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.

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

    95%

    Enrollment

    17,452

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $60552

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $60552

    A private institution located in Chicago, Illinois, University of Chicago offers multiple programs. Students leave the school with credentials that prepare them for the workplace. Learners enroll in academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. The school boasts several programs that appear in national rankings. The institution's average cost per credit is unknown. Students attending the accredited institution may qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Learners choose from academic and technical majors at the school. Depending on their program, enrollees complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. University of Chicago is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #2

    Northwestern University

    Evanston, IL

    Graduation Rate

    94%

    Enrollment

    22,448

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $56691

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $56691

    A private institution located in Evanston, Illinois, Northwestern University enrolls learners in multiple programs. The school's accredited programs prepare learners for the workforce. The institution offers academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. Many of the school's programs appear in national rankings. The cost per credit is unknown. Degree-seekers attending the accredited institution may qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. The school offers both 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.

    #3

    Graham Hospital School of Nursing

    Canton, IL

    Graduation Rate

    100%

    Enrollment

    52

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $6896

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $6896

    A private institution located in Canton, Illinois, Graham Hospital School of Nursing enrolls students in several programs. The school's programs help graduates launch or advance professional careers. Learners benefit from academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. Many of the school's degrees make 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. 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. Graham Hospital School of Nursing is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.

    #4

    VanderCook College of Music

    Chicago, IL

    Graduation Rate

    67%

    Enrollment

    144

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $29070

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $29070

    From its campus in Chicago, Illinois, VanderCook College of Music awards degrees and certificates as a private institution. The institution's faculty brings expertise in multiple fields. The school's academic and technical programs prepare graduates for the workforce or further study. Data on the school's average cost per credit is currently unavailable. At the accredited institution, learners qualify for financial aid, including federal loans, scholarships, and grants. The institution reports a 67% graduation rate. The school's admission rate is currently unknown. Prospective applicants can contact an admission advisor to learn more about applying. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #5

    Wheaton College

    Wheaton, IL

    Graduation Rate

    89%

    Enrollment

    3,004

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $37700

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $37700

    Wheaton College, located in Wheaton, Illinois, often ranks as one of the best schools. Degree-seekers study with experts in many different fields. With academic and technical tracks, the school's programs help students meet their professional 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. Applicants may qualify for a standardized test score waiver. These policies make it easier to apply. The admissions department can help students apply to the school. Financial aid provides options for degree-seekers to pay for their education. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #6

    Principia College

    Elsah, IL

    Graduation Rate

    80%

    Enrollment

    407

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $30190

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $30190

    Located in Elsah, Illinois, Principia College offers multiple programs as a private institution. Students leave the school with credentials that prepare them for the workplace. The institution offers affordable programs that do not sacrifice academic rigor. The school's programs appear in national rankings. Data on the school's average cost per credit is unavailable. 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. Based on their major, students take foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. The school holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

    #7

    Lake Forest College

    Lake Forest, IL

    Graduation Rate

    77%

    Enrollment

    1,562

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $48424

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $48424

    Lake Forest College, located in Lake Forest, Illinois, often ranks as one of the best schools. The institution's faculty brings expertise in multiple fields. With academic and technical tracks, the programs help learners reach a variety of 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 waiver for standardized test scores. This makes it easier to enroll. The admissions department can provide additional resources on applying. Financial aid helps enrollees cover their educational expenses. The school holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #8

    Illinois Institute of Technology

    Chicago, IL

    Graduation Rate

    70%

    Enrollment

    6,515

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $49280

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $49280

    Located in Chicago, Illinois, Illinois Institute of Technology enrolls students as a private institution. Students learn from experts in multiple disciplines. The college offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for the workforce or further study. The amount students pay per credit is currently unknown. Students at the accredited institution qualify for federal financial aid, including grants and loans. The institution reports a graduation rate of 70%. The school's admission rate is unavailable. Admissions advisors can provide more information about application requirements and start dates. Illinois Institute of Technology has received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

