Sign in to your Next Steps Portal with your NIU email and password to access your personalized checklist. Admitted Student Day registration is also available in your portal.

Next Steps for First-year Huskies

Congratulations on being admitted to NIU as a first-year student! From the day you're admitted to your first day of classes, use the checklist below to guide you step by step.

By completing the steps below, you’ll be ready for a strong start at NIU. Start here: 

Take These Steps as Soon as Possible.

Ready to make it official? Taking these steps promptly gives you better access to scholarships, Orientation dates, classes and housing room selection.

  • 1

    Step 1: Confirm your intent to enroll and pay the enrollment fee.

    Declare yourself an official Huskie. Log in to MyNIU using your NIU account ID (Z-ID). Choose the Admissions tile and select “Confirm Intent to Enroll.” Pay your nonrefundable enrollment fee ($155). You must pay the fee in full before you can register for Orientation.

    We sent information about your Z-ID to the personal email address you used when you applied to NIU. See information on activating your NIU account ID and accessing MyNIU.

  • 2

    Step 2: Get in the habit of checking your NIU email account regularly.

    Your NIU student email address is your Z-ID followed by Your Z-ID was sent to the personal email account you used when you applied to NIU. Learn more about accessing your NIU email.


  • 3

    Step 3: Apply for financial aid and/or send NIU your FAFSA.

    Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The form opens Oct. 1 each year. If you’ve already completed the FAFSA, make sure you added NIU to the list of colleges on your FAFSA form. If you did not include NIU when you submitted your FAFSA, please log in to the FAFSA form to make corrections and add NIU (School Code 001737).

    If you’re an Illinois resident but are ineligible for federal aid as an undocumented student, you can still apply for state assistance. Find out whether you should complete the Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid instead of the FAFSA.

    Any student who completes a FAFSA may be selected for verification by the FAFSA processor for the U.S. Department of Education. Please be sure to check your NIU email and your MyNIU to-do list for additional requirements.

  • 4

    Step 4: Register for Orientation.

    Important: If you want to change your major, you must do so before registering for Orientation. 

    Orientation is required for all admitted students. It’s where you’ll meet other students, learn about campus offices and resources, meet with your academic advisor and register for classes. These dates fill up fast, so we recommend that you register for Orientation as soon as you’re notified that you can do so. 

  • 5

    Step 5: Submit your housing contract and prepayment ($150).

    As a first-year student, you’re required to live on campus or request a residency requirement exemption. The earlier you submit your housing contract, the earlier you’ll be able to make your room selection when that process begins. You’ll receive an email when housing application opens for 2023.

    Learn more about housing

Complete These Steps Before You Attend Orientation.

Orientation is a big day, and you need to come prepared. You’ll get to learn about life on campus firsthand with other new students and register for all your classes with the help of an academic advisor. Make sure you allow plenty of time to complete these steps before attending Orientation.

  • 6

    Step 6: Take your required placement tests.

    You may need to take online placement tests to help your advisor make appropriate course recommendations that correspond to your levels of achievement. Review the information on the Testing Services website to determine which placement tests you need to take, and then register for and take the test(s) prior to your Orientation date.

  • 7

    Step 7: Complete your required Pre-Orientation Program (POP).

    POP is a self-guided module introducing many of the topics you’ll explore during your Orientation. You can find POP in MyNIU. We’ll send an email to your NIU email account when it’s time to complete it.

  • 8

    Step 8: Upload your photo for your OneCard ID.

    Your OneCard ID is your official NIU identification card. It’s your key to accessing your residence hall and meal plans, the Recreation Center, the Huskie Bus Line and more. Within 3 business days of registering for Orientation, you'll receive an email with instructions on uploading a photo to be used on your ID. Check your NIU email account for a message from the OneCard Office with the subject line “NIU OneCard Photo Submission.” 

  • 9

    Step 9: Submit your vaccination records.

    Students enrolled in on-campus classes are required by the Illinois College Student Immunization Act to provide proof of immunity to measles/mumps/rubella (MMR), tetanus/diphtheria (Td/Tdap) and meningitis.

Complete These Steps Before Your First Day of Classes.

You’re in the home stretch. Make sure you’re checking your NIU email frequently and keep following these steps to come prepared. Week of Welcome will be here before you know it!

  • 10

    Step 10: Submit your final high school transcript.

    Your official high school transcript is required as part of our admissions process. Check with your high school to find out their required process for requesting and sending your official transcripts. Check your to-do list in MyNIU for any missing items needed to complete your admission file.

  • 11

    Step 11: Complete POP 2.0.

    POP 2.0 is your post-orientation program. You’ll complete it online at your own pace after you attend Orientation and prior to the start of the semester. We’ll email you a link to POP 2.0 after you attend Orientation.

  • 12

    Step 12: Opt out of student health insurance (optional).

    Students who are enrolled in nine or more credit hours in DeKalb are automatically billed for the NIU student health insurance plan. If you have other health insurance that meets our requirements, you can waive, or cancel, our insurance during the waiver period.


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