More than 8 million people call the Chicago metropolitan area home, and as such, the demand for higher education is high. Whether you live in the Northwest suburbs or just outside the city's limits on the South Side, there are community colleges nearby at which you can advance your level of learning.

College of DuPage

The College of DuPage is a two-year school in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, which is in west suburban DuPage County. The school ranks No. 3 in the nation of large single-campus community colleges. It is the second-largest school of higher education in the state of Illinois, behind only the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. More than 31,000 students attend COD each semester to take part in one of 90 certificate or 45 pre-bachelor's program, or to earn one of the 59 occupational degrees the school offers.

Joliet Junior College

Joliet Junior College, the first public community college in the United States, serves about 35,000 students across its six campuses and education centers, as well as satellite campuses at area high schools in the southwest suburbs. The main campus is located in Joliet, but the community college serves students from nearby towns such as Romeoville and Bolingbrook, and even students as far away as Morris, Illinois, which is about 25 miles away. In addition, JJC is unlike most community colleges in that it has student housing.

Moraine Valley Community College

Moraine Valley Community College is located in Palos Hills, Illinois, about 10 miles southwest of the Chicago city limits. The school serves about 35,000 credit and noncredit students annually at its main and satellite campuses throughout the South suburbs. MVCC, the state's second largest community college, offers 115 degrees and certificates.

Harper College

Harper College, located in Palatine, Illinois, serves students in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago. The school serves more than 26,000 students taking class for credit, and more than 7,000 continuing education/noncredit students. Harper offers its students eight degrees and more than 40 certificates through its classes both on campus and through its online distance-learning classes.

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