Illinois Top Universities

Best Colleges and Universities in Illinois

Illinois is located in the Midwestern United States, bordered by Wisconsin to the north, Iowa to the west, Missouri to the southwest, Kentucky to the south, and Indiana to the east. The capital of Illinois is Springfield and its largest city is Chicago. Illinois has a population of over 12.7 million people, making it one of the most populous states in America. It is known for its diverse economy, which includes agriculture, manufacturing, finance and insurance. Additionally, Illinois is home to numerous universities and colleges that attract students from across the country and around the world.

List of Top Colleges in the State of Illinois

Are you planning to attend an Illinois college? Then, you have come to the right place! We have carefully reviewed each of 4-year colleges and universities in the state of Illinois and the following are the top-ranked public and private programs listed in alphabetical order. You can keep reading to see best IL colleges. Please note that you will be directed to a different website.

A state of diverse interests and people, Illinois is a community of cultures with a rich history, vast resources and incredible beauty. Illinois has always been – and remains today – a land of great agricultural and industrial might, of quiet villages, vital towns, and world-class cities. But most of all, Illinois is a state of pioneers for new frontiers. From Abraham Lincoln to Carl Sandburg, from Jean Baptist Du Sable to Ulysses S Grant, Illinois has been a leader in producing leaders. How does Illinois continually meet such a high standard of excellence? One of the answers comes from Illinois’ world-renowned higher education system.

Ask any students in Illinois’ higher education system what they like best about it, and they are likely to list a myriad of benefits, from teachers who enjoy teaching to state-of-the-art facilities, to affordable excellence. Look for an underlying theme to this variety of answers, however, and you will find that the thing binding these diverse answers together is just that: their diversity. This is because the real best thing is about Illinois’ higher education system is simple: what’s best for each student. The predominant benefits of the system are the choices that allow each student to tailor individual educational programs to meet their needs, finances and dreams.

Higher education in Illinois is as diverse as the population and their educational needs. In the fall of 1998, 731,595 students attended Illinois’ 181 public and private colleges and universities – a student population as varied as the state, nation and world from which they came. Together, these colleges and universities offer a full range of educational opportunities, including nearly 700 bachelor’s degree programs, more than 550 master’s degree programs, nearly 200 doctoral programs, plus professional degrees in law, medicine, veterinary medicine, and dentistry. In addition, Illinois has one of the finest community college systems in the United States, charged with providing workforce preparation for Illinois business and industry, as well as low-cost pre-baccalaureate and technical information.

Equally respected affordability and cost-effective standards are buttresses to this prestigious higher education delivery system. Recognizing the importance of providing effective cost plans to international students, many higher education institutions in Illinois offer in-state or reduced tuition rates to those coming to America from overseas. Grants (including tuition waivers) are the largest source of financial assistance in Illinois, followed closely by loans, a reversal of the national pattern and an indication of the State’s commitment to supporting scholarship aid, particularly need-based programs. In fact, the Monetary Award Program in Illinois is the second largest need-based program in the nation.

In addition to this superior funding system, resources are allocated where it matters most: the classroom. More dollars are spent on instruction than any other resource in public universities, community colleges and private institutions. Students are exposed to leaders in their respective fields throughout Illinois’ higher education system, but perhaps more importantly, they are taught by leaders who enjoy teaching. Emphasis is routinely placed on quality instruction that is strongly supported by significant funding for research and student support.

Virtually all Illinois public and private universities and colleges provide specialized support services for international students – wherever they choose to study, a broad variety of specialized programs and services are available to enhance the educational experience. These services are designed to assist the international student in making the transition from their own culture to that of the Midwestern United States, and include everything from basic immigration documentation to elaborate orientations, international week activities, international student housing, and academic support services such as English as a Second Language.

