Chicago — Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU) students graduate with the ninth-lowest student loan debt nationally among public four-year colleges and universities, according to a report released Aug. 12, 2016. Among all four-year colleges and universities, Northeastern ranks 28th.
The report was released by LendEDU, an online student loan and student loan refinance company. LendEDU’s first Student Loan Debt By School By State Report was created using licensed Peterson’s financial aid data that is provided by the institutions.
“Northeastern Illinois University takes great pride in providing a world-class education that will not burden our future leaders with mountains of student loan debt,” Provost Richard J. Helldobler said. “This ranking not only reinforces Northeastern’s reputation as a national leader but also affirms that we are meeting our mission as a public university to best prepare our students for productive lives and careers.”
Based on the Class of 2015, only 13 percent of Northeastern graduates incurred student debt, according to the LendEDU report, and the average debt per borrower was $15,713. Those numbers are significantly less than the state averages: 65 percent of students graduate with debt at an average of $29,589 per borrower.
“We encourage students and families to consider student debt before decision day,” LendEDU Director of Business Development Alex Coleman said. “Northeastern Illinois University is doing an excellent job helping students avoid student debt.”
The LendEDU report comes just days after Northeastern announced its College of Business and Management has earned initial accreditation by AACSB International.
In 2012, Newsweek magazine named Northeastern the sixth-best investment among all universities in the nation and No. 1 in Illinois. And in both 2014 and 2015, Northeastern earned the No. 1 spot in U.S. News & World Report’s annual “Best Colleges” publication for students who graduate with the least amount of debt among Midwest regional universities. U.S. News & World Report’s new rankings will be released later this year.
With an enrollment of about 10,000 students, Northeastern Illinois University offers more than 80 undergraduate and graduate programs in the arts, sciences, education and business. Northeastern will open its first residence hall, The Nest, later this month.
Caption: Students during a lecture. Photo: Martial Trezzini/EPA