    #9

    Illinois Wesleyan University

    Bloomington, IL

    Graduation Rate

    77%

    Enrollment

    1,629

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $50028

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $50028

    From its campus in Bloomington, Illinois, Illinois Wesleyan University enrolls students as a private institution. The school 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. Some programs provide a test-optional admission option. Applicants may find it easier to enroll without a test score requirement. The school supports enrollees with 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. Illinois Wesleyan University has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #10

    University of St Francis

    Joliet, IL

    Graduation Rate

    62%

    Enrollment

    3,776

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $34000

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $34000

    Located in Joliet, Illinois, University of St Francis often ranks among the best schools. Enrollees take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. The school offers academic and technical tracks to help students meet a variety of professional 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. 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 provide additional information on submitting an application. At the accredited institution, degree-seekers also qualify for financial aid to pay for school. University of St Francis has received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

    #11

    Saint Anthony College of Nursing

    Rockford, IL

    Graduation Rate

    Not Provided

    Enrollment

    280

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $26692

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $26692

    Saint Anthony College of Nursing offers programs from its campus in Rockford, Illinois. Students study with experts in many different fields. With academic and technical tracks, the school's programs help students meet their professional 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. Some programs provide a test-optional admission option. The waiver makes it simpler to enroll. The admissions staff can provide more information on the process. Financial aid helps students cover the cost of their degree or certificate. Saint Anthony College of Nursing is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #12

    Judson University

    Elgin, IL

    Graduation Rate

    58%

    Enrollment

    1,233

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $29870

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $29870

    Judson University, a private institution in Elgin, Illinois, enrolls learners in multiple programs. With both academic and technical programs, the school helps learners reach their educational goals. The institution's degree and certificate programs offer coursework that prepares learners for a career in their field. Some programs may offer test-optional admission policies. A test score waiver makes it easier to apply. Enrollees receive support in the form of tutoring and career services. The amount students pay per credit on average is unknown. Learners at the accredited school qualify for federal student aid programs. Judson University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #13

    Augustana College

    Rock Island, IL

    Graduation Rate

    71%

    Enrollment

    2,546

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $43610

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $43610

    Augustana College enrolls learners from its Rock Island, Illinois campus. Degree-seekers take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. The school's academic and technical tracks help students meet diverse 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 waiver for standardized test scores. The waiver makes it simpler to apply. The admissions department provides additional resources on submitting an application. Learners also use financial aid to pay for their college degree or certificate. Augustana College has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #14

    School of the Art Institute of Chicago

    Chicago, IL

    Graduation Rate

    70%

    Enrollment

    3,682

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $50920

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $50920

    A private institution located in Chicago, Illinois, School of the Art Institute of Chicago educates students through multiple programs. The school's programs help graduates launch or advance professional careers. The institution provides academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. Several of the school's programs appear in national rankings. The amount students pay per credit is currently unknown. As an accredited institution, degree-seekers qualify for federal student aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Learners at the school choose from academic and technical programs. Depending on their program, students complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. School of the Art Institute of Chicago is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #15

    Fox College

    Bedford Park, IL

    Graduation Rate

    60%

    Enrollment

    451

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $15280

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $15280

    A private institution, Fox College grants degrees from its campus in Bedford Park, Illinois. The school offers academic and technical programs to help learners reach their educational goals. Students complete coursework to prepare them for advanced roles. Many schools no longer require admissions tests such as ACT or SAT scores. Test-optional policies make it easier to apply. Enrollees receive support in the form of tutoring and career services. The school'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, an independent accrediting body.

    #16

    Loyola University Chicago

    Chicago, IL

    Graduation Rate

    74%

    Enrollment

    17,159

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $45543

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $45543

    From its campus in Chicago, Illinois, Loyola University Chicago enrolls students as a private institution. With both academic and technical programs, the school helps learners reach their career goals. The institution's degree and certificate programs offer coursework that prepares learners for a career in their field. Applicants may qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. A waiver makes it easier to enroll. Learners benefit from support services, which include tutoring and career counseling. The school's cost per credit is unknown. The accredited school qualifies for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. The school holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

