2022 Top Private Colleges and Universities in Illinois

Private universities frequently top the lists of the best schools in the U.S. These institutions offer rigorous academic programs for students looking for a personalized college experience.

Private universities generally cost more than their public counterparts, but students often receive the benefits of smaller class sizes, strong alumni networks, and generous financial aid opportunities.

Unlike public universities, private institutions do not differentiate between in-state and out-of-state tuition. This means students from anywhere can enroll in Illinois’s private universities without paying higher out-of-state rates.

2022 Best Private Colleges and Universities in Illinois

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.

This site is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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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

    University of Chicago

    Chicago, IL

    Graduation Rate

    96%

    Enrollment

    17,834

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $57642

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $57642

    Located in Illinois, University of Chicago offers 232 programs for students. The institution's rigorous programs rank among the best in the nation. The school has a student-to-faculty ratio of 5-to-1. According to the school, 57% of students receive some form of financial aid. Students graduate from the school at a rate of 96%. The institution understands that real-world experience helps job seekers enter the workforce. The school offers internships, research opportunities, and other forms of experiential learning. The admission rate is 7% for hopeful students. Some programs operate with a test-optional policy for admissions.

    #2

    Northwestern University

    Evanston, IL

    Graduation Rate

    95%

    Enrollment

    22,603

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $58227

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $58227

    From its campus in Evanston, Illinois, Northwestern University enrolls students as a private institution. Learners learn from experts in multiple disciplines. The college offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for the workforce or further study. The school's average cost per credit is unknown. At the accredited institution, learners qualify for financial aid, including federal loans, scholarships, and grants. At the institution, 66% of students receive financial aid and 21% take out loans. The school reports a graduation rate of 95%. The school reports a 9% admission rate. The admissions office provides more information about application requirements and start dates. Northwestern University has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #3

    Graham Hospital School of Nursing

    Canton, IL

    Graduation Rate

    Not Provided

    Enrollment

    63

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $5644

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $5644

    Based in Illinois, Graham Hospital School of Nursing offers a total of 2 certificate programs. Most certificate and diploma programs take just weeks or months to complete. These credential programs attract students who want to build new skills quickly for career advancement. Students gain new skills that can apply to more specialized careers. The school is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. Students can contact Graham Hospital School of Nursing's admission department with any questions about the application process. Graduates seek careers in their area of expertise after finishing their programs.

    #4

    VanderCook College of Music

    Chicago, IL

    Graduation Rate

    72%

    Enrollment

    313

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $27670

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $27670

    Located in Chicago, Illinois, VanderCook College of Music often ranks among the best schools. The institution's faculty brings expertise in multiple fields. The school's academic and technical tracks help learners meet diverse career goals. Academic programs can take as little as a few months or as many as seven years to complete, depending on the degree or certificate type and the student's enrollment status. Applicants may qualify for test-optional admissions. The waiver makes it simpler to enroll. Admission advisors can help applicants complete the process. At the accredited institution, students also qualify for financial aid to pay for school. VanderCook College of Music holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

    #5

    Wheaton College

    Wheaton, IL

    Graduation Rate

    88%

    Enrollment

    2,908

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $39100

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $39100

    A private institution in Wheaton, Illinois, Wheaton College offers a variety of degree-granting programs. The institution's faculty brings expertise in multiple fields. The school offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for the workforce or further study. The institution's average cost per credit is unknown. Students can fund their education with financial aid such as federal loans, scholarships, and grants. A total of 94% of students receive financial aid and 49% take out loans at the institution. The school reports a 88% graduation rate. Hopeful learners can expect admission rates of 87%. Prospective students can contact the admission department for more information about applying. Wheaton College has received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #6

    Principia College

    Elsah, IL

    Graduation Rate

    75%

    Enrollment

    340

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $29970

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $29970

    Located in Elsah, Illinois, Principia College attracts students with their well-regarded programs. Instructors bring expertise in their fields. With academic and technical tracks, the programs help learners reach a variety of career goals. Typical time for program completion ranges from a few months to seven years depending on the type of degree or certificate offered. Some programs may no longer require standardized tests for admission. The waiver makes it simpler to apply. Admission advisors can help applicants complete the process. Financial aid helps enrollees cover their educational expenses. Principia College holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

