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Frequently Asked Questions

To assist in answering your question(s), select from the following categories:

General OneCard Questions

  1. Why Should I have an NIU OneCard ID?
    A Northern Illinois University OneCard is your campus ID if you are a student, faculty, staff, or retiree. It is important to keep with you at all times for identification, and for other functions accessed by your card. For example, if you live in the residence halls you will need your OneCard ID for door entry and your meal plan. All printing and laundry on campus requires Huskie Bucks, which is accessed by your OneCard ID as well.
  2. What does my NIU OneCard ID do?
    A OneCard ID is your multipurpose identification card that accesses all campus functions. The card is especially used by students who live in the residence halls. It is used to gain entrance to the halls and to access meal options. Find out about all of the OneCard Uses.
  3. How do I obtain my OneCard ID?
    Students: You must be registered for your classes, or assigned a scheduled orientation date in order to get your OneCard ID
    Faculty/Staff: You must be currently employed to get a OneCard ID.
  4. How much does it cost to get my OneCard ID?
    If you have never had an NIU OneCard, your first card is free.
  5. What if I lose my OneCard ID?
    If an NIU OneCard ID is lost, a $20.00 replacement charge is assessed. Faculty, staff and retirees can pay by cash or check. Students can pay by cash or check, and can also charge the replacement cost to their bursar account.
  6. What if my OneCard ID does not work?
    If your OneCard ID is not working, please either bring your card into our office during regular business hours or troubleshoot online.
  7. What if my OneCard ID is damaged or falling apart?
    If a OneCard ID is damaged or falling apart and we receive enough of the pieces of your card to verify it is the currently active card, the replacement cost is $10.00. Faculty, staff, OCR members, and retirees can pay by cash or check. Students can pay by cash or check, and also can charge the replacement cost to their bursar account.
  8. Where is your office located?
    OneCard ID Services is located on the ground floor of the Holmes Student Center.
  9. If I don't visit your office, is there a way for me to get my OneCard ID?
    For students attending class(es) at one of NIU's satellite campuses or online only, we provide an online request to have a OneCard ID produced. If you fall in this classification, you are eligible to submit an Off-Campus OneCard ID Request.

Huskie Bucks Questions

  1. What are Huskie Bucks?
    Huskie Bucks is a prepaid debit program that is used for purchasing food at participating restaurants and vendors, making copies, doing laundry, and many other designated services.
  2. Are Huskie Bucks the same as Flex Dollars?

    No. A Huskie Bucks account and Flex Dollars are totally separate, though they both are on the same NIU OneCard ID.

    A Huskie Bucks account is the only way to do laundry on campus and is accepted at a number of restaurants and places on and around the Northern Illinois University campus.

    A Flex Dollar account is purchased from and assigned by Housing & Residential Services as a supplement to a student meal plan.

  3. Where can I use Huskie Bucks?
    Huskie Bucks are accepted at a number of restaurants and places on and around the Northern Illinois University campus. 
  4. How do I open a Huskie Bucks Account?
    A Huskie Bucks debit account can be set up on your OneCard ID at any time during the school year
  5. How can I deposit money to my (or my student's) Huskie Bucks Account?
    There are multiple easy ways to deposit money into a Huskie Bucks Account: online, at the OneCard or Bursar offices, and by mail. 
  6. Can I charge Huskie Bucks to my credit card or debit card?
    Yes. These Huskie Bucks transactions are only accepted online. American Express, MasterCard, and Discover cards are accepted. You may also deposit to a Huskie Bucks Account using an "e-check" which requires a bank routing number and a checking account number. 
  7. Can I charge Huskie Bucks to my (or my student's Bursar Account?
    Unfortunately, no. A Huskie Bucks account must be opened and you (or your student) must deposit your own funds into a Huskie Bucks account in order to use them on or off campus. There are options for making your first deposit, or for replenishing your account.
    A bursar account is the student account where tuition and housing fees are billed. Each student at NIU has a bursar account to handle the payment of bills to the university.
  8. What happens to any unused Huskie Bucks at the end of the semester?
    Huskie Bucks do not expire, so any unused funds will carry over to the next semester. However, any account with a balance of $5.00 or more, showing no activity for a period of one year will be charged an inactivity fee of $5.00 per month. This does not mean we will bill you each month, but rather this inactivity fee is only subtracted from the remaining balance of your Huskie Bucks Account until it reaches $0.00 and is closed.
  9. Can I use my Huskie Bucks to buy books and supplies?

