Annual Costs

Undergraduate Tuition

Northern Illinois University tuition is $9,465 per year for in-state residents. This is 34% more expensive than the national average public four year tuition of $7,056. The cost is 62% cheaper than the average Illinois tuition of $24,843 for 4 year colleges. Tuition ranks 9th in Illinois amongst 4 year colleges for affordability and is the 63rd most expensive 4 year college in the state. If attending from out-of-state, the tuition is $18,931 which represents a 100% premium.

The school charges an additional fees of $4,885 in addition to tuition bringing the total effective in-state tuition to $14,350.

Housing Costs

On campus room and board is provided by the school at a cost of $10,880 per academic year. Students electing to live off campus elsewhere in Dekalb should budget at least this amount.

Books and Supplies

The estimated annual cost for books and supplies is $1,400.

Other Living Expenses

If living on-campus, students should budget for $2,218 in additional living expenses. Off-campus students should budget for $2,218 in other miscellaneous living expenses.

Total Costs

The total tuition and living expense budget for in-state Illinois residents to go to Northern Illinois is $28,848 for the 2017/2018 academic year. Out-of-state students who don't have Illinois residence can expect a one year cost of $38,314.

Citation: Price data from the U.S. Department of Education's 2017-2018 and 2016-2017 IPEDS survey response for Northern Illinois University and represent reported costs for the 2016-2017 and 2015-2016 academic years.

Costs and Tuition for Northern Illinois University
Estimated Budgets
Illinois Resident Total Budget $28,848
   In-State Tuition$9,465
   Other Fees$4,885
   Room and Board$10,880
   On-Campus Other Budget$2,218
   Books and Supplies$1,400
Non-Resident Total Budget $38,314
   Out-of-State Tuition$18,931
   Other Fees$4,885
   Room and Board$10,880
   On-Campus Other Budget$2,218
   Books and Supplies$1,400


What it Really Costs

Depending on many factors including student and parent income and assets, the total cost of attendance may be less than the $28,848 published price if scholarship or grant aid is made available to you.

Net Price

The net out-of-pocket total cost you end up paying or financing though student loans is known as the net price. The reported Northern Illinois net price for in-state students is $18,533* for the 2014/2015 academic year. This net price includes housing and meal expenses.

Pell Grants and other Grant Aid

90% of Northern Illinois University students received grant aid in 2014/2015. The average total aid amount was $9,800. 54 percent of students received aid in the form of Pell Grants from the U.S. Federal Government. The average Pell Grant awarded for 2014/2015 was $4,462. To apply for a Pell Grant to attend Northern Illinois University, the first step is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Net Price and Financial Aid for Northern Illinois University
Financial Aid Summary
Average Annual Net Price$18,533*
Percent of Students Receiving Grant Aid90%
Average Total Grant Aid$9,800
Percent of Students Receiving Pell Grants54%
Average Amount of Pell Grant Aid$4,462

Average Net Price for In-State Students by Family Income

The average net total cost of attendance for different levels of family income after federal, state or local government, institutional grant and scholarship aid are awarded. Data last published for the 2014/2015 academic year.

Family Income Avg. Net Price
$0 to $30,000$15,851
$30,001 to $48,000$16,769
$48,001 to $75,000$19,514
$75,001 to $110,000$23,180

Average Financial Aid Mix - $28,848 In-State Total Cost

CollegeCalc has estimated typical coverage of the annual in-state tuition and living expenses of $28,848. Breakdown is based on average grant aid and federal loan aid which will vary based on your family income.


Grants and Scholarships

 37% - $9,800

Money granted to you by the U.S. Department of Education, Northern Illinois University or other organizations. These are not loans and do not need to be repaid.

Federal Loans

 25% - $6,538

Low interest student loans funded by the U.S. Department of Education. This amount will need to be repaid.

Out of Pocket

 39% -  $10,292

Covered by family savings, work or private student loans which you will have to repay.

*Reported Average Annual Net Price for in state students receiving grant or scholarship aid reported to the U.S. Department of Education's Academic Year 2014-2015 IPEDS Survey. Financial aid is only available to those who qualify. Consult this school's net price calculator for further understanding of your potential net price.

