Illinois boasts some of the best four-year, fully online college degree programs in the country. Many of these programs utilize the same curriculum, professors, and degree expectations as courses on campus. With such similar demands, it comes as no surprise that online students can work toward the same certifications and degrees as their on-campus peers. Online schools in Illinois are fully accredited, and yet offer the most flexibility found in higher education. As you search for a quality online college in Illinois, check out our list of the most exceptional programs in the state. We’ve organized the colleges from lowest tuition to highest to ease value-based comparisons. Enjoy the array of Illinois online colleges.Click here to see our methodology.
University of Illinois-Springfield offers undergraduate and graduate online college degrees in addition to certification programs and certificates. The college has formal partnerships with dozens of other institutions that help provide online programming. Courses include Blackboard software, and the University of Illinois' YouTube channel has informational videos for students interested in online learning.
How would you describe your institution's approach to online learning?
The University of Illinois at Springfield has been the recipient of numerous national awards for online learning. Our approach to online learning is to provide faculty with encouragement, empowerment, and excellent support to allow each faculty member to engage and interact with students in a manner that allows students to learn the content and build relationships with each other and their faculty members. UIS prides itself on reaching out to others to build strong partnerships and to collaborate with other institutions globally while providing an excellent educational experience to students.
What makes your online programs so valuable to students?
Students find our online programs valuable through the relationships that are built with faculty. We have a number of individuals who have taken our programs while serving in the military, as well as working professionals, students finishing their first degrees, working parents, and others in a variety of life situations. Online learning can be very flexible and this is helpful to students in a variety of situations. The most important aspect of value for students is becoming connected to their university. We have chosen to provide Online Program Coordinators who assist students with making strong connections on campus. Students are able to visit with their faculty members, receive help from the Online Program Coordinators, request tutoring services, library services, and participate in student scholarship presentations at a distance. All of these connection points helps to create a valuable online learning experience for students and assists with breaking down any barriers or feelings of isolation that can occur when students are separated in distance from the campus.
Where do you see your online programs in the next five years? Beyond?
Our online programs will continue to grow through planned strategic growth and measured assessment of our programs. I believe we will continue to add programs as faculty see the need and advocate for new programming and there is student demand. Additionally, I see a number of partnership opportunities that will allow for stronger collaborations between universities in the future. At the University of Illinois Springfield we look forward to continuing to do what we do best, serving students with excellence in education by providing intellectually rich learning experiences to students who live on campus, in near by communities, around the United States, and internationally.
Governors State University allows students to combine online college and campus courses to complete their degree. All courses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools and include Blackboard software.
Eastern Illinois University offers four online college degree programs and one hybrid degree program. The university is a military-friendly school, and online programs are designed for adults students who work full time or have other obligations. Students can choose from two Bachelor's of Arts programs, two Bachelor of Science programs and one Master of Science program.
Western Illinois University offers online college degree programs and online courses through WesternOnline. Students can choose from three different online degree programs: a Bachelor of Arts in General Studies, a Master of Science in Instructional Design and Technology or A Master of Science in Education. Online students may have to take proctored exams.
UnityPoint Health-Methodist offers practicing nurses who have passed the NCLEX, or National Council Licensure Examination, to obtain a fully-online Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN-BSN) degree. The online college program can be completed in as few as four semesters, though students have up to five years to complete their studies.
The Moody Bible Institute offers two graduate-level programs in Biblical Studies. The school has a free trial course with sample lessons and tools to explore the Blackboard software features. Online courses follow two-month long or self-paced formats and students can enroll in multiple online college courses at once.
Southern Illinois University offers online college degree, certificate, certification and diploma programs through SIU Online. Degree-seeking students can choose from five online bachelor's degree programs and five online master's degree programs in variety of fields, including accounting and business administration. SIU Online is partnered with the Center for Teaching Excellence.
Northern Illinois University offers online and blended courses for undergraduate and graduate students. Online college students can choose from bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs, as well as certificate programs. Online coursework includes online games, discussions and simulations. Many online courses still require students to come to some meetings on campus.
