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.

Best Online Colleges in Illinois

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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

The University of Illinois Chicago

School Information
Location Chicago, Illinois
Admission Rate 73%
Graduation Rate 61%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 24% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

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.

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#2

The University of Illinois Springfield

School Information
Location Springfield, Illinois
Admission Rate 77%
Graduation Rate 54%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 70% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

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.

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#3

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

School Information
Location Champaign, Illinois
Admission Rate 59%
Graduation Rate 85%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 39% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

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.

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#4

Western Illinois University

School Information
Location Macomb, Illinois
Admission Rate 57%
Graduation Rate 51%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 48% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

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.

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#5

Loyola University Chicago

School Information
Location Chicago, Illinois
Admission Rate 67%
Graduation Rate 74%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 15% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

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.

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#6

McKendree University

School Information
Location Lebanon, Illinois
Admission Rate 63%
Graduation Rate 60%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 47% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

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.

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#7

Concordia University Chicago

School Information
Location River Forest, Illinois
Admission Rate 75%
Graduation Rate 47%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 68% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

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.

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#8

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

School Information
Location Edwardsville, Illinois
Admission Rate 86%
Graduation Rate 51%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 25% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

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.

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#9

Eastern Illinois University

School Information
Location Charleston, Illinois
Admission Rate 53%
Graduation Rate 53%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 34% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

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.

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#10

Governors State University

School Information
Location University Park, Illinois
Admission Rate 46%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 31% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

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.

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