Cheapest four year universities in Illinois

College tends to be a stressful and expensive part of life for whoever is paying.  Whether it is you or your parents paying for college, it is still an overly expensive, yet necessary, step in your future.  It seems especially costly to attend a college in Illinois, whether you may be an in-state or out-of-state student.  Most of the four-year universities are quite pricey, but there are still a couple reasonably affordable schools.

The all around, most inexpensive four-year university in Illinois is Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.  It is located in Edwardsville, Illinois and is just about a half an hour from St. Louis, Missouri.  What is nice about this school is that it is newer than most of the schools in Illinois.  The dorm rooms are a good size, and you share a suite-style bathroom with three people.  The yearly tuition at SIUE, according to, is $9251 a year.  A rough estimate of tuition, fees, room/board, and transportation is around $21,000 a year.  This may seem pricey, but the school offers a lot of scholarships and has a nicer campus than most of the schools in Illinois.  Plus, freshmen are allowed to take cars to school, which is usually not allowed.  Also, the town of Edwardsville is a nice size and has all of the necessities a college student would need.

The next cheapest school in Illinois is Northeastern Illinois University.  The tuition comes to $9542 a year.  NEIU is located in Chicago, Illinois with their main campus being in North Park.  The problem with this school is they do not provide room and board.  This tends to create a problem because most parents do not want their child living in an apartment at a young age.  Also, it can be more expensive than residing in a residence hall.  It seems for most people that this school is out of question because of its lack of housing.  Also, amenities tend to be more expensive in metropolitan areas such as Chicago.  If you like being in the “big city” setting and want to live downtown in the heart of Chicago, NEIU would be a good school to attend.

Third on the list of cheapest schools in Illinois is Western Illinois University.  WIU is located in Macomb, Illinois.  The tuition comes to $10,444 a year and $23,700 with room/board and book expenses.  Western Illinois has an older campus, but is a decent size.  It’s not too big nor too small.  The downside to Western is the drive there.  The only way to get to WIU (from Bloomington at least) is by taking back country roads the whole way to the campus, which can be hazardous, especially in the winter.

These three schools in the area are only the three cheapest in Illinois.  Other schools to consider are Eastern Illinois University, Northern Illinois University, Southern Illinois at Carbondale, or even Illinois State right here in Bloomington.  It is smart to look into all of your options for schools.  Although cost is a big problem for school, don’t forget to make sure you are comfortable at the college you decide to attend.