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10 Hidden Gem Colleges in Chicago Worth Exploring?

Colleges In Chicago

Chicago – is renowned for its high-quality universities. Yet, there are lots of underrated colleges in the city too. This article will look at the benefits of attending one.
From the various courses to the small class sizes, these schools provide a lot. They’re worth considering for any Chicago student seeking a quality, affordable education.

Explanation of under-rated colleges

Grabbing less attention than other colleges, Chicago’s underrated institutions offer excellent education and exclusive chances. Here are some of the most underrated colleges in the city:

  1. Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). It is known for its top-notch engineering and computer science courses. Plus, IIT offers real-life experiences and research options coveted by employers.
  2. North Park University. It is a liberal arts college with a diverse student population that focuses on social justice. Smaller classes, individual attention, and a supportive atmosphere are some of its highlights.
  3. Columbia College Chicago. This creative arts college has a lively urban campus and offers film, music, photography, and other programs. It also provides internships and networking opportunities in the entertainment industry.

These underrated colleges in Chicago have much to offer to students and are worth considering for high-quality education and one-of-a-kind chances.

Factors that make colleges under-rated in Chicago

Chicago is home to some amazing, yet underrated colleges! They have a great education, strong academics, and amazing campus life. But why aren’t they getting the recognition they deserve?
A few factors could be a lack of money for advertising, smaller student bodies and faculty, not as famous as Ivy League schools, and limited alumni networks.

But don’t let these challenges fool you! These colleges offer a personalized experience! Smaller class sizes, hands-on learning, and close relationships with professors & peers.
Some of the most underrated Chicago colleges are Roosevelt University, Columbia College, and Lake Forest College. Each has its own strengths, programs, and culture.

Importance of considering under-rated colleges

Many students focus on prestigious and well-known universities, without looking at the advantages of under-rated colleges. However, under-rated colleges can offer unique opportunities that can boost a student’s academic and career path.

In Chicago, there are multiple underrated colleges that provide great education and resources for success. Such colleges include:

  1. Northeastern Illinois University – Offering various programs, such as criminal justice and education. It is known for its small class sizes and faculty attention.
  2. Roosevelt University – Located in the heart of Chicago. It provides programs in business, education, and the arts. It is also committed to social justice and community engagement.
  3. Illinois Institute of Technology – A STEM-based university, highly respected in engineering and tech fields. It has a strong emphasis on research and innovation.

Think about under-rated colleges to find the best option for your career and academic goals.

Under-Rated Colleges in Chicago

Thinking of college in Chicago? The University of Chicago and Northwestern often come to mind, but there are other, lesser-known colleges too! These are unique and provide diverse learning experiences. Let’s explore the most underrated colleges in Chicago and why they should be considered by potential students.

Example 1: Northeastern Illinois University

Northeastern Illinois University is a hidden gem of the Chicago area! It offers 47 bachelor’s and 22 graduate degree programs with exceptional academics, dedicated faculty, and affordable tuition.

Small class sizes and personalized attention from faculty help students succeed. Despite its numerous accolades and diverse student body, NEIU remains unknown. Those who attend are often thankful for its supportive community and welcoming atmosphere.
Check it out! NEIU is a great choice for an affordable, top-tier education in Chicago.

Programs offered

Under-rated colleges in Chicago offer a range of academic programs. These colleges don’t have the same level of recognition as some other colleges. But still, they provide quality education and experienced faculty and staff. Plus, they offer robust extracurricular activities and career development services.

Programs available at these colleges include undergraduate and graduate degrees. Fields of study include business, social sciences, liberal arts, education, health sciences, and journalism.

Notable majors are business admin., psychology, nursing, edu., and comp. sci.
Plus, some colleges have unique programs, such as data science, sustainability studies, and urban agriculture. By attending one of these colleges, students may save money and still get a quality education.