One of the major areas of support for all students in Illinois comes in the form of our commitment to cutting-edge technology that is made available to all students. Illinois is investing over $90 million over the next three years to develop the Illinois Century Network, to replace outdated technology with state-of-the-art systems to improve the quality, usability and access to a truly high-speed information artery. The Illinois Century Network will give the State a telecommunications pipeline so large, so fast, and so reliable that it will make learning available virtually anytime, anywhere. It will connect schools, colleges, universities, libraries and museums in a vast community of learners throughout the State. Campus resources, from invaluable faculty to innovative supercomputers, will be made available to all students at any time and in any location.

Illinois also has a plethora of natural resources available for any student to draw upon. From the top minds in the country to the top libraries in the world, from sites of natural beauty to locations of historical significance, Illinois has something for everyone. From world-class cities with magnificent restaurants, theaters and activities, to historic main streets and villages, Illinois has something for you.

But you don’t have to take our word for it. You are welcome to ask any of the 21,000 international students who have chosen Illinois as their home for higher education, making it the sixth most popular destination in the country. Or you can explore this web page to find links to all of Illinois’ resources. We’re sure you’ll find the Illinois higher education system to be your passport to the future!

Illinois citizens have a broad array of educational opportunities available through the state’s nationally respected system of 9 public universities on 12 campuses, 48 community colleges, 94 independent not-for-profit colleges and universities, and 30 independent for-profit institutions. Enrollments in these institutions in dropped slightly – 0.2% — in fall 2005 to 799,876, compared with the previous autumn, continuing a pattern of stable enrollments in Illinois colleges and universities since the mid-1990s.

Enrollments at public universities increased by 0.9% in fall 2005 to 202,236, according to preliminary headcounts. Community college enrollments dropped 2.1% to 355,684. The number of students at private institutions increased 1.3% in the nonprofit sector, to 208,708, and 4.1% among proprietary institutions, to 33,248. In addition, there were 5,732 Illinois students enrolled in out-of-state institutions with operations in Illinois.

Calculation of a 12-month unduplicated headcount (as opposed to fall enrollment reports) shows more than a million students enrolled in credit coursework at Illinois colleges and universities during the 2004 academic year. A breakdown of 12-month headcounts reveals that enrollments at:

  • Public universities declined 0.1% to 237,684
  • Community colleges increased 0.8% to 698,707
  • Private nonprofit and for-profit institutions rose 3.5% to 301,321

Below we list all universities in the state of Illinois.

Founded: 1923
Location: 332 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60604
Tuition: $30,220 (2014)
Acceptance Rate: 93% (2013)

Founded: 1970
Slogan: “The Serious U”
Total Enrollment: 15,500

Address: 225 N Michigan Ave, Ste 1300, Chicago, IL 60601
Phone: (800) 626-4123

Founded: 1860
Location: 639 38th St, Rock Island, IL 61201
Tuition: $39,621 (2016)
Acceptance Rate: 49% (2015)
Total Enrollment: 2,500

Founded: 1893
Slogan: “Wise persons will carry away knowledge”
Location: 347 S Gladstone Ave, Aurora, IL 60506
Tuition: $21,320 (2014)
Acceptance Rate: 81.1% (2014)

Founded: 1887
Slogan: “That in all things God may be glorified”
Location: 5700 College Rd, Lisle, IL 60532
Tuition: $34,290 (2019)
Acceptance Rate: 62.83% (2018)

Founded: 1837
Location: 700 College Ave, Carlinville, IL 62626
Tuition: $23,510 (2019)
Acceptance Rate: 57.0% (2021)
Total Enrollment: 486

Founded: 1897
Location: 1501 W Bradley Ave, Peoria, IL 61625
Tuition: $35,480 (2020)
Acceptance Rate: 70.21% (2019)
Total Enrollment: 5,929

Founded: 1867
Location: 9501 S. King Drive, Chicago, IL 60628
Tuition: $11,299 (2021)
Acceptance Rate: 34.61% (2017)
Total Enrollment: 2,620

