Best Associate Programs in Illinois

Students often begin their four-year degree journey with an associate degree. Others find that an associate degree boosts their career prospects. Often, an associate degree in Illinois costs less than four years of tuition. There is a high probability of students graduating in two years or less.

In Illinois, graduates with associate degrees often make more money than those with just a high school diploma. For the state’s 5,618,830 workers, the median annual wage is $46,630, or $22.42 per hour. Illinois’ bottom earners earn $24,470, while the state’s highest earners earn $103,490.

Below is a ranking of Illinois’ best schools for associate degrees to assist you in choosing a school. Please feel free to use it as a guide to decide which program best suits your needs.

At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you can make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering transparent, inclusive, and relevant school rankings.

Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read our ranking methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.

Showing 30 schools

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    Avg Tuition per YearTuition is the price you pay to attend classes. Tuition varies by school, and does not include costs associated with room and board, books, school supplies, meal plans, or transportation.

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    #1

    Frontier Community College

    Fairfield, IL

    Graduation Rate

    72%

    Enrollment

    1,262

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $8902

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $10928

    A public institution, Frontier Community College enrolls students on its campus in Fairfield, Illinois. The school offers academic and technical programs to help learners reach their educational goals. Students prepare for a successful career by completing the program's coursework. Applicants may qualify for a test score waiver. The waiver makes it simpler to apply. Enrollees receive support in the form of tutoring and career services. Data on the school's average cost per credit is currently unavailable. The accredited school qualifies for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. The school holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #2

    Judson University

    Elgin, IL

    Graduation Rate

    61%

    Enrollment

    1,173

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $28840

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $28840

    From its campus in Elgin, Illinois, Judson University grants degrees as a top school. Enrollees choose from multiple degree-granting programs. With academic and technical tracks, the school's programs help learners meet their professional goals. Degree-seekers can earn an associate degree in two years, a bachelor's degree in four years, a master's degree in 1-2 years, or a doctoral degree in 3-7 years. Some applicants qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. A test score waiver makes it easier to apply. Admission advisors can help applicants complete the process. Students at the accredited institution also qualify for financial aid to cover costs. Judson University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #3

    Fox College

    Bedford Park, IL

    Graduation Rate

    78%

    Enrollment

    404

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $15340

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $15340

    A private institution, Fox College enrolls students from its campus in Bedford Park, Illinois. Degree-seekers take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. The school offers academic and technical programs for students planning to enter the workforce or pursue further studies. The amount students pay per credit on average is unknown. Students at the accredited institution qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. A total of 90% of students receive financial aid and 85% take out loans at the institution. The private institution reports a graduation rate of 78%. The admission rate is 50% for new students. Prospective applicants can contact an admission advisor to learn more about applying. Fox College holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #4

    Loyola University Chicago

    Chicago, IL

    Graduation Rate

    76%

    Enrollment

    16,893

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $45500

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $45500

    Loyola University Chicago, located in Chicago, Illinois, welcomes students with 365 program options. Learners benefit from rigorous programs that rank among the best in the nation. The school has a student-to-faculty ratio of 14-to-1. The institution reports that 99% of undergraduates receive some form of financial aid. The school reports a 76% graduation rate. The institution's commitment to experiential learning helps graduates on the job market. The school incorporates internships, research opportunities, and service learning. Applicants can expect admission rates of 71%. Some programs provide a test-optional admission option.

    #5

    Morrison Institute of Technology

    Morrison, IL

    Graduation Rate

    76%

    Enrollment

    79

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $16000

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $16000

    Located in Morrison, Illinois, Morrison Institute of Technology attracts students with their well-regarded programs. Students learn from experts in multiple disciplines. The programs offer academic and technical tracks to help learners meet their career goals. Academic programs generally take anywhere from a few months to several years to complete depending on degree or certificate type. Some applicants qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. Flexible admission score requirements make it easier to apply. Admission advisors can provide more information on the application process. Financial aid helps enrollees cover their educational expenses. The school holds accreditation from the Council on Occupational Education.

