We believe it is important to provide students, prospective students, faculty, staff, families and members of the community with easy access to a broad range of information and policies. We have organized this information into categories with links to data, procedures, consumer information, general information about the institution and other required disclosures.

The information listed below is provided in compliance with the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA), the Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act and the Student Right to Know Act. Not all university policies, forms or data is listed below. NIU catalogs, handbooks, other publications and websites provide additional information.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) is a federal law that pertains to the release of and access to student educational records. The law protects the rights of students and ensures the privacy and accuracy of education records. Students have a right to review their education records, to request amendment of records, to control the disclosures of personally identifiable information and to file complaints with the Department of Education.

Confidentiality of Student Records

Northern Illinois University is committed to building an enhanced campus community and encourages all students to adhere to the Student Code of Conduct. The Northern Pact encompasses principles that outline the expectations of the Northern Illinois University community.

Registering a Complaint with NIU

Links to additional information for student grievances and complaints within NIU are provided below:

In addition to the above, all NIU students have access to the Ombudsperson, who provides students with guidance to help solve a variety of university-related issues or conflicts.

Registering a Non-instructional Complaint

The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) is a national initiative that increases student access to distance education courses and programs while maintaining compliance with state regulations. Northern Illinois University is approved to offer online programs under the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) in all U.S. states. For out-of-state students who reside in SARA states (AL, AK, AZ, AR, CO, CT, DE, DC, GA, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, MA, ME, MD, MI, MN, MS, MO, MT, NE, NV, NC, ND, NH, NJ, NM, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY) the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) has jurisdiction over Illinois SARA-approved institutions including NIU in relation to non-instructional complaints. Prior to registering a complaint with the IBHE, the student/complainant must make all attempts to resolve the matter directly with the institution.

Illinois Board of Higher Education

The Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) has the responsibility and authority to resolve complaints against Illinois Institutions. Students may file a complaint with the IBHE via the online complaint system.

The Higher Learning Commission

Students may file a complaint with Northern Illinois University’s institutional accrediting body by contacting The Higher Learning Commission.

State of Residence

Students may also file a complaint with their state of residence. State contact information is provided that lists appropriate contacts from each state in which a student may file a complaint.

Enrollment, Retention and Graduation Rates

New Freshman Enrollment
Fall 2015 Fall 2016 Fall 2017
2,235 1,784 1,831

73 percent of freshman that enrolled for the first time in fall 2016, returned in fall 2017.

Fall 2014 Fall 2015 Fall 2016
72% 73% 73%

Baccalaureate Graduation

23 percent of freshmen who enrolled in fall 2010 completed their degree within four years.

Fall 2008 Fall 2009 Fall 2010
4 Years 25% 25% 23%
5 Years 44% 44% 42%
6 Years 50% 50% 47%

Additional Resources

College Navigator

The Department of Education’s National Center for Educational Statistics collects information and statistics from U.S. institutions of higher education. College Navigator is a tool to access and compare information about institutions including general information, expenses, financial aid, net price, enrollment, admissions, retention and graduation rates, programs, varsity athletic Teams, accreditation, campus security and cohort default rates.

Students in certain programs experience costs from entities that are not part of NIU. Examples include the fee paid for a criminal background check required for students seeking teacher certification, the fee charged for taking a state administered test or the fees for immunizations required for students in the nursing program. Many programs have no or minimal miscellaneous or outside costs. If a program has material outside costs, those costs are listed on the website for the program.

  • Nursing (PDF)
  • Outside fees related to testing for Educator Licensure
  • Some colleges have been approved to charge additional "material fees." These fees are charged per course for special materials specific to the course. All associated costs are reflected on the student's financial account via MyNIU. For additional information on any material fee, please contact the department that is offering the course of study.
  • Copyright Policy and Standards of Conduct
  • Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention
    • NIU annually distributes to each student and employee standards of conduct that clearly prohibit the unlawful possession, use or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students and employees on the institution’s property or as part of any the institution’s activities, applicable legal sanctions, health risks, available counseling, treatment, rehabilitation programs and the institution’s sanctions for violation of the related standards of conduct.

Any coeducational institution of higher education that participates in a federal student aid program and has an intercollegiate athletics program is required to publish an annual Equity in Athletics Report. This report contains participation rates, financial support, academic success rate and other information on its men's and women's intercollegiate athletic programs. This report is available from the Equity in Athletics page on the Office of Postsecondary Education website. The graduation rate of NIU athletes can be found on the NCAA website.

We can help!

We are here to help you find the information you need. Use our A-Z Index or the Directory to find contact information for specific departments.

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