The Illinois General Assembly and the governor approved a budget and spending plan for the new fiscal year. The budget called for a two percent increase in appropriation for Northeastern from Fiscal Year 2018. It also includes $90.1 million in capital funds that includes $79 million for an Education Building as well as $11 million for deferred maintenance projects. We are studying the provisions in the implementation legislation to determine any potential cost to the University. The approved budget will place the University on more solid footing in the coming year.

This would not have been possible without alumni speaking up for higher education and Northeastern Illinois University. 

Thank you to alumni who write, called and visited Illinois legislators on behalf of Northeastern Illinois University. Your NEIU pride and support really did make a difference. 

Alumni Advocacy Resources

Northeastern Illinois University’s fight for funding and public higher education 

Find Your Legislator

Access to Opportunity

Northeastern is a pathway to an excellent and affordable education. For the third year in a row, U.S. News & World Report announced that Northeastern had earned the No. 1 spot for students who graduate with the least amount of debt among Midwest regional universities. Did you know that a recent Economic Policy Institute study found that high-wage states are those with a highly educated workforce? Also, according to a 2014 U.S. Department of Labor report, workers with a bachelor’s degree earn 65 percent more than workers with a high school diploma. The earnings gap is nearly double for workers with a master’s degree and almost 140 percent more for workers with doctoral or professional degrees. NEIU values access to a life-changing degree.

Economic Impact 

Public universities in Illinois enroll nearly 200,000 students and send about 50,000 graduates into the workforce every year. At Northeastern, our alumni base is nearly 80,000, and 65,000 are living in the state of Illinois. Universities leverage state support by attracting more than $1.2 billion in external funding that supports the state’s economy today and fosters groundbreaking, research-based innovation that creates the new businesses and jobs of tomorrow. NEIU alumni contribute a large and positive economic impact to the state of Illinois.


This year and last year, Illinois public universities have received only a fraction of the state support we depend on. We are weathering the most difficult financial crisis in our 150-year history due to the ongoing Illinois state budget impasse. State appropriations for public higher education operations have decreased over the past 15 years.

Find Your Legislator 

Contact your elected officials about the key role that higher education plays in meeting future workforce demands and the importance of keeping a college education affordable. Calling is always the most effective method.


Volunteer with the Alumni Association. Be a mentor. Offer an internship. Stay connected. Be inspired. If you haven’t already, sign up for our e-newsletters. And above all, come visit! Our students and faculty are outstanding, and want to get to know you.

Give Back

With inconsistent and decreasing state support, your donations are essential to student success. Donations to Northeastern’s Leader Fund provides help where the need is the greatest across the University.

With your support, We WILL win this fight and overcome the state budget impasse. Show your NEIU pride today and take action!

Read more: "Illinois Public Universities: Investing in Illinois' Future"

Follow recent news stories and events covering the current State of Illinois budget crisis and its impact on Illinois public higher education. 


Read more NEIU News.

Northeastern Illinois University
Alumni Serving as Elected Officials as of February 2020

Illinois General Assembly 

*The Honorable Iris Y. Martinez (D-20th District), B.A. 2009 
Illinois State Senator
2845 N. Kedzie Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60618

*The Honorable Sara K. Feigenholtz (D-12th District), B.A. 1978 
Illinois State House of Representatives
1051 W. Belmont Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60657

The Honorable Laura Fine (D-17th District), M.A. 1999
Illinois State House of Representatives
1812 Waukegan Road, Suite A
Glenview, Illinois 60025

The Honorable Jonathan Carroll (D-57th) M.A. 2000 Teaching Children with Learning Disabilities 
830 S. Buffalo Grove Road, Ste. 120
Buffalo Grove, Illinois 60089

The Honorable Elizabeth Hernandez (D-24th District), B.A. 2015
Illinois State House of Representatives 
2137 S. Lombard Avenue, Ste. 205
Cicero, Illinois 60804 

The Honorable Delia C. Ramirez (D-4th District) B.A. 2014 Justice Studies 
Illinois State House of Representatives
3042 W. North Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60647

Cook County 

The Honorable Karen A. Yarbrough, M.A. 1996 
Cook County Recorder of Deeds
118 N. Clark Street
Chicago, Illinois 60602

Chicago City council 

The Honorable Walter Burnett, B.A. 1998 
Alderman of the 27th Ward
1463 W. Chicago Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60622

The Honorable George Cardenas, B.A. 1991 
Alderman of the 12th Ward
2458 W. 38th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60632

The Honorable Felix Cardona, Jr., B.S. Criminal Justice 
4606 W. Diversey Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60639

*Leadership appointment