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Accredited Online Colleges in Illinois: What Are the Best Virtual Schools in Illinois?

Segba Eseoghene Keva Laya - September 01, 2022

In these modern times, studying no longer requires in-person learning. The world has evolved, with technology taking over and paving the way for distance learning courses and even full degrees. For instance, you can find accredited online colleges in Illinois that offer distance education. You can enroll in a degree program and learn like you would in an in-campus setup.

Through online schools in Illinois, you can earn a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree. You may also enroll in an associate program online to easily jumpstart your learning journey. To speed up your search, this article lists down the best online colleges in Illinois and some factors to consider when choosing online schools.

Types of Accredited Online Colleges in Illinois

An accredited online university is one that has undergone scrutiny to pass the guidelines and standards set by an accreditation agency. There are basically two types of accreditation that can be awarded to a college, namely regional accreditation and national accreditation. In this section, we explain to you in detail the types of accreditation for online colleges.

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Regionally Accredited Online Colleges

Regionally accredited online colleges are schools recognized and granted accreditation at a state or regional level. State-based accreditation agencies attest that these schools meet the minimum standards of quality education. An employer or a public institution requiring accreditation commonly recognizes regional accreditation, as it’s known to be stricter and more reliable.

Nationally Accredited Online Colleges

National accreditation is a form of recognition from accreditation agencies at a national level. It’s not restricted by geographical limits, unlike regional accreditation. National accreditation is perfect if you’re into vocational and technical programs because those are the fields where this type of accreditation is widely accepted.

Choosing Between Virtual Schools in Illinois: 3 Factors to Consider

Picking the right online school is as crucial as choosing a degree track. Flexible education and excellence in education are two things you need to look at. Before shortlisting your remote bachelor’s or master’s degree options, let’s first look at the three factors you must thoroughly consider when reviewing virtual schools in Illinois.


When choosing an online school, you must consider accreditation. Virtual schools with accreditation give you the assurance that they meet excellent standards for an academic program. Accreditation also gives employers the confidence that your training is credible and your knowledge level is up to the standard they seek.

Years of Experience

Experience is important when choosing and considering a virtual school. A college that already withstood the test of time on-campus can be better at delivering quality online learning. This is because they already have a strong foundation on the levels of education to be considered as they offer online learning. You’ll need a school whose online programs are as intensive as its on-campus programs.

Job Opportunities

Think ahead and consider if an online school’s programs can offer career services to guarantee you a job in the future or help achieve your career goals. Jobs are dependent on a city’s economy, and that includes the unemployment rate and leading industries. Make sure the program you select in an online school will not cause you to struggle to find a job down the line.

Best Online Colleges in Illinois: Overview

School City Standard Online Tuition (Per Credit) Top Online Programs Accreditation
Concordia University River Forest In state: $540
Out of state: $540
Programs in fields of accounting, arts, biology, and information technology Higher Learning Commission (regional)
DePaul University Chicago In state: $655
Out of state: $655
Computer science, information technology, software engineering, communication, education leadership Higher Learning Commission (regional)
Eastern Illinois University Charleston In state: $316
Out of state: $395
Nursing programs, interdisciplinary studies, public administration, legal studies Higher Learning Commission (regional)
Governors State University University Park In state: $313
Out of state: $626
Interdisciplinary studies, addiction studies Higher Learning Commission (regional)
Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago In state: $60,696 (per semester)
Out of state: $60,696 (per semester)
Software engineering, industrial technology Higher Learning Commission (regional)
Illinois State University Normal In state: $15,319 (per semester)
Out of state: $26,843 (per semester)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing Higher Learning Commission (regional)
Lewis University Romeoville In state: $17,631
(per semester)
Out of state: $35,262
(per semester)
Aviation and transportation, business administration, computer science Higher Learning Commission (regional)
Lincoln Christian University Lincoln In state: $484
Out of state: $484
Christian ministry, psychology, business administration Higher Learning Commission (regional)
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Champaign In state: $16,866 to $21,960 (per semester)
Out of state: $34,316 to $39,410 (per semester)
Business, engineering Higher Learning Commission (regional)
University of St. Francis Joliet In state: $875
Out of state: $875
Nursing, business and health administration, education Middle States Commission on Higher Education (regional)

Top Online Schools in Illinois: Deep Dive

A picture of online students on a video call. Accredited Online Colleges In Illinois
Most online colleges use video conferences to educate and communicate with online students.

In this section, we discuss in detail the education institutions listed above that are offering online programs. You’ll also get an overview of the types of courses these online universities provide. Most of them have different degree completion tracks, ranging from associate to doctoral degrees.