Founded: 1851
Slogan: “Valiantly bear the cross”
Location: 1001 Rogers Street, Columbia, MO 65216
Tuition: $23,498 (2019)
Total Enrollment: 9,920

Address: 11400 Concordia University Dr, Austin, TX 78726
Phone: (512) 313-3000

Founded: 1898
Slogan: “I will show you the way of wisdom.”
Location: 1 E Jackson Blvd, Chicago, IL 60604
Tuition: $41,202 (2020)
Acceptance Rate: 71.74% (2017)
Total Enrollment: 22,437

Founded: 1931
Location: 3343 Perimter Hill Dr., Ste. 200, Nashville, TN 37211
Tuition: $17,798 (2019)
Acceptance Rate: 94.0% (2021)
Total Enrollment: 18,195

Founded: 1901
Slogan: “Love and Truth”
Location: 7900 W Division Street, River Forest, IL 60305
Tuition: $34,420 (2019)
Acceptance Rate: 64.98% (2017)
Total Enrollment: 3,029

Founded: 1996
Slogan: “Excellence in Education”
Total Enrollment: 10,400

Founded: 1895
Location: 600 Lincoln Avenue, Charleston, IL 61920
Tuition: $12,136 (2020)
Acceptance Rate: 56.0% (2022)
Total Enrollment: 8,626

Founded: 1871
Location: 190 Prospect Ave, Elmhurst, IL 60126
Tuition: $37,754 (2019)
Acceptance Rate: 67.36% (2018)
Total Enrollment: 3,460

Founded: 1855
Slogan: “The Moment of Discovery”
Location: 300 E. College Avenue, Eureka, IL 61530
Tuition: $27,560 (2019)
Acceptance Rate: 57.28% (2018)
Total Enrollment: 567

Founded: 1969
Location: 1 University Pky, University Park, IL 60484
Tuition: $10,070 (2019)
Acceptance Rate: 46.0% (2021)

Founded: 1931
Location: 200 West Madison Street

Founded: 1921
Location: 7135 N Carpenter Rd, Skokie, IL 60077
Tuition: $13,300 (2019)
Acceptance Rate: 100.0% (2019)

Founded: 1829
Location: 1101 W College Ave, Jacksonville, IL 62650
Tuition: $33,740 (2019)
Acceptance Rate: 75.93% (2018)
Total Enrollment: 1,150

Founded: 1890
Slogan: “Transforming Lives. Inventing the Future.”
Location: 3300 S Federal St, Chicago, IL 60616
Telephone: 312-567-7146
Tuition: $50,490 (2020)
Acceptance Rate: 60.0% (2021)
Total Enrollment: 7,266

Founded: 1857
Slogan: “Gladly We Learn and Teach”
Location: North and School Streets, Normal, IL 61790
Tuition: $14,832 (2020)
Acceptance Rate: 82.0% (2021)
Total Enrollment: 20,233

Founded: 1850
Slogan: “Knowledge and Wisdom”
Location: 1312 N Park St, Bloomington, IL 61702
Tuition: $50,028 (2019)
Acceptance Rate: 58.55% (2018)

Founded: 1913
Slogan: “Christ, the Light of the World”
Location: 1151 N. State Street, Elgin, IL 60123 | (847) 628-2500
Tuition: $29,870 (2021)
Total Enrollment: 1,283

Founded: 1934

Founded: 1837
Slogan: “Truth”
Location: 2 E South St, Galesburg, IL 61401
Tuition: $48,168 (2019)
Acceptance Rate: 68.32% (2019)

Founded: 1857
Slogan: “And the truth shall set you free”
Location: 555 N Sheridan Road, Lake Forest, IL 60045
Tuition: $48,424 (2019)
Acceptance Rate: 55.0% (2021)
Total Enrollment: 1,592

More on the Internet

  • COUNTRYAAH: How many counties are there in Illinois? This website provides a full list of all counties, cities, towns and detailed information of each county in Illinois.

Illinois Top Universities