A Clear Path
A Pledge. A Promise. And a World of Possibility.
Funded by the state of Illinois’ AIM HIGH Program, our Huskie Pledge program ensures that qualifying Illinois students from lower-income households can attend college with their tuition and general fees covered by financial aid for their first year and potentially beyond.
Yep, we’ll cover your tuition and general fees with gift aid (financial aid you don’t have to pay back), if you’re a qualifying Illinois high school senior graduating in May and have an overall GPA of 3.0 or above.
Apply for admission to NIU, file a FAFSA or the Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid by the priority deadline of Feb. 1, 2022, and we’ll take it from there. For our Huskie Pledge recipients, we cover the tuition and general fee expenses not met by other financial aid.
We know the time and energy you’ve already invested in your studies. We want to invest in you.
By the Numbers:
- 39% of our Fall 2021 incoming first-year class (887 students) received NIU’s Huskie Pledge.
- The number of Huskie Pledge recipients jumped 20% when compared to the number in Fall 2020,
- Of those 877 students, 72% are the first in their families to go to college.
- Of those 877 students, 361 are graduates of the Chicago Public Schools who helped to contribute to an 11.5% jump in enrollment from the state’s largest district.
- The average recipient of the Huskie Pledge received $2,898.
Rockford Promise at NIU
That means qualifying graduates of Rockford Public School District 205 whose families reside within the city of Rockford limits could earn bachelor’s degrees at NIU without paying any tuition and general fee out-of-pocket costs. (Housing costs are not covered by this program.)
Along with funding, Rockford Promise at NIU students receive support services—including mentoring, job-readiness training and access to a community of other area scholars.
By the Numbers:
- 96 students from the city of Rockford took advantage of the Rockford Promise in Fall 2021.
- Of those students, 79% are the first in their families to go to college.
- The average GPA of Fall 2021 Rockford Promise recipients was 3.53.
- NIU’s financial commitment to Rockford Promise students is over $700,000.
Test-free Merit Scholarships
We don’t think your future should rest on one test. So we no longer consider standardized test scores for admission, merit scholarships or our University Honors Program. Instead, we look at your cumulative high school or transfer GPA.
The hard work you put in every day during high school shows in your grades — and shows us you're ready to be a Huskie.
Apply for Fall 2022 by Dec. 1 as an incoming first-year student or by March 1 as a transfer student, and we’ll automatically consider you for our merit scholarships. The amount depends on your cumulative GPA, but you could earn up to $7,000 a year as an incoming first-year student and up to $2,000 a year as a transfer student.
By the Numbers:
- About 70 percent of incoming first-year students received merit scholarships.
- The total amount of merit scholarships awarded to first-year students increased by 26% in Fall 2021 (from $5 million to $6.3 million).
- The total number of enrolled first-year students with a merit scholarship increased by 48%.