Online Colleges And Universities In Illinois

Find the best online colleges in Illinois for 2022. Learn about scholarship opportunities, the cost of online education, and career outlooks.

Updated September 6, 2022

Reviewed by ACO Rankings Team
Online Colleges And Universities In Illinois

AffordableCollegesOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Are you ready to find your fit?

Universities and Colleges in the State of Illinois

In Illinois, approximately 30.5% of the state's undergraduate and graduate student population enrolled in at least one online course during their educational journey in 2019. About 104,500 students pursued a degree entirely online in Illinois.

To pay in-state tuition, students must live in Illinois for one full year before initial enrollment. Since out-of-state tuition can cost significantly more than in-state tuition, establishing Illinois residency can yield substantial savings for students who plan to enroll in an Illinois college or university. However, some of the best colleges in Illinois allow all online students to pay in-state tuition regardless of residency.

The best online colleges in Illinois offer quality education at affordable prices. Our ranking of the top online colleges in Illinois considers factors such as tuition costs, student-to-teacher ratios, and graduation rates. Availability of financial support, career counseling services, and job placement support also affect rankings. These factors contribute to the program's overall accessibility and value.

Frequently Asked Questions About Online Schools in Illinois


Do online credits cost more or less in Illinois?

Each school determines its tuition for online and on-campus offerings. In many cases, students pay less for online courses than on-campus classes.

What is the most affordable school in Illinois?

Chicago State University is the most affordable Illinois school.

How long do you need to live in Illinois to get in-state tuition?

Illinois requires out-of-state applicants to legally reside in the state for at least one year (12 consecutive months) to qualify for in-state tuition.

AffordableCollegesOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Featured Online Psychology Programs

Find a program that meets your affordability, flexibility, and education needs through an accredited, online school.

Why Choose Illinois for Online Higher Education?

The Illinois economy boasts many growth-oriented industries, like advanced manufacturing, energy, and life sciences and biotechnology. Illinois online colleges prepare students interested in these fields well for the job market. In addition, online degrees often cost less than on-campus programs, saving students money. Distance learners also do not need to relocate to complete their education.

Common Online Bachelor's Programs in Illinois

Illinois' features about 160 higher education institutions. These schools offer academic programs in popular fields of study including business, psychology, and healthcare. Many Illinois online colleges offer accelerated programs that students can complete in under four years, allowing them to enter the workforce sooner. Below we list five common academic fields for Illinois students.

Cost of Attending an Online College in Illinois

Enrollees at Illinois online colleges often save on many of the expenses that on-campus students incur, such as housing and transportation costs. In addition, an online program's flexibility often allows students to continue working while pursuing a degree. Online students may enjoy more savings if they attend in-state schools.

Public universities usually charge higher tuition for out-of-state enrollees. However, some of the best colleges in Illinois allow online students to pay in-state tuition regardless of residency. The table below shows how much students can save by paying in-state tuition.

Average Undergraduate Tuition in Illinois
Location Public Four-Year College Private Four-Year College Public Two-Year College
In-State $14,455 $35,570 $4,035
Out-of-State $29,515 N/A $11,450

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

Career and Salary Outlook for Students in Illinois

Illinois offers diverse professional options for degree-holders. Many of the following opportunities come with higher-than-average salaries and various avenues for growth.

Highest Paying Careers With a Bachelor's Degree in Illinois
Career Mean Annual Salary Projected Growth Rate (2020-2030)
Computer and Information Systems Managers $153,900 11%
Financial Managers $148,620 17%
Personal Financial Advisors $139,410 7%
Compensation and Benefits Managers $135,860 4%
Sales Managers $142,170 7%

Source: BLS

AffordableCollegesOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Featured Online Management Programs

Find a program that meets your affordability, flexibility, and education needs through an accredited, online school.

Best Online Colleges in Illinois 2022

#1

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 is one of the nation's top online colleges. A total of 12 online bachelor's programs are available to distance learners at the accredited institution. In addition to its bachelor's programs, the online school offers 6sixonline master's programs. A total of 1,067 remote learners attend classes through the school.

The private Lebanon, Illinois, school enrolls an average of 607 degree-seekers. Online learners complete their courses from anywhere in the United States. The institution tailors many of its student services for online enrollees. The online school offers academic advising, financial aid counseling, and career services for its students.

