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Colleges / Northern Illinois University

About Northern Illinois University

Northern Illinois University is a public, state school that was founded in 1895. It is moderately difficult to get into Northern Illinois University. It enrolls around 16,769 students a year, including 12,277 undergrads.

Northern Illinois University does not offer early action and does not offer early decision.

Northern Illinois University Acceptance Rate

Around 59% of applicants get into Northern Illinois University each year. Out of 16,690 applications received in 2021, 9,888 students were offered admission .

Northern Illinois University Application Deadlines

Early Admissions at Northern Illinois University

Northern Illinois University does not offer early decision. Northern Illinois University does not offer early action.

2021 Admissions Facts
Academic Calendar Semester
Overall Acceptance Rate 59%
Average GPA 3.3
In-State Tuition $9,466
Out-of-State $9,466

Visit the Admissions tab above to for more on how to apply to Northern Illinois University.

Financial Aid at Northern Illinois University

Northern Illinois University meets 62.7% of the demonstrated financial need for undergraduates. The average financial aid package for a full-time, first-year student is around $16,068 a year.

The 2022-2023 FAFSA Opened on October 1st, 2021

Some aid is awarded ona first-come, first-serve basis, so fill out the FAFSA early. Visit the FAFSA website to apply for student aid. Remember, the first F in FAFSA stands for FREE! No one should ever pay to fill out the FREE Application for Federal Student Aid, (FAFSA), so be very wary of anyone asking you for money.

Dorms at Northern Illinois University

Northern Illinois University offers housing for up to 4,459 students.

Most Northern Illinois University students live off campus.

The most popular organizations for Northern Illinois University students to join are American Marketing Association, Delta Sigma Pi and Pi Sigma Epsilon. Homecoming, NIU Cares Day, and and Welcome Day are the best-attended events on campus.

Click the Student Life tab above to learn more about the student body and campus life at Northern Illinois University.

How Do I Get Into Northern Illinois University?

Northern Illinois University is considered moderately difficult to get into, but how hard a school is to get into depends on a lot, including your GPA, test scores, activities, recommendations and essays. Admitted students have an average high school GPA of 3.3 out of 4.0.

Is Northern Illinois University Test Optional?

Northern Illinois University does not have a test optional admissions policy. Test optional schools allow students to choose if they want to submit ACT or SAT scores with their applications or not.

Want a higher SAT score? Even a little bit of test prep can really help improve your score.

Learn how to increase your SAT score 200 points or more in just 10 minutes a day.

Access ACT practice tests and study tips and see upcoming ACT test dates.

Northern Illinois University Waitlist 2021

Northern Illinois University reports that no students were waitlisted or admitted off the waitlist in the most recent year.

Is Northern Illinois University a Good School?

The definition of a "good school" is different for different people. Admissions difficulty and admitted student statistics can give you a sense of how selective a college is, but they don't tell you how happy or successful students are. However, there are a few good ways to get a better sense how satisfied students are and how well a school supports its student body.

Retention and Graduation Rates at Northern Illinois University

Out of all the first-year, full-time undergrads who start at Northern Illinois University, around 78% return for their sophomore year. Out of the 2,499 students who started at Northern Illinois University as first-time freshman, 671 graduate within four years.

Around 48% of students who started at Northern Illinois University earn their Bachelor's degrees within six years. Compare this to the average six-year graduation rate for colleges and universities in the U.S., which is around 61% for public schools and 67% for private.

Job Outcomes and Student Debt

Job placement and student debt statistics for recent graduates can give you a sense of the return on investment a school offers. Students in the class of 2021 who had taken out student loans graduated with an average of $33,837 of debt. For context, compare this number with the average national debt, which is around $36,000 per borrower.

Based on this information, how does Northern Illinois University sound? Remember, a school that is perfect for one person may be a terrible fit for someone else! So ask yourself: Is Northern Illinois University a good school for you?

How Big is the Endowment for Northern Illinois University?

Northern Illinois University's endowment was valued at $8,084,227 in 2021. The school spends $9,643 for each full-time student enrolled.

Interested in Applying to Northern Illinois University?**

Click the heart icon at the top of this page to save Northern Illinois University to your own personal list of colleges.

Read on to find out more about the admissions requirements and deadlines, student life, academics, majors and more.

Still Researching Colleges?

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Then use the college admissions predictor to calculate your chances of getting into some of the top colleges and universities in the U.S.

Where is Northern Illinois University Located?

Northern Illinois University is located in the small town setting of De Kalb, Illinois, less than an hour from Chicago.

If you want to see Northern Illinois University for yourself, plan a visit. The best way to reach campus is to take Interstate 88 to De Kalb, or book a flight to the nearest airport, O'Hare International.

You can also take a virtual campus tour to get a sense of what Northern Illinois University and De Kalb are like without leaving home.

Considering Going to School in Illinois?

See a full list of colleges in Illinois and save your favorites to your college list.

College Info

Northern Illinois University Application Deadline

First-Year Applications are Due

Aug 15

Transfer Applications are Due

Aug 1

The deadline for Fall first-year applications to Northern Illinois University is Aug 15.

The deadline for Fall transfer applications to Northern Illinois University is Aug 1.

Check the school website for more information about deadlines for specific programs or special admissions programs


Wondering what your chances are of getting into Northern Illinois University?

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Northern Illinois University ACT Scores


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Northern Illinois University SAT Scores


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Northern Illinois University Tuition & Fees

Tuition & Fees


In State


Cost Breakdown
In State
State Tuition

Student Life

Wondering what life at Northern Illinois University is like? There are approximately 16,769 students enrolled at Northern Illinois University, including 12,277 undergraduate students and 4,492 graduate students. 85% percent of students attend school full-time, 96% percent are from IL and 4% percent of students are from other states.


Full Time


Part Time


In State



© 2021 College Confidential / Concentrical LLC, Data provided by IPEDs and Peterson's Databases, © 2020 Peterson's LLC.

Quick Facts

Total Enrollment


Campus Setting

Small Town

Acceptance Rate


Tuition and Fees

In State




Fall Freshmen
Application Deadline

Aug 15
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