Frequently asked questions

What is the University Center of Lake County?

The University Center of Lake County is a partnership of public and private colleges and universities offering coursework and degrees within Lake County. It is a non-profit organization whose budget comes mainly from the Illinois Board of Higher Education.

Where is the University Center located?

The main University Center of Lake County building is located at 1200 University Center Drive on the Grayslake campus of the College of Lake County. To arrange for a tour, please call 847.665.4000.

What degrees are offered?

Bachelor’s degree completion (Jr./Sr. level courses), master’s degrees, doctoral degrees and professional certificates are currently offered. See the Degrees & Programs for more specifics.

Are there any accelerated degrees available?

Yes, several run on intensive five-week, seven-week, or eight-week terms or on weekends. Some cohort programs are not tied to the academic calendar. As soon as enough students are admitted to populate the “cohort,” the program starts and continues for a designated number of weeks or months.

Where will my degree be from?

Your degree will be issued from the individual college or university who offers your degree program, and will be identical to that same degree offered on the institution’s main campus. The University Center is simply where you are taking the courses.

Can I start as a freshman at the University Center?

No, the University Center would be a second stop on your educational journey. The University Center of Lake County offers bachelor’s completion programs and, in most cases, only upper division (junior and senior) level undergraduate courses. Admission requirements vary from institution to institution, but generally include approximately 60 hours of undergraduate coursework and/or the equivalent of an associate degree. You can begin your bachelor’s degree elsewhere in Lake County, though. The College of Lake County can provide that lower division coursework through their associate’s degree programs.

Can I talk to an advisor?

Yes, pre-admissions advising is available from UC staff, and from the member schools. Call (847) 665-4000 for pre-admissions advising information or visit our Talk to an Advisor page. Each program also provides advising for students enrolled in that program. Sometimes that is done in person. Sometimes it is by phone or via an internet connection.

Can I apply any life or work experience for credit toward a bachelor's degree?

Yes. Some of the institutions allow credit for life experience that can be demonstrated to be college equivalent through a portfolio process. It is usually referred to as Prior Learning Assessment (or PLA).

How do I register?

Students register through the specific college or university offering their degrees, usually via the institution’s website. A. University Center classes are taught by faculty who are on staff at the member schools’ main and satellite campuses.

Who will be my teacher?

University Center classes are taught by faculty who are on staff at the member schools’ main and satellite campuses.

Where do I get tuition information, or seek financial aid or scholarships?

Financial aid is available through each institution. Some even offer special scholarships for UC students. Each program profile lists a financial aid contact–usually a website or a phone number. Contact each institution for specific information such as university scholarships or scholarship research databases.

Where do I buy textbooks?

Textbooks can be purchased through the member schools, and in most cases can be ordered online or by phone using a credit card and shipped directly to the student’s home or office. Some schools enable students to purchase textbooks through any online vendor. Some schools rent textbooks to their students.

How is the University Center funded?

Most of the University Center’s funding comes through the Illinois Board of Higher Education. However, each member institution pays an annual membership fee; those who run courses in University Center facilities also pay facility usage fee. No tuition dollars or student fees come to the University Center.

I am not ready to complete a degree at this time - can I just take individual courses?

Yes. In many cases you can take courses as a “student at large” without being admitted to a degree program. It’s important to check with the individual school to find out how many hours taken in a non-degree status will transfer toward a degree should you choose to pursue a degree at a later date.

What is a cohort?

A cohort program is a format in which a group of students are admitted and then move together through each required course in sequence. It creates a built-in support group for students.