Degree-seekers wanting to pursue a degree in a top-choice major get their needs met at the online college. Distance learners graduate with an accredited degree that meets the requirements for diverse career paths. The institution prioritizes affordable educational options.

Visit Site
#2

DePaul University

School Information
Location Chicago, Illinois
Admission Rate 68%
Graduation Rate 74%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 30% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

At DePaul University, online learners receive a rigorous education, just like on-campus students. DePaul University, a private school, offers 17 online degrees. Students can complete some of the country’s top-ranked online programs at the institution. Learners prepare for a variety of careers with the school’s bachelor’s and graduate degrees. Various factors attract students to online degrees.

Online learners at the school enjoy scheduling flexibility and affordable tuition rates. Working students can transfer credits to finish degrees faster. The institution has a test-optional policy for easier admission. Students can expect a 68% admission rate. The school holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

DePaul University at a Glance:

School Status: Private

Total Online Learners: 6,568

Programs Available Online: 17

Bachelor’s Programs Available Online: 3

Undergraduate Tuition: $40,551/year in-state and out-of-state

Admission Rate: 68%

Visit Site
#3

Lewis University

School Information
Location Romeoville, Illinois
Admission Rate 64%
Graduation Rate 67%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 43% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Prospective students can explore Lewis University's affordable online degrees. Online learners can pursue various undergraduate and graduate degrees at the Illinois school. The university prepares students for entry-level jobs and career advancement. E-learners can enroll on a full- or part-time basis. The school's asynchronous online programs provide flexibility. The institution's hybrid degrees blend face-to-face and online instruction. Students receive direct instruction in smaller classes.

Students can earn one of three associate degrees or 79 bachelor’s degrees. Students pay affordable tuition rates and receive a financial aid package.

Lewis University Facts:

Status of School: Private

Online Enrollment: 2,706

Number of Online Degrees: 25

Bachelor’s Available Online: 8

Percent of Students Receiving Aid: 100%

Visit Site
#4

University of Illinois at 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.

The University of Illinois at Springfield is included among the top U.S. online colleges. Distance learners at the accredited institution enjoy an academic catalog with 12 online bachelor's programs to choose from. The academic offerings for graduate students include 12 online master's programs. A total of 3,006 remote learners attend classes through the school.

An average of 1,258 degree-seekers study at the public school's campus. Online learners complete classes remotely from anywhere in the country. Online enrollees at the institution get access to student services just for them. Learners can take advantage of the academic advising, financial aid counseling, and career services offered by the online school.

With many top-choice majors available, the online college's programs appeal to many different degree-seekers. Distance learners earn an accredited degree that qualifies them for many career paths. The institution makes affordability a top priority.

Visit Site
#5

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, located in Charleston, enrolls undergraduate and graduate students in 118 online programs. Students pursuing online degrees pursue one of 14 bachelor's programs and 15 programs. Online schools attract learners who want more learning flexibility. Many of the degrees at the school rank among the best in the nation. Busy adults can transfer credits to complete a bachelor’s degree in less time. Degree-seekers can earn master’s degrees in various subjects. Some graduate degrees include field experiences in the community.

The school offers affordable educational programs. The application process requires school transcripts. Eastern Illinois University holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

Eastern Illinois University Facts:

Total Programs: 118

Online Bachelor’s Degrees: 14

Online Master’s Degrees: 15

Price of In-State Tuition for Undergraduates: $8,875

Visit Site
#6

Olivet Nazarene University

School Information
Location Bourbonnais, Illinois
Admission Rate 58%
Graduation Rate 64%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 58% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Olivet Nazarene University, a private school, enrolls students on campus in Illinois. The college offers undergraduate and graduate programs in person and online. Distance learners pursue degrees from a catalog of 99 total programs. Enrollees receive a rigorous education in the liberal arts and professional studies. The majors cover a variety of fields.

Students learn through classroom instruction and practical experiences such as internships and practicums. Working professionals complete degrees online, and most distance programs require no on-campus visits. Students learn how to apply classroom learning to tackle real-world problems. Learners receive online tutoring and other assistance. Degree-seekers can expect a 58% admission rate at Olivet Nazarene University. Online learners fund their studies with the school’s affordable tuition and financial aid. Virtual learners pay the same tuition rates, regardless of in-state or out-of-state residency.

