Online Colleges in Illinois

Illinois offers a wide variety of online colleges and programs for students from all backgrounds and interests. Read the data we've gathered below to learn more about online colleges in Illinois, including a list of 10 online schools ranked by affordability.

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A study by the Illinois Department of Employment Security found that many of the 25 most-in-demand jobs require an associate degree or higher. That means a lot of state residents, and the Illinois economy, would benefit from increased access to higher education. Although 87 percent of the state's 12.8 million residents have earned a high school diploma, only 12 percent of those 18 to 24 years old have at least a bachelor's degree and less than 40 percent of those residents older than 25 have some sort of college degree, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Fortunately, online colleges in Illinois offer working people plenty of opportunities to go to school while holding down a job or raising a family.

According to the Illinois Virtual Campus (IVC), Illinois colleges and universities reported over 715,000 online course enrollments during the 2011-2012 academic year. IVC, a virtual catalog of distance education offered by schools in the state, serves as a valuable resource for Illinois residents considering online learning. Through the site, students can browse online courses and degree programs from a variety of participating post-secondary institutions.

National online colleges provide yet another option for those interested in pursuing an online education. Some, such as DeVry University, University of Phoenix and Everest University, even have physical campuses located throughout Illinois. In addition to a broad range of fully online degrees, these schools may offer blended learning options, which combine on-campus instruction with the added flexibility of online courses.

There are 6.6 million workers in Illinois, and they earn on average $47,680 a year, or $22.92 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The vast majority of those workers come from the Chicago metropolitan area.

There are also exactly 100 colleges and universities in the state. Twelve of those are public institutions, and 63 are private non-profit schools.

The Most Affordable Online Colleges in Illinois

The following list ranks the 10 schools in Illinois that offer online degrees at the lowest tuition costs. This ranking is based on a number of factors that are important to prospective students such as the actual degree programs that are taught online, and information on tuition fees, accreditation and notable alumni. Tuition figures are sourced from the National Center for Education Statistics (2014-2015) and reflect in-state tuition (when in-state tuition is available) for all students, including online students. See our Methodology section for more details on the ranking methodology.

#1 - Carl Sandburg College

  • In-state Tuition: $5,846
  • Graduation rate: 26%
  • Accredited: Y
  • # of online programs: Variety of online classes
  • Notable Alumni: California state controller John Chiang, College Football Hall of Fame member Pat Fitzgerald, radio journalist Adam Hochberg, actor Justin Hartley, soccer player Mary Therese McDonnell, journalist and educator Charlie Meyerson

Carl Sandburg College offers online classes that allow students to study any time. Online class sizes are limited to 20 to 30 students, ensuring that enrollees are able to get personal attention. There is a great variety to the courses, ranging from Accounting and Art Appreciation to Business Law.

#2 - City Colleges of Chicago

  • In-state Tuition: $6,460
  • Graduation rate: 9%
  • Accredited: Y
  • # of online programs: A variety of online classes
  • Notable alumni: Songwriter Johnny Burke, martial artist Michelle Gordon, jurist and politician Nathan J. Kaplan

City Colleges of Chicago supports physical campuses throughout the city, but its online classes enable it to offer more than 85 courses and reach an additional 10,000 students who prefer to learn from home at their own pace. All of City Colleges of Chicago's online courses are offered through Harold Washington College.

#3 - Black Hawk College

  • Tuition: $6,900
  • Graduation rate: 19%
  • Accredited: Y
  • # of online programs: Variety of online classes
  • Notable alumni: Politician Phil Hare

Black Hawk College in Moline partners with Education to Go and other online education providers to deliver online courses to its students. There are more than 200 online courses available for BHC students that allow them to work at their own pace to advance their careers or earn credit toward a degree.

#4 - Governors State University

  • Tuition: $9,386
  • Accredited: Y
  • # of online programs: 2 undergraduate, 2 postgraduate and 1 doctoral
  • Notable Alumni: Politician Debbie Halvorson, Inspect General Carl Hoecker, engineer Curtis J. Crawford, singer Jerry Butler

Governors State University in University Park, Ill. offers more than 120 online classes each semester, fully online degree programs are offered at the bachelor's, master's and doctorate level. bachelor's degree programs are offered in Interdisciplinary Studies and Nursing. master's degree programs are offered in Addictions Studies and Supply Chain Management Specialization. A doctorate is offered in Interdisciplinary Leadership.