    #7

    Lake Forest College

    Lake Forest, IL

    Graduation Rate

    75%

    Enrollment

    1,583

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $48920

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $48920

    Lake Forest College, located in Lake Forest, Illinois, welcomes students with 45 program options. Students enroll in top-ranked programs that offer a rigorous course of study. The school reports a student-to-faculty ratio of 12-to-1. At the institution, 99% of the students receive some form of financial aid. The private institution reports a graduation rate of 75%. The institution's commitment to experiential learning helps graduates become more competitive in the job market. The admission rate is 58% for new students. Some programs waive the test score requirement for qualified applicants. Prospective applicants can contact an admission advisor to learn more about applying.

    #8

    Illinois Institute of Technology

    Chicago, IL

    Graduation Rate

    72%

    Enrollment

    6,325

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $48610

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $48610

    Illinois Institute of Technology, a private organization located in Chicago, Illinois, offers multiple programs. Graduates leave the school with an accredited degree that prepares them for the workforce. Learners benefit from the school's academic rigor and affordable tuition rate. 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 the accredited school may qualify for federal financial aid, including the Pell Grant. The institution offers both academic and technical programs. Based on their major, students take foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. Illinois Institute of Technology has received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

    #9

    Illinois Wesleyan University

    Bloomington, IL

    Graduation Rate

    82%

    Enrollment

    1,636

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $51132

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $51132

    Illinois Wesleyan University, located in Bloomington, Illinois, enrolls students as a private institution. The college offers academic and technical programs to help learners reach their educational goals. The institution's degree and certificate programs offer coursework that allows students to bolster their knowledge. Depending on the program, applicants may need to submit test scores. Test-optional policies make it easier to enroll. The school supports learners with tutoring and career services. The amount students pay per credit on average is currently unknown. At the accredited school, learners qualify for federal student aid programs. Illinois Wesleyan University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #10

    University of St Francis

    Joliet, IL

    Graduation Rate

    60%

    Enrollment

    3,529

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $35000

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $35000

    Located in Joliet, Illinois, University of St Francis educates college students as a private institution. With both academic and technical programs, the school helps students reach their career goals. Bachelor's programs incorporate lower-division and upper-division coursework. Students also complete general education credits. Upper-division credits emphasize advanced concepts in the major. The school supports learners with tutoring and career services. Data on the school's average cost per credit is currently unavailable. Learners at the accredited institution qualify for federal financial aid programs such as the Pell Grant. University of St Francis holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #11

    Saint Anthony College of Nursing

    Rockford, IL

    Graduation Rate

    Not Provided

    Enrollment

    291

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $26344

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $26344

    Located in Rockford, Illinois, Saint Anthony College of Nursing offers multiple programs as a private institution. The school's accredited degrees help graduates launch or advance professional careers. Learners benefit from the school's academic rigor and affordable tuition rate. The school boasts several programs that appear in national rankings. The amount students pay per credit is currently unknown. Degree-seekers at the accredited school may qualify for federal financial aid, including the Pell Grant. Degree-seekers choose from academic and technical programs at the school. Depending on their major, students complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. Saint Anthony College of Nursing has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #12

    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.

    #13

    Augustana College

    Rock Island, IL

    Graduation Rate

    77%

    Enrollment

    2,389

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $45136

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $45136

    Augustana College, located in Rock Island, Illinois, welcomes students with 86 program options. The institution's rigorous programs rank among the best in the nation. The school has a student-to-faculty ratio of 11-to-1. According to the school, 100% of students receive some form of financial aid. The school reports a graduation rate of 77%. The institution's commitment to experiential learning helps graduates on the job market. The admission rate is 57% for hopeful students. Many schools no longer require test scores for admission. Applicants can reach out to the admissions office to learn more about enrolling.

    #14

    School of the Art Institute of Chicago

    Chicago, IL

    Graduation Rate

    68%

    Enrollment

    3,132

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $49841

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $49841

    School of the Art Institute of Chicago, which is often listed among the best schools, operates from its main campus in Chicago, Illinois. The institution's faculty brings expertise in multiple 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 waiver for standardized test scores. Flexible admission score requirements make it easier to enroll. 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. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #15

    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.

