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What Are My Costs?

Cost of Attendance
Referred to as Estimated College Cost

The Cost of Attendance (COA) is a projection of the expenses you can expect to incur during the course of your education. Expenses include those charged directly by NIU and reasonable estimates of other necessary living expenses that you'll have during your studies. COA is determined by taking modest averages of anticipated expenses for a group of students to develop an estimate of yearly expenses. These projections are used to determine what you may be eligible to receive in financial aid.

What is included in the Cost of Attendance?

Tuition and fees are expenses necessary to attend classes.Tuition and fees are based on your residency, enrollment and degree level. As part of the Illinois Truth-in-Tuition Bill, NIU offers first-time degree seeking undergraduate students guaranteed tuition at the same rate for four consecutive years. Students with higher than average tuition and fees can appeal to have this budget component adjusted.

Room and board represents your housing and food costs. If you're living on or off campus, the room and board expense is determined by using the average cost of living in all residency hall options, assuming double occupancy and purchase of the Huskie 65/Unlimited Access Plan. If you're a student who resides with your parents, you'll have a lower room and board component in your estimated budget. Students who are able to demonstrate a need to reside off campus may appeal to have the room and board allowance adjusted.

Books and supplies expenses are for the purchase of books and supplies which can vary by program, enrollment and class. Costs for books and supplies represent the average across all programs assuming a full time course load.

Travel costs allow for the purchase of items for you to come to campus. Travel costs are not directly assessed by the university but may include such expenses as gasoline/oil and regular vehicle maintenance.

Miscellaneous personal expenses can be comprised of costs for the purchase of clothing, personal items or recreation. Personal expenses may vary based on your lifestyle but you may not appeal for an adjustment of miscellaneous personal expenses.

Calculating Your Costs

What financing solutions are available to me?

We'll work with you and your family to help make an NIU education more affordable. We'll help in navigating through the financial aid application process and work with you to identify grants, loans and scholarship opportunities for which you may be eligible. Please contact us if you would like to discuss your individual circumstances and what financial aid resources may be available to make an NIU education within your reach.


Northern Illinois University provides newly enrolled Illinois residents who are first-time degree seeking undergraduate students (entering Fall Semester 2004 and thereafter) a fixed tuition rate for a time period of four continuous years beginning with their initial enrollment. This tuition policy is applicable to tuition rates only and does not apply to any fees, surcharges, room and board, or other charges that may be incurred at Northern Illinois University.

NIU School Code

Use NIU's School Code when completing the FAFSA.


Contact Us

Financial Aid and Scholarship Office
Swen Parson Hall 245

For scholarship-specific questions


Additional Contact Info