University of Illinois at Chicago offers more than 30 online degree, non-degree and certificate programs through UIC online. Students can choose from online college programs offered through nine of the university's on-campus colleges. Online students can access their courses at any time and have access to all of the University's online and on-campus educational resources.
John Hancock University, formerly Ellis University, is accredited through the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC). Online graduated degree programs include master’s in Communication Arts, Education, Business Administration, Computer Science, Human Resource Management, Instructional Technology and Management. JHU’s courses are designed specifically for online learning allowing students flexibility and accessibility to their courses.
Lincoln Christian University's Hargrove School of Adult and Graduate Studies offers associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees in addition to a certification program. Lincoln's seminary program offers hybrid degree options where students can take up to two-thirds of a degree or degree specialization online. The University is accredited through the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
University of Illinois offers online college undergraduate degree, graduate degree, certificate and continuing education programs. Some of the university's online courses may require students to take tests on campus or at a local community college, while other courses allow students to take tests online. Online lectures may combine several learning methods, including video and text.
American InterContinental University Online offers accredited online undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Online college students can choose from associate’s, bachelor’s and master's degree programs in a range of popular fields, including education, business and criminal justice All of the university's online courses utilize the My Unique Student Experience (M.U.S.E.) learning platform.
Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing is committed to utilizing a combination technology, classroom and online college programs to help students achieve their education goals. All graduate degree programs are conducted online. The successful candidate for an online degree requires self-management and self-motivation. The college provides access to the resources and training necessary for completing the degree.
National Louis University offers online accredited degree programs for students who are unable to commit to coming to on-campus classes. Students can choose from four online master's degree programs and four online bachelor's degree programs. Online students may be able to complete some credits through credit by examination, credit by proficiency or credit by portfolio.
Aurora University has online degree options at the bachelor's and master's degree levels, as well as bilingual/ESL and special education endorsement programs. Bachelor's and master's level courses are accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Though a few courses require face-to-face meetings, most are delivered entirely online. Aurora provides a 24/7 help center for students and instructors are available during virtual office hours.
The North Park University's schools of adult learning, theological seminary, and business/nonprofits all offer online college courses and degree programs. Students can access classes at any time and all course material is delivered through the Moodle platform. North Park University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
Greenville College offers bachelor's degree, master's degree, and endorsement programs. While most are fully online, between 10 to 50 percent of a course may require in-person participation. Greenville College also offers a jump start program for high school juniors and seniors interested in earning online college credits. Online tutoring is available through the college's Student Success Center.
The BSN for RNs at Resurrection University offers a hybrid online college learning program for working nurses whose schedules require more flexibility than traditional classroom education entails. Face-to-face classes meet only one night per week, while 50% of the course meets online. The curriculum is streamlined to allow for quick completion.
Lincoln College of New England has online bachelor's and associates degrees in criminal justice and health information. Online college classes include audio/visual lectures in addition to live demonstrations, slideshows, video clips, and photos. Students can access classes at any time and some programs are offered in a -- blended -- format for those interested in also taking on-campus sessions.
Regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA), Benedictine University offers a range of online college degree programs for nontraditional students. Online students can choose from graduate degree programs, doctoral degree programs, bachelor's degree programs, associate's degree programs and graduate certificate programs.
Quincy University offers five master's online college programs and a Bachelor of Human Services Degree, with a sixth master's program due to be added in Fall 2014. Quincy University is accredited as a four-year university by the Higher Learning Commission.
McKendree University has undergraduate and graduate level online college courses available in education, business, nursing, and psychology. The University also offers a dual Master of Science in Nursing and Master of Business Administration program. A self-assessment quiz for those interested in finding out if online learning is best for them on the McKendree University site.
Trinity International University's Online Campus offers three online college degree programs in business, Christian ministries, and psychology, as well as certificate programs. The programs are intended for students who have completed some coursework at the college or university level, and credits from other universities may transfer to the online programs at Trinity University.
Lewis University offers undergraduate, adult-accelerated undergraduate, and graduate programs. Some tracks have customizable curriculums and all online courses are also taught on campus in a classroom-based format. Lewis University offers a self-assessment quiz on their website for those interested in finding out if online college is the best choice for them.
