By BVS Staff
Welcome to our best value ranking of online colleges in Illinois.
Out of nearly 80 different institutions of higher education in Illinois, fewer than 20 have invested significantly in online programs (meaning at least 15% of students are enrolled in at least one distance course). Of those online-accessible schools, we’re bringing you the 5 “best value.” These top 5 colleges all earned at least 60 points (out of 100) in our ranking.
5. Lewis University
Adult learners looking for career advance or new job opportunities will find that Lewis University provides some of the best online degrees in Illinois in an impressive range of subjects. Online degrees at Lewis cover mostly technical topics like computer science, IT management, and information security, but the school also offers programs in criminal/social justice and organizational leadership. Despite the focus on “market-relevant” degree programs, this affordable online school in Illinois maintains the elements of traditional academia through small class sizes, individual attention from instructors, and personal advising. And as a Catholic institution, Lewis encourages all of its students to pursue its Catholic mission of promoting human rights and social justice.
In-State Undergrad Tuition: $29,040/yr
4. University of St. Francis
This top online school in Illinois has been offering distance learning degrees for 15 years and has developed a deep and varied set of online business degrees. Online students at St. Francis can choose from a B.S. in Healthcare Leadership, an RN to BSN program, and a B.S. in Business Administration that includes five unique concentrations. USF is a Catholic school that puts Franciscan values at the heart of its mission, so students pursuing a degree at this accredited online school in Illinois can expect to take a Liberal Education Core with courses like Christianity in the Modern World and Environmental Science & Social Implications.
In-State Undergrad Tuition: $29,950/yr
3. Moody Bible Institute
As one of several affordable online colleges in Illinois with a focus on Christianity, the Moody Bible Institute makes it easy for students of faith to learn more about their religion and kick-start a career in the ministry. With Bachelor of Science degrees in Biblical Studies, Ministry Leadership, Theological Studies, and Theology and Cultural Engagement, it’s hard to imagine a Christian student who doesn’t find something of interest at Moody. Classes come in both accelerated eight-week and self-paced 16-week formats to appease busy adult students, independent learners, and everyone in between.
In-State Undergrad Tuition: $12,284/yr
2. University of Illinois at Springfield
As a part of the University of Illinois system, the University of Illinois at Springfield has access to a larger faculty than many of the other schools on this accredited Illinois online colleges ranking — but the school is still able to offer some of the most affordable degrees on this list. UI Springfield’s catalog of online undergraduate degrees includes many of the most popular traditional college fields — for example, English, computer science, political science and history — that you don’t always find at online schools. And the strength of the University of Illinois system means that UI Springfield has relationships with a number of partner schools across the country. This network of programs allows students to transfer seamlessly between colleges to access the material they need.
In-State Undergrad Tuition: $11,413/yr
1. Lincoln Christian University
As one of the least expensive institutions on this top Illinois online colleges ranking, LCU already has a distinct advantage. Factor in its Christian ethic plus the dozen hybrid and online-only degrees on offer, and the result is one of the most popular choices for spiritual students seeking education at a distance. Lincoln offers three fully online degrees in Business Administration, Christian Ministry, and Psychology, as well as nine other hybrid degrees (most of which focus on ministry). And for motivated high schoolers, the LCU Early Achievement Program (LEAP) provides an opportunity to earn college credit at Lincoln at a discounted rate. Overall, this extremely affordable online college in Illinois proves it deserves the number one spot thanks to its low prices, well-designed degree programs, and flexible courses.
In-State Undergrad Tuition: $12,900/yr
If you liked our ranking of the top online degrees in Illinois, you might also be interested in our list of the 30 Best Value Colleges and Universities in Illinois.