Northern Illinois University - Learning Today, Leading Tomorrow

July 10, 2013

President BakerBAKER REPORT:
NIU attracting quality students in large freshman class

As I walked across campus to and from meetings the past two weeks, I met many of our incoming students and their families as they participated in new student orientation.  I am encouraged by the number of students who are taking advantage of early orientation and what appears, at this point, to be an increase in the size of our incoming freshman class.  My impression from those I have met is that NIU continues to attract quality students.  This is a direct reflection of the hard work by our faculty and staff to develop strong, student-focused programs.

new students on orientation tourLast week the subsidized federal student loan rate doubled to 6.8 percent for NEW loans dispersed after July 1, 2013; it does not affect existing student loans.  For students and families with questions about the financial aid process and what this change may mean for them, the NIU Financial Aid Office is prepared to provide the necessary information to help make an informed decision regarding handling potential impacts of this decision.

Meanwhile, Congress has an opportunity this month to find a legislative compromise that would lower the student loan interest rates retroactive to July 1. In two weeks, I will be in on Capitol Hill to meet with members of the Illinois Congressional delegation about a number of topics affecting NIU and public universities, and student loan interest rates will be among the top issues we will discuss.

At NIU, we realize a college education represents a sizeable investment in your future. Our aim is to responsibly manage our own fiscal resources in order to keep college affordable while providing institutional merit aid and need-based assistance.  Last year, NIU and our Foundation provided undergraduate students with about $25 million in scholarships, waivers and grants. Increasing merit aid has been and will continue to be a priority, and we are thankful to those whose generosity is helping to make this possible.

The return on investment for an NIU education is excellent; NIU ranks in the top third of all colleges and universities in terms of future income, according to a survey, and it is ranked among Washington Monthly’s 150 best national universities for social mobility. What this means is that NIU grads get good jobs.

Higher education has never been more important to our state’s economic health. We must keep college affordable and accessible in order to develop and keep our best and brightest minds in the state.  At NIU, we remain committed to that goal, working hard to make sure our students have all the necessary resources—academic, technological, social and financial—to be successful.


Top Stories


NewsHuskie Service Scholars grow food to share
NIU student volunteers joined DeKalb County Community Gardens volunteers in building, filling and planting a variety of vegetables and herbs including tomatoes, summer squash, basil, lettuce and cucumbers.

Parts of new Illinois budget remain unsigned
Tens of thousands of state workers in Illinois are at risk of missing their next paycheck.

Invention is the talent of youth, as judgment is of age
It didn’t get much media attention, but a couple weeks ago at NIU, about 45 kids in first through sixth grade helped solve significant global problems at Camp Invention, sponsored by NIU’s STEM Outreach Program. (From Daily Chronicle)


AcademicsProfessor crafts NIU's first-ever MOOC
For 10 weeks this fall, Northern Illinois University will conduct its first-ever open online course, "Perspectives on Disability," led by College of Health and Human Sciences professor Greg Long.

Morris to chair Allied Health, ComD
Sherrill Morris embraces the college’s vision to be nationally recognized for its quality and impact, and she looks forward to collaborating with faculty, staff and students in promoting health and well-being through scholarship that integrates teaching, research and service.

NIU joins National Digital Stewardship Alliance
NIU's University Libraries is the newest member of the National Digital Stewardship Alliance, an initiative of the Library of Congress.


SportsNIU Heisman hopeful named to Maxwell watch list
Northern Illinois University quarterback Jordan Lynch added another preseason accolade when was named to the watch list for the 2013 Maxwell Award given annually to America’s College Player of the Year.

Lynch to team with Mannings at QB academy
NIU's Jordan Lynch is one of the best college quarterbacks in the nation, but later this week he'll be hanging out with some quarterbacks who make even his resume look small. (From MyStateline)

Fore! NIU well-represented on All-America Scholar Team
Four Northern Illinois University women’s golfers were named to the Women’s Golf Coaches Association Division I All-American Scholar Team.


AlumniNIU grad a top teacher, makes art relevant
A few years ago, in an effort to celebrate all the work his students did in a matter of 70 hours, Barrington High School teacher Jason Burke decided to start a one-day summer school art show. (From Daily Herald; Image courtesy of Joe Lewnard)

Chemical attraction
Ted Burgess and Brandie Lindo met in NIU laboratory, got engaged near ‘kissing bench’ and returned to campus for engagement photos.

Law grad president-elect of state bar association
Richard D. Felice, who earned his J.D. with honors from NIU Law, has moved up the organizational ladder of the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA), becoming president-elect of the organization. (From Chicago Tribune)