Roosevelt University offers 16 online college programs through RUOnline. Online students can choose from six bachelor's degree programs, three master's degree programs, one undergraduate minor, one undergraduate credential and five graduate credentials. The school also offers Guided Independent Distance Education (GuIDE) courses, which can be completed online. RUOnline courses use Blackboard as an online learning system.
The Rush University College of Nursing offers several fully online college programs and courses with limited on-campus visits required. In addition to a Master's of Science in Nursing, Rush University has Doctor of Nursing Practice programs with specialty certifications and leadership tracks. The Rush University Medical Center is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
Concordia University-Chicago offers bachelor's, master's, endorsement, and doctoral level courses online in business, education, and other areas. The school is accredited through the Higher Learning Commission, National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, and the National Association of Schools of Music
Judson University offers online college general education or elective credits for transfer toward a Judson University degree or for another college/university. Degree-seeking students of Judson University can take a full-time, 12-credit load of online courses. The university also offers online certificates in application software, studies in human behavior, Web administration and design, and an advanced certificate in management and leadership.
The Dominican University School of Education offers online master's degrees and certification programs with six session start dates throughout the year. Students can attend online college classes at any time. For those interested in taking an accelerated track, some of Dominican's master's degree programs can be completed in as little as 18 months.
Saint Xavier University offers regionally accredited online graduate programs in nursing and education. The online college also has free online tutoring from Smarthinking for those who need assistance with writing, reading, math, science, business, Spanish, or English.
Programs through Olivet Nazarene University are completed entirely online and are considered accelerated. Students conclude their online college studies in two years or less. The University offers a bachelor's of business administration and five master's programs, with others launching soon.
Elmhurst College's Online Center has online programs at the undergraduate, graduate and certificate level. The Online Center provides a management system for course readings, lectures, exams, technical help, student discussion forums, and more. Courses last one or two months depending on the term.
DePaul University offers online bachelor's degree, master's degree and certificate programs as well as online CPA review courses. DePauls' School for New Learning offers a versatile Bachelor's of Arts degree program designed for students aged 24 an older. Many of the online college programs do not require students to ever come on campus.
Loyola University Chicago Online offers a variety of programs that can be completed entirely online or through a combination of on-line and on-campus meetings. Students can choose from a range of undergraduate and graduate degree programs from ten of the university's schools, including the School of Nursing and the School of Law.
Illinois Institute of Technology offers degree and certificate programs in ten different fields, including biological and chemical sciences, engineering and physics. The online college's courses utilize the Blackboard Learning Management System and may use asynchronous video lectures or synchronous video conferences. Online courses follow the same schedule as traditional, on-campus courses. Exams may need to be taken local testing centers.
Knox College offers a Master of Divinity degree in a hybrid program consisting of online college courses and on-campus classes. Of the 30 credits required for graduation, 10 are taken online and 10 are taken in residency on campus. Another eight credits comprise summer intensives at Knox and two credits come from Theological fieldwork in the student’s own community.
Northwestern University offers online master's degree and certificate programs through its School of Continuing Studies (SCS). Students can choose from a range of accredited online courses in a variety of disciplines, including accounting and museum studies. The University's online degree programs and degrees are the same as the on-campus versions.
Students enrolled in The John Marshall Law School can obtain graduate level eDegrees through the online college in estate planning, information technology and privacy law, intellectual property law, and employee benefits. The only graduate-level employee benefits degree in the country is also available online for both lawyers and non-lawyer employee benefits professionals. Students can access course material at any time.
The Adler School of Professional Psychology offers graduate-level courses in criminology, industrial and organizational psychology, and psychology with a specialization in military psychology. The Adler School's online programs are accredited through the Higher Learning Commission and the Illinois Board of Higher Education. Most online college courses are between seven and a half to eight weeks in length. Students take part in discussion and video forums, role-playing, educational games, and other exercises.
Students can earn master's degrees and certificates in various religious studies through the Chicago Theological Seminary's online college, or CTS Online. The Seminary uses the Moodle platform and WebEx virtual classrooms. Students have access to a live chat help desk and a broadcast of weekly chapel services. Student mentoring groups are also open to online students.
