Community Colleges Don't Get Nearly the Attention They Deserve. These Are Illinois' 25 Best

For many students graduating high school in Illinois, four-year colleges and universities aren't a viable option for many reasons. But if the end goal for these students is to graduate from a four-year school, going to Illinois community colleges for the first two years makes a lot of sense. It allows the student the opportunity to take two years of college credits while saving money and living close to home, making the realization of eventually graduating with at least a bachelor's degree from a four-year school a possibility.

Unlike with four-year schools, however, services such as U.S. News and World Report don't rank community colleges, so it is harder to quantify which Illinois community colleges are more successful than others. There is little standardized information about community colleges out there, but CNN Money has partnered with College Measures to rank community colleges across the country based on "success rate."

College Measures, a joint venture of the American Institutes of Research and Matrix Knowledge Group, took a look at the success rate of community colleges in either graduating students with an associate's degree within three years or helping students transfer into a four-year university. We picked out the top 25 Illinois community colleges, based on their success rate as factored by College Measures, and ranked them below for you along with links to their homepage.

With high school graduations taking place around the state as summer vacation begins, for students who can't attend a four-year school in the fall, it's time to take a look at these Illinois community colleges  as viable alternatives.
  • Located in Ina
  • 68 percent success rate
  • Located in Centralia
  • 61 percent success rate
  • Located in Dixon
  • 60 percent success rate
  • Located in Crystal Lake
  • 57 percent success rate
  • Located in Quincy
  • 57 percent success rate
  • Located in Champaign
  • 55 percent success rate
  • Located in South Holland
  • 54 percent success rate
  • Located in Canton
  • 54 percent success rate
  • Located in Des Plaines
  • 54 percent success rate
  • Located in Mattoon
  • 54 percent success rate
  • Located in Galesburg
  • 51 percent success rate
  • Located in Malta
  • 51 percent success rate
  • Located in Freeport
  • 51 percent success rate
  • Located in Oglesby
  • 50 percent success rate
  • Located in Carterville
  • 50 percent success rate
  • Located in Danville
  • 50 percent success rate
  • Located in Palatine
  • 50 percent success rate
  • Located in Normal
  • 49 percent success rate
  • Located in Glen Ellyn
  • 49 percent success rate
  • Located in Chicago Heights
  • 49 percent success rate
  • Located in Palos Hills
  • 48 percent success rate
  • Located in Elgin
  • 47 percent success rate
  • Located in Rockford
  • 47 percent success rate
  • Located in Sugar Grove
  • 47 percent success rate
  • Located in Decatur
  • 47 percent success rate
Along with being a great way to kick-start a college career, a degree from a community college can still help students land a good job in the state of Illinois.