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Nov. 9 open house invites prospective Huskies

November 7, 2012

Trees with colorful autumn leaves line Normal Road on campus.Northern Illinois University’s new residential complex opened this fall to rave reviews.

Next fall, the new NIU Outdoor Recreational Sports Complex and Chessick Practice Center and two newly renovated residence halls – Gilbert Hall and Grant North D Tower – will come online.

With that in mind, Northern Illinois University invites prospective students to see “the new NIU” at its upcoming open house on Friday, Nov. 9.

More than 1,200 prospective students and their families, representing eight states across the Midwest, will arrive on campus Friday. The attendance is expected to surpass any Open House event in the history of Northern Illinois University.

“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,” said Kimberley Buster-Williams, NIU’s acting associate vice president for enrollment management and director of undergraduate admissions.

“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.

Photo of the walkway over Normal Road connecting Swen Parson Hall and Founders Memorial Library

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.

Honors 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 861students 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 relax in the lounge of NIU’s New Residence Hall.

Students relax in the lounge of NIU’s New Residence Hall.

“We are continuing to attract more top high school students,provide significantly more academic scholarships and engage many more students in our honors program,” NIU President John Peters said of the university’s vision. “Among the region’s employers and parents, the NIU degree is becoming the gold standard.”

Students and families are invited to see what the gold standard of excellence looks like during NIU’s Nov. 9 open house.

The schedule for all prospective students runs from 9 a.m. to 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 Avenue. 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 email [email protected] for more information.