CYBER MONDAY SALE!!! Enjoy 50% off annual membership for January 2024 launch. GRAB IT NOW!!!

Be Northwestern-Bound with IvyBound!

Northwestern University -- #9 (tied) National University (US News & World Report)

Northwestern University is a private institution that was founded in 1851, outside of Chicago, after nine men gathered to begin planning a university that would serve the Northwest Territory. Given that they had little money, no land and limited higher education experience, their vision was ambitious. But through a combination of creative financing, shrewd politicking, religious inspiration and an abundance of hard work, the founders of Northwestern University were able to make that dream a reality.

Present-day Northwestern is the largest university in the Midwest. It has a beautiful campus located on the shore of Lake Michigan and is located in Evanston, a quintessential college town, with hundreds of restaurants, cafes and shops a few blocks from the campus. With Chicago next door and free campus shuttle buses going to Northwestern’s downtown campus, students can easily take advantage of the music, theatre, museums, sports, and entertainment of a world-class city to enrich their undergraduate experience.

Northwestern’s is committed to excellent teaching, innovative research and the personal and intellectual growth of its students in a diverse academic community. Students are encouraged to find what ignites their curiosity. Northwestern inspires academic exploration and personalization. Students are not limited or confined to a specific academic discipline, instead are free to explore their options and create their own path.

Northwestern’s six undergraduate schools offer choices in arts and sciences, communication, education and social policy, engineering and applied science, journalism and integrated marketing communications, and music. In addition, Northwestern students can choose from more than 130 study abroad programs in 50 countries. Northwestern’s 8,100 undergraduates are collaborative, innovative, committed to success and to service.

Admissions Requirements

Application Fee$75, waived for financial aid applicants
Standardized TestsSAT or ACT
SAT Subject Tests

• Most applicants: Optional

Homeschooled applicants: three required: Math 1 or 2 and two other tests.

Honors Program in Medical Education (HPME): Math 2 & Chemistry required

Integrated Science Program (ISP): Math 2, Physics, & Chemistry (or AP equivalents)

AP and IB examsYou may self-report.
Supplement Questions/Essays (found in the Writing Supplement section in My Colleges tab on the Common Application- Questions are updated August of every year.)pan style="font-weight: 400;">One Supplemental Essay- Optional, but highly recommended.

One teacher recommendation required.

Counselor recommendation

Additional Requirement for the following schools

• Bienen School of Music

• Honors Program in Medical Education (HPME)

• Integrated Science Program (ISP)•

• Mathematical Methods in the Social Sciences (MMSS)

• School of Communication applicants to the Music Theatre Certificate Program

From Your High School

School Report, Transcript, Mid-year Report

(ONLY RD. applicants), Final Report.

OptionalMusic audition (ONLY School of Music applicants)
International StudentsOfficial TOEFL or IELTS scores
Early Decision

November 1, decision by mid-December.

ED not available for HPME applicants.

Regular DecisionJanuary 1, decision by mid-to-late March

Additional Application Requirements for the following schools:

  • Music applications for Bienen School of Music: Music teacher recommendation letter (preferred but not required)
  • Music audition and/or portfolio materials.
  • Honors Program in Medical Education (HPME): an application request form must be submitted in addition to the Common or Coalition App. Must submit the application materials via the unique online application link given once request is accepted.
  • Integrated Science Program (ISP): High School courses should include fours years of math (complete the study of one-variable differential and integral calculus before enrolling) and sciences (including chemistry and physics).
  • Mathematical Methods in the Social Sciences (MMSS): Must also complete an MMSS application using the online application. Admission to Northwestern is not a guarantee of admission to the MMSS and the status of your MMSS application will not affect your Northwestern general acceptance decision. A strong high school curriculum, including a year of calculus, is required for admission.
  • School of Communication applicants to the Music Theatre Certificate Program:
Students are encouraged to submit an optional Music Theatre Supplement. Resume, photographs, Personal Statement (video), Interview questions, two performance video, acapella singing, optional supporting materials

Academic Parameters

When applying to an institution, it is important to look at the academic information of previous applicants. This includes the SAT/ACT test scores, SAT Subject test scores (if available), GPA ranges, or class ranking. By looking at these data points, you may assess where you fall and how likely is your admission into this college. Please note, there are students who do fall below the middle range and are still admitted, but then their application has one or more factors that boosts their application, such as a special talent, a recruitable athlete, legacy, racial or socioeconomic minority. Use the chart below to see where you fall and if you may raise your test scores and grades to keep your application in the running.

Testing/GPA Guidelines

Middle 50 SAT (means the 50% of incoming students scored at or higher)

SAT Composite Score: 1440-1550

SAT ERW: 700-760

SAT Math: 730-790

Middle 50 ACTACT Composite Score: 33-35
Rank90% of Students in Top 10% of their class

IvyBound Consulting featured Harvard University on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter from March 11-16, 2019

Day 1 • Northwestern University

According to US News & World Report, Northwestern University is ranked #10  in National Universities, tied with John Hopkins University. Schools are ranked according to their performance across a set of widely accepted indicators of excellence. Please check their website to read up on these indicators. We are using US News for its popularity, but by no means should they be the only source in determining your “best fit” college. Your best fit colleges should be determined by your academic goals, your personality fit, and financial considerations.  

Northwestern University:
Private/Coed, Total undergraduate enrollment of  8,278.

Founded in 1851.

Suburban: located in the town of Evanston, near Chicago.

Tuition & Fees:
Room and board : $54,567 (2018-19).

