Washington Monthly magazine has named Northeastern Illinois University one of the nation’s Best Colleges for Adult Learners in its September/October 2016 issue. Northeastern ranks 32nd on the list of four-year universities.
“As an institution that takes great pride in all of its diversity, Northeastern Illinois University is proud to be recognized for serving a segment of the student population that often is ignored,” Interim President Richard J. Helldobler said. “These are motivated students who are returning to school to finish their goal of earning a degree, who are pursuing a new career that will allow them to better support their families, or who are taking the bold step toward an education that will help them achieve their lifelong dreams.”
Washington Monthly’s inaugural adult learners rankings were compiled using data from the Department of Education’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System survey, the department’s new College Scorecard database and the College Board’s Annual Survey of Colleges. Those numbers were combined into seven general measures of colleges’ openness and responsiveness to adult students, such as services for adult students and mix of student population. The data also measured student success after graduation.
More than 40 percent of students attending American colleges and universities are age 25 or older, according to the magazine.
“The failure of so many colleges and universities to meet the needs of adult learners hurts us all,” the magazine said in its story that accompanied the rankings. “It diminishes upward mobility, robs the economy of needed skills, and slows our efforts to catch up with other countries in the percentage of our population with post-secondary credentials.”
Earlier this year, U.S. News & World Report ranked Northeastern Illinois University as having the most diverse student population among Midwest regional universities and graduating its students with the least amount of student debt. LendEDU also found that Northeastern students graduate with the ninth-lowest student loan debt nationally among public four-year colleges and universities. Among all four-year colleges and universities, Northeastern ranks 28th.
Pictured above: Assistant Professor of Social Work Milka Ramirez teaches a class in Lech Walesa Hall.