Northwestern Acceptance Rate 2022, 2023, 2024, 2025 & 2026

How to Get Into Northwestern: Admissions Data and Strategies


Check here Northwestern Acceptance Rate for all year. Here I have listed Northwestern Acceptance Rate

  • Northwestern Acceptance Rate 2022
  • Northwestern Acceptance Rate 2023
  • Northwestern Acceptance Rate 2024
  • Northwestern Acceptance Rate 2025
  • Northwestern Acceptance Rate 2026

Northwestern Acceptance Rate: Northwestern University is a highly competitive institution, and its admissions figures are what make Northwestern University one of the 50 schools with the highest competition for admission to undergraduates worldwide.

Like the trends across the top universities, Northwestern University’s acceptance rates have continued to fall over the last eight years and are likely to decline in the coming years.

The class of 2023 was among the most challenging years for students to be admitted into Northwestern University.

In the class of 2023, there were 40,577 applicants for admission to Northwestern University, of which 3,611 students were admitted, which resulted in an acceptance rate of 8.9 percent.

northwestern acceptance rate

The number of applications for the entire class was up 0.4%over the previous period (2022 until 2023) from 40,425 students to 40,577.

For the class of 2023, 1,100 applicants were accepted through an early application process. The number of early applications was 4,399, with the early admission rate at 25 percent. Early applications grew 8.6 percent over the previous period (2022 until 2023), from 4,049 to 4,399.

Northwestern University’s: Overall Acceptance Rate – Class of 2026

In creating this class of 2022/23 freshmen, Northwestern admitted 7 percent of the 51.554 applicants who applied for the admissions cycle. This is a significant decrease from the 9.3 percent acceptance rate that was in place two years ago.

Northwestern University Early Decision Acceptance Rate

The university snatched approximately 50% of its new first-year students from its ED round. No official ED statistics have been released for the class of 2025.

However, the director of admissions has stated that there were around 4500 students and 1,000 applicants accepted.

Northwestern University Early Decision Acceptance Rate

This translates to the estimated ED accept rate of around 22 percent. For the class of 2024, students who applied to be considered for ED acceptance were at a rate of 25, which was three times the standard acceptance rate, which was 7 percent.

The conclusion is clear: anyone determined to attend Northwestern should consider applying via the early binding decision.

Northwestern University Ranking

Northwestern University is an institution that is private and located away from Chicago in Evanston, Illinois. According to various US college rankings, it is among the top schools across the Midwest and the top 10 institutions across the United States.

Are you interested in making an application to Northwestern? If so, you should know as much information about the school as possible and include Northwestern University rankings. Northwestern University rankings as well as the following information:

  • Many places to locate US college rankings, such as those from the Wall Street Journal college rankings, Forbes college rankings, and US News college rankings.
  • College rankings are generally significant.
  • Particular Northwestern University ranking, e.g., Northwestern University’s ranking in US news. Northwestern University ranking in US news

Northwestern University Admissions – SAT, ACT, and Class Rank

The students in the class of 2024 (most recent official data available) achieved average scores on standardized tests that were 1468 for the SAT and 33 on the ACT.

A staggering 95% of the Class 2025 students were in the top quartile of their high school graduation class, and 91% landed in the top quarter of the class.

Average Academic Profile Of Accepted Northwestern University Students

The following information is on the academic profiles that are compiled by chosen Northwestern University students:


Northwestern University does not disclose the GPAs of accepted students or class rank. It is important to note that 96 % of the class of 2025 who graduated were among the top 10 students in their class at high school.


Northwestern’s 2025 class had an average 50 percent SAT score of 1430-1540 and a middle 50 % ACT mark of 33-35.

In the SAT, Northwestern acceptance of 82.22 percent scored a mark of 1400 or more in the class of 2025. In the ACT, 83.10 percent received scores that were 30 or more.

Class Rank

The high school class grades aren’t published in Northwestern’s class of 2025.

Northwestern GPA Requirements

Some schools require upper GPA requirements. However, it is usually only the minimum required for applicants to be able to submit their applications without having to worry about being rejected immediately.

The essential GPA requirement is the GPA you must have for a real chance of getting admitted. To determine this, we look at the average GPA of current students.

Northwestern’s mean GPA in Northwestern is 4.1. Northwestern averages 4.1.

