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Northwestern Acceptance Rate & Admission Requirements

Apr 1, 2022

Are you looking for Northwestern University admission requirements? If yes, then your search ends here. This article will tell you everything you need to know about Northwestern acceptance rate, Northwestern GPA, etc. There are many things to consider during Northwestern admission. Here are some of the most vital ones.

Northwestern Acceptance Rate

Before you plan to apply to the University, you must know its acceptance rate. The Northwestern acceptance rate is 9% and is very selective when it comes to admission. This means you have to score well to ensure a seat. You need to meet an SAT score between 1440 and 1550 or get an average ACT score of 33-35. Either of the two will get you lucky for admission. 


Average Academic Profile Of Accepted Northwestern Students

The following data is on the academic profiles of selected Northwestern University students:


Northwestern University does not disclose accepted students’ GPAs or class ranks. But it is worth mentioning that 96 per cent of the 2025 class who graduated were among the top 10 in their high school class.



Northwestern’s 2025 class had a middle 50 per cent SAT mark of 1430-1540 and a middle 50 per cent ACT score of 33-35. On the SAT, Northwestern acceptance of 82.22 per cent received a score of 1400 or higher in the 2025 class. On the ACT, 83.10 per cent received a score of 30 or higher.

Class Rank

Students’ high school class rankings are not published in Northwestern’s 2025 class.  


Eligible Candidates According to Northwestern University

To be accepted for admission at NU, candidates need to fulfill every Northwestern University admission requirement. One of the most important is to have 72% undergrads with more disciplines of study. This means students need to be good in their regular studies and extra activities. In addition, the more certificates they can meet in high school, the more their chances of selection according to admission requirements for Northwestern.

Apart from this, Northwestern also considers performance in extracurricular activities. This helps them determine how fit the candidates are. Students can also impress NU with their application essay scores.   


How Northwestern University tests Applications 

As per the 2020-2021 Common Data Set, Northwestern considers certain factors to test applicants. 

Very ImportantImportantConsideredNot Considered
Course RigorEssayTest ScoresReligious Affiliation
Class RankRecommendation LettersInterviewGeographical Location
GPAExtracurricular ActivitiesFirst GenerationState Residence
Personal AbilitiesRacial Status
Volunteer Work
Work Experience
Applicant Interest

Admissions Trends & Notes (Class of 2025)

  • Pell Grants were awarded to 21% of candidates in the Class of 2025.
  • First-generation college candidates account for 15% of the 2025 Class.
  • The number of applications received increased from 39,261 for the 2020-21 first-year class to 47,636 for the 2021-22 first-year class.
  • Undergraduates come from 105 different nations and speak more than 70 languages.
  • Today, 61 per cent of undergraduates get some type of financial aid.

Who gets Admission into Northwestern University?

Let’s take a look at the figures for the Class of 2025 at Northwestern University:

  • International Students (10%)
  • Chicago Public School graduates (6%)

When it came to ethnicity, the participants of the Class of 2025 were divided as follows:

  • Asian Americans (24.4%)
  • Hispanic (16.8%)
  • African American (12%)
  • White (52.4%)

The following is a breakdown of all current undergraduates by gender:

  • Male (48%)
  • Female (52%)

Yield Rate

For the 2025 Class, Northwestern University’s yield rate was 60%. This Northwestern acceptance rate is higher than other top-ranked private colleges such as Rice University (44 per cent) and WashU (46 per cent). 

How can you Increase your Possibility of being Accepted to Northwestern University? 

1. Get the greatest possible GPA by applying to the most difficult classes offered:

Although the University does not disclose the cumulative Northwestern GPA of candidates who applied in the class of 2025. This does not mean they are not interested in your GPA. Class rank, GPA, and course rigor are the criteria the institution considers during admission. 


Academic Index is used by selective colleges to speed up the interview process. Besides, the Academic Index reduces an applicant’s educational qualifications to a single value. The university uses this single value to shortlist suitable candidates. Thus, if your Academic Index falls outside of Northwestern’s range, you are less likely a serious applicant.

Students need to register for the most difficult courses offered to clear the Academic Index bar as per the Northwestern admission requirements. Graduates at top 10 schools, such as Northwestern, are likely to have taken upwards of 12 AP courses during their high school years. 

If your GPA is poor while still in high school, you will need to improve your GPA to place yourself on the Northwestern acceptance rate list. But, it will be more difficult to raise your GPA as a junior or senior. Thus the easiest method to raise your Academic Index is to improve your test result.

2. Aim for 35 ACT, and A 1540 SAT:

The SAT score range for applied students at Northwestern is 1430-1540, and the ACT score range is 33-35. Any grade in the middle of 50% is acceptable. But, if you come nearer to the top of the range, the admission chances become greater.  In addition, NU will superscore both the SAT and ACT results of candidates who take them several times as per Northwestern’s admission requirements. Thus, taking the SAT or ACT several times is a good approach to boost your chances of admission.  

3. Write Interesting Essays :

According to the Northwestern University admission requirements, essays are the best method to prove yourself better than competitors. Thus, Northwestern gives the Coalition Application and Common Application essays a lot of importance. Besides, it also suggests that all candidates must include a writing supplement. Apart from the Northwestern Writing Supplement, several schools demand an essay for admission.

4. Develop Tier 1-2 Extracurricular Activities:

Extracurricular activities are an excellent opportunity to set yourself apart from competitors and show what makes you different. It is an important part of the different admission requirements for Northwestern.

Although all extracurricular activities can show your passion outside the class, some stand out more throughout the interview process. The 4 Tiers of Extracurriculars are a simple method to see how your extracurricular activities affect you. Focus on one or two from the upper tiers rather than the less-impressive ones. For example, a “spike” is a developed interest that can help you get into a top-10 college like Northwestern. 

5. Apply Early Action Or Early Decision

Northwestern University offers an early decision application process (ED), with a higher approval rate than the university’s total acceptance rate—25 per cent vs. 6.8%. As a result, applying for an early decision has been one of the best methods for accepted students to increase their chances of acceptance at Northwestern.

An early decision has a greater Northwestern acceptance rate, but it is not for everyone. By applying for early decision, you agree to go if accepted. This means you won’t be able to test financial help offers from other schools. Early decision is a good option for applicants who are certain that Northwestern is the institution for them. 

6. Recommendation Letters 

As per the Northwestern University admission requirements, the letters of recommendation are “essential” to show. Applicants need to provide two letters of recommendation to the University. One letter must come from your high school principal. The other letter should be from a core subject teacher from your senior or junior school who can speak on the student’s abilities. Teachers are not paid for the hours they invest writing letters of recommendation, so make it as simple as possible for them:

  • Give plenty of time for the teachers to write a letter. A few months’ notices are recommended.
  • Give them all the documents they need to write a convincing letter, including a CV, transcript, or a remembrance of a meaningful memory.
  • Once they have written it, ensure to thank them. It’s uncommon to provide a modest gesture of appreciation, such as a gift card or anything handcrafted.


As admission to this school is competitive, having a high SAT or ACT score and a Northwestern GPA is essential. If you don’t meet the SAT, ACT, and GPA needs, you won’t fulfill the Northwestern admission requirements and so, your application will be rejected. Besides, you will also need to impress the authorities with extracurricular activities if you are applying to a school like Northwestern.



northwestern acceptance rate


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