Best online colleges in Illinois 2022

10119 Best online colleges in Illinois 2022

8665 Best online colleges in Illinois 2022

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Online colleges in Illinois, ranging from research university programs to small schools, offer programs that can prepare you for careers in the state’s highest-growth industries.

Boasting the country’s fifth highest gross domestic product, Illinois is home to more than 30 Fortune 500 companies.

Illinois’ top industries for targeted growth include advanced manufacturing; agribusiness and food processing; business and professional services; energy; life sciences and biotechnology; and transportation distribution and logistics.

The online colleges listed below offer courses and degrees that may help you break into these exciting industries in Illinois and beyond.

Top 5 online schools in Illinois: Quick facts

College

School stats

Loyola University
Chicago, IL

  • Acceptance rate: 71% 
  • Graduation rate: 73%
  • Jesuit-Catholic learning tradition
  • Eight bachelor’s completion programs

University of Illinois Springfield
Springfield, IL

  • Acceptance rate: 77% 
  • Graduation rate: 54%
  • Up to 72 transfer credits accepted
  • Tuition discounts

Aurora University
Aurora, IL

  • Acceptance rate: 84% 
  • Graduation rate: 64%
  • Generous transfer credit policies
  • No application fees

Lewis University
Romeoville, IL

  • Acceptance rate: 66% 
  • Graduation rate: 67%
  • Catholic- and Lasallian-affiliated
  • Accelerated bachelor’s degree options

Olivet Nazarene University
Bourbonnais, IL

  • Acceptance rate: 67% 
  • Graduation rate: 63%
  • In-person clinicals for online nursing degrees
  • Affordable bachelor’s completion program options

The 10 best online colleges in Illinois

ZDNet’s ranking methodology assesses schools on affordability, reputation, academic quality, and the number of available online bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. We only include schools that make the cut. 

You can count on the accuracy and objectivity of our rankings because of our curated and independent process. 

Unless otherwise indicated, data is drawn from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System and College Scorecard. Note that for public colleges, the average annual net price given is for in-state students.

1. Loyola University Chicago
Chicago, Illinois

About the school: Following the Jesuit educational tradition, Loyola University offers online bachelor’s degree completion programs and master’s degrees. Fields of study include divinity and pastoral studies, public health, supply chain management, and technology.

  • Acceptance rate: 71% 
  • Graduation rate: 73% 
  • Avg. annual net price: $36,434 
  • Student body population: 17,498
  • Student-to-teacher ratio: 14:1 
  •  Number of online bachelor’s degrees: Eight 
  • Number of online master’s degrees: 30 
  • Avg. SAT range for admitted students: Critical reading 570-660; math 560-670 
  • Minimum GPA: N/A 
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous, synchronous, and hybrid

Accreditation: Loyola University Chicago is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

2. University of Illinois Springfield
Springfield, Illinois

About the school: University of Illinois Springfield lists bachelor’s completion and master’s degrees among its online programs. UIS offers lower tuition rates for distance learners and pairs students with an online program coordinator.

  • Acceptance rate: 77% 
  • Graduation rate: 54% 
  • Avg. annual net price: $12,034
  • Student body population: 3,944
  • Student-to-teacher ratio: 12:1 
  •  Number of online bachelor’s degrees: 14 
  • Number of online master’s degrees: 15 
  • Avg. SAT range for admitted students: Critical reading 490-600; math 490-590 
  • Minimum GPA: Transfer, 2.0; graduate, program-specific 
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous and synchronous 

Accreditation: University of Illinois Springfield is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

3. Aurora University
Aurora, Illinois

About the school: Aurora University applies a small college atmosphere to distance learning. It offers career-focused master’s and bachelor’s completion degrees in business, criminal justice, public administration, social work, and more. 

  • Acceptance rate: 84% 
  • Graduation rate: 64% 
  • Avg. annual net price: $16,994
  • Student body population: 6,165 
  • Student-to-teacher ratio: 20:1 
  •  Number of online bachelor’s degrees: Eight 
  • Number of online master’s degrees: Eight 
  • Avg. SAT range for admitted students: Critical reading 490-570; math 490-570 
  • Minimum GPA: Program-specific 
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous 

Accreditation: Aurora University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

4. Lewis University
Romeoville, Illinois

About the school: Catholic- and Lasallian-affiliated Lewis University provides online learning options for students interested in completing their bachelor’s degrees, advancing their careers, and pursuing graduate credentials. 

  • Acceptance rate: 66% 
  • Graduation rate: 67% 
  • Avg. annual net price: $19,074 
  • Student body population: 6,183 
  • Student-to-teacher ratio: 13:1 
  •  Number of online bachelor’s degrees: Six 
  • Number of online master’s degrees: 11 
  • Avg. SAT range for admitted students: Critical reading 500-610; math 510-610 
  • Minimum GPA: Program-specific 
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous 

Accreditation: Lewis University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

5. Olivet Nazarene University
Bourbonnais, Illinois

About the school: Olivet Nazarene University offers accelerated online bachelor’s and master’s degree programs geared to career advancement. Fields of study include business, education, ministry, and nursing. ONU is affiliated with the International Church of the Nazarene.

