Northwestern Acceptance Rate 2023

Northwestern Acceptance Rate [2023 Update]

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You need to know the acceptance rate of an Ivy plus school like Northwestern University before applying.

Admission into Northwestern has been difficult because of its low acceptance rate.

For some years now, Northwestern has consistently accepted a few students out of a large applicant pool.

This has been a cause of concern to applicants, parents, and guardians who wish for their kids to be in this school.

Hence, it is proper for you to be informed so that you can play your cards well.

On this page you will learn about;

  • Northwestern acceptance rates
  • Northwestern’s Early Decision and Regular Decision acceptance rates
  • Northwestern admission Requirements 
  • Northwestern GPA, SAT, ACT requirements
  • Tips on how to get into Northwestern and
  • Northwestern application deadline.

Without further ado let’s see some facts about Northwestern University (NU).

Meanwhile, you may like to read about Purdue Acceptance Rate 2023.

Northwestern Acceptance Rate 2023

An overview of Northwestern University

In 1851, a group of businessmen and professionals led by John Evans founded Northwestern University (NU) in Evanston, Illinois.

As of 1900, NU was the third largest university in the United States.

Presently, this institution is a private research university ranking among the most prestigious institutions in the world.

It is composed of eleven undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools.

So far, Northwestern has over 8,000 undergraduate and about 14,000 graduate students.

Since 1946, the Northwestern Wildcats have remained the only private university that competes in the NCAA Division I Big Ten Conference.

The innovations and research at Northwestern are record-breaking, teaching over 100 innovation-based courses.

Just like other prestigious universities like Harvard and the University of Michigan, Northwestern University is among the most selective universities in the US.

Northwestern acceptance rate history

The northwestern acceptance rate is extremely selective than before because of the increasing number of applicants.

This means that the acceptance rate is dependent on the number of applicants as well as the number of students accepted.

You can calculate the Northwestern acceptance rate by dividing the total number of admitted students by the overall number of applicants.

The table below shows the Northwestern acceptance rate, and the number of applicants and admitted students for some years.

Year of EntryClass of.ApplicantsAdmittedAcceptance Rate

Going back in time, the table above shows that the Northwestern acceptance rate in 1993 was 42.3% from an applicant pool of 12,731.

Over time, the number of applicants increased and the number of admitted students dropped from about 5,000 to 4,000 and now to about 3,000.

This has played a major role in reducing the acceptance rate.

As a result, gaining admission into Northwestern is challenging.

Also, you can read about UCSD Acceptance Rate 2023 [Admission Guide].

The Northwestern first-year acceptance rate

The Northwestern class of 2026 acceptance rate is 7% out of 51,554 applicants.

This is a small increase when compared to the previous year’s acceptance rate of 6.8% from an applicant pool of 47,633.

Although the Northwestern class of 2025 applications is less than that of the class of 2026 the acceptance rate is lower.

Northwestern transfer acceptance rate

According to Northwestern undergraduate admissions, less than 15% of transfer applicants are admitted yearly.

NU received 3,420 applications in 2022 but there are no details yet about how many transfers were admitted.

The most recent NU transfer acceptance rate is 9.7% for the class of 2025 from 2,965 applications.

Northwestern Early Decision and Regular Decision acceptance rates

As reported by some sources, the most recent Northwestern Early Decision (ED) acceptance rate is 25% while that of Regular Decision (RD) is 6%.

The ED is a binding application option for applicants who choose Northwestern as their first choice and are willing to withdraw from other admissions if admitted to NU.

Unlike the RD which is non-binding, where applicants can accept other schools’ offers if admitted to NU. 

While some say it is better to apply as Early Decision because of its higher admission rate, you need to know that the number of early applicants is fewer than that of the regular applicants.

On the other hand, an equal number of students are admitted from both ED and RD the

So, whether or not you apply as ED or RD what matters most is that you are qualified but to be on the safer side you should apply early.

Northwestern international student acceptance rate

The acceptance rate for Northwestern international applicants is 10.3% for the class of 2025.

In the next session, we will see the NU admission requirement for the different entry plans.

You may like to know about the NYU Transfer Acceptance Rate [How To Gain Admission Fast].

Northwestern admission requirements

Below are the Northwestern admission requirements for first-year, transfer, and international candidates.

NU first-year admission requirements

A complete Northwestern first-year requirement includes:

  • An official secondary school transcript and a school report
  • A counselor’s recommendation
  • At least one teacher recommendation
  • An optional SAT or ACT scores 
  • A non-refundable application fee of $75 or application for a fee waiver
  • An Early Decision agreement (for Early Decision applicants)
  • A Midyear transcript

Northwestern transfer admission requirements

All transfer students are to provide the following:

  • An official university transcript(s) from all schools attended.
  • An official secondary school transcript with proof of graduation
  • A college report and academic evaluation
  • SAT or ACT scores (optional)
  • A non-refundable application fee of $75 or apply for a fee waiver
  • Music audition for School of Music applicants

Northwestern international requirements 

If you are an international candidate, the first-year/transfer requirements apply to you.

