2021 Best Colleges in Illinois Badge

2021 Best Colleges in Illinois by Salary Score

By the GradReports team | Updated 3/1/2021

We calculated a Salary Score for each college in Illinois to determine the colleges with the best salary outcomes for alumni in the first year after graduation. We compared median alumni earnings for graduates from a specific major at a college to data for the same major at other universities. We combined these program scores into an overall Salary Score to compare how each university stacks up against schools across the country. The top 25 colleges in Illinois all feature Salary Scores above the nationwide median, and two schools also rank in our 2021 list of the 50 best colleges in the U.S.: Northwestern at #24 and the University of Chicago at #32. The majority of the top schools in Illinois are located in the Chicago area.

To be considered for our state rankings, schools must offer and provide data for at least 8 bachelor's programs. You can click on a school's name to view individual program scores. Read our methodology to learn more about how schools were ranked.

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Salary Scores based on data reported by the U.S. Department of Education
Rank School Location Annual Tuition Salary Score
#1 #1 Evanston Evanston $54,568 93.57
#2 #2 Chicago Chicago $58,230 91.77
#3 #3 Champaign Champaign $15,094 75.30
#4 #4 River Forest River Forest $32,078 73.04
#5 #5 Chicago Chicago $39,975 72.91
#6 #6 Romeoville Romeoville $32,450 67.98
#7 #7 Normal Normal $14,516 67.47
#8 #8 Bloomington Bloomington $47,636 67.26
#9 #9 Naperville Naperville $38,880 66.82
#10 #10 Lake Forest Lake Forest $47,064 64.32
#11 #11 Joliet Joliet $32,320 63.91
#12 #12 Chicago Chicago $44,048 63.46
#13 #13 Elmhurst Elmhurst $37,055 62.85
#14 #14 Chicago Chicago $29,860 61.18
#15 #15 Wheaton Wheaton $36,420 60.68
#16 #16 Dekalb Dekalb $14,617 60.45
#17 #17 Palos Heights Palos Heights $30,175 59.13
#18 #18 Rock Island Rock Island $42,135 58.67
#19 #19 Lisle Lisle $34,290 57.02
#20 #20 Peoria Peoria $33,760 56.99
#21 #21 Aurora Aurora $24,260 56.75
#22 #22 Chicago Chicago $11,218 56.51
#23 #23 University Park University Park $12,196 53.90
#24 #24 Chicago Chicago $33,880 52.95
#25 #25 Chicago Chicago $47,646 52.79