2020 Best Online Community Colleges in Illinois

By OnlineU Staff | Updated 5/7/2020
2020 Best Online Community Colleges in Illinois Badge

Students in Illinois can earn an associate degree or certificate completely online from any of these 20 community colleges. The average tuition of the schools on this list is $4,426, and the #1-ranked college, Olney Central College, costs only $2,944 per year. Through OCC Online, students can earn one of 8 different online associate degrees including an AAS in Accounting and an AAS in Medical Office Assistant.

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RankSchool Annual Tuition Locations
# 1 #1 $2,944 Olney
# 2 #2 $6,272 Canton
# 3 #3 $4,138 Palatine
# 4 #4 $3,036 Dixon
# 5 #5 $2,944 Fairfield
# 6 #6 $5,122 Springfield
# 7 #7 $5,390 Crystal Lake
# 8 #8 $4,500 East Peoria (and 1 other)
# 9 #9 $3,900 Sugar Grove (and 2 others)
# 10 #10 $9,435 Grayslake (and 1 other)
# 11 #11 $3,968 Palos Hills
# 12 #12 $4,864 Centralia
# 13 #13 $2,944 Robinson (and 2 others)
# 14 #14 $3,376 Mattoon
# 15 #15 $4,061 Harrisburg
# 16 #16 $5,160 Decatur
# 17 #17 $4,768 Moline
# 18 #18 $5,270 Galesburg
# 19 #19 $4,234 Freeport (and 1 other)
# 20 #20 $2,944 Mount Carmel

2020 Online Community Colleges in Illinois - Ranking Details

For each school, we conducted manual research to provide prospective students with more details about the schools' online programs. Explore online degrees offered and accreditation information below.

#1 Olney Central College

  • Annual Tuition: $2,944
  • Locations: Olney
  • Accreditation: HLC

Students can enroll in online degree programs through Olney Central College, which is part of the Illinois Eastern Community Colleges network of schools. Available online programs include associate degrees in accounting and computing, medical office assistant, general studies, science, and science and arts. Students can also enroll in online certificate programs in medical transcription and sales. Online students will be able to access all materials and student resources completely online, including the library and student bookstore. Students will access course material through a program called Entrata.

#2 Spoon River College

  • Annual Tuition: $6,272
  • Locations: Canton
  • Accreditation: HLC

Spoon River College in Illinois offers online degrees for those looking to begin their college education while maintaining a flexible schedule. Students can choose to enroll in the Associate in Arts or the Associate in Science degree programs, both of which will prepare students to transfer to a four-year college. Students access course materials through the Canvas learning management system. Online students will have access to a variety of student resources, including the school library and online tutoring services.

#3 Harper College

  • Annual Tuition: $4,138
  • Locations: Palatine
  • Accreditation: HLC

Harper College is a public community college that serves approximately 13,500 students annually. For students who require an online option, Harper College offers a number of online certificates, and two fully online degree programs, in fields such as accounting, computer information systems, education, management, and marketing. Prospective students can go through the online orientation in order to experience a practice online course and determine if an online degree is the best fit. Once enrolled, students are encouraged to use the resources and services available to them, including online library database, writing center and academic tutoring, and tech support. The coursework can be accessed at any time of day or night, 7 days a week, giving students the flexibility to fit their education into their busy schedules.

#4 Sauk Valley Community College

  • Annual Tuition: $3,036
  • Locations: Dixon
  • Accreditation: HLC

Students who live in Illinois and are looking to complete an associate degree online can enroll in one of the many programs offered at Sauk Valley Community College. Online associate degrees include general education, accounting, criminal justice, management, and marketing. Sauk Valley also offers online certificate programs in corrections, entrepreneurship, management, marketing, and supervisory management. Online students will have access to all of the same resources as traditional students, including a First Year Experience and orientation class that aims to help students with the anxiety that comes with beginning college.

#5 Frontier Community College

  • Annual Tuition: $2,944
  • Locations: Fairfield
  • Accreditation: HLC

Students can earn online community college degrees through the online learning program offered at Frontier Community College, which is part of the Illinois Eastern Community Colleges network of schools. Degrees that can be completed online include Associate in Applied Science in Accounting, Associate in Applied Science in Medical Office Assistant, Associate in General Studies, Associate in Science and Arts Transfer, and Associate in Science Transfer. Frontier Community College also offers certificates in medical transcription and sales entirely online. Online classes follow the same timeline as traditional classes and run over a 16-week period. Summer classes follow an eight-week schedule. Online students can take advantage of a number of student resources from home, including the bookstore, financial aid services, academic advising, the library, and technical support.