    #6

    Blessing Rieman College of Nursing and Health Sciences

    Quincy, IL

    Graduation Rate

    Not Provided

    Enrollment

    177

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $26400

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $26400

    Located in Quincy, Illinois, Blessing Rieman College of Nursing and Health Sciences grants college degrees as a private institution. The college offers academic and technical programs to help learners reach their educational goals. Students prepare to contribute to their field by completing courses. Some programs may offer test-optional admission policies. Flexible admission score requirements make it easier to enroll. The school supports learners with academic help and career services. The institution's cost per credit is unknown. Learners at the accredited school qualify for federal financial aid programs such as the Pell Grant. Blessing Rieman College of Nursing and Health Sciences has received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #7

    National University of Health Sciences

    Lombard, IL

    Graduation Rate

    Not Provided

    Enrollment

    529

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $19668

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $19668

    National University of Health Sciences, a private organization located in Lombard, Illinois, offers multiple programs. The school offers accredited degrees that prepare students for the workforce. Learners benefit from academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. Students can enroll in nationally ranked programs. The school's cost per credit is unknown. As an accredited institution, degree-seekers qualify for federal student aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Learners choose from academic and technical programs. Depending on their program, students complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. National University of Health Sciences is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #8

    Stautzenberger College-Rockford Career College

    Rockford, IL

    Graduation Rate

    77%

    Enrollment

    578

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $16249

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $16249

    From its campus in Illinois, Stautzenberger College-Rockford Career College enrolls students in 19 programs. Degree-seekers enroll in top-ranked programs that offer a rigorous course of study. The student-to-faculty ratio at the school is 19-to-1. Approximately 95% of students at this institution fund their education, at least in part, with financial aid. Students graduate from the school at a rate of 77%. Graduates often benefit from hands-on experience, which makes them more competitive candidates on the job market. The institution's admission rate is unknown at this time. Some programs waive the test score requirement for qualified applicants. The admission department can provide more information about application requirements and start dates.

    #9

    Lincoln Trail College

    Robinson, IL

    Graduation Rate

    54%

    Enrollment

    723

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $8902

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $10928

    Lincoln Trail College enrolls learners from its Robinson, Illinois campus. Enrollees take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. With academic and technical tracks, the school offers programs for students with a variety of professional goals. Academic programs generally take anywhere from a few months to several years to complete depending on degree or certificate type. Applicants may qualify for test-optional admissions. A test score waiver makes it easier to apply. The admissions department provides more information about the application process. Financial aid helps degree-seekers pay for their education. The school holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

    #10

    Lincoln Christian University

    Lincoln, IL

    Graduation Rate

    43%

    Enrollment

    581

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $13980

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $13980

    From its campus in Lincoln, Illinois, Lincoln Christian University enrolls students in 38 programs. Learners benefit from rigorous programs that rank among the best in the nation. The school has a student-to-faculty ratio of 12-to-1. At the institution, 98% of the students receive some form of financial aid. The school reports a 43% graduation rate. The institution's commitment to experiential learning helps graduates on the job market. Enrollees benefit from internships, research opportunities, and other forms of service learning. We do not currently have data on the school's admission rate. Some programs offer a waiver for standardized test scores.

    #11

    Elgin Community College

    Elgin, IL

    Graduation Rate

    42%

    Enrollment

    7,882

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $7128

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $9504

    From its campus in Elgin, Illinois, Elgin Community College offers academic programs as a public institution. Students leave the school with experience and credentials that prepare them for the workforce. The institution offers affordable programs that do not sacrifice academic rigor. Several of the school's programs appear in national rankings. Data on the school's average cost per credit is currently unavailable. Degree-seekers at this accredited institution may qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Students receive $4565 in aid on average, lowering the average tuition cost after aid to $4159. Learners choose from academic and technical programs. Depending on their program, enrollees complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #12

