- How do I apply?
Refer to Application Instructions for more information.
- What factors do you consider when making admission decisions?
Each application is reviewed carefully by several members of our admission committee. Seeking information beyond school transcripts and test scores; we take into account your involvement outside the classroom as profiled in an activity chart, and read your essays to get a better sense of your interests, thought processes and writing ability. Recommendations from secondary school teachers and counselors add additional perspective to your achievements.
- How can I request a fee waiver?
Applying through the Common Application
If you meet one of the Common Application’s indicators for economic need, you can request an application fee waiver on the Profile screen in the Common Application Fee Waiver section, which will waive the Northwestern application fee.
Applying through the Coalition Application
If you meet one of the Coalition Application’s indicators for economic need, you can request an application fee waiver through the Coalition Application, which will waive the Northwestern application fee.
If you do not meet the indicators identified but the application fee still poses a hardship, have your school counselor email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a Northwestern-specific fee waiver. Please ask your counselor to include your full name, date of birth, email address, and Common Application or Coalition Application ID in the email.
Students who are residents of Evanston and Chicago automatically receive a fee waiver, which can be accessed through the school-specific fee waiver question on Northwestern's member page of the respective applications.
- What if I have been home schooled?
Students who have been educated at home are required to submit results of three SAT Subject Tests in addition to their SAT Reasoning Test or ACT results. Math Level 1 or 2 and two other SAT Subject Tests of the applicant's choice from different subject areas are required.
For students interested in the sciences or engineering, Math Level 2 is preferred.
- When are applications due?
- Early Decision applicants must apply by November 1.
- Regular Decision applicants must apply by January 1.
If you are a transfer applicant, you may apply only for enrollment during the Fall Quarter of the academic year. Decisions are made on a rolling basis.
- For Fall Quarter (September) entrance, apply by March 15.
If you are an international applicant, follow our general application process and deadlines above. However, both incoming first-year students and transfer students must apply for fall quarter entrance.
- Are interviews required?
Admission interviews are not required and are an optional addition to your application for admission. All interviews are conducted off-campus by Northwestern's regional Alumni Admission Council (AAC), situated throughout the United States and abroad.
Alumni admission interviews provide applicants with an opportunity to learn about the Northwestern student experience through an alumna/us perspective. Given the limited availability of alumni interviews, only a very small percentage of our applicants are ultimately able to schedule an appointment. Interviews are not a significant component of the application, therefore applicants who are unable or choose not to interview are not at a disadvantage in the admission process.
Note: Interviews are only available to first-year applicants.
- Can I submit supplemental materials?
Northwestern does not accept unsolicited supplemental items, such as artwork, portfolios, recordings (CDs, DVDs, etc.) or websites (including social media). These items will not be reviewed and therefore should not be submitted.
- Should I apply as a first-year student or a transfer student?
If you enrolled in college study after secondary school graduation, you are only eligible to apply as a transfer student. However, we require a minimum of the equivalent of one full-time year of college study for a student to be fully eligible to transfer.
- Northwestern accepts both the Coalition and Common Applications—is there a preference?
No. We welcome either application. All we ask is that applicants submit either the Coalition or Common application—not both.
- What if an applicant submits both the Common and Coalition applications?
Our admission committee will review whichever application was submitted first.
- Since the Common and Coalition applications are different, how will the differences affect your review process?
The fundamental pieces of these two applications are the same: we will review your secondary school curriculum & transcript, your teacher recommendation(s), your extracurricular/community involvement & leadership, your standardized test scores, and your personal responses to essay and short-answer questions. The main variation across applications will be the essay prompts available to students, but the Common Application has always provided several options for essay prompts, so our review process already accounts for variation in that section of the application.
- How will Northwestern use the Coalition platform's Locker feature?
While some colleges/universities may encourage students to share one or more items from their Coalition Locker as part of their application, Northwestern will not require students to submit materials from their Locker. Bottom line: our admission committee will not review any materials from students’ Lockers, save materials that students select from their Lockers to include in their Northwestern application—in which case we’ll never know whether documents in your Northwestern application were once in your Coalition Locker, or simply saved as a computer file!