Student-teacher ratio

A 2-student-teacher ratio is an advantage for students who want personalized attention. It gives them more one-on-one time with professors. This leads to better academic results and connections with mentors. These connections help career prospects after graduation.
So, if you’re searching for a college in Chicago that values individual attention and student success, prioritize colleges with low student-teacher ratios.

Campus facilities

Campus facilities are a big deal for college students. However, some underrated colleges in Chicago don’t get enough credit for their awesome facilities.
Here are a few:

  1. University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC): They have modern research labs, a hospital, and a student center with lots of cool stuff.
  2. Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT): They offer gear for engineering, architecture, and science.
  3. Loyola University Chicago: Here you’ll find a gorgeous campus with lots of greenery, historic architecture, and a fitness center and movie theater!

Don’t miss out on these underrated schools and their awesome facilities when you’re deciding on a college in Chicago.

Example 2: Roosevelt University

Roosevelt University is a top-tier college often overlooked in Chicago. Its excellent academic programs and opportunities, focus on social justice, and diverse student body make it a great choice. It offers various fields, such as psychology, education, music, and business. Plus, its location in the heart of downtown Chicago gives students access to the city’s cultural and professional opportunities. Small class sizes, dedicated faculty, and commitment to social justice make it a great choice for those looking to make a difference.

If you’re searching for an under-the-radar institution with an amazing education, Roosevelt University is worth considering.

Programs offered

Under-rated colleges in Chicago offer a range of diverse programs, to match up with students’ career interests and goals. Here are some of the popular programs from these colleges:

  1. DePaul University: Programs in Business, Education, Engineering, Law, and more. Also, Computer Science, Cybersecurity, Game Design, and Animation.
  2. Loyola University: Undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. Nursing, Social Work, Law, and Medicine are their standouts.
  3. Columbia College Chicago: Arts, Media, Communications. Film, Television, Media Arts, Journalism, and Graphic Design.
  4. Illinois Institute of Technology: Undergraduate and graduate programs in Engineering, Sciences, Architecture, and Business. Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering, and Chemical Engineering are their stars.

If you are looking into an underrated college in Chicago, make sure to research their programs. This will help you make the right decision!
Student diversity is crucial when selecting a college. It promotes inclusion, cultural sharing, and a more comprehensive education. These underrated Chicago colleges have student bodies that enhance the college experience.

  • Roosevelt University: With 4300+ students from 77 countries, Roosevelt University boasts 120+ undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs. Its student body is 40% minority, creating an immersive educational journey.
  • North Park University: Nearly 3000 students, 43% minority and international, makeup North Park University. It encourages cultural exchange by providing study-abroad programs and hosting multicultural events.
  • Lake Forest College: 40% of Lake Forest College’s students come from minority backgrounds. It also offers interdisciplinary programs to explore different cultures and ideas.

These Chicago colleges provide great academics and a diverse community that fosters personal growth and respect.

Location and extracurricular activities

When selecting the perfect college, people often forget about important factors such as location and extracurricular activities. Nonetheless, these can have a huge effect on the whole college experience. Chicago has many underrated colleges that provide amazing programs and lively campus life.

Two such underrated colleges, with impressive locations and an array of extracurricular activities, are Loyola University Chicago and the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Loyola University Chicago, located in Rogers Park, overlooks the stunning Lake Michigan, with nearby beaches. Moreover, it has over 200 student organizations, including a Quidditch team and a student-run farmer’s market.

The University of Illinois at Chicago is situated in the center of the West Loop neighborhood. It provides easy access to some of Chicago’s iconic landmarks, such as the Willis Tower and Millennium Park. Plus, the university offers lots of extracurricular activities, for example, a salsa dance club and improvisational comedy group.

Example 3: Chicago State University

Chicago State University (CSU): often underrated. Struggled financially and has lower enrollment rates than larger universities in the city. But, CSU offers a range of majors, like business, education, and nursing. Plus, a low student-to-faculty ratio, allows for more professor attention. CSU also has a strong commitment to community service and social justice initiatives. Over 90% of students are minority groups. Challenges remain, but CSU provides quality education and valuable resources. An affordable, supportive college experience in Chicago.

