Most Affordable Colleges in Illinois 2022

Most Affordable Colleges in Illinois 2022

Here are the most affordable colleges and universities in llinois. Our list will help you find the right kind of school for you, at a price you can afford.

Colleges and Universities in Illinois

Prospective students searching for colleges in Illinois have plenty of excellent schools to choose from. Illinois offers over 130 higher education institutes throughout the state. Thanks to an expansive public university system and several top private institutions, students can select from an extremely wide array of brick-and-mortar and online colleges in Illinois.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Illinois at Chicago, the state’s two largest public universities in Illinois. Students can access a full spectrum of undergraduate and graduate degrees for in-state tuition rates of $13,000 to $15,000 respectively. Both public universities also offer a full selection of online degree programs.

It’s also worth noting that Illinois residents who pursue online degrees at public colleges in Illinois will qualify for in-state tuition rates. Out of state students will generally pay more whether pursuing on-campus or online degrees.

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More than half of the colleges in Illinois are actually private schools. Among these private colleges and universities, the most notable are DePaul University, Northwestern University, and Loyola University Chicago. Tuition from these three private schools can be costly, ranging from $44,000 to $55,000. However, each of these private schools boasts a high graduation rate and excellent professors.

Illinois is also home to many small private schools, including Benedictine University and National Louis University.

Popular disciplines in Illinois include disciplines like criminal justice, social work, nursing, education, religious studies, communications, and medicine. Both traditional and online students have a wide range of options in each of these subject areas.

Degree completion programs are also widely available for lapsed students who have already accumulated some college credits. This is an especially popular online degree option among working professionals in Illinois.

Additionally, Illinois offers several loan forgiveness-based financial aid programs for qualifying students pursuing careers as teachers, public defenders or prosecutors, or nurses.

From the skyscrapers in Chicago to the vast prairie lands in the north, Illinois is a place where city meets country. Students can grab a Chicago-style hotdog on the way to a Cubs game, explore the ancient sandstone cliffs in the Shawnee National Forest, or admire an exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago, all while attending one of The Prairie State’s universities or colleges.

The higher education institutes in Illinois have also produced many prominent alumni, including Stephen Colbert, Phillip Glass, and Kurt Vonnegut. Students hoping to walk the same streets as these well-known individuals can check out some of the state’s top programs and universities.


What are Illinois’s Colleges & Universities?

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There are 15 affordable colleges and universities in Illinois with stated tuitions and fees under $20,000/year. The following list of the most affordable colleges and universities in Illinois is composed entirely of schools offering bachelor’s degree programs, have stated tuition and fees near or under the national average of $16,000/year, and are fully accredited colleges.

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Most Affordable Colleges in Illinois 2022

These schools are ranked by academic excellence, and all under $20,000/year.

  1. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $15K

    Acceptance

    73%

    Graduation

    63%

    Student body

    28K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1145/24

    University of Illinois Chicago’s Online Degrees

    BBA in Business Administration
    Degree Concentrations
    • Program type: Degree completion
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Health Information Management
    • Required Credits: 63
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BSN in Nursing (RN-to-BSN)
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  2. Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    85%

    Graduation

    54%

    Student body

    11K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1120/23

  3. Tuition + fees

    $14K

    Acceptance

    67%

    Graduation

    46%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1050/21

    Western Illinois University’s Online Degrees

    BSN in Nursing (RN-to-BSN)
    • Required Credits: 125
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BB in Accountancy
    Degree Concentrations
    • Management Accounting
    • Taxation
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Law Enforcement and Justice Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Economics
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Political Science
    Degree Concentrations
    • General and Public Administration
    • Public Policy
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Anthropology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Sociology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Communication Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Fire Protection Services
    Degree Concentrations
    • Fire Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Geographic Information Science
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BB in Human Resource Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BB in Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BB in Marketing
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BB in Supply Chain Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BB in Accountancy
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Anthropology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Communication
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA/BB in Economics
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Fire Protection Services
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in General Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Geographic Information Science
    Degree Concentrations
    • Geoenvironment and Planning
    • Geospatial Science
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BB in Human Resource Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Law Enforcement and Justice Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BB in Marketing
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BSN in Nursing
    Degree Concentrations
    • Pre-Licensure
    • RN–BSN Completion
    • Required Credits: 125
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Political Science
    Degree Concentrations
    • General
    • American Government
    • International Relations/Comparative Politics
    • Pre-Law
    • Public Administration/Public Policy
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Sociology
    Degree Concentrations
    • General
    • Deviance and Criminology
    • Environment and Community
    • Social Inequality
    • Social Institutions
    • Sociological Social Psychology
    • Sociology of Health and Illness
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  4. Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    77%

    Graduation

    55%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1107/22

    University of Illinois Springfield’s Online Degrees

    BBA in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 53-55
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Communication
    • Required Credits: 32
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Computer Science Program
    • Required Credits: 82
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in History
    • Required Credits: 33
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BBA in Human Resource Management
    • Required Credits: 53-55
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BBA in Management
    • Required Credits: 53-55
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BBA in Marketing
    • Required Credits: 53-55
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  5. Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    56%

    Graduation

    51%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1035/20

    Eastern Illinois University’s Online Degrees

    BSB in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 120 overall
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Communication Studies
    Degree Concentrations
    • Communication in Organizations
    • Required Credits: 46
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Health Communication
    • Required Credits: 120 overall
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Interdisciplinary Studies
    • Required Credits: 120 overall
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BSN in Nursing: RN to BSN
    • Required Credits: 35
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Organizational Development
    • Required Credits: 120 overall
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Psychology
    • Required Credits: 36-39
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  6. #11

    Governors State University

    University Park , IL

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    48%

    Graduation

    24%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    935/19

    Governors State University’s Online Degrees

    BA in Business and Applied Science
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Interdisciplinary Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BSN in Nursing (RN-to-BSN)
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  7. Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    61%

    Graduation

    23%

    Student body

    5K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1015/18

  8. Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    97%

    Graduation

    22%

    Student body

    6K

    National Louis University’s Online Degrees

    BA in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BABS in Communications
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Computer Sciences
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Healthcare Leadership
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Human Services
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Management
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  9. #14

    Lincoln College

    Lincoln , IL

    Tuition + fees

    $20K

    Acceptance

    70%

    Graduation

    30%

    Student body

    <1K

  10. #15

    St. Augustine College

    Chicago , IL

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Graduation

    46%

    Student body

    <1K

    What is St. Augustine College known for?

    St. Augustine College ’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

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Illinois’s Most Affordable Colleges in Your Area of Interest

2021 Ranking Archive
  1. Chicago State University
  2. Governors State University
  3. Northeastern Illinois University
  4. Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
  5. St. Augustine College
  6. Eastern Illinois University
  7. University of Illinois Springfield
  8. Illinois State University
  9. Western Illinois University
  10. National Louis University
  11. Southern Illinois University Carbondale
  12. Northern Illinois University
  13. University of Illinois Chicago
  14. Midstate College