Domestic Tuition Rate

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Good news: NIU is getting more affordable for U.S. students from outside of the Land of Lincoln.

Beginning with the fall 2018 semester, we are eliminating the more expensive out-of-state tuition rate for U.S. students. The new and more affordable domestic rate structure will apply to undergraduate, law and graduate students!

We want students nationwide to experience our friendly campus, high quality academics and unique brand of hands-on, engaged learning. We also believe the new domestic tuition structure is better for ALL of our students.

  • It will make an NIU education more accessible to students nationwide.
  • The new rate will make it more affordable for current out-of-state U.S. students to continue and complete their NIU education.
  • We’ll increase diversity on our campus and enrich our culture with new perspectives from across the nation.

Domestic tuition rate FAQ

Who qualifies for the domestic tuition rate? This rate is available to all U.S. citizens and permanent residents as well as to undocumented students attending a U.S. high school. This change will apply to students enrolled as NIU undergraduates, graduates or law students.
Will undergraduate tuition rates for domestic students from outside Illinois be guaranteed for four years, like rates for in-state students?

Yes, we will extend the tuition guarantee to all first-time, degree-seeking undergraduate U.S. citizens and permanent residents students attending a U.S. high school. The guarantee is for four continuous years of undergraduate studies. In fact, NIU currently extends the rates for a ninth fall or spring term if needed.

Continuing first-time degree-seeking out-of-state students will have their tuition guarantee take effect Fall 2018. Their domestic tuition rate will be the rate of an incoming freshman for Fall 2018.

The guaranteed rate does not apply to graduate or law students. The graduate and law tuition rates will continue to be set each year by the NIU Board of Trustees.

When will the new tuition rate structure go into effect?

The new rate structure will take effect beginning with the fall 2018 semester at NIU.

What makes NIU attractive to students from other states?

The high quality of our faculty and academic programs is well-known beyond the borders of Illinois. NIU has the advantage of being a major public research university that provides hands-on learning experiences to students who can conduct research with faculty beginning freshman year. Our campus also maintains a more close-knit, regional-university feel. We have more than 100 outstanding academic programs, more than 300 student organizations, NCAA Division I Athletics and a student-to-faculty ratio of 13-1. At the same time, the university is near two federal research laboratories, an international airport and the world-class City of Chicago. Students can take advantage of countless cultural and internship opportunities throughout the region, and make important professional connections through our outstanding alumni network.

Will current out-of-state students be charged the new domestic rate?

Yes. Current out-of-state students will be charged the new domestic rate beginning with Fall 2018.

How much money will this save a currently enrolled out-of-state student beginning next fall?

Potentially thousands of dollars each semester. In the past, full-time U.S. students from outside the Midwest paid as much as double the tuition costs of in-state students.

How many out-of-state students currently attend NIU?

Currently, we have nearly 700 students from 46 U.S. states, demonstrating that regardless of where they live, many students seek to earn an NIU degree. We value what those students bring to our campus community, and we want to see their numbers grow.

What NIU programs are students from other states most interested in?

Prospective students from out-of-state are much like their in-state peers, having shown interest in an array of academic programs, including biological sciences, engineering, psychology, business, computer science, sociology and others.

Why did NIU charge more in the past for out-of-state students?

The practice is a holdover from the days when the state used to allocate money to state universities based upon the in-state student headcount.

How will this affect in-state students?

We believe that this change will be positive for Illinois students as well. It will strengthen the university financially—that’s good for all of our students—and create a more robust student experience by increasing geographic diversity.

Will NIU accept fewer Illinois students?

We want more Illinois students! We will continue to focus the majority of our recruitment efforts on expanding enrollment of students from our home state—that won’t change.

How will this affect tuition for Illinois residents?

There will be no base-tuition rate change in the fall 2018. In fact, for three consecutive years, we’ve held the line on undergraduate tuition for Illinois residents.

Have other Illinois universities eliminated out-of-state tuition rates?

Some Illinois public universities have already eliminated or substantially modified/reduced their out-of-state tuition structures.

How is this new tuition structure good for Illinois?

Illinois is among nation’s largest net exporters of freshmen to other states’ public colleges. This effort will help counter that trend. By attracting students from across the nation to NIU and helping them make connections with alumni and employers in the region, we will be strengthening the pool of skilled workers in Illinois.

Because Illinois public universities receive state funding, shouldn’t Illinois students pay less than students from other states?
  • As the percentage of state support for higher education has declined, this has become less of an issue—and the state long ago stopped allocating resources to state universities based upon in-state-student headcounts.
  • By attracting more out-of-state students, we hope to increase income for the university, which could allow us to better hold the line on tuition and other costs for all students.
Does the new tuition structure apply to NIU College of Law and Graduate School students?

Yes!

Are international students eligible for the new rate structure?

In most cases, international students are not eligible for the new domestic rate and will be charged the non-domestic rate. To view the non-domestic rates, please see the Undergraduate Tuition and Fees and click on the "International" tab.

For students in select visa categories, their residency status may be changed to in-state upon the successful petition with Registration and Records for in-state residency. For more information, see the Registration and Records website.


For further questions related to undergraduate admissions, call 815-753-0446 or email admissions@niu.edu. For further questions related to Graduate School admissions, call 815-753-0395 or email gradsch@niu.edu.

 

Undergraduate Application Deadlines

Term Deadline
Summer 2019 May 15, 2019
Fall 2019 August 1, 2019
Spring 2019 December 1, 2018

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