National Louis University


National Louis University (NLU)’s main campus, located just 10 miles outside of Chicago, began in 1886. “For more than 125 years, National Louis University has been providing professionally focused, people-centered education to busy adults in Chicago and beyond.” Since that time, NLU has developed four additional campuses in Illinois, two in Wisconsin, and one in Tampa, Florida. The campuses in Illinois are in the following cities: Elgin, Lisle, Skokie, and Wheeling. NLU campuses in the state of Wisconsin are in Beloit and Milwaukee.

NLU offers adult study programs both on campus and online. Between its eight locations, NLU offers 645 bachelor degrees, various masters degrees (MA, MS, and MSW), as well as an MBA degree program. National Louis University’s full time staff includes both full-time and part-time instructors.

Majors can be received in the following areas: General Business, Education, Health, Liberal Arts, Math and Visual/Performing Arts, just to name a few. The degrees can be obtained at three levels: undergraduate, graduate and doctoral. Online classes are available for B.S. degree programs in Health Care Leadership, Management and Management Information Systems. NLU and its affiliate schools are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools ( The National College of Education meets all twenty standards of the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education. The College of Management and Business has earned professional accreditation from the International Assembly of Collegiate Business Education. Selected programs in the National College of Education are approved by the Illinois State Board of Education for "certification of education professionals.”

Most Popular Fields of Study


Information Summary

Ranks 104th in Illinois and 2887th overall. See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list
Overall Score (about) 52.2
Total Cost On-Campus Attendance $31,050
Admission Success rate N/A
Student Ratio Students-to-Faculty 20 : 1
Retention (full-time / part-time) 61% / 57%
Enrollment Total (all students) 5,992


Prospective students can enroll online or in person at any of the affiliate schools of National Louis University, via the admissions office or the NLU website. After filling out a simple survey denoting what the student wishes to study, an enrollment counselor works closely with the new student to determine the best possible educational options available. There is a nominal non-refundable application fee. Additionally, the admissions application requires a brief entrance essay, test scores from any standardized test like the ACT/SAT that have been completed, as well as information about the intended course of study. High school students have to score at least 19 on the ACT and 750 on the SAT. They also have to submit two letters of recommendation along with an essay. An interview is also required.

Once admitted, a student will only share classrooms with no more than 20 other students. Transfer students also work closely with enrollment counselors in order to complete their degree programs which have already been started. NLU even allows life experience to go towards college credits to finish one’s degree program or certification. Students are likely to graduate with the same group of individuals who started the journey of higher education at the same time.

NLU does have on campus housing available, and co-ed housing is available on a first come, first serve basis.


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Financial Aid

National Louis University offers financial aid packages to suit the student body’s needs. Scholarships and grants are available, as well as public financial assistance from the federal government. Students also have the option of applying for private loans from the banking industry. Scholarships are given based on academic performance criterion such as GPA, test scores, etc. Some scholarships are available especially for students who are studying to be teachers. Freshmen can apply for the Academic Achievement scholarship which awards a maximum of $11,000 over a said freshman’s academic career. Other scholarships are merit based and memorials to friends of the University.

The Cheryl Hoyer Memorial scholarship honors the memory of Cheryl Hoyer, a student turned faculty member. Cheryl Hoyer is said to have been a devoted student, teacher, and mother of a special needs child. The Cheryl Hoyer Memorial Scholarship helps students with tuition, who wishes to go into the applied behavioral sciences. This scholarship has a rolling deadline and is for current students of National Louis University.

Payment plans are offered and students can involve themselves in work-study programs to deflect some of the cost of tuition, fees, room and board. Work-study programs track students for careers and provide the opportunity to exchange work for loan repayment. Graduates are placed with employers in the private and public sector; specifically the federal government. In exchange, some or all of loans can be forgiven over a period of time. For example, if a student becomes a teacher and works in a disadvantaged area or school, that student could have all his or her federal loans forgiven. Private loans can be renegotiated. For more information about scholarships and paying for one’s education, one is encouraged to contact the Office of Student Finance.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 6404th for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in Illinois.


Some notable alumni have matriculated from NLU:

  • Philadelphia Eagles player Rodney Parker
  • Linda Holmes, a senator for the state of Illinois
  • Betty Reed, Democratic member of the Florida House of Representatives
  • Richard Davidson, the president and CEO of Century 21

Additional School Information

NLU began as Miss Harrison’s Training school. Miss Harrison started the school with two like minded friends. The next year (1887), the trio began the Kindergarten movement. The Kindergarten Movement trained young women to be ‘kindergarteners’ or teachers of young children and is the model for kindergarten programs practiced in this country today. In 1893, the school’s name was changed to Chicago Kindergarten School. In 1897, the National Congress of Mothers began, and later became known as the Parent-Teacher Association or PTA. In 1912, the school adopted the first half of its name when it became the National Kindergarten College. Later, a generous donor by the name of Michael Louis helped the school gain university status in 1990. His donation allowed the College of Arts and Sciences to come into existence. Today, NLU offers two other colleges; the National College of Education and the College of Management and Business. Another interesting fact is NLU has an international presence through its distance learning component, as well as a sister campus in Poland.


  • National Louis University. Information 2011. 15 May 2011.
  • National Louis University. Financial Aid 2011. 15 May 2011.
  • National Louis University. Student Finance Scholarship 2011. 15 May 2011.
  • National Louis University. Cheryl Hoyer Scholarship 2011. 15 May 2011.
  • College Board 2011. 2011 College Handbook. College Board: New York, NY.

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