The Top 5 Cheapest Universities in Chicago | Best University Picks

Cheapest Universities in Chicago

Hi scholar, are you a U.S. high school graduate or international student that wants to study in Chicago? Making that decision is good for you. Don’t know the goodies that lie before you as you learn in Chicago. As such, I have drafted out the five top cheapest universities in Chicago to help you make your choices.

Are Universities in Chicago Affordable?

On an average range, the overall cost of studying in Chicago universities is about $80,277

What is student life in Chicago like?

Apart from having one of the best sets of schools in the United States, Chicago is one city that is filled with lots of exciting natural settings and parks to complement your social life.

Also, Chicago possesses the second-largest public transportation system in the United States. As a student, you know that your intra-transportation is affordable as you can benefit from the variety of transportation means that the city offers. It could be a bus, rail, bus, or bike-sharing system.

Additionally, Chicago has a pedestrian walkway system called the “Pedway”. This is one of the world’s most accessible street numbering systems. As such, you can find your way easily in the city without the fear of getting lost.

Furthermore, it has the second-busiest airport globally, which is the “O’Hare International Airport.” As a domestic or international student, you can quickly get a regional or an international flight back home during the semester breaks as such movement is made very soon in Chicago.

5 Top Cheapest Universities in Chicago

Among numerous universities, below are the top five cheapest universities in Chicago. You won’t want to miss out on this one.

  1. DePaul University

DePaul is the largest Catholic university in the United States that was built in the 19th century and currently with a student population of 23 000 students that cuts across over 60 countries of the world.

As one of the private cheapest universities in Chicago, Depaul university is a strong advocate for both first-gen and financially disadvantaged students.

DePaul University is well known for its various financial aids to students. This was one of the things that earned it one of the cheapest universities in Chicago. As such, Forbes named it one of the nation’s Best Value Colleges. And, it has received multiple awards for its excellence in diversity.

Depaul main campus contains five schools that cover various departments: the College of Education, the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, the College of Science and Health, the School of Music, and the Theatre School.

In addition, because of its most considerable enrollment rate, DePaul has 11 residence halls. About 90% of its students live in the central city or surrounding area and attend school every day utilizing the city’s exciting, diverse system of transportation.

As a cheap university, its tuition cost is about $37,626 annually.


  1. Western Illinois University

WIU is one of the notable cheapest universities in Chicago that offers affordable tuition fees and a student employment program that provides students with the opportunity to work on campus while schooling to enable them to cover up some of their academic costs.

WIU also goes as far as awarding the most hardworking student employee with the title “the Student Employee of the Year.” As such, students from low-income backgrounds are encouraged to seek on-campus employment opportunities to build their self-career wise, skills and personal credentials. The nice thing about this student employment program is that it covers up for your internship, as you don’t have to look for where to get training because some courses at WIU will require you to undergo an internship.

Also, as a student employee, you will get paid handsomely. According to statistics, students at WIU do better career-wise after graduation. And this is because WIU trains you to enter the real world with confidence and knowledge.

The Tuition fee for undergraduates in WIU is fixed at $8,541


  1. Northeastern Illinois University

NEIU is one of the cheapest universities in Chicago that takes the health of its students very seriously.

Since 2015, the university has been declared a smoke free environment. As part of their strategy to promote students’ health, enrolled students can enter recreation facilities for free by presenting their student I.D.s. Recreational activities to be carried out in such facilities includes; swimming, Zumba, and water polo.

Also, students are provided with on-campus conveniences like complimentary towels and lockers.

In addition to the world-class fitness facilities, Northeastern Illinois University’s students have the choice of joining a student organization that represents their interest as the campus boasts of more than 70 student organizations.

To cater to the students financially, academically, and socially, the university offers mental health and wellness services for all students and staff regardless of any socio-economic status. Interested students can also get involved in the Mindfulness Meditation session that holds mid-day on Mondays and Thursdays. This event is a casual non-religious event that intends to help calm your body and the mind.

Also, the university educates students on how they can cope with stress and difficult situations, the factors that contribute to them and the various ways of coming out of them.

Furthermore and most importantly, U.S. News & World Report and LendEDU ranked Northeastern University as the best at graduating students with the least debt in the nation.

The tuition fee usually starts from $18,111.

  1. The University of Illinois at Chicago

Located at the heart of the city is the University of Illinois, the second oldest public university in the state with an exciting 74% acceptance rate. It is known as one of the diverse cultural university in the state as 30% of the student speaks more than one language.

Also, UIC possesses the only public law school in Chicago; as such become the only choice of students who wants to study law in Chicago’s public university.

Also, the UIC is a fun school as it is filled with various exciting and adventurous settings to give international students the best social experience. There are famous restaurants like Pokelab, Cracked, or Sakanaya to provide you with the best meal in the city. Also, you can go for an excursion to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Home and Studio to catch some experience.

Additionally, as a student at UIC, you can easily access the Chicago Botanical Gardens, Brookfield Zoo, and the Morton Arboretum.

Furthermore, as an on-campus student, you are not left out as you can take advantage of the Student Recreation Facility (SRF), which has a climbing wall, or the Sport & Fitness Center (SFC) for holistic training or working out.

As one of the top cheapest universities in Chicago, its tuition fee is around $ $14,281 to $16,416.

Cheapest Universities in Chicago


  1. Chicago State University

The CSU is one of the cheapest universities in Chicago, known for supporting students from underserved communities in Illinois.

Initially started in a railway freight car with just 60 students in enrolment, the 4-year-old university has moved to the heart of the city and expanded to having 36 undergraduate programs and 25 graduate programs.

Also, Chicago State University has a strong sorority and fraternity presence, which cuts across all nine National Pan-Hellenic Council organizations.

The most popular major course programs in the Chicago State University are; Business Administration and Management, Psychology, and Criminal Justice and Safety Studies.

Additionally, 96% of its students receive financial aid to ease financial stress and make their higher education more manageable.

Furthermore, as a graduate of CSU, you can easily find and get jobs in major cities like Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Dallas, and San Francisco.

The Tuition fee is fixed at $20,617 (out of state)


I hope you find this article, “cheapest universities in Chicago,” helpful. It is advised you do proper research before choosing any of the universities. For more educating and helpful posts, do follow up on our blog.


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