Founded in 1949 as a branch of the Chicago Teachers College, Northeastern Illinois University (NIU) underwent several name changes before achieving university status in 1971 from the Illinois State Legislature. The university is currently comprised of three undergraduate colleges - the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business and Management and the College of Education - along with matching graduate colleges. According to U.S. New & World Report's 2011 Best Colleges, NIU ranked as both the most ethnically diverse college and for the least amount of debt for graduates in the Midwest.
Students living in student housing or an off campus apartment at NIU have access to the school's popular undergraduate programs in history, anthropology, music, philosophy, finance, marketing, accounting, elementary education, music education and special education. The school currently serves about 12,000 enrolled students and contains three branch campuses in the Chicago area.
Student living and university living at NIU include the school's men's and women's athletic programs, known as the Golden Eagles. Teams compete in NCAA's Division I in a variety of sports including basketball. The school's metropolitan location allow students direct access to Chicago's various cultural, educational, recreational and commercial landmarks like Navy Pier, Willis Tower, Grant Park, Wrigley Field, the Field Museum and the Loop.
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