    Olney Central College

    Olney, IL

    Graduation Rate

    59%

    Enrollment

    906

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $8902

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $10928

    From its campus in Olney, Illinois, Olney Central College enrolls students as a public institution. Learners take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. Students who complete an academic or technical program enter the workforce or pursue a bachelor's degree. The amount students pay per credit on average is currently unknown. At the accredited institution, students qualify for financial aid, including federal loans, scholarships, and grants. The institution reports that 98% of students receive aid, and 10% receive loans. The public institution reports a graduation rate of 59%. The school's admission rate is unavailable. Admissions advisors can provide more information about application requirements and start dates. Olney Central College has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #13

    Trinity College of Nursing & Health Sciences

    Rock Island, IL

    Graduation Rate

    100%

    Enrollment

    206

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $24989

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $24989

    From its campus in Rock Island, Illinois, Trinity College of Nursing & Health Sciences enrolls students as a private institution. With both academic and technical programs, the school helps learners reach their educational goals. The institution offers coursework that gives students the chance to gain relevant knowledge and skills. Applicants may qualify for test-optional admissions. A waiver makes it easier to apply. Learners receive support in the form of tutoring and career services. Data on the school's average cost per credit is currently unavailable. Learners attending the accredited school also qualify for federal financial aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Trinity College of Nursing & Health Sciences is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #14

    McKendree University

    Lebanon, IL

    Graduation Rate

    54%

    Enrollment

    2,200

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $31100

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $31100

    McKendree University, a private institution in Lebanon, Illinois, enrolls learners in multiple programs. With both academic and technical programs, the college helps students reach their career goals. The institution's bachelor's programs incorporate lower-division and upper-division requirements. Students also complete general education credits. Upper-division credits focus on various concepts in the major. The school provides support such as tutoring and career services. The amount students pay per credit is unknown at this time. Learners at the accredited institution qualify for federal aid programs, including the Pell Grant. The school holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

    #15

    William Rainey Harper College

    Palatine, IL

    Graduation Rate

    35%

    Enrollment

    12,199

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $9372

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $11184

    William Rainey Harper College offers programs from its campus in Palatine, Illinois. Students take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. The school's academic and technical tracks help learners meet diverse career goals. Check the program website for specifics on the degree- or certificate-completion timeline. Some programs may no longer require standardized tests for admission. The waiver makes it simpler to enroll. The admissions department can help prospective students complete their application. At the accredited institution, learners also qualify for financial aid to pay for school. William Rainey Harper College has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #16

    Moraine Valley Community College

    Palos Hills, IL

    Graduation Rate

    29%

    Enrollment

    11,026

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $7584

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $8880

    From its campus in Palos Hills, Illinois, Moraine Valley Community College enrolls students as a public institution. Experts in diverse disciplines teach at the institution. Students who complete a technical or academic program may enter the workforce. The amount students pay per credit on average is unknown. Enrollees at the accredited institution qualify for federal financial aid, including grants and loans. The institution reports that 66% of learners receive financial aid, while 5% take out loans. Learners graduate from the school at a rate of 29%. The school's admission rate is unavailable. Prospective students can contact an admission advisor to learn more about applying. The school holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

    #17

    Waubonsee Community College

    Sugar Grove, IL

    Graduation Rate

    34%

    Enrollment

    7,564

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $9079

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $9884

    Waubonsee Community College, located in Sugar Grove, Illinois, offers 119 programs for degree-seekers. Degree-seekers benefit from rigorous programs that rank among the best in the nation. The school reports a 18-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. According to the institution, 54% of enrollees receive some form of financial aid. Students earn their degree from the school at a rate of 34%. Real-world experience helps candidates stand out on the job market. The admission rate is unknown at this time. Some programs provide a test-optional admission option. Prospective students can contact the admissions office for more information about applying.