Note that for colleges with no reported on-campus room and board, the average net price has been increased to account for living expenses. This number may not only reflect the net price paid to the school for tuition.

Tuition Comparison to Similar Public Colleges in the Region

School Cost vs. Northern Illinois University
University of Iowa20.9% less expensive
University of Illinois at Springfield0.6% less expensive
Eastern Illinois University7.4% less expensive
University of Wisconsin La Crosse19.9% less expensive
Ball State University3.7% less expensive

Cost of a Degree

When considering ability to pay for college, the annual cost is often discussed but it's the "all in" multi-year degree cost which matters in the end. Let's take a look at what it could really cost for four years at Northern Illinois University.

Estimated 4 Year Cost at Published Tuition

At the current published rates, an estimated total tuition, fees and living expense price for a 4 year bachelor's degree at Northern Illinois is $115,392 for students graduating in normal time. This methodology for estimating the 4 year cost is a straight multiple of the most recent reported annual total cost and does not factor in tuition increases during the time you're in school. It also assumes you receive no grant or scholarship aid and pay the full list price.

A potentially more accurate but less conservative estimate of a degree cost can be made by using the school's annual $16,568 in-state net price as the basis. Applying this cost over 4 would estimate the cost of a degree at $66,272**

If you end up on the "five year plan" and need an additional year to graduate, your five year cost could be as high as $144,240 or $82,840 using an average net price.

**Based on a 4 year multiple of Average Annual Net Price for in state students receiving grant or scholarship aid reported to the U.S. Department of Education's 2014-2015 IPEDS Survey. Financial aid is only available to those who qualify. Consult this school's net price calculator for further understanding of your potential net price.

Other Costs

Estimated Cost Per Semester

Most colleges don't charge students on an annual basis but instead require payment semester by semester. If you ever need to take an additional semester of classes to complete you degree you shouldn't have to pay for a full academic year. These our estimated costs for a semester at Northern Illinois University.

Illinois Resident Tuition Per Semester$4,732
Illinois Resident Total Cost Per Semester$14,424
Non-Illinois Resident Tuition Per Semester$9,466
Non-Illinois Resident Total Cost Per Semester$19,157

Cost Per Credit Hour and Cost for a Class

Some schools offer the ability to take single classes by paying on a per credit hour basis. The reported price per credit hour and estimated cost for one class at Northern Illinois University are as follows. Per credit costs are for reference only as many schools will not allow students to pay by credit hour.

Cost per credit hour and per class at Northern Illinois University
Price per credit hour for Illinois residents$440
Cost for one class for Illinois residents (3 credit hours)$1,320
Price per credit hour for out of state residents$793
Cost for one class for out of state residents (3 credit hours)$2,379
Cost for one class for out of state residents (4 credit hours)$3,172


Student Loans and Debt

The second consideration after understanding the cost of college is determining how to finance it. Some students are fortunate enough to have some form of family financial assistance, but student loans end up financing a significant portion of higher education in the U.S. 76% of Northern Illinois University students receive U.S. Federal Student Loans with an average annual Federal Loan aid amount of $6,538. The reported average student debt upon graduation is $31,997.

Example Loan Payments and Costs

How much are student loan payments for Northern Illinois University? Obviously this varies based on a number of factors - offsetting financial aid you receive, percentage of fee you pay upfront while enrolled and the interest rate on your loans. We've modeled a sample student loan based on current Stafford loan rates to give you an approximate idea.

The following are the costs for a loan if you borrowed $66,272, 100% of the estimated average net price for a four year program and paid nothing while enrolled. The total of all payments including interest would sum $82,228.35. This could be your effective total out of pocket cost of an education at Northern Illinois University. Note that this calculation assumes you don't pay full list price tuition, are part of the reported 90% of students at this school who receive financial aid and you are paying an average annual net price of $16,568. If you do not financially qualify for a reduced net price, your student loan payments could be significantly higher than this example. Use our Northern Illinois University student loan calculator below to change loan assumptions and recalculate.

Student loans are not free money and must be repaid. You cannot dismiss student loans by via bankruptcy.

