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Frequently Asked Questions for First Year Students

freshman-discover-faqs
How long will it take to process my application?

Applications are processed as soon as all supporting documentation and fees are received. The admission process can take four to six weeks from time of receipt of all required documents during peak processing periods. Applicants are responsible for ensuring that a completed application and all official transcripts and supporting documents have been submitted to the NIU Office of Admissions, and are encouraged to check their application status.

Is my application processed more quickly if I apply online?

Yes. Applications completed online are received immediately by the NIU Office of Admissions. The online application is the preferred method for applying to NIU. Notification will be sent to the student verifying receipt of the application. Applicants must submit all official transcripts from all previously attended institutions to support their application for admissions and must be received by the NIU Office of Admissions before the evaluation process can begin. Remember to tell your high school college guidance counselor you applied to NIU.

How much does it cost to apply?

The application fee is $40.

Applicants who meet the qualifications for an extreme economic hardship waiver are exempt from the fee. In order to qualify for this waiver, an applicant must:

  • Be currently enrolled in high school
  • Submit a completed request for a fee waiver, signed by the high school guidance counselor (or another qualified official)*
  • Submit a completed application

*An applicant may alternatively submit a letter from the high school counselor or social worker which states that the applicant meets the criteria listed on the application fee waiver form.

Does NIU accept AP credit?

Yes. NIU accepts AP, CLEP and IB credit. Students need to have their scores sent to the Office of Testing Services to have their scores evaluated. The evaluation information is available from the NIU Office of Testing Services.

How do I find out what courses I should register for?

Every new NIU undergraduate student must attend New Student Orientation where they will meet with an adviser and receive priority registration.

Can I bring a car to campus?

Yes, you may bring a car to campus. You will need one of five different parking permits for your car, which you can purchase online. All parking facilities are limited, controlled and color-coded, and all vehicles, including motorcycles and mopeds, must display an appropriate permit. Special parking privileges are extended to handicapped persons and to individuals who are temporarily disabled.

You don’t need a car, though, to get around campus. With the Huskie Bus Line, Huskie Safe Line, Zipcar and the FreedomMobile for students with disabilities, there are a number of options for transportation.

How do I apply for a scholarship or financial aid?

NIU offers financial assistance and hundreds of scholarships to eligible students each year. To apply for financial assistance, please see the websites for the Student Financial Aid and Scholarship offices on campus. For specific questions, please use the contact information below:

Financial Aid and Scholarship Office
815-753-1395
finaid@niu.edu

How can I get a catalog or class schedule?

The Undergraduate and Graduate Catalogs are available free online. Printed catalogs are provided to all undergraduate students at Orientation. Class schedules are searchable using the NIU Course Finder.

Does NIU offer health care and medical insurance for students?

Yes. Health Services provides medical care to all registered students, full-time or part-time, who have paid on-campus tuition and fees. The university offers automatic enrollment in the Student Health Insurance Plan for students registered for nine or more on-campus hours and all international students. Students may use Health Services without being enrolled in the insurance plan.

What kind of assistance does the university provide for students with disabilities?

The university provides support services for students with a variety of disabilities. A wide range of services can be obtained including, but not limited to, housing, transportation, adaptation of printed materials, testing accommodations, sign language interpreters and advocacy with faculty and staff.

What is the relationship of ACT scores and high school rank to graduation rates?

NIU's graduation rates are similar to the average graduation rates of other NCAA 1-A institutions. For more information, see NIU fast facts.

What is the relationship of ACT scores and high school rank to graduation rates?

NIU's graduation rates are similar to the average graduation rates of other NCAA 1-A institutions. For more information, see NIU fast facts.

What are official ACT or official SAT score reports?

Official ACT or official SAT score reports are ACT or SAT test score reports sent directly to the Northern Illinois University Office of Admissions from ACT Inc. (ACT) or from the College Board (SAT)

The ACT test is known officially as the American College Test. The SAT test is known officially as the SAT Reasoning Test. NIU will accept either official ACT or official SAT score reports to meet or exceed NIU admissions criteria.

Official ACT or official SAT score reports are ACT or SAT test score reports sent directly to the Northern Illinois University Office of Admissions from ACT Inc. (ACT) or from the College Board (SAT)

To send NIU an official ACT report, visit the ACT Company website to order an official ACT score report using NIU's ACT Code # 1102. 

To send NIU an official SAT report, visit the College Board website to order an official SAT score report using NIU's SAT Code #1559.

What are official high school or college transcripts?

Official high school or college transcripts are copies of a student's permanent academic record at a particular institution, received at the NIU Office of Admissions in their original, sealed, institutional envelope under the seal of the Registrar or Records Office of the issuing institution.

Official transcripts are required to be copies of the most current academic record and must be received at NIU Office of Admissions within one year of the institution's transcript issuing date.

What kind of career planning services are offered to prepare students for life after graduation?

NIU helps students secure internships and full-time employment by offering job and internship fairs, career counseling, resume and cover letter reviews and an online job search database. For more information, see our Careers Services page.