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Frequently Asked Questions

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How do I apply for admission to NIU through the CHANCE Program?
  • A Northern Illinois University application for undergraduate admission. (Applying on-line is preferred)
  • An official high school transcript with current class rank or official GED score sheet. (Fax not accepted)
  • Official ACT scores. The ACT registration packet is available at your high school guidance office. The NIU ACT code is 1102.
  • A personal statement. This is your opportunity to tell the CHANCE staff about yourself. Beyond your high school transcript and ACT scores you have a lot you can share that you think is important for the staff to know. What are your goals and career interests and what has encouraged you to consider these goals and career interests? What successes have you experienced? What are your academic strengths and weaknesses? If you have any low grades or attendance problems please explain them. Why have you chosen NIU and the CHANCE program?
  • Documentation of disability. If you are a student currently receiving accommodations submit documentation from a qualified professional verifying your diagnosed disability. For immediate review please submit your Individual Education Plan (IEP), although alone the IEP may not be sufficient documentation.
  • Documentation of intent to apply for permanent residency in the United States. If you are not a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident or you do not possess a green card, visa or other legal documentation, you can apply to NIU and pay in-state tuition per Illinois House Bill 60, In-State Tuition for Undocumented Aliens, if you meet certain residency requirements. NIU requires that students file an NIU Affidavit stating that they meet the requirements and that they will apply for legal residency as soon as they are eligible to do so.

 

Where do I send my application?

Applying on-line is preferred

OR

CHANCE Program
Northern Illinois University
Williston Hall East
DeKalb, Illinois 60115-2854

Note:

  • Paper applications can take up to eight weeks to show up in the MyNIU system.
  • We do not accept applications, transcripts, nor ACT scores by fax.
  • Personal Statements maybe faxed to 815-753-1929.
What is the application deadline?

March one of every year is the priority deadline for admission applications. However, we continuously review completed applications and most of our decisions are made before April 1. The CHANCE Program can admit only 500 students for each fall semester and we receive over 2000 applications.

What happens to my application once I submit all documents?

We begin reviewing completed applications in October. After reviewing the admission file our staff will determine those applicants CHANCE can best serve. SELECTED applicants and their parents will be invited for an interview session. Interviews are held weekly on the NIU campus.

What should I expect from the CHANCE Interview Day?

A presentation about NIU, the CHANCE Program, housing and financial aid. Students and parents meet with a financial aid counselor. Students have a personal interview with a CHANCE staff member and take a basic Math and Algebra test. This test is one of the factors used to make a final decision on admission to NIU.

Download the CHANCE Program Mathematics Admission Practice Test.

What defines a Target School?

To be defined as a target school, a high school must meet BOTH of the following two criteria:

  1. The average ACT score for the high school must be below 19.
  2. At least one-forth of the student population must qualify as low-income status.

Documentation of these criteria must come from the high school administration. The target school listing for the 2008-2009 academic year is based on 2007 statistics submitted by the high schools.

How do I contact the CHANCE office directly?

The CHANCE Program office is located in Williston Hall East on the main NIU campus in DeKalb, IL.

Office hours are: Monday - Friday 8 a.m. -noon and 1-4:30 p.m. 
Direct phone: 815-753-0201
Fax: 815-753-1929 
Toll Free: 800-892-3050 ext:3

What is an Academic Advisor?

As a Parent ...

An academic advisor helps students each semester select coursework that meets the criteria for each students particular major. We also have an advising program for students who are in the process of deciding on a major or thinking about changing their major.

As A Student ...

As a student it is imperative that you meet with your academic advisor each semester so you will know which classes you need to take in order to meet the graduation requirements for your major. It is important to keep all of the paperwork you are given from your advisor so you may want to create a specific folder that you will use each time you go visit your advisor.

As a CHANCE Counselor we may make suggestions that will help you balance your schedule over several semesters but as a student it is your responsibility to check every change you consider making to your schedule with your advisor.

Useful Links

Academic Advising Center
(for students who are deciding on a major)
815-753-2573

College of Business
815-753-1325

College of Education
815-753-8355

College of Engineering
815-753-1442

College of Health & Human Sciences
815-753-1891

College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
815-753-0114

College of Visual & Performing Arts
815-753-1635

What are P-Courses?

