Northern Illinois University

Northern Illinois University Data & Information Overview

Want the scoop on Northern Illinois University? We've put together a comprehensive report on the school that covers what majors NIU offers, how the school ranks, how diverse it is, and much more. Want to know more about a specific stat? Just click on its tile, and you'll go to a page that goes more in-depth on that subject. You can also use the links below to go directly to any section on this page.

How Well Is Northern Illinois University Ranked?

2022 Rankings

In its yearly rankings, College Factual analyzes over 2,000 colleges and universities to determine which ones are the best in a variety of categories, such as overall value, quality, diversity, which schools are the best for each major, and much more.

Northern Illinois University was awarded 616 badges in the 2022 rankings. The highest ranked major at the school is financial risk management.

Overall Quality

According to College Factual's 2022 analysis, NIU is ranked #714 out of 2,576 schools in the nation that were analyzed for overall quality. This is an improvement over the previous year, when NIU held the #716 spot on the Best Overall Colleges list.

NIU also holds the #26 spot on the Best Colleges in Illinois ranking.

See all of the rankings for Northern Illinois University.

Is It Hard to Get Into NIU?

Acceptance Rate

If you're applying to Northern Illinois University you'll face some tough competition, since the school's acceptance rate is only 53%. Definitely don't wait until the last minute to submit your application, since applying early may be in your favor.

Average Test Scores

NIU received ACT scores from 97% of accepted students. When looking at the 25th through the 75th percentile, ACT Composite scores ranged between 19 and 24.

ACT Composite Scores for Northern Illinois University  ( 19 to 24 )

Learn more about Northern Illinois University admissions.

Northern Illinois University Faculty

Student to Faculty Ratio

The student to faculty ratio is often used to estimate how much interaction there is between professors and their students at a college or university. At Northern Illinois University, this ratio is 15 to 1, which is on par with the national average of 15 to 1. That's not bad at all.

Percent of Full-Time Faculty

When estimating how much access students will have to their teachers, some people like to look at what percentage of faculty members are full time. This is because part-time teachers may not have as much time to spend on campus as their full-time counterparts.

The full-time faculty percentage at Northern Illinois University is 73%. This is higher than the national average of 47%.

Full-Time Faculty Percent  73 out of 100

Retention and Graduation Rates at Northern Illinois University

Freshmen Retention Rate

The freshmen retention rate tells us what percentage of first-year, full-time students choose to continue on to their sophomore year at a particular school. The rate at Northern Illinois University is 72%, which is about average when compared to the national rate of 68%.

Freshmen Retention Rate  72 out of 100

Graduation Rate

When we say that a student has graduated on time, we mean that they have finished their bachelor's degree within four years. The on-time graduation rate at NIU is 25%. That's lower than the national rate of 33.3%

On-Time Graduation Rate  25 out of 100

Find out more about the retention and graduation rates at Northern Illinois University.

Northern Illinois University Undergraduate Student Diversity

During the 2017-2018 academic year, there were 12,131 undergraduates at NIU with 10,567 being full-time and 1,564 being part-time.

How Much Does Northern Illinois University Cost?

The overall average net price of NIU is $18,259. The affordability of the school largely depends on your financial need since net price varies by income group. See the table below for the net price for different income groups.

Net Price by Income Group for NIU

$0-30 K $30K-48K $48-75 $75-110K $110K +
$15,281 $15,861 $18,346 $21,425 $23,363

The net price is calculated by adding tuition, room, board and other costs and subtracting financial aid.Note that the net price is typically less than the published for a school. For more information on the sticker price of NIU, see our tuition and fees and room and board pages.

Student Loan Debt

While almost two-thirds of students nationwide take out loans to pay for college, the percentage may be quite different for the school you plan on attending. At NIU, approximately 72% of students took out student loans averaging $7,177 a year. That adds up to $28,708 over four years for those students.

The student loan default rate at NIU is 8.3%. Although this is lower than the national default rate of 10.1%, you'll still want to keep this in mind when taking out student loans.

Get more details about paying for Northern Illinois University.

How Much Money Do NIU Graduates Make?

Although some majors pay more than others, students who graduate from NIU with a bachelor's degree go on to jobs where they make an average salary of $45,500 in their early years. That's great news for NIU students since it is 14% more than the average college graduate's salary of $39,802 per year.


See which majors at Northern Illinois University make the most money.

Location of Northern Illinois University

Northern Illinois University is a public institution located in Dekalb, Illinois. The suburban atmosphere of Dekalb makes it a great place for students who want the amenities of city life without actually living in the middle of a constant hustle and bustle.

Get more details about the location of Northern Illinois University.


Contact details for NIU are given below.

Contact Details
Address: 1425 W. Lincoln Hwy., Dekalb, IL 60115-2828
Phone: 800-892-3050

Northern Illinois University Majors

During the most recent year for which we have data, students from 67 majors graduated from Northern Illinois University. Of these students, 3,224 received undergraduate degrees and 1,404 graduated with a master's or doctor's degree. The following table lists the most popular undergraduate majors along with the average salary graduates from those majors make.

Most Popular Majors Bachelor’s Degrees Average Salary of Graduates
General Psychology 188 $28,000
Business Administration & Management 174 $47,900
Accounting 171 $54,900
Communication & Media Studies 164 $34,000
Nursing 159 $62,600
Health/Medical Prep Programs 157 $29,100
Marketing 152 $40,900
Computer Science 134 $57,400
Mechanical Engineering 123 $59,900
General Biology 116 $30,300

Learn more about the majors offered at Northern Illinois University along with which ones have the highest average starting salaries.

Online Learning at NIU

Online courses area a great option for busy, working students as well as for those who have scheduling conflicts and want to study on their own time. As time goes by, expect to see more and more online learning options become available.

In 2018-2019, 1,260 students took at least one online class at Northern Illinois University. This is a decrease from the 2,027 students who took online classes the previous year.

Year Took at Least One Online Class Took All Classes Online
2018-2019 1,260 334
2017-2018 2,027 649
2016-2017 1,916 526
2015-2016 1,958 465
2013-2014 1,569 466

Learn more about online learning at Northern Illinois University.

If you’re considering Northern Illinois University, here are some more schools you may be interested in knowing more about.

Curious on how these schools stack up against NIU? Pit them head to head with College Combat, our free interactive tool that lets you compare college on the features that matter most to you!

Notes and References


*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.


More about our data sources and methodologies.

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