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Info - NIU Dekalb, Ill

blue147blue147 Registered User Posts: 502 Member
edited January 2006 in Parents Forum
Does anyone have info on Northern Illinois University located in Dekalb, Illiois? Most likely I'll be attending there. Any info will be great.
Post edited by blue147 on
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Replies to: Info - NIU Dekalb, Ill

  • scottaascottaa Registered User Posts: 1,037 Senior Member
    Where are you coming from and have you ever been to DeKalb or the Chicago area?
  • b_22b_22 Registered User Posts: 187 Junior Member
    from what i have heard a lot of people that go there come from the chicagoland area and commute home on the weekends. They have had some kickass football teams in the past few years too.
  • barronsbarrons Registered User Posts: 24,851 Senior Member
    Small city with a few decent college town type bars and such. Very cool old restored movie house downtown. Decent school in business and some liberal arts and education majors. Tends to empty out on weekends but football is keeping more around in the fall.
  • blue147blue147 Registered User Posts: 502 Member
    I am from the Chicago area but never been to Dekalb. I know a few people who attend there and they seem to like it. I'm planning visiting the campus sometime this month.
  • barronsbarrons Registered User Posts: 24,851 Senior Member
    A good friend of mine went there as an older student to get a degree in corporate communications. She felt they took good care of her and helped with interships and job placement. Advanced classes were small.
  • yodelleaheywhoyodelleaheywho Registered User Posts: 48 Junior Member
    I live only about 20 minutes from DeKalb, unfortunately. I always laugh when people refer to Dekalb county as being in the Chicagoland area. I'm originally from Chicago proper, and believe me, DeKalb is not a 'burb. It is the most interesting town in the immediate area (45 minutes in any direction), however. I should warn you that there are no decent restaurants and that DeKalb is the kind of town that has difficulty keeping a bookstore open. Shopping used to be non-existant but is getting better and now even boasts a few new small vintage stores. The Confectionary is an amazing homemade candy store that, imho, is the highlight of the town. On your way into town, you will see a giant corn mural, which was commissioned for the annual corn fest (I'm not kidding btw), an event that actually draws a scary amount of people in from neighboring towns. If you leave on that same road and drive to Creston, head to the old-fashioned family-run butcher shop, Headon's,for the best porkchops you have ever had. The architecture of the town ranges from the utterly depressing to some cute old Victorian homes, especially once you get into Sycamore, DeKalb's richer, smaller neighbor. In general, DeKalb and the surrounding area are intensely bleak and gut-wrenchingly rural. From one displaced Chicagoan to another, I would avoid coming here if at all possible.
    As far as the school itself goes, it has its strong points. The new Convo Center draws in big-name entertainers (Kanye West and Bill Cosby come to mind, probably because they are the only two black men to have ever set foot in DeKalb or the surrounding area) occasionally. The campus is very spread out within the town and a bit difficult to navigate, I'm told. I have never gone into any of NIU academic buildings, but the athletic facilities are nice.
    Let me know if you have any specific questions about DeKalb or NIU, as I know the town well and have a few friends who go there.
  • blue147blue147 Registered User Posts: 502 Member
    yodell, can you tell me what are the strengths and weaknessess of NIU's academics/social life/living conditions? Do TAs teach most of the classes, how helpful are the professors, are the students generally friendly?(probably ask one of your friends who attends).
  • DenquistDenquist Registered User Posts: 228 Junior Member
    Blue 147, I got a graduate degree at NIU and taught there for 12 years. It is a big, impersonal, mostly unattractive school, with lots of classes taught by TA's. It is well known for its business and accounting programs, its steel drum band(?!) and jazz band. It provides a good, basic education at a fairly reasonable price. The dorms mostly look like the Soviets built them and the town ( which I always describe as the "dogtown of the planet") does empty out on the weekends. Cindy Crawford grew up in DeKalb and her mother still lives there so she visits periodically.

    My niece and her husband were students in the undergrad while I was there and they have gone on to be very successful and look back fondly at their time at NIU. I had only gone to private schools in pretty locations before I went there so I found it rather depressing. I too would counsel, as did a previous poster, to go somewhere else if you can. If you end up there you will get a fairly decent education. The students in my department did have a hard time getting into good law schools, however, so if grad school is in your future try to research NIU acceptance rates.
  • blue147blue147 Registered User Posts: 502 Member
    "I too would counsel, as did a previous poster, to go somewhere else if you
    can."

    I wish I can, but I'm making the most of my situation( I'm a senior in h.s.). I applied to UIC but I'm still waiting for an answer.
  • scottaascottaa Registered User Posts: 1,037 Senior Member
    blue-

    Have you considered any other schools in the area? What do you plan on studying?

    And you haven't seen "gut-wrenchingly rural" until you've get across the Mississippi into Iowa. At least DeKalb is a quick drive back into Chicago. It empties out on the weekends, because it is so easy to get back into the city.
  • yodelleaheywhoyodelleaheywho Registered User Posts: 48 Junior Member
    blue, I should see one of my NIU buddies tomorrow. I'll ask him then and get back to you as soon as possible.
  • yodelleaheywhoyodelleaheywho Registered User Posts: 48 Junior Member
    scottaa, that is very true about Iowa. I do believe, however, that Southern Illinois (obviously this does not include DeKalb) wins the most "gut-wrenchingly rural" competition, or is at least the regional champion of the Midwest. You haven't lived until you've eaten at the ONLY place to get Chinese food in Shelby or Chrisitian County (not sure which I was in at the time; they are right next to each other) in a restaurant with ketchup and tabasco sauce on the table :)
  • yodelleaheywhoyodelleaheywho Registered User Posts: 48 Junior Member
    Denquist, I still find that Cindy Crawford thing strange. My best friend's dad went to high school with her. I used to work at the nursing home at which her grandfather lived, and he kept a picture of her on his bedside table. They don't have the same last name, so, for the first few days, I just thought he was a creepy old man who had a thing for Cindy Crawford :) Joan Allen is from Rochelle, a nearby town of about 8,000. She comes back every once in a while too. The movie "1000 Acres" with Michelle Phieffer (sp?) was shot just outside of town as well. So, I suppose a bonus of living in the area is that you occasionally get to see gorgeous famous women without their makeup on.
  • scottaascottaa Registered User Posts: 1,037 Senior Member
    Ok, I'll give it to you that SIU certainly has a leg up on a lot of the competition.
  • blue147blue147 Registered User Posts: 502 Member
    scottaa, I've applied to UIUC and Illinois State: rejected, was accepted to Elmhurst College, and haven't heard from UIC yet. I'm planning to major in psychology but I put undecided.
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