The Catholic Theological Union offers certificates, a master's, and individual courses in ministerial skills. The school is certified for online instruction by the Catholic Distance Learning Network of the National Catholic Education Association's Seminary Department. While certificates can be earned entirely online, the Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies Degree includes blended courses. Online courses are taught using the Moodle platform.
The Erikson Institute's distance learning program offers a master's degree, certificate programs, specialist courses, and webinars for early childhood professionals. Course material on EriksonOnline, the school's online college teaching platform, is available 24/7. The Institute offers a self-assessment quiz on their website for those interested in finding out if distance learning is best for them.
The Institute for Clinical Social Work, or ICSW, offers an accredited Clinical Ph.D. program for those interested in distance learning. Classes meet online during five evenings throughout the semester and students must attend two live, on-site classes in Chicago each semester. The online college coursework is spread over a four-year span. Students have access to ICSW's physical and digital library.
The Knowledge Systems Institute, or KSI, graduate program offers an online master's degree in computer science. The program is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. KSI instructors utilize discussions forums, blogs, chat rooms, video conferencing, and other multimedia tools for classes.
The Lake Forest's Graduate School of Management offers an -- iMBA -- program. Students spend 75 percent of their time in a virtual-reality environment that simulates work at a real company with a variety of departments. The rest of the students' time is spent in online discussions and completing group projects. Manager avatars in the virtual company assign students work and instructors can see student progress in real time.
Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science offer a number of online programs leading to graduate and post-graduate degrees. The MS in Health Professions Education, the MS in Health Administration, the PhD in Interprofessional Studies, the MS in Nutrition and the Post Professional Doctor of Physical Therapy. Some courses of study may require on-campus attendance in addition to online participation.
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology has master's, doctoral, and certificate programs. The school is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Courses require students in a course to be online at the same time for one to two hours each term. Online courses are self-paced and offered through Pearson eCollege with GotoMeeting software and SocialCourse instant messaging.
Thanks to Chicago, Illinois has one of the largest populations of any state in the country. The state also has a number of schools because residents realize that having a great education is important to doing well in life and getting a great job. In Illinois, 86.4% of the population has a high school diploma, and an amazing 30.6% of the residents have a bachelor’s degree or higher. 11.7% of the residents have an advanced degree or higher as well. The state has a number of places for higher learning, and many students are starting to see all of the advantages that affordable Illinois online colleges can provide. It is possible to get a good education and get the most out of life.
One will find quite a few different schools, both public and private, in Illinois. The private schools are often quite expensive, and even the public schools can cost quite a bit. The state has 77 two-year or more schools, and 119 four-year or more schools. Students will have many different choices when it comes to the source of their education. Online schools have come a long way in the past few years, and the quality of the education you can receive is higher. It is possible to take a course from any location that has a connection to the web. You will find that you could receive anything from an associate’s degree all the way to a doctorate when you choose to attend affordable online schools in Illinois.
Even though the state has a number of colleges that are the traditional brick and mortar type that you could choose, you will find that the benefits of the online courses can actually outweigh the traditional experience. You will find that you have the same options when it comes to the types of courses and classes that you are taking through the online schools. It will be possible to study art, business, computer science, criminal justice, psychology, and more. Of course, one of the other reasons that you will want to consider the online colleges is the fact that they are so convenient. You do not have to drive to reach a campus, you do not have to attend classes at a certain time, and you can work on a schedule that is more conducive to your life. You could keep your current job and still get the education that you need.
Many students who are heading off to college are going to have money concerns that can quickly turn to money woes. The cost of a private school, and even a public school, is not cheap. The tuition and fees for a two-year school in Illinois is $3,261 on average. Going to a four-year school is going to cost $12,118 on average. Instead of going deep into debt, it makes far more sense to start looking at the cost of affordable online schools in Illinois. You can stay at your current residence and not have to pay the room and board that you would at a traditional school too.
Those who want to succeed know they need a good education. Residents of Illinois can find some great online classes that will help them to achieve their goals of getting a degree. When you are looking for affordable online colleges, make sure that you choose a school that has accreditation and that has a good reputation. You can find a school online that will change your life.
