With over 200 universities and colleges spread out through Illinois, nearly 150 of them offer various different distance learning courses and online degree programs. The University of Illinois in particular is one of the nine in the state that offers fully online options for students. Having a campus for distance learning proves that the schools are understanding of flexibility needs for those needing certifications and non-credit classes, as well as those who need remote options for undergraduate and graduate courses.
According to the Illinois Community College Board, the average Illinois community college student is older than 25 years old and is preparing to transfer to a four year university. The demographic shows that it is best to continue catering to these non-traditional students who require flexible scheduling options.
In the last few years, Illinois has done what it can to ensure it retains funding for its higher education. While the United States had an average decline of about 7.5 percent in state appropriated funding for higher education, Illinois managed to increase how much they brought to the table by 10 percent.
Over the last decade, Illinois has also seen the smallest decrease in public enrollment, seeing a dip of only 3 percent since 2004. However, it is also important to note that the cost of tuition has not changed any greater than the national average in the last five years, which is about 18 percent throughout the country.