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Southwestern Illinois College

Learn what degree programs Southwestern Illinois College offers. Research its academics, and read about its admission requirements and financial aid to make an informed education decision.

About Southwestern Illinois College

Southwestern Illinois College (SWIC) is a 2-year institution located in Belleville, IL. Since 1985, the school has operated 3 separate campuses in the area, as well as off-campus sites in areas such as Scott Air Force Base and East St. Louis.

The college was established in 1946 as Belleville Junior College and initially served a student body of 169 mostly World War II veteran students. Since that time, the school has grown to meet changing community needs, adding services such as the Selsius Corporate and Career Training Center and Programs and Services for Older Persons. Today, the school serves nearly 13,000 students throughout the area.


Southwestern Illinois College offers over 150 different programs to its students. Awards range from certificates to various types of associate's degrees - fine arts, applied sciences and general studies, to name a few. Having conferred nearly 1,700 certificates in 2010-2011, SWIC was the 3rd largest certificate producer in the state and the 25th largest in the nation, according to a 2012 report from Community College Week.

Southwestern Illinois offers a variety of career-oriented degree programs. Some programs, such as the administration of justice program, are offered as both associate's degrees and certificates. Students interested in welding can earn basic, advanced or specialty certificates, as well as an associate's degree in welding technology; the welding program was recognized as one of the best in the nation by the American Welding Society. SWIC is also home to a Police Academy Intern Program.

In addition to career programs, Southwestern Illinois College offers university transfer programs. The school's dual enrollment program guarantees admission to a participating 4-year school as a junior, provided students complete the SWIC program successfully. Participating schools include the University of Missouri - St. Louis, McKendree University and Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.


Virtually any high school graduate is eligible for admission to Southwestern Illinois College. Applicants must first submit a New Student Information form, available online or by calling the campus. Students must then go through an orientation session, also available online or in person, before setting up an official school account and email. Transcripts are required and should be sent to Enrollment Services. A new student must also bring a photo ID and proof of residency to the Enrollment Services office before registering for classes.

A COMPASS assessment test must also be taken at the school. Though not used to deny admission to the school, some health sciences programs require minimum scores. The assessment is also used when meeting with a counselor, to help determine the best academic plan. Assessment test requirements can be waived for students transferring from another institution where they earned a 'C' or better on college-level English and math courses.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition at Southwestern Illinois College is assessed per-credit, based on the student's residency status. Residents of District 522 - which includes dozens of cities around Belleville, as well as portions of Edwardsville, Glen Carbon, Percy and more - pay the lowest tuition. Residents of Illinois who do not reside in the district pay about 3 times more than District 522 residents. Out-of-state residents, including international students, pay the highest rates.

Southwestern Illinois College students may qualify for federal and state financial aid. In addition, the Southwestern Illinois College Foundation coordinates over 200 scholarship opportunities, funded through local businesses, alumni and benefactors. A single application is required to apply for all foundation scholarships, but requirements for these awards may vary. For example, the Bertha M. Boettcher Memorial scholarship offers $500 to full-time music students, and the Ehrhardt Tool and Machine scholarship gives up to $2,500 to students majoring in precision machining technology.

School Type 2-year, public*
Degrees Offered Less-than-1-year certificate*
1-but-less-than-2-years certificate*
Religious Affiliation None*
Academic Calendar Fall, spring semesters**
Summer session**
School Setting Rural*
Student Body 12,779 undergraduate in fall 2011***
Student Housing Not available*
Student-Faculty Ratio 24 to 1*
Most Popular Fields of Study by Degree Level (Number of Recipients) In 2011:
Less-than-1-year certificate: Nursing Assistant/Aid (400)*
1-but-less-than-2-years certificate: Electrician (35)*
Associate's: Liberal Arts and Science/Liberal Studies (457)*
Undergraduate Graduation Rates 23% overall*
22% transfer-out, students beginning in fall 2008*
Admission Rate Open admissions*
Entering Class Size 1,102 in fall 2011***
First-Year Retention Rates 62% full-time
49% part-time, students beginning in fall 2010 and returning fall 2011*
Tuition (Spring 2013) $99 per credit, district residents
$303 per credit, Illinois residents
$442 per credit, out-of-state residents**
Financial Aid Sources Available (Percent of New Students Receiving it) Federal grants (48%)*
State/local government grant or scholarship (11%)
Institutional grants or scholarships (15%)
Federal student loans (24%)* in 2010-2011*
Percent of New Students Receiving Some Form of Aid 69% in 2010-2011*

Sources: *College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics; **Southwestern Illinois College; ***IPEDS Data Center, National Center for Education Statistics.

School Contact Info

  • Address: Enrollment Services, 2500 Carlyle Ave., Belleville, IL 62221-5899
  • Phone: (618) 235-2700 ext. 5664
  • Website:

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