Northwestern vs. WUSTL


Should I go to Northwestern University or Washington University in St Louis? Compare the two schools' costs, SAT, ACT, GPA, admissions criteria and outcomes to help you determine if Northwestern or WUSTL is the better college for you.

Northwestern Comparison

Northwestern University vs. Washington University in St Louis comparison
Northwestern WUSTL
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Location Evanston, IL Saint Louis, MO
Setting Small City Large Suburban
Students 22,127 15,852
Type Private 4 Year Private 4 Year
Religious Affiliation - -
Status Non-profit Non-profit


Tuition (In State) $54,120 $52,400
Tuition (Out of State) $54,120 $52,400
Room & Board $16,626 $16,440
Avg Net Price $26,099 $27,777
Avg Grant Aid $44,247 $41,977
% Receiving Grant Aid 54% 46%

Admission and Academics

Acceptance Rate 8.5% 15%
Avg High School GPA 3.92 3.92
Admissions Standards Elite Elite
Applicant Competition Extreme Very High
ACT Range 33/35 32/35
SAT Range 1430/1550 1470/1570
Application Deadline Jan 1, 2020 Jan 15, 2020


Graduation Rate 94% 93%
Median Earnings (After 10 years) $89,800 $82,800
Making Student Loan Payments 87% 88%
Median Student Loan Debt $19,378 $19,900
Median Loan Payment $200 $205
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Comparable Facts

  • Northwestern University is larger than than WUSTL based on total student enrollment (22,127 students vs. 15,852 students)

Northwestern vs. WUSTL Cost Comparison

Which college is more expensive, Northwestern or WUSTL ?

  • Northwestern University is 3.3% more expensive to attend than WUSTL for in-state tuition ($54,120.00 vs. $52,400.00)
  • Out of state tuition is 3.3% higher at Northwestern than Washington University in St Louis ($54,120.00 vs. $52,400.00)
  • The typical actual cost that students pay to attend (average net price) is less at Northwestern University than WUSTL ($26,099 vs. $27,777)
  • Living costs (room and board or off-campus housing budget) at Washington University in St Louis are 1.1% lower than costs at Northwestern University ($16,440 vs. $16,626)
  • More students receive financial grant aid at Northwestern University than Washington University in St Louis (54% vs. 46%)
  • The average total grant financial aid received by Northwestern University students is 5.4% larger than aid received Washington University in St Louis ($44,247 vs. $41,977)

Northwestern vs. WUSTL Admissions Difficulty Comparison

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

  • The average SAT score at Washington University in St Louis (1469) is 9 points higher than at Northwestern (1460)
  • Incoming Northwestern students have at the same average ACT score (33) as students at WUSTL (33)
  • WUSTL has a higher acceptance rate (15%) than Northwestern (8.5%)

Northwestern vs. WUSTL Graduation Outcomes Comparison

Which is better, Northwestern or WUSTL ? 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 WUSTL and Northwestern.

  • The graduation rate at Northwestern is higher that Washington University in St Louis (94% vs. 93%)
  • Graduates from Northwestern University earn on average $7,000 more per year than WUSTL graduates after ten years. ($89,800 vs. $82,800)
  • Northwestern University students graduate with a $522 lower median federal student loan debt than WUSTL graduates. ($19,378 vs. $19,900)
  • Northwestern graduates are paying $5 less per month on federal student loans than WUSTL graduates. ($200 vs. $205)
  • More WUSTL graduates are actively paying back their federal student loan debt than former Northwestern students, three years after graduation. (88% vs. 87%)

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