Student Loans for Northern Illinois University Students

About Northern Illinois University

Northern Illinois University StudentsNorthern Illinois University, or NIU, is located in the small city of DeKalb, Illinois, about 65 miles west of Chicago. While DeKalb itself is by all accounts pretty boring, NIU adds some life to the place. Over 18,000 undergrads study on its campus that is home to 7 degree-granting colleges, which grant over 60 undergraduate majors. Over 300 student-run organizations spice up life at NIU, and offer a lively alternative to the research-heavy academic environment of the school.

Budgeting when on financial aid is extremely important: you’re already tight on cash, and you don’t want to spend a dollar more than you can afford to. Don’t get distracted by the big-ticket items like room and board, textbooks, and travel to forget to leave room in your budget for smaller college-related expenses such as student tickets for events, eating off-campus, and other incidentals. You don’t want to overextend yourself financially when receiving NIU financial aid, so be sure you get smart and craft a good budget.

Applying for NIU Financial Aid

More standard fare here: NIU is a public university, meaning they require the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and nothing else. Easy, right? Well, before you file the FAFSA, go talk to your aid counselor at the NIU financial aid office, and ask him or her about any forms of ‘free money’ aid you might be eligible for (grants, scholarships, etc.). It also could be a good idea to ask them about whether or not you might need to borrow to cover the cost of attendance at NIU. From there, file your FAFSA, and you’re good: you’ll receive your aid package with your next tuition bill.

NIU Student Loans

At NIU, you’ll encounter the standard financial aid fare that you might receive at any institution. First of all, it’s a state school, meaning that in-state students receive a tidy subsidy to attend school there, meaning the costs are already nicely reduced before any aid comes in. If you do qualify for financial aid, you’ll receive an aid package made up of the typical ingredients: grants, scholarships, a work-study program, and student loans. For most students receiving NIU financial aid packages, these four ingredients will be plenty to help them cover the costs of attending NIU. For some, however, there will be a gap between their NIU financial aid award and the total cost of attending NIU. If you fall into this boat, be sure you exhaust every last form of financial aid out there, and if you still need more money for NIU, consider taking out a private student loan.

Frequently Asked Questions
What should I consider before applying for Northern Illinois University financial aid?

There are a number of things that need to be considered when applying for Northern Illinois University financial aid. Students are recommended to have an estimate of the amount of financial assistance they will need. This figure is known as the Cost of Attendance, or COA. Your COA estimate includes tuition, room and board, textbooks, transportation costs, and personal expenses. Tuition costs for in state students are relatively different from out of state residents. These rates are available on the Northern Illinois University financial aid webpage. Students also need to submit their FAFSA application before the deadline in order to be considered for all the federal options available.

What is the application procedure for financial aid at NIU?

The application procedure for NIU financial aid requires students to fill out the FAFSA application. The FAFSA application is available online at, and provides students with access to loans, grants, and federal work-study. All of these options are sponsored by the federal government and awarded on the basis of the student’s demonstrated need. Students are recommended to submit the FAFSA application before the deadline date. Furthermore, it is important for students to estimate the cost of their attendance before applying.

Pay for Northern Illinois University*

Total Avg. Cost $22,700
Tuition $7,260
Room & Board $7,896
Financial Aid Information
Students Receiving Fin Aid 81%
Typical Grant Amounts
State/Local $4,364
Federal $4,369
%Receiving Loans 71%
Avg. Other Stud. Loans $10,271
%Receiving Other Loans 9%

Get into Northern Illinois University

Admission Rate 59%
Total Enrollment 24,424
Men 47%
Women 53%
Graduation Rate 48%
Application Fee $30

Contact Northern Illinois University

5500 N Saint Louis Ave
Chicago, IL 60625-4699
(773) 583-4050
Financial Aid Office URL
Admissions Office URL

*Data source is the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) the data collection program for the National Center for Education Statistics