#6 Lincoln Land Community College

  • Annual Tuition: $5,122
  • Locations: Springfield
  • Accreditation: HLC

Lincoln Land Community College in Illinois offers online degree programs through its distance education program. Students can earn associate degrees in subjects like applied science, computer programming, criminal justice, early childhood education, philosophy, physical geography, psychology, geology, speech communication, and general studies. LLCC also offers online certificates of achievement and completion in trades, like computer administration, management, and office support. Classes use Blackboard software to administer virtual class assignments and discussions. Online students have the option of taking some courses in person and will be able to take advantage of all of the programs that are offered to traditional on-campus students.

#7 McHenry County College

  • Annual Tuition: $5,390
  • Locations: Crystal Lake
  • Accreditation: HLC

McHenry County College in Illinois provides a variety of online courses for students seeking an associate degree or professional certificate to help advance their career. Students can complete the following associate degrees entirely online: accounting, administrative office management, business management, criminal justice, help desk technician, network security, arts, general education, science, and criminal justice. Online certificate programs are available in accounting, bookkeeping, entrepreneurship, and tax practitioner. MCC students will use the Canvas course management system to access materials for their classes, and classes are delivered both synchronously and asynchronously depending on the curriculum.

#8 Illinois Central College

  • Annual Tuition: $4,500
  • Locations: East Peoria (and 1 other)
  • Accreditation: HLC

Illinois Central College offers online classes for students to complete an associate degree in a number of subjects. Students can pursue a degree in arts, general studies, science, accountancy, business administration, criminal justice, economics, international business, and liberal arts, as well as certificate programs in supply chain management, web development, professional project management, and more. Online students use Blackboard to complete their classes and have access to 24/7 student support services, as well as student resources, like the library.

#9 Waubonsee Community College

  • Annual Tuition: $3,900
  • Locations: Sugar Grove (and 2 others)
  • Accreditation: HLC

Students who live in Illinois might consider enrolling in an online degree program at Waubonsee Community College. The school offers a variety of ways for students to pursue higher education while maintaining a flexible schedule including accelerated, online, and hybrid courses. Online programs include associate degrees in arts, science, general studies, business administration, and human resources management. Students can also enroll in online certificate programs in general studies, computer support, marketing, medical office, and office software. Waubonsee Community College professors use the Blackboard content management system to administer class assignments and facilitate class activities like discussion forums.

#10 College of Lake County

  • Annual Tuition: $9,435
  • Locations: Grayslake (and 1 other)
  • Accreditation: HLC

The College of Lake County in Illinois offers a number of programs for students looking to pursue an Associate of Arts degree entirely online. Students who complete the A.A. degree will be prepared to transfer to a four-year college or university. Students can also complete half of the course requirements needed to complete degrees in applied science in accounting, marketing, management, entrepreneurship/small business management, business administration, web programming, administrative professional, and office applications specialist. Classes are delivered in multiple formats, including readings, message boards, videos, websites, and activities.

#11 Moraine Valley Community College

  • Annual Tuition: $3,968
  • Locations: Palos Hills
  • Accreditation: HLC

Moraine Valley Community College in Illinois offers a number of online and hybrid class options that allow students to complete their education from a distance. Degrees that can be completed entirely online include an Associate of Applied Science in Business Administration Associate and an Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice. Students can also complete online certificates in Cisco Network Associate, Computer Support Associate, Computer Technician, Database Administration Skills, and Business Skills. Online students have access to support services including the ability to chat with academic advisors.

#12 Kaskaskia College

  • Annual Tuition: $4,864
  • Locations: Centralia
  • Accreditation: HLC

Kaskaskia College offers more than 500 online classes, and thirteen degree and certificate programs. Students can pursue a degree in business accounting, construction project management, health information technology, early childhood education, or business management. Certificates are available in entrepreneurship, computer applications, and supervisory management. Classes are asynchronous, meaning that students can log on and complete coursework at any time that fits their schedules, and while there are set due dates, time management is self-directed. Students should expect to devote at least 4-6 hours a week to their classes. Lesson material is transmitted through the learning management system called Blackboard, which is also the system through which students submit assignments and are tested on their knowledge. Students are encouraged to take advantage of the academic resources offered through Kaskaskia College, including career development tools, tutoring, and disability services.

#13 Lincoln Trail College

  • Annual Tuition: $2,944
  • Locations: Robinson (and 2 others)
  • Accreditation: HLC

Students who require flexibility within their education can find online degrees, certificates, and individual courses through Lincoln Trail College. Classes range from fully online, to a blend of distance learning and classroom lessons. Available transfer degrees include an Associate in Science, Associate in Art, Associate in Science and Art, and Associate in General Studies. As their name suggests, these degrees are intended to be transferred to four-year universities. Students who are not interested in continuing on to earn a bachelor's degree may consider the online Associate in Applied Science degree, and can choose from studying accounting, certified medical assistantship, health information technology, or sports management. Online certificates are also offered, ranging from early childhood education to medical transcription. Coursework is available to students 24/7, 365 days a year, meaning that they can complete coursework at times that fit their schedules. Courses generally run for 16 weeks, although during the summer months, they run for 8 weeks. During their time of enrollment, students can access online resources such as the bookstore, library services, financial aid, and academic advising.

