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Colleges / Northwestern University

Northwestern University

Evanston, IL 4-Year Private
Acceptance Rate7%

Northwestern Admissions

It is extremely difficult to get into Northwestern University. The acceptance rate at Northwestern University is 7%. In 2023, just 3,321 out of the 47,636 students who applied were accepted.

If you are considering submitting an application to Northwestern University, the regular decision application deadline is January 1 and the application fee costs $75.

Students who submit their applications to Northwestern University for fall should anticipate a decision by April 1.

Northwestern University Admissions Stats at a Glance

The following is an overiew of some of Northwestern University's admissions stats.

Northwestern University 2023 Admissions Statistics
Admitted Students in Top 10% of Graduating Class 95%
Admissions Test Policy Test Optional
Applicants Who Submit SATs 43%
Applicants Who Submit ACTs 39%
Waitlist Yes

Northwestern University Application Deadlines

These are the application deadlines for Northwestern University.

Application Type Offered Application Deadline Notification Deadline
Early Decision I Yes November 1
Early Decision II
Early Action No
Regular Decision Yes 1 1 April 1

Applying Early to Northwestern University?

Northwestern University offers early decision but not early action. Early decision is binding, meaning you must attend if you are admitted, while early action allows you to apply early without committing.

🗓️ Early Decision I applications are due by November 1

The early decision acceptance rate at Northwestern University is 24%, compared to an overall acceptance rate of 7%. Last year, Northwestern University admitted 1105 of the 4545 students who applied early decision.

Some students apply early because they hope it will boost their chances of being offering admission. When you apply early, your application is considered before all the regular decision applicants apply. Applying early may increase your chance of being admitted, since it is a way to show that you are very interested in a school.

➡️ Explore a list of some selective colleges that accept significantly more applicants during early decision or early action than during regular admission.

More on Northwestern University Admissions

Transferring to Northwestern University

Transfer student admissions is extremely difficult.

For Students Waitlisted to Northwestern University

Northwestern University has not reported data for waitlisted and admitted students.

What's Most Important for Getting Into Northwestern University?

Colleges consider a range of factors when determining who to admit for their next incoming class. Each college determines which factors are are most important when choose which applicants to admit, and which to deny. When assembling your list of schools to apply to, you may want to consider your strengths and any possible weaknesses in your application, and apply to colleges that prioritize the areas where you shine.

Admissions Factors at Northwestern University

Curious about the factors that are considered by Northwestern University during the admissions process? Take a look at the list below to see which factors are most important during the admissions process.

Admissions Factor Level
Character/Personal Qualities Very Important
Class Rank Very Important
Application Essay Very Important
Extracurricular Activities Very Important
Recommendation(s) Very Important
Talent/Ability Very Important
Academic GPA Very Important
Rigor of Secondary School Record Very Important
Alumni/ae Relations Considered
Interview Considered
Racial/Ethnic Status Considered
Standardized Test Scores Considered
Volunteer Work Considered
Work Experience Considered
Level of Applicant's Interest Considered
First Generation Considered

Make sure to check with Northwestern University for more information on admission factors.

Northwestern University 2022-2023 Application Requirements

To apply to Northwestern University, all applicants must submit the following items. Check in with Northwestern University's admissions department to confirm all application materials and requirements.

Area Required Recommended Required for Some Details (If Any)
Written Essay or Personal Statement
Other Requirements audition for music program
Letter(s) of Recommendation
Transcript(S) of College Record
Transcript of High School Record
Standardized Test Scores
Statement of Good Standing From Prior Institution(S)

GPA and Testing

What GPA Do I Need To Get Into Northwestern University?

Northwestern University has not provided an information about GPAs of accepted students. Any questions regarding applicant expectations should be addressed directly with the school. At Northwestern University 95% of students ranked in the top 10% of their graduating class in high school.

About GPAs

Your high school grade point average (GPA) is a number that highlights your high school academic performance. A weighted GPA or an unweighted GPA are the two possible GPA scores considered by colleges.

An unweighted GPA is an average of your scores from each class on a four-point scale. Unweighted GPAs range from 4.0 to under 1.0. A weighted GPA considers your average grade and the difficulty of your classes. A weighted GPA boosts your average by adding extra points for honors or Advanced Placement courses.

Standardized Test Scores

Northwestern University is test optional. Test optional schools allow students to choose if they want to submit ACT or SAT scores with their applications or not.

In 2022, 43% of Northwestern University's first-year students submitted their SAT scores with their application. 39% of admitted applicants sent ACT scores.

What is a Good SAT Score for Northwestern University?

To be competitive with other Northwestern University applicants, you should aim to score between 1490 and 1550 (or higher!) on the SAT. At Northwestern University 25% of admitted students scored higher than 1550 and 25% of scored lower than 1490, but the majority of students scored somewhere in between these two numbers.

On the SAT Math Section, 25% of Northwestern University students scored 790 or higher and 75% of students scored 720 or higher. On the SAT Critical Reading section (formerly called the Verbal section), 25% of Northwestern University students scored 770 or higher, and 75% scored a 720 or higher.

To be most competitive at Northwestern University, you should strive to earn between 33 and 35 on the ACT.

An ACT score of 35 means you fall in the 75th percentile for Northwestern University's admitted students. One out of every four students scored above a 35, and three out of four students scored lower than 35 on the ACT.

A 33 on the ACT is the 25th percentile for Northwestern University students. Only one out of every four students scored below 33.

More Information on Transferring to Northwestern University

For transfer students, it is extremely difficult to get admitted to Northwestern University.

For transfer students wishing to start in the fall, the deadline to apply is March 15. Transfer applications are processed on a on a rolling basis as they are received.

Transfer students can enroll in Northwestern University during the following terms:

• Fall Term

Northwestern University Admissions FAQs

Can I defer my acceptance to Northwestern University?

✅ Yes, admitted students can defer their admission to Northwestern University.

Does Northwestern University accept transfer credits?

✅ Northwestern University accepts eligible transfer credits from accredited institutions.

Do I have to submit test scores to Northwestern University?

❌ No, Northwestern University is test optional, so it's up to you if you want to submit test scores or not. If you have higher than average scores, you should strongly consider submitting them. If your scores are average or below average, you may want not want to include them in your application.

What is Northwestern University's acceptance rate?

✅ Northwestern University has an acceptance rate of 7%.

What is the early decision acceptance rate at Northwestern University?

✅ Northwestern University's early decision acceptance rate was 24% in 2021.

Want To Learn More About Northwestern University?

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


Student Life


Tuition & Aid

See what others say about Northwestern University in the College Confidential forums

Explore other colleges in Illinois or use the college admissions predictor to calculate your chances of getting into some of the top colleges and universities in the U.S.

Northwestern Admissions Requirements

Admission Difficulty



How hard is it to get into Northwestern? Northwestern is a selective institution. The Northwestern acceptance rate is 7%. This means that the institution accepts 6 out of every 100 applicants.


Northwestern Application Deadline

First-Year Applications are Due

Jan 1

Transfer Applications are Due

Mar 15

The deadline for Fall first-year applications to Northwestern is Jan 1.

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

Northwestern SAT Scores


Composite SAT Range

1490 - 1550


Math SAT Range

740 - 790


Reading SAT Range

720 - 770

Northwestern GPA

Avg. High School GPA (non-weighted)

Not available

Data Source: IPEDs and Peterson's Databases © 2022 Peterson's LLC All rights reserved

Quick Facts

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Campus Setting


Acceptance Rate


Tuition and Fees

In State




Fall Freshmen
Application Deadline

Jan 1
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