“I think I’m just a better person for my time at NIU.”

Pen Novus found opportunity — and community — as a Huskie.

May 2020 graduate Pen Novus has advice for someone transferring to NIU: It’s OK to need help. Learning is hard! It takes a lot of work! Your instructors are not as intimidating as you might think. They really are here to help you.

Pen found the best part of being a Huskie is enjoying a diverse and inclusive environment. As Pen wrapped up senior year with their degree in Communication Studies in sight, we asked them to share how NIU has helped shape their success and why others should transfer here, too.

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Why did you choose NIU as the place to continue your education?

I was originally planning to transfer from Highland Community College in Freeport, Illinois to NIU or a small liberal arts college in Iowa. NIU was more affordable, but what really sold me was the Communication Studies program and the forensics team. Plus, I received the forensics tuition waiver for my first few semesters, and then this year I got the Mothers Memorial Scholarship from the Center for the Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality.

What was your biggest concern about transferring and how did NIU help?

My primary concern was transferring my credits, but admissions counselors and my advisors were all very helpful in working with me to graduate in two years. I’m so grateful to the people at NIU who work with students and really show they care — they made such a difference for me.

Pen during Women's History Month

Pen during Women's History Month

What are some of your biggest accomplishments at NIU?

While working at the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center this year, I put together a terminology list for our website and helped our director update and facilitate our Trans Ally Training. Both of those felt fantastic to do because I really felt like I had a hand in working on queer student advocacy in a direct way.

Pen at NIU 125th Anniversary Kick-off Celebration

Pen at NIU 125th Anniversary Kick-off Celebration

What did you get at NIU that you couldn’t get at a community college?

My favorite thing about NIU is our really diverse population and the administrative commitment to helping those students and keeping them here. I grew up in a tiny town and my community college wasn’t even a full hour away, so getting all the different perspectives has changed so much of my world. I’ve learned a lot about working with people and listening to feedback and just communicating. I’m a better public speaker, I’m a better organizer and I think I’m just a better person for my time at NIU.

Why should other students transfer to NIU?

I found NIU easy to transfer to, both academically and with extracurriculars. There’s plenty of opportunities to keep being engaged no matter what level you’re at. I really feel like part of the community and have had so many wonderful experiences!

Reasons to Transfer to NIU

More transfer students explain why you should make the switch to NIU.

Scholarships for Transfer Students

When you apply for admission as a transfer student, you’ll automatically be considered for a transfer merit scholarship.

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