Chance a current Junior for Northwestern ED

Class of 2023

  • US domestic (US citizen or permanent resident) or international student: Domestic Student
  • State/Location of residency: Would prefer to not include
  • Type of high school (current college for transfers): Midsize Suburban Highschool
  • Gender/Race/Ethnicity (optional): White Male
  • Other special factors (first generation to college, legacy, athlete, etc.): None

Intended Major(s) Computer Science or Economics

GPA, Rank, and Test Scores

  • Unweighted HS GPA: 3.7
  • Weighted HS GPA (incl. weighting system): 4.2
  • Class Rank: School doesnt rank; Defintley in top 5% (Most likely top 2%; possibly in top 1%)
  • ACT/SAT Scores: 1560

(AP/IB/Dual Enrollment classes, AP/IB scores for high school; also include level of math and foreign language reached and any unusual academic electives; for transfers, describe your college courses and preparation for your intended major(s))

  • 9 AP courses by the time finished HS // Virtually the Max AP courses that you can take
  • Rest of the Courses Honors except one sophomore year


(Include leadership, summer activities, competitions, volunteering, and work experience)

  • Work a customer service role/ whole bunch of other tasks including merchandising; Restocking; organization and consolidation of overstock (28 hrs/ Week) (52 weeks a year)
  • JV Sport (8 hrs a week)(12 Weeks a year)
  • Self taught programming language
    *200 + Volunteer Hours
  • Member of a STEM related club at my HS

(Optionally, guess how strong these are and include any other relevant information or circumstances.)
N/A Current Junior

  • Favorably viewed by most of my teachers (Will most likely get recs from two teachers I have this year who are known for their good recs)

Cost Constraints / Budget
(High school students: please get a budget from your parents and use the Net Price Calculators on the web sites of colleges of interest.)
No budget restraints although the lower the better; will be tackling most of the cost myself.
Northwestern Comp Sci ED
I know this is a far reach for me would still like to be chanced; good to have a little hope even if that hope is a 2% chance.

Does your family qualify for need based financial aid…and a lot of it? Northwestern has a very high cost. You will need sufficient need based aid to attend. “Tackling most of the cost” any other way won’t be possible unless you have a LOT of money in the bank. This college gives primarily need based aid….not merit aid.

You might want to run a net price calculator to see an estimate of your net costs at NU.

Now…your chances of acceptance. In my opinion, you have a strong application so far. Keep up those grades, and then apply and see.

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Thanks! I’m concerned with the cost but believe that it will be worth it in the end. I ran through the calculator and it looks like it will be pricey to say the least. Is it hard to get approved for lower interest college loans of larger sums? Is that even a thing?

The loans you can get in your name only are the federally funded Direct Loans.

Freshman $5500
Sophomore $6500
Junior $7500
Senior $7500

Total for the four years $27,000…which is basically a drop in the bucket for NU costs.

You can get other loans but they would either need to be cosigned by your parents or your parents would need to take these loans.

I’m going to give you some free advice that you didn’t really ask for…please do NOT plan to pay for a NU undergrad education with loans.

The cost to attend NU is over $80,000 a year. Tuition alone is $60,000.

Full costs with loans would be $320,000 and that doesn’t include the interest. Your loan payments would be well over $3000 a month for at least ten years. That is not a good way to start your years as a college grad.


Adding….with your stats, you have the potential to get some excellent merit aid at some schools….guaranteed. Look and see what Arizona State, University of Arizona, University of New Mexico, University of Alabama would offer you.

How did you do on the PSAT….any chance you have the potential to be a national merit finalist?


I’m interested in Management Consulting and thought that I a somewhat prestigious university to get into consulting. Programing is something that I’m very passionate about but I’m still uncertain if I want to make it a career as I love the idea of management consulting. I’ve heard from a lot of programmers that they become dissatisfied as their work is so small in the scheme of a whole project. I’m currently split equally between the two; I know you can go into consulting with a STEM degree so that’s my philosophy behind picking comp sci as my major.

I didn’t get PSAT results back yet I only took it this year; If I wasn’t totally concerned with leaving the doors open for opportunities such as consulting I would definitely choose those schools. Besides the climate of those schools is more my speed.

So a couple things -

What type of school do you go to - public/private?

