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NIU is a 4-year public university located at 1425 W. Lincoln Hwy. in Dekalb, Illinois. It's a Small campus in a Suburb-based setting with 20,130 enrolled students and a student faculty ratio of 15 to 1. Campus housing is present on campus, and online programs are available.

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Northern Illinois University Seal About Northern Illinois University

Northern Illinois University (NIU) is a public research institute located in DeKalb, Illinois. It was established in 1895 as Northern Illinois State Normal School. The school was established by the state governor John P. Altgeld during the expansion of the state educational system to prepare college educated teachers. In 1917, the Illinois Senate decided to merge the board of trustees of the 5 state normal schools at that time into a single board of trustees. In 1921, the college got approval to award 4-year bachelor degrees changing its name to “Northern Illinois State Teachers College”. Twenty years later, the governing board changed its name to the Teachers College Board. In 1951, the college started offering graduate degree programs. The college changed its name again in 1955 to “Northern Illinois State College”. It was finally recognized as a liberal arts college in 1957 changing its name to the current one. In 1996, the university became an independent institute governed by a seperate board of trustees. In 2017, the university appointed its first female acting president.

The university is located in a university town covering 945 acres. The campus contains 64 major buildings Barsema Alumni and Visitors Center, Holmes Student Center, Adams Hall, Altgeld Hall, Oderkirk House, Williston Hall, Cole Hall, Davis Hall and DuSable Hall. It also offers 14 residence halls including Gilbert Hall in addition to Grant Towers North and South. Additionally, the university has four branch campuses; the Lorado Taft Field Campus, Rockford Campus, Rockford Campus and the Naperville Campus. The university athletic teams, who are nicknamed Huskies, compete in NCAA Division I as members of the Mid-American Conference. The official colors of the university are cardinal and black.

The university is divided into 7 colleges offering bachelor, master’s and doctoral degree programs. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

School Facts

  • Years Estd.1895
  • NicknameHuskies
  • ColorsCardinal and Black
  • LocationIllinois
  • Religious AffiliationNot applicable

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NIU Tuition and Fees NIU Tuition and Fees

We've provided you the following to learn more about this college. The tuition and demographic data on this page comes from recently published National Center for Education Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

Simple Tuition Estimate


Your Actual Cost/Tuition


The yearly tuition for NIU is $14,295. However, this number and one's actual expenses can vary. Some schools have tuition that is higher based on students with residency in-state vs out of state, books, fees, and on or off campus housing will all have an effect. We provide a free calculator tool so you can see what your actual yearly costs might be.

Tuition and Fees Rankings

  • #1178 Nationally for Universities with highest tuition

    Also check out, Check out Colleges with the best tuition

  • #601 Nationally for Colleges with the most expensive cost of living.

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  • In vs. Out-of-State
  • Housing Expenses
  • Misc. Fees

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NIU Simple Tuition vs. Actual Fees: What's the Difference?

Here a few things that can increase your actual costs of college, and will vary from school to school. It's good to figure out what these are ahead of time when deciding on a school.

  • Out-of-State vs. In-State

    Colleges can charge higher rates of tuition for students who are out-of-state residents and less for students who are in-state residents.
  • Books and Supplies

    Books, supplies and misc student expenses can often be overlooked. Know what those will be!
  • On Campus Housing vs. Living Off Campus

    Whether students live on-campus in designated student housing, or off-campus in a house or apartment, will change the cost of attending college. Northern Illinois University is located in Dekalb which will also determine rents and cost of living. Use our free calculator to estimate your cost of living.
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Calculate your Actual Expenses for NIU

Fees Avg. Cost
Books & Supplies $G,BIG
On-Campus Room/Board $IG,S0I
Off-Campus Room/Board $G0,0IS
In-State Tuition $S0,BIG
Other Fees $1G,S00

College Rankings College Rankings

NIU is a prestigious 4-year institution in Illinois. The following are the rankings for the school relative to other universities across the country.

  • #1178 Nationally for Universities with highest tuition

    Also, check out Colleges with the best value tuition

  • #601 Nationally for Colleges with the most Expensive cost of living

    Also, check out Colleges with lowest cost of living

  • #173 Nationally for Largest Number of students enrolled

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Can I Get Accepted to NIU? Can I Get Accepted to NIU?

The Acceptance rate for NIU is 50 Percent. Last year, there were 17099 applicants and 26 percent of those who were accepted actually attended (Enrollment Rate). To apply, it's required to have the following: High school GPA, High School transcripts, SAT/ACT test scores.

Total Applicants


Acceptance Rate


Enrollment Rate

  • This university requires SAT/ACT Scores.

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Can Help, But Not Required

  • US Military
  • Associates Degree
  • SAT/ACT Scores
  • Good GPA
  • Work Experience

Northern Illinois University

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Student Data & Demographics Student Data & Demographics

Total Students


Total Graduate Students


Student to Faculty Ratio

15 to 1