#5 - Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville

  • In-State Tuition: $9,738
  • Graduation rate: 50%
  • Accredited: Y
  • # of online programs: Variety of online classes
  • Notable alumni: Chiquita president Fernando Aguirre, meteorologist Pete Delkus, engineer and javelin thrower Alicia DeShasier, politician William Enyart, comedienne Kathleen Madigan

Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville offers a number of online classes through its nine colleges, ranging from the College of Arts and Sciences to its School of Nursing and School of Pharmacy. Most of these online classes are small, with less than 50 "seats" offered in each class, but some of the online classes in such areas as Applied Computer Concepts and Nursing, are offered to up to 200 students at a time.

#6 - College of DuPage

  • In-state Tuition: $10,981
  • Graduation rate: 16%
  • Accredited: Y
  • # of online programs: 10 associate
  • Notable alumni: Actor John Belushi, musician Josh Berman, entrepreneur Dave Della Terza, fashion designer Sandra Yau, meteorologist Karissa Sanford

The College of DuPage, in addition to offering a number of certificates and associate degrees fully online, offers more than 250 online courses in 44 different subjects. The 10 associate degrees offered online include Arts; Science; General Studies; Applied Science; Administrative Support Specialist; Criminal Justice; Executive Assistant; Fire Science Technology; Library Information Technology; and Management.

#7 - American InterContinental University (Visit School Site)

  • Tuition: $11,104
  • Graduation rate: 31%
  • Accredited: Y
  • # of online programs: 2 associate, 27 undergraduate, 19 graduate
  • Notable alumni: Musician Zee Avi, politician Ronald Brise, soccer player Eddie Gaven, author Zohra Sarwari, singer Porsha Williams, Broadway director Tony Spinosa

American InterContinental University offers online degree programs and classes through seven areas of study, including Business, Healthcare Management, Design; Accounting; Information Technology; Criminal Justice; and Education. All told, there are 48 individual degree programs, including associate degrees in Criminal Justice and Business Administration, as well as 27 online bachelor's degrees and 19 master's degrees.

#8 - Eastern Illinois University

  • In-state Tuition: $11,108
  • Graduation rate: 60%
  • Accredited: Y
  • # of online programs: 4 undergraduate and 5 postgraduate
  • Notable Alumni: Actress Joan Allen, Pulitzer Prize winner Ted Gregory, professional football player Tony Romo, pilot Charles Hall

Eastern Illinois University offers a variety of off-campus courses in various locations around the state, but it also offers a number of online degree programs leading to bachelor's degrees. The bachelor's online degrees are offered in General Studies; General Studies with an option in childcare education; Organization and Professional Development; and Nursing. Students interested in a combination of online and in-person classes at an Eastern Illinois location can early a master's degree in such areas as Art Education; Community Arts; Music Education; Speech Language Pathology; and Family and Consumer Sciences.

#9 - University of Illinois - Springfield

  • In-state Tuition: $11,367
  • Graduation rate: 43%
  • Accredited: Y
  • # of online programs: 11 undergraduate and 10 postgraduate
  • Notable Alumni: Politician Cheri Bustos, columnist Al Lewis, musician Bobby McFerrin Jr., author Milton J. Nieuwsma

The University of Illinois Springfield prides itself on ensuring its online courses are as rigorous as their in-person classes. It offers undergraduate online degrees in Business Administration; Computer Science; English; History; Information Systems Security; Liberal Studies; Management Information Systems; Mathematics; Philosophy; Political Science; and Women and Gender Studies. Its graduate online degrees include Computer Science; Environmental Studies; Human Services Administration; Liberal and Integrative Studies; Legal Studies; Management Information Systems; Political Science; Public Administration; Public Health; and Teacher Leadership.

#10 - Western Illinois University

  • In-state Tuition: $12,217
  • Graduation rate: 56%
  • Accredited: Y
  • # of online programs: 2 undergraduate and 2 postgraduate
  • Notable Alumni: Political strategist Mary Matalin, actor Michael Boatman, pro football players Bryan Cox and Rodney Harrison

Western Illinois University in Macomb, Ill. offers several bachelor's and master's degrees online, including one program in General Studies and another in General Studies with National Fire Academy certification. In addition, it offers a bachelor's of Science degree in Nursing. Its master's programs include Instructional Design and Technology; and Education. It also participates in the National Fire Academy's Fire and Emergency Service's for Higher Education curriculum.

