|Students who got into NU say:|
Essay (14) |
I did well on the SAT, the SAT II (with 700+ scores) and took the ACT. I also took the most challenging courses in high school, took foreign language to the point of operational fluency; played a musical instrument; and did sports (not excellent, but an average non-varsity player); newspaper -- overall, well-rounded high school with academic rigor.
| Jun 02 2005 | Take ACT, SAT, SATIIs, APs. Everyone at NU are extracurricular kings and queens. Do sports, volunteer, work part-time, do SOMETHING that you're interested in. Make excellent grades in high school, have astonishing recommendations, invest time in your essays. Visit campus if you can, email admissions if you have questions. They keep track of all of these things. My mother also went to an NU school that is now closed. They look at your whole file, so make sure you show them the real you
the admissions committee spends less than 15 minutes reading your application file. don't waste their time.
| Perfomance Arts|| Sep 24 2003 |
- score a 1400 or better on the SAT (700/700 split)
- take additional SAT II exams and score 700 or better on each
- take a minimum of 20 academic solids (math, science, history, english lit, foreign language)
- take as many ap classes as possible and get 4 or 5 on all ap exams
- take your remaining classes at no lower than the honors level and get grades of no less than A
- take college level courses when AP courses aren't offered
- legacy status helps as does athlete status; if you can play football at the big 10 level, as long as you qualify for the ncaa and the coach wants you, you too can get in
- witty short answer responses
- speaking multiple languages fluently
- being able to afford attending without requesting any financial aid
- activity chart: be involved in as many activities as possible and serve as the president or captain of each one.
- activity chart: jv sports do not count, only varsity does
- honors: things like who's who in american high schools don't count, but westinghouse scholar does
- visit campus and attend an info session and small group informational interview: you receive brownie points for this
- on the why northwestern statement: mention specific classes, professors, that you visited campus, the major or program you're interested in following, etc. and why you like the school. in addition, make sure you tell them why they'd benefit from having you as a student. they care about that more than why you'd benefit from attending
- personal statement: make sure to answer the question, don't write about 9-11 or how to solve crime or your desire for peace on earth; they end up being trite and boring.
- optional alumni interviews: make sure to go on these. it gets you brownie points. also dress well when you go and don't just talk about grades and academics.
- recommendations: only get them from people who can write extremely positive ones supporting your candidacy and support their argument with anecdotal evidence. these are read looking between the lines. if the rec is neutral or less than enthusiastic, it is assumed that your recommender is hiding something or is afraid to tell the committee that you suck and the committee evaluates your application file accordingly.
- rank within the top 5% of your graduating class
- your unweighted GPA is the one that gets evaluated
- even though the admissions people tell you that they only look at your highest SAT score on each individual section, the college board sends them all of your scores, and the other lower scores are certainly not ignored, so don't be fooled.
- good luck!