The Most Affordable Colleges: Chicago, Illinois

This compilation ranks the most cost-effective colleges in Chicago, Illinois, as part of our continuing effort to spotlight affordable higher education options in major U.S. cities.

Each college entry provides details such as acceptance rate, median ACT and SAT scores, student population, and graduation rate.

Cheap Colleges in Chicago

These institutions are ordered by their tuition and fees, ranging from lowest to highest, and are all situated within a 50-mile radius of Chicago. The listed costs reflect on-campus attendance.

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1. Indiana University Northwest

  • Tuition and Fees: $8,179 (in-state)
  • Acceptance Rate: 80%
  • Median ACT: 22
  • Median SAT: 1060
  • Student Population: 3,198 (2,860 undergraduates)
  • Graduation Rate: 37%

2. Governors State University

  • Tuition and Fees: $11,320
  • Acceptance Rate: 57%
  • Median ACT: 18
  • Median SAT: 1002
  • Student Population: 4,427 (2,609 undergraduates)
  • Graduation Rate: 21%

3. Trinity International University

  • Tuition and Fees: $12,320
  • Acceptance Rate: 91%
  • Median ACT: 22
  • Median SAT: 1025
  • Student Population: 1,242 (450 undergraduates)
  • Graduation Rate: 50%

4. Chicago State University

  • Tuition and Fees: $12,754
  • Acceptance Rate: 49%
  • Median ACT: 18
  • Median SAT: 962
  • Student Population: 2,317 (1,450 undergraduates)
  • Graduation Rate: 28%

5. University of Illinois at Chicago

  • Tuition and Fees: $14,338
  • Acceptance Rate: 79%
  • Median ACT: 27
  • Median SAT: 1220
  • Student Population: 33,747 (21,807 undergraduates)
  • Graduation Rate: 62%

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6. Roosevelt University

  • Tuition and Fees: $20,280
  • Acceptance Rate: 88%
  • Median ACT: 20
  • Median SAT: 955
  • Student Population: 3,725 (2,413 undergraduates)
  • Graduation Rate: 43%

7. Trinity Christian College

  • Tuition and Fees: $20,325
  • Acceptance Rate: 71%
  • Median ACT: 23
  • Median SAT: 980
  • Student Population: 908 (854 undergraduates)
  • Graduation Rate: 69%

8. VanderCook College of Music

  • Tuition and Fees: $30,910
  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
  • Median ACT: 23
  • Median SAT: 1200
  • Student Population: 263 (94 undergraduates)
  • Graduation Rate: 57%

9. Judson University

  • Tuition and Fees: $30,910
  • Acceptance Rate: 58%
  • Median ACT: 19
  • Median SAT: 1025
  • Student Population: 973 (798 undergraduates)
  • Graduation Rate: 53%

10. University of St. Francis

  • Tuition and Fees: $35,420
  • Acceptance Rate: 98%
  • Median ACT: 21
  • Median SAT: 1040
  • Student Population: 1,903 (1,576 undergraduates)
  • Graduation Rate: 56%

11. Benedictine University

  • Tuition and Fees: $34,290
  • Acceptance Rate: 93%
  • Median ACT: 22
  • Median SAT: 1084
  • Student Population: 3,123 (2,042 undergraduates)
  • Graduation Rate: 53%

12. Concordia University Chicago

  • Tuition and Fees: $36,258
  • Acceptance Rate: 93%
  • Median ACT: 22
  • Median SAT: 1080
  • Student Population: 5,354 (1,328 undergraduates)
  • Graduation Rate: 48%

13. Saint Xavier University

  • Tuition and Fees: $36,840
  • Acceptance Rate: 84%
  • Median ACT: 21
  • Median SAT: 1040
  • Student Population: 3,523 (2,981 undergraduates)
  • Graduation Rate: 53%

14. Lewis University

  • Tuition and Fees: $37,882
  • Acceptance Rate: 74%
  • Median ACT: 25
  • Median SAT: 1100
  • Student Population: 6,513 (3,933 undergraduates)
  • Graduation Rate: 62%

15. Dominican University

  • Tuition and Fees: $37,844
  • Acceptance Rate: 90%
  • Median ACT: 18
  • Median SAT: 1010
  • Student Population: 3,196 (2,136 undergraduates)
  • Graduation Rate: 59%

16. Olivet Nazarene University

  • Tuition and Fees: $37,940
  • Acceptance Rate: 58%
  • Median ACT: 23
  • Median SAT: 1110
  • Student Population: 3,255 (2,519 undergraduates)
  • Graduation Rate: 67%

17. Elmhurst University

  • Tuition and Fees: $41,628
  • Acceptance Rate: 76%
  • Median ACT: 23
  • Median SAT: 1091
  • Student Population: 3,731 (3,027 undergraduates)
  • Graduation Rate: 64%

18. Wheaton College

  • Tuition and Fees: $43,930
  • Acceptance Rate: 88%
  • Median ACT: 31
  • Median SAT: 1340
  • Student Population: 2,885 (2,163 undergraduates)
  • Graduation Rate: 88%

19. North Central College

  • Tuition and Fees: $44,394
  • Acceptance Rate: 61%
  • Median ACT: 25
  • Median SAT: 1120
  • Student Population: 2,695 (2,368 undergraduates)
  • Graduation Rate: 63%

20. Valparaiso University

  • Tuition and Fees: $46,588
  • Acceptance Rate: 94%
  • Median ACT: 27
  • Median SAT: 1240
  • Student Population: 2,958 (2,349 undergraduates)
  • Graduation Rate: 70%

21. Loyola University Chicago

  • Tuition and Fees: $51,716
  • Acceptance Rate: 79%
  • Median ACT: 29
  • Median SAT: 1275
  • Student Population: 16,899 (11,703 undergraduates)
  • Graduation Rate: 71%

22. Illinois Institute of Technology

  • Tuition and Fees: $51,763
  • Acceptance Rate: 61%
  • Median ACT: 30
  • Median SAT: 1310
  • Student Population: 6,943 (3,125 undergraduates)
  • Graduation Rate: 75%

23. School of the Art Institute of Chicago

  • Tuition and Fees: $54,530
  • Acceptance Rate: 79%
  • Median ACT: 25
  • Median SAT: 1230
  • Student Population: 3,532 (2,819 undergraduates)
  • Graduation Rate: 67%

24. Northwestern University

  • Tuition and Fees: $65,997
  • Acceptance Rate: 7%
  • Median ACT: 34
  • Median SAT: 1530
  • Student Population: 23,161 (8,993 undergraduates)
  • Graduation Rate: 97%

25. University of Chicago

  • Tuition and Fees: $65,997
  • Acceptance Rate: 5%
  • Median ACT: 34
  • Median SAT: 1540
  • Student Population: 18,339 (7,595 undergraduates)
  • Graduation Rate: 96%