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Illinois State Colleges and Universities Overview

Illinois is home to 159 public and private not-for-profit colleges and universities. Compare some of the schools in Illinois to consider which ones might be right for you.

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Students who wish to attend college in Illinois may choose from many schools and hundreds of degree, certificate, and career training programs. We categorize the largest public and private not-for-profit institutions, among other areas, to help you decide on a school that is most appropriate for your learning expectations. The data is available from the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES).

Illinois Schools Near Large Cities

The major metropolis of Chicago is home to numerous schools within the state of Illinois. These include both public and private non-profit schools, some of which are limited to certificate programs and associate degree programs. The 4-year universities in the area also offer bachelor's and graduate degrees.

  • Chicago State University (Chicago)
  • City Colleges of Chicago-Harold Washington College (Chicago)
  • Columbia College-Chicago (Chicago)
  • DePaul University (Chicago)
  • East-West University (Chicago)

Largest Schools in Illinois

The largest schools in Illinois, as of fall 2015, had more than 20,000 enrolled students. The majority of these schools were public schools.

  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (45,842 students)
  • University of Illinois at Chicago (29,048 students)
  • College of DuPage (28,678 students)
  • DePaul University (23,539 students)
  • Northwestern University (21,655 students)

Lowest Net Price

A school's net price for new full-time students is calculated by subtracting average financial aid from the total cost of attendance. The following institutions had the lowest average net prices of the state's public and private non-profit schools in 2014-2015, per the NCES, for full-time undergraduates.

  • Lincoln Trail College ($1,120)
  • Olney Central College ($1,380)
  • Wabash Valley College ($1,521)
  • Frontier Community College ($1,813)
  • Carl Sandburg College ($3,902)

Highest Graduation Rate

This rate is calculated by NCES to find the portion of new full-time students who graduated in 150% of the 'normal time' for their programs, or three years for a two-year program and six years for a four-year program. The following schools had the highest graduation rates, when considering students who started in 2009 for full-time undergraduates.

  • Northwestern University (93% graduation rate)
  • University of Chicago (92% graduation rate)
  • Wheaton College (89% graduation rate)
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (85% graduation rate)
  • Illinois Wesleyan University (83% graduation rate)

Illinois public and private non-profit schools can be organized into four categories to help you figure out which one might be most appropriate for your learning requirements.

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