#4 Best Public Universities in Illinois

Northern Illinois University

Dekalb, Illinois

 4 Reviews



Northern Illinois University overview
Location Dekalb, Illinois
Online niu.edu
School Type Public 4 Year
Setting Small Suburban
Northern Illinois University overview
Size Mid-size
Status Non-profit
On Campus Housing Yes
Level of Study Undergrad/Graduate
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Northern Illinois University (NIU), located in DeKalb, Illinois, approximately 65 miles west of Chicago, is a public research institution established in 1895. Known for its diverse and expansive campus, NIU offers a wide range of academic programs, with notable emphasis on business, engineering, and education, among others. The university provides on-campus housing options accommodating a significant portion of the student body in residence halls and apartment complexes. NIU's academic environment is moderately selective, appealing to a broad spectrum of students seeking both undergraduate and graduate degrees. While the university itself boasts a range of student organizations and activities, it is particularly recognized for its contributions to research and public service. The institution supports a variety of athletic programs and is a member of the Mid-American Conference, with their sports teams known as the Huskies.

In the most recent statistical year 25,961 prospective students applied, and 18,348 were granted admission.  Of those admitted 2,440 enrolled in the school.  11,908 students are enrolled on a full time basis, and 3,741 attend part time. In-state tuition for 2022/2023, excluding room and board, is $9,790 plus fees of $2,872. Northern Illinois is ranked 454 nationally in the CollegeSimply.com 2024 U.S. Colleges Ranking.












Northern Illinois is rated within the top 44% of four-year colleges nationally and earns a CollegeSimply grade of 6 out of 10. Learn how ratings are calculated


Rankings for Northern Illinois University within the 2024 CollegeSimply Best Colleges Lists.

View the CollegeSimply ranking methodology.

Getting In

Admission Standards

Northern Illinois University overview
SAT 940/1170
ACT 19/25
GPA 3.3

Applications Accepted

Northern Illinois University overview
Applications Due Aug 1, 2024
Applicant Competition Low
Application Fee $0

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Annual Cost to Attend


Costs for Northern Illinois University
Fee Cost
Books and Supplies$1,300
Other Fees$2,872
Room and Board $11,420
Budget for Other Expenses$2,440
Total One Year Cost$27,822

Tuition and financial aid details


Average Salary After 10 Years

$47,600 per year

Bachelor's Degree Graduation Rate

56% within 6 years

Explore Post Graduation Outcomes

Popular Areas of Study

Popular subjects studied by Northern Illinois University students
Subject Percent of Class
Business 18%
Health Professions 15%
Social Sciences 11%
Education 9%
Communication 9%

View All 54 Majors

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Primary data source, U.S. Department of Education https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?id=147703 IPEDS survey data for Northern Illinois University.

Current students may use the Northern Illinois University GPA calculator to determine their current college GPA.