Northwestern University Visit Report by vinceh
Visit to Northwestern University in September 2009 by vinceh(Parent of Student, HS Class of 2009)
(Member since March 18 2009 with 2091 posts)
6 of 6 people found this visit report helpful
Information Session: Yes - Pretty standard presentation. The Admissions Counselor was well informed and well spoken. No hiccups here.
Campus Tour: Yes - Maybe the best tour guide ever. He was frank, honest and entertaining about NUs strengths and weaknesses. He remembered students areas of interest and added comments accordingly.
Friendliness/Courtesy of Students:
Friendliness/Courtesy of Staff:
Appearance of Campus:
Overall Campus Impression:
Area Immediately Around Campus:
Campus Visit Notes for Northwestern University
The lakeside location makes for a beautiful setting. Our tour guide was well informed and honest. He was quick to point out the opportunities at NU but was also forthright about drawbacks.
A great deal of emphasis was placed on the quarter scheduling system. The positive is that the average NU student takes 4 classes during each of 3 academic quarters per year. The result is that you finish with 12 classes per year as opposed to the more typical 9 or 10 that a semester based system allows for. This gives the student a better chance at double majoring without extending their stay beyond 4 years. The drawback seems to be in the timing. School starts substantially later and goes further into June than your typical college schedule.
The social scene seems to be heavily weighted toward the Greek community. The tour guide acknowledged as much and pointed out that roughly 40% of students are members of either a sorority or fraternity. He was also quick to say that obviously 60% of students don't "go Greek" and that the vast majority of Greek parties are open to all students. This aspect of the social scene may be an issue for someone not interested in pursuing Greek life.
Academically there are a number of interdisciplinary options and certificate programs designed to allow students to fashion majors to their particular needs. Additionally, the study abroad program seems fairly robust.
The surrounding area in Evanston is a combination of suburban neighborhoods and a moderately sized shopping dining area. Furthermore, there are free shuttles to Chicago along with numerous public transit options to take you into the city. The city is just far enough away (~ 30 minutes) so as not to be too large a distraction. While the lake was beautiful during our visit, I suspect that in the dead of winter the winds can be brutal.
Admissions are competitive, but if you can get in, the setting and size (8,000 undergrads) makes for a very interesting environment.