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Community Colleges Don't Get Nearly the Attention They Deserve. These Are Illinois' 25 Best

06/18/2014 04:37 pm ET | Updated Aug 18, 2014

For many students graduating high school in Illinois, four-year colleges and universities aren't a viable option for many reasons. But if the end goal for these students is to graduate from a four-year school, going to Illinois community colleges for the first two years makes a lot of sense. It allows the student the opportunity to take two years of college credits while saving money and living close to home, making the realization of eventually graduating with at least a bachelor's degree from a four-year school a possibility.

Unlike with four-year schools, however, services such as U.S. News and World Report don't rank community colleges, so it is harder to quantify which Illinois community colleges are more successful than others. There is little standardized information about community colleges out there, but CNN Money has partnered with College Measures to rank community colleges across the country based on "success rate."

College Measures, a joint venture of the American Institutes of Research and Matrix Knowledge Group, took a look at the success rate of community colleges in either graduating students with an associate's degree within three years or helping students transfer into a four-year university. We picked out the top 25 Illinois community colleges, based on their success rate as factored by College Measures, and ranked them below for you along with links to their homepage.

With high school graduations taking place around the state as summer vacation begins, for students who can't attend a four-year school in the fall, it's time to take a look at these Illinois community colleges  as viable alternatives.

Rend Lake College

  • Located in Ina
  • 68 percent success rate

Kaskaskia College

  • Located in Centralia
  • 61 percent success rate

Sauk Valley Community College

  • Located in Dixon
  • 60 percent success rate

McHenry County College

  • Located in Crystal Lake
  • 57 percent success rate

John Wood Community College

  • Located in Quincy
  • 57 percent success rate

Parkland College

  • Located in Champaign
  • 55 percent success rate

South Suburban College

  • Located in South Holland
  • 54 percent success rate

Spoon River College

  • Located in Canton
  • 54 percent success rate

Oakton Community College

  • Located in Des Plaines
  • 54 percent success rate

Lake Land College

  • Located in Mattoon
  • 54 percent success rate

Carl Sandburg College

  • Located in Galesburg
  • 51 percent success rate

Kishwaukee College

  • Located in Malta
  • 51 percent success rate

Highland Community College

  • Located in Freeport
  • 51 percent success rate

Illinois Valley Community College

  • Located in Oglesby
  • 50 percent success rate

John A Logan College

  • Located in Carterville
  • 50 percent success rate

Danville Area Community College

  • Located in Danville
  • 50 percent success rate

Harper College

  • Located in Palatine
  • 50 percent success rate

Heartland Community College

  • Located in Normal
  • 49 percent success rate

College of DuPage

  • Located in Glen Ellyn
  • 49 percent success rate

Prairie State College

  • Located in Chicago Heights
  • 49 percent success rate

Moraine Valley Community College

  • Located in Palos Hills
  • 48 percent success rate

Elgin Community College

  • Located in Elgin
  • 47 percent success rate

Rock Valley College

  • Located in Rockford
  • 47 percent success rate

Waubonsee Community College

  • Located in Sugar Grove
  • 47 percent success rate

Richland Community College

  • Located in Decatur
  • 47 percent success rate
Along with being a great way to kick-start a college career, a degree from a community college can still help students land a good job in the state of Illinois.

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