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Northern Illinois University

Northern Illinois University Data & Information Overview

Find out more about how Northern Illinois University ranks, how diverse it is, what majors it offers, and other essential facts below. All you need to do to learn more about a stat is click on its tile, and you’ll be taken to another page that analyzes that data more closely. Also, you can use the links below to scroll to any section of 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 928 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

The acceptance rate at Northern Illinois University is a competitive 59%, so make sure you take your application seriously when putting it together. Even leaving out a minor detail could be a reason to move you to the rejection pile.

Learn more about Northern Illinois University admissions.

Northern Illinois University Faculty

Student to Faculty Ratio

The student to faculty ratio at Northern Illinois University is about average at 16 to 1. This ratio is often used to gauge how many students might be in an average class and how much time professors will have to spend with their students on an individual level. The national average for this metric is 15 to 1.

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 of 78% tells us that most first-year, full-time students like Northern Illinois University enough to come back for another year. This is a fair bit higher than the national average of 68%. That's certainly something to check off in the good column about the school.

Freshmen Retention Rate  78 out of 100

Graduation Rate

The on-time graduation rate is the percent of first-time, full time students who obtain their bachelor's degree in four years or less. This rate is 24% for first-time, full-time students at NIU, which is lower than the national rate of 33.3%.

On-Time Graduation Rate  24 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 12,277 undergraduates at NIU with 10,472 being full-time and 1,805 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 69% of students took out student loans averaging $6,741 a year. That adds up to $26,964 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 68 majors graduated from Northern Illinois University. Of these students, 3,239 received undergraduate degrees and 1,315 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 $30,150
Business Administration & Management 174 $50,149
Accounting 171 $56,544
Communication & Media Studies 164 $36,344
Nursing 159 $65,131
Health/Medical Prep Programs 157 $30,228
Marketing 152 $47,260
Computer Science 134 $60,848
Mechanical Engineering 123 $65,180
General Biology 116 $34,908

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 2019-2020, 2,489 students took at least one online class at Northern Illinois University. This is an increase from the 1,260 students who took online classes the previous year.

Year Took at Least One Online Class Took All Classes Online
2019-2020 2,489 1,499
2018-2019 1,260 334
2017-2018 2,027 649
2016-2017 1,916 526
2015-2016 1,958 465

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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