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Tuition Waivers

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-May (for fall awards), and early-September and early-October (for spring awards). Applications may be submitted by individuals who are admitted to a degree-granting program. The tuition waiver application may be completed by using our online registration system. Once you log in using your NIU credentials, enter "tuition waiver" in the search box and click on the link to your program.

Recruitment Waivers

Applicants with a 3.0 undergraduate GPA or 3.5 GPA in up to nine 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 for the spring semester are good for that semester only.   

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 nine 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.  After submitting their tuition waiver application, applicants  must submit an essay to their major department addressing

  1. how one’s status as a member of an under-represented minority group has shaped one’s life, academic preparation and/or research/study plans OR
  2. how one’s commitment to issues of social justice among under-represented minority groups has shaped one’s life, academic preparation and/or research/study plans.

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 nine 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. After submitting their tuition waiver application, applicants must submit to their major department 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 nine 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 at bfeltz@niu.edu.