    #16

    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.

    #17

    Bradley University

    Peoria, IL

    Graduation Rate

    76%

    Enrollment

    5,855

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $35060

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $35060

    Bradley University, a private organization located in Peoria, Illinois, offers multiple programs. The school's accredited programs prepare learners for the workforce. Learners enroll in academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. Several of the school's programs appear in national rankings. Learners can expect to pay 930 per credit at the school. Degree-seekers attending the accredited institution may qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Learners choose from academic and technical programs. Based on their major, students take foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. Bradley University has received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

    #18

    Moody Bible Institute

    Chicago, IL

    Graduation Rate

    62%

    Enrollment

    2,870

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $11520

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $11520

    Moody Bible Institute offers programs from its campus in Chicago, Illinois. Instructors draw on their expertise in diverse fields. The programs offer academic and technical tracks to help students meet their career 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 a test score waiver. Applicants may find it easier to enroll without a test score requirement. The admissions department provides additional resources on applying to the school. Financial aid helps students cover the cost of their degree or certificate. Moody Bible Institute holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #19

    DePaul University

    Chicago, IL

    Graduation Rate

    71%

    Enrollment

    21,922

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $40551

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $40551

    DePaul University, which is often listed among the best schools, operates from its main campus in Chicago, Illinois. The college offers a variety of degree-granting programs and courses. Academic and technical programs help students reach their professional goals. Generally, it takes two years to complete an associate degree, four years to earn a bachelor's degree, 1-2 years for a master's degree, or 3-7 years for a doctoral degree. Some programs may let applicants apply without submitting test scores. A waiver makes it easier to apply. Admission advisors can provide additional information on submitting an application. Degree-seekers at the accredited institution also qualify for financial aid to cover costs. DePaul University holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

    #20

    North Central College

    Naperville, IL

    Graduation Rate

    66%

    Enrollment

    2,832

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $41000

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $41000

    North Central College, which is often listed among the best schools, operates from its main campus in Naperville, Illinois. Degree-seekers take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. Academic and technical programs help learners reach their unique 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. Students may find it easier to apply without a test score requirement. The admissions department can help applicants determine the next steps. At the accredited institution, degree-seekers also qualify for financial aid to pay for school. North Central College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #21

    Elmhurst University

    Elmhurst, IL

    Graduation Rate

    68%

    Enrollment

    3,421

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $38354

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $38354

    Elmhurst University, located in Elmhurst, Illinois, enrolls students in 124 programs. The institution's many rigorous academic programs rank among the best in the nation. The school has a student-to-faculty ratio of 13-to-1. The institution reports that 100% of students receive some form of financial aid. Students earn their degree from the school at a rate of 68%. Hands-on experience helps graduates stand out on the job market. The admission rate is 66%. Some students qualify for test-optional admissions. The admission department can provide more information about application requirements and start dates.

    #22

    Lewis University

    Romeoville, IL

    Graduation Rate

    70%

    Enrollment

    6,437

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $34268

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $34268

    Lewis University is a private institution located in Romeoville, Illinois. Learners study with experts in many different fields. The school offers academic and technical programs for students planning to enter the workforce or pursue further studies degree. The school's average cost per credit is unknown. Students at the accredited institution qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. According to the institution, 100% of students receive aid and 55% receive loans. The school reports a 70% graduation rate. Applicants can expect admission rates of 66%. The admission department can provide more information about application requirements and start dates. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #23

    Olivet Nazarene University

    Bourbonnais, IL

    Graduation Rate

    65%

    Enrollment

    3,764

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $35960

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $35960

    Located in Bourbonnais, Illinois, Olivet Nazarene University offers multiple programs as a private institution. The school awards accredited degrees that prepare graduates for careers and professional advancement. Learners benefit from academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. Multiple programs at the school appear in national rankings. Data on the school's average cost per credit is currently unavailable. Degree-seekers attending the accredited institution may qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. The institution offers both academic and technical programs. Based on their major, students take essential courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. Olivet Nazarene University has received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

    #24

    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.

