16 of the Best Community Colleges in Illinois Ranked by Wallethub

The cost of four-year colleges is climbing, and many students and parents have therefore been looking at community colleges as a financially sound option. Illinois has some great community colleges, and they come at an affordable price.

Two-year community colleges long have fought the stereotype that they don't stack up academically to traditional universities, but with college costs rising faster than the rate of inflation, attending community colleges has become a more practical choice for prospective students. Community colleges in 22 states now offer four-year bachelor's degree programs in high-demand fields, according to a recent WalletHub report.

The report ranks states with the best community college systems in the nation and is coupled with another analysis that ranks individual community within each state. Illinois ranked 32 overall, though six states (Alaska, Delaware, Indiana, Rhode Island, South Dakota and Vermont) were not included in the rankings.

WalletHub compared a total of 670 community colleges in the U.S. and ranked them using 17 key metrics, including the cost of in-state tuition and fees, student-faculty ratio and student loan default rate.

Here are 16 of the best community colleges in Illinois that were ranked by WalletHub. Following the graphic is a plain text version with the school's national rank in parenthesis, location and individual ranks for the four main criteria. WalletHub's methodology can be found here.

31. Wilbur Wright College (#664) | Chicago 
  • Cost & Financing - 640
  • Classroom Experience - 437
  • Education Outcomes - 545
  • Career Outcomes - 668
30. Harold Washington College (#655) | Chicago
  • Cost & Financing - 635
  • Classroom Experience - 382
  • Education Outcomes - 614
  • Career Outcomes - 527
29. Joliet Junior College (#639) | Joliet 
  • Cost & Financing - 593
  • Classroom Experience - 611
  • Education Outcomes - 459
  • Career Outcomes - 411
28. College of DuPage (#624) | Glen Ellyn
  • Cost & Financing - 615
  • Classroom Experience - 626
  • Education Outcomes - 320
  • Career Outcomes - 390
27. Richard J. Daley College (#594) | Chicago 
  • Cost & Financing - 635
  • Classroom Experience - 209
  • Education Outcomes - 628
  • Career Outcomes - 39
26. Moraine Valley Community College (#587) | Palos Hills 
  • Cost & Financing - 663
  • Classroom Experience - 529
  • Education Outcomes - 153
  • Career Outcomes - 60
25. Heartland Community College (#561) | Normal 
  • Cost & Financing - 503
  • Classroom Experience - 450
  • Education Outcomes - 368
  • Career Outcomes - 467
24. Triton College (#559) | River Grove
  • Cost & Financing - 644
  • Classroom Experience - 544
  • Education Outcomes - 425
  • Career Outcomes - 139
23. Parkland College (#555) | Champaign
  • Cost & Financing - 525
  • Classroom Experience - 354
  • Education Outcomes - 238
  • Career Outcomes - 576
22. Kaskaskia College (#513) | Centralia
  • Cost & Financing - 625
  • Classroom Experience - 582
  • Education Outcomes - 118
  • Career Outcomes - 292
21. Waubonsee Community College (#508) | Sugar Grove
  • Cost & Financing - 597
  • Classroom Experience - 614
  • Education Outcomes - 74
  • Career Outcomes - 340
20. Oakton Community College (#498) | Des Plaines
  • Cost & Financing - 536
  • Classroom Experience - 380
  • Education Outcomes - 267
  • Career Outcomes - 463
19. Lincoln Land Community College (#494) | Springfield
  • Cost & Financing - 414
  • Classroom Experience - 642
  • Education Outcomes - 85
  • Career Outcomes - 426
18. Truman College (#488) | Chicago
  • Cost & Financing - 647
  • Classroom Experience - 125
  • Education Outcomes - 595
  • Career Outcomes - 1
17. Highland Community College (#481) | Freeport 
  • Cost & Financing - 217
  • Classroom Experience - 619
  • Education Outcomes - 91
  • Career Outcomes - 621
16. Prairie State College (#460) | Chicago Heights
  • Cost & Financing - 578
  • Classroom Experience - 178
  • Education Outcomes - 548
  • Career Outcomes - 346

To see the 15 best community colleges in Illinois, including College of Lake County and Harper College, check out Reboot Illinois.

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