#14 Lake Land College

  • Annual Tuition: $3,376
  • Locations: Mattoon
  • Accreditation: HLC

Lake Land College is a community college in Illinois that offers a number of online degree programs for students looking to balance gaining a degree with the demands on everyday life. LLC offers online associate degree programs in business administration, management, marketing, and medical coding and health information. Students can also take online courses to complete certificates in accounting, computer applications specialist, electronic marketing, entrepreneurship, management, marketing, medical coding specialist, programmable logic controllers, office support specialist in medical or Microsoft office, and professional sales.

#15 Southeastern Illinois College

  • Annual Tuition: $4,061
  • Locations: Harrisburg
  • Accreditation: HLC

Southeastern Illinois College offers a number of degree and certificate programs that can be completed entirely online. Students can enroll in associate degrees in business management, criminal justice, early childhood education, and arts. Online certificate programs are available in biodiesel production, bioenergy production, biofuels technology and sustainability, and ethanol production. Students are able to complete their student orientation online as well, although in-person sessions are also available. Online classes follow the same schedule as traditional classes, lasting 16 weeks during the fall and spring semesters and eight weeks in the summer semester.

#16 Richland Community College

  • Annual Tuition: $5,160
  • Locations: Decatur
  • Accreditation: HLC

Richland Community College in Illinois offers several options for students looking to kickstart their college career online. Students can enroll to complete an Associate in Arts degree, which is meant to satisfy the first two years of credits needed to complete a bachelor’s degree at a four-year college or university. Other online degrees offered include Associate in Science, Associate of Applied Science in Healthcare Documentation, and a Certificate in Healthcare Documentation Specialist. Students will use Canvas to access course materials and will take an orientation to prepare them for online learning before beginning their classes.

#17 Black Hawk College

  • Annual Tuition: $4,768
  • Locations: Moline
  • Accreditation: HLC

Black Hawk College hosts a number of online opportunities, including a fully only Associate in Arts in either business, psychology, or accounting. This degree program is designed to transfer to a four-year institution, and satisfies many of the general education requirements that most bachelor's programs require. In addition, Black Hawk College offers individual classes online, which may be taken alongside on-campus courses for a hybrid online/campus degree. Other available classes are delivered using both online and in-person teaching methods. Distance learning at Black Hawk College is a convenient alternative to traditional courses, in that online coursework can be completed at one's own pace. Classes are offered with starting dates in August, October, January, March and June, giving online students options for when they begin their studies. Resources available to online students include counseling and career services, academic advising, library access, and tutoring.

#18 Carl Sandburg College

  • Annual Tuition: $5,270
  • Locations: Galesburg
  • Accreditation: HLC

Students can find distance learning options through Carl Sandburg College, ranging from individual courses, to fully online degree programs. An Associate in Arts is one of the offerings, which can be completed entirely online with the exception of a few classes which students take through Illinois Community College Online. Other available programs include a Computer Support Associate Certificate, and a Computer Technician Certificate. Classes in accounting, economics, criminal law, business management, and nutrition are also offered online. Students use a learning management system called mySandburg to access course materials, submit assignments, check their grades, and take tests. An online orientation is offered in order to ensure that students are properly familiarized with mySandburg before beginning their courses. While they must log in during the first few days of class, and are encouraged to log in frequently to keep on track, most courses are completed asynchronously, meaning students work at their own pace.

#19 Highland Community College - IL

  • Annual Tuition: $4,234
  • Locations: Freeport (and 1 other)
  • Accreditation: HLC

Highland Community College offers fully online and hybrid courses for degree credit or as non-credit options. There are available classes in fields including medical coding, business administration, criminal justice, early childhood education, and information technology. A virtual orientation is required in order to familiarize students with the distance learning format once they have registered for their courses. Students are also supported by committed academic advisors, and can benefit from online tutoring options, a help desk for assistance with the learning management platform, and career development services.

#20 Wabash Valley College

  • Annual Tuition: $2,944
  • Locations: Mount Carmel
  • Accreditation: HLC

Students can enroll in online community college degree programs through Wabash Valley College, which is part of the Illinois Eastern Community Colleges network of schools. Degrees that can be completed entirely online include Associate in Applied Science in Accounting and Computing, Associate in Applied Science in Medical Office Assistant, Associate in General Studies, Associate in Science and Arts Transfer, and Associate in Science Transfer. WVC also offers certificates in medical transcription and sales. Students have the option to complete their degrees entirely online, or they can supplement with some traditional on-site courses.

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