(Most schools employ an unweighted GPA of 4.0, but some schools have a non-weighted grade. The school didn’t officially declare its average GPA; however, we’ve calculated the number here by analyzing data from more than 1,000 schools.)

With a GPA that is 4.1, Northwestern requires you to be at the highest in your field. It is essential to score nearly straight A’s throughout your classes to be able to compete with other applicants.

In addition, you should be taking a lot of challenging classes that are AP as well as IB courses – to demonstrate that college-level academics are accessible.

If you’re in your senior or junior years, your GPA is challenging to alter before college applications. If your GPA is below or below the school average of 4.1, you’ll need an increase in your SAT or ACT score to make up for it. This will allow you to stand out from other candidates with higher GPAs than you.

SAT and ACT Requirements

Every school has its standards for standardized testing. Most schools require the SAT or ACT, and many require SAT subject tests.

You have to take or take both the SAT or ACT for an application at Northwestern. More importantly, you must do well to submit a solid application.

Northwestern SAT Requirements

Some schools claim that they do not have an SAT score threshold. However, the reality is that there’s a secret SAT requirement. The cutoff is based on the average score for the school.

A typical SAT score composite for Northwestern is 1495 on the 1600 SAT scale.

This score makes Northwestern Highly Competitive for a score on the SAT exam.

Northwestern ACT Requirements

Like SAT, Northwestern likely doesn’t have a strict ACT cutoff; however, if you score below, your application could be sent to the recycling bin.

Its mean ACT score for Northwestern was 34. This is what makes Northwestern extremely competitive in ACT scores.

The 25th percentile ACT score is 33, as is the 75th percentile ACT score of 35.

While Northwestern is likely to say they don’t have a minimum ACT requirement, If you apply with a score below 33, you’ll have a difficult time getting into the school unless you can show other impressive things to show on your application. Many applicants who scored 34 and above 33 could be seen as weak academically.

Northwestern SAT Score Analysis (New 1600 SAT)

The 25th percentile of the New SAT score is 1450, while the 75th percentile of the New SAT score is 1540. Also, a 1450 score on the New SAT places you below the average. A score of 1540 would raise you into the upper quartile.

Here’s the breakdown of the latest SAT scores for each section:

Section Average 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
Math 765 740 790
Reading + Writing 730 700 760
Composite 1495 1450 1540

SAT Score Choice Policy

Your Score Choice policy at your school is a crucial element of your school’s testing strategy.

Northwestern is covered by a Score Choice policy “Highest Section. “

It is also referred to by the term “superscoring.” This means you can select the SAT tests you would like to submit to your school. Out of all their scores, your applicants will be able to judge your top section scores across all the SAT test dates you provide.

ACT Score Sending Policy

When you’re taking the ACT instead of the SAT, in this case, you’ll have an advantage in how you report scores. This dramatically influences your testing strategy.

This is how it works: when you send ACT scores to colleges, you are in complete control over the tests you submit. 

You could take 10 tests but only send your top score. This is in contrast to the SAT, which, in many cases, requires you to send every test you ever took.

That means you stand more opportunities than you thought to increase your ACT score. If you want to reach the school’s ACT requirements of 35 or above, you must make an effort to take the ACT every time you can. Once you’ve got the result you’re satisfied with, send that score to all the schools you attend.

ACT Superscore Policy

In general, colleges don’t superscore the ACT. (Superscore means that the college will take your highest section scores from all tests you take and blends these scores to produce the most effective combined score). Therefore, most schools will only take your best ACT score from one session.

We couldn’t find the specific ACT guidelines, which likely means it does not offer Superscore. However, you can choose your highest ACT score to submit to Northwestern, and you must practice until you get to the suggested ACT score of 35.

How to Apply to Northwestern University 


Application Timeline Deadline Notification Date
Early Action November 1 Mid-December
Regular Decision January 2 April 1

Application Requirements

Northwestern accepts both the Common Application and the Coalition Application. The other Northwestern application requirements are:

  • Official transcript
  • Mid-year transcript
  • School report
  • Counselor recommendation
  • Teacher recommendation
  • Music audition (music school only)

Other optional materials include:

  • SAT/ACT Score
  • Northwestern writing supplement

Northwestern University Graduate Admissions

Northwestern is open to students from across the world. Northwestern does not differentiate between students from the United States and those from other countries by limiting the number of students from abroad. The graduate programs offered at Northwestern University 

are offered through its Graduate School. The Graduate School awards master’s degrees in Master of Arts (MA) and Master of Science (MS), Master of Public Health (MPH), and Master of Fine Arts (MFA).