    #17

    Bradley University

    Peoria, IL

    Graduation Rate

    77%

    Enrollment

    5,929

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $34610

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $34610

    Located in Peoria, Illinois, Bradley University offers multiple programs as a private institution. Students complete programs that prepare them for the workforce. The institution's affordable programs provide a rigorous course of study. Many of the school's programs appear in national rankings. Students pay a per-credit fee of around 930 at the school. Degree-seekers attending the accredited institution may qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Degree-seekers choose from academic and technical programs at the institution. The school offers foundational courses, technical classes, and general education courses in multiple majors. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #18

    Moody Bible Institute

    Chicago, IL

    Graduation Rate

    67%

    Enrollment

    3,009

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $13290

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $13290

    A private institution, Moody Bible Institute grants degrees and certificates from its campus in Chicago, Illinois. Learners take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. The school's academic and technical programs prepare graduates for the workforce or further study. Information on the school's cost per credit is unavailable. At the accredited school, enrollees qualify for financial aid, including federal loans, scholarships, and grants. The institution reports a 67% graduation rate. The institution's admission rate is currently unknown. The admission department can provide more information about application requirements and start dates. Moody Bible Institute is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #19

    DePaul University

    Chicago, IL

    Graduation Rate

    74%

    Enrollment

    22,064

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $41202

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $41202

    From its campus in Chicago, Illinois, DePaul University enrolls students as a private institution. The school offers academic and technical programs to help learners reach their educational goals. Students strengthen their knowledge of the field by completing coursework. Some programs provide a test-optional admission option. Students may find it easier to apply without a test score requirement. The school supports learners with academic help and career services. The amount students pay per credit on average is currently unknown. At the accredited school, learners qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. DePaul University holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #20

    North Central College

    Naperville, IL

    Graduation Rate

    69%

    Enrollment

    2,888

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $40040

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $40040

    From its campus in Illinois, North Central College administers 79 total programs. Learners benefit from rigorous programs that rank among the best in the nation. The average student-to-teacher ratio is unavailable. The average amount of aid awarded per student is not available. The private school reports a 69% graduation rate. The institution's commitment to experiential learning helps students enter the workforce. The school's admission rate is currently unknown. Some programs no longer require standardized tests for admission. Prospective students can contact the admissions office for more information about applying.

    #21

    Elmhurst College

    Elmhurst, IL

    Graduation Rate

    70%

    Enrollment

    3,453

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $37754

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $37754

    From its campus in Elmhurst, Illinois, Elmhurst College awards degrees and certificates as a top school. Enrollees study with experts in many different fields. The school offers academic and technical tracks to help students meet a variety of professional goals. Depending on the degree or certificate type, enrollees can spend anywhere from a few months up to as many as seven years completing a program. Applicants may qualify for test-optional admissions. These policies make it easier to enroll. Admission advisors can provide additional information on submitting an application. Enrollees at the accredited institution also qualify for financial aid to cover costs. Elmhurst College has received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

    #22

    Lewis University

    Romeoville, IL

    Graduation Rate

    67%

    Enrollment

    6,359

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $33430

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $33430

    A private institution located in Romeoville, Illinois, Lewis University enrolls students in several programs. The school offers accredited programs that prepare learners for the workforce. The institution offers affordable programs that do not sacrifice academic rigor. The school's programs appear in national rankings. Data on the school's average cost per credit is unavailable. 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. Students complete fundamentals courses, technical classes, and general education requirements depending on their program. Lewis University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #23

    Olivet Nazarene University

    Bourbonnais, IL

    Graduation Rate

    64%

    Enrollment

    4,317

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $37070

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $37070

    A top-ranked school, Olivet Nazarene University enrolls learners in programs from its campus in Bourbonnais, Illinois. Instructors draw on their expertise in diverse fields. With academic and technical tracks, the school offers programs for students with a variety of professional goals. Completing a program can take anywhere from a few months to seven years depending on degree or certificate type and whether the student chooses part-time or full-time enrollment. Applicants may qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. Test-optional policies make it easier to apply. The admissions department can help applicants determine the next steps. Learners also use financial aid to pay for their college degree or certificate. Olivet Nazarene University has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #24

    Morrison Institute of Technology

    Morrison, IL

    Graduation Rate

    84%

    Enrollment

    88

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $17400

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $17400

    From its Morrison, Illinois campus, Morrison Institute of Technology enrolls students in 2 programs. Students enjoy rigorous programs that rank among the best in the nation. The student-to-teacher ratio is currently unknown. The average amount of aid awarded to students is unknown. The school reports a graduation rate of 84%. Job seekers often benefit from hands-on experience, which makes them more competitive job candidates. The institution's admission rate is unknown at this time. Some applicants qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. Prospective students can contact the admission department for more information about applying.

