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2021 Best Education Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in the Great Lakes Region

111 Colleges
15,801 Bachelor's Degrees
$27,350 Avg Cost*

Finding the Best Education Schools for Non-Traditional Students

Best Education Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in the Great Lakes RegionWith 88,927 bachelor's degrees handed out in 2018-2019, education is the #10 most popular major in the United States. Of those degrees, 15,801 went to students in the Great Lakes region of the country.

For this year's Best Education Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in the Great Lakes Region ranking, we looked at 111 colleges that offer a bachelor's in education. Not only do the schools that top this list have excellent education programs, but they also offer a lot of support to non-traditional students.

Some of the factors we look at when determining these rankings are overall quality of the education program at the school, affordability, and non-traditional population. For more information, check out our ranking methodology.

One Size Does Not Fit All

The education school you choose to invest your time and money in matters. To help you make the decision that is right for you, we've developed a number of major-specific rankings, including this list of the Best Education Schools for Non-Traditional Students.

To further help you make the college decision, we've developed a unique tool called College Combat that allows you to compare schools based on the factors that matter the most to you. When you have some time, check it out - you may want to bookmark the link so you don't forget it.

2021 Best Education Schools for Non-Traditional Students in the Great Lakes Region

Check out the education programs at these schools if you want to see which ones are the best for non-traditional students.

Top 15% Best Education Schools for Non-Traditional Students

Illinois State University tops the 2021 list of our schools in the Great Lakes Region that are best for non-traditional education students. Illinois State is a fairly large public school located in the midsize suburb of Normal. As a testament to the quality of education offered at Illinois State, the school also landed the #3 rank in our Best Colleges for Education in the Great Lakes Region ranking.

The student loan default rate at Illinois State is lower than is typical, just 3.9% of students default in three years. There are approximately 3,895 students at Illinois State that take at least one class online. About 2,428 of the students at Illinois State are attending part time. Students may be able to receive credit for their military training, depending on their background.

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#2

Trinity Christian College

Palos Heights, IL

Trinity Christian College earned the #2 spot in our 2021 rankings. Trinity Christian is a small private not-for-profit school located in the suburb of Palos Heights. Trinity Christian not only placed well in our non-traditional rankings. It is also #2 on our Best Colleges for Education in the Great Lakes Region list.

The student loan default rate at Trinity Christian is lower than is typical, just 4.9% of students default in three years. Approximately 172 students take at least one class online at Trinity Christian. 187 students are part time.

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#3

Concordia University, Chicago

River Forest, IL

Concordia University, Chicago earned the #3 spot in our 2021 rankings. Concordia University, Chicago is a moderately-sized private not-for-profit school located in the large suburb of River Forest.

The school has a low student loan default rate of 4.6%. 3,437 students at Concordia University, Chicago are exclusively online. There are roughly 4,292 part time students in attendance at Concordia University, Chicago. Students may be able to receive credit for their military training, depending on their background.

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#4

Purdue University - Main Campus

West Lafayette, IN

Purdue University - Main Campus earned the #4 spot in our 2021 rankings. Located in the small city of West Lafayette, Purdue is a public school with a very large student population. As a testament to the quality of education offered at Purdue, the school also landed the #1 rank in our Best Colleges for Education in the Great Lakes Region ranking.

The school has a low student loan default rate of 2.3%. Approximately 6,641 students take at least one class online at Purdue. About 6,079 of the students at Purdue are attending part time. Eligible students may be able to receive credit for their military training.

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University of Wisconsin - Stout landed the #5 spot in our 2021 best education schools for non-traditional students. UW - Stout is a medium-sized public school located in the town of Menomonie.

The school has a low student loan default rate of 3.6%. Approximately 2,378 students take at least one class online at UW - Stout. 2,338 students are part time. Eligible students may be able to receive credit for their military training.

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#6

Ashland University

Ashland, OH

Ashland University earned the #6 spot in our 2021 rankings. Located in the town of Ashland, Ashland is a private not-for-profit college with a medium-sized student population.

The school has a low student loan default rate of 3.7%. 2,415 of Ashland students are exclusively distance learners. There are roughly 2,103 part time students in attendance at Ashland. Ashland does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

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Kent State University at Kent earned the #7 spot in our 2021 rankings. Kent State is a very large public school located in the suburb of Kent. In addition to being on our bet for non-traditional students list, Kent State is in the top 15% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Education in the Great Lakes Region list.

Approximately 11,117 students take at least one class online at Kent State. 6,422 of Kent State students are attending part time. Kent State does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

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The #8 spot in this year's ranking belongs to Bowling Green State University - Main Campus. BGSU is a fairly large public school located in the fringe town of Bowling Green.

The school has a low student loan default rate of 8.6%. Approximately 4,273 students take at least one class online at BGSU. There are roughly 3,217 part time students in attendance at BGSU. Eligible students may be able to receive credit for their military training.

