Financing Success

Your education is an investment in your personal and academic development toward 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. According to the U.S. News & World Report’s annual “Best Colleges” publication, Northeastern has earned the No. 1 spot in seven consecutive years for students who graduate with the least amount of debt among Midwest regional universities.

In-State Tuition for Individuals from Neighboring States

Incoming freshmen, transfer and graduate students from neighboring states will be assessed in-state tuition rates. Students qualify if they reside in Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, Kentucky or Missouri.

Armed Forces Personnel

Any incoming freshman, transfer, or graduate student who is an active member of the United States Armed Forces or who is an honorably discharged veteran, regardless of state residency, qualifies for in-state tuition. This policy also applies to the spouse and dependent children of active duty military and veterans.

Financing Your Education - There is a Way

There are many student financial aid resources available to help fund your pursuit of an excellent graduate education, and the Financial Aid Office is available to help you create a financial plan that works for you. The Office offers ongoing workshops on financial aid and has information available on additional grants and scholarships. If you have questions, you may call (773) 442-5016, email or schedule a virtual appointment with a financial aid advisor at

Getting Started on a Financial Plan

The first step for any need-based financial support 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 FAFSA 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.

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 need to be paid back, with interest. Federal need-based student loans with relatively good terms are available.

Financial Assistance specific to Graduate Students:

In addition to the information listed above, this website has additional information about the financial assistance sources that are specific for graduate students. These include need-based and merit-based tuition scholarships, and graduate assistantships. More information about these and other funding opportunities can be found via the links to the left.

  • Need-based Tuition Scholarships are awarded based on your FAFSA – you need to submit a Graduate Need Based Tuition Scholarship Application to the Office of Financial Aid. The deadlines for Application submission are July 15 (Fall), November 15 (Spring), and April 1 (Summer).

  • A limited number of Graduate Tuition Scholarships (both merit-based and need-based) are available directly from a student’s graduate program.

  • Graduate Assistants (GAs) are involved in work assignments that further the missions of the university, particularly its teaching and research missions, and that provide the GA with an opportunity to advance their academic experience in the discipline of their graduate program. GAs receive a modest term-based stipend as well as course tuition waiver(s) commensurate with the average weekly time commitment of their assistantship. GAs are primarily recruited directly by the GA hiring unit, but some GAs are recruited from a pool of students who have submitted a New Graduate Assistant Application. Research and Creative Activities Graduate Assistants (RCA-GAs) are selected via an annual competitive application process; see the link on the left for more details.


Please contact the College of Graduate Studies and Research Dean's Office at (773) 442-6012 or