A: You’ve probably heard a lot about online degrees. A lot of that information may be confusing. As online education continues to expand, innovate and evolve how people earn degrees, there’s a lot of conflicting delivery modes, acceptance criteria, and little en masse standardized preparation of online degrees between schools across the nation and globe. All of this can be extremely daunting, especially when you’re trying to balance going back to school with all your existing responsibilities. Some colleges offer online classes yet require students to attend some programming in person. Others are more flexible, and will work with you to find a schedule or means of delivery that works for you. And of course, there are schools that convey their programming 100% online.

One thing that can help your search is narrowing down an area you’d like to go to school in. If you live in that area, there’s a good chance you’ll pay less to attend an online program than out of town students do. You’ll also have easier access to physical facilities, professors, school resources and much more.

A great option for a 100% online degree in the Chicago area is the University of St. Francis. USF gives students access to 120 online courses, with 100% online bachelor degree programs in business administration, RN-to-BSN, and healthcare leadership. Its RN-BSN degree completion program helps students who hold associate degrees or a related diploma quickly earn a further degree.

If you’re a Christian, looking for a religious-based education, you might also consider Lincoln Christian University. The school offers prospective students a 14:1 student to faculty ratio. Around 1,000 students attend the school. Earning your degree online can feel impersonal and isolating, but picking a small school that is designed to give students the most attention possible is a potential remedy. Approximately one fifth of LCU’s students get their degrees through distance learning. LCU offers 100% online bachelor’s degree programs in areas like Bible studies, business administration, Christian ministry, and psychology.

Another great option is at the University of Illinois at Chicago. It serves tens of thousands of students each year. Fifteen bachelor’s degree programs are offered 100% online at UIC, in fields like English, business administration, mathematical sciences and more.

Eastern Illinois University offers bachelor’s programs that can be completed 100% online in general studies, psychology, organizational and professional development, and RN-to-BSN. Its BA in general studies has a childcare education option called the ABC/associate to bachelor’s in childcare. This program was designed for adults 25 and up, which might be a great fit for people worried about going back to school with people far younger than them.

If you need or want to attend a program that’s delivered to you completely online, make sure to pay close attention to the fine print on degree program descriptions. Schools that offer 100% online degrees may not offer them in your desired discipline, which can help narrow your search in what can be an overwhelming process to find the right school for you and your needs. The Chicago area has many institutions that convey degrees completely online, but finding the right school with that criteria will require some work. Resources like Online College Plan are a great way to explore options that fulfill your needs.

Q: Can You Get a Degree 100% Online Near Chicago?