  • Acceptance rate: 67% 
  • Graduation rate: 63% 
  • Avg. annual net price: $19,470 
  • Student body population: 3,462
  • Student-to-teacher ratio: 15:1 
  •  Number of online bachelor’s degrees: Five
  • Number of online master’s degrees: Nine
  • Avg. SAT range for admitted students: Critical reading 490-600; math 480-590 
  • Minimum GPA: Bachelor’s completion: 2.0; master’s: program-specific 
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous and blended 

Accreditation: Olivet Nazarene University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

6. Eastern Illinois University
Charleston, Illinois

About the school: Eastern Illinois University lists online degree completion and master’s programs for adult learners. Notable programs include master’s degrees in aging studies and community arts and a bachelor’s degree in communication in organizations. 

  • Acceptance rate: 56% 
  • Graduation rate: 61% 
  • Avg. annual net price: $13,098 
  • Student body population: 8,608
  • Student-to-teacher ratio: 14:1 
  •  Number of online bachelor’s degrees: Seven 
  • Number of online master’s degrees: 12 
  • Avg. SAT range for admitted students: Critical reading 480-580; math 480-560 
  • Minimum GPA: Program-specific 
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous and synchronous 

Accreditation: Eastern Illinois University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

7. McKendree University
Lebanon, Illinois

About the school: Affiliated with the United Methodist Church, McKendree University offers discounted tuition to online students and bachelor’s and master’s degrees in areas like business, education, health leadership, and nursing. 

  • Acceptance rate: 70% 
  • Graduation rate: 56% 
  • Avg. annual net price: $19,956
  • Student body population: 1,958
  • Student-to-teacher ratio: 15:1 
  •  Number of online bachelor’s degrees: Five
  • Number of online master’s degrees: Four 
  • Avg. SAT range for admitted students: Critical reading 437-631; math 434-646 
  • Minimum GPA: Undergraduate Transfer, 2.0; otherwise program-specific 
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous 

Accreditation: McKendree University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

8. Southern Illinois University
Carbondale, Illinois

About the school: Southern Illinois University emphasizes research and inclusivity. The school lists nearly 40 career-focused bachelor’s, bachelor’s completion, and master’s degree programs for online learners. 

  • Acceptance rate: 92% 
  • Graduation rate: 53% 
  • Avg. annual net price: $16,285
  • Student body population: 11,266 
  • Student-to-teacher ratio: 10:1 
  •  Number of online bachelor’s degrees: 20 
  • Number of online master’s degrees: 19 
  • Avg. SAT range for admitted students: Critical reading 470-590; math 460-590 
  • Minimum GPA: Undergraduate, SAT/ACT waived with 2.75 GPA; graduate, program-specific 
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous and synchronous

Accreditation: Southern Illinois University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

9. Judson University
Elgin, Illinois

About the school: Baptist-affiliated Judson University’s distance learning options include bachelor’s degrees for adult professionals and master’s degrees. JU’s online programs focus on business, human services, and leadership.

  • Acceptance rate: 57% 
  • Graduation rate: 63% 
  • Avg. annual net price: $19,330 
  • Student body population: 1,173 
  • Student-to-teacher ratio: 11:1 
  •  Number of online bachelor’s degrees: Four 
  • Number of online master’s degrees: Four
  • Avg. SAT range for admitted students: Critical reading 450-560; math 420-570 
  • Minimum GPA: Bachelor’s: 2.0; master’s: 2.5-3.0 
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous, synchronous, and hybrid

Accreditation: Judson University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

10. National Louis University
Chicago, Illinois

About the school: At National Louis University, distance learners can pursue master’s and bachelor’s degrees in business, healthcare leadership, management, psychology, and more. Undergraduates can also opt for communications, computer science, or criminal justice. 

  • Acceptance rate: 97% 
  • Graduation rate: 54% 
  • Avg. annual net price: $14,584 
  • Student body population: 7,315
  • Student-to-teacher ratio: 16:1 
  •  Number of online bachelor’s degrees: Eight 
  • Number of online master’s degrees: Six 
  • Avg. SAT range for admitted students: Not required 
  • Minimum GPA: Program-specific 
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous and synchronous 

Accreditation: National Louis University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

In conclusion

Illinois’ online opportunities focus on career development and advancement. These programs are designed to help you achieve your professional goals without having to take time off from work. 

In addition to researching the best online colleges in Illinois listed here, explore our pages with more information about online colleges and online college costs.

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