A: Deciding on the a school to earn an online degree is an extremely important process. One thing that might make it easier is defining for yourself what’s matters most to you. What is best is subjective, and it’s up to you to set the parameters that you need met in order to commit to a school. Do you want maximum flexibility? 100% online delivery? Low tuition? A program with a great reputation? Somewhere local? You might not find a program that meets all these criteria, so whittling down which you’ll prioritize can help fine tune your search.

Ultimately, what you want to go to school for will dictate a lot of your search. The Chicago area is known for its fantastic higher education institutions, especially in programs relating to nursing, business, research, science, education, criminal justice and leadership.

If you live in the Chicago area, or elsewhere in Illinois, you may want to consider earning an online degree from a school in state. While you may start taking only online classes, your schedule and life requirements might change, or you might decide to start taking some classes in person. Also, even if you receive your education completely online, you’ll be able to access lectures, events, fellow students and faculty resources and facilities if you choose to do so.

So what are some of the best schools that offer online degrees near Chicago?

A top consideration should be The University of Chicago, which some would argue is the best school in the area, and is considered one of the best in the world. It offers many of its elite, universally respected programs online. Forbes has ranked UCHI third in the Midwest, the 19th Best Private College, and the 12th Best Research University. U.S. News and World Report currently ranks it 3rd in the country and the 13th on its Best Value Schools list.

Another good choice, especially for committed Catholics, is Benedictine University. Forbes put Benedictine in its “America’s Top Colleges” for the sixth year in a row in 2016, and their online bachelor degrees permit students to transfer in up to 90 outside credits (including in some cases work experience), so they can earn their degree at an accelerated pace.

Eastern Illinois University offers students 100% online baccalaureate programs in general studies, psychology, organizational and professional development, and RN-to-BSN.

Other notable schools include Saint Xavier University (which has a great nursing program), National Louis University, known for its business, education and health services administration programs (and is a highly recommended school among high school counselors), or Illinois Institute of Technology which has incredible Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Engineering, Information Technology Management, and Physics programs offered online.

DePaul University has been roundly commended for its dedication to innovation, and has consistently highly ranked online bachelor and graduate programs. It has been commended for its commitment to disadvantaged students and first-generation college attendees.

Students looking to pursue careers in Criminal Justice, Organizational Leadership, Psychology, and Sustainability Studies, Training and Development, Teaching and Learning, and Organization Development should explore the programs at Roosevelt University.

Q: What Are the Best Schools Near Chicago for Online Degrees?