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Northwestern University

Northwestern University Data & Information Overview

This overview covers the essential stats on Northwestern University, including its rankings, majors, diversity, and 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

2022 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 4,527 badges in the 2022 rankings. The highest ranked major at the school is general communication sciences and disorders.

Overall Quality

College Factual ranked Northwestern as #14 out of 2,576 colleges and universities in the country on its 2022 Best Colleges list. This puts it in the top 1% of all schools in the nation!

Northwestern is also ranked #2 out of 102 schools in Illinois.

See all of the rankings for Northwestern University.

Is It Hard to Get Into Northwestern?

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 9%, 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 58% 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 760. Math scores were between 730 and 790.

SAT Reading and Writing Scores for Northwestern University  ( 700 to 760 )

SAT Math Scores for Northwestern University  ( 730 to 790 )
Northwestern received ACT scores from 55% of accepted students. When looking at the 25th through the 75th percentile, ACT Composite scores ranged between 33 and 35.

ACT Composite Scores for Northwestern University  ( 33 to 35 )

Learn more about Northwestern University admissions.

Northwestern University Faculty

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 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

The freshmen retention rate of 97% 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  97 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

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?

The overall average net price of Northwestern is $24,664. 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 +
$1,866 $3,995 $6,452 $16,784 $43,465

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 $5,696 a year. That adds up to $22,784 over four years for those students.

The student loan default rate at Northwestern is 0.8%. 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 University.

How Much Money Do Northwestern Graduates Make?

Although some majors pay more than others, students who graduate from Northwestern with a bachelor's degree go on to jobs where they make an average salary of $69,000 in their early years. 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.

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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.


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, 2,627 received undergraduate degrees and 5,891 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 338 $70,545
Journalism 151 $45,539
General Psychology 139 $41,725
Political Science & Government 121 $49,855
Radio, Television & Digital Communication 102 $36,992
Communication & Media Studies 101 $45,383
Music 98 $33,993
Computer Science 94 $101,406
Drama & Theater Arts 93 $23,134
General Biology 91 $26,353

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

Online Learning at Northwestern

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 2019-2020, 329 students took at least one online class at Northwestern University. This is a decrease from the 418 students who took online classes the previous year.

Year Took at Least One Online Class Took All Classes Online
2019-2020 329 329
2018-2019 418 418
2017-2018 654 654
2016-2017 1,281 1,281
2015-2016 1,387 1,387

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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