Concordia University | Higher Learning Commission

Concordia University is one of the private schools that’s been offering online courses since the year 2000. To date, it has over 100 online courses, covering a wide range of programs in the fields of accounting, arts, biology, and information technology. By taking these courses, you can get an undergraduate degree or a graduate degree.

DePaul University | Higher Learning Commission

DePaul University has multiple online degree programs that will help you earn an undergraduate or a graduate degree. Most of its online courses are technology-related and aimed at people who want to learn Python , artificial intelligence, and SQL. You can acquire degrees in computer science, information technology, and software engineering, but there are also degrees in soft sciences like communication and educational leadership.

Eastern Illinois University | Higher Learning Commission

Founded in 1895, Eastern Illinois University (EIU) offers an affordable online catalog for its undergraduate, graduate, and degree completion programs. For undergraduate studies, EIU offers a degree in nursing programs, interdisciplinary studies, public administration, legal studies, and more. EIU’s remote master’s degree covers a wide range of topics, from biological sciences like aging studies to technology like cyber security.

Governors State University | Higher Learning Commission

Governors State University is one of the public universities in Illinois. It’s a state-funded school in the University Park with a low tuition rate. It offers an online certificate and also offers online undergraduate degrees, graduate degrees, and even doctoral degrees. You can take online classes in interdisciplinary studies, nursing, or supply chain management.

Illinois Institute of Technology | Higher Learning Commission

Illinois Institute of Technology has a platform for online learning where students can enroll in online bachelor’s degrees or online master’s degrees. This school offers online classes in software engineering, industrial technology, and other fields of study. The institute emphasizes self-discipline, time management, communication, and initiative as essential skills for online students.

Illinois State University | Higher Learning Commission

Illinois State University is a public research university founded in 1857. It’s the oldest university in the state and was originally a school for teachers. For its online programs, Illinois State University is popular for offering a Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. Aside from a BSN program, online college students can also opt to major in health information, medical records administration, or nursing administration.

Lewis University | Higher Learning Commission

Lewis University is one of Illinois’ not-for-profit universities founded in 1932. This university offers fully online courses. It has undergraduate and graduate programs in aviation and transportation, business administration, and computer science. It uses Blackboard, its learning management system for asynchronous classes, where online students can access class syllabi, course discussions, and other resource guides.

Lincoln Christian University | Higher Learning Commission

Lincoln Christian University is a private institution founded in 1944 that specializes in Christian spirituality education. It has an affordable price for online education starting at the associate degree level. It also offers online graduate and undergraduate degrees. Its online programs include Christian ministry, psychology, and the field of business administration.

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign | Higher Learning Commission

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is a public school founded in 1867. It accommodates over six million online school students through its massive open online courses. University Of Illinois also has hundreds of online degree and certificate programs for distance learners, including programs in business and engineering.

University of St. Francis | Middle States Commission on the Higher Education

University of St. Francis is a private Catholic institution located in Joliet, Illinois. This school serves over 1,500 online school students per semester with its more than 120 online courses. It offers an undergraduate, graduate, certificate, and doctoral program.

Should I Consider Accredited Online Colleges in Illinois?

Yes, you should consider getting an online degree from online colleges in Illinois. While you learn at your own pace, they give you the confidence that the education you get is up to standards. You’ll be learning from the best curriculum and educational practices, which you can carry with you when you look for career opportunities.

Accredited Online Colleges in Illinois FAQ

Are there numerous online colleges in Illinois?

Yes, there are multiple online colleges in Illinois as mentioned in this article. Other universities offering online courses as well are Aurora University, Loyola University Chicago, Quincy University, Southern Illinois University, and Western Illinois University. Most on-campus colleges in Illinois offer online programs to prospective graduate students.

How do I know if an online college is accredited?

You can start by checking the heading of the school’s website, where they usually mention and link their accreditation status. You can also check the accreditation agency’s website. You can learn more about online schools accreditation here .

Can I get a real degree online?

Yes, you can get a real degree online from a credible online school. Online study has become a legitimate option across several fields of study. Prospective students should verify a school’s accreditation to give them the confidence that they’ll get an authentic degree from a reputable school.

Can I get a job with an online college degree?

Yes, you can get a job with a degree earned online. Many people who graduated from various online programs have landed excellent job opportunities. However, you must consider colleges with accreditation, so your employer will be confident in your abilities and education. There are also many hybrid options you can explore to give you a solid academic foundation.

About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.

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Segba Eseoghene Keva Laya

About the author: Keva is a content writer with extensive experience in the field and with her own blog. In the future, she hopes to become a life coach and continue sharing ideas on her own website. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in History and International Studies from the University of Uyo.

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