What You Should Know About Graduating From College in Illinois
There are many considerations students should keep in mind when selecting a college. One factor that is often overlooked is the local job market. Before choosing a state in which to attend college, consider local employment opportunities. As of October 2020, the top five industries that employed the most people in Illinois were trade, transportation and utilities; education and health services; professional and business services; government; and goods-producing services.
For jobseekers with a bachelor’s degree, the five fastest-growing careers in Illinois are operations research analyst, software developer, actuary, information security analyst, and market research analyst/marketing specialist.
To get a sense of the labor market in the state, here are some of the companies that made the list of top 50 largest employers in Illinois: Abbott Laboratories, Allstate Corporation, Deloitte, Unity Point Optimum Health, and the University of Illinois at Chicago.
While researching colleges in Illinois, it’s important to consider financial aid. Below is a list of federal and state resources that offer grants, scholarships, and financial aid opportunities for undergraduate students in Illinois.
- Illinois Student Assistance Commission. The Illinois Student Assistance Commission administers several scholarship, grant, prepaid tuition, and student loan repayment/forgiveness programs to support the post-secondary educational goals of Illinois students.
- Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Federal Student Aid, a part of the U.S. Department of Education, provides more than $120 billion in financial aid each year to students attending college or career school. Student financial assistance programs provide funds in the form of grants, work-study, and loans. To learn if you’re eligible for FAFSA, visit the FAFSA4caster. To apply for FAFSA, complete the online FAFSA form.
- CareerOneStop. CareerOneStop, which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, offers information regarding scholarships, fellowships, grants, and other financial aid award opportunities available in each state. You can filter information by award type, degree level, and state.