Clinton graduates have only a short distance to go for top quality higher education opportunities. The economies of a two-year community college are found only 20 miles south in Decatur.

Richland Community College is set on a beautiful 117-acre campus on the northeast side of Decatur. The college's Clinton Extension Center provides admissions, advise, registration, placement testing, financial aid, and other services. Selected courses and seminars are offered at off-campus sites in Clinton and other communities in the college’s district.

About 6,000 students enroll in Richland Community College annually. The college awards associate in arts, associate in science, and associate in applied science degrees, plus certificates in various career courses. It also awards an associate in engineering science degree among the more than 60 majors available. About 60 percent of those earning associate degrees transfer to a four-year institution to earn bachelor's degrees.

Richland Community College also offers lifelong learning programs that include entrepreneurial activities, leisure learning for seniors, and topics related to personal interest and professional, technical, and career enhancement. Its Center for Business and Community Development provides assistance to area business and industry.

Richland College transfer students have a wide choice of nearby universities. The 45-acre suburban campus of Millikin University is located at Decatur. At Bloomington/Normal are Illinois State University and Illinois Wesleyan University. Heartland Community College and the Mennonite College of Nursing are also located at Bloomington. The University of Illinois at Champaign/Urbana is about 45 miles from Clinton, as is the University of Illinois at Springfield.

Millikin University enrolls about 1,900 students each semester. The independent, four-year, coed university offers more than 1,000 courses in 63 majors. Illinois State University occupies an 850-acre campus in Normal. Some 16,600 students are enrolled in 57 majors. The 63-acre suburban campus of Illinois Wesleyan University at Bloomington has nearly 1,900 undergraduates enrolled in more than 50 majors. Enrollment at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is nearly 36,500. It offers 140 majors. The University of Illinois at Springfield is much smaller, enrolling about 2,540 undergraduates. It also offers fewer majors.

In Lincoln, only 20 miles to the west of Clinton, is Lincoln College and Lincoln Christian College, two private, four-year institutions.