Chicago Area Colleges and Universities

There are nearly 150 schools within a 25-mile radius of Chicago, Illinois. Find out which ones could best suit your academic needs based on proximity, size, and other factors.

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This article aims to provide prospective students in the Chicago area with the knowledge to make an informed decision about their education. Learn which schools are closest to you, have the largest student bodies, cost the least amount of money to attend, and have the highest graduation rates.

Closest Schools to Chicago, Illinois

In a large city like Chicago, there's little incentive to attend a far-away school when nearby institutions offer a quality education with little transport costs. If attending a school that's close to home is something that interests you, consider the following institutions, all of which are within one mile of downtown Chicago.

  • City Colleges of Chicago - Harold Washington College (center of the city)
  • Argosy University (center of the city)
  • Adler University (0.3 miles away)
  • Sanford-Brown College- Chicago (0.3 miles away)
  • MacCormac College (0.3 miles away)

Largest Schools Near Chicago, Illinois

Highly populated schools can sometimes mean more opportunities for students in the form of Greek living, research, and more. If this is something that falls in line with your academic goals, perhaps the following schools could suit you.

  • College of DuPage (29,476 students; all undergraduates)
  • University of Illinois at Chicago (27,969 students; 16,718 undergraduates)
  • DeVry University - Illinois (24,220 students; 18,264 undergraduates)
  • DePaul University (23,799 students; 16,153 undergraduates)
  • Northwestern University (21,554 students; 9,048 undergraduates)

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Agriculture
  • Architecture
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • Business
  • Communications and Journalism
  • Computer Sciences
  • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Legal
  • Liberal Arts and Humanities
  • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
  • Medical and Health Professions
  • Physical Sciences
  • Psychology
  • Transportation and Distribution
  • Visual and Performing Arts

Lowest Net Price

The NCES determines net price by subtracting the amount of financial aid received by the average full-time undergraduate student from the school's tuition cost. Lower out-of-pocket costs are always positive when searching for a school to attend. The following figures pertain to the 2014-2015 school year:

  • Morton College ($3,999)
  • Moraine Valley Community College ($4,573)
  • South Suburban College ($4,608)
  • Triton College ($5,274)
  • Oakton Community College ($5,941)

Highest Graduation Rate

The NCES calculates graduation rate by determining the number of full-time undergraduate students who completed their selected degree program within 150% of the normal amount of time. It should be noted that these figures pertain to students that began their education in Fall of 2009. Also of note, each of these are private institutions.

  • Northwestern University (93% graduation rate)
  • University of Chicago (92% graduation rate)
  • Loyola University Chicago (74% graduation rate)
  • Illinois Institute of Technology (73% graduation rate)
  • DePaul University (73% graduation rate)

Chicago students can rest assured that there are numerous academic options for those that prioritize proximity, size, cost, and graduation rate in their prospective alma maters.

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