P-Courses or Permit Courses are simply courses that require a permit or special permission to access. A student must call the Dept the course is offered from in order to get the permit number to reserve a seat.

As a Student ...

CHANCE P-Courses are skill building courses that provide students with the opportunity to develop skills needed to be successful at NIU and later in the workforce.

Useful Links

Students can access permit numbers for some courses from their CHANCE Counselor.

 

How do I find a tutor?

As a Parent ...

Parents, you may want to encourage your student to seek-out tutoring assistance if they are having difficulty in any of their classes. If you it appears that your students is not interested in tutoring you may want to let him/her know that getting a tutor doesn't mean that they are not bright or that they can't handle the work on their own. It simply means that students have an opportunity to improve their skills and maybe do better than they would without using a tutor.

As a Student ...

Tutoring is free through ACCESS. Please use tutoring services at the first sign of trouble (a grade below a C on homework, quizzes, exams etc). In high school sometimes you could wait to reach out for help but college moves more quickly and you are expected to learn more material in a shorter period of time. So contact your counselor, go to the tutoring centers or call ACCESS if you have questions.

Students have access to tutoring services in the residence halls Sunday - Thursday (6 - 11 p.m.).

Useful Links

ACCESS
Free professionally trained tutoring assistance & services. This link will provide you with tutoring schedules.

PAL: 815-753-0203 - one-on-one tutoring
SI: 815-753-1141 - tutors are in class

Tutoring by Dept
Individual depts on campus also offer tutoring services but they are not always free!

The Writing Center
815-753-6636

How do I select a major?

As a Parent ...

As a parent please please keep in mind that most times students don't have to declare a major until the end of their sophomore year. Many students come to NIU feeling unsure about which major to select. Still others come to campus knowing which major they want to select and then change their major later. It is normal for students to feel unsure about their major. We have a special Academic Advising Center on campus to help students explore and make an informed decision on their major.

As a Student ...

As students please know that it is normal to come to college still in the process of deciding on a major. Some students come to college and know what they want to major in and then take some of the courses and decide they want to change majors. For most majors students don't have to select their major until the end of their sophomore year. If you are deciding call the Academic Advising Center or contact the college that houses the major you are interested in and find out about the requirements for each major. It is imperative that all students visit with an academic advisor each semester.

Useful Links

Majors & Minors offered at NIU

Academic Advising Center 
(for students who are deciding on a major)
815-753-2573

Career Services

What do NIU graduates earn?

 

How do I find my grades?

FERPA - Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). It mandates that colleges and universities maintain confidentiality of students’ education records.

As a Parent ...

You can only have access to student information that is available in the directory information. Only if the student has a release of information code. Otherwise university officials, staff and faculty are in no obligation to disclose information about a student to a third party.

There are only three ways a parent can have access to student’s information:

  1. Letter from student asking to release information to parents. Letter must be dated and submitted to the office of registration and records every semester.
  2. Parent/Guardian must give copy of most recent income taxes showing the student as a dependent. This proof must be presented every semester to the office of registration and records.
  3. A subpoena.

As a Student ...

As a student FERPA protects the release of your records including your grades even from your parents. We encourage you to share your grades honestly so that if their is an issue with your grades you will be able to address it immediately. We understand that it is difficult to share bad news with your parents but if you don't you will miss out on the support and understanding your parents could otherwise provide.

Students can log-on to their MyNIU anytime after grades are posted (one to two weeks after semester conclusion) to find their grade.

Useful Links

NIU FERPA Information

Registration & Records
Williston Hall 342
DeKalb, IL 60115
815-753-0681
FAX: 815-753-0149
regrec@niu.edu

 

 


Useful Links

Academic Advising Center
(for students who are deciding on a major)
815-753-2573

College of Business
815-753-1325

College of Education
815-753-8355

College of Engineering
815-753-1442

College of Health & Human Sciences
815-753-1891

College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
815-753-0114

College of Visual & Performing Arts
815-753-1635


Contact Us

McKinley "Deacon" Davis CHANCE Program
Williston Hall East
Room 120
DeKalb, IL 60115
Phone: 815-753-0201
Fax: 815-753-1929
Toll Free: 800-892-3050 #3