Your GPA doesn’t jive with your rank - is why I ask. Also, when you say definite top 5% but possibly 1% - my question would be - does your school rank ? If not, you shouldn’t say that. More and more schools have stopped ranking or have gone to a general band - like top 10%. My suspicion is with a 3.7, NW will be tough - but a lot depends on the relativity to others which is why I rank. If you’re in the top 5%, your school is grading much more rigidly than others - and that will be noted.

So I think @thumper1 has given you superb advice - especially if you say it will be pricey because it’s not just $320K - it’s the interest, the clothes, the spring break trips - and if you’re full pay and your parents won’t pay in full, then how do you manage. And if you take out loans, as shown, you’ll potentially capsize your future.

@thumper1 mentioned great schools - Another that’s well reputed but much lower in cost for OOS would be Purdue - probably about 55% of the cost of Northwestern. Not as reputed but likely affordable to you would be Bradley - to stick with the Illinois private.

Now we don’t know where you’re from but I’m assuming Illinios - you might check out your state flagship as well no matter where it is.

One last thing - you want to do management consulting. You’re a junior in HS so I ask the question - do you know what management consulting is? I’m not even sure I do. When I finished grad school (MBA), all the consultants (PWC, KPMG, etc.) were doing Salesforce implementations (and they weren’t even IS people). Not saying it’s that today or not but I’m just wondering if you truly know what it is - or are you chasing something you heard is glorious and / or high paying. Just something to think about.

Keep up the good work - and good luck to you.

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Your chance will not be 2%. It’s more like 20% if you apply early. Also, your profile is excellent except for the EC part - you might want to replace your part-time job with something more impactful, such as tutoring or working on educational software for kids. Once you have that down, your overall profile will look a lot better.

I also share the other poster’s view that you should look at your state flagship. You might even have a direct admit. Good luck!

How do you have an SAT score of 1560 if you have not yet taken the test ?

When do you expect to receive your PSAT score ?

Consider getting an MBA from Northwestern Kellogg after graduating college & working for a few years if you want to be considered by the top management consulting firms.

OP said they hadn’t received the PSAT score yet. OP mentioned SAT score in the first post.

Congratulations on your achievements.

I can’t chance you for NU, and agree with thumper about the financial considerations. After the $27K in student loans, the remaining loans would be on your parents either directly or as co-signers. For this reason, I encourage you to not apply to NU ED, and look at schools where you would can get merit aid and not have graduate with more than $27K in loans.

You can go into management consulting after undergrad from many schools. The MBB firms do hire from prestigious schools, but there are some grads from IU Kelley and UWisconsin too. Beyond MBB there are many other consulting firms as well, which provide good jobs and good salaries.

This is bad advice. OP, your job is meaningful, so no need to stop doing that, it will not hurt your application at all. Are you working 28 hours per week to help with family expenses?


Yes, I realize this & am curious whether or not OP has an actual SAT score when OP has not yet received the PSAT score.

Some students take the actual SAT before the junior year PSAT in October.


Yes, that’s very common in my neck of the woods.

  • I go to a public HS

  • I said my school doesn’t rank; I was just trying to provide some context. Most students are generally uncompetitive in my HS; somehow we still rank high in our state.

  • You make a great point; The cost will still be substantial if I decide to go this route but I do have a considerable sum saved that will definitely bring this number down; If my parents decide they want me to go to college, money would not be an issue.

  • Thanks for the additional school recs; I will definitely take them into consideration.

  • I have spent a sometime researching consulting; I know that it is extremely competitive to get into. For whatever odd reason it has been a goal of mine for a long time. I will admit I was attracted to Management Consulting in part because of the prestige and pay. I want a job where I am not stuck in one place both figuratively and literally. I was attracted by the challenge and the travel(I know management consultants don’t ever really get to experience the destinations). When I’m young I’m prepared to work hard and reap the benefits as I age. When it is time to settle down, I heard consulting offers plenty of exit opportunities in nice cooperate roles.



My school doesn’t allow psats until junior year for whatever reason

PSAT is taken in junior year everywhere. Thumper and I meant that some students take the SAT or ACT before they take their junior year PSAT.

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Yeah that’s correct I took sat before psat

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No; I don’t need the job for family expenses, I’m doing it more from college as I don’t expect much from them. If I hypothetically came into money and did have to take out as much of a loan, let’s say I. Recive 260k or so what would my chances be?