North Central College

Nationally recognized for academic excellence, North Central is a four-year university located near Chicago, Illinois. Students can choose from over 90 different areas of study.

Nationally recognized for academic excellence, North Central is a four-year university located near Chicago, Illinois. Students can choose from over 90 different areas of study.

As a North Central College student you can:

  • Be considered for international undergraduate scholarships of up to $30,000 per year.
  • Be conditionally admitted to a degree program and transition easily from our English Language Institute into credit-bearing classes.
  • Walk to downtown Naperville and to the train—and be in Chicago in about 30 minutes.
  • Be part of an active international community where your perspective is valued.
  • Connect with a local Friendship Family and a student mentor.
  • Conduct hands-on research, developing skills that will be valuable for further education – or your first job.

North Central College Recognition & Accreditation

  • U.S.News & World Report lists North Central among the top ten “Regional Universities – Midwest.”
  • Princeton Review ranks North Central among the "Best in the Midwest." 
  • Forbes magazine recognizes North Central as one of "America's Top Colleges."
  • North Central is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Safe, Convenient Campus Location

Students enjoy access to the big city while living in a safe, beautiful, mid-sized city of 150,000 people. North Central's 68-acre campus is:

  • In Naperville - one of Money Magazine's "Best Places to Live."
  • Just 30 minutes from Chicago O'Hare International Airport and Chicago.
  • Within walking distance of downtown Naperville and the train connecting to downtown Chicago.

English Language Institute (ELI)

The English Language Institute offers an excellent pathway into an undergraduate or graduate degree program. We offer conditional admission for undergraduate programs at North Central College. Students attend 20 hours of class per week and focus on academic reading and vocabulary, writing and grammar, listening and speaking, and American cultural topics.

The English Language Institute offers:

  • Five start terms– August, October, January, March, and June.
  • Courses for beginning to advanced level students; no TOEFL or IELTS score is required to be admitted to the ELI.
  • Opportunities to start credit-bearing North Central College classes.
  • Free Institutional TOEFL testing for full-time students.
  • Small classes taught by ESL professionals.
  • Conversation lunches with American students.
  • Free tutoring.
  • Volunteer opportunities.
  • Cultural trips to Chicago sites and local areas of interest.

Small, High-Quality Classes

The 13:1 student-to-faculty ratio and small classes let you get to know your professors and ask questions to better understand the course material. All courses are taught by faculty – not by teaching assistants.

International Scholarships

North Central offers merit-based International Student Scholarships of $27,000 to $32,000 per year to qualified undergraduate international students. Conditionally admitted undergraduate students enrolled in the English Language Institute can also qualify for up to 75% of their ELI tuition to be credited towards their first semester(s) of degree study through the ELI-To-Degree Scholarship.

Outstanding Staff and Student Services

All North Central students have full access to campus services, including:

  • New student orientation.
  • Immigration advising and cross-cultural counseling.
  • Opportunities to connect with U.S. and international students from 48 different countries.
  • Campus housing with laundry and internet access included.
  • Library and tutoring services.
  • 75+ student organizations.
  • Gym and recreational facilities.
  • Career development services.
  • Medical care at the Wellness Center.

Nationally-Recognized Undergraduate Research

North Central supports independent research for undergraduate students of all majors through research fellowships and faculty support. North Central is consistently in the top 4% nationally in terms of proposals accepted for presentation at the National Conference for Undergraduate Research (NCUR).

How to Apply

Undergraduate Admission

Applicants for undergraduate (Bachelor’s) degree study should submit:

  • A free online application.
  • Official secondary school transcripts sent directly to North Central by the issuing institution.
  • Official TOEFL, IELTS, SAT or ACT test scores sent directly to North Central College by the testing organization.

Conditional Admission

Applicants for conditional admission to undergraduate (Bachelor’s) degree study should:

  • Complete the online application and select the box for “Conditional Admission.”
  • Submit the $100 ELI Application fee.
  • Have official secondary school transcripts sent directly to North Central by the issuing institution.

Additional Undergraduate Information:

English Language Institute Only Admission

Students applying for the English Language Institute ONLY should provide the following items by mail or email computer scans:

  • Completed and signed application form.
  • $100 application fee.
  • Required passport copy. 
  • Declaration of Finances & Affidavit of Support Form and bank letter.

Additional ELI Information:

Contact North Central College Now


$50,000—$60,000 Year

Fast facts

Afiiliation icon



Top Programs icon

Top Programs

Business, Computer Science, Intensive English as a Second Language

Type of school icon

Type of School

University/Intensive English Program

  • School Size

  • Student Body Gender

  • Religious Affiliation

  • Scholarships for International Students

  • Conditional Admission Available

  • Setting

    City, Suburban
  • Accreditation and Certification

    EnglishUSA Member, HLC
  • Type of Housing

    Residence Hall, Apartment, Dormitory
  • Test Scores

    IELTS: Band 6.5+, TOEFL: 79+, ACT Eng: 19+, Step EIKEN: Pre-1, Duolingo: 110+, PTE Academic: 55+, SAT Eng: 490+

Naperville IL
Visit us
30 North Brainard Street Naperville, IL

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