With a new residence hall, Northeastern Illinois University makes room for largest freshman class in four years

Northeastern Illinois University has announced some preliminary fall semester new-student enrollment figures—the kind of encouraging numbers the Chicago-based institution hasn't seen since Fall 2013.

“With the state’s budget crisis behind us, we are starting to see an uptick in the demand among new prospective students for higher education at Illinois public universities like Northeastern,” Interim President Richard J. Helldobler said. “Their faith is growing in our financial stability, and they haven't forgotten Northeastern’s reputation for providing high-quality academic programs at an affordable price.”

The bright spots in the University’s preliminary fall enrollment data show strong performance over last fall:

  • 829 new freshmen have enrolled at Northeastern this fall, an increase of about 4 percent over Fall 2016 (801 students). 
  • Total new graduate students (617) are up over last fall and have exceeded targets by 27 students.
  • 383 student-residents now live in The Nest, putting Northeastern's new residence hall very close to being at full capacity.

“Northeastern has been aggressive and strategic in how it recruits and markets to new students. As we celebrate our sesquicentennial anniversary, a new residence hall that is 1 year old, and our first-ever comprehensive capital campaign called Transforming Lives, we hope to rebuild the confidence that the public and prospective students have in our institution,” Helldobler said.

Despite a strong showing of new-student enrollment figures, Northeastern's preliminary total student enrollment fell by 5.8 percent to 8,982 from the 2016 total of 9,538.

Northeastern Illinois University’s Main Campus is located on 67 acres in an attractive residential area on the Northwest Side of Chicago. The University offers more than 40 undergraduate degree and certificate programs and more than 50 graduate degree, certificate, licensure and endorsement programs. For the past several years, it has topped the U.S. News & World Report lists for diversity and low student debt.

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Students walk across the University Commons.
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