Graduates wearing blue caps and gowns seated in a row at Commencement

Friday, September 23, 2022

For the ninth year in a row, Northeastern Illinois University graduates its students with the least amount of student debt among Midwest regional universities, according to the 2022-2023 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s annual “Best Colleges” publication. Northeastern also ranked No. 46 in social mobility.

“Students should leave institutions of higher learning with degrees, not crippling debt,” President Gloria J. Gibson said. “I am proud that U.S. News & World Report continues to recognize Northeastern Illinois University as an affordable option for students to achieve academic success and catapult graduates into gainful employment.” 

Now in its 38th year, the rankings evaluate more than 1,450 colleges and universities on up to 17 measures of academic quality.

"For nearly 40 years, the Best Colleges methodology has continuously evolved to reflect changes in the higher education landscape and the interests of prospective students," said Kim Castro, editor and chief content officer at U.S. News. "Guiding that evolution is U.S. News' mission of providing useful data and information to help with one of life's biggest decisions."

Northeastern’s 2019 and 2020 bachelor’s degree graduates borrowed a median of $15,000. The data represent loans taken out by students from the U.S. Department of Education. Private loans, state and local government loans, and loans directly to parents are not included.

Northeastern was fifth among Illinois regional public universities in the social mobility ranking, which demonstrates movement up the socioeconomic ladder.