Northern Illinois University Student Loan Payments
Example Payments
Monthly Loan Payment$685.24
Amount Borrowed$66,272.00
Interest Rate4.5%
Term10 years
Number of Monthly Payments120
Total Interest Cost$15,956.35
Sum of All Payments over 10 years$82,228.35

Affording Student Loan Payments and Post Graduation Salary

Can I afford to attend Northern Illinois? In the end, the answer comes down a determination if you will earn enough to comfortably pay back a student loan with your post graduation salary. This is an extremely important point to consider. In order to afford student loan payments and still meet all your other costs of living, it is recommended not to borrow more than you can pay back using 10% of your monthly income earned after graduation. If you're considering attending Northern Illinois University, you need to carefully consider if it will be realistic to make the post graduation loan payments based on your expected salary.

Using the 10% of salary threshold, an annual income of $82,228.35 would be needed to afford a $685.24 monthly payment in the example $66,272.00 loan modeled above. You will need to determine if it is at all realistic that you will be earning this type of salary after graduation. This assumes a loan payback over 10 years. You can change the terms of this example loan using the student loan calculator below.

Estimated Future Cost and Expected Tuition Increase

What will it cost to send your child to Northern Illinois University in the future? Nationally, university tuition prices are rising around 5% per year. Looking out five, ten, fifteen or eighteen years, these are CollegeCalc's estimates how much you could expect to pay for a 4 year degree assuming tuition increases at the national average rate. Estimated future prices are based on the current in-state 4 year cost of $115,392.00. Use the college savings plan calculator below to perform a more comprehensive analysis on future costs and how much you will need to save for Northern Illinois University.

Annual4 Year Degree
Estimated Cost in 5 years for students enrolling in 2024$39,673$158,691
Estimated Cost in 10 years for students enrolling in 2029$50,634$202,534
Estimated Cost in 15 years for students enrolling in 2034 $64,623$258,491
Estimated Cost in 18 years for students enrolling in 2037 $74,809$299,235

Tuition History

What was tuition at Northern Illinois five, ten, fifteen or twenty years ago? Hop into our time machine and take a look. Pay attention to how aggressive the school has been with price increases in the past as it provides indication as to how the school may raise tuition in the next few years. Historical tuition and fees for all available data years back to 1987 follows.

YearIn-StateOut-of-stateAnnual Increase
2012$7,605$16,981 8.3%
2011$7,020$15,900 -31%
2010$10,180$17,440 9.7%
2009$9,278$15,998 8%
2008$8,589$14,739 9.1%
2007$7,871$13,421 8.9%
2006$7,229$12,291 9.2%
2005$6,618$11,229 13.1%
2004$5,853$9,810 13.1%
2003$5,175$8,755 7.5%
2002$4,815$8,107 5.1%
2001$4,583$7,733 4.5%
2000$4,384$7,444 4.1%
1999$4,210$8,710 2.1%
1998$4,122$10,026 4.4%
1997$3,948$9,639 5.4%
1996$3,746$9,128 5.4%
1995$3,554$8,753 6.4%
1994$3,339$8,289 8.3%
1993$3,084$7,572 16.8%
1992$2,641$6,241 3.4%
1991$2,555$5,983 7.2%
1990$2,384$5,812 15.1%
1989$2,072$5,000 20.7%
1988$1,717$4,032 5.3%

Comparable Cost for Popular Majors

We've compared the out of state cost of the most popular undergraduate areas of study at Northern Illinois University to the national average for all other colleges offering the same major. Use this comparison to determine particular programs where this school offers value relative to other colleges.