#11 - Southern Illinois University Carbondale

  • In-state Tuition: $12,248
  • Graduation rate: 43%
  • Accredited: Y
  • # of online programs: 8 undergraduate and 6 postgraduate
  • Notable Alumni: Actor James Belushi, activist Dick Gregory, comedian Bob Odenkirk, musician Shawn Colvin, musician Jason Ringenberg, pro baseball player Steve Finley

Southern Illinois University Carbondale offers its online undergraduate and master's degree programs to students who have previously completed much of the course work, but have been away from school for a time and need to finish their degree at either an accelerated pace of with a flexible schedule. bachelor's degree programs including Accounting; Business Administration; Healthcare Management; Industrial Technology; Information System Technologies; Mortuary Science and Funeral Service; Fire Service Management; Technical Resource Management; and University Studies. Its master's degree programs include Business Administration; Fire Service and Homeland Security; Architecture; Quality Engineering and Management; Medical Dosimetry; and Rehabilitation Administration and Services.

#12 - Argosy University-Chicago

  • Tuition: $13,663
  • Accredited: Y
  • # of online programs: Online classes offered from eight different schools within the university

In addition to evening and weekend classes that make it easier for working professionals to complete or earn a college degree, Argosy also offers a variety of online classes for those who are unable to travel to the school's Chicago or Schaumburg campuses. Areas of study are available from Argosy's various colleges and schools, including Arts and Sciences; Behavioral Sciences; Clinical Psychology; Education; Health Sciences; Graduate School of Business and Management; Creative Arts and Design; and the Western State College of Law.

#13 - University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign

  • In-state Tuition: $15,020
  • Graduation rate: 84%
  • Accredited: Y
  • # of online programs: 1 undergraduate and 18 postgraduate
  • Notable Alumni: Nobel Prize winner Phillip Sharp, Pulitzer Prize winner James Reston, actresses Barbara Bain and Betsy Brandt, actor Jerry Orbach, astronaut Michael S. Hopkins

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign teams up with its sister campuses in Springfield and Chicago to offer a different array of online degree programs. Urbana-Champaign offers a bachelor's degree in Earth, Society, and Environmental Sustainability, and master's degrees in Agricultural Education; Civil and Environmental Engineering; Computer Science; Crop Sciences; Diversity and Equity Issues in Education; Evidence-Based Decision Making; Food Science and Human Nutrition; Global Studies in Education; Health Communication; Human Resource Development; Learning Design and Leadership; Library and Information Science; Translation and Interpreting; Teaching of Biological Science; Mechanical Engineering; Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences; Recreation, Sport and Tourism; and Teacher Leader Specialization.

#14 - DeVry University (Visit School Site)

  • Tuition: $16,888
  • Graduation rate: 29%
  • Accredited: Y
  • # of online programs: Numerous degrees from five subject areas.

DeVry is a national college with physical campuses all over the United States, including several locations in Illinois. DeVry pulls from its national faculty to build a robust selection of online degree programs from its various colleges. The schools offering degrees include the College of Business and Management; the College of Engineering and Information Sciences; the College of Health Sciences; the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; and the College of Media Arts and Technology.

#15 - Chamberlain College of Nursing

  • Tuition: $17,280
  • Graduation rate:
  • Accredited: Y
  • # of online programs: 1 undergraduate
  • Notable Alumni: Nonprofit founder Jennifer Krassinger, brain injury expert Rachel Anderson.

Chamberlain has campuses in several states and offers many face-to-face degree programs. However, its popular RN to BSN program is also offered in an online format for residents in most states. This program features entirely online coursework with experiential learning activities. Registered nurses can earn their Bachelor's of science in Nursing in as few as three semesters.

#16 - Lincoln College

  • Tuition: $17,500
  • Graduation rate: 37%
  • Accredited: Y
  • # of online programs: Variety of online courses
  • Notable alumni: Mixed martial artist Matt Hughes, politician Edward Madigan, basketball player Marcus Griffin, basketball player Kevin Gamble, director Bruce A. Block

Lincoln College, with facilities in both Lincoln and Normal, offers a number of online classes. It also offers some hybrid courses, which combine face-to-face instruction with online learning.

