8 Best Online Colleges In Illinois

What jobs are in the highest demand in Illinois? Maybe the time is right for you to jump in on one of these careers.

Updated August 22, 2022

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8 Best Online Colleges In Illinois

Are you ready to find your fit?

College Degrees From the State of Illinois

Considering an Online Degree in Illinois, then you probably know that online school has become the future of education.

With online education you can study and work at your own pace, you don’t have to worry about lecture halls filling up, and you can save a tremendous amount of money. In recent years, Illinois has emerged as a leader in distance education.

What kind of Online College in Illinois should you attend?

Let's settle something right off the bat: does it matter where an online college is located? Well, for one, at a public school that offers online degrees, in-state students often save money on tuition. So if you’re an Illinois resident, it would make sense to start your search for online colleges in your home state.

Secondly, even if you’re studying remotely, one of the biggest benefits to college besides the education itself is developing networks of people you can work and collaborate with. So it’s worth considering where your networks will be located.

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How much money can you make with a degree from an Online College in Illinois?

For starters, Illinois has a GDP of $775 million, which means that if the state were its own country, it would have the 17th biggest economy of any country in the world. And as a home to many of the biggest corporations in America, headquarters to numerous key financial institutions, and the location of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Illinois is a great choice for people looking for opportunities to grow in their career.

According to Payscale.com, Illinois residents who have their Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degrees earn on average between $58k and $66k per year. Folks who have gone on to earn a Master of Science degree jump to an average annual salary of $73k.

What can you do with a degree from an Online College in Illinois?

These days, you're bound to find the degree of your dreams in an online format. As you'll witness below, Illinois programs have some of the best online selections in the country. Is your dream to become a teacher? An criminal forensics specialist? An accountant? You’ll find all of these—and more—through distance education in Illinois.

Another possible approach to your career is to read the market. What jobs are in the highest demand in Illinois? Over at Zippia.com, they’ve narrowed in on the top 10 fastest growing professions in the state. Maybe the time is right for you to jump in on one of these careers. Here’s a quick look at a few of them:

  • Computer Systems Analyst
  • Veterinary Technician
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Nurse Practitioner

What are the Best Online Colleges in Illinois?

With that settled, take a look at our list below of Illinois’ Best Online Colleges. Some of these schools have different emphases, but what they all share is a commitment to quality. Academic quality is a key component of our rankings, and as such, is the most important part of each college’s score. But we’ve also considered return on investment, or in other words, how much you’ll get out for what you put in. To do this, we compared the net cost of completing a degree at each institution to how much money a graduate can expect to make early on in their career. That way, you’ll be able to consider whether it’s worth it to actually get the degree.

So without further ado, here are the Best Online Colleges in Illinois!

Rankings

See our rankings methodology page.

#1 8 Best Online Colleges In Illinois

The University of Illinois Chicago

  • Chicago, IL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The University of Illinois Chicago guarantees flexibility through its online programs. Students can choose from one of 14 online degrees and join its 7,719-person virtual community.

Enrollees benefit from a supportive learning community, while connecting with colleagues and faculty through a virtual classroom environment. The school's programs provide a well-rounded education, with foundational and advanced classes. Throughout the course of their studies, participants can seek guidance from academic advising, career services, and other learning resources.

Interested applicants can schedule a meeting with the admissions office to discuss application materials, admission requirements, and other information. Learners seeking to defray educational costs can meet with the financial aid office to explore funding opportunities. The institution notes that 78% of incoming students receive financial assistance.

Average Tuition
In-state
$11,924
Out-of-state
$26,224
Retention Rate
79%
Admission Rate
73%
Students Enrolled
32,324
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
24% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#2 8 Best Online Colleges In Illinois

The University of Illinois Springfield

  • Springfield, IL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

As a public college, the University of Illinois Springfield provides many different learning opportunities to 3,006 online students across 32 virtual programs.

Degree-seekers benefit from a supportive online learning community, where they connect with peers and faculty through a virtual classroom setting. Participants complete general education and advanced coursework, satisfy curriculum requirements, and pursue experiential learning opportunities relevant to their field. Enrollees also receive guidance from academic advising, career services, and other resources.

Prospective applicants can meet with the admissions office to discuss enrollment requirements, application materials, and other information. The college makes internal and external funding opportunities available to learners, with 96% of all enrollees receiving aid. According to the college, 96% of all incoming students receive financial assistance.

Average Tuition
In-state
$9,520
Out-of-state
$15,948
Retention Rate
79%
Admission Rate
77%
Students Enrolled
4,275
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
70% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#3 8 Best Online Colleges In Illinois

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

  • Champaign, IL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a wise choice for students seeking flexible online study. To date, the institution supports 33 online programs, reaching 20,199 remote learners.

Upon enrolling, degree-seekers connect with peers, faculty, and staff through a virtual classroom setting. Participants gain the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in their field through classes, internships, and other learning opportunities. Enrollees can connect with career services, academic advising, and other learning resources to receive guidance during their studies.

Those interested in applying should meet with the admissions office to discuss application materials and admission requirements. Eligible students can apply scholarships, fellowships, and federal aid toward their learning expenses. Around 64% of all incoming enrollees receive some form of financial assistance.

Average Tuition
In-state
$14,188
Out-of-state
$33,127
Retention Rate
93%
Admission Rate
59%
Students Enrolled
51,605
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
39% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#4 8 Best Online Colleges In Illinois

Western Illinois University

  • Macomb, IL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

People seeking a premier distance learning education should consider Western Illinois University. The institution supports 3,688 online students across numerous learning tracks.

Learners attend lectures and complete coursework through a virtual classroom environment, alongside their peers and faculty members. Enrollees complete general and advanced coursework, with the option to modify classes and select electives, minors, and concentrations. Throughout their program, participants can connect with academic advising, career services, and other institutional resources to prepare them for success after college.

