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Newsweek Names NEIU Sixth Best Investment School in U.S.

CHICAGO -Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU) in Chicago has been ranked sixth in the U.S. for Best Investment in Newsweek's annual edition of "College Rankings 2012."

The report states that more than 78 percent of NEIU's full-time students receive financial aid and only 13 percent of graduates incur debt. Graduates from the University receive an average mid-career annual salary of more than $70,000 with a starting annual salary near $40,000. The ranking showed students attending NEIU could expect to pay less than $20,000 a year in tuition and living expenses.

"Northeastern provides excellent academic programs in a welcoming and supportive environment. We strive to keep our costs reasonable so that our students can succeed, graduating with minimal debt," said Northeastern Illinois University President Sharon Hahs. "We've developed a culture that supports diverse backgrounds and provides life-long learning opportunities for students to graduate with the skills and knowledge needed to become effective leaders in their professional and personal lives."

To compile the list, the publication considered affordability on a college-by-college basis as a metric of long-term investment. Four factors were weighed when creating the rankings: debt, total cost, financial aid and future earnings. Average debt per student and the percent of students that graduate with debt, according to CollegeInSight, was weighted 25 percent. The total price, including tuition and living expenses, according to the National Center of Education Statistics (NCES), was weighted 25 percent, as was the percentage of full-time students receiving financial aid and the average amount of financial aid. The last 25 percent of the weighted ranking was based on the starting median salary and mid-career salary from each university, according to PayScale.

Northeastern Illinois University is a fully accredited public university serving approximately 12,000 students in the Chicago area with an affordable, high quality academic experience. NEIU offers more than 70 undergraduate and graduate programs in the arts, sciences, education and business.