    #25

    North Park University

    Chicago, IL

    Graduation Rate

    59%

    Enrollment

    2,831

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $31430

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $31430

    From its campus in Chicago, Illinois, North Park University enrolls students as a private institution. Enrollees take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. Students who complete a technical or academic program may enter the workforce. The institution's average cost per credit is unknown. The accredited institution meets the requirements for federal financial aid programs, including the Pell Grant. The institution reports that 100% of students receive aid, and 65% receive loans. The private institution reports a graduation rate of 59%. The admission rate for incoming students is 44%. Prospective students can contact an admission advisor to learn more about applying. North Park University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #26

    Hebrew Theological College

    Skokie, IL

    Graduation Rate

    7%

    Enrollment

    181

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $13400

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $13400

    Hebrew Theological College, which is often listed among the best schools, operates from its main campus in Skokie, Illinois. Enrollees take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. The school's academic and technical tracks help learners meet diverse career goals. Typical time for program completion ranges from a few months to seven years depending on the type of degree or certificate offered. Applicants may qualify for a standardized test score waiver. The waiver makes it simpler to enroll. The admissions department can help students apply to the school. Learners also use financial aid to pay for their college degree or certificate. Hebrew Theological College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #27

    Knox College

    Galesburg, IL

    Graduation Rate

    71%

    Enrollment

    1,154

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $49185

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $49185

    A private institution, Knox College enrolls students on its campus in Galesburg, Illinois. With both academic and technical programs, the college helps learners reach their professional goals. The institution offers coursework that gives students the chance to build industry-specific knowledge. Depending on the program, applicants may need to submit test scores. Applicants may find it easier to enroll without a test score requirement. Learners benefit from support services like tutoring and career counseling. The institution's cost per credit is unknown. Learners at the accredited school qualify for federal student aid programs. The school holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

    #28

    Rush University

    Chicago, IL

    Graduation Rate

    Not Provided

    Enrollment

    2,816

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $30649

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $30649

    Rush University, located in Chicago, Illinois, enrolls students as a private institution. With both academic and technical programs, the institution helps students reach their professional goals. Bachelor's programs incorporate lower-division and upper-division requirements. Bachelor's programs also incorporate general education credits. Upper-division credits emphasize advanced concepts in the major. Learners benefit from support services like tutoring and career counseling. The cost per credit is unknown. Learners at the accredited institution qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Rush University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #29

    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.

    #30

    Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing

    Peoria, IL

    Graduation Rate

    Not Provided

    Enrollment

    466

    Format

    Online

    In-State Tuition

    $21287

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $21287

    From its Peoria, Illinois campus, Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing enrolls students in 7 programs. Learners benefit from rigorous programs that rank among the best in the nation. The student-to-faculty ratio at the school is 9-to-1. Data on the amount of aid students receive per year on average is unavailable. There is no available data on how many students graduate. The institution understands that hands-on experience helps job seekers enter the workforce. The school offers internships, research opportunities, and other forms of experiential learning. The school's admission rate is currently unknown. Some programs let applicants apply without submitting test scores.

    Why Choose a Private University in Illinois?

    Illinois has 96 private four-year colleges and universities and 63 public postsecondary institutions. Many students prefer private schools over their public counterparts due to their strong focus on academics, smaller class sizes, close-knit communities, and access to co-curricular opportunities.

    Although private universities generally cost more than public institutions, students can qualify for financial aid and academic or need-based scholarships that bring down the cost of attending a private school. With financial aid, attending a private four-year college may come with similar or even lower costs than public schools.

    Conversely, some students prefer not to attend private universities in Illinois due to their relative lack of diversity, limited majors and course offerings, and demanding schedules. Private schools typically charge higher tuition rates. For students with limited financial aid support, private schools can be expensive.

    Students should examine numerous factors when choosing whether to attend a public or private school for their postsecondary studies.

