Prairie State College

202 South Halsted Street
Chicago Heights, IL 60411-8226
Tel: (708)709-3500
  • Prairie State College is a two-year community college offering associate degrees, technical and career studies certificates, plus adult, corporate and continuing education. We're the first Illinois community college to guarantee all of our degree and technical certificate programs. We're honored to be recognized for the quality of our programs and services through six awards for excellence from the Illinois Community College Board - more than any other college in the state.
School Highlights
  • Prairie State College serves 4,574 students (39% of students are full-time).
  • The college's student:teacher ratio of 27:1 is lower than the state community college average of 36:1.
  • Minority enrollment is 63% of the student body (majority Black), which is more than the state average of 39%.
  • Prairie State College is one of 29 community colleges within Cook County, IL.
  • The nearest community college is South Suburban College (5.20 miles away).

School Overview

  • The teacher population of 169 teachers has grown by 8% over five years.
Prairie State College (IL) Community College Avg.
Institution Level At least 2 but less than 4 years At least 2 but less than 4 years
Institution Control Public Public
Total Faculty 169 staff 112 staff
Prairie State College Total Faculty (2007-2016)

Student Body

  • The student population of 4,574 has declined by 19% over five years.
  • The student:teacher ratio of 27:1 has decreased from 38:1 over five years.
  • The school's diversity score of 0.64 is more than the state average of 0.58. The school's diversity has stayed relatively flat over five years.
Total Enrollment 4,574 students 3,722 students
Prairie State College Total Enrollment (2007-2016)
Student : Teacher Ratio 27:1 36:1
Prairie State College Student Staff Ratio (2007-2016)
# Full-Time Students 1,774 students 1,118 students
Prairie State College Full-Time Students (2007-2016)
# Part-Time Students 2,800 students 2,604 students
Prairie State College Part-Time Students (2007-2016)
Prairie State College Enrollment Breakdown IL All Enrollment Breakdown
% Asian
Prairie State College Asian (2007-2013)
% Hispanic
Prairie State College Hispanic (2007-2016)
% Black
Prairie State College Black (2007-2016)
% White
Prairie State College White (2007-2016)
% Two or more races
Prairie State College More (2011-2016)
% Unknown races
Prairie State College Ethnicity Breakdown IL All Ethnic Groups Ethnicity Breakdown
Diversity ScoreThe chance that two students selected at random would be members of a different ethnic group. Scored from 0 to 1, a diversity score closer to 1 indicates a more diverse student body. 0.64 0.58
Prairie State College Diversity Score (2007-2016)
College Completion Rate
Prairie State College Completion Rates for First-Time, Full-Time Students (2007-2015)
Average Graduate Earnings (10 Years) $32,400 $32,200
Prairie State College Average and Median Earnings, Disaggregated by Student Subgroups (2008-2013)

Finances and Admission

  • The public in-state tuition of $7,644 is less than the state average of $7,963. The in-state tuition has grown by 17% over four years.
  • The public out-state tuition of $9,084 is less than the state average of $10,732. The out-state tuition has grown by 9% over four years.
In-State Tuition Fees $7,644 $7,963
Prairie State College In-State Tuition Fees (2007-2016)
Out-State Tuition Fees $9,084 $10,732
Prairie State College Out-State Tuition Fees (2007-2016)
% Students Receiving Some Financial Aid 67% 82%
Prairie State College % Students Receiving Some Financial Aid (2007-2016)
Median Debt for Graduates $10,375 $7,862
Prairie State College Median debt for students who have completed (2007-2015)
Median Debt for Dropouts $5,350 $4,000
Prairie State College Median debt for students who have not completed (2007-2015)
Source: 2016 (or latest year available) IPEDS

School Notes

  • Prairie State College's 123-acre campus is located at South Halsted Street and Vollmer Road in Chicago Heights, Ill. Our north campus facilities, to the north of Vollmer Road, include the Health/Tech Center, Child Care Center, Physical Plant and Facilities warehouse and headquarters, the Illinois Employment and Training Center, plus four wooden temporary structures where our Adult Education programs are held. Here you'll find English as a Second Language, Literacy, Adult Basic Education and GED classes, and adult education computer labs. The main building, to the south of Vollmer Road, houses faculty and administrative offices, classrooms, laboratories, and student services facilities. A four story-building, the main campus building includes a Technology Center, where programs such as Automotive, Welding, Manufacturing Technology and Air Conditioning and Heating programs take place. Prairie State College, Illinois Community College District 515, serves thousands of residents each year in the Chicago Southland region. We additionally serve a growing number of people outside our geographic district through our corporate training and international student programs. Founded in 1957 as Bloom Township Community College, our first classes were held in 1958 in the basement of the First Christian Church. The College has come a long way since then. Bloom Community College was originally established to offer transfer liberal arts courses and occupational courses. Most students graduating in the early 1960s earned degrees in the liberal arts. Today, the College serves a more broad population, offering five types of associate's degrees (associate in arts, associate in science, associate in fine arts, associate in applied science, associate in general studies), two types of certificates (technical and career studies) and training in many other areas. Part of PSC's growth began back in 1967 when the College was reorganized as a Class I junior college. Then, with the combining of four high school districts into an enlarged territory, the College was renamed Prairie State College. The Beecher district was added to District 515 in 1989 by the Illinois Community College Board. The college is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

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Did You Know?
For Cook County, IL public community colleges, the average tuition is approximately $8,147 per year for in-state students and $9,660 for out-of-state students. Read more about average community college tuition costs across the country.

The average community college acceptance rate in Cook County, IL is 76%. Read more about national community college acceptance rates.

Cook County, IL community colleges have a diversity scoreThe chance that two students selected at random would be members of a different ethnic group. Scored from 0 to 1, a diversity score closer to 1 indicates a more diverse student body. of 0.58, which is lower than the national average of 0.66. The most diverse community college in Cook County, IL is Kendall College. Read more about community college diversity statistics in the USA.