What are the essential documents needed to be submitted for PG programs? What are the general requirements for PG programs? Graduate School, in general, is required to provide the following documents:

  • Online application completed
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Transcripts uploaded or school report
  • Standardized test scores
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • GRE and GMAT scores
  • Resume

Eligible Candidates According To Northwestern University

Applicants must meet all Northwestern University admission requirements to be admitted to NU. Of the most crucial requirements is having 72% undergraduates with more subjects of study. That means that students must excel in their daily classes and other activities.

Furthermore, the more awards they earn during secondary school, the better their chance of being chosen per the requirements for admission to Northwestern.

Beyond that, Northwestern also considers the results of extracurricular pursuits. This helps them assess how well the applicants are. Students also can impress NU with their scores in the essay.

How Northwestern University tests Applications 

Very Important Important Considered Not Considered
Course Rigor Essay Test Scores Religious Affiliation
Class Rank Recommendation Letters Interview Geographical Location
GPA Extracurricular Activities First Generation State Residence
Talent Legacy
Personal Abilities Racial Status
Volunteer Work
Work Experience
Applicant Interest

Admissions Trends & Notes – (Class of 2026)

  • 21 percent of the students in the class of 2025 were awarded Pell Grants.
  • 15% of Class 2025 comprised first-generation college students, up from 13% in the previous year.
  • The number of applicants for the class of 2026 grew by 4,000.
  • The students currently come from 105 countries and speak more than 70 languages.
  • 61% of students in the current academic year receive financial aid.

How Can You Increase Your Possibility Of Being Accepted To Northwestern University? 

  • Get the most excellent possible GPA by applying to the most challenging classes offered:    

The University doesn’t reveal the total Northwestern GPA of applicants in 2025’s class. It doesn’t mean that they do not care about your GPA. Ranking in class, GPA, and course rigorousness are three factors that institutions consider when deciding on admission.

Selective colleges use Academic Index to expedite the interview process. In addition, Academic Index reduces an applicant’s academic qualifications to one number.

Northwestern employs this single score to narrow down the list of candidates. Therefore when the Academic Index falls outside Northwestern’s threshold, you are less likely to be a serious candidate.

Students must enroll in the most challenging courses to surpass the Academic Index bar per the Northwestern admissions conditions. 

Graduates at the top schools in the country, such as Northwestern, are likely to have taken more than 12 AP courses in their high school years.

If you have a low GPA in high school, you’ll require improvement in your GPA to be placed on the Northwestern acceptance list.

But, it’s harder to increase your GPA when you become a senior or junior. The simplest way to improve the Academic Index is to improve the score on your test.

  • Aim for 35 ACT and A 1540 SAT:

The SAT scoring range of students applying to Northwestern is 1430-1540. Northwestern’s ACT scores range from 33 to 35. Any grade that is 50 percent or less is considered acceptable.

If you’re closer to the top end of the spectrum, your chances of admission increase. Furthermore, NU will super score the SAT and ACT results of those who take them more than once per Northwestern’s admissions requirements.

Therefore it is recommended to take your SAT or ACT repeatedly is an intelligent way to increase your odds of getting into Northwestern.

  • Write Interesting Essays :

According to Northwestern University admission requirements, essays are the most effective method to establish your worth over other applicants.

This is why Northwestern emphasizes the importance of the Coalition Application and Common Application essays. In addition, it suggests that applicants submit the writing component.

In addition to the Northwestern Writing Supplement, several schools require an essay to be submitted for admission.

  • Develop Tier 1-2 Extracurricular Activities:

Extracurricular activities provide a great chance to stand out from others and showcase your uniqueness. It’s an integral element of the various requirements for admission at Northwestern.

While every extracurricular activity can be a way to show your passion beyond the classroom, certain activities are more prominent during an interview.

The four tiers of extracurriculars are an easy way to assess how your extracurricular activities impact your overall impression. Concentrate on some or all of the top tiers rather than those less impressive.

For instance, “spike” is a “spike” developed interest that can allow you to be accepted into the top 10 colleges like Northwestern.

