Northeastern's Flying N logo at the entrance of the Office of Enrollment Services

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Northeastern Illinois University students graduate with the 15th-lowest student loan debt nationally among public four-year colleges and universities and the lowest debt among all Illinois institutions, according to a report released Aug. 10, 2017. Among all four-year colleges and universities, Northeastern ranks 41st.

The report was released by LendEDU, an online student loan and student loan refinance company. LendEDU’s second annual Student Loan Debt By School By State Report was created using licensed Peterson’s financial aid data that is provided by the institutions.

“We want our students focused on their studies, not the accrual of mountains of student loan debt,” Interim President Richard Helldobler said. “This ranking reinforces Northeastern Illinois University’s reputation as a national leader in helping students do just that on the pathway to their careers.”

Based on the Class of 2016, 55 percent of Northeastern graduates incurred student debt, according to the LendEDU report, and the average debt per borrower was $16,247. Those numbers are significantly less than the state averages: 64 percent of students graduate with debt at an average of $28,479 per borrower.

In 2012, Newsweek magazine named Northeastern the sixth-best investment among all universities in the nation and No. 1 in Illinois.

In 2016, Northeastern earned the No. 1 spot for the third consecutive year in U.S. News & World Report’s annual “Best Colleges” publication for students who graduate with the least amount of debt among Midwest regional universities. U.S. News & World Report’s 2017 rankings will be released later this year.

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