Interested applicants can meet with the admissions office to discuss degree requirements and eligibility. Qualified students can benefit from scholarships, fellowships, and other forms of financial assistance. The college reports that 88% of learners receive some form of financial aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$8,627
Out-of-state
$8,627
Retention Rate
67%
Admission Rate
57%
Students Enrolled
7,624
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
48% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#5 8 Best Online Colleges In Illinois

Loyola University Chicago

  • Chicago, IL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Loyola University Chicago offers a premier online education, guaranteeing flexibility for people from all walks of life. The private institution supports seven programs from its main campus in Chicago, Illinois, attracting 2,521 distance learners across the globe.

Students attend remote lectures and learn alongside peers through a virtual classroom setting. Enrollees gain industry-relevant knowledge through coursework, internships, and other learning opportunities. Degree-seekers also receive guidance from academic advising, career services, and other resources.

Interested applicants should meet with the admissions office to learn more about program requirements. Students can meet with the financial aid office to explore funding opportunities, such as scholarships, fellowships, and federal aid. Of all learners, 99% benefit from some kind of financial assistance.

Average Tuition
In-state
$44,105
Out-of-state
$44,105
Retention Rate
85%
Admission Rate
67%
Students Enrolled
17,159
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
15% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#6 8 Best Online Colleges In Illinois

McKendree University

  • Lebanon, IL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

McKendree University provides flexible online study options for people from all walks of life. To date, the institution supports 22 online programs, reaching 1,067 remote degree-seekers.

Distance learners join a supportive online community, connecting with peers and faculty through a virtual classroom setting. While enrolled, students gain industry-relevant knowledge through coursework, internships, and other learning opportunities. Enrollees can also access institutional resources, such as career services and academic advising, to receive academic and career guidance.

To discuss admission requirements, degree eligibility, and other information, applicants should meet with the admissions office. To offset the costs of a degree, learners can inquire about funding opportunities through the financial aid department. The college reports that 100% of the student body receives financial assistance.

Average Tuition
In-state
$30,540
Out-of-state
$30,540
Retention Rate
75%
Admission Rate
63%
Students Enrolled
2,292
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
47% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#7 8 Best Online Colleges In Illinois

Concordia University Chicago

  • River Forest, IL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

From its main campus in River Forest, Concordia University Chicago provides 58 top-ranked online programs to 4,222 distance learners from all over.

Upon enrolling, students connect with classmates, faculty, and staff through a virtual learning environment. Enrollees complete general and advanced coursework, with the option to modify classes and select electives, minors, and concentrations. Throughout their studies, participants can access career services, academic advising, and other institutional resources.

Prospective applicants can connect with the admissions office, or speak with their program of choice directly, to learn more about the application process. Depending on eligibility, degree-seekers can apply for scholarships, fellowships, and other financial aid awards to offset the costs of study. According to the college, 100% of all incoming students receive financial assistance of some kind.

Average Tuition
In-state
$31,926
Out-of-state
$31,926
Retention Rate
62%
Admission Rate
75%
Students Enrolled
6,205
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
68% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#8 8 Best Online Colleges In Illinois

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

  • Edwardsville, IL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville is a wise choice for individuals seeking flexible online study. The public college provides learning opportunities to 3,306 remote degree-seekers across ten online programs.

Students attend online lectures and learn alongside peers through a virtual classroom setting. Distance learners benefit from well-rounded curricula, complete foundational and advanced classes, and pursue experiential opportunities such as internships. The college can connect enrollees with academic advising, career services, and other institutional resources.

Those seeking to apply should connect with the financial aid office or their program of interest to learn about degree requirements, application materials, and other information. Learners can meet with the financial aid office to explore scholarships, fellowships, and other aid packages. Typically, 93% of incoming students are awarded some type of financial aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$8,345
Out-of-state
$8,345
Retention Rate
79%
Admission Rate
86%
Students Enrolled
13,061
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
25% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#9 8 Best Online Colleges In Illinois

Eastern Illinois University

  • Charleston, IL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Eastern Illinois University offers a variety of online programs suitable for a range of degree-seekers. The school supports 2,639 remote students across 33 virtual programs.

Distance learners join a supportive online community, connecting with peers and faculty through a virtual classroom setting. Participants receive a well-rounded education through general and advanced coursework, with the option to pursue experiential learning opportunities, such as faculty-driven research projects and internships. A leader in student success, the college connects enrollees with academic advising, career services, and other success-oriented resources.

Interested applicants can meet with the admissions office to discuss admission requirements and degree eligibility. Depending on their qualifications, students can apply for scholarships, fellowships, and other financial aid awards to offset the costs of study. According to the college, 95% of all incoming learners receive financial assistance.

Average Tuition
In-state
$8,875
Out-of-state
$11,045
Retention Rate
73%
Admission Rate
53%
Students Enrolled
7,806
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
34% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#10 8 Best Online Colleges In Illinois

Governors State University

  • University Park, IL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

People from all walks of life will benefit from Governors State University's flexible online degrees. Distance learners can connect with 1,472 online peers across seven virtual programs.

Degree-seekers connect with fellow students, faculty, and staff through a virtual classroom environment. Enrollees complete general and advanced coursework, with the option to modify classes and select electives, minors, and concentrations. While enrolled, participants can benefit from academic advising, career services, and other learning resources.

Prospective enrollees can meet with the admissions office to discuss program requirements, application materials, and other information. Eligible students can benefit from scholarships, fellowships, and other forms of financial aid. About 93% of all incoming learners are awarded financial assistance.

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,512
Out-of-state
$15,024
Retention Rate
52%
Admission Rate
46%
Students Enrolled
4,789
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
31% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

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