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#15 Best Colleges in America

Northwestern Admission Requirements

Evanston, Illinois

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Chances of getting into Northwestern University

Acceptance Rate

Acceptance Rate
9.1%
Admission Difficulty for Northwestern University
Measure Difficulty
Admission StandardsElite
Applicant CompetitionExtreme
Will you get accepted?

Find out how likely you are to get accepted at Northwestern based on your GPA, test scores, and even extracurricular activities. Then, get custom recommendations for how to improve your odds - completely for free.

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How hard is it to get into Northwestern and can I get accepted? The school has a 9% acceptance rate ranking it #2 in Illinois for lowest rate of acceptance. Last year, 3,673 out of 40,585 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, 55% 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.

Test Requirements

You must submit admission test scores with your application. Northwestern University is not a test optional school. Note: Please consult the school directly to determine if testing requirements are temporarily suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Northwestern SAT Scores

SAT Requirements & Average SAT Score

SAT Range
1440-1550
Applicants Submitting SAT
45%
SAT Scores for Northwestern University
SAT Test 25th Percentile Score
SAT Reading 25th 700
SAT Math 25th 740
SAT Composite 25th 1440
SAT Scores for Northwestern University
SAT Test 25th Percentile Score
SAT Reading 75th 760
SAT Math 75th 790
SAT Composite 75th 1550
Average SAT Score 1500

SAT Scores you need to get in

What are the SAT requirements for students to be admitted to Northwestern University?

Northwestern University typically prefers applicants to be in the top 3 percent of SAT test takers. The school consistently takes SAT composite scores down to 1440 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 1380. The estimated average SAT composite for admitted freshman is 1500 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.

Data Sources, IPEDS for Fall 2019 starting class

Estimated Chance of Acceptance by SAT Score

Northwestern University admission chances by SAT score
SAT Score (1600 scale) Competitiveness Admission Chances
1550 and Above Good >14%
1495 to 1550 Avg + 9%-14%
1440 to 1495 Avg - 5%-9%
1385 to 1440 Reach 3%-5%
Less than 1385 Low <3%
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Northwestern ACT Scores

ACT Requirements & Average ACT Score

ACT Range
33-35 
Applicants Submitting ACT
65%
ACT Scores for Northwestern University
ACT Test 25th Percentile Score
ACT Reading 25th 34
ACT Math 25th 31
ACT Composite 25th 33
ACT Scores for Northwestern University
ACT Test 75th Percentile Score
ACT Reading 75th 36
ACT Math 75th 35
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.

Data Sources, IPEDS for Fall 2019 starting class

Estimated Chance of Acceptance by ACT Score

Northwestern University admission chances by ACT score
ACT Score Competitiveness Admission Chances
35 and Above Good >14%
34 to 35 Avg + 9%-14%
33 to 34 Avg - 5%-9%
32 to 33 Reach 3%-5%
Less than 32 Low <3%
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Northwestern GPA

Estimated GPA Requirements & Average GPA

Avg. High School GPA
3.92*
Typical High School Grades
A-

What GPA do you need to get into Northwestern University?

Applicants require exceptionally good grades to get into Northwestern. 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.

 What do these ratings mean?

*This school has not released high school GPA data for its incoming freshmen. In these cases, CollegeSimply employs an artificial intelligence (AI) process to predict GPA based on this school's test scores and a large sample of other colleges' data. 3.92 is an estimate of the school's average incoming freshman GPA.

Similar Requirements

High School Class Rank

91% of Northwestern University freshman were in the top twenty five percent of their high school graduating class.

High School Class Rank for admitted Northwestern University students
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%
Data Source, Wintergreen Orchard House

Applying

Admission Statistics

Northwestern University admission statistics
Women Men Total
Applied 21,069 19,516 40,585
Accepted 1,877 1,796 3,673
Acceptance Rate 9% 9% 9%
Enrolled 1,014 992 2,006
Percent of Admitted Who Enrolled (Admission Yield) 54% 55% 55%
Data Sources, IPEDS for Fall 2019 starting class

Fall 2021 Application Deadline

Applications were Due
Jan 1, 2021
Days left to Apply
None

The application deadline for Fall 2021 has passed. Applications were due on Jan 1, 2021.

Application Fee

The cost for prospective students to apply to Northwestern University is $75.

Admission Requirements

What are the requirements for admission to Northwestern University and what student information is used for admission decisions?

Northwestern University Admission Requirements
Test Scores Required
High School GPA Required
High School Class Rank Recommended
Completion of College Preparatory Program Required
Recommendations Required
Demonstration of Competencies Neither required nor recommended

Credits Accepted

High School Credits Accepted at Northwestern University
AP Credit Yes
Dual Credit Yes
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.

FAQs

Does Northwestern University prefer SAT or ACT?

45% of students submit their SAT scores to Northwestern. 65% of applicants send their ACT scores when applying.

What is my chance of getting into Northwestern University?

9% 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.

What SAT score is required for Northwestern University?

The middle 50% of addmitted applicants have SAT scores between 1440 and 1550. 45% of students submit SAT scores when applying. See if your SAT score is good enough for admission.

What ACT score is required for Northwestern University?

The middle 50% of addmitted applicants have ACT scores between 33 and 35. 65% of students submit ACT scores when applying. See if your ACT score is good enough for admission.