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Frequently Asked Questions

To assist in answering your question(s), select from the following categories:


General Information

  • When calling the Bursar’s Office regarding my child’s account, the receptionist would only provide me with general Bursar information. Why?

    The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) as amended is a federal law intended to protect the privacy of student educational records accumulated from early childhood through college.  FERPA provided parents with certain rights with respect to their children’s educational records.  However, once a student reaches the age of 18 or enters college, the rights previously held by the parents transfer exclusively to the student.

    Students have the option to delegate information through “Shared Access.”  Shared Access allows a student to grant, up to 2 individuals, access to view their student information.  The student can grant access to information such as: Academics, Admissions, Financials, Financial Aid, and To Do List.  To set up and authorize the release of information, please review the following DoIT KB article.  The Office of the Bursar representative would be able to discuss specific account details with the individuals the student has authorized the release of financial information.

    Furthermore, FERPA restriction guidelines will not allow the Office of the Bursar to disclose the existence of the account if the account has been flagged as “non-disclosure.”  You may change your non-disclosure status with Registration and Records, or go online via MyNIU opens in new window.  If you do not change your non-disclosure agreement, you will need to come to the Office of the Bursar with a photo ID.

    To Change/Update FERPA Restrictions: Navigate to MyNIU Student Center. Scroll to Personal Information, Demographic Data and click on the security tab. See the following DoIT KB article for more information.

  • There is a hold on my student account. What is this for?

    Departments that assign holds to student accounts generally send a separate notification indicating why the hold was assigned. These holds may prevent you from registering for classes and/or obtaining transcripts.

    A Bursar hold is a financial hold placed on a student account that may prevent registering for classes, being readmitted to the university, and/or obtaining a transcript or diploma.

    Please read about holds on our Past Due Account Information page.

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Tuition and Fees

  • What expenses does my graduate tuition cover?

    The major portion of revenue from graduate tuition is used cover the costs of instruction. The remaining portion is used to meet the ever-emerging demands for cutting edge academic programs and services for NIU students. Critical areas for funding include: library journals and books, support for courses in high demand; technology upgrades, academic strategic planning initiatives designed to strengthen, direct and further improve academic programs, research and the academic experience of students. Other items receiving support are the graduate colloquium; maintenance for classroom buildings and other campus facilities such as Holmes Student Center, the Recreation Center and Convocation Center; campus infrastructure improvements in order to provide students with a quality learning environment; the university’s intercollegiate athletic programs for both men and women; University Health Service which provides comprehensive ambulatory health care for students while the university is in session; and the Huskie Bus service.

  • Why is my graduate tuition so much higher than previously? Will I also be charged fees?

    Prior to fall 2015, tuition and fees have been broken out separately. This caused some confusion about the total cost of a class. We know that from time to time, students have been surprised to receive charges for additional fees associated with enrolling in a course. Now, we have consolidated all charges for a class into a single ”tuition” charge to simplify your bill and make it clearer, up front, exactly what it costs to take a given course. The only additional fees you may be assessed are material fees that are relevant for a specific class. This is our way of avoiding any surprises for you.

  • I am a graduate student and my tuition rate is higher than my friend’s who is also a grad student at NIU. Why?

    It is likely you are pursuing a degree in an area where the cost of delivering instruction is higher than average and you are being charged a differential tuition rate. Differential tuition rates are assessed to certain programs where the cost of delivery is higher than that of average university programs, e.g., enhanced curriculum through subject-specific hardware, cutting-edge technologies and computer upgrades, as well as faculty support including training, software and other course materials other than textbooks. Differential tuition may also be charged for programs to cover curriculum enhancements that provide a higher value for the graduate of that program in terms of future career opportunities and earning potential. It may also arise where demand for a program is particularly high.

  • What are the tuition and fee rates per course?

    Tuition and fees are charged per credit hour according to your student classification and residency status. Illinois undergraduates are charged also according to the term of initial enrollment as required by the the truth-in-tuition law. View the current rates on our Tuition & Fees page or the NIU Planning & Cost Estimator.

  • What is truth-in-tuition and why did my rates change?

    Truth-in-tuition is an Illinois state law requiring an Illinois resident that is an undergraduate student and seeking a degree for the first time to be charged the same tuition rate for nine (9) continuous fall and spring semesters. Read more about the truth-in-tuition policy (pdf).

  • Are there any required undergraduate student fees?

    Mandatory general student fees are charged based on the number of enrolled hours per term. See the Fees & Common Charges page for more information and an explanation of the individual fees.

  • Why was I charged student medical insurance? Can I cancel out of it?