    #18

    Lewis and Clark Community College

    Godfrey, IL

    Graduation Rate

    51%

    Enrollment

    4,683

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $9000

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $12000

    Lewis and Clark Community College, located in Godfrey, Illinois, often ranks as one of the best schools. Instructors bring expertise in their fields. With academic and technical tracks, the programs help learners reach a variety of career goals. Visit the program's website to find information on the typical timeline for completion. Applicants may qualify for a test score waiver. Flexible admission score requirements make it easier to apply. The admissions department can help prospective students complete their application. Degree-seekers also use financial aid to cover their educational costs. Lewis and Clark Community College has received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #19

    College of Lake County

    Grayslake, IL

    Graduation Rate

    32%

    Enrollment

    11,854

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $9016

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $12208

    From its campus in Grayslake, Illinois, College of Lake County enrolls students as a public institution. Degree-seekers take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. The school offers academic and technical programs for students planning to enter the workforce or pursue further studies. The institution's cost per credit is unknown. At the accredited institution, degree-seekers qualify for financial aid, including federal loans, scholarships, and grants. A total of 50% of students receive financial aid and 2% take out loans at the institution. The public institution reports a 32% graduation rate. The school's admission rate is unavailable. Prospective students can contact the admissions department for more details about application requirements. College of Lake County has received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

    #20

    Lake Land College

    Mattoon, IL

    Graduation Rate

    47%

    Enrollment

    3,862

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $7139

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $12940

    A public institution, Lake Land College educates students on its campus in Mattoon, Illinois. With both academic and technical programs, the school helps learners reach their career goals. Students prepare for a successful career by completing degree- or certificate-specific coursework. Some programs may let applicants apply without submitting test scores. Test-optional policies make it easier to enroll. The school supports learners with tutoring and career services. The school's cost per credit is unknown. The accredited school qualifies for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Lake Land College holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

    #21

    Oakton Community College

    Des Plaines, IL

    Graduation Rate

    28%

    Enrollment

    7,313

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $10276

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $12292

    Oakton Community College, located in Des Plaines, Illinois, enrolls students in 123 programs. Degree-seekers benefit from rigorous programs that rank among the best in the nation. The school reports a 14-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. Approximately 55% of students use some form of financial aid to pay for their education at the school. Students in the school's programs graduate at a rate of 28%. The institution understands that real-world experience helps job seekers stand out. The school's admission rate is unknown at this time. Applicants may qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. The admission department can provide more information about application requirements and start dates.

    #22

    Carl Sandburg College

    Galesburg, IL

    Graduation Rate

    36%

    Enrollment

    1,755

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $7140

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $7952

    Carl Sandburg College, which is often listed among the best schools, operates from its main campus in Galesburg, Illinois. Students study with experts in many different fields. The school's academic and technical tracks help students meet diverse career goals. Enrollees earn their degree or certificate in as little time as a few months or as much time as seven years depending on program type and enrollment status. Some programs may let applicants apply without submitting test scores. A waiver makes it easier to apply. The admissions department can provide more information on the process. Degree-seekers at the accredited institution also qualify for financial aid to cover costs. Carl Sandburg College holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #23

    Benedictine University

    Lisle, IL

    Graduation Rate

    46%

    Enrollment

    3,779

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $30830

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $30830

    From its campus in Lisle, Illinois, Benedictine University grants degrees as a top school. Learners choose from a variety of degree-granting programs. With academic and technical tracks, the school's programs help students meet their professional goals. At the institution, students typically complete an associate degree in two years, a bachelor's degree in four years, a master's degree in 1-2 years, or a doctoral degree in 3-7 years. Some programs may let applicants apply without submitting test scores. A test score waiver makes it easier to apply. The admissions department can help prospective students determine the next steps. At the accredited institution, degree-seekers also qualify for financial aid to pay for school. Benedictine University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #24

    Rend Lake College

    Ina, IL

    Graduation Rate

    56%

    Enrollment

    1,802

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $5250

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $6000

    A public institution, Rend Lake College grants degrees and certificates from its campus in Ina, Illinois. Learners study with experts in many different fields. The school's academic and technical programs prepare graduates for the workforce or further study. The school's cost per credit is unknown. At the accredited school, enrollees qualify for financial aid, including federal loans, scholarships, and grants. The institution reports that 93% of students receive aid, and 0% receive loans. The public school reports a graduation rate of 56%. The institution's admission rate is unknown at this time. The admission department can provide more information about application requirements. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #25