  • Apply Early Action Or Early Decision

Northwestern University offers an early decision-making process (ED) with an approval rate higher than the school’s acceptance rate, which is 25 percent. 6.8 percent.

Therefore, applying for early decisions has proven to be one of the best ways for accepted students to improve the likelihood of being accepted at Northwestern.

A decision made early has a higher Northwestern accept rate; however, it’s not for all. If you make an early decision, you are committing to attend if you are accepted.

This means you cannot try the financial aid offers offered by other schools. It is a good option for students who are sure the decision is made for them. Northwestern is the best school that is right for them.

  • Recommendation Letters

Following Northwestern University admission requirements, the letters of recommendation are “essential” to show. Candidates must submit at least two recommendation letters to the university. The first one must be from the principal of your high school.

The second letter must come from a core teacher at your junior or senior school, who will be able to speak about the skills of the student. Teachers do not get paid for the time they put into writing letters of recommendation, so try to make it as simple as they can:

  • Make sure you allow plenty of time for teachers to draft an email. A couple of months’ notice is suggested.
  • Please provide them with all the documentation they require to compose an effective letter, which could include an application form, transcript, or memory of significant memory.
  • After they’ve written the message, make sure you thank them for it. It’s rare to present small gestures of appreciation, like a gift card or any other handmade item.

Who Actually Gets Into Northwestern University?

Let’s take a look at how the population of 2025 is shaped by the Northwestern University Class of 2025:

  • 10% of accepted students are from abroad, double the past decade’s percentage.
  • 6percent of them are Chicago Public School graduates.

Like any other highly-selective institution, the competition is fiercest among those from states with numerous streams of candidates (New York, California, Massachusetts).

If you’re from a less populous state such as Alaska, North Dakota, or Montana, the location you are in is more likely to give an advantage to your admission opportunities.

When it comes to ethnic identity, the breakdown of members of the 2025 Class was as the following:

  • Asian American: 24.4%
  • Hispanic: 16.8%
  • African American: 12%
  • White: 52.4%

The gender breakdown of the current students is as the following:

  • Male: 48%
  • Female: 52%

Yield Rate

Northwestern University’s yield rate is the percent of students accepted who decide to enroll divided by the number of students accepted to the class of 2025.

To compare, other best-ranked private universities have the highest yield rates, including Duke (61 percent), WashU (46%), and Rice University (44%).

Northwestern Early Decision Deadline

The Northwestern early Decision deadline is on November 1 day which is two months before the regular Decision deadline. It is a legally binding decision that requires that students be sure the fact that Northwestern is the right school for their needs.

A strong belief such as this may be intimidating. However, with proper research, seeking out advice from staff members and students, and a thorough exploration of the city and campus, students can have confidence that Northwestern is the ideal fit for them.

A few resources will aid students in determining if Northwestern is the right school. They can also figure out what they could offer to Northwestern.

One of the best tools students should use is Northwestern’s admissions blog. If you read the blog, prospective students will receive details from students who are currently Northwestern students on the requirements for applying to Northwestern.

Another good source to explore is the University’s Experiential Northwestern website.

As mentioned above, knowing about the city and campus is essential to determining whether a school is suitable for a student.

Northwestern offers a wide range of campus experiences, including virtual campus tours as well as the Indigenous campus tour and a Black student experience tour around campus, and a historical campus tour.

Traveling has become more complex as Covid-19 and Northwestern recognize that access online to information is an essential element of the world students live in.

Its Experience Northwestern page also details students who want to join online admissions counselors and attend live information sessions during which students can ask staff members and queries.

How the University Rates Applicants

There are four aspects to consider that Northwestern University ranks as being “very important” to their admissions process: the rigor of the secondary school transcript and ranking in the class, GPA, and standardized test scores (test-optional until at least 2023).

Additional five aspects are considered “important”: essays, recommendations additional-curricular activities, personality/character traits, and ability/talent.

“Considered” items are an optional alumni interview, first-generation status, alumni relations (legacy) or racial/ethnic background as well as volunteer or paid work, as well as the degree of interest an applicant has in Northwestern.

The admissions office’s terms: “Northwestern evaluates applications holistically. We aim to build an understanding of the student’s background based on a variety of types of sources.”

In a detailed explanation of the process, The Dean of Undergraduate Admissions recently said:

“Our screening process of review is very comprehensive and considers the wide range of the student experiences represented in our pool of applicants.

