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Northern Illinois University Data & Information Overview

446 awards Ranking Badges
Great Price Value for Your Money
70% Acceptance Rate
Find out more about how Northern Illinois University ranks, how diverse it is, what majors it offers, and other essential facts below.
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How Well Is Northern Illinois University Ranked?

#550 Best Colleges in Nation
#24 Best Colleges in IL
Health/Medical Prep Programs Highest Ranked Major
Value Badge

2024 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 446 badges in the 2024 rankings. The highest ranked major at the school is health/medical prep programs.

Explore Best Ranked Schools for You

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Overall Quality

According to College Factual's 2024 analysis, NIU is ranked #550 out of 2,217 schools in the nation that were analyzed for overall quality. This is an improvement over the previous year, when NIU held the #628 spot on the Best Overall Colleges list.

NIU is also ranked #24 out of 85 schools in Illinois.

See all of the rankings for Northern Illinois University.

Is It Hard to Get Into NIU?

70% Acceptance Rate
60% Of Accepted Are Women

Acceptance Rate

When it comes to admittance, Northern Illinois University is somewhat selective. Its acceptance rate is 70%, which means you'll face some strong competition during the admissions process. Do what you can to make your application stand out.

Learn more about Northern Illinois University admissions.

Northern Illinois University Faculty

15 to 1 Student to Faculty
76% Full Time Teachers

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 76%. This is higher than the national average of 47%.

Full-Time Faculty Percent  76 out of 100

Retention and Graduation Rates at Northern Illinois University

67% Freshmen Retention
25% On-Time Graduation Rate

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 67%, which is about average when compared to the national rate of 68%.

Freshmen Retention Rate  67 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

10,472 Full-Time Undergraduates
51.3% Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
54.0% Percent Women

During the 2017-2018 academic year, there were 12,277 undergraduates at NIU with 10,472 being full-time and 1,805 being part-time.

How Much Does Northern Illinois University Cost?

$13,956 Net Price
59% Take Out Loans
$24,944 Total Student Loans
The overall average net price of NIU is $13,956. 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 +
$10,395 $11,499 $13,778 $16,882 $20,068

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 59% of students took out student loans averaging $6,236 a year. That adds up to $24,944 over four years for those students.

The student loan default rate at NIU is 5.9%. This is significantly lower than the national default rate of 10.1%, which is a good sign that you'll be able to pay back your student loans.

Get more details about paying for Northern Illinois University.

How Much Money Do NIU Graduates Make?

$52,792 Avg Salary of Grads
High Earnings Boost
Yearly salaries vary depending on what you major in, but on average, bachelor's degree recipients from NIU make around $52,792 per year during the early years of their employment. That's great news for NIU students since it is 24% more than the average college graduate's salary of $42,485 per year.


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

Location of Northern Illinois University

Illinois State
10,472 Full-Time Undergraduates
Suburb Campus Setting
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

68 Majors With Completions
3,080 Undergraduate Degrees
1,389 Graduate Degrees
During the most recent year for which we have data, students from 68 majors graduated from Northern Illinois University. Of these students, 3,080 received undergraduate degrees and 1,389 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 189 $28,265
Nursing 185 $61,111
Business Administration & Management 174 $48,290
Health/Medical Prep Programs 164 $27,550
Communication & Media Studies 160 $34,427
Accounting 138 $53,726
Teacher Education Grade Specific 133 $38,000
Computer Science 128 $58,306
Marketing 125 $44,627
Mechanical Engineering 120 $64,752

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

Online Learning at NIU

70% Take At Least One Class Online
16% Take All Classes Online

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 2020-2021, 11,295 students took at least one online class at Northern Illinois University. This is an increase from the 2,489 students who took online classes the previous year.

Year Took at Least One Online Class Took All Classes Online
2020-2021 11,295 2,583
2019-2020 2,489 1,499
2018-2019 1,260 334
2017-2018 2,027 649
2016-2017 1,916 526

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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