Programs offered

Chicago’s underrated colleges provide a variety of programs to match student interests. These include Communication, Technology, and Arts & Sciences. Here are some of them:

  1. North Park University: Business, Education, Health Sciences, Music, and more!
  2. Roosevelt University: Arts & Sciences, Business, Education, Performing Arts, and more!
  3. Columbia College Chicago: Arts, Media, & Communication, such as Advertising, Film, Journalism, and more!
  4. DePaul University: Business, Computing & Digital Media, Education, Law, and more!
  5. Illinois Institute of Technology: Architecture, Engineering, Science, Psychology, and more!

Pro Tip: These underrated colleges are a great value for money, and you’ll get personalized attention from professors too!

Affordable tuition fees

Chicago is full of underrated colleges. They offer great tuition fees, making higher education accessible to all. Here are two of them:

  1. Northeastern Illinois University: 80+ undergraduate and graduate programs with competitive rates. Students could save around $10,000 yearly compared to private universities.
  2. Harold Washington College: A community college with low tuition fees and credits transferable to four-year universities. It provides financial aid and scholarships to students from low-income families.

Pro tip: Don’t just look at a college’s reputation or fees. Smaller colleges or community colleges can give quality education and personalized attention, helping you reach your goals.

Achievement of graduates

Under-rated colleges in Chicago oft go unacknowledged for the great education they provide. However, these schools offer excellent learning opportunities and can prepare graduates for successful careers and lives.

Many of these colleges possess unique and exclusive courses not found at larger universities. Furthermore, small class sizes afford students with personalized attention and discussion-based learning.

Employers seek out graduates of these colleges for their problem-solving, critical thinking, and collaboration skills. Even though these colleges may not be as renowned as their larger counterparts, their graduates are making a considerable mark on their industries and in their communities.

If you want a college education that focuses on excellence and sets you up for a fulfilling career, consider an underrated college in Chicago.

Advantages of Attending an Under-Rated College

Attending an under-rated college can be a great way to get an education at a low cost. These colleges typically have amazing programs, cheap tuition fees, and a more personal student-to-teacher ratio, allowing for more one-on-one help. Moreover, attending one of these colleges can give you an advantage when trying to find a job after graduating.
Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of going to an under-rated college in Chicago:

Smaller class sizes

Smaller class sizes at under-rated colleges can be a boon for students. There’s less competition and more one-on-one attention from teachers – improving academic performance. Engagement and discussion are also better in smaller classes, making it easier to understand the material. Students can form stronger relationships with professors and get personalized feedback too. Plus, there’s a strong sense of camaraderie among classmates.

In Chicago, some of the most under-rated colleges with small class sizes are Roosevelt University, Illinois Institute of Technology, and National Louis University. These colleges are known for their supportive faculty and quality education.

More personalized attention from teachers and staff

Attending an under-rated college has its perks. It can offer more personalized attention from teachers and staff. This is great for a few reasons.

  1. Firstly, it allows for more communication between students and teachers. This can mean a better understanding of the subject, better grades, and career opportunities.
  2. Secondly, individualized support can be found. Tutoring, mentorship, and counseling are on offer to help students navigate college better.
  3. Thirdly, smaller class sizes and student body means closer collaboration and a stronger community.

In summary, an under-rated college can offer advantages not seen elsewhere. Do your research and consider options beyond the popular colleges. Plus, visit the campus to see if it’s a good fit for you.