    Students initially enrolled for nine on-campus credit hours are charged for student medical insurance. International students are required to be enrolled in student medical insurance. Check the Student Insurance Office opens in new window website for all forms, as well as deadlines to apply for the cancelation of the insurance.

  • Who do I contact to remove/adjust parking tickets, library fines, late immunization fees, and/or any other miscellaneous charges on my statement?

    The Office of the Bursar does not have the authority to make adjustments to your account for these types of charges. If you have questions, contact the office or department that initiated the charge. Call the NIU operators at 815-753-1000 to reach the appropriate department.

  • Why was I assessed a late payment fee?

    Students who pay less than the total amount due by the respective due date will be assessed a monthly late payment fee of 1.08% on the remaining unpaid balance, with a minimum late fee charge of $0.50. View the payment policy for further information regarding late payment fees.

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Payments

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Account Statements

  • When calling the Bursar’s Office regarding my child’s account, the receptionist would only provide me with general Bursar information. Why?

    The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) as amended is a federal law intended to protect the privacy of student educational records accumulated from early childhood through college.  FERPA provided parents with certain rights with respect to their children’s educational records.  However, once a student reaches the age of 18 or enters college, the rights previously held by the parents transfer exclusively to the student.

    Students have the option to delegate information through “Shared Access.”  Shared Access allows a student to grant, up to 2 individuals, access to view their student information.  The student can grant access to information such as: Academics, Admissions, Financials, Financial Aid, and To Do List.  To set up and authorize the release of information, please review the DoIT KB article.  The Office of the Bursar representative would be able to discuss specific account details with the individuals the student has authorized the release of financial information.

    Furthermore, FERPA restriction guidelines will not allow the Office of the Bursar to disclose the existence of the account if the account has been flagged as “non-disclosure.”  You may change your non-disclosure status with Registration and Records, or go online via MyNIU opens in new window.  If you do not change your non-disclosure agreement, you will need to come to the Office of the Bursar with a photo ID.

    To Change/Update FERPA Restrictions: Navigate to MyNIU Student Center. Scroll to Personal Information, Demographic Data and click on the security tab. See handout (pdf) for more information.

  • I have financial aid (e.g., loans, grants, and scholarships) but I do not see it reflected on my Account Statement. What should I do?

    Log in to your MyNIU account and navigate to the Student Center. Within the Finances section, click the Term Account Detail link, then select the term you want to view. On this page you will see your charges, payments, and any financial aid for the term. Any additional questions regarding your financial aid should be directed to the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office opens in new window.

  • Why is my current account balance in MyNIU different than the amount due on my monthly account statement?

    The monthly account statement reflects charges, payments and aid as of the statement date. However, MyNIU reflects real-time activity that may also include activity after the statement date.

  • Where is my account statement mailed?

    Account statements are mailed to your permanent address unless a billing address is on file.

  • I submitted an address for billing, but my statements are going to a different address. Why?

    Important: if you completed an address change form with the United States Postal Service, this change may override your specified address that you have on file at NIU. The post office will only deliver your mail to the address you have on file with them. If you have questions, please contact the Bursar Office.

  • Can I have my account statements mailed to someone other than myself?

    Yes. You have two options:

    1. If you prefer someone else to receive your account statement in the mail, an alternative billing address must be established. Please notify the Bursar’s Office either in person or from your student Z-ID e-mail account.

      Important: If you completed an address change form with the United States Postal Service, this change may override this new alternative billing address. The post office will only deliver your mail to the address you have on file with them. If you have questions, please contact the Bursar Office.
    2. Through the use of Shared Access, you can grant others access to view your account statements on MyNIU.
  • I have misplaced my account statement. How can I obtain another copy?

    All account statements, beginning with fall 2011, are available online 24/7 via MyNIU opens in new window. For instructions on accessing your online, self service account statements, view our job aid (pdf).

    Through the use of Shared Access, you can grant others access to account statements on MyNIU.

  • I am having difficulty viewing a statement online. What should I do?

    Various web browsers have settings that actively block pop-up windows. Perform the following steps in your browser:

    Apple Safari:
    "Block Pop-Up Windows" needs to be unselected. Navigation: Edit > Block Pop-Up Windows (Ctrl + Shift + K)

    Firefox:
    Upon clicking the View Statement link, an Information Bar should display on the screen. Click the "Options" button. Select "Allow Pop-Ups".

    Google Chrome:
    Click Chrome menu on browser toolbar. Select Settings. Click "Show advanced settings" at bottom. In the "Privacy" section, click the Content settings button. In the Pop-ups section click the "Manage exceptions" button. Type sa.niu.edu to Allow. Click "Done".