#17 - ITT Technical Institute-Orland Park (Visit School Site)

  • Tuition: $18,048
  • Graduation rate: 42%
  • Accredited: Y
  • # of online programs: 16 associate, 18 undergraduate, 1 graduate

ITT Technical College has campuses throughout the United States, so its Orland Park facility can provide a physical gateway to a number of online degree programs for those in Illinois and across the country. In addition to its online degree program in Business Administration, it offers both bachelor's and associate degrees online through its schools of Information Technology; Business; Electronics Technology; Drafting and Design; and Criminal Justice.

#18 - Erikson Institute

  • Tuition: $19,200
  • Accredited: Y
  • # of online programs: 1 master's degree

Erikson, through its campus in Chicago, offers an online English as a Second Language program as well as an online program leading to a master's degree in Early Childhood Education for early childhood educators with three years of post baccalaureate experience. In addition, the school offers infant specialist courses and a series of online continuing education webinars.

#19 - Greenville College (Visit School Site)

  • Tuition: $24,360
  • Graduation rate: 50%
  • Accredited: Y
  • # of online programs: 2 undergraduate and 5 postgraduate
  • Notable Alumni: Bishop William G. Black, TV producer Bob Briner, Jars of Clay founder Matt Bronleewe, astronomer Alfred Harrison Joy.

Greenville College touts its fully supported online environment, which includes a collaborative learning experience and instruction by the same faculty who teach on campus. Greenville offers bachelor's degrees in Organizational Leadership and Healthy Psychology, and master's degree programs in Business Administration; Management; Coaching; Special Education; English as a Second Language; and Curriculum and Instruction.

#20 - Trinity International University-Illinois

  • Tuition: $27,360
  • Graduation rate: 45%
  • Accredited: Y
  • # of online programs: 3 undergraduate programs and 1 postgraduate
  • Notable Alumni: Conductor Alan Heatherington, biblical scholar Lincoln Hurst, radio host Ravi Zacharias

Trinity, a Christian school with over 100 faculty and 3,000 students, offers three bachelor's degree programs online: Business; Christian Ministries; and Psychology. Its graduate level online degree programs are offered through its Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and features a Master of Arts in Theological Studies, as well as a certificate in Christian studies.

#21 - Saint Xavier University

  • Tuition: $30,100
  • Graduation rate: 47%
  • Accredited: Y
  • # of online programs: 3 master's degrees
  • Notable alumni: Actor Craig Robinson, baseball player Steve Wojciechowski, baseball pitcher Joe Skalski, baseball executive Mike Rizzo

Saint Xavier University in Chicago offers three online master's degree programs. These areas of study include Nursing-Clinical Leadership; Nursing-Executive Leadership; and Education-Curriculum and Instruction.

#22 - Adler University

  • Tuition: $38,500
  • Accredited: Y
  • # of online programs: 5 master's degrees

Adler, formerly known as the Adler School of Professional Psychology, delivers asynchronous courses that allow students to complete coursework at their own pace within a specific timeframe. Online degree programs are offered in Criminology; Psychology (with a specialization in Military Psychology); Emergency Management Leadership; Industrial & Organizational Psychology; and Nonprofit Management.

Online Colleges: Expert Interviews

Mary Herrington-Perry

Dr. Mary Herrington-Perry, Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs and Enrollment Management, Eastern Illinois University

Q. What can you tell us about the online programs offered at Eastern Illinois?

Because EIU is primarily a residential university, it is important that our online programs augment on-campus enrollment. This is why our focus has been on developing online programs that serve 1) nontraditional students (i.e., those whose work and family responsibilities make it difficult for them to take classes on campus on a regular basis); and 2) new markets off campus.

EIU offers three wholly online programs designed for nontraditional students interested in earning a baccalaureate degree:

  • General Studies
  • Nursing (RN to BS Completion program)
  • Organizational and Professional Development

We also offer low-residency programs that combine online coursework with some face-to-face courses offered at times convenient for nontraditional students (evenings, weekends, summers). For undergraduate transfer students, these include:

  • Family and Consumer Sciences
  • Psychology
  • Recreation Administration

For graduate students, these include:

  • Art Education
  • Communication Disorders and Sciences
  • Community Arts
  • Family and Consumer Sciences
  • Music Education

Our second focus is on developing online programs for new markets. This fall we will inaugurate low-residency graduate programs in Aging Studies and Health Promotion and Leadership, and we plan to offer both our MBA and Financial Planner programs wholly online. Next year, we plan to offer a new graduate program in Cyber Security as well as online versions of our Master Teacher and Natural Sciences programs.

