Veterans and military members will find a number of high-quality school options in Illinois, many of which offer academic support services, as well as mentoring and career planning. The military-friendly schools below are worth considering because of the student support they provide.
|School Name||Institution Type||Location||In-State Tuition (2017-2018)*||Tuition Assistance/Military Benefits|
|Lewis University||Private not-for-profit, 4-year||Romeoville, IL||$31,250||No application fee, tuition discounts, academic resources, course credits|
|Loyola University Chicago||Private not-for-profit||Chicago, IL||$43,078||Educational and career resources, information services, student organization|
|Southwestern Illinois College||Public 2-year||Belleville, IL||$12,240||Counseling and tutoring services, veteran student center and organization, resume and job search workshops|
|Western Illinois University||Public 4-year||Macomb, IL||$12,897||Scholarship information resources, military training credit, Concurrent Admissions Program (ConAP), military service activation support, disability resource center|
|City Colleges of Chicago-Wilbur Wright College||Public 2-year||Chicago, IL||$8,126||Advising, career, and wellness services, transition and peer support, external linkages|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics
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Illinois Military-Friendly Schools
Military students and veterans will find many schools to choose from in Illinois. This list includes just a few of the schools which offer military student support. Some colleges hold classes on air bases, while others make special accommodations for veterans, military members, and their families.
Military and veterans interested in aircraft and aviation may find Lewis University a particularly good choice. Their degree programs may benefit those who are interested in becoming air traffic controllers, pilots, and flight attendants, as well as avionics maintenance technicians. They also offer educational credit for military training and experience, and course credits may be earned upon taking the required proficiency exams.
This university offers weekend, evening, and online courses to allow flexibility for all types of students, this allows members of the military to continue their education without interruption in the event of redeployment. In addition, Lewis University has various academic resources available for military students, which includes career services for those looking for employment, a tutoring and advising center, a computer lab for research, writing, and multimedia projects as well as a dedicated Military Education and Resource Center (MERC). As a member of the Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges (SOC), this university also ensures that active duty students take only twenty-five percent or less of the total undergraduate degree requirements during their academic residency.
Loyola University Chicago
Loyola University Chicago offers military and veterans a quality education through diverse undergraduate majors and various graduate, professional, and certificate programs. The university offers specialized career guidance for military and veterans, in addition to industry-employer relationships which may help veterans in their post-college career search.
Loyola University Chicago also gives extensive and practical information services to military students such those which can provide discounts for current service members and veterans, a list of service organizations which military students may be interested to join, the legal support they can access, a transition guide, and education and tutorial resources. The university also hosts a student organization called Student Veterans of America of Loyola University Chicago which can help military students ease in with their student life by belonging to a community and joining service activities.
Southwestern Illinois College
This college has a staff of full-time counselors and advisors, dedicated to veterans. In addition, they make special accommodations for military students and veterans with disabilities. They have combined this with a number of other programs, such as Veteran to Veteran tutoring, a Veterans Student Center, and resume and job search workshops.
This is a large community college with around 9,500 students attending the Belleville campus. They also have a number of classes and programs held at satellite sites, including the Scott Air Force Base. Prospective military students and veterans can also benefit from an extensive array of more than 150 degree programs they can choose from in this college.
Western Illinois University
This university was established in 1899 and with more than 100 years of history, it works with veterans and military students in a number of ways. This university has extensive support services for military students, one which is particularly helpful to those who got admitted in the military at the same time they got accepted in the university is the Concurrent Admissions Program (ConAP) which allows them to defer their enrollment in the university until after their military service.
Western Illinois University is also known as WIU, and it offers bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. Their Bachelor of Arts in General Studies degree may be completed fully online which allows students who must be deployed to continue their studies without interruption. They have two campuses, the Macomb campus offers residential housing. An additional campus in Moline is non-residential.
City Colleges of Chicago-Wilbur Wright College
This school belongs to the seven City Colleges of Chicago. This college has a veterans services center which offers comprehensive support to active duty students and veterans like advising, career, peer support, and wellness services. They also guide students through the transition process as well as ensuring that students are well-connected to future employers and external service organizations.
As a 2-year college, Wilbur Wright grants associate's degrees and certificates. Many of their degrees are primarily intended for transferring to a 4-year institution. In addition to their degree programs, they offer certificate programs, that allow students to enter the workforce quickly and successfully.