    Internet Explorer:
    Upon clicking the View Statement link, an Information Bar should display on the screen. Click the bar. Select "Always Allow Pop-Ups from This Site".

    If you continue to have difficulties pulling up the self service account statement, you should contact the DoIT Service Desk opens in new window at 815-753-8100.

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Refunds

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Withdrawals

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1098-T Tuition Statements

  • What is the purpose of IRS Form 1098-T?

    The purpose of IRS Form 1098-T is to assist you in determining if you are eligible for one or more educational tax credits.

  • When are 1098-T tax forms sent out?

    1098-T Forms are mailed by January 31 to your billing address. If you have only a permanent address on file, the form will be mailed there.

  • What happens if I never received my 1098-T tax form?

    A copy of your 1098-T will be available on MyNIU opens in new window. Once logged in, navigate to MyNIU Student Center > Finances section > View 1098-T link within the dropdown menu. The online form will also provide you with detail making up the amounts reported on your 1098-T form. If you have a problem with logging in, please call the DoIT Service Desk opens in new window at 815-753-8100.

    Through the use of Shared Access, students can grant others access to their 1098-T forms on MyNIU.

  • How do I know if I qualify for an educational tax credit? How do I claim it if I qualify?

    Only you and/or your tax consultant can determine if you are eligible for any educational tax benefits. NIU staff members are not tax professionals and due to the complexity of the tax code, cannot provide tax advice or determine your eligibility for educational tax benefits. We can provide you with information about your account, which you may need in order to determine your eligibility for tax benefits. However, any questions about your eligibility should be directed to the IRS or a tax professional.

  • There is no dollar ($) amount in Box 1. Why?

    The IRS instructs institutions to report either payments received (Box 1) OR amounts billed for qualified tuition and related expenses (Box 2) on the 1098-T Form. NIU has elected to report qualified tuition and fees that were posted to your account during the tax year (Box 2). Therefore, Box 1 will be blank on the 1098-T Form.

  • Why does Box 2 include future spring charges?

    The amount in Box 2 reflects all qualified tuition and related expenses that were posted to the tuition account in the calendar (tax) year. If the student registers for future spring classes in November and December, these charges will be on the 1098-T Form as indicated in Box 7.

  • What is included in Box 5?

    This box reflects the total of scholarships and grants that were posted to the tuition account during the calendar (tax) year. This may also include adjustments to scholarships and grants posted late for a prior year.

  • What charges and/or fees are not included on the 1098-T tax form?

    The student-to-student program fee (undergraduate only), housing, bookstore charges and any fines assessed to the student are not reported.

  • I am having difficulty viewing my 1098-T online. What should I do?

    Various web browsers have settings that actively block Pop-Up windows. Perform the following steps in your browser:

    Apple Safari:
    "Block Pop-Up Windows" needs to be unselected. Navigation: Edit > Block Pop-Up Windows (Ctrl + Shift + K)

    Firefox:
    Upon clicking the View Statement link, an Information Bar should display on the screen. Click the "Options" button. Select "Allow Pop-Ups".

    Google Chrome:
    Click Chrome menu on browser toolbar. Select Settings. Click "Show advanced settings" at bottom. In the "Privacy" section, click the Content settings button. In the Pop-ups section click the "Manage exceptions" button. Type sa.niu.edu to Allow. Click "Done".

    Internet Explorer:
    Upon clicking the View Statement link, an Information Bar should display on the screen. Click the bar. Select "Always Allow Pop-Ups from This Site".

    If you continue to have difficulties pulling up the 1098-T, you should contact the DoIT Service Desk opens in new window at 815-753-8100.

  • I'm having trouble printing my 1098-T online. What can I do?

    Please note that all eligible students receive a printed copy of their 1098T form in the mail. If you are having trouble printing your 1098-T within your Internet browser, please try the following:

    Internet Explorer | Apple Safari:
    Navigation: File > Print (Ctrl + P). Click the "OK" or "Print" button.

    Mozilla Firefox:
    Navigation: Edit > Select All (Ctrl + A). Then proceed to File > Print (Ctrl + P). In the Print range section, choose the "Selection" option. Click the "OK" button.

For additional information regarding tax credits, view the Internal Revenue Service opens in new window website. For questions relating specifically to information provided by NIU on your 1098-T tuition statement, you may contact the NIU Office of the Bursar.

Please note, however, this office CANNOT provide any tax advice.

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Student Organizations

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Contact Us

Office of the Bursar
Swen Parson Hall Room 235

Phone: 815-753-1885
Email: bursar@niu.edu 

Business Hours