In addition, you are required to provide an English proficiency test if English is not your first language or you were not taught in English.

Below are the English proficiency exam options. 

  •  Duolingo English Test (DET)
  •  IELTS 
  •  TOEFL iBT

In the meantime, read about UCLA Acceptance Rate 2023 [How to Get in].

Northwestern average and minimum GPA

You can apply with a minimum GPA of 3.0 or an average GPA of 4.09 to be admitted into Northwestern University.

If you have a GPA less than 4.0, it is advised you apply with AP or IB scores and a high standardized test score.

Northwestern average SAT/ACT score

The average SAT score for admitted students is between 1460 – 1540.

For ACT scores, admitted students had between 33 -35.

Apart from the academic requirements, there are also some equally important criteria that NU looks out for in applicants.

What does Northwestern look for in a student?

Northwestern University is looking for students who are fit or who meet up the fit factor criteria.

The fit factor is classified into 3 categories, and they are:

1. Academic growth and intellectual curiosity:

What interests you and what you have challenged yourself with is very important to the NU admission team.

You must be able to tell what you are passionate about and with much depth be able to tell how much you have pushed yourself in that direction.

It may be about your area of study, tech, animals, space, or traveling, it could be anything but something that motivates you.

2. Involvement and community:

The NU admissions team wants to know how you have served others or your community, what you have done, why, and how you did them.

This includes family, school, service organization, your job role, voluntary experience, and any form of service.

NU wants to know what you have to offer to the Northwestern community.

3. Personal characteristics:

NU wants you to look beyond “what the admission teams want to see in you (the applicant)” but on what You want the admission team to know about you.

They want you to be full of useful experiences and good qualities such as passion, creativity, resilience, leadership, etc.

Meanwhile, you can read about MIT Acceptance Rate 2023 [What You Need To Know].

How hard is it to get into Northwestern?

Your chances of gaining admission into Northwestern are 7%.

Simply put, it means only 7 students are admitted from every 100 who applied.

This school’s admission is both selective and competitive.

Despite Northwestern’s low acceptance rate, there are some helpful tips to note down before and during your application.

Tips on how to get into Northwestern

A university as good as Northwestern will always have a large number of applications each year.

For that reason, here are some tips that will enable you to stand out amidst the competition.

  • Ensure you have high grades, with more As in your courses. 
  • Aim for a high GPA of at least 4.1.
  • Take some Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) classes if your current GPA is low.
  • Enroll for an English proficiency test if you need one. 
  • Get your transcript ready.
  • Request for counselor and teacher recommendation
  • Submit your college report and academic evaluation
  • In your school, you can join an athletic team, engage in student politics, or join a club.
  • You can get a job or be involved in community service.
  • Your personal statement should be inspiring and must include your interest, background, goals, and academic and non-academic experience.
  • Write outstanding essays by reviewing past essay questions.
  • Enter all your details carefully during your application.
  • Apply early.

Northwestern application deadline 

November 1: Early Decision application deadline

Mid-December: Early Decision admission decision

February 1: Early Decision enrollment decision and tuition/housing deposit.

January 3: Regular Decision application deadline

Late March: Regular Decision admission decision

May 1: Regular Decision enrollment decision and tuition/housing deposit

March 15: transfer application deadline

April 10: Late transfer application deadline

You may like to read about Dartmouth Acceptance Rate 2023.

Conclusion: Northwestern acceptance rate

Knowing that the Northwestern acceptance rate is 7% gives you an edge over other candidates.

Even though Northwestern’s acceptance rate is low, this article provides you with all you need to make your dream school a reality.

Frequently asked questions about Northwestern 

  1. What GPA is needed for Northwestern?

    You need an average GPA of 4.1.

  2. Is 1490 good enough for Northwestern?

    Yes, an SAT score of 1490 is good for a Northwestern application.

  3. Is Northwestern as good as an Ivy?

    Yes, Northwestern is as good as an Ivy League school because it ranks 9th nationally above some Ivies like Dartmouth and Brown.

  4. Can I get into Northwestern with a 3.8 GPA?

    Yes, you can get into Northwestern with a 3.8 GPA by also applying with your AP/IB and SAT/ACT scores.

  5. What is Northwestern University's acceptance rate?

    The Northwestern University acceptance rate is 7%.

Look up Georgetown University Acceptance Rate [2023 Admissions].


  1. – Northwestern University Admissions
  2. – As Northwestern admits 7% of applicants for its class of 2026, President Schapiro says he still reads application files
  3. – The Fit Factor
  4. – Northwestern University
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