Domestic Tuition Rate

NIU is more affordable for U.S. students from outside of the Land of Lincoln.

We eliminated the more expensive out-of-state tuition rate for U.S. students. The more affordable domestic rate structure applies 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 domestic tuition structure is better for ALL of our students.

  • It makes an NIU education more accessible to students nationwide.
  • The rate makes 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.

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.

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.

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 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.
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 For further questions related to Graduate School admissions, call 815-753-0395 or email

Undergraduate Application Deadlines

Term Deadline
Summer May 15
Fall August 1
Spring December 1

Please note that the actual size of the new class will be determined by the level of university resources available to maintain the quality of academic programs. The schedule on which applications will be reviewed provides for competitive admissions on a space-available basis. Thus, space limitations and/or budget constraints may necessitate earlier deadlines. Students whose high school GPA falls within the published guidelines for holistic review are asked to submit and complete their applications according to the Freshmen Petition Review deadlines.

Other Important Info

Contact Us

Office of Admissions
Williston Hall
DeKalb, IL 60115
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