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Admission Decisions

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. Northwestern does not offer interviews on campus.

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, it is not possible for us to offer interviews to all applicants. Interviews are not a required 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.

Read more about interviews

Will applying for financial aid impact my admissions decision?

Northwestern has a need-blind admissions policy for U.S. citizens and permanent residents; this means that financial aid is not a factor in determining admission. Applicants are encouraged to apply for financial aid; Northwestern's generous need-based aid program can assist in defraying the costs of your college education.

Given limited funding for non-citizens, international applicants requesting financial aid are evaluated as a separate group. Financial need is a consideration in the admission decision for international students. For more information, visit our International Student Aid page.

Who is admitted to Northwestern?

Admission to Northwestern is highly competitive. Approximately 9% of freshman applicants for the class of 2021 were admitted. Therefore, only students with strong academic credentials are encouraged to apply. Successful candidates generally have maintained a B average or better in rigorous academic courses and have submitted materials in strong support of their candidacy.

How important is my secondary school transcript?

The evaluation of your secondary school transcript is an important part of the admission process. We are not simply looking for high grades; the strength of your academic program is also considered. In addition, the admission committee makes note of any accelerated, honors or Advanced Placement courses taken.

Every secondary school is different in its level of competitiveness and in the range of courses offered. These factors are also considered when admission decisions are rendered.

What factors are considered 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.