    Sauk Valley Community College

    Dixon, IL

    Graduation Rate

    46%

    Enrollment

    1,386

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $11588

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $12218

    A public institution, Sauk Valley Community College grants degrees from its campus in Dixon, Illinois. The college offers academic and technical programs to help learners reach their educational goals. The institution's degree and certificate programs offer coursework that prepares learners for a career in their field. Applicants may qualify for test-optional admissions. Test-optional policies make it easier to apply. Enrollees receive support in the form of tutoring and career services. The amount students pay per credit on average is currently unknown. Learners at the accredited school can pay for their educational costs with federal student aid programs. The school holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #26

    Danville Area Community College

    Danville, IL

    Graduation Rate

    43%

    Enrollment

    2,171

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $7500

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $7500

    From its campus in Danville, Illinois, Danville Area Community College enrolls students as a public institution. Degree-seekers take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. The college offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for the workforce. Data on the school's average cost per credit is currently unavailable. Students can fund their education with financial aid such as federal loans, scholarships, and grants. The institution reports that 85% of learners receive financial aid, while 5% take out loans. The institution reports a 43% graduation rate. The rate of admission for the school is unknown. Admissions advisors can provide more information about application requirements and start dates. The school holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

    #27

    McHenry County College

    Crystal Lake, IL

    Graduation Rate

    32%

    Enrollment

    7,814

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $11345

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $14104

    From its campus in Crystal Lake, Illinois, McHenry County College enrolls students in programs as a public institution. Students leave the school with experience and credentials that prepare them for the workforce. The institution offers academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. Several of the school's programs appear in national rankings. The cost per credit is unknown. Students attending the accredited institution may qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Students receive $5822 in aid on average, lowering the average tuition cost after aid to $6768. Degree-seekers choose from academic and technical programs at the institution. Based on their major, students take essential courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. The school holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

    #28

    Taylor Business Institute

    Chicago, IL

    Graduation Rate

    63%

    Enrollment

    100

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $10350

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $10350

    Located in Chicago, Illinois, Taylor Business Institute attracts students with their well-regarded programs. Experts in diverse disciplines teach at the institution. Academic and technical programs help students reach their professional goals. Academic programs generally take anywhere from a few months to several years to complete depending on degree or certificate type. Many schools no longer require admissions tests such as ACT or SAT. Students may find it easier to apply without a test score requirement. Admission advisors can help applicants complete the process. Students also use financial aid to pay for their college degree or certificate. Taylor Business Institute holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #29

    Wabash Valley College

    Mount Carmel, IL

    Graduation Rate

    61%

    Enrollment

    2,222

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $8902

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $10928

    From its campus in Mount Carmel, Illinois, Wabash Valley College awards degrees and certificates as a top school. Experts in diverse disciplines teach at the institution. Academic and technical programs help students reach their professional goals. Academic programs generally take anywhere from a few months to several years to complete depending on degree or certificate type. Some programs may offer test-optional admission policies. These policies make it easier to enroll. Admission advisors can help applicants complete the process. Financial aid helps degree-seekers pay for their education. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #30

    Quincy University

    Quincy, IL

    Graduation Rate

    50%

    Enrollment

    1,273

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $31160

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $31160

    A private institution in Quincy, Illinois, Quincy University offers a variety of degree and certificate programs. Instructors draw on their expertise in diverse fields. The college offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for the workforce or further study. Data on the school's average cost per credit is currently unavailable. The accredited institution meets the requirements for federal financial aid programs, including the Pell Grant. According to the institution, 100% of students receive aid and 60% receive loans. Students graduate from the school at a rate of 50%. Hopeful students can expect admission rates of 67%. The admissions office provides more information about application requirements. Quincy University has received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.