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National Louis University (NLU) has its main campus in Chicago and is a private university. Founded in 1886, NLU has a long legacy of award-winning programs and curriculum. With four campuses and over 60 degree programs, the school also offers an undergraduate program specifically designed for under-resourced students who qualify academically but lack the social and financial backing to succeed in earning their degree.

Overview of National Louis University (NLU)

Although based in Chicago, NLU also has a full campus in Tampa, Florida which serves the surrounding 13 counties. The Pathways Program facilitates Student Success Coaches and personalized instruction for those who are not quite ready to adapt to college learning.

The campus is situated within a large city, but the school itself has a lower student-to-faculty ratio that provides a personal experience. However, there is no on campus housing, so students must either find their own lodging or commute to classes.

NLU is heavily vested in applied research projects, which can provide extensive experience and work opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students. This can give you vital references and experience, which are often the key factors employers use when evaluating applications for employment. Many alumni enter the state and federal government employment sectors upon graduation.

General Information

School Type Private not-for-profit
Campus Setting City: Large
Campus Housing No
Student Faculty Ratio 15:1
Graduation Rate 22%
Year Founded 1886

Student Enrollment

Total Students5,992


Undergraduate Student

Male 824
Female 2,227

Graduate Student

Male 794
Female 2,147

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NLU Acceptance Rate and Admissions


Male 1,064
Female 1,601


Male 1,043
Female 1,569

Acceptance Rate98%

Male 98%
Female 98%

Enrollment 757

Male 284
Female 473
Application Fee NA
High School GPA Required
High School Rank NA
High School Transcripts Required
College Prep Courses NA
Recommendations NA
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Required
Application Deadline May 15
Common Application Accepted No

NLU Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

The cost of college can seem overwhelming at first glance, so make sure you understand the terms and options available. The average net price is determined by subtracting scholarships and grants from the original price and is usually substantially less. Make sure you complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible, as the information from your FAFSA application will be used on grant and scholarship applications as well as federal programs and loans. Most students find college quite affordable once they access available funding opportunities. Note that, while scholarships are usually based on academic achievement, grants are often need-based, so you should dedicate time to apply for a wide range of both.

Average net price 2018-2019
Net Price $14,848
Average Total Aid $8,472
Students Receiving Financial Aid 92%
Room & Board $13,500

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $11,010
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $11,010
  • Books and Supplies - NA
  • Room & Board - $13,500
  • Other - $7,320


There’s more to academics than checking for the curriculum you plan to study. Various information can give you an idea of how supportive a school is once you’re committed and may play a part in your educational success.

Here are a few terms to look for:

  • Retention Rate: The retention rate indicates the number of freshmen who return for their second year and can be compared to a customer satisfaction survey.
  • Graduation Rate: The graduation rate can be an indicator of the college’s dedication to student long-term success and help you decide whether a four- or a six-year plan will work best for your education.
  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: A low ratio indicates more personal interaction with professors as opposed to learning in an auditorium setting with a hundred other students.
  • Student Population Total: This can give you a good idea of the size of the school and help you choose a campus more attuned to your social needs.
  • Distance Learning: Although you may enroll in physical classes, it’s a good idea to choose a school with distance options in case you have a schedule conflict in the future.
  • Accreditation: You should make this a priority, as most financial aid and scholarship awards require you to attend a school that is fully accredited.

Student Population Total

Student Population 5,992

Evening Classes : Yes
Online Learning : Yes

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

All Business Majors 197 Total Graduates / 32%
Management Science 91 Graduates
Hospitality Administration/Management, General 66 Graduates
Business/Commerce, General 17 Graduates
Business Administration and Management, General 12 Graduates
Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies 115 Total Graduates / 19%
Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other 115 Graduates
All Education Majors 104 Total Graduates / 17%
Early Childhood Education and Teaching 96 Graduates
Elementary Education and Teaching 6 Graduates
Special Education and Teaching, General 2 Graduates
Family and Consumer Sciences/Human Sciences 48 Total Graduates / 8%
Child Care and Support Services Management 48 Graduates
Health Professions and Related Programs 36 Total Graduates / 6%
Health and Medical Administrative Services, Other 36 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 18%

Outcome & Salary

Graduates of National Lewis earn an early-career salary of $46,800 and a mid-career salary of $88,200, with an overall average salary of $67,061. Comparing these figures to salaries of those with no college education, you’ll find the national average salary for those without higher education to be $38,792, which is much lower.

When you look at your return on investment (ROI), which is the cost of your education subtracted from wages you’ll see a potential 10-year ROI of $670,610 and a 20-year ROI of $1,552,610, compared to the projected income with no degree at $387,920 in 10 years and a 20-year ROI of $775,840, it becomes clear how your college education will more than pay for itself in the long run. Note that these figures do not factor in those who earn a graduate degree and earn substantially more than those with an undergraduate degree.

Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary $46,800
College Grads Average Salary $67,061
College Grads Mid Career Salary $88,200
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $670,610
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential $1,552,610
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $59,392
10 Year Projected ROI $611,218
20 Year Projected ROI $1,493,218
No College Education Salary Comparison
National Average Salary $38,792
10 Year Projected Income $387,920
20 Year Projected Income $775,840

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