboration of 10 community colleges that joined together when it came to distance learning. Today, the entity has 48 participating institutions and works with roughly 2,000 faculty members to provide current and prospective students with the most up-to-date, thorough information in their fields.

Popular Degree Programs in Illinois

You can study just about anything at an online college in Illinois, but every state has fields that are more popular than others. The two fields listed below are the most popular in Illinois and should give you an idea of the kinds of programs available to you.

  • Actuarial Science: Proportionally, more people have actuarial degrees in Illinois than in any other state. If this is a field you are interested in, Illinois is a great place to look for a program.
  • Business Management and Administration: These are the most common degrees in Illinois, and in the U.S. Business degrees have seen an uptick over the last two decades as more high-paying careers are built on white-collar jobs.

Paying for College in Illinois

Tuition is generally the largest portion of college costs, though it is not the only one. By choosing an online college in Illinois, you save on housing and transportation by not living on or driving to campus. You might even avoid paying out-of-state tuition costs since online tuition is generally closer to in-state costs.

Tuition Prices

College isn't cheap in Illinois. As you can see from the table below, four-year colleges are more expensive than the national average, while two-year colleges are about the same. These numbers are averages, so you can expect to find colleges with higher and lower tuition rates.

Average Price for In-State Tuition and Fees by Institution Type, 2017-18

  Public Two Year Public Four Year
Illinois $4,140 $13,970
U.S. Average $4,234 $9,978

Source: College Board

Employment Outlook in Illinois

Illinois has a higher unemployment rate than the national average, but it is still relatively low, meaning jobs aren't much harder to find than in other states. Having a college degree can give graduates access to better-paying jobs in changing state and national economies. Getting your degree from an online college in Illinois is especially helpful if you plan to work there since you can make connections while in school that may help you find work after graduation.

Unemployment rate, August 2018
Illinois 4.3%
United States 3.8%

Source: BLS

Annual Mean Wage, May 2017
Illinois $52,410
United States $50,620

Source: BLS

Accreditation for Colleges in Illinois

Accreditation boards, either regional or national, determine whether a college meets acceptable academic standards. Regional boards, such as the Higher Learning Commission accredit public colleges, while national boards focus on private colleges and some technical schools. A college without accreditation does not meet these standards and is probably a scam. Luckily, colleges with accreditation make it easy to find out which accreditations they have.

When looking at accredited online colleges in Illinois, you may also find programmatic accreditation. This type of accreditation is when a department or program within a college seeks out additional accreditation by a professional organization in the field. These accreditations show a program is held to additional standards. You can still get a perfectly good education from a school without programmatic accreditations, but it is worth looking for when considering where to study. It is important to note that not all majors are subject to such programmatic accreditations.

Scholarships for Illinois Online College Students

Scholarships are a great way to help pay for tuition, as they do not need to be repaid. They are competitive and usually target specific student populations, such as women, students enrolled within a specific major, or residents of a specific county.

Angeline Gale Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Women over the age of 26, who reside in the Naperville area and have a 3.0 GPA can apply. Applicants must be within one year of finishing their first degree.
Amount: $4,000

Apply Here

Billy Smith Memorial Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Resident graduating high school students in northern Illinois with a 3.0 GPA, three or more years of baseball or softball in high school, and an interest in a sports-related degree should apply.
Amount: Varies

Apply Here

BLM Squared Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Illinois resident minority graduating high school students with a 3.0 GPA may apply. The scholarship may be applied to any accredited four-year college or university.
Amount: $1,000

Apply Here

Bruce Fishkin Scholarship Fund

Who Can Apply: Resident high school seniors in the Chicago area with a 3.0 GPA or better and a 22 on the ACT or 1100 on the SAT who intend to pursue a bachelor's degree within the U.S. may apply.
Amount: Varies

Apply Here

Carle Auxiliary Health Care Career College Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Illinois residents who have been accepted into a degree or certificate granting healthcare program at an accredited college may apply. Priority is given to full-time students.
Amount: Varies

Apply Here

Carolyn Wones Recruitment Grant

Who Can Apply: Women graduating from a high school in Boone or Winnebago counties who are interested in a career in secondary education and show academic potential can apply for this grant. Amount: Varies

Apply Here

Chicago Coalition for the Homeless Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Graduating high school seniors in the Chicago area who are graduating despite experiencing homelessness can apply.
Amount: Varies

Apply Here

Chicago Engineers Foundation Awards for Graduating HS Seniors

Who Can Apply: Graduating high school seniors who live in or attend school in Chicago may apply. They must have a minimum 2.5 GPA, an ACT score of 21 or an SAT score of 990, and plan to study engineering.
Amount: Up to $1,400

Apply Here

Era L. and Frances L. Walker Scholarship

Who Can Apply: African-American men graduating from a high school in the Rockford public school system with a 2.9 GPA and involvement in community service may apply.
Amount: Varies

