Northwestern vs. Notre Dame


Should I go to Northwestern University or University of Notre Dame? Compare the two schools' costs, SAT, ACT, GPA, admissions criteria and outcomes to help you determine if Northwestern or Notre Dame is the better college for you.

Northwestern Comparison

Northwestern University vs. University of Notre Dame comparison
Northwestern Notre Dame
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Location Evanston, IL Notre Dame, IN
Setting Small City Rural Fringe
Students 22,127 12,607
Type Private 4 Year Private 4 Year
Religious Affiliation - Roman Catholic
Status Non-profit Non-profit


Tuition (In State) $54,120 $52,884
Tuition (Out of State) $54,120 $52,884
Room & Board $16,626 $15,410
Avg Net Price $26,099 $27,453
Avg Grant Aid $44,247 $39,590
% Receiving Grant Aid 54% 56%

Admission and Academics

Acceptance Rate 8.5% 17.7%
Avg High School GPA 3.92 3.91
Admissions Standards Elite Elite
Applicant Competition Extreme Very High
ACT Range 33/35 33/35
SAT Range 1430/1550 1400/1550
Application Deadline Jan 1, 2020 Jan 1, 2020


Graduation Rate 94% 96%
Median Earnings (After 10 years) $89,800 $89,800
Making Student Loan Payments 87% 92%
Median Student Loan Debt $19,378 $21,500
Median Loan Payment $200 $222
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Comparable Facts

  • Northwestern University is larger than than Notre Dame based on total student enrollment (22,127 students vs. 12,607 students)

Northwestern vs. Notre Dame Cost Comparison

Which college is more expensive, Northwestern or Notre Dame ?

  • Northwestern University is 2.3% more expensive to attend than Notre Dame for in-state tuition ($54,120.00 vs. $52,884.00)
  • Out of state tuition is 2.3% higher at Northwestern than University of Notre Dame ($54,120.00 vs. $52,884.00)
  • The typical actual cost that students pay to attend (average net price) is less at Northwestern University than Notre Dame ($26,099 vs. $27,453)
  • Living costs (room and board or off-campus housing budget) at University of Notre Dame are 7.9% lower than costs at Northwestern University ($15,410 vs. $16,626)
  • More students receive financial grant aid at University of Notre Dame than Northwestern University (56% vs. 54%)
  • The average total grant financial aid received by Northwestern University students is 11.8% larger than aid received University of Notre Dame ($44,247 vs. $39,590)

Northwestern vs. Notre Dame Admissions Difficulty Comparison

Which college is harder to get into, Northwestern or Notre Dame ? Average SAT and ACT scores plus acceptance rates offer good insight into the difficulty of admission between Notre Dame or Northwestern .

  • The average SAT score at Northwestern University (1460) is 5 points higher than at Notre Dame (1455)
  • Incoming Northwestern students have at the same average ACT score (33) as students at Notre Dame (33)
  • Notre Dame has a higher acceptance rate (17.7%) than Northwestern (8.5%)

Northwestern vs. Notre Dame Graduation Outcomes Comparison

Which is better, Northwestern or Notre Dame ? Graduation rate, salary and amount of student loan debt are indicators of a college which offers better outcomes for its graduates. Compare the following outcomes facts between Notre Dame and Northwestern.

  • The graduation rate at Notre Dame is higher that Northwestern University (96% vs. 94%)
  • Graduates of Northwestern University and Notre Dame have equivalent average earnings after ten years ($89,800 vs. $89,800)
  • Northwestern University students graduate with a $2,122 lower median federal student loan debt than Notre Dame graduates. ($19,378 vs. $21,500)
  • Northwestern graduates are paying $22 less per month on federal student loans than Notre Dame graduates. ($200 vs. $222)
  • More Notre Dame graduates are actively paying back their federal student loan debt than former Northwestern students, three years after graduation. (92% vs. 87%)

Sources: U.S. Department of Education IPEDS and College Scorecard