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Frequently Asked Questions for Freshmen

How long will it take to process my application?

Applications are processed as soon as all supporting documentation and fees are received. The admission process can take four to six weeks from time of receipt of all required documents during peak processing periods. Applicants are responsible for ensuring that a completed application and all official transcripts and supporting documents have been submitted to the NIU Office of Admissions, and are encouraged to check their application status.

Is my application processed more quickly if I apply online?

Yes. Applications completed online are received immediately by the NIU Office of Admissions. The online application is the preferred method for applying to NIU. Notification will be sent to the student verifying receipt of the application. Applicants must submit all official transcripts from all previously attended institutions to support their application for admissions, and must be received by the NIU Office of Admissions before the evaluation process can begin. Remember to tell your high school college guidance counselor you applied to NIU.

How much does it cost to apply?

The application fee is $40.

Applicants who meet the qualifications for an extreme economic hardship waiver are exempt from the fee. In order to qualify for this waiver, an applicant must:

  • Be currently enrolled in high school
  • Submit a completed request for a fee waiver, signed by the high school guidance counselor (or other qualified official)*
  • Submit a completed application

*An applicant may alternately submit a letter from the high school counselor or social worker which states that the applicant meets the criteria listed on the application fee waiver form.

Can I bring a car to campus?

Yes, you may bring a car to campus. You will need one of five different parking permits for your car, which you can purchase online. All parking facilities are limited, controlled and color-coded, and all vehicles, including motorcycles and mopeds, must display an appropriate permit. Special parking privileges are extended to handicapped persons and to individuals who are temporarily disabled.

You don’t need a car, though, to get around campus. With the Huskie Bus Line, Huskie Safe Line, Zipcar and the FreedomMobile for students with disabilities, there are a number of options for transportation.

What are official ACT or official SAT score reports?

Official ACT or official SAT score reports are ACT or SAT test score reports sent directly to the Northern Illinois University Office of Admissions from ACT Inc. (ACT) or from the College Board (SAT)

  • The ACT test is known officially as the American College Test.
  • The SAT test is known officially as the SAT Reasoning Test
  • NIU will accept either official ACT or official SAT score reports to meet or exceed NIU admissions criteria.
  • Be sure to order your official ACT and/or SAT score reports to be sent to the NIU Office of Admissions directly from the testing companies to support your application.
  • For more information:
    • See the ACT Company web site; to order an official ACT score report sent to NIU, use NIU's ACT Code # 1102.
    • See the College Board web site; to order an official SAT score report sent to NIU, use NIU's SAT Code #1559.
What are official high school or college transcripts?

Official high school or college transcripts are copies of a student's permanent academic record at a particular institution, received at the NIU Office of Admissions in their original, sealed, institutional envelope under the seal of the Registrar or Records Office of the issuing institution.

  • Official transcripts are required to be copies of the most current academic record and must be received at NIU Office of Admissions within one year of the institution's transcript issuing date.

Office of Admissions
Williston Hall
DeKalb, IL 60115

Phone: 815-753-0446
Toll-free: 800-892-3050


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