Northern Illinois University

2014 Quick Stats
PO Box 3001

DeKalb, IL 60115

Phone: (815) 753-1000
2013-2014 Tuition
male /
Aug. 1
application deadline

More Information


U.S. News Rankings

Ranking score and category
U.S. News rank Category Name
#177 Overall Score: 31 out of 100. National Universities

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Northern Illinois University is a public institution that was founded in 1895. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 16,552, its setting is suburban, and the campus size is 800 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. Northern Illinois University's ranking in the 2014 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, 177. Its in-state tuition and fees are $12,952 (2013-14); out-of-state tuition and fees are $22,024 (2013-14).

Northern Illinois University is located about 65 miles west of Chicago in the city of DeKalb. Graduate students can choose from about 80 master's degrees, including those offered by the colleges of business and law and the highly ranked Division of Public Administration. Undergraduates can choose from about 60 academic majors and participate in the Research Rookies program, which gives freshmen and sophomores a chance to conduct research in their field of study under faculty guidance. Many students at Northern Illinois University choose to study abroad, and the school offers programs for academic credit in about 75 countries.

On campus, Northern Illinois students can join more than 200 clubs and about 40 Greek-letter organizations. The university is also home to numerous varsity athletic teams, which compete in the NCAA Division I Mid-American Conference. The NIU sports teams are known as the Huskies, but that hasn't always been the case. They were called the Teachers and the Profs in the school's early days as a teachers college, and they have been nicknamed the Cardinals and the Northerners as well. Notable NIU alumni include Dan Castellaneta, who voices Homer Simpson and several other characters on the animated television show "The Simpsons."

School mission and unique qualities (as provided by the school): N/A

General Information

School type public
Year founded 1895
Religious affiliation N/A
Academic calendar semester
Setting suburban
2012 Endowment $3,330,748


When applying to Northern Illinois University, it's important to note the application deadline is August 1. Scores for either the ACT or SAT test are due August 1. The application fee at Northern Illinois University is $40. It is selective, with an acceptance rate of 51.8 percent.

For more information about the tests, essays, interviews, and admissions process, visit the Applying to College knowledge center.

Selectivity selective
Fall 2012 acceptance rate 51.8%
Application deadline August 1
SAT/ACT scores must be received by August 1

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Academic Life

The student-faculty ratio at Northern Illinois University is 16:1, and the school has 46.9 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors at Northern Illinois University include: Speech Communication and Rhetoric; Psychology, General; Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse; Accounting; and Elementary Education and Teaching. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 72 percent.

Class sizes
Class sizes
Student-faculty ratio 16:1
4-year graduation rate 28%
Five most popular majors for 2012 graduates
Speech Communication and Rhetoric 7%
Psychology, General 6%
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse 6%
Accounting 5%
Elementary Education and Teaching 4%

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Student Life

Northern Illinois University has a total undergraduate enrollment of 16,552, with a gender distribution of 49.8 percent male students and 50.2 percent female students. At this school, 28 percent of the students live in college-owned, -operated, or -affiliated housing and 72 percent of students live off campus. Northern Illinois University is part of the NCAA I athletic conference.

Total enrollment 21,869
Student gender distribution
Student gender distribution
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority
Collegiate athletic association NCAA I

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Campus Info & Services

Northern Illinois University offers a number of student services including nonremedial tutoring, women's center, placement service, day care, health service, and health insurance. Northern Illinois University also offers campus safety and security services like 24-hour foot and vehicle patrols, late night transport/escort service, 24-hour emergency telephones, lighted pathways/sidewalks, and controlled dormitory access (key, security card, etc). Alcohol is permitted for students of legal age at Northern Illinois University.

Students who have cars on campus N/A
Health insurance offered Yes

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Paying for School

At Northern Illinois University, 73.7 percent of full-time undergraduates receive some kind of need-based financial aid and the average need-based scholarship or grant award is $7,821.

Paying for college doesn't have to be difficult or devastating. Go to the Paying for College knowledge center to get advice on raising cash and reducing costs.

In-state tuition and fees $12,952 (2013-14)
Out-of-state tuition and fees $22,024 (2013-14)
Room and board $11,404 (2013-14)
Financial aid statistics
Financial aid statistics

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* Overview details based on 2012 data

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