    Pros and Cons of Attending a Private University in Illinois

    Pros

    • Check Circle
      Lower class sizes make it easier to seek one-on-one attention from professors and instructors.
    • Check Circle
      Close-knit academic communities make it easy to connect with fellow students and make friends.
    • Check Circle
      Many private schools have a religious affiliation. This means that the school might better reflect a student’s own views and values.
    • Check Circle
      Ample financial aid and scholarships can reduce the total cost of attending a private college or university.

    Cons

    • X Circle
      Private colleges typically have limited numbers of courses and majors.
    • X Circle
      Smaller private schools sometimes have less diverse club and activity offerings than large public schools.
    • X Circle
      A lack of diversity can make it difficult for students to expand their horizons and meet people from other backgrounds and cultures.
    • X Circle
      Private institutions typically have much higher tuition rates than their public counterparts.

    Nonprofit vs. For-Profit Universities in Illinois

    While most Illinois private four-year colleges are nonprofit organizations, a few operate as for-profit institutions. Nonprofit schools receive funding from the federal and state government, tuition, and endowments, allocating this money to curriculum, instruction, and general operating expenses. For-profit colleges maintain a responsibility to shareholders and often spend significantly more money on marketing and recruiting.

    Compared to for-profit schools, nonprofit private universities in Illinois offer lower tuition, better financial aid options , and higher-quality instruction. They also feature more selective admission processes and less flexible learning options, such as online or hybrid courses.

    Illinois for-profit schools maintain less rigorous admission requirements and more flexible class scheduling. They also feature higher tuition and lower graduation rates, resulting in a poor reputation.

    How Much Does It Cost to Attend a Private University in Illinois?

    The average student attending a private university in Illinois paid $35,570 in tuition and $13,506 in room and board in 2019-20, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Students must also consider the costs of textbooks, supplies , transportation, and personal expenses.

    Degrees from the best private schools in Illinois tend to come with a higher return on investment. Top-quality programs and academic opportunities lead to higher-than-average salaries for private school graduates compared to those who attend public colleges and universities, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    The University of Chicago is among Illinois’ most expensive private universities, while the National Louis University Chicago campus is among the least expensive. Tuition at these institutions in 2021-22 was $59,256 and$10,755, respectively.

    Find the Tools You Need to Get Started on Your Degree

    Frequently Asked Questions About Private Universities in Illinois

    How many private universities are there in Illinois?

    There are 108 private universities and colleges in Illinois. These include 96 4-year universities and 17 2-year institutions. Of these, 88 are nonprofit institutions. A majority of these schools are in the Chicagoland area, while only six are in the southern part of the state.

    There are more private than public universities in Illinois: The state is home to 63 public universities.

    What is the most expensive private university in Illinois?

    University of Chicago claims the top spot among the most expensive private universities in Illinois.

    The school features a tuition rate of nearly $60,000 per year, in addition to what students pay for textbooks, supplies, and room and board. However, the University of Chicago also maintains a reputation as one of the most prestigious and high-quality institutions of higher learning in the United States.

    What is the least expensive private university in Illinois?

    The National Louis University Chicago campus is among the least expensive private universities in Illinois. The school charged a tuition rate of about $10,700 for the 2021-22 academic year. Students can also save money on on-campus fees by completing some of their coursework online.

    On the other hand, the university has a much lower undergraduate graduation rate than other private universities in the state. The school’s undergraduate competition rate was just 39% in the 2020-21 school year. Comparatively, Northwestern University’s graduation rate is 94%.

    Is a private university right for me?

    Students who enjoy a more close-knit community, smaller class sizes, and a more personalized academic experience may find what they need at one of the private universities in Illinois.

    However, these schools usually feature higher tuition than public schools, making them an expensive option for students who do not receive significant scholarships, grants, or other financial support. Some students may not like the relative lack of diversity in many private institutions.

    Can I get more scholarship money at a private university?

    Many private colleges in Illinois maintain large endowments and scholarship funds to help students cover the costs of tuition, room and board, and other expenses as they pursue their degrees. These funds come from alumni contributions , tuition funds, private donations, and various other sources. As a result, private universities in Illinois tend to offer many more scholarship opportunities to students compared to public schools.

    According to NCES , students at nonprofit private schools received an average of $24,080 in grants and scholarships during the 2018-19 school year. In comparison, students at public universities received an average of $8,310.