NIU ranks on list of most interesting colleges, DeKalb ranks among best college towns

DeKALB – NIU ranked eighth in SmartAsset’s study of the top ten colleges in Illinois. The study lists NIU as one of the best academic institutions in Illinois based on several financial factors.

The study compares academic institutions by analyzing data from five metrics, including average amount of grants and scholarships awarded, average graduate starting salary, tuition, student living expenses, and student retention rate. students.

Based on the data for each metric, the academic institution then receives an index number, which shows how the institution compares to other schools in the state.

The best school in the country receives an index of 100, according to The SmartAsset methodology. Comparatively, NIU was ranked with an index of 45.78, just over eight points lower than Northwestern University at Evanston, the top-ranked university in Illinois.

Affordabilitywhich the study analyzed by looking at tuition and other fees, is one of NIU’s strongest strengths over other ranking schools.

“The affordability and location (of NIU is) a bonus, (and) NIU is only an hour away from my family and friends,” said computer science major Kyle Saysavanh.

Based on the data found in the study, NIU students pay significantly less in tuition and fees than other Illinois students. Most undergraduates in the state can expect to pay around $10,000 per academic year, according to Bursar’s Office Web Page.

In other metrics, the NIU ranks just below the median starting salary of the institutions listed, with graduates earning an average of $57,100. For students, the cost of living at NIU is lower than the state average of $14,851.

Best college town in America

NIU has also been awarded the title of one of the best college towns in America, according to Wall Street 24/7 NIU ranked at number 30 in the report.

“Some college towns stand out as some of the best places in the country to live, work and get an education,” according to 24/7 Wall St. “(College towns) are generally affordable areas with an abundance of transportation options. entertainment and dining.. They tend to have healthy economies and a young, well-educated population.

For this ranking, 24/7 Wall St. looked at census data on transportation affordability, safety and accessibility, as well as entertainment and dining options, according to the report. methodology.

The report highlights a healthy economy, an educated population, and entertainment and dining options available in the region.

Currently, the Illinois Economy as a whole is at an unemployment rate of 4.8%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. DeKalb has an unemployment rate of 5.5% in February, according to YCharts.

As such, the NIU community supports a healthy economy, as four or five percent is a normal unemployment rate at any given time, according to Investopedia.

The report also states that nearly 40% of adults in DeKalb have a bachelor’s degree and that 30.2% of the population is already enrolled in a college or university.

Along with a healthy economy and a well-educated population, DeKalb is also home to plenty of dining options, with 162.9 restaurants and bars per 100,000 residents according to the report. With a population of 100,414 according to the US Census Bureau, DeKalb County is home to a variety of more than 600 restaurants and bars.

“I never had the real college experience because of COVID-19,” Saysavanh said in response to DeKalb’s college town ranking. “But (as far as DeKalb being a good college town) certain things were expected. It was fun (to experience student life.)”

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