Every student’s talents, achievements, and capabilities are assessed in the high school and community context. Our decisions are not based on any specific formula or quota. Northwestern can meet the complete financial needs of all students admitted.

If you’ve applied for financial aid for a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or a non-documented U.S. high school student, your student’s financial needs were not considered in the final decision of Northwestern.”

It is beneficial to be recruited as an athlete to be part of Northwestern’s Division I teams; there are currently around 500 varsity players at Northwestern University.

What is Northwestern University Looking for?

Northwestern is looking for students looking to take “a Northwestern direction” and pursue a multidisciplinary educational program.

72 percent of students in undergrad study two or more fields of research. Northwestern offers the opportunity for students to study across schools and to pursue multiple minors and certificates.

Northwestern is a school that weighs its application essays, precisely that of the Common Application essay, more similarly than extracurricular activities. This makes Northwestern an ideal option for students with weaker resumes with extracurricular activities hoping to get into an elite school.

A few of the most famous names in print and broadcast journalism studied at Northwestern’s Medill School.

Therefore, Northwestern is the country’s most prestigious journalism school. It’s higher than even schools such as Harvard as well as Stanford.

Should I Apply to Northwestern University?

Acceptance rates have been as high as 7 to 9 percent in recent years; Northwestern is an institution looking for students who have reached (or over) at or above the 98th percentile of the standardized tests and have placed at the top in their class at high school. Most “A”s in an AP-heavy course are expected.

When Northwestern University is your aim, ensure that you have a reliable backup plan. Every student should create an appropriate list of colleges with various “target” and “safety” schools. It is essential to seek the advice of your counselor throughout the process.

Visa Aplication Process for International Students

After submitting an application for Northwestern on their portal online, The candidate has to submit a new student documentation request via their OISS(Office of International Scholars and Students) portal to obtain the visa needed to study in the USA. 

An I-20 is processed in about two to four weeks. The student must be able to pay for the SEVIS I-901 fee. The I-20 Form will be sent through FedEx after completing the admission process.

Candidates must provide the following documents to ensure an easy visa application process:

  • A Valid Passport
  • I-20 Form is provided through Northwestern University.
  • Copy of English test results, such as TOEFL.
  • An award of financial assistance letter(if appropriate).
  • Candidate’s Bank statement for the last six months.
  • A receipt indicates that the applicant had paid for fees for the SEVIS Fee.
  • Other letters show that the student is financially stable and is likely to return to his country of origin after his time in the United States.

After the I-20 Form is completed after the SEVIS fee has been paid, the person can schedule an appointment at the closest US Embassy.

Location & Contact

1801 Hinman Avenue
PO Box 3060
Evanston, IL  60208
United States
Ms. Elisabeth Kinsley
Associate Dean and Director of Undergraduate Admission
Phone: 847-491-7271


What GPA is required for Northwestern?

A 4.1 GPA or higher

It is also recommended to be able to boast at least a 4.1 GPA or more. If your GPA is less than this, you’ll have to make up for it with an ACT or SAT higher score.

If you’re applying to a school with a high-stakes selection like Northwestern, it is also necessary to impress them with the other aspects part of the application.

Is Northwestern as good as an Ivy?

US News and World Report, The most commonly-used rating system used in the US, ranks Northwestern at #9 in the nation, which is in line with Johns Hopkins University and Caltech and beating Cornell, Brown, and Johns Hopkins University. Ivies Dartmouth, Brown, and Cornell.

How difficult is it to get into Northwestern?

How Hard Is It to Get Into Northwestern University? Northwestern has been one of the most challenging schools to be admitted to and is becoming increasingly difficult.

Northwestern’s 6.8 percent admission percent was the worst ever recorded in the history of the school, admitting only 3,239 students out of 47,633 students who applied to its class of 2025.

Is Northwestern Ivy League level?

Even though Northwestern isn’t an Ivy League school, it is ranked as the #10 school among national universities. Ivy League Schools include Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Brown, Dartmouth, Cornell, and UPenn.

What major is Northwestern known for?

The most well-known majors at Northwestern University include Social Sciences; Communication, Journalism as well as Related Programs; Engineering; Physical Sciences; Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services; Mathematics and Statistics; Biomedical and Biological Sciences; Public Administration and Social Service …

Leave a Comment