State of Illinois launches interactive tool to help students choose right college

Illinois Postsecondary Profiles Project is a user-centered resource for learning about postsecondary institutions

SPRINGFIELD – Choosing a college is an important decision that can be overwhelming without the right information.

The Illinois Board of Higher Education, the Illinois Community College Board and the Illinois Student Assistance Commission have launched a new collaborative project that makes it easier for students and parents to make an informed college choice.

Unlike third-party college search tools that collect data from the same sources that often are out of date or incomplete, the Illinois Postsecondary Profiles project uses comprehensive data directly from Illinois higher education state agencies and Illinois’ 160 public and private universities and community colleges.

“We are incredibly excited to give students and families a way to filter, search and sort the kind of information that is most important to them in choosing a college, including a focus on equity. With the IPP, families have information all in one place and know that it is accurate and up to date because it comes from the colleges directly to us as state agencies,” IBHE Executive Director Ginger Ostro said in a news release.

Illinois Postsecondary Profiles is completely customizable, starting with three key profiles curated to help group certain types of data points together.

Institutional Profiles let you discover the basics: what type of schools are out there, how much they cost and what credentials they offer. This information is sorted in a clean, readable design that works across any type of smart device or computer.

Occupational Profiles let you see what academic majors are available, key employment data, programs of study and pathways for the kinds of careers you’re interested in.

Equity Profiles let you see the kinds of people enrolled and completing credentials at schools, colleges and universities across Illinois. You can search by age, race and ethnicity or even by gender beyond the binary.

“These three profiles work together to create a holistic, nuanced lens for every Illinois-based school. It gives students the ability to look beyond the bullet points and dig deep into metrics that matter so they can make the most informed choices based on what matters to them,” ICCB Executive Director Brian Durham said.

Additionally, IPP is highly beneficial for other audiences that impact student success such as high school officials, higher education staff, employers, policymakers and regional collaboratives.

“ISAC is pleased to partner with our sister agencies on this important tool,” ISAC Executive Director Eric Zarnikow said. “We are particularly excited about the launch of the tool’s unique Equity Profiles, which can provide valuable information to students and researchers alike in advancing access and equity.”

Illinois Postsecondary Profiles is a free resource. It was developed by the Northern Illinois University Illinois Interactive Report Cards division in collaboration with IBHE, ICCB and ISAC. To learn more or start searching visit or watch the video at