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Financing Success

Your education is an investment in your personal and academic development towards a successful future. We are committed to helping that cause while remaining affordable for the average student and family. Northeastern Illinois University is among the most affordable public universities in Illinois with full-time graduate tuition cost of approximately $3,281 for Illinois residents (based on enrollment in three 3-credit hour classes, tuition & fees). Northeastern Illinois University ranks sixth in the U.S. Best Investment in Newsweeks 2012 of "College Rankings."  Northeastern works hard to keep our tuition costs low while still providing quality academic opportunities for our students. 

Financing Your Education - There is a Way

We believe that money should not be a barrier to your pursuit of an excellent college education. There are many student financial aid resources out there, and we're here to help you take advantage of them. Eighty-one percent of our students receive some form of financial assistance. The Financial Aid Office is here to help you create a financial plan that works for you; the office offers ongoing workshops on financial aid and provides support for you to do your own research on grants and scholarships. We can also answer questions by phone at (773) 442-5016 and email at

Getting Started on a Financial Plan

The first step is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Even if you're still deciding where you want to study, we urge you to go ahead and fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form including the school ID number for Northeastern, 001693. The deadlines for scholarships are often earlier than deadlines for admission, so it's good to start the application process early. Read more about applying for FAFSA.

Four Types of Aid

Northeastern offers four basic types of financial aid you can seek to help fund your education. With the help of the financial aid office you can find many options within each category. Eligibility and conditions differ depending on type of aid.

  • Need-based grants and scholarships. Free money–you do not need to pay it back. Based on your FAFSA results.
  • Merit-based grants and scholarships. Free money–you do not need to pay it back. Based on grades, tests, other criteria.
  • Student employment. Compensation for work, while enrolled, that you can use to help pay for your education.
  • Loans. Not free money–loans will need to be paid back, with interest. Federal need-based student loans with relatively good terms are available.

Financial Assistance specific to Graduate Students:


  • Graduate Assistants are graduate students who provide academic and program support to departments and/or various university units and offices in exchange for a tuition waiver and a monthly stipend.
  • GA responsibilities may be academic in nature and include assisting faculty with research, grading examinations, problem sets, and/or lab assignments, setting up displays for lectures or laboratory sections, and preparing or maintaining equipment used in laboratory sections.
  • GA responsibilities may also be administrative in nature and consist of duties unrelated directly to teaching or research (such as academic advising, program planning, advising student groups, and assisting with the administration of student services).
  • Graduate assistantships are quite competitive, and vary by department. For those students who excel in their field of study, they can be an excellent way to get experience while continuing their education.
  • The length of assistantship awards may vary based on department and program needs. Typically, the assistantship is granted for one semester (Spring or Fall) or an academic year. Limited number of Summer assistantships are available.
  • Students may only begin an assistantship if they have been admitted to the College of Graduate Studies and Research and continue an assistantship if they are in a good academic standing.

Graduate Assistantships - Who is eligible?

Regular or provisional graduate students are eligible to apply for an assistantship position if they meet the following criteria:

  • Students admitted to degree-seeking graduate program (Graduate Students-At-Large are not eligible)
  • Maintain at least a 3.0 grade point average 
  • Satisfy enrollment requirements (3-12 hours per semester)

How to apply?

  • You will be contacted by the hiring department when an opening that matches your skills, experience and field  of study becomes available.

Graduate Assistantship Compensation

  • 20 hours of work per week = $550 stipend per month PLUS tuition & fees waiver for 3 courses (9 credit hours) per semester
  • 15 hours of work per week = $412.50 stipend per month PLUS tuition & fees waiver for 2 courses (6 credit hours) per semester
  • 10 hours of work per week = $275 stipend per month PLUS tuition & fees waiver for 1 course (3 credit hours) per semester

Supplemental Assignment Policy: 

  • Graduate Assistantships were designed to lighten the burden of graduate tuition while allowing students to have sufficient time to pursue their studies. For this reason, assistantships are limited to no more than 20 hours a week. If you are a Graduate Assistant and you wish to accept an additional position working in any capacity on campus, then you must have the permission of the College of Graduate Studies and Research for a supplemental assignment in addition to your assistantship. Please fill out the Supplemental Assignment Form and return it to the Dean's office (LWH 0041 or by email: ).  The office will let you know if your request has been approved. 


Please contact:

College of Graduate Studies and Research, Dean's Office

773.442.6012 or


Graduate Studies

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T (773) 442-6012

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