Opportunities to be a part of a close-knit community

Under-rated colleges can offer extraordinary chances for students to be part of a close academic community. Although they may have lower rankings or public awareness, small class sizes, more personal guidance from instructors, and a tight-knit student body are just a few of the advantages.
Attending an under-rated college in Chicago has its perks:

  • Personalized Education: Smaller colleges provide a more individualized education experience. This allows students to build strong connections with professors and classmates.
  • Affordability: Under-rated colleges often offer cheaper tuition fees, making higher education more accessible for those without the financial means to attend larger universities.
  • Networking Opportunities: Smaller colleges tend to have a vibrant alumni network, giving students plenty of networking opportunities after graduation.

In conclusion, attending an under-rated college in Chicago will give students a unique, close-knit academic community and personalized education.

Opportunities for leadership positions and extracurricular involvement

Exploring under-rated colleges can be advantageous. They often have an intimate campus setting, with less competition for leadership positions and extracurricular involvement.
In Chicago, North Park University, Chicago State University, and Saint Xavier University are some of the top underrated schools. They offer vibrant campus communities, full of clubs, organizations, and activities!

Pro Tip: Don’t overlook underrated schools. They can provide great chances to grow personally and professionally.

How to Choose the Right Under-Rated College

Higher education can be tricky. Chicago has many underrated colleges with a range of programs and courses. It’s hard to select one. Here’s help to make your choice easier. This article will guide you in making a wise decision.

Understand your interests and passions

Finding the right under-rated college is important. Start by understanding your interests and passions. Here are some tips:

  • Make a list of what you enjoy doing.
  • Think about subjects that you found interesting in school. Research-related majors and fields.
  • Consider your short-term and long-term career goals. Research colleges that offer programs that align.
  • Look into extracurricular activities and clubs offered. This way, you can narrow down your list of potential colleges.

Pro tip: Don’t be scared to contact current students or alumni of the colleges you’re considering. Get their perspectives and insights.

Evaluate college programs that align with your interests

Choosing a college? Evaluate the programs that match your interests. Doing this will make college more enjoyable and open up career possibilities. Here’s how:

  1. Research programs that fit your interests, career goals, and values.
  2. Check out the college’s curriculum, faculty, and research options.
  3. Look for internships, co-op programs, and other experiential learning chances.
  4. Read reviews and chat with current and former students to get an idea of their experience.
  5. Go to college fairs and take campus tours to see programs and meet faculty and students.

Pro Tip: Don’t just rely on college rankings – they might not show the program’s quality or if it’s right for you.

Consider factors such as location, campus size, and campus culture

When picking the ideal under-rated college, many factors must be thought of. These will have a huge influence on your college life.

Location: Check out the locations of the under-rated colleges in Chicago. See if you can access it easily and how far it is from home. Also, look at the security and crime rates in the area.
Campus size: This is really important for your social life and studies. Decide if you want an intimate or large environment.
Campus culture: This will tell you the values and beliefs of the college. See if it has different ethnicity and backgrounds. Look at if it focuses more on studies, sports, or student organizations.

Other factors to think about include tuition cost, student-to-faculty ratio, and access to resources and services.
When choosing the right under-rated college, pick the one that makes you feel comfortable, fits your personality, and encourages your dreams.

It’s apparent that Chicago’s educational scene holds a few hidden treasures. These colleges don’t have the same reputation as larger, more selective universities, however, they still offer excellent education and plentiful extracurriculars and networking possibilities. With some investigation and prep, these less renowned institutions can give students an exceptional and rewarding learning experience.

Recap of the under-rated colleges in Chicago

Chicago is a great city full of highly-rated colleges and universities. But, have you heard of the hidden gems? Here are some underrated colleges in Chicago that you should consider!

  1. North Park University – This institution is in a diverse neighborhood. It provides plenty of programs, like business, healthcare, and the arts.
  2. Northeastern Illinois University – NEIU helps a lot of first-generation college students. It also cares about community engagement. Plus, NEIU offers an affordable range of courses like education, social work, and biology.
  3. Roosevelt University– This university is all about social justice. It’s known for its performing arts program too. Plus, there are business, education, and science courses available.
  4. Columbia College Chicago – This is an arts and media college. It has a wide range of programs including film, music, and writing.

