Northwestern Admission Requirements
Chances of getting into Northwestern University
How hard is it to get into Northwestern and can I get accepted? The school has a 8% acceptance rate ranking it #2 in Illinois for lowest rate of acceptance. Last year, 3,422 out of 40,425 applicants were admitted making Northwestern an extremely competitive school to get into with a very low chance of acceptance - even for applicants with the highest scores and grades. Academically, it has exceptionally high requirements for admission test scores, generally admitting students who score in the top 2 percent. Northwestern University typically accepts and attracts "A-" average high school students. Of those applicants who were admitted, 56% enrolled. With over half of admitted students enrolling, acceptance by Northwestern University is a prized outcome for many students. Most incoming freshmen graduated in the top quarter of their high school class.
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Northwestern SAT Scores
Applicants Submitting SAT45%
|SAT Test||25th Percentile Score|
|SAT Reading 25th||700|
|SAT Math 25th||730|
|SAT Composite 25th||1430|
|SAT Test||25th Percentile Score|
|SAT Reading 75th||760|
|SAT Math 75th||790|
|SAT Composite 75th||1550|
|Average SAT Score||1490|
SAT Scores you need to get in
What are the SAT requirements for students to be admitted to Northwestern University?
Northwestern University typically requires applicants to be in the top 3 percent of SAT test takers. The school consistently takes SAT composite scores down to 1430 on a 1600 scale, below which admission should be considered a reach. We estimate some students could be accepted with SAT's as low as 1370. The estimated average SAT composite for admitted freshman is 1490 out of 1600. The school ranks #2 in Illinois for highest average SAT composite score. 45 percent of applicants submit SAT scores to the school. Note: SAT scores presented on this page have been adjusted upwards per the College Board's concordance tables for test takers after March 2016.
|SAT Score (1600 scale)||Competitiveness||Admission Chances|
|1550 and Above||Good||>13%|
|1490 to 1550||Avg +||8%-13%|
|1430 to 1490||Avg -||5%-8%|
|1370 to 1430||Reach||3%-5%|
|Less than 1370||Low||<3%|
Northwestern ACT Scores
Applicants Submitting ACT65%
|ACT Test||25th Percentile Score|
|ACT Reading 25th||N/A|
|ACT Math 25th||N/A|
|ACT Composite 25th||33|
|ACT Test||75th Percentile Score|
|ACT Reading 75th||N/A|
|ACT Math 75th||N/A|
|ACT Composite 75th||35|
|Average ACT Score||34|
ACT Scores needed to get accepted
What are the ACT requirements for prospective students to get into Northwestern?
Admission data indicates that Northwestern regularly accepts students with ACT's of 33 and above. Successful applicants typically send ACT scores in the top 2 percent nationally. We estimate the school accepting minimum ACT composite scores around 32 in some instances. Prospective students submitting an ACT composite of 34 or higher should be in the upper half of applicants - and students with a 35 and above have very competitive chances. The school ranks #2 in Illinois for highest average ACT composite score. Scoring well on the ACT is very important as 65 percent of applicants submit ACT scores to Northwestern University.
|ACT Score||Competitiveness||Admission Chances|
|35 and Above||Good||>13%|
|34 to 35||Avg +||8%-13%|
|33 to 34||Avg -||5%-8%|
|32 to 33||Reach||3%-5%|
|Less than 32||Low||<3%|
Avg. High School GPA3.92*
Typical High School GradesA-
You will need exceptionally good grades to get into Northwestern University. The average high school GPA of the admitted freshman class at Northwestern University was 3.92 on the 4.0 scale indicating that primarily A- students are accepted and ultimately attend. The school ranks #3 in Illinois for highest average GPA. Given the school's very highly selective admissions, acceptance at Northwestern extremely difficult and unlikely even with a 3.92 GPA. The school should be considered a reach even if you have a 3.92 GPA.
91% of Northwestern University freshman were in the top twenty five percent of their high school graduating class.
|High School Class Rank||Freshmen Within Range|
|Top 10% of class||9%|
|Top 25% of class||91%|
|Top 50% of class||100%|
|Bottom 50% of class||0%|
|Bottom 25% of class||0%|
|Percent of Admitted Who Enrolled (Admission Yield)||59%||54%||56%|
Applications were DueJan 1, 2020
Days left to ApplyNone
The application deadline for Fall 2020 has passed. Applications were due on Jan 1, 2020.
What are the requirements for admission to Northwestern University and what considerations affect admission decisions?
|High School GPA||Required|
|High School Class Rank||Recommended|
|Completion of College Preparatory Program||Required|
|Demonstration of Competencies||Neither required nor recommended|
|Credit for Life Experiences||No|
Primary data source, U.S. Department of Education https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?id=147767 IPEDS survey data for Northwestern University.
Frequently Asked Questions
45% of students submit their SAT scores to Northwestern. 65% of applicants send their ACT scores when applying.
8% of those who apply are granted admission to Northwestern. Admission competition is extreme and the college has elite admission standards. See if your grades and scores are good enough for admission.
The middle 50% of addmitted applicants have SAT scores between 1430 and 1550. 45% of students submit SAT scores when applying. See if your SAT score is good enough for admission.