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About Northwestern

Northwestern University is a private, nonprofit school located in the suburban setting of Evanston, IL, less than an hour from Chicago.

Founded in 1851, the institution currently enrolls around 22,072 students a year, including 8,194 undergrads. The institution runs on a quarter academic calendar.

Admissions Facts About Northwestern

Acceptance rate: 9%

Offers early decision.

Doesn't offer early action.

Get ready! The 2022 regular decision application deadline for Northwestern is January 2

All regular decision applicants should hear back April 1.

Access ACT practice tests and study tips and see upcoming ACT test dates.

What is Northwestern University's acceptance rate?

It is extremely difficult to get into Northwestern University. Around 9 percent of all applicants are admitted to Northwestern each year. Out of 39,263 applications received, 3,654 students received an admissions offer.

Is Northwestern a good school?

The definition of a "good school" is different for different people. Acceptance rate and average GPA are good indicators of how competitive an institution is, but they don't say much about the quality of the education or the student experience. However, there are a few good ways to get a better sense how satisfied students are and how well a school supports its student body.

Retention and graduation rates

Out of all the first-year, full-time undergrads who start at Northwestern, around 97 percent return for their sophomore year. Out of the 2,044 students who started at Northwestern as first-time freshman, 1,737 graduate within four years.

Northwestern's six-year graduation for undergrads is 95 percent. The average six-year graduation rate for U.S. colleges and universities is 61 percent for public schools, and 67 percent for private, non-profit schools.

Job outcomes and student debt

Job placement and student debt statistics for recent graduates can give you a sense of the return on investment a school offers. Students in the class of 2021 who had taken out student loans graduated with an average of $35,219 of debt. For context, compare this number with the average national debt, which is around $36,000 per borrower.

Based on this information, how does Northwestern sound? Remember, a school that is perfect for one person may not be the right school for someone else! So the real question to ask yourself: is Northwestern a good school for YOU?

Interested in applying to Northwestern University?

Click the heart icon at the top of this page to save Northwestern to your own personal list of colleges.

The deadline to apply to Northwestern for Fall 2022 is January 1. All applicants will be notified by April 1.

Read on to find out more about the admissions requirements and deadlines, student life, academics, majors and more.

Still researching schools?

Visit the College Confidential forums to join the conversation about Northwestern and get personalized recommendations for other schools that might be perfect for you.

College Info

633 Clark Street Evanston, IL 60208

Campus Setting: Suburban

Northwestern Application Deadline

First-Year Applications are Due

Jan 3

Transfer Applications are Due

Mar 15

The deadline for Fall first-year applications to Northwestern is Jan 3.

The deadline for Fall transfer applications to Northwestern is Mar 15.

Check the school website for more information about deadlines for specific programs or special admissions programs


Wondering what your chances are of getting into Northwestern University?

Complete your profile to get your personalized, AI-calculated prediction score.

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Northwestern ACT Scores


ACT Range

33 - 35

Estimated Chance of Acceptance by ACT Score

ACT Score

Estimated Chance

35 and Above


33 to 35


33 and Less


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ACT Scores Needed to Get Accepted

The median ACT score of an admitted student to Northwestern is 33. Students with an ACT score of 35 and above have a good chance of getting into Northwestern. Students with an ACT score that falls between 33 and 35 have an average chance of getting admitted, and students with an ACT score of 33 or below have a low chance of being offered admission.

Northwestern SAT Scores


Composite SAT Range

1450 - 1540


Math SAT Range

740 - 790


Reading SAT Range

700 - 760

Estimated Chance of Acceptance by SAT Score

SAT Score

Estimated Chance

1540 and Above


1450 to 1540


1450 and Less


SAT Scores Needed to Get Accepted

The median SAT score for Northwestern students is 1481. Applicants with SAT scores of 1540 and above have a good chance of being admitted to Northwestern, while applicants with SAT scores between 1450 to 1540 have an average chance of admittance, and prospective students with an SAT score below 1450 have a low chance of being offered a spot at Northwestern.

Northwestern Tuition & Fees

Tuition & Fees


In State


Cost Breakdown
In State
State Tuition

Student Life

Wondering what life at Northwestern is like? There are approximately 21,946 students enrolled at Northwestern, including 8,327 undergraduate students and 13,619 graduate students. 98% percent of students attend school full-time, 31% percent are from IL and 69% percent of students are from other states.


Full Time


Part Time


In State



© 2021 College Confidential / Concentrical LLC, Data provided by IPEDs and Peterson's Databases, © 2020 Peterson's LLC.

Quick Facts

Total Enrollment


Campus Setting


Acceptance Rate


Tuition and Fees

In State




Fall Freshmen
Application Deadline

Jan 3
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