These colleges in Chicago provide a unique college experience and give great value for money. They are worth considering for prospective students!

The importance of exploring all college options

Selecting a college? It’s essential to consider all possibilities to discover the ideal college for you. Some colleges may be more renowned, but smaller and lesser-known colleges can bring unique benefits.

Chicago has some underrated colleges, such as:

  • Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT): Offering remarkable engineering, architecture, and science programs, plus a varied and inclusive atmosphere.
  • North Park University: With a focus on liberal arts and sciences, a strong sense of community, and faith-based values.
  • Roosevelt University: Located in downtown Chicago, it has a diverse student body and a range of academic programs.

Considering these, plus more known colleges, allows you to make a knowledgeable decision that suits your educational goals and values.


What makes a college ‘under-rated’?
A college is often considered ‘under-rated’ if it offers high-quality academics but doesn’t receive as much recognition as other colleges in the same area or with similar programs.

What are some of the most underrated colleges in Chicago?
A: Some of the most underrated colleges in Chicago include the Illinois Institute of Technology, Roosevelt University, and North Park University.

What programs do these underrated colleges offer?
Illinois Institute of Technology offers programs in engineering and technology, while Roosevelt University offers programs in social justice and the arts. North Park University offers programs in healthcare and Christian ministry.

How do these underrated colleges compare to other colleges in Chicago?
These under-rated colleges offer high-quality academics and unique programs that may not be found at other colleges in Chicago. However, they may not receive as much recognition or funding as other colleges in the area.

What are the benefits of attending an under-rated college?
Attending an under-rated college can offer a more personalized and intimate learning experience, as well as opportunities to stand out among graduates and establish connections with professors and alumni.

How can I learn more about underrated colleges in Chicago?
You can research under-rated colleges in Chicago online, visit their campuses, attend college fairs, and speak with current students and alumni.

Colleges Chicago Listings

Columbia College Chicago

📂 College, Art school, Dance school, Graduate school, Music college, Photography school
📭 600 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605, United States
🕒 Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday: 8 AM-5 PM Saturday, Sunday: Closed
📞 +1 312-369-1000 - 📌See in Map

City Colleges-Chicago

📂 College
📭 30 E Lake St, Chicago, IL 60601, United States
📞 +1 312-553-6060 - 📌See in Map

Columbia College Chicago

📂 College
📭 642 S Clark St, Chicago, IL 60605, United States
📞 +1 312-588-1234 - 📌See in Map

Generations College

📂 Private college
📭 Heyworth Building, 29 E Madison St 2nd floor, Chicago, IL 60602, United States
🕒 Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: 8:30 AM-6 PM Friday: 8:30 AM-5 PM Saturday, Sunday: Closed
📞 +1 312-922-1884 - 📌See in Map

Lexington College

📂 College
📭 310 S Peoria St, Chicago, IL 60607, United States
📞 +1 312-226-6294 - 📌See in Map

Columbia College

📂 Private college
📭 731 S Plymouth Ct, Chicago, IL 60605, United States
📞 +1 312-662-1252 - 📌See in Map

City Colleges-Chicago

📂 Community college
📭 4300 N Narragansett Ave, Chicago, IL 60634, United States
📞 +1 773-489-8989 - 📌See in Map

Columbia College Chicago

📂 College
📭 33 W Ida B. Wells Dr, Chicago, IL 60605, United States
🕒 Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday: 7 AM-11 PM Saturday, Sunday: Closed
📞 +1 312-369-1000 - 📌See in Map

Columbia College

📂 College
📭 Parking, lot 754 S Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60605, United States
📞 +1 312-369-1000 - 📌See in Map

Wright College Humboldt Park

📂 Community college, School, Technical school
📭 1645 N California Ave, Chicago, IL 60647, United States
📞 +1 773-489-8989 - 📌See in Map

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