    #25

    North Park University

    Chicago, IL

    Graduation Rate

    62%

    Enrollment

    2,892

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $31030

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $31030

    From its campus in Chicago, Illinois, North Park University enrolls students in 79 programs. Students enjoy rigorous programs that rank among the best in the nation. Information on the student-to-instructor ratio is unavailable. The amount of aid students receive on average is not currently known. The school reports a 62% graduation rate. The institution understands that hands-on experience helps job seekers enter the workforce. The school's admission rate is currently unknown. Some programs no longer require standardized tests for admission. Contact the admissions department for more details about application requirements.

    #26

    Hebrew Theological College

    Skokie, IL

    Graduation Rate

    4%

    Enrollment

    193

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $13300

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $13300

    From its campus in Skokie, Illinois, Hebrew Theological College enrolls students as a private institution. With both academic and technical programs, the school helps learners reach their educational goals. Students complete courses and experiential learning opportunities to bolster their knowledge. Applicants may qualify for a test score waiver. The waiver makes it simpler to enroll. The school provides support such as tutoring and career services. Data on the school's average cost per credit is unavailable. Learners at the accredited school qualify for federal financial aid programs such as the Pell Grant. Hebrew Theological College has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #27

    Knox College

    Galesburg, IL

    Graduation Rate

    74%

    Enrollment

    1,258

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $48168

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $48168

    From its campus in Illinois, Knox College enrolls students in 43 programs. Degree-seekers benefit from rigorous programs that rank among the best in the nation. The student-to-instructor ratio is unavailable. The average amount of aid awarded per student is not available. Enrollees graduate from the school at a rate of 74%. The institution understands that hands-on experience helps job seekers enter the workforce. The school's admission rate is unavailable. Some programs no longer require test scores for admission. The admission department can provide more information about application requirements.

    #28

    Stautzenberger College-Rockford Career College

    Rockford, IL

    Graduation Rate

    76%

    Enrollment

    472

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $16549

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $16549

    From its campus in Rockford, Illinois, Stautzenberger College-Rockford Career College enrolls students in programs as a private institution. Graduates leave the school prepared for the workforce. Degree-seekers benefit from academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. Many of the school's degrees make national rankings. The institution's cost per credit is unknown. Degree-seekers attending the accredited institution may qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Degree-seekers choose from academic and technical programs at the school. Based on their major, students take foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. The accreditation status of this institution is unknown.

    #29

    Lincoln Christian University

    Lincoln, IL

    Graduation Rate

    58%

    Enrollment

    672

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $13590

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $13590

    Lincoln Christian University ranks as a top school from its campus in Lincoln, Illinois. Enrollees take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. The school's academic and technical tracks help students 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. Many schools no longer require admissions tests such as ACT or SAT. Students may find it easier to apply without a test score requirement. The admissions department can help applicants determine the next steps. Students also use financial aid to pay for their college degree or certificate. Lincoln Christian University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #30

    Trinity Christian College

    Palos Heights, IL

    Graduation Rate

    67%

    Enrollment

    1,068

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $31175

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $31175

    Trinity Christian College, located in Palos Heights, Illinois, welcomes students with 60 program options. Students enjoy rigorous programs that rank among the best in the nation. The student-to-faculty ratio is unavailable. The amount of aid students receive on average is currently unknown. The private school reports a 67% graduation rate. Real-world experience helps candidates stand out on the job market. The rate of admission for the school is unknown. Some programs provide a test-optional admission option. Prospective students can contact the admissions office for more information about applying.

    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

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

    Cons

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