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Animation. Graphic Design. Game Art.

Illinois Animation Schools: Most to Least Expensive

Written by ACR StaffJune 6, 2015
Illinois animation schools: most to least expensive
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Illinois is home to 181 Title IV degree-granting institutions. Title IV schools have been in business for at least two years, they have accreditation recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, they grant an associate's degree or higher, they have signed a participation agreement with the Department, and they offer a program of at least 300 clock hours in length. Once a school has met these requirements, they become eligible for Title IV federal financial aid programs. This makes them more accessible to students with financial need. 

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Many of the state’s Title IV degree-granting institutions offer excellent art and design programs. This includes animation programs. Many are considered affordable, while others are expensive. Just a few of the state’s most affordable schools for animators include Southern Illinois University, Illinois State, and Western Illinois University.

Continue reading to find out which Illinois schools offer top-tier animation programs and what you can expect to pay. 

Most Expensive Illinois Animation Schools

DePaul University, Chicago – Tuition Cost: Undergraduate $35,680 for the 2015 – 2016 school year.

School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago – Tuition Cost: Undergraduate $34,512 (12 credit hours per semester/$1,438 per credit hour); Graduate $27,486 (9 credit hours per semester/$1,527 per credit hour) for the 2015-2016 school year.

Bradley University, Peoria – Tuition Cost: Undergraduate $31,110; Graduate $14,940 ($830 per credit hour/9 credit hours per semester) for the 2015-2016 school year.

Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy, Chicago – Tuition Cost: Undergraduate $25,375 per year for the 2011-2012 school year. Most current tuition information available. 

Columbia College, Chicago – Tuition Cost: Undergraduate $23,640 for the 2015-2016 school year.

Least Expensive Illinois Animation Schools

University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago – Tuition Cost: Undergraduate residents $17,444, nonresidents $29,834; Graduate residents $11,480, nonresidents $23,720 for the 2015-2016 school year.

University of Illinois at Urbana, Champaign – Tuition Cost: Undergraduate residents $12,036, nonresidents $27,196 for the 2015-2016 school year. 

Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville – Tuition Cost: Undergraduate residents $10,248, nonresidents $21,740 for the 2015-2016 school year. 

Northern Illinois University, DeKalb – Tuition Cost: Undergraduate residents $9,465, nonresidents $18,931; Graduate residents $11,847, nonresidents $20,415 for the 2015-2016 school year.

Illinois State University, Normal – Tuition Cost: Undergraduate residents $8,376 (12 credit hours per semester, $349 per credit hour), nonresidents $14,448 (12 credit hours per semester) for the 2014-2105 school year.

Southern Illinois University, Carbondale – Tuition Cost: Undergraduate residents $7,069 (12 credit hours per semester), nonresidents $17,670 (12 credit hours per semester) for students entering Fall 2015.

Western Illinois University, Macomb – Tuition Cost: Undergraduate residents $6,905 (12 credit hours per semester), nonresidents $10,358 (12 credit hours per semester) 2014-2015 school year.

University of Illinois, Springfield – Tuition Cost: Undergraduate residents $6,870 (12 credit hours per semester, $286.25 per credit hour), nonresidents $14,358 (12 credit hours per semester, $598.25 per credit hour) for 2015.

Eastern Illinois University, Charleston – Tuition Cost: Undergraduate residents $6,840 (12 credit hours per semester, $285 per credit hour), $8,544 nonresidents (12 credit hours per semester, $356 per credit hour), for the 2015-2016 school year.

More Illinois Schools with Animation related programs:  

Illinois Animation Scene

Illinois is home to the third largest city in the nation—Chicago. Chicago is a popular backdrop for films of all genres and budgets. Just a few films made in Chicago include Transformers 3 and 4, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, The Dark Knight, Sinister 2, Insugent, Divergent, Road to Perdition, I, Robot, The Fugitive, Superman: Man of Steel, and The Untouchables. While the city's film industry does its part to keep the animation scene alive, Chicago’s many major creative agencies play a part as well. Mega agencies such as J. Walter Thompson (JWT), Leo Burnett, DDB Chicago, Draft FCB, Ogilvy & Mather, Razorfish, and Y&R keep the state’s most talented animators very busy.

The City of Chicago and surrounding areas are also home to a variety of animation and game design studios such as:

  • Animagic Studios, Lake Zurich
  • Calabash Animation, Chicago
  • Daily Planet Productions, Chicago
  • High Voltage Software, Hoffman Estates
  • Iron Galaxy Studios, Chicago
  • Jellyvision, Chicago
  • Lunar Giant Studios, Mokena
  • NetherRealm Studios, Chicago
  • Radar Studios, Chicago
  • Rethink Studios, Chicago

Besides a variety of employment opportunities, aspiring animators can expect competitive salaries. The state’s large population of 1,330 multimedia artists and animators average $68,830 per year. The nationwide average is $61,370 per year.

Awesome Animation Fact: Fantasia was produced by Walt Disney and premiered at the Carthay Circle Theatre on January 30, 1940. The film consists of eight animated segments set to pieces of classical music conducted by Leopold Stokowski; seven of which are performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra. – Pennsylvania Philharmonic