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#9

Ball State University

Muncie, IN

Our rankings recognize Ball State University as the #9 school in this year's rankings. Located in the small city of Muncie, Ball State is a public school with a fairly large student population. In addition to being on our bet for non-traditional students list, Ball State is in the top 10% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Education in the Great Lakes Region list.

About 5.3% of Ball State students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. 5,037 students at Ball State are exclusively online. 5,958 students are part time. Ball State does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

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Our rankings recognize Ohio State University - Main Campus as the #10 school in this year's rankings. Located in the large city of Columbus, Ohio State is a public school with a very large student population. Ohio State also made our Best Colleges for Education in the Great Lakes Region list, coming in at #4.

The student loan default rate at Ohio State is lower than is typical, just 4.5% of students default in three years. Approximately 18,037 students take at least one class online at Ohio State. 8,041 students are part time. Students may be able to receive credit for their military training, depending on their background.

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National Louis University comes in at #11 in this year's ranking. NLU is a moderately-sized private not-for-profit school located in the large city of Chicago.

The student loan default rate at NLU is lower than is typical, just 6.6% of students default in three years. 1,946 of NLU students are exclusively distance learners. 2,792 of NLU students are attending part time. Eligible students may be able to receive credit for their military training.

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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign landed the #12 spot in our 2021 best education schools for non-traditional students. Located in the city of Champaign, UIUC is a public school with a very large student population. UIUC not only placed well in our non-traditional rankings. It is also #7 on our Best Colleges for Education in the Great Lakes Region list.

The student loan default rate at UIUC is lower than is typical, just 1.9% of students default in three years. There are approximately 12,503 students at UIUC that take at least one class online. There are roughly 6,389 part time students in attendance at UIUC. UIUC does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

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University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh comes in at #13 in this year's ranking. UW Oshkosh is a fairly large public school located in the small city of Oshkosh. On top of its placing in our non-traditional rankings, UW Oshkosh also did well on our Best Colleges for Education in the Great Lakes Region list. It's in the top 20% of all schools reviewed in that analysis.

About 3.4% of UW Oshkosh students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. 1,184 of UW Oshkosh students are exclusively distance learners. There are roughly 7,036 part time students in attendance at UW Oshkosh. Eligible students may be able to receive credit for their military training.

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Northeastern Illinois University earned the #14 spot in our 2021 rankings. Northeastern Illinois University is a moderately-sized public school located in the city of Chicago.

About 5.9% of Northeastern Illinois University students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. Approximately 1,203 students take at least one class online at Northeastern Illinois University. About 4,136 of the students at Northeastern Illinois University are attending part time. Students may be able to receive credit for their military training, depending on their background.

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#15

Michigan State University

East Lansing, MI

Michigan State University comes in at #15 in this year's ranking. Michigan State is a fairly large public school located in the small city of East Lansing. Michigan State did well in our major quality rankings, too. It placed #9 on our Best Colleges for Education in the Great Lakes Region list.

About 3.4% of Michigan State students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. Approximately 9,273 students take at least one class online at Michigan State. 6,488 of Michigan State students are attending part time.

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#16

DePaul University

Chicago, IL

DePaul University landed the #16 spot in our 2021 best education schools for non-traditional students. Located in the large city of Chicago, DePaul is a private not-for-profit college with a very large student population. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, DePaul also is in the top 10% of our Best Colleges for Education in the Great Lakes Region ranking.

The school has a low student loan default rate of 4.1%. There are approximately 4,606 students at DePaul that take at least one class online. 4,252 students are part time. Students may be able to receive credit for their military training, depending on their background.

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Additional Noteworthy Schools

Here are some additional great schools for Great Lakes Region non-traditional students studying Education that almost earned our Best Education Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in the Great Lakes Region award.

Rank College Location
17 Eastern Illinois University Charleston, IL
18 Edgewood College Madison, WI
19 Elmhurst University Elmhurst, IL
20 Central Michigan University Mount Pleasant, MI
21 Western Michigan University Kalamazoo, MI
22 Northern Illinois University Dekalb, IL

Best for Non-Traditional Students Education Colleges by State

Explore the best for non-traditional students education colleges for a specific state in the Great Lakes region.

State Degrees Awarded
Michigan 2,643
Ohio 4,316
Illinois 3,364
Indiana 2,895
Wisconsin 2,573

Education Majors to Study

Major Annual Graduates
Teacher Education Grade Specific 11,931
Teacher Education Subject Specific 6,976
Educational Administration 5,704
Special Education 4,630
General Education 3,035

View All Education Related Majors >

Related Major Annual Graduates
Social Sciences 21,360
Psychology 20,393
Communication & Journalism 17,238
Family, Consumer & Human Sciences 4,315
History 3,674

View All Education Related Majors >

Notes and References

Footnotes

*Avg Cost is for the top 25 schools only.

References

  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Veteran-specific data can be found at the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.
  • Credit for the banner image above goes to Horadrim.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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