50-50 Highlights: Colleges in Chicago
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50-50 Highlights: Colleges in Chicago

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Downtown Chicago skyline representing colleges in ChicagoStudents looking for the big city attractions shouldn’t overlook colleges in Chicago. It’s the 3rd largest city in the United States and has all the expected amenities to go with it. There are 39 colleges with at least 500 full-time undergraduates in the Chicago Core Based Statistical Area (CBSA). While 14 of them are 50-50 colleges, unfortunately only one is a public institution.

Colleges in Chicago
(Yellow indicates 50-50 Colleges)

Aurora University

Aurora, IL

Benedictine University

Lisle, IL

Carthage College

Kenosha, WI

Chicago State University

Chicago, IL

Columbia College Chicago

Chicago, IL

Concordia University-Chicago

River Forest, IL

DePaul University

Chicago, IL

Dominican University

River Forest, IL

Elmhurst College

Elmhurst, IL

Governors State University

University Park, IL

Illinois Institute of Technology

Chicago, IL

Indiana University-Northwest

Gary, IN

Judson University

Elgin, IL

Lake Forest College

Lake Forest, IL

Lewis University

Romeoville, IL

Loyola University Chicago

Chicago, IL

Moody Bible Institute

Chicago, IL

National Louis University

Chicago, IL

North Central College

Naperville, IL

North Park University

Chicago, IL

Northeastern Illinois University

Chicago, IL

Northern Illinois University

Dekalb, IL

Northwestern University

Evanston, IL

Olivet Nazarene University

Bourbonnais, IL

Purdue University Northwest

Hammond, IN

Resurrection University

Chicago, IL

Robert Morris University Illinois

Chicago, IL

Roosevelt University

Chicago, IL

Saint Augustine College

Chicago, IL

Saint Xavier University

Chicago, IL

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Chicago, IL

Trinity Christian College

Palos Heights, IL

Trinity International University-Illinois

Deerfield, IL

University of Chicago

Chicago, IL

University of Illinois at Chicago

Chicago, IL

University of St Francis

Joliet, IL

University of Wisconsin-Parkside

Kenosha, WI

Valparaiso University

Valparaiso, IN

Wheaton College

Wheaton, IL


50-50 Colleges in Chicago (see list below)

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The 50-50 colleges range in size from 678 undergraduates to over 19,000. Eleven of the schools are classified as primarily or highly residential. However, keep in mind just because a school is listed as primarily non-residential doesn’t mean dorms aren’t available. DePaul is one of those listed as nonresidential and it really doesn’t have a commuter school reputation.

Among the 50-50 colleges in Chicago, four are some version of test optional. The reported 75th% ACT scores ranged from a low of 24 to a high of 32 while the 75th% SAT scores ranged from 1130 to 1420. You can also find Phi Beta Kappa chapters at five of the campuses and two sponsor National Merit Scholarships.

A total of five of the colleges play in the NCAA D1 division. Six are D3 schools and four are in the NAIA. Four are Doctoral Universities and six are classified as Master’s institutions. Of the four Baccalaureate colleges, two are traditional Liberal Arts Colleges and two are in the Diverse Fields category.

Colleges in Chicago Costs

Last year, two of the schools managed to pass the $60,000 in costs while a few more are coming close. However, seven of the schools are still under $50,000 for the total cost of attendance.

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At ten of the schools at least 90% of freshman received institutional aid which ranged from just over $15,000 to over $28,000. And according to the Common Data Set, at least five of the schools awarded merit money to 85% or more of freshman without need.

The following table list 50-50 Colleges in the Chicago-Naperville-Elgin CBSA area. As usual, the 4-year graduation rate is used for private schools and the 5-year rate for public. The DIYCollegeRankings spreadsheet lists this information and much more for all Chicago area schools.


50-50 Colleges in Chicago

Name Type State City Full-time Under-grads 4/5 yr Grad Rate Division Total price for out-of-state students 2018-19 % Freshman Receiving Pell Grants (17-18) % Freshman Receiving Institutional Grants (17-18) % Freshman Receiving Non-Federal Student Loans (17-18) Avg Net Price (2017-2018)
Wheaton College Private IL Wheaton 2,326 77 NCAA D3 $49,300 22 82 5 $28,162
Lake Forest College Private IL Lake Forest 1,472 61 NCAA D3 $60,980 33 99 5 $27,131
Trinity Christian College Private IL Palos Heights 883 54 NAIA $43,865 32 96 8 $23,368
Carthage College Private WI Kenosha 2,649 59 NCAA D3 $59,240 32 97 15 $27,156
Loyola University Chicago Private IL Chicago 11,189 67 NCAA D1 $61,328 24 97 8 $35,033
DePaul University Private IL Chicago 12,795 59 NCAA D1 $57,678 33 98 6 $30,584
University of Illinois at Chicago Public IL Chicago 19,254 54 NCAA D1 $44,082 61 61 4 $12,248
Valparaiso University Private IN Valparaiso 3,120 63 NCAA FCS $54,940 31 99 13 $23,916
Olivet Nazarene University Private IL Bourbonnais 2,946 53 NAIA $47,670 38 100 9 $20,741
Dominican University Private IL River Forest 1,974 49 NCAA D3 $46,175 55 100 4 $18,037
Elmhurst College Private IL Elmhurst 2,710 51 NCAA D3 $51,199 42 100 10 $23,042
Robert Morris University Illinois Private IL Chicago 1,594 68 NAIA $48,690 65 87 3 $22,592
North Central College Private IL Naperville 2,596 57 NCAA D3 $52,728 26 100 28 $24,913
Judson University Private IL Elgin 678 50 NAIA $43,368 43 79 10 $21,437
50-50 Highlights: Colleges in Chicago

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