Q. How do you advise students interested in an online degree program?

First, be sure that online learning is right for you. Online courses are as tough as -- and in some cases tougher than -- their face-to-face equivalents, and they require substantial self-motivation and time management. You can't just "show up" and expect to pass. Instead, you have to complete some activity virtually every day -- read assignments, post answers to questions about them, critique others' responses, take quizzes/tests, participate in group conversations and projects, write papers, etc. If you have questions about whether you're up to the challenge, read the Illinois Online Network's advice for prospective online students at http://www.ion.uillinois.edu/resources/tutorials/pedagogy/StudentProfile.asp.

Second, if you're considering enrolling in online courses in a state other than the one in which you reside, be sure that state has approval to offer courses in yours. Not all of them do. At EIU, we keep online students apprised of these authorizations at http://www.eiu.edu/adulted/applicants-outside-il.php. (FYI, state authorization is a federal requirement tied to federal financial aid rules.)

Third, be sure your online courses are being taught by faculty members who have been trained to teach online, as all of EIU's are. (This information should be available on the instructor's course website or syllabus.) Not only does teaching online require special knowledge of technology and how to use it to engage students in the learning process, it also requires excellent writing skills, since this is the teacher's primary means of communicating with students. Teachers (like students) also need to have excellent time management skills: Students have access to the Internet and thus to their online courses 24-7; teachers need to recognize that students may ask important questions at any time of the day or night, and that they expect a prompt response.

Q. Will online learning change much in the future?

There already is some evidence that the online market is glutted -- at least, enrollments have stopped growing. This complicates enrollment management efforts, especially in Illinois, which is seeing a dwindling supply of high school and community college students to fill face-to-face classes. If the supply of online learners also is diminishing, institutions will need to ensure that their online programs truly are competitive -- that is, that they are producing high quality graduates who not only secure employment but also know and can do what employers expect. At EIU, all students complete the same requirements and learning outcomes, whether they are taking their courses in a classroom at 10 a.m. or at home at 2 a.m. But this is not the case at all institutions. What this means for online students is that they should expect their courses and programs to define learning and program outcome measures more explicitly. Their knowledge and skills will be assessed more frequently, and their post-program success will be tracked more carefully.

As Illinois higher education continues to see reduced funding, institutions also may begin rethinking their investments and their students' investments in remedial education, which potentially could be provided to students for free via online solutions such as Khan Academy and MERLOT (Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching).

Last, I think you'll also see institutions rethinking their online program inventories. Some of them may begin to retrench and refocus their offerings on programs that support their missions and address truly unmet needs in the higher education marketplace -- which is what EIU's plan for online programs has called for all along. In the long run, online programs likely will get better, though there may be fewer of them.

Vicki Cook

Dr. Vickie S. Cook, Director of Center for Online Learning, Research and Service, University of Illinois Springfield

Q. Can you tell us a little about the online programs offered at the University of Illinois-Springfield?

The University of Illinois Springfield is both a mature online course provider and a leader in the field of online learning. UIS faculty began teaching online in 1998. Thirty students were enrolled in the initial programs. Today, over 1,700 students are majors in online programs. This deliberate and slow growth has allowed UIS to continue to offer high quality, high touch programs to students through online media. More information is available about online learning at UIS at http://www.uis.edu/colrs/.

Q. What advice would you give to students interested in an online degree program?

My best advice would be for students to do diligence in finding out about a university and the program of study they are interested in pursuing. Here is a list of items I think are important to potential students:

  1. Find out as much as possible about an institution -- its on-ground offerings, as well as online programs and supports.
  2. Talk to the program coordinator -- not just an admission staff member who likely won't be with the student throughout the program.
  3. Talk with faculty and other students in the programs they are interested in pursuing.
  4. Explore what types of supports are available for tutoring in a content area, math, writing, etc.
  5. Ask if there is an orientation available for online students.
  6. Determine if the school is accredited by a regional accrediting agency such as the Higher Learning Commission.
  7. If there is any pushback from the university regarding the questions being asked, it might not be the best place to consider enrolling.

