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AcademicWorks is NIU's campus-wide scholarship application system. In AcademicWorks, you will be able to apply for multiple competitive scholarships. While the majority of NIU's scholarships can be found on AcademicWorks, you should check with your academic department to see if they have any other opportunities not available on the system. 

A common deadline for scholarships for the 2017-2018 academic year is January 31, 2017. Some scholarships may have later deadlines, however, you are encouraged to complete a general application prior to January 31 to be considered for the majority of NIU scholarships for which you meet the minimum criteria.

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Getting Started

Using AcademicWorks is as easy as 1, 2, 3!

  1. Log in using your NIU ZID and password. You must be admitted toNIU or currently enrolled to access the system.
  2. Fill out theGeneral Application. Once you saveyour general application, your personal information (applicant record) will be populated. Your applicant record includes name, address, cumulative GPA and hours, major, etc. Based upon the general application and your applicant record, you will automatically be matched to potential scholarship opportunities! You don't need to do anything else, although you are encouraged to check back during the application cycle, especially if changes occur to your record such as your major or GPA.
    • The General Application consists of three required questions and three optional questions:
      • A personal statement (required)
      • A brief statement regarding financial need (optional)
      • List of activities/service/employment (optional)
      • List of honors/awards (optional)
      • Two yes/no questions (required)
  3. Save and submit the General Application. Then, depending upon your major and other applicant information, you may be directed to complete aConditional Application, or you will be directed toRecommended Opportunities.

Conditional Applicationis for College of Business, College of Visual & Performing Arts, and Graduate School

Recommended Opportunitieswill provide a list of potential scholarships. You can read the description, and if the scholarship matches your interests or abilities, just click Apply. Be sure to check back if you change your major, or have an updated GPA.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I search for scholarships in AcademicWorks?

A: Visit the NIU AcademicWorks home page. You don't have to log in to search for scholarships. The search will return any scholarship with the search term in the title or description of the scholarship.

Q: I submitted my General Application. How do I know what I am being considered for?

A: The auto-matching takes place behind the scenes, but a list of scholarship applications that were submitted by this process will be listed under your "applications" page.A match does not mean that you will receive an award; all NIU scholarships are competitive, and will be determined by committees within each department.

Q: What are Recommended Opportunities?

A: Recommended opportunities, also known as "apply-to," are scholarships that require you to submit additional information to be considered. For example, you may have to answer additional questions, submit a specific essay, or provide reference information. You have to first save and submit your general application before being directed to recommended opportunities.

Q: Can I update my General or Recommended scholarship applications?

A: Yes. You can update the information in your applications at any time prior to the deadline(s).

Q: When will I find out if I will be awarded a scholarship?

A: Review for most scholarships will begin in February. You will be notified by an email to your student account if you are selected for an award.

Q: Does NIU have scholarships for study abroad?

A: Some academic departments offer financial support for specific study abroad programs. Be sure to look in AcademicWorks, or check with your department. However, you should alsocontact the Study Abroad Office directly at 815-753-0700 to learn about all of their financial resources.

Q: I changed my major. Can I apply for new scholarships?

A:You should check back before the deadline if your GPA or major has changed. You will automatically be matched to scholarships that meet your updated applicant record, however, there may be a new conditional application or recommendation opportunities to complete.

Q: Is AcademicWorks the only place to apply for NIU scholarships?

A: No. AcademicWorks contains the majority of competitive NIU scholarships. However, you should check with your academic college or department, and/or student organization(s) to see if there are additional opportunities for financial assistance. For example, study abroad and othertravel grants as well as research reimbursements are not processed in AcademicWorks. Huskie Link alsohas some scholarship and leadership award opportunities.


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Still Need Help?

For assistance with logging in to AcademicWorks, contact the DoIT Service Desk at or 815-753-8100, 24/7/365

For questions about scholarship criteria or deadlines, contact the Scholarship Office at or 815-753-4829 (Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.)

For questions regarding the information in your applicant record, current students can contact Registration and Records at or 815-753-0681 (Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.). Incoming students can contact the Office of Admissions at or 815-753-0446 (Monday - Friday, 8 a.m - 4:30 p.m.).

For assistance with accessibility, contact the Disability Resource Center at or 815-753-1303 (Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.)

Resources for Faculty and Staff

NIU faculty and staff who serve as scholarship administrators must be granted access to AcademicWorks.  To request access, please contact

Helpful tips for faculty and staff:

  • Administrators will log in with their NIU credentials.  If you have more than one role (for example, administrator and reviewer), once you log in you will toggle to the appropriate role in the drop-down menu under your name.
  • Faculty and staff who serve as reviewers only will log in via the References & Reviewers tab, by using your email address and a password of your choice.  To access the system again, you must use the same password.
  • Faculty and staff who serve as references only will log in via the link that was sent in the reference request email.  Once in the system, you will create a new password to log in, and then will be able to view all outstanding reference requests.  To access the system again, you must use the same password.
  • If you have both Reference and Reviewer roles, you will need to log in with the email address and the password that was initially created.  Once in the system, you will toggle under your email identify shown in the upper right corner of the screen, and choose the role you wish to utilize.

Forgot your password?  Click on "Trouble Signing In?" on the References and Reviewers tab, which will link you to complete a password reset.

Once a scholarship award for a student has been posted in AcademicWorks, if you want to change anything about this award you must submit a request to the AcademicWorks team.  This enables our team to monitor awards to ensure accuracy and prevent duplication of efforts.  

Request changes to a current award (award period or amount).

Contact Us

Scholarship Office
Swen Parson Hall 245K
Northern Illinois University
815-753-4829 or
Fax: 815-753-9475

Business Hours
8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.