Community Colleges in Illinois: All 50 Schools
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Earning a college degree can help improve your life dramatically. However, tuition at private colleges in Illinois costs about $23,000 per year, on average. You can lower your out-of-pocket costs dramatically by focusing your search on community colleges in Illinois.
Illinois features great college towns with an affordable cost of living and job opportunities for recent graduates. Many resources for college students can also help you find the community colleges in Illinois offering the degree you need at the best price.
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5 Popular Community Colleges in Illinois
Many factors should affect what community colleges in Illinois you consider. These popular community colleges offer networking opportunities and supportive communities.
1. College of DuPage
College of DuPage, or COD, specializes in helping students earn the degree they need to transfer to a bachelor's-completion program. You can graduate with an associate in engineering, fine arts, science, or general studies. The COD academic experience also includes career and technical certificates in automotive service technology and creative writing.
COD's annual tuition and fees come out to about $5,200, on average. COD Foundation Scholarships award merit- and need-based aid. The school's financial aid department also helps learners explore outside scholarships and grants.
2. William Rainey Harper College
Consider Harper College if you want a diverse selection of academic programs. The school awards associate degrees and certificates in 10 fields, including education, public service, and social science. You can use a free quiz to find out which major or program fits your interests.
Harper College students pay about $8,065 in tuition and fees on average. You can apply for all institutional scholarships and grants with a single application.
3. Joliet Junior College
The Joliet Junior College (JCC) academic experience begins with selecting a program from one of a dozen pathways, including agricultural sciences, business, and fine arts. Make the most of your time on campus by joining an honorary society or advocacy group.
The JCC Tutoring and Learning Center can also help you maintain your grades and stay on track for graduation. JCC students pay an average of $4,440 per year in tuition and fees. Application requirements for institutional scholarships and grants include FAFSA results.
4. Moraine Valley Community College
Start your Moraine Valley Community College (MVCC) education by exploring the school's dozens of associate degrees and certificates. Degree-seekers can major in business, mass communications, or political science. All programs award college credit you can use to transfer to a bachelor's-completion program.
MVCC students pay an average annual cost of $1,711 in tuition and fees. You can increase your savings by applying for institutional scholarships awarding $250-$5,000. The university's scholarship committee considers your academic achievement and financial need.
5. College of Lake County
Educating more than 400,000 students since 1969, College of Lake County (CLC) can prepare you for transfer or a career. Unique educational opportunities include degrees in horticulture and sustainability. You can also explore over two dozen programs in healthcare.
You can expect to pay about $5,200 per year, on average, in tuition and fees by applying for aid through the CLC Foundation. You can also take advantage of the Metallica Scholars Initiative if you enroll in a career or technical program.
List of All Community Colleges in Illinois
We've created a complete list of all two-year nonprofit community colleges in Illinois. You can use the table below to compare data on student population and the average net cost.
The following school data comes from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). All data is from 2021-2022. Note that community colleges with a total student enrollment of 100 or fewer were not considered for this list.