    No. Huskie Bucks cannot be used to buy books for classes.

    Instead, NIU students receiving financial aid can have an option to charge books and school supplies to their bursar account. Students who have financial aid can use their OneCard ID at either the University Bookstore (815-753-1081) or Village Commons Bookstore (815-758-0613) to charge the cost of their books and school supplies to their bursar account. This puts the cost on the bill with tuition and housing that is sent home each semester. Only students who have financial aid can utilize this feature. 

  10. Can I get a refund from my Huskie Bucks Account?
    Yes. However, Huskie Bucks refunds can only be requested upon separation from the university and your remaining balance must be $5.00 or more.

Card & Account Security Questions

  1. When I contact the office, I am not able to acquire information about my child or his/her OneCard ID. Why?

    The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) as amended is a federal law intended to protect the privacy of student educational records accumulated from early childhood through college.  FERPA provided parents with certain rights with respect to their children’s educational records.  However, once a student reaches the age of 18 or enters college, the rights previously held by the parents transfer exclusively to the student.

    Students have the option to delegate information through “Shared Access.”  Shared Access allows a student to grant, up to 2 individuals, access to view their student information.  The student can grant access to information such as: Academics, Admissions, Financials, Financial Aid, and To Do List.  To set up and authorize the release of information, please review the DoIT KB article.  The Office of the Bursar representative would be able to discuss specific account details with the individuals the student has authorized the release of financial information.

    Furthermore, FERPA restriction guidelines will not allow the Office of the Bursar to disclose the existence of the account if the account has been flagged as “non-disclosure.”  You may change your non-disclosure status with Registration and Records, or go online via MyNIU.  If you do not change your non-disclosure agreement, you will need to come to the Office of the Bursar with a photo ID.

    To Change/Update FERPA Restrictions: Navigate to MyNIU Student Center. Scroll to Personal Information, Demographic Data and click on the security tab. See the following DoIT KB Article (pdf) for more information.

  2. Can I use my significant other's OneCard ID instead of my own if it is not working?
    NO! When it comes to identity protection, we take your security very serious. Whether it is a husband, child, or friend's ID, if the card is found in your possession it will be confiscated.
  3. When I showed (or tried to use) my old OneCard ID I replaced, it was confiscated. Why?
    When it comes to identity protection, we take your security very serious. No student (or employee) may have more than one OneCard ID, and once it is replaced, the prior ID is then no longer active and removed from the system. To ensure an invalid OneCard ID cannot be used by an unauthorized person, all physical, inactive cards are destroyed to protect you.
  4. Can I have a OneCard mailed to me?

    No. We do not mail OneCard IDs for your security.

    • If you are attending class(es) on the main campus in DeKalb, you will need to visit our office to get a OneCard.
    • If you are attending class(es) online or at one of NIU's satellite campuses, you are eligible to submit a request as an Off-Campus student.

OneCard Preferred/Proper Name Questions

  1. What is the OneCard Preferred/Proper Name Policy
  2. Do I have to get a new OneCard if I choose to have a Preferred/Proper Name?
    It is your choice whether you would like to swap out a current ID with a new one to display the preferred/proper name. If you have set a preferred/proper name under Self Service in MyNIU, this will now be the name that displays in the OneCard system for card production and any subsequent ID cards printed will display the name you have set in MyNIU.
  3. How do I get my Preferred/Proper Name on my OneCard ID?
    You must first make the change through Self Service in MyNIU (Setting a preferred/proper name instructions).
    Your preferred/proper name will appear within 24 hours after being updated in MyNIU unless a future effective date is selected as well.
  4. May I have a new photograph taken for my new ID Card?
    Any time you replace a OneCard ID due to loss, damage, or name change, you have the choice of taking a new photo at that time.
  5. Is there a charge to get my preferred name on my OneCard ID?
    If you bring in your current OneCard ID requesting a preferred/proper name be printed, a $10.00 replacement fee will be assessed for producing a new card. If you have lost your OneCard ID and want a preferred/proper name printed on a new ID, the cost of the card is $20.00.
  6. I have a really unique nickname, can I use it for my OneCard ID?
    OneCard ID Services reserves the right to refuse printing an ID for a student if staff deems a preferred/proper name to be inappropriate, including but not limited to misrepresentation, attempting to avoid a legal obligation, or a name that is deemed to contain inappropriate or offensive language, can be denied. A student having any issues with a preferred/proper name not following the guidelines as set forth by the University will be referred to The Office of Records and Registration for appropriate actions as deemed necessary.