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NIU Total Fall Enrollment Rises For The First Time In A Decade

NIU's Altgeld Hall
Susan Stephens
NIU's Altgeld Hall

Northern Illinois University saw a slight increase in enrollment this fall.


Total enrollment at NIU climbed to 16,769 students. That’s only a 1% gain from last year, but it’s the first increase since 2009


NIU administrators said the driving force of the growth is an 8% jump in freshmen enrollment. That’s despite COVID-19 concerns some feared would keep them off campus.


Last year, NIU unveiled a Strategic Enrollment Plan. Officials pointed to these numbers as evidence that it’s working. 


But their focus isn’t solely on attracting prospective students. NIU also improved retention among first-year students coming back for their second year.


This was the first term for which students could take advantage of the new “Huskie Pledge” grant program. The university said that also contributed to the gains.