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Northwestern University Data & Information Overview

454 awards Ranking Badges
Great Price Value for Your Money
7% Acceptance Rate
Want the scoop on Northwestern University? We’ve put together a comprehensive report on the school that covers what majors Northwestern offers, how the school ranks, how diverse it is, and much more.
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How Well Is Northwestern University Ranked?

#5 Best Colleges in Nation
#2 Best Colleges in IL
General Psychology Highest Ranked Major
Quality Badge

2024 Rankings

In its yearly rankings, College Factual analyzes over 2,000 colleges and universities to determine which ones are the best in a variety of categories, such as overall value, quality, diversity, which schools are the best for each major, and much more.

Northwestern University was awarded 454 badges in the 2024 rankings. The highest ranked major at the school is general psychology.

Explore Best Ranked Schools for You

Explore the best ranked schools for the programs you are most interested in.

Overall Quality

College Factual ranked Northwestern as #5 out of 2,217 colleges and universities in the country on its 2024 Best Colleges list. This puts it in the top 1% of all schools in the nation! Northwestern has maintained this ranking for at least two years in a row.

Northwestern also holds the #2 spot on the Best Colleges in Illinois ranking.

See all of the rankings for Northwestern University.

Is It Hard to Get Into Northwestern?

7% Acceptance Rate
56% Of Accepted Are Women
43% Submit SAT Scores

Acceptance Rate

Even if you have the best grades and high test scores, that may not be enough to get into Northwestern since the school has one of the most selective in the country. Its acceptance rate is a mere 7%, so there's no shame if you don't get in. Be sure to apply to other schools just in case.

Average Test Scores

About 43% of students accepted to Northwestern submitted their SAT scores. When looking at the 25th through the 75th percentile, SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing scores ranged between 720 and 770. Math scores were between 750 and 800.

SAT Reading and Writing Scores for Northwestern University  ( 720 to 770 )

SAT Math Scores for Northwestern University  ( 750 to 800 )
Northwestern received ACT scores from 39% of accepted students. When looking at the 25th through the 75th percentile, ACT Composite scores ranged between 34 and 35.

ACT Composite Scores for Northwestern University  ( 34 to 35 )

Learn more about Northwestern University admissions.

Northwestern University Faculty

6 to 1 Student to Faculty
84% Full Time Teachers

Student to Faculty Ratio

The student to faculty ratio is often used to measure the number of teaching resources that a college or university offers its students. The national average for this metric is 15 to 1, but at Northwestern it is much better at 6 to 1. That's good news for students who want to interact more on a personal level with their teachers.

Percent of Full-Time Faculty

When estimating how much access students will have to their teachers, some people like to look at what percentage of faculty members are full time. This is because part-time teachers may not have as much time to spend on campus as their full-time counterparts.

The full-time faculty percentage at Northwestern University is 84%. This is higher than the national average of 47%.

Full-Time Faculty Percent  84 out of 100

Retention and Graduation Rates at Northwestern University

99% Freshmen Retention
84% On-Time Graduation Rate

Freshmen Retention Rate

The freshmen retention rate of 99% tells us that most first-year, full-time students like Northwestern University 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  99 out of 100

Graduation Rate

The on-time graduation rate for someone pursuing a bachelor's degree is typically four years. This rate at Northwestern for first-time, full-time students is 84%, which is better than the national average of 33.3%.

On-Time Graduation Rate  84 out of 100

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

Northwestern University Undergraduate Student Diversity

8,095 Full-Time Undergraduates
44.8% Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
52.2% Percent Women

During the 2017-2018 academic year, there were 8,559 undergraduates at Northwestern with 8,095 being full-time and 464 being part-time.

How Much Does Northwestern University Cost?

$23,279 Net Price
23% Take Out Loans
$29,572 Total Student Loans
The overall average net price of Northwestern is $23,279. 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 Northwestern

$0-30 K $30K-48K $48-75 $75-110K $110K +
$245 $917 $5,849 $15,686 $41,660

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 Northwestern, see our tuition and fees and room and board pages.

Student Loan Debt

While almost two-thirds of students nationwide take out loans to pay for college, the percentage may be quite different for the school you plan on attending. At Northwestern, approximately 23% of students took out student loans averaging $7,393 a year. That adds up to $29,572 over four years for those students.

The student loan default rate at Northwestern is 0.6%. 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 University.

How Much Money Do Northwestern Graduates Make?

$80,033 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 Northwestern make about $80,033 a year during their first few years of employment after graduation. This is good news for future Northwestern graduates since it is 88% more than the average college graduate's salary of $42,485 per year.


See which majors at Northwestern University make the most money.

Location of Northwestern University

Illinois State
8,095 Full-Time Undergraduates
Small City Campus Setting
Northwestern University is a private not-for-profit institution situated in Evanston, Illinois. The location of Northwestern is great for students who prefer living in an urban area.

Get more details about the location of Northwestern University.


Contact details for Northwestern are given below.

Contact Details
Address: 633 Clark St, Evanston, IL 60208
Phone: 847-491-3741

Northwestern University Majors

136 Majors With Completions
2,722 Undergraduate Degrees
6,368 Graduate Degrees
During the most recent year for which we have data, students from 136 majors graduated from Northwestern University. Of these students, 2,722 received undergraduate degrees and 6,368 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
Economics 351 $71,488
Radio, Television & Digital Communication 263 $27,414
General Psychology 124 $34,751
Political Science & Government 117 $45,960
General Biology 112 $19,001
Communication & Media Studies 111 $48,590
Computer Science 107 $84,037
Neurobiology & Neurosciences 99 $19,214
Drama & Theater Arts 98 $23,935
Music 81 $38,199

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

Online Learning at Northwestern

7% Take At Least One Class Online
7% Take All Classes Online

Online courses area a great option for busy, working students as well as for those who have scheduling conflicts and want to study on their own time. As time goes by, expect to see more and more online learning options become available.

In 2020-2021, 1,740 students took at least one online class at Northwestern University. This is an increase from the 329 students who took online classes the previous year.

Year Took at Least One Online Class Took All Classes Online
2020-2021 1,740 1,740
2019-2020 329 329
2018-2019 418 418
2017-2018 654 654
2016-2017 1,281 1,281

Learn more about online learning at Northwestern University.

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

Curious on how these schools stack up against Northwestern? 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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