- Financial Aid and Scholarship Office
We encourage you to apply for scholarships to help pay for your NIU education. Scholarships do not need to be repaid and are awarded based on a variety of factors, including academic achievement and financial need.
When you apply for admission to NIU, you’ll automatically be considered for merit scholarships. You must apply for admission and submit all required documents by the following priority deadlines to be considered for merit scholarships:
October 1: For spring admission
December 1: For summer or fall admission (freshmen)
March 1: For summer or fall admission (transfer students)
Other NIU Scholarships
You can search and apply for most other NIU scholarships using our online system. The deadline for many of these scholarships is January 31. Learn more about how to apply in MyScholarships.
If you’re a student-athlete, you may be interested in athletic scholarship opportunities.
We encourage you to apply for scholarships offered by organizations other than NIU. Check with personal and professional contacts, such as your high school guidance counselor or your employer, to discover scholarships opportunities. Learn more about finding outside scholarships.
Here's a tip! Start by making a complete list of your awards and accomplishments, activities, jobs and volunteer work. This will make it easier for you to determine the scholarships for which you may be eligible.
Here's a tip! Prioritize scholarships by deadline. Concentrate on the ones that are due first. Scholarship deadlines tend to fall between December and March prior to the academic year for which you are applying.
*January 31st is a common scholarship deadline at NIU.
Here's a tip! Treat each scholarship individually. Although you may be able to reuse essays, references or recommendations, double check to make sure that they "match" the application requirements.
Here's a tip! Ask references well in advance if they will help you, especially if they need to write a letter of recommendation. Be sure to have a brief conversation with your references so that they understand the extent of your search.
Here's a tip! Be honest in your responses!
Here's a tip! Do not pad your application with extra material. While this may make you stand out, it may not be in a positive manner. Most committees do not have time to review materials that they have not specifically requested.
Here's a tip! Spend time on the essays. Make sure your answers address the questions being asked. Consider utilizing the NIU Writing Center.
Here's a tip! Submit your application early. Verify that your materials were received before the deadline.