Olivet Nazarene University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Visit Site
#7

Aurora University

School Information
Location Aurora, Illinois
Admission Rate 87%
Graduation Rate 54%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 20% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Ranking among the best online schools, Aurora University offers high-quality online programs. The private intuition features programs in business, healthcare, STEM, and social science for remote learners. Many programs let students complete a degree entirely online. Online enrollees skip having to commute to the Illinois campus and instead earn their degree from the comfort of home.

Online programs feature virtual learning environments where remote learners communicate with teachers and peers. Participants transition to the workforce smoothly because of the knowledge and skills gained through the institution's many experiential learning opportunities. The school offers academic advising, financial aid counseling, and career counseling to support distance learners.

With programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels, the accredited online institution meets the diverse needs of all kinds of students. Degree-seekers benefit from the flexible online format, meeting graduation requirements more easily.

Aurora University Fast Facts:

Average Per-Credit Price: $475

Distance Learners Enrolled: 1,252

Online Bachelor's Programs Available: 6

Online Master's Programs: 7

Learners Awarded Financial Aid: 100%

Students Awarded Student Loans: 65%

Visit Site
#8

Greenville University

School Information
Location Greenville, Illinois
Admission Rate 56%
Graduation Rate 56%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 50% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Greenville University offers bachelor's programs that prepare students for new job opportunities and career advancement. Online degree-seekers at the school receive the same high-quality education as on-campus students. The distance learning programs use video lectures, assignments, and class discussions. The school offers student support services. Learners can take advantage of peer and professional tutoring from the institution.

Students can begin their education at Greenville University with online associate or bachelor’s degrees. Transfer students can complete a bachelor's in 18-36 months. Online learners pay the in-state tuition rate of $27,580 for bachelor’s degrees. The school offers master's programs that students typically complete in two years. Degree-seekers pay an $8,082 graduate in-state tuition rate. Per credit, students pay an average of $558.

The school offers several enrollment options and start dates. Degree-seekers can expect a 56% admission rate. Applicants submit school transcripts. Degree-seekers can use entrance scores to bolster their application. The school holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

Visit Site
#9

North Park University

School Information
Location Chicago, Illinois
Admission Rate 48%
Graduation Rate 62%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 20% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The bachelor's programs at North Park University prepare graduates for new job opportunities and career advancement. Nontraditional learners can pursue one of the college’s 12 online degrees. The curricula consist of video lectures, assignments, and class discussions. The institution delivers student support services. Learners can access peer tutoring to improve their academic performance.

Nontraditional learners can earn an online undergraduate degree at North Park University.

North Park University Statistics:

Students Awarded Financial Aid: 100%

Transfer Credits Accepted: No

Admission Rate: 48%

The institution's website provides details about how to pursue experiential learning opportunities. All applicants submit school transcripts. Degree-seekers can access support services such as tutoring from the institution. The school holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

Visit Site
#10

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.

Nontraditional learners at Western Illinois University receive an online education on par with their on-campus peers. Western Illinois University, a public school, enrolls students in 26 online programs. The institution's online degrees rank among the nation’s best. The school offers a comprehensive catalog of undergraduate and graduate programs. Learners often pursue online degrees for their convenience and affordable tuition rates.

The school’s online programs offer benefits such as asynchronous learning and affordability. Students transfer credits to finish degrees faster. Prospective learners strengthen their applications with optional test scores. Degree-seekers can expect a 57% admission rate. Western Illinois University has received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, a recognized accrediting body.

Western Illinois University Facts:

School Status: Public

Number of Distance Learners: 3,688

Available Online Degrees: 26

Bachelor’s Degrees Available Online: 14

Annual Undergraduate Tuition In State: $8,627

Annual Undergraduate Tuition Out Of State: $8,627

Admission Rate: 57%

Visit Site

AffordableCollegesOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Featured Online Social Work Programs

Find a program that meets your affordability, flexibility, and education needs through an accredited, online school.

Related articles that may interest you

AffordableCollegesOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Do this for you

Explore your possibilities- find schools with programs you’re interested in and clear a path for your future.