Tuition Waivers

NIU provides tuition waivers as defined by university policy and state regulations. The Graduate School administers a series of competitively-awarded waiver programs. Generally, for each of the waivers listed below, three competitions per year are held. Two competitions are held in spring (for students enrolling in the following fall); one competition is held in fall (for students enrolling in the following spring).

Typically, applications are accepted between mid-December and mid-February (for fall awards), mid-April and mid-June (for fall awards), and mid-September and mid-October (for spring awards). Applications may be submitted by individuals with complete application dossiers on file; awards are made only to admitted students. The tuition waiver application must be completed using our online registration system.

Recruitment Waivers:
Applicants with a 3.0 undergraduate GPA or 3.5 GPA in up to 9 graduate hours seeking admission to a degree-granting program are eligible to apply. Awards are available only to students who are newly entering a degree-program; non-degree students who will begin a degree program are ineligible. Awards cover the majority of tuition costs for up to 9 hours in each semester of an academic year. Awards made in the spring semester are good for one semester.   

Under-Represented Minority Waivers:
Eligible candidates are degree-seeking applicants who are US citizens and who are one of the following

  • Asian-American and seeking admission to communication disorders, speech language pathology, music, philosophy, sport management, special education, or early childhood education)
  • Female (and admitted to philosophy or sport management)
  • African-American
  • Latino/a
  • Native Americans
  • All applicants who evince a commitment to conducting research in and studying social justice issues

A 3.0 undergraduate GPA or 3.5 GPA on fewer than 9 graduate hours is required. Awards are available only to students who are newly entering a degree-program; non-degree students who will begin a degree program are ineligible. Awards cover the majority of tuition costs for up to 9 hours in each semester of an academic year. Awards made in the spring semester are good for one semester.  Applicants must submit an essay according to the guidelines on the application.

Ronald McNair Post-Baccalaureate Scholarship Waivers:
US citizens who have successfully completed the McNair program and who are seeking admission to a degree-granting program are eligible to apply, if they have a 3.0 undergraduate GPA or 3.5 in up to 9 graduate hours. Awards are available only to students who are newly entering a degree-program; non-degree students who will begin a degree program are ineligible. Awards cover the majority of tuition costs for up to 9 hours in each semester of an academic year. Awards made in the spring semester are good for one semester. Applicants must upload a letter from the McNair program director attesting to one’s successful fulfillment of McNair requirements.

Artistic Talent Waivers:
Applicants are eligible if they are admitted to a program in the School of Music, School of Art and Design, or School of Theatre and Dance. Awards cover the majority of tuition costs for up to 9 hours in each semester of an Academic Year. Awards are renewable, provided the recipient is in good academic standing. More information about the award is available from the graduate coordinator in each of the schools listed above.

If you have questions about tuition waivers for graduate school, contact Bonni Feltz.