If the university seems like a good fit for the student, then the student should address his or her ability to excel in an online program. Here are some additional components that students should consider when thinking about enrolling in an online program:

  1. Be prepared to work diligently toward completion of a degree plan.
  2. Be self-disciplined in completing work in a timely manner including vacations and holidays depending on the program they may be enrolled in. Know that you must have access to stable WiFi even if that is through a local library or a restaurant and a computer to do your work.
  3. Feel confident in their reading and writing ability at the university level.
  4. Identify a support system of family or friends who can assist with life issues that may occur during their program of study.
  5. Be prepared to contact their faculty members and program coordinator or other offices on campus when information is needed, connection to an on campus office is necessary, or finding assistance through the university support offices.
  6. Be familiar with and prepared to purchase or use both hardware and software requirements for the particular program your university offers. Always check with the university for any student discount programs that might be available, especially for software used by a program study.
  7. Students must be self-determined in their approach to their degree program and advocate for a high quality learning experience whether on campus or online.

Q. How do you anticipate online learning might evolve in the coming years?

Online learning will continue to mature. More universities are looking to add additional and new online options to their current program offerings. We will also see more technologies being added as learning options in online courses. Perhaps the most important aspect of online learning is that course work be available through use of any device. Mobile technologies in online classes will continue to develop and be a strong influence on the future development of apps for learning.

Snapshot of Illinois Cities

Geographically, Illinois is not a particularly large state by Midwestern standards, but its population of 12.8 million makes it the fifth most populous state in the country. It is a land of contrasts, from the great metropolitan area of Chicago, the third most populous city in the country with 2.7 million residents, to the vacant prairie and farmlands of the central section of the state. After Chicago, the next largest metropolitan area in Illinois is the Davenport-Moline-Rock Island area, followed closely by Peoria.

The following is a closer economic and demographic look at Illinois, with economic data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the 2014 Cost of Living Index published by The Council for Community and Economic Research. All demographic data comes from the U.S. Census Bureau and the latest Labor Force Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. All data in the Facts for Online Learners section comes from the region's various tourism websites.

There are nearly 5 million workers living in the large metropolitan area that includes Chicago, Joliet and Naperville, Ill., comprising about 75 percent of the entire state's workforce. Workers in the metropolitan area earn an average annual salary of $49,820, for an average hourly wage of $23.95. Chicago has a very diversified economy, leading to more stability than most large cities that are dependent on a handful of industries. Chicago's Cost of Living Index is 117.5, and average home prices are $422,337.

Chicago has always enjoyed a diverse population of residents. There was a great influx of immigrants to the area in the 19th century, and the city's African-American population doubled from 1910-1920 and again during the next decade as many blacks moved north from the American South for better jobs. Although unemployment all over Illinois soared during the Great Recession, it has declined significantly in recent years in Chicago, even though it remains stubbornly high in some parts of the state.

Fun Facts for Online Learners
Chicago is known for its food, nightlife, waterfront, museums and sporting events. It's home to both the Chicago White Sox and the Cubs, and fans also flock to football games played by the Bears and basketball games featuring the Chicago Bulls. The city is also renowned for its theater companies.

Davenport-Moline- Rock Island
This region of Illinois, located along its western border along the Iowa state line, is considered the Quad Cities Metropolitan Area, and its economy combines the strength of Davenport, Iowa, with Moline, Rock Island and some other medium-sized municipalities along this stretch of the Mississippi. Workers here earn significantly less than workers in Chicago, pulling down $40,800 on average annually, for an hourly wage of about $19.61. Average home prices in this area are $308,369, and the Cost of Living Index is 95.9.

There are nearly 205,000 workers in the Davenport-Moline-Rock Island metropolitan area, or roughly 3 percent of the state of Illinois' entire workforce. The unemployment rate is one of the lowest in the state.

Fun Facts for Online Learners
Moline is the home of John Deere tractors, so there are historical spots, factories and memorabilia to see about those famous green and yellow tractors. There is also a wealth of outdoor and cultural activities, including the Family Museum, the Niabi Zoo, the Putnam Museum and the Figge Art Museum.

Workers in Peoria earn on average $47,400 per year, for an average hourly rate of $22.79. Its unemployment rate is the seventh lowest among Illinois' metropolitan areas. Its labor force of 197,000 workers is about 2 percent of the state's total workforce.

Peoria, founded in 1691 and still the largest city on the Illinois River, is the center of a metropolitan area of 373,590 people. It is the headquarters for Caterpillar Tractor Co., and is a world leader in the manufacture of earth-moving equipment. Caterpillar is one of the top employers in the area.

Fun Facts for Online Learners
There are 20 registered historic places in Peoria, making it a popular destination for history buffs. It also boasts a vibrant cultural scene, with museums, a symphony and a downtown area that has been revitalized with riverfront lofts, artists studios and a dining and entertainment district.