|School||Total Student Enrollment||Avg. Annual Net Price|
|Black Hawk College||3,773||$5,123|
|Capital Area School of Practical Nursing||106||N/A|
|Carl Sandburg College||1,688||$3,094|
|City Colleges of Chicago-Harold Washington College||5,559||$3,897|
|City Colleges of Chicago-Harry S. Truman College||5,289||$4,162|
|City Colleges of Chicago-Kennedy-King College||2,237||$5,434|
|City Colleges of Chicago-Malcolm X College||7,314||$4,440|
|City Colleges of Chicago-Olive-Harvey College||2,101||$6,626|
|City Colleges of Chicago-Richard J. Daley College||4,787||$3,698|
|City Colleges of Chicago-Wilbur Wright College||7,508||$3,742|
|College of DuPage||21,939||$5,184|
|College of Lake County||11,651||$5,169|
|Danville Area Community College||1,924||$5,122|
|Elgin Community College||8,910||$3,968|
|Frontier Community College||1,740||$4,915|
|Heartland Community College||4,774||$11,542|
|Highland Community College||1,184||$5,973|
|Illinois Central College||7,044||$11,559|
|Illinois Valley Community College||2,371||$5,969|
|John A Logan College||3,272||$6,826|
|John Wood Community College||1,718||$6,557|
|Joliet Junior College||10,212||$4,440|
|Kankakee Community College||2,333||$7,574|
|Lake Land College||3,742||$4,839|
|Lewis and Clark Community College||3,973||$3,121|
|Lincoln Land Community College||4,444||$4,265|
|Lincoln Trail College||636||$4,702|
|McHenry County College||8,874||$6,336|
|Moraine Valley Community College||10,511||$1,711|
|Oakton Community College||7,645||$6,854|
|Olney Central College||869||$4,687|
|Prairie State College||2,680||$6,887|
|Rend Lake College||2,017||$9,909|
|Richland Community College||2,075||$4,790|
|Rock Valley College||5,861||$9,781|
|Sauk Valley Community College||1,386||$10,166|
|Shawnee Community College||1,174||$6,074|
|South Suburban College||3,905||$4,289|
|Southeastern Illinois College||1,379||$8,611|
|Southwestern Illinois College||7,188||$6,768|
|Spoon River College||1,212||$7,371|
|Wabash Valley College||926||$6,028|
|Waubonsee Community College||7,491||$5,028|
|William Rainey Harper College||12,434||$8,065|
How Much Is Community College in Illinois?
|Institution Type||Average Tuition & Required Fees|
|Public Community Colleges||$6,108|
|Public 2-Year Colleges (In-state)||$4,180|
|Public 2-Year Colleges (Out-of-state)||$11,166|
Public community and two-year colleges offer Illinois residents significant cost savings compared to the state's four-year public and private schools. You can put your savings toward a bachelor's-completion program or another major expense.
Don't forget that lowering your cost of attendance can help lower the amount of student loan debt to repay. You may save money if you learn online. Some online schools waive out-of-state tuition. Learning online also means less time and money spent commuting.
Scholarships for Illinois Students
Although community colleges in Illinois feature a low COA, scholarships for Illinois students can help you reduce your out-of-pocket costs as much as possible. Review scholarship websites for the latest application requirements and deadlines.
CEFS Economic Opportunity Corporation CSBG Scholarship
The CEFS Economic Opportunity Corporation CSBG Scholarship awards funding to Illinois residents enrolled in a job-training program. Application requirements include a household income statement, two recommendation letters, high school or college transcripts, and proof of residency. Families making more than 200% of the federal poverty level may not apply.
The award amount varies by financial need.
Hope Chicago Scholarship
The Hope Chicago Scholarship helps Chicago Public Schools (CPS) graduates finance their college education. The scholarship's two-generation model provides funding to recipients' parents wanting to further their education.
Application requirements include graduating from one of five partner CPS high schools and enrolling in a two- or four-year college program. The scholarship does not use a high school or college GPA cutoff.
Wentcher Foundation Scholarship
The Wentcher Foundation Scholarship awards up to $10,000 per year to CPS seniors with a minimum 3.0 unweighted high school GPA. The application checklist includes transcripts, one recommendation letter, FAFSA results, and replies to short-answer questions.
The application window opens in December and closes in February.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Community Colleges in Illinois
Is community college free in Illinois?
Not yet. In March 2023, CBS News Chicago reported a plan from Governor J.B. Pritzker to make community college free for learners making below the national median salary. Eligible students would receive what they need to close the gap between their already-awarded financial aid and their school's COA.
How many community colleges are in Illinois?
There are about fifty community colleges in the state of Illinois. Some schools specialize in a specific field, like healthcare. Others feature many academic programs, such as associate degrees designed to prepare you for a bachelor's-completion program.
Start your search by exploring these schools' academic offerings and graduate outcomes.
What is the biggest community college in Illinois?
Educating over 21,000 students, College of DuPage, or COD, ranks as the biggest community college in Illinois. Attending a big school lets you experience a campus environment similar to a large four-year Illinois college.
However, you should consider a community college with a smaller student body if you want a more intimate learning environment.