How will your investment in college education pay off over your working life? You can use this list of the top affordable colleges in Illinois that consistently yield good outcomes. We’ve done all the footwork, using wages from PayScale.com's 2013 College Earnings Report and tuition + fees data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Integrated Post-Secondary Education Data System (IPEDS), and the Carnegie Foundation.Click here to see our methodology.
|1||Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT)||Chicago||$1,127,000||$37,969||Private not-for-profit|
|2||University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign||Champaign||$1,028,000||$14,522||Public (In-State)|
|3||Bradley University||Peoria||$784,600||$28,284||Private not-for-profit|
|4||DePaul University||Chicago||$770,800||$32,295||Private not-for-profit|
|5||University of Chicago||Chicago||$739,300||$45,609||Private not-for-profit|
|6||Lake Forest College||Lake Forest||$723,400||$38,300||Private not-for-profit|
|7||University of Illinois at Chicago||Chicago||$717,700||$13,122||Public (In-State)|
|8||Northwestern University||Evanston||$704,000||$43,779||Private not-for-profit|
|9||University of St. Francis||Joliet||$676,500||$26,924||Private not-for-profit|
|10||Northern Illinois University (NIU)||Dekalb||$598,500||$13,066||Public (In-State)|
|11||North Central College - Naperville, IL||Naperville||$588,100||$31,071||Private not-for-profit|
|12||Olivet Nazarene University||Bourbonnais||$577,300||$28,090||Private not-for-profit|
|13||St. Xavier University||Chicago||$570,300||$28,110||Private not-for-profit|
|14||Illinois State University||Normal||$567,000||$12,726||Public (In-State)|
|15||Roosevelt University||Chicago||$549,400||$25,950||Private not-for-profit|
|16||Southern Illinois University (SIU) - Carbondale Campus||Carbondale||$541,500||$11,528||Public (In-State)|
|17||Loyola University - Chicago, IL||Chicago||$512,600||$34,578||Private not-for-profit|
|18||Wheaton College - Wheaton, IL||Wheaton||$495,800||$30,120||Private not-for-profit|
|19||Illinois Wesleyan University (IWU)||Bloomington||$492,100||$37,954||Private not-for-profit|
|20||Aurora University||Aurora||$483,300||$20,100||Private not-for-profit|
|21||Augustana College - Rock Island, IL||Rock Island||$461,600||$34,614||Private not-for-profit|
|22||Southern Illinois University (SIU) - Edwardsville Campus||Edwardsville||$433,900||$9,251||Public (In-State)|
|23||Lewis University||Romeoville||$426,700||$25,770||Private not-for-profit|
|24||McKendree University||Lebanon||$425,500||$25,340||Private not-for-profit|
|25||Benedictine University||Lisle||$419,000||$24,137||Private not-for-profit|
|26||Eastern Illinois University||Charleston||$401,900||$10,930||Public (In-State)|
|27||Monmouth College - Monmouth, IL||Monmouth||$399,200||$30,450||Private not-for-profit|
|28||Elmhurst College||Elmhurst||$387,600||$31,650||Private not-for-profit|
|29||Western Illinois University||Macomb||$369,700||$11,182||Public (In-State)|
|30||North Park University||Chicago||$366,100||$22,150||Private not-for-profit|
|31||Trinity Christian College||Palos Heights||$320,900||$23,513||Private not-for-profit|
|32||School of the Art Institute of Chicago||Chicago||$276,700||$39,020||Private not-for-profit|
|33||Rockford University||Rockford||$256,000||$26,310||Private not-for-profit|
|34||Chicago State University (CSU)||Chicago||$229,400||$8,558||Public (In-State)|
|35||Millikin University||Decatur||$223,900||$28,612||Private not-for-profit|
|36||Moody Bible Institute||Chicago||$189,300||$10,954||Private not-for-profit|
|37||Columbia College - Chicago, IL||Chicago||$150,900||$21,730||Private not-for-profit|
|38||Judson University - Elgin, IL||Elgin||$142,200||$27,000||Private not-for-profit|
|39||University of Illinois at Springfield||Springfield||$69,990||$8,952||Public (In-State)|