Helpful Resources

Illinois students interested in pursuing an online degree must first meet certain entry requirements, which differ from one institution to the next. For more information about a specific school or program, prospective students should consult an admissions counselor. Many nationally accredited online colleges have advisors available to answer questions online via email or instant messaging.


1. Adler University, http://www.adler.edu
2. American InterContinental University, http://www.aiuniv.edu/degrees/finder
3. Argosy University-Chicago, https://www.argosy.edu/
4. Black Hawk College, http://www.bhc.edu/continuing-education/workforce-skills/online-learning/
5. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/news.release/metro.t01.htm
6. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, Economic News Release, http://www.bls.gov/news.release/metro.t01.htm
7. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_19340.htm#00-0000
8. Carl Sandburg College, https://webadvisor.sandburg.edu/WALIVE/WebAdvisor?TOKENIDX=6942896725&SS=3&APP=ST&CONSTITUENCY=WBAP
9. Chamberlain College of Nursing, http://www.chamberlain.edu/admissions/undergraduate/rn-to-bsn
10. Chamberlain College of Nursing Alumni Association, http://alumni.chamberlain.edu/s/1629/start.aspx
11. City Colleges of Chicago, http://www.ccc.edu/departments/Pages/Online-Learning.aspx
12. City Population, USA: Illinois, www.citypopulation.de/USA-Illinois.html
College of DuPage, http://www.cod.edu/academics/conted/online_programs.aspx
13. DeVry University, http://www.devry.edu/
14. Eastern Illinois University, http://www.eiu.edu/adulted/offcampus.php
15. Eastern Illinois University Alumni Links, http://www.eiu.edu/notablealumni.php
16. Erikson Institute, http://www.erikson.edu/online-offerings/
17. Governors State University, http://www.govst.edu/Academics/Colleges_and_Programs/College_of_Education/Special_Programs_and_Services/Center_for_Online_Teaching_and_Learning/Online_Courses_and_Programs/
18. Governors State University Alumni, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Governors_State_University
19. Greenville College, http://www.greenville.edu/admissions/online_programs/
20. Greenville College Alumni, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenville_College
21. ITT Technical Institute-Orland Park, http://www.itt-tech.edu/programs/
22. Lincoln College, http://lincolncollege.edu
23. List of American InterContinental University People, http://en.wikiped
24. List of Black Hawk College People, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Hawk_College#Notable_alumni
25. List of Carl Sandburg College People, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Sandburg_High_School#Notable_alumni
26. List of City Colleges of Chicago People, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malcolm_X_College#Notable_alumni
27. List of College of DuPage People, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/College_of_DuPage#Notable_faculty_and_alumni
28. List of Saint Xavier University People, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Xavier_University
29. List of Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville People, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_Illinois_University_Edwardsville
30. List of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign People, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_University_of_Illinois_at_Urbana%E2%80%93Champaign_people
31. List of Western Illinois University People, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Western_Illinois_University_people
32. Dr. Mary Herrington-Perry, Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs and Enrollment Management, Eastern Illinois University, interview with the author February 2015
33. National Center for Education Statistics, College Navigator, http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?s=MI&l=92+93+94&ct=3&pg=2
34. Peoria Area, http://www.peoria.org/events
35. Saint Xavier University,http://www.sxu.edu/academics/online.asp
36. Southern Illinois University Carbondale, http://extendedcampus.siu.edu/programs-courses/online-degrees.html
37. Southern Illinois University Carbondale Almuni, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Southern_Illinois_University_alumni
38. Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, http://www.siue.edu/academics/online-courses-fall.shtml
39. Trinity International University-Illinois, http://tiuonline.tiu.edu/
40. Trinity International University Notable Alumni, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinity_International_University
41. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, http://www.online.uillinois.edu/
42. University of Illinois Springfield, http://www.uis.edu/online/
43. University of Illinois Springfield Notable Alumni, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Illinois_at_Springfield
44. The U.S. Census Bureau, American FactFinder, http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_12_5YR_S1501
45. The U.S. Department of Education, The Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs, http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/Index.aspx27. Western Illinois University, http://www.wiu.edu/online_learning/
46. Dr. Vickie S. Cook, Director of Center for Online Learning, Research and Service, University of Illinois Springfield, interview with the author February 2015

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