Northwestern UniversityNorthwestern University is a well-respected private institution located in the Chicago suburb of Evanston. Students are close enough to an urban atmosphere to be able to take advantage of a variety of activities. With just over 8,300 undergraduates, the school is small enough to offer classes with a six to one student to faculty ratio, but large enough to attract impressive professors.

Northwestern admissions

The school was established in 1851 and is spread over 240 acres. There is another campus located in Chicago that covers 25 additional acres. The picturesque Evanston campus is right next to Lake Michigan, giving students a gorgeous view from the University Library, Norris University Center, and Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. The campus is largely divided into two sections. The North Campus is made up of Science and Athletics. (Including the fraternity buildings, the Henry Crown Sports Pavilion and Norris Aquatics Center, and the Technological Institute.) The South Campus is mostly Humanities and Arts centered. (With the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, the Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, and the sorority buildings.)

Northwestern sportsNorthwestern is known for its rigorous academic curriculum, but also for allowing its students control over the classes they take. Unlike most universities, there are no common core classes required for all students. Each major sets its own standards for necessary classes as determined by the professors in each major. In fact, Northwestern University offers 90 majors as well as 89 minors and certifications. The most popular majors include social sciences, engineering, communication/journalism and visual and performing arts.

Northwestern University studentsBut the university is not just about academics. The school also treasures the many traditions that have developed over the years, including Painting the Rock, the Dance Marathon, and Primal Scream where students are allowed to scream out of their windows during finals week. There is a significant Greek presence on campus, with around 40% of women in a sorority and 32% of men in a fraternity. There are 38 fraternities and sororities to choose from on the Northwestern campus. Additionally, many students decide to live in residential dorms and about 60% decide to stay in college-affiliated housing throughout their undergraduate years.

Students looking for a flexible path towards their desired major should look into the university. Northwestern prides itself on providing individualized courses of study, while still offering consistently challenging classes. Students interested in a beautiful campus close to a major city should consider Northwestern University.


Acceptance Rate

Northwestern acceptance rate

Academic Qualifications

Northwestern top 10% in high school

SAT Range (25 to 75 Percentile)

Northwestern University SAT score range

ACT Range (25 to 75 Percentile)

Northwestern ACT test scores

Application Deadlines

Early Decision
Early Decision application deadline: November 1.
Decisions are announced on December 15.

Regular Decision
Regular decision deadline: January 1.
Decisions are mailed by early April.

Transfer application deadline (fall): Mar. 15
Transfer application deadline (spring): Oct. 1

Admissions Criteria

Freshmen Admissions
Number of 2020 (Class of 2024) applicants: 39,261
Enrolled: 1,975
Yield: 55.8%
Acceptance rate: 9.0%

Early Decision Admissions
Number of 2020 ED (Class of 2024) applicants: 6,615
2020 (Class of 2024) ED acceptance rate: 23.8%

Waitlist Admission Statistics
Number of waitlisted applicants: 2,107
Admitted off waitlist: 55
Waitlist acceptance rate: 2.6%

Transfer Admissions
Number of transfer applicants: 2,297
Transfer applicants admitted: 367
Transfer acceptance rate: 16.0%

Academic Qualifications
Average GPA: N/A
Top 10% of High School: 92%

Middle SAT Range (25 to 75 Percentile)
SAT Composite: 1450-1540
SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing: 700-760
SAT Math: 740-790

Middle ACT Range (25 to 75 Percentile)
ACT Composite: 33-35
ACT English: 24-36
ACT Math: 31-35

Standardized Test Requirements

Northwestern doesn't require the SAT/ACT SAT/ACT not required

Northwestern does not require the writing portion Writing portion not required

Northwestern does not require the SAT Subject Tests SAT Subject Tests not required

Score Card

Graduation Rates

Northwestern University graduation rate

Loan Defaults and Rhodes Scholars

Northwestern score card

Salary After Attending

R&D Expenditures

Campus Safety

Score Card Information

Graduation Rates
4 years: 83.7%
5 years: 91.6%
6 years: 93.8%

Loan default rate: 1.0%

Total Rhodes Scholars: 16

Salary after attending: $69,000

R&D Expenditures: $805.7 million

Campus Safety
Sex offenses: 13
Robberies: 0
Aggravated assaults: 6
Burglaries: 22
Car thefts: 0

Financial Aid

Net Cost and Total Expected Cost of Attendance

Northwestern financial aid

Average Net Price By Income

Student Debt

Additional Information

Tuition, room and board (2020-2021): $75,843

Total estimated cost of attendance (2020-2021): $81,283

Net Cost
Average: $26,196

By income
$0 to $30,000: $1,866
$30,001 to $48,000: $3,995
$48,001 to $75,000: $6,452
$75,001 to $110,000: $16,784
$110,001 and more: $43,465

Graduates with student debt: 33.5%

Average student debt at graduation: $36,350

Student Body

Student Residence

Undergraduate Class Sizes

Northwestern University undergraduate class sizes

Student to Faculty Ratio

Northwestern student to faculty ratio

Student Population

Additional Information

Student to Faculty Ratio: 6 to 1

Women: 51%

Undergraduate Class Sizes
Under 20: 77%
20 to 39: 16%
40 to 99: 6%
100+: 1%

Student Population
Total: 21,946
Undergraduate: 8,327

Student Residence
In State: 26%
Out of State: 62%
International: 12%

Northwestern University student population

Northwestern University Seal

Northwestern University

This page was last updated in November 2020.