The school’s 10 residential colleges offer thematic living quarters for social and academic programming. 52% of Students who live in college-owned, operated or affiliated housing, and 48% of students who live off-campus. Types of campus housing available: coed dorms, women’s dorms, men’s dorms. With 13 residence halls and 15 residential colleges and communities ranging in size from 21 to 400 students, you’ll find the perfect place to fit in, both academically and socially. There are even special-interest options for students who prefer fraternity and sorority life or environmentally friendly, substance-free, gender-open or interfaith housing. Regardless of where you live, you’ll find everything the campus has to offer just outside of your door.

Admit Rate:
Most competitive.

Northwestern University has a total undergraduate enrollment of 8,278, with a gender distribution of 50 percent male students and 50 percent female students. At this school, 52 percent of the students live in college-owned, -operated or -affiliated housing and 48 percent of students live off campus. In sports, Northwestern University is part of the NCAA I. Ethnicity/Race: 23.5% Asian, 10.1% African American, 13.5% Hispanic, 56% White, 1% American Indian, 11.1% International.

Religious Affiliation:

Other Awards by US News:
#10 (tie) in National Universities, #26 (tie) in Best Undergraduate Teaching, #15 in Best Value Schools

Day 2 • School Mission, Mascot, Sports

University motto:.
The University’s official motto “Quaecumque sunt vera” translates as “Whatsoever things are true.”

Willie the Wildcat. The first mascot, however, was a live, caged bear cub from the Lincoln Park Zoo named Furpaw who was brought to the playing field on the day of a game to greet the fans. But after a losing season, the team decided that Furpaw was to blame for this misfortune, and banished him from the campus forever.

Northwestern Purple and its tints and shades. By using a range of tones, it shows flexibility without sacrificing the recognition and equity of our heritage color.

Northwestern University is a Division I school in the Big Ten athletic conference. Northwestern’s women’s lacrosse team has won multiple NCAA national championships. Northwestern students get to see some of the best college football, basketball, lacrosse, soccer and other sports.

Day 3 • Academics/Top Undergraduate Majors/Student Life

Northwestern’s 1,500 full-time faculty members include recipients of the Pulitzer Prize, Tony Award, and MacArthur “genius” grant, as well as other awards and honors. In 2016, Board of Trustees Professor of Chemistry Sir Fraser Stoddart was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry “for the design and synthesis of molecular machines.” In the faculty ranks are members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and other honorary and professional societies. But they are also dedicated teachers, with many of the top scholars and researchers working side-by-side with undergraduate students. With 77 percent of classes having fewer than 20 students, and Northwestern’s low 6:1 student-faculty ratio, undergraduate students have numerous opportunities to collaborate with faculty in research, as well as receive career advice and assistance from faculty mentors.

Academic Calendar:
Quarter system.

Top Undergraduate Majors:
Economics; Journalism; Psychology; Political Science and Government; and Biology/Biological Sciences.
Northwestern University offers a wide range of academic choices, extensive undergraduate research opportunities with more than 4,000 courses and 190-plus majors, minors, certificates and concentrations.

Highly-ranked Graduate programs:
Kellogg School of Management, the School of Law, the Feinberg School of Medicine, McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, and the School of Education and Social Policy.

Student Life:
Northwestern University offers more than 500 student clubs, such as theatre, cookology, solar car team, and mixed race student coalition. Nineteen varsity sports, such as, Football, Basketball, Golf, Lacrosse, and volleyball. Hundreds of events. Northwestern also provides several options for dining, such as, meat-and-potatoes comfort food, vegetarian and vegan options, Kosher and international cuisine. As an undergraduate, you’ll enjoy 19 all-you-can-eat meals a week on your dining plan. Along with 6 dining halls, and a variety of restaurants, cafes and convenience stores, you’ll never have to wait long or go far to fill up.

Day 4 • Notable Alumni

Northwestern has 225,000 alumni worldwide. There are notable alumni in many fields including business, government, law, science, education, medicine, media, and the performing arts. Among Northwestern’s more notable alumni are Rahm Emanuel, mayor of Chicago and former White House Chief of Staff,  David Schwimmer, actor best known for Ross of Friends, Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, Elisabeth Leamy, the recipient of 13 Emmy and four Edward R. Murrow awards, Mary Harris Thompson, first female surgeon in Chicago, and founder of the Mary Thomson Hospital.

Day 5 • Applying to Princeton? Be Collegebound with IvyBound

Looking at first-time, Freshman Applicants:

Admission Rate:
8.4% (including early applicants)

Early Decision Admit Rate:
50% of class is chosen during early round.

Total Applicants:



Yield Rate:

Early Option:
Early Decision (November 1 is deadline)

Regular Deadline:
January 1

Admission Requirements:
See Table above

Admissions into this prestigious University, Northwestern, is extremely competitive as the acceptance rate is decreasing each year. With the increase of sheer number of applicants, how do you stand out and get admitted? If Northwestern University is one of the colleges on your list, use this invaluable worksheet to plan and prepare to apply.

IvyBound Consulting offers personalized college admissions services to help you create winning college applications that surely gets you admitted. Choose from one-on-one counseling services, college admissions online course- Applications That Get You Admitted!, private facebook group membership, and essay review and editing services.

Next week, I will cover, US News Week’s #12 Nationally Ranked University, California Institute of Technology (Cal Tech). Stay Tuned.

Be Collegebound with IvyBound!

* Sources used: the college website, common data set, college factual, US World News, other websites.

Hey guys, welcome to the episodes Be Collegebound with IvyBound! I’m your host, Ruchi S. Kothari. I’m super excited that you’ve joined me.

Listen to my most recent podcast or watch my video to pick up admissions tips, tricks, and secrets that I provide to get admitted into the college of your dreams, and create a future that you would love. Do you want to get into your dream school? Of course, you do. 


Then, stay tuned…

Download this invaluable resource!