Northwestern University

Northwestern University


Northwestern a world-class, private, research university is committed to excellent teaching, innovative research, and the personal and intellectual growth of its students. Northwestern’s international reputation and open community draw talented students from diverse social, ethnic, and economic backgrounds. Six undergraduate schools offer over 190 academic majors, minors, certificates and concentrations and more than 4,100 undergraduate courses. Northwestern’s 8,000 undergraduates experience a vibrant student life with more than 450+ organizations to choose from and 19 Big Ten athletic teams to cheer for. Committed to college affordability and access, Northwestern offers need-based financial aid, meeting 100% of demonstrated need for admitted students throughout four years of college.

Programs Supporting First-Generation College Students

Open House, Fly-in, Visit Fly-In Program for admitted students

Each year, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions provides the opportunity to a select group of students allowing them to visit campus during one of the Open House events for admitted students. Students visit campus, stay overnight and learn about university life.

Scholarship & Financial Aid Special admission policy need based aid

Northwestern University offers financial assistance to students on the basis of demonstrated need. Northwestern is among a small group of private institutions that continue to meet 100% of demonstrated institutional financial need of applicants.

Summer Bridge & Orientation McCormick School of Engineering - EXCEL

EXCEL is a five-week program that recruits incoming engineering freshmen who have demonstrated a commitment to diversity issues and encourages group bonding. The program’s purpose is to build a cultural community of support among future leaders in the field of engineering. During their five weeks on campus, the students live in dorms and attend specialized academic classes and participate in leadership activities.

Summer Bridge & Orientation Summer Academic Workshop (SAW)

Multicultural Student Affairs and the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education present a two-week program that provides new students with an opportunity to strengthen writing skills across the university curriculum and develop a supportive social network for the next four years. Since 1966, SAW has invited over 1,400 students to campus. Learn more about Summer Academic Workshop (SAW)

First-Year Experience & Transition 1st year experience

The First-Year Experience area within the Office of New Student and Family Programs is responsible for providing programs, processes, and communication that will help to enrich the first year for students at Northwestern. In collaboration with various departments, offices, and academic areas, Northwestern strives to support students throughout their transition to the community, including social and academic transition. Learn more about 1st year experience

Student Life & Support Quest Scholars (first gen. network)

The Quest Scholars Network has a two-fold mission: to both create a community of low-income students on campus and to help give opportunities to low-income students at Northwestern and in high schools. Learn more about Quest Scholars (first gen. network)

Student Life & Support Student Enrichment Services (SES)

Student Enrichment Services (SES) works with low-income and first-generation students to enhance their academic success, personal development, and professional growth. Through campus-wide partnerships, SES builds an inclusive Northwestern community by engaging students and their allies with programming and dialogue. Learn more about Student Enrichment Services (SES)

Student Diversity

  • 8,314
  • 50/50
  • 9%
    First-generation college students
  • <1%
    American Indian or Alaskan Native
  • 18%
  • 6%
    Black or African American
  • 11%
  • <1%
    Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
  • 50%
  • 5%
    Two or more races
  • 2%
    Race and/or ethnicity unknown
  • 9%

Student Success

  • 97%
    First-to-second year retention
  • 94%
    Six-year graduation
  • n/a
    Six-year graduation for underrepresented minority groups
  • 99%
    Freshmen who live on campus
  • 50%
    Undergraduates who live on campus
  • 1,446
    Full-time faculty
  • 257
    Full-time minority faculty
  • 7:1
    Student–faculty ratio
  • Top 5 Majors

    Economics, Psychology, Journalism, Engineering, Theater, Music, Computer Science

  • Multicultural Student Clubs and Organizations

    For Members Only: Black Student Alliance, Alianza: Hispanic/ Latino Student Alliance, Rainbow Alliance, Mixed Race Student Coalition, Soul4Real, Muslim-Cultural Students Association, Northwestern University Quest Scholars Network, ReFresh Dance Group, Promote 360, Out Da Box Improvisation Group


Cost of Attendance

  • $50,424
  • n/a
    In-state Tuition
  • $431
    Required Fees
  • $15,489
    Room and Board

Financial Aid

  • $132,151,807
    Total institutional scholarships/grants
  • $42,850
    Average aid package
  • $17,000
    Average student loan debt upon graduation (of those who borrow)
  • 17%
    Pell Grant recipients among freshmen
  • 44%
    Students with financial need
  • 100%
    Students with need awarded financial aid
  • 100%
    Students with need awarded need-based scholarship or grant aid
  • 100%
    Students with need whose need was fully met


Applicant Academics

  • 35,099
    # of applicants
  • 11%
  • n/a
    Average HS GPA
  • 32
    ACT Composite
  • 690—760
    SAT Critical Reading
  • 710—800
    SAT Math
  • n/a—n/a
    SAT Writing
  • n/a
    SAT/ACT optional


  • 1/1
    Regular application closing date
  • $75
    Application Fee
  • $75
    Application Fee (online)
  • yes
    Fee waiver for applicants with financial need
  • yes
    Early decision plan
  • 11/1
    Early decision application closing date
  • n/a
    Early action plan
  • n/a
    Early action application closing date