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Can I get into Northwestern University?

metalheadgirlmetalheadgirl 0 replies1 threads New Member
Hi all, I’m a rising senior who visited Northwestern this summer and absolutely fell in love. I come from a very small town about three hours south of Chicago and think the idea of being at such a great school while still within visiting distance of home would be great. However, due to my rural location I’ve lacked some of the opportunities that students at larger high schools have (for example, my school only offers 3 AP courses, all of which I’ll have taken by the time I graduate). With this in mind, I was wondering if anyone had some insight into my chance at getting in. Thank you!

Location: Rural Central Illinois
High School: Public, about 100 in my graduating class
Race/Gender: White female
Major: Biology or something pre-med

Unweighted GPA: 4.0
Weighted GPA: 4.22
SAT: 1340
ACT: 33
Courses: I have taken or will be taking every honors/AP offered at my high school; there are 3 APs (English Lang and comp, English lit and comp, calculus AB) offered and about 5 honors courses offered.
AP Test score: English Lang and Comp-4

4 years of marching band, 2 years section leader
4 years concert band, 2 years section leader
4 years jazz band, 2 years lead trumpet
4 years show choir combo: this group is run primarily by me, I play, pick the members, run practices, and am generally in charge.
4 years of Madrigal brass choir: this group is also run and directed by me, I pick members, music, run practices, and play.
4 years scholastic bowl: this is basically quizbowl. My team always goes to regionals and wins our conference tournament. Additionally, I placed 9th in conference for most tossup questions answered.
National Honor Society: 2 years, though I don’t hold an officer position I have been in charge of a committee.
Work experience: I take care of my city hall, basically I clean the building.

I don’t have many, which is one of my worries. My school does not give really give out any academic awards.
National Honor Society
Honor roll
Class rank top 10%
All-conference Honor band
Perfect attendance

I know I don’t have the highest chances of getting in, but I also plan to apply ED. I’d appreciate any insight about this that I can get. Thank you!
4 replies
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Replies to: Can I get into Northwestern University?

  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 9828 replies110 threads Senior Member
    You won't be penalized for not taking courses your school doesn't offer.

    Only send your ACT score, it's much higher than your SAT.

    You may want to consider taking SAT II subject tests. They are optional for NU but it might strengthen your application.
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  • PublisherPublisher 11176 replies145 threads Senior Member
    I think that your participation in the marching band, jazz band, concert band & two choirs should be highlighted in your application.
    I agree that applying ED will help.
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  • Genevieve18Genevieve18 195 replies2 threads Junior Member
    I agree about highlighting your music participation, which shows depth in that area. Are you planning to do marching band in college? If so, you could talk about what you could contribute, and what aspects of NU's marching band especially appeals to you.
    There's no penalty for not taking advantage of opportunities you didn't have at your school, whether that's more AP classes or academic honors awards. Don't worry about that aspect, but think about all the specific programs/courses/extracurriculars that Northwestern has that you would want participate in, and how you would contribute to those if you were a student there.
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  • SkyeBlue01SkyeBlue01 1 replies0 threads New Member
    You have done well to take full advantage of the opportunities your small school provides. I encountered similar issues coming from Eagle River, Alaska. This will reflect better than someone with more AP/Honors but, say, a lower class rank or GPA. While it is not necessary, I believe if you apply for a major (especially if you will end up applying for the pre-med track), colleges like to see why your interested in it, or how you've grown and explored that interest. Again, not necessary, but you could always mention it somewhere in one of your essays, since it's not shown anywhere else, like the extracurriculars. Speaking of, they reflect strong musical passion as well as talent, and NU is sure to appreciate that. I would recommend you choose to include that in your application, and if you get the chance, indicate that you would like to continue them in college. Focusing solely on your SAT score, it is not strong enough to guarantee entrance if admissions were done on test score alone. I would /highly/ recommend taking both the SAT and the ACT once more this coming fall (you will still have time to do ED). It is even more impressive if you can send in 2 impressive standardized test scores, and your ACT score, while good, still has room for improvement. Additionally, I believe SAT subject tests are required for the bio/med fields, so sign up for those early. Final notes: You will be competing for admission with the other students in Chicago and Illinois, which means you will probably have a lot of other students attending NU from similar backgrounds and for similar reasons. So I would put it to you to do your best to stand out, both in your essays and in your interview. Good Luck, and remember, I'm not a college counselor, just a NU student using my experiences as a guide. So do not treat my word as law. Good Luck, I'd love to see you next year. :) (sorry for the essay-length response)
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