With four campuses spread throughout Chicago, Northeastern Illinois University is a distinctly urban institution. NEIU received its status as a state-supported college in 1965, although its creation dates back to 1867 and the Cook County Normal School. Originally founded as a training school for teachers, NEIU still places a high premium on the field of education. US News and World Report has ranked the university highly both in terms of ethnic diversity and affordability.
For undergraduates, Northeastern Illinois University offers academic programs in the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business and Management, and the College of Education. The graduate programs mirror the undergraduate programs, while offering late afternoon and evening classes to accommodate working adults who desire part-time enrollment. The most popular undergraduate majors are in the fields of business, marketing and education. In total, students at NEIU can select from 37 undergraduate majors and 31 graduate degrees.
Students of the College of Business and Management can choose to major in accounting, finance, general business administration, management or marketing. Student clubs representing each of these majors participate in extra-curricular events that enhance the academic experience.
Northeastern Illinois University features a unique Nontraditional Degree Program. NEIU caters to adults with busy lives, allowing prospective students to tailor a program that meets their specific needs. Graduates from the program earn the Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies. Approximately 2,000 adults are enrolled in the Nontraditional Degree Program. The University Without Walls (UWW) Program is a component of the Nontraditional Degree Program. Older students with specific academic and career goals can pursue a bachelor of arts or bachelor of science degree through UWW.
Most Popular Fields of Study
The McNair Program at Northeastern Illinois University encourages qualified minority students to pursue the PhD. McNair Scholars must have completed 60 hours of credit and maintained a GPA of 2.8 or higher. Scholars undertake summer research in conjunction with a faculty mentor. Workshops and meetings prepare students for the rigors of graduate school application and attendance. The McNair Scholar and faculty mentor co-author work to be presented at academic conferences. Research skills, academic writing and scholarly communication are all enhanced as the student completes their undergraduate degree.
The application deadline for fall semester admission is in early summer. However, prospective students are encouraged to submit their applications and supporting documents as soon as possible. A surge of applications in the weeks leading up to the deadline typically slows down the process for everyone.
High school applicants and other first-time college students must supply official, sealed transcripts of high school coursework to the Admissions Office. Applicants who are not high school graduates must successfully pass the GED exam. Official ACT or SAT scores must also be provided before an application is complete. Northeastern Illinois University accepts students who graduated in the top half of their class. For incoming students who may need extra attention, either academically or socially, Project Success offers in-depth preparation and orientation to college life.
Students who have earned credit at other institutions may apply for transfer to NEIU provided that they are in good academic standing. Official transcripts must be provided to the Admissions Office. Transfer applicants with less than 24 credits earned must also fulfill all the requirements of freshman applicants.
Students without US citizenship must supply the appropriate immigration documents or student Visa. International applicants must sit for the Test of English as a Foreign Language. Official transcripts from high school and any colleges or universities attended must be made available for review. The Northeastern Illinois University Admissions Office makes every effort to transfer eligible credits from prior institutions. Because international students have less access to sources of funding like federal loans, proof of financial support is also necessary.
A majority of students at Northeastern Illinois University apply for and receive some form of financial aid. As part of the financial aid process, students must complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The priority filing deadline for institutional assistance is in late winter.
Both the state of Illinois and the federal government sponsor grant programs to help needy students attain their academic goals at NEIU. Grants are free money that doesn’t have to be repaid. Some grants are open to all students, while others are specific to certain majors and departments. Programs include the Federal Pell Grant and the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant.
Northeastern Illinois University sponsors several institutional scholarships, most of which are merit-based. Many of them are tailored to specific departments and have rigorous application processes.
Incoming freshmen who earned ACT scores of 27 or above can apply for the Presidential Scholarship. Recipients enjoy a “full ride” – tuition, fees, and books are covered for up to four years, assuming satisfactory academic progress.
Students admitted into the Honors Program are eligible for the Honors Tuition Scholarship. The award requires enrollment in an Honors course for each semester the award is bestowed.
The number and variety of private scholarship opportunities is daunting. An Admissions Counselor or Academic Adviser can help steer interested students toward viable sources of funding. Securing external gift money consumes a lot of time and energy, but the potential rewards are great.
Federal loans offer competitive interest rates and generous repayment schedules. Private lenders typically impose slightly higher interest rates than the U.S. government. Loans, of course, must be paid back with interest under an agreed-upon plan.
Student Financial Aid Details
Most attendees of Northeastern Illinois University are women. A significant percentage are either part-time or nontraditional. Half of all students represent minority groups. NEIU’s urban locale contributes to the cosmopolitan flavor of the campus. The most recent figures indicate the total enrollment is approaching 12,000 students.
Northeastern Illinois University does not offer campus or any other school-affiliated housing. Non-Chicago natives will have to consider possible living arrangements well before the start of their first semester.
The Ronald Williams Library at NEIU maintains physical and digital holdings of thousands of books, journals, musical recordings, archival material and other information resources. Students can access the collection off-campus with their official ID and password. Inside the library are the Center for Academic Writing and the Language Learning Lab. Study and meeting rooms are available by appointment. The library’s homepage also provides a link to the Chicago Public Library catalog.
A campus recreation program allows for stress relief and overall wellness in the form of physical activity. NEIU’s recreation facilities include an indoor running track, swimming pool, exercise and weights room, and outdoor tennis courts. Group exercise and aerobics programs are available throughout the academic year. Intramural sports foster healthy competition between students.
Northeastern Illinois University closed down all intercollegiate sports after the 1997-1988 season.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Student Graduation Demographics
- Northeastern Illinois University. Northeastern Illinois University. 2011. Web. 16 July 2011.
- Northeastern Illinois University. US News and World Report, 2011. Web. 16 July 2011.
- Petersons Four-Year Colleges 2011. New Jersey: Peterson, 2010. Print.
Josh is a full-time professional writer and organic farmer who lives in rural Kentucky.