Why Oakton?

The truth is there are no wrong answers to the question of "Why Oakton." Every year, 7,000 students enroll at Oakton and thousands more take classes. Each has their own unique reasons and Oakton is committed to meeting the unique needs of all of those thousands of students, so they can further their education and better their lives.

Equity is one of our key values: it means we recognize that every student who comes onto our campus has a different background, different needs and different goals, and we strive to offer every student the exact support and resources they need to succeed.

At Oakton, your success is our success: we embrace diversity, lead with innovation and offer the programs that will help you achieve your goals. No matter where your journey takes you, Oakton will be with you as your guide and partner along every path.

A group of students sit on a couch in the student success area while playing cards.

We prepare you to exceed your expectations. College is an investment in time and in cost, and we want to make sure the investment is worth it to you. We utilize a Guided Pathways approach to education to ensure your success and that your time at Oakton gives you lifelong benefits. Whether you are enrolling in our degree and certificate programs or pursuing continuing education, you'll be taught by a faculty that includes PhDs and experts in their field—not teaching assistants—who will prepare you to succeed and excel. We'll outfit you with tools and resources to obtain the certifications or credentials you'll need for your career. You'll also learn to think critically and independently so you'll be able to stand out and take the lead in the field you choose.

Three students look at the camera while having their photo taken.We give you the best value. Of course, we understand that the financial cost of getting a degree can be daunting. But part of our mission is to provide access to quality education for our community and everyone in it, so we make sure that our costs remain remarkably affordable. We also offer scholarships, loans and grants to help you pay. At Oakton, you'll be able to start building your future without breaking the bank.
A group of Oakton students sit around a table in the cafeteria smiling and laughing.We're there for you if you need it. We know that everyone's experience at Oakton will be unique. You may thrive on your own, working independently to achieve your goals. Or, maybe you'll need a little help sometimes. Don't worry - we've got your back. From our academic advising and career services to our dedicated counseling and Wellness Center, we encourage our students to lean on us for support that's unparalleled among community colleges. Whatever you need, whenever you need it, Oakton is there for you.
Students in a biology class sit outside while the professor teaches.We’re a place where everyone can belong. From our financial aid for undocumented students to resource groups for African-American and Latinx students and much more, we strive to ensure that Oakton is a place for everyone. The diversity of our student body and our faculty reflects the diversity of our community and the world today. We're constantly working, learning and improving to make sure our campuses in Des Plaines and Skokie, are a safe environment for every student. We also offer hundreds of satellite continuing education locations and a wide range of online course options and our promise is that no matter where or how you choose to learn, you'll be treated with the utmost respect and be given every opportunity to make the most of your time with us, no matter how long that is.

Application Categories

Your application and admission process may vary if you are a member of one of the following groups. Click on the links to see how we can assist and welcome you.

Current Students
If you've taken a class within the last three years, you do NOT need to re-apply. Instead, just log in to myOakton to register for classes. If you've forgotten your login or password, don't worry! You can find your login information by contacting the IT Help Desk at or 847.635.1965 for assistance.

Returning Students
If you haven't taken a class with us in three years, you must apply again. However, you won't need to pay the application fee this time.

Age Requirement
If you are under age 18, you must have graduated from an accredited high school, or hold a General Education Development (GED) Certificate to be eligible for admission.

Hours and Locations

Des Plaines, Room 1740
Skokie, Room A100 

Monday - Friday: 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Oakton is closed Friday through Sunday during the summer.

Meet the Admission Team