Area of Study Graduates vs National Avg
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse Bachelor's Degree 187 7% costlier
Accounting Bachelor's Degree 172 3% costlier
Elementary Education and Teaching Bachelor's Degree 170 8% costlier
Business Administration and Management, General Bachelor's Degree 160 11% costlier
Marketing/Marketing Management, General Bachelor's Degree 142 5% costlier
Health/Medical Preparatory Programs, Other Bachelor's Degree 127 1% costlier
Biology/Biological Sciences, General Bachelor's Degree 115 5% cheaper
Finance, General Bachelor's Degree 110 3% costlier
Dietetics/Dietitian Bachelor's Degree 83 5% costlier
Operations Management and Supervision Bachelor's Degree 76 17% costlier
Management Science Bachelor's Degree 74 8% cheaper
Physical Education Teaching and Coaching Bachelor's Degree 71 9% costlier
Mechanical Engineering Bachelor's Degree 67 10% cheaper
Special Education and Teaching, General Bachelor's Degree 57 8% costlier
Health and Physical Education/Fitness, General Bachelor's Degree 52 6% costlier
Geography Bachelor's Degree 49 4% costlier
Communication Sciences and Disorders, General Bachelor's Degree 42 6% costlier
Early Childhood Education and Teaching Bachelor's Degree 37 11% costlier
Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General Bachelor's Degree 35 10% cheaper
Electrical and Electronics Engineering Bachelor's Degree 30 9% cheaper
Anthropology Bachelor's Degree 30 15% cheaper
Apparel and Textiles, General Bachelor's Degree 29 3% costlier
Clinical Laboratory Science/Medical Technology/Technologist Bachelor's Degree 29 7% costlier
Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology, General Bachelor's Degree 19 5% cheaper
Art Teacher Education Bachelor's Degree 18 6% costlier
Health Teacher Education Bachelor's Degree 18 9% costlier
Philosophy Bachelor's Degree 16 15% cheaper
Industrial Engineering Bachelor's Degree 14 5% cheaper
Political Science and Government, General Bachelor's Degree 9 8% cheaper
Speech Communication and Rhetoric Bachelor's Degree 8 4% cheaper
Psychology, General Bachelor's Degree 8 5% cheaper
Physics, General Bachelor's Degree 8 13% cheaper
French Language and Literature Bachelor's Degree 7 17% cheaper
History, General Bachelor's Degree 7 6% cheaper
Sociology Bachelor's Degree 6 7% cheaper
German Language and Literature Bachelor's Degree 3 19% cheaper
Spanish Language and Literature Bachelor's Degree 2 11% cheaper
Computer Science Bachelor's Degree 2 9% cheaper
Geology/Earth Science, General Bachelor's Degree 2 7% cheaper
Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies Bachelor's Degree 2 5% cheaper
Fine/Studio Arts, General Bachelor's Degree 2 11% cheaper
Music, General Bachelor's Degree 2 7% cheaper
Art/Art Studies, General Bachelor's Degree 1 2% cheaper
Russian Language and Literature Bachelor's Degree 1 27% cheaper
Art History, Criticism and Conservation Bachelor's Degree 1 22% cheaper
Mathematics, General Bachelor's Degree 1 7% cheaper
Economics, General Bachelor's Degree 1 14% cheaper
Music Performance, General Bachelor's Degree 1 4% cheaper
Journalism Bachelor's Degree 1 1% cheaper
Human Development and Family Studies, General Bachelor's Degree 1 3% costlier
Chemistry, General Bachelor's Degree 1 8% cheaper
English Language and Literature, General Bachelor's Degree 1 5% cheaper
Community Health Services/Liaison/Counseling Bachelor's Degree 1 9% costlier


Use the calculators below to formulate a college savings plan for Northern Illinois University or model a student loan.

College Savings Calculator

Plan and Save for College

Discover how much will you need to start saving now to afford Northern Illinois University in the future.

Student Loan Calculator

Estimate Loan Payments

Modify the loan assumptions to fit your financial situation and likely tuition price. Then calculate your payoff and loan payments for a Northern Illinois University student loan.

Prepayment Option

About Northern Illinois University

Northern Illinois University is a four year public college located in Dekalb, Illinois.  Full time enrollment is 14,616 and part time is 4,399.

Students attending this school may pursue both undergraduate and graduate degrees.

Northern Illinois University
1425 W. Lincoln Hwy.
Dekalb, Illinois

For Profit / Not For Profit Status

Northern Illinois University is a public not for profit institution. Public schools often represent the best value for your education dollar, especially when students qualify for in-state tuition.

Northern Illinois University cost and financial aid data source: U.S. Department of Education https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?id=147703 IPEDS survey data.