How Do I Get Into Northwestern University (Evanston, IL)?

Hi! I’ve had my sights set on Northwestern for quite some time now, and just visited the campus a few days ago. I fell in love instantly, but I am really worried that I’m just not a candidate for acceptance. I would really appreciate some feedback, and steps I can take to heighten my chances, if I have any. Been reading other people’s high school records and been discouraged at how accomplished they all are compared to myself.

Tests and School Info
-GPA (4 point scale): 3.8 UW, 4.3 W
-No class rank at school
-Very competitive and highly ranked school
-ACT: 30 (looking to retake in september, shooting for a 32. My first try was the 30, and I didn’t study, so hopefully I can raise it by studying)
-No SAT, but should I take subject tests?

Class Rigor
-Taken/Will Take 7 AP courses (Human Geo, Lit and Comp, World History, Bio, Environmental Science, Psychology, Calculus)
-Taken Honors and Advanced whenever available

-Placed 4th in the world in International DECA Conference junior year, and looking to place higher senior year
-Varsity Tennis 3 years, top playing spot
-Nordic Ski Team JV racer and now team manager
-Vice President of National Honor Society
-Volunteered over 300 hours since 2011 at Sustainable Educational Working Farm as a Junior Educator teaching kids where food comes from and leading summer camps
-NHS Service hours adding up to 100 by end of year
-LGBTQ club
-News and Copy editor for school newspaper, written over 30 articles for online and physical copy

Work Experience
-Worked a consistent job for 5 years centering around environmental sustainability, taken up another summer job as well at country club
-Raised chickens since I was 9, and have an egg business which I promote at my school

I’m a good writer, always excelled in essays and creative projects, and I am sure my essays will be strong. But are my academics and extracurriculars? I want to know if it is realistic for me to work for this. If I have a chance, I’ll go ham on ACT studying, SAT Subject tests, and whatever else I should. And please, serious answers only.

Try to get your ACT score to a 33 and apply ED. NU recommends 2 SAT subject tests though I have heard mixed things about how important they are. If you have good AP exam scores then probably they are not very important.

Personally I think the “raised chickens / have an egg business” is a really neat and different thing to focus on; it may stand out in the sea of boring suburban applicants that NU (and all similar schools) get. Are you in a rural or underrepresented state by any chance?

Definitely apply ED.

You should prep for and give the SAT a try as well as some people do much better on one of those vs. the other. Which school? Medill? Communication? CAS? Other?

@Pizzagirl I live in Minnesota. I work on a farm too. Would that help?

@PurpleTitan Weinburg. I want to explore Biology and Environmental Studies.

Minneapolis is certainly well represented, but the whole farm / chicken / egg thing should make you stand out a bit. Good luck!

I think you can raise your ACT by 2-3 points by studying. You would then be a really competitive applicant, in my opinion.

Assuming if you visited that you confirmed it was likely affordable?

Yes, the chicken thing is is good. Not uncommon, believe it or not (eg, think of all the 4H kids and others interested in various enviro programs.) First, learn all you can about what NU values and looks for, what they say, not someone else’s guesses, the sorts of current students they tout, their depth and breadth, what they’re involved in.

Believe us, that’s not “reading other people’s high school records.” It’s going to be holistic and others’ bare bones stats, rigor and list of ECs (not to mention, “My LoRs were super!,”) can’t show you how others presented in their apps.

Might be a case where the essay can be intriguing, show how you identified and pursued your interests, show the attributes they look for. Just remember, it’s not like a hs writing assignment.

I would recommend applying ED and studying to get your act up 2-3 points, but the chicken thing is pretty cool, goof luck!

UPDATE: I have a 32 on my ACT now.

36 in reading
35 in english
29 in math
31 in science

Great job EllieRosie. Go for it and give it your best shot.

Congrats. I like the chicken/egg business thing too. Last year, the admit rate for ED was almost four times higher than RD.

Hello- would anyone here like to give me the realistic shot I have at getting into Northwestern (Medill)?

GPA (through two years)- 4.0
Course- I go to International Academy, an IB school that is ranked top 10 in US public HS
ACT- 33 (36 E, 35 M, 32 R, 29 S) but only 9/12 on writing
EC- Staff Writer of Newspaper 1 year, Sports Editor 2 years (possibility of EIC next year), MUN member all four years, FBLA member 3 years (got third in my event at states, went to nationals but didn’t place in top 10), BuildOn member 4 years (possibility of board member next year), GHS two years, NHS two years, Baseball umpire 3 years, Hebrew school madrich (like assistant teacher) four years, went on a Trek to Malawai last summer w/BuildOn and this year I am applying to Medill Cherubs, if I don’t get in I am also registering for sports writing program at American University

Did you get in?

@perspectivestude No :frowning:

@EllieRosie I’m sure you’ll get in somewhere you’ll love. Don’t worry.