Apply Here

Resources for Students in Illinois

  • Free Application for Federal Student Aid: Submitting a FAFSA should be your first step when looking for financial aid. Doing so allows you to qualify for financial aid from the United States Department of Education and is required for many college applications. States and other sources of financial aid also tend to require you to submit a FAFSA.
  • Illinois Board of Higher Education: Created to manage and organize the growing state university system, the IBHE offers a wealth of information to students considering higher education in the state. You can learn about the goals and affairs of the board as well as policy information and data related to enrollment.
  • Illinois State Website: This is a valuable resource for anyone who lives, works, or studies in Illinois. Whether you want to get a driver's license, see how to qualify as a resident, or learn about taxes, it's worth giving this site a look before you enroll at an online college in Illinois.
  • The Federation of Independent Illinois Colleges and Universities: This organization is one of the oldest of its type in the country, and represents private, non-profit institutions of higher education in Illinois. If you are interested in attending a private college, you can find information here that will help you make that decision.
  • Illinois Education Association: Though a professional organization of educators within the state, the IEA is heavily invested in the state of education at all levels within Illinois. They offer a wealth of resources of use not only to members but to students and parents as well.

Online Schools in Illinois

Aurora University

Aurora, IL


  • Graduation Rate: 52%
  • Average Net Price: $16,548

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Benedictine University

Lisle, IL


  • Graduation Rate: 53%
  • Average Net Price: $19,916

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Concordia University-Chicago

River Forest, IL


  • Graduation Rate: 49%
  • Average Net Price: $18,318

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DePaul University

Chicago, IL


  • Graduation Rate: 68%
  • Average Net Price: $27,125

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Eastern Illinois University

Charleston, IL


  • Graduation Rate: 60%
  • Average Net Price: $17,274

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Governors State University

University Park, IL


  • Graduation Rate: 40%
  • Average Net Price: $15,146

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Greenville College

Greenville, IL


  • Graduation Rate: 54%
  • Average Net Price: $19,323

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Illinois Institute of Technology

Chicago, IL


  • Graduation Rate: 68%
  • Average Net Price: $19,807

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Judson University

Elgin, IL


  • Graduation Rate: 50%
  • Average Net Price: $19,795

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Lewis University

Romeoville, IL


  • Graduation Rate: 59%
  • Average Net Price: $17,477

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Lincoln Christian University

Lincoln, IL


  • Graduation Rate: 45%
  • Average Net Price: $18,312

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Loyola University Chicago

Chicago, IL


  • Graduation Rate: 70%
  • Average Net Price: $28,760

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MacMurray College

Jacksonville, IL


  • Graduation Rate: 36%
  • Average Net Price: $17,839

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McKendree University

Lebanon, IL


  • Graduation Rate: 49%
  • Average Net Price: $17,125

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Moody Bible Institute

Chicago, IL


  • Graduation Rate: 62%
  • Average Net Price: $21,242

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Morthland College

West Frankfort, IL


  • Graduation Rate: N/A
  • Average Net Price: $17,642

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Northern Illinois University

DeKalb, IL


  • Graduation Rate: 54%
  • Average Net Price: $19,937

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National Louis University

Chicago, IL


  • Graduation Rate: 44%
  • Average Net Price: $13,702

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North Park University

Chicago, IL


  • Graduation Rate: 56%
  • Average Net Price: $17,845

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National University of Health Sciences

Lombard, IL


  • Graduation Rate: N/A
  • Average Net Price: $N/,A

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Olivet Nazarene University

Bourbonnais, IL


  • Graduation Rate: 57%
  • Average Net Price: $17,650

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Quincy University

Quincy, IL


  • Graduation Rate: 56%
  • Average Net Price: $16,704

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Roosevelt University

Chicago, IL


  • Graduation Rate: 42%
  • Average Net Price: $24,252

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Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing

Peoria, IL


  • Graduation Rate: %
  • Average Net Price: $18,850

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Southern Illinois University-Carbondale

Carbondale, IL


  • Graduation Rate: 48%
  • Average Net Price: $17,014

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Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville

Edwardsville, IL


  • Graduation Rate: 52%
  • Average Net Price: $17,042

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University of St Francis

Joliet, IL


  • Graduation Rate: 56%
  • Average Net Price: $16,739

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St. John's College-Department of Nursing

Springfield, IL


  • Graduation Rate: N/A
  • Average Net Price: N/A

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Saint Xavier University

Chicago, IL


  • Graduation Rate: 54%
  • Average Net Price: $16,990

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Trinity International University-Illinois

Deerfield, IL


  • Graduation Rate: 55%
  • Average Net Price: $20,128

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University of Illinois at Chicago

Chicago, IL


  • Graduation Rate: 58%
  • Average Net Price: $16,515

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University of Illinois at Springfield

Springfield, IL


  • Graduation Rate: 47%
  • Average Net Price: $10,198

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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Champaign, IL


  • Graduation Rate: 84%
  • Average Net Price: $17,932

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Western Illinois University

Macomb, IL


  • Graduation Rate: 54%
  • Average Net Price: $19,207

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