Northwestern University’s retention rate is 95%. The retention rate is a measure, expressed as a percentage, of how many first-time students return to the university for a second academic year. NWU’s graduation rate reflects their commitment to educating exceptional students. Founded in 1851, NWU is in Evanston, Illinois. This part of the state is filled with places students may be interested in visiting, such as the Illinois Holocaust Museum or the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian.
Overview of Northwestern University (NU)
Evanston is small, which allows students to learn where everything is and have access to nearby points of interest without a long drive or heavy traffic. NWU, home to the Kellogg School of Management, is also the location of other notable schools, such as the Program of African Studies. The Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary also has a home here for seminary students.
NWU holds a Carnegie classification for its doctoral university of very high research activity. Students who took and passed AP exams can apply these scores as credits before they begin taking classes. NWU also offers study abroad opportunities for those students who want to learn in a foreign country.
|School Type||Private not-for-profit|
|Campus Setting||City: Small|
|Student Faculty Ratio||6:1|
Northwestern University Reviews
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NU Acceptance Rate and Admissions
|High School GPA||Required|
|High School Rank||Recommended|
|High School Transcripts||Required|
|College Prep Courses||Required|
|TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)||Required|
|Application Deadline||January 1|
|Common Application Accepted||Yes|
Northwestern Tuition Cost & Financial Aid
The cost of tuition (in-state and out-of-state) is around $56,600. This does not include books and supplies, which usually cost another $17,000, making the entire total closer to $73,600. This is pretty pricey for families who aren’t in the upper income levels.
After financial aid awards have been applied to the cost for the semester or academic year, families are obligated to pay the remaining cost of tuition, books, and fees for their children. The average net price is what remains after financial aid has been applied - for the 2017-2018 academic year, this was $27,540.
- Families earning up to $30,000 pay around $13,419
- Families earning between $30,001 and $48,000 pay around $7,429
- Families earning between $48,001 and $75,000 pay around $10,690
- Families earning between $75,001 and $100,000 pay around $17,142
- Families earning over $110,001 pay around $40,304
At NWU, financial aid truly helps students who are able to prove financial need. Freshmen who are awarded grants or scholarships number about 1,142, or 60% of the total student population; they receive about $45,427. The amount of students receiving institutional grants and scholarships also sits at 60%; their awards average $42,714.
|Average net price||2017-2018|
|Average Total Aid||$45,427|
|Students Receiving Financial Aid||66%|
|Room & Board||$17,019|
- Tuition In-State - $56,691
- Tuition Out-of-State - $56,691
- Books and Supplies - $1,638
- Room & Board - $17,019
- Other - $3,306
The 4-year graduation rate for NWU is 84%. If students have chosen a challenging degree program, they may opt to stay in school beyond the four-year mark so they can complete their degree with satisfactory grades. The trend toward a longer stay in college makes the 6-year graduation rate somewhat higher, at 95%.
The student-to-faculty ratio is six to one, giving students ample opportunity to request office meetings with professors to discuss areas of difficulty in their classes. This may account for their exceptional retention rate.
The total student population is 22,127. Undergraduates make up 39%, with 8,642 students; graduate students make up 61% of the student body, with 13,485 students. NWU offers evening courses for those students who are unable to attend classes during the day; or if students prefer, they can enroll in online classes (distance learning).
Among the most popular degree programs are biological and biomedical sciences; business, management, marketing, and related support services; communication, journalism and related programs; and computer and information sciences and support services. However, there are many other majors and courses available for those who are not interested in the most commonly sought programs. These include engineering technology and engineering related, health professions and related programs, legal professions and studies, mathematics and statistics, psychology, public administration and social services professions, social sciences, and visual and performing arts.
Student Population Total
Most Popular Programs & Majors
(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)
|All Social Science Majors||380 Total Graduates / 17%|
|Econometrics and Quantitative Economics||263 Graduates|
|Political Science and Government, General||79 Graduates|
|Economics, General||5 Graduates|
|All Engineering Majors||373 Total Graduates / 17%|
|Industrial Engineering||83 Graduates|
|Mechanical Engineering||83 Graduates|
|Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering||68 Graduates|
|Chemical Engineering||36 Graduates|
|Manufacturing Engineering||35 Graduates|
|Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs||357 Total Graduates / 16%|
|Speech Communication and Rhetoric||96 Graduates|
|Radio and Television||83 Graduates|
|All Biological & Biomedical Majors||193 Total Graduates / 9%|
|Biology/Biological Sciences, General||91 Graduates|
|Visual and Performing Arts||188 Total Graduates / 9%|
|Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General||104 Graduates|
|Music Performance, General||24 Graduates|
|Music, General||17 Graduates|
|Voice and Opera||15 Graduates|
|Stringed Instruments||9 Graduates|
|All Other Diplomas||689 Total Graduates / 32%|
Outcome & Salary
Students who graduate from NWU receive definite financial benefits from their educations. The average salary of an NWU graduate is $81,000; their early career salary is closer to $65,300 and their mid-career salary can rise to $125,900.
Graduate’s 10-year earnings potential is around $810,000 on average and their 20-year earning potential is $2,069,000. Knowing the net price of their education is $110,160, we can estimate that their 10-year projected return on investment (ROI) for their schooling is $699,840; the 20-year projected ROI is $1,958,840.
In contrast, high school graduates who decide not to go to college earn an average (national) salary of $38,792. Their 10-year projected income is $387,920 and their 20-year projected income is $775,840.
|College Grads Early Career Salary||$65,300|
|College Grads Average Salary||$81,000|
|College Grads Mid Career Salary||$125,900|
|Return on Investment (ROI)|
|10 Year Salary Earnings Potential||$810,000|
|20 Year Salary Earnings Potential||$2,069,000|
|Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year||$110,160|
|10 Year Projected ROI||$699,840|
|20 Year Projected ROI||$1,958,840|
|No College Education Salary Comparison|
|National Average Salary||$38,792|
|10 Year Projected Income||$387,920|
|20 Year Projected Income||$775,840|
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