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Northwestern University Data & Information Overview

Get the facts about Northwestern University. Learn how it ranks, what majors it offers, how diverse it is, and much more. All you need to do to learn more about a stat is click on its tile, and you'll be taken to another page that analyzes that data more closely. Also, you can use the links below to scroll to any section of this page.

How Well Is Northwestern University Ranked?

Quality Badge

2021 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 165 badges in the 2021 rankings. The highest ranked major at the school is journalism.

Overall Quality

College Factual ranked Northwestern as #12 out of 1,715 colleges and universities in the country on its 2021 Best Colleges list. This puts it in the top 1% of all schools in the nation!

Northwestern also holds the #1 spot on the Best Colleges in Illinois ranking.

See all of the rankings for Northwestern University.

Is It Hard to Get Into Northwestern?

Acceptance Rate

With an acceptance rate of 9%, Northwestern is one of the most selective schools in the country. Good grades and high test scores alone may not be enough to get you into the school, so do your best to submit a stellar application.

Average Test Scores

About 35% 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 700 and 770. Math scores were between 720 and 790.

SAT Reading and Writing Scores for Northwestern University  ( 700 to 770 )

SAT Math Scores for Northwestern University  ( 720 to 790 )
Northwestern received ACT scores from 77% of accepted students. When looking at the 25th through the 75th percentile, ACT Composite scores ranged between 32 and 34.

ACT Composite Scores for Northwestern University  ( 32 to 34 )

Learn more about Northwestern University admissions.

Northwestern University Faculty

Student to Faculty Ratio

At Northwestern, the student to faculty ratio is an excellent 6 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

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 83%. This is higher than the national average of 47%.

Full-Time Faculty Percent  83 out of 100

Retention and Graduation Rates at Northwestern University

Freshmen Retention Rate

Northwestern University has a freshmen retention rate of 98%. That's a good sign that full-time students like the school and their professors enough to want to stick around for another year. It's also a sign that the admissions team did a good job in choosing applicants who were a good fit for the school.

Freshmen Retention Rate  98 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 82%, which is better than the national average of 33.3%.

On-Time Graduation Rate  82 out of 100

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

Excellent Overall Diversity at Northwestern

During the 2017-2018 academic year, there were 8,642 undergraduates at Northwestern with 8,161 being full-time and 481 being part-time.

Northwestern Diversity Score

For each college and university, College Factual calculates an overall diversity score that takes four factors into account: gender, ethnicity, age, and home location of the student. Then, the schools with the best mixtures of students with respect to these factors are ranked the highest.

With an overall score of 99.49 out of 100, Northwestern is one of the most diverse schools in the nation.

Overall Diversity Score  99.49 out of 100
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Get more detailed information on diversity and student demographics at Northwestern University.

How Much Does Northwestern University Cost?

The overall average net price of Northwestern is $24,840. 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 +
$13,419 $7,429 $10,690 $17,142 $40,304

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

It's not uncommon for college students to take out loans to pay for school. In fact, almost 66% of students nationwide depend at least partially on loans. At Northwestern, approximately 17% of students took out student loans averaging $6,994 a year. That adds up to $27,976 over four years for those students.

The student loan default rate at Northwestern is 1.0%. 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?

Yearly salaries vary depending on what you major in, but on average, bachelor's degree recipients from Northwestern make around $69,000 per year during the early years of their employment. This is good news for future Northwestern graduates since it is 73% more than the average college graduate's salary of $39,802 per year.


See which majors at Northwestern University make the most money.

Location of Northwestern University

Northwestern University is a private not-for-profit institution located 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.

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

During the most recent year for which we have data, students from 136 majors graduated from Northwestern University. Of these students, 2,770 received undergraduate degrees and 5,729 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 369 $69,200
Journalism 178 $42,000
General Psychology 153 $36,000
Political Science & Government 123 $47,000
Neurobiology & Neurosciences 112 NA
General Biology 104 $30,500
Drama & Theater Arts 104 $20,600
Communication & Media Studies 96 $42,600
Music 94 $22,400
Industrial Engineering 83 $76,400

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

Online Learning at Northwestern

Online learning is becoming popular at even the oldest colleges and universities in the United States. Not only are online classes great for returning adults with busy schedules, they are also frequented by a growing number of traditional students.

In 2017-2018, 654 students took at least one online class at Northwestern University. This is a decrease from the 1,281 students who took online classes the previous year.

Year Took at Least One Online Class Took All Classes Online
2017-2018 654 654
2016-2017 1,281 1,281
2015-2016 1,387 1,387
2014-2015 1,628 1,628
2013-2014 1,615 1,615

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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