University of Chicago vs. Northwestern


Should I go to University of Chicago or Northwestern University? Compare the two schools' costs, SAT, ACT, GPA, admissions criteria and outcomes to help you make your decision.

University of Chicago Comparison

University of Chicago vs. Northwestern University comparison
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School University of Chicago Northwestern
Location Chicago, IL Evanston, IL
Students 17,002 22,127
Type Private 4 Year Private 4 Year
Religious Affiliation - -
Status Non-profit Non-profit


Tuition (In State) $55,425 $54,120
Tuition (Out of State) $55,425 $54,120
Room & Board $16,350 $16,626
Avg Net Price $34,834 $26,099
Avg Grant Aid $37,883 $44,247
% Receiving Grant Aid 58% 54%


Acceptance Rate 7.3% 8.5%
Avg High School GPA 4.0 3.92
Admissions Standards Elite Elite
Applicant Competition Extreme Extreme
ACT Range 33/35 33/35
SAT Range 1470/1570 1430/1550
Application Deadline Jan 1, 2020 Jan 1, 2020


Graduation Rate 92% 94%
Median Earnings (After 10 years) $98,500 $89,800
Making Student Loan Payments 86% 87%
Median Student Loan Debt $14,500 $19,378
Median Loan Payment $149 $200
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Comparable Facts

  • Northwestern University is larger than than University of Chicago based on total student enrollment (22,127 students vs. 17,002 students)

University of Chicago vs. Northwestern Cost Comparison

  • University of Chicago is 2.4% more expensive to attend than Northwestern for in-state tuition ($55,425.00 vs. $54,120.00)
  • Out of state tuition is 2.4% higher at University of Chicago than Northwestern University ($55,425.00 vs. $54,120.00)
  • The typical actual cost that students pay to attend (average net price) is less at Northwestern University than University of Chicago ($26,099 vs. $34,834)
  • Living costs (room and board or off-campus housing budget) at University of Chicago are 1.7% lower than costs at Northwestern University ($16,350 vs. $16,626)
  • More students receive financial grant aid at University of Chicago than Northwestern University (58% vs. 54%)
  • The average total grant financial aid received by Northwestern University students is 16.8% larger than aid received University of Chicago ($44,247 vs. $37,883)

University of Chicago vs. Northwestern Admissions Difficulty Comparison

  • The average SAT score at University of Chicago (1506) is 46 points higher than at Northwestern (1460)
  • Incoming University of Chicago students have a 1 point higher average ACT score (34) than students at Northwestern (33)
  • Northwestern has a higher acceptance rate (8.5%) than University of Chicago (7.3%)

University of Chicago vs. Northwestern Graduation Outcomes Comparison

  • The graduation rate at Northwestern is higher that University of Chicago (94% vs. 92%)
  • Graduates from University of Chicago earn on average $8,700 more per year than Northwestern graduates after ten years. ($98,500 vs. $89,800)
  • University of Chicago students graduate with a $4,878 lower median federal student loan debt than Northwestern graduates. ($14,500 vs. $19,378)
  • University of Chicago graduates are paying $51 less per month on federal student loans than Northwestern graduates. ($149 vs. $200)
  • More Northwestern graduates are actively paying back their federal student loan debt than former University of Chicago students, three years after graduation. (87% vs. 86%)

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