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NIU to hold Columbus Day open house

September 28, 2012

Learning Today, Leading Tomorrow: photo of NIU banners on campusThe college a student chooses to attend should reflect that student’s goals and aspirations as well as personality. With that in mind, Northern Illinois University is hosting a Columbus Day open house Monday, Oct. 8, to help prospective freshmen and transfer students find the right fit.

“The open house is a perfect opportunity to explore not only what’s new at NIU, but also the world of opportunity that awaits students in terms of academic and social development,” NIU’s acting associate vice president for enrollment management and director of undergraduate admissions Kimberley Buster-Williams said. “We invite students to our DeKalb campus to see for themselves NIU’s commitment to providing the best possible living and learning environment.”

NIU is experiencing a vibrant rebirth with its recent completion of a new residential complex in addition to a multi-million dollar renovation of existing facilities, construction of a new intramural athletic field complex and new, state-of-the-art classrooms, lecture halls and computer labs that dramatically improve student life.

Northern Illinois University’s seven colleges offer 63 undergraduate majors and 69 minors, 73 different emphases and 78 graduate programs in 110 areas of study, including 20 doctoral level programs.

NIU recently received a first tier national university ranking in U.S. News & World Report, and Washington Monthly rated NIU as a Top 150 national pick in terms of social mobility, research and commitment to service.

The academic experience at Northern Illinois is enriched by opportunities for research, themed learning communities, internships and on-campus programs and activities that include Greek life and the University Honors Program.

The University Honors Program has seen strong growth recently, with 226 new freshmen enrolled this fall, its largest incoming class since 1987. Since fall 2010, the size of the program has grown from 861 students to 1,083 students, a 25.7 percent increase, and the number of minority students has more than doubled (107 percent) from 122 students to 253 students.

NIU’s freshman enrollment was up three percent over last year, and the strength of the university’s fall freshman class is reflected not only in its numbers, but also grade point average and class rank. The percentage of students graduating in the top 10 percent of their high school class rose from 8.9 percent to 11.1 percent. Those graduating in the 25th percentile represent 32.7 percent of the freshman class compared to 29.4 percent a year ago. The mean GPA of the fall 2012 freshman class is 3.11, up from 3.06 in 2011.

“Students are beginning to see all the great things happening at NIU,” said NIU President John Peters. “That’s reflected in our increase in freshman enrollment and the quality of students we’re attracting.”

Students and families are invited to see what the NIU experience is all about during its Columbus Day open house Oct. 8. The schedule for all prospective students runs from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.  Attendees can talk with faculty, admissions officers and student services representatives as well as participate in a campus bus tour, residence hall visits including the new residence hall complex and an academic/college resource fair.  Information about applying for financial aid, choosing a major, housing and dining, the admissions process, NIU scholarships and the University Honors Program will also be available.

Free open house parking is available at the Convocation Center in lot C-2 in addition to the Visitor’s pay lot on Carroll Ave. Shuttle buses will provide transportation from the Convocation Center to the Holmes Student Center where Open House activities will begin. Register at, or call (815) 753-0446 or e-mail [email protected] for more information.