Northwestern recruits students of demonstrated academic achievement from diverse social, ethnic and economic backgrounds. More than 90 percent of undergraduate applicants rank in the top 10 percent of their high school classes, and Northwestern’s National Merit Scholar enrollment rate is among the nation’s highest.
While its relatively small size allows for good student-professor interaction, it has “all the perks” of a big school, including “many opportunities” for research and internships. Be aware, however, “Northwestern is not an easy school. It takes hard work to be average here.” If you “learn from your failures quickly and love to learn for the sake of learning rather than the grade,” students say it is quite possible to stay afloat and even to excel. Helping matters are numerous resources established by administrators and professors, including tutoring programs such as Northwestern’s Gateway Science Workshop. Those who take advantage of these opportunities find the going much easier than those who don’t.
There is a group for every interest, and the groups are amazingly well-managed by students alone. This goes hand-in-hand with how passionate students at Northwestern are about what they love.” Many students “are involved in plays, a cappella groups, comedy troupes, and other organizations geared toward the performing arts. Activism is also very popular, with many involved in political groups, human-rights activism, and volunteering.” In addition, Northwestern’s membership in the Big Ten means students “attend some of the best sporting events in the country.” Chicago, of course, “is a wonderful resource. People go into the city for a wide variety of things—daily excursions, jobs, internships, nights out, etc.”