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Northwestern College Data & Information Overview

56 awards Ranking Badges
Great Price Value for Your Money
83% Acceptance Rate
If you want to know more about Northwestern College, such as what majors does it offer, how diverse it is, how well it ranks, and more, this is your one-stop resource.
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How Well Is Northwestern College Ranked?

#493 Best Colleges in Nation
#11 Best Colleges in IA
Educational Administration Highest Ranked Major

2024 Rankings

College Factual recognizes the best colleges and universities in its annual rankings. These rankings include categories for best overall colleges, best colleges for each major, best value schools, and much more.

Northwestern College was awarded 56 badges in the 2024 rankings. The highest ranked major at the school is educational administration.

Explore Best Ranked Schools for You

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Overall Quality

NWC landed the #493 spot in College Factual's 2024 ranking of best overall colleges in the United States. The higher ed experts analyzed 2,217 colleges and universities across the nation to determine this ranking.

Out of the 40 colleges in Iowa, NWC is ranked at #11.

See all of the rankings for Northwestern College.

Is It Hard to Get Into NWC?

83% Acceptance Rate
44% Of Accepted Are Women
8% Submit SAT Scores

Acceptance Rate

The acceptance rate at Northwestern College is 83%. That's higher than the rate at many schools, but still low enough to be considered somewhat selective. If you want to get in, you'll need good grades and to be able to show that NWC is a good fit for you.

Average Test Scores

About 8% of students accepted to NWC submitted their SAT scores. When looking at the 25th through the 75th percentile, SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing scores ranged between 480 and 610. Math scores were between 460 and 630.

SAT Reading and Writing Scores for Northwestern College  ( 480 to 610 )

SAT Math Scores for Northwestern College  ( 460 to 630 )
NWC received ACT scores from 82% of accepted students. When looking at the 25th through the 75th percentile, ACT Composite scores ranged between 20 and 27.

ACT Composite Scores for Northwestern College  ( 20 to 27 )

Learn more about Northwestern College admissions.

Northwestern College Faculty

12 to 1 Student to Faculty
100% Full Time Teachers

Student to Faculty Ratio

At NWC, the student to faculty ratio is an excellent 12 to 1. That's much better than the national average of 15 to 1. This indicates that many classes will probably be small, and students will have ample opportunites to work closely with their professors and classmates.

Percent of Full-Time Faculty

In addition to the student to faculty ratio, some people look at what percentage of faculty members are full-time as a sign of how much time professors will be able to spend with their students. This is because part-time teachers may not be be on campus as much as their full-time counterparts.

The full-time faculty percentage at Northwestern College is 100%. This is higher than the national average of 47%.

Full-Time Faculty Percent  100 out of 100

Retention and Graduation Rates at Northwestern College

83% Freshmen Retention
62% On-Time Graduation Rate

Freshmen Retention Rate

The freshmen retention rate of 83% tells us that most first-year, full-time students like Northwestern College enough to come back for another year. This is a fair bit higher than the national average of 68%. That's certainly something to check off in the good column about the school.

Freshmen Retention Rate  83 out of 100

Graduation Rate

The on-time graduation rate for someone pursuing a bachelor's degree is typically four years. This rate at NWC for first-time, full-time students is 62%, which is better than the national average of 33.3%.

On-Time Graduation Rate  62 out of 100

Find out more about the retention and graduation rates at Northwestern College.

Northwestern College Undergraduate Student Diversity

974 Full-Time Undergraduates
9.8% Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
48.8% Percent Women

During the 2017-2018 academic year, there were 1,069 undergraduates at NWC with 974 being full-time and 95 being part-time.

How Much Does Northwestern College Cost?

$22,410 Net Price
69% Take Out Loans
$33,964 Total Student Loans
The overall average net price of NWC is $22,410. The affordability of the school largely depends on your financial need since net price varies by income group. See the table below for the net price for different income groups.

Net Price by Income Group for NWC

$0-30 K $30K-48K $48-75 $75-110K $110K +
$18,404 $22,469 $22,626 $21,708 $24,613

The net price is calculated by adding tuition, room, board and other costs and subtracting financial aid.Note that the net price is typically less than the published for a school. For more information on the sticker price of NWC, see our tuition and fees and room and board pages.

Student Loan Debt

Almost 66% of college students who graduated with the class of 2018 took out student loans, but that percentage varies from school to school. At NWC, approximately 69% of students took out student loans averaging $8,491 a year. That adds up to $33,964 over four years for those students.

The student loan default rate at NWC is 1.8%. This is significantly lower than the national default rate of 10.1%, which is a good sign that you'll be able to pay back your student loans.

Get more details about paying for Northwestern College.

How Much Money Do NWC Graduates Make?

$44,904 Avg Salary of Grads
High Earnings Boost
The pay for some majors is higher than others, but on average, students who graduate with a bachelor's degree from NWC make about $44,904 a year during their first few years of employment after graduation. That's great news for NWC students since it is 6% more than the average college graduate's salary of $42,485 per year.


See which majors at Northwestern College make the most money.

Location of Northwestern College

Iowa State
974 Full-Time Undergraduates
Town Campus Setting
Northwestern College is a private not-for-profit institution situated in Orange City, Iowa. Orange City is a good match for students who enjoy small-town life.

Get more details about the location of Northwestern College.


Contact details for NWC are given below.

Contact Details
Address: 101 Seventh St Sw, Orange City, IA 51041
Phone: 712-707-7000

Northwestern College Majors

41 Majors With Completions
271 Undergraduate Degrees
165 Graduate Degrees
During the most recent year for which we have data, students from 41 majors graduated from Northwestern College. Of these students, 271 received undergraduate degrees and 165 graduated with a master's or doctor's degree. The following table lists the most popular undergraduate majors along with the average salary graduates from those majors make.

Most Popular Majors Bachelor’s Degrees Average Salary of Graduates
Teacher Education Grade Specific 66 $37,017
Business Administration & Management 39 $38,185
Nursing 28 $59,227
General Biology 14 $20,925
General Psychology 12 NA
Teacher Education Subject Specific 11 NA
Health & Physical Education 10 $33,080
Social Work 9 NA
Public Relations & Advertising 9 NA
History 7 NA

Learn more about the majors offered at Northwestern College along with which ones have the highest average starting salaries.

Online Learning at NWC

43% Take At Least One Class Online
31% Take All Classes Online

Online learning options are becoming more and more popular at American colleges and universities. Online classes are great for students who have busy schedules or for those who just want to study on their own time.

In 2020-2021, 647 students took at least one online class at Northwestern College. This is a decrease from the 688 students who took online classes the previous year.

Year Took at Least One Online Class Took All Classes Online
2020-2021 647 467
2019-2020 688 470
2018-2019 518 425
2017-2018 510 338
2016-2017 435 223

Learn more about online learning at Northwestern College.

If you’re considering Northwestern College, here are some more schools you may be interested in knowing more about.

Curious on how these schools stack up against NWC? Pit them head to head with College Combat, our free interactive tool that lets you compare college on the features that matter most to you!

Notes and References


*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.


More about our data sources and methodologies.

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