Evanston, IL
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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Reviews 1262 total reviews with an average rating of 3.5

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4 College Freshman

Majors: I am currently an Economics student in WCAS, but I have been able to easily explore a variety of courses in other schools with little to no resistance. However, NU lacks Architecture and nursing, which are options I was previously considering and now can't... So that sucks but whatever its all good.

2 College Freshman

Parking: I rarely have to park, but the one time I did I received a ticket.

4 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: Evanston is a charming town with lots of restaurants, shops etc. On top of that, Chicago is 45 minutes away, and offers an endless list of exciting opportunities, academic and otherwise. This plethora of resources available just down the street sets NU apart from many other schools in less metropolitan areas.

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Academics: Extremely fast paced, but the teachers are extremely knowledgeable and seem to really enjoy what they teach. Another aspect of the learning experience that makes NU so great is how talented all the students around you are; I feel like I am truly learning with the best and the brightest in the world. The fact that my peers care so much about school makes learning more fun, and enriches the learning experience that much more. The only downside is the extremely competitive nature that follows.

2 College Freshman

Computers: You definitely need your own computer. I would also recommend your own printer, if not in medill school of journalism.

3 College Freshman

Drug Safety: There is not much illegal drug use. But if you want drugs, they are not hard to find. There are lots of people drinking, but it's not TOO ridiculous

1 person found this useful Report
2 College Freshman

Diversity: There are many different types of people personality-wise, but not race wise. There are mostly white and Asian people.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Scholarships: I came to Northwestern because they provided me much more financial aid than any other top-tier school I got into. They cover all of your need, the downside being that that need is calculated by the school, of course. I have to say that what it came down to was being a Chicago high school student, because there is a special scholarship for us and that put my financial aid significantly over the edge. However, if you want to be a CA (RA) like me, things get funky. CAs purportedly receive free room & board, but since I was already paying less than the maximum I received only a little reduction and, in fact, was barred from taking the subsdized loans I had to fight for to begin with in my first year.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Scholarships: I received an okay amount of financial aid. My family really needed more, though.

3 College Freshman

Majors: I'm an engineering major at NU and it's difficult. I feel like my professors and advisers aren't very accessible, and the classes are very difficult. It's hard to find help when you need it, and a lot of our classes are HUGE. The upside is that if somehow you get through it, there's tons of great internship/job opportunities.

3 College Freshman

Majors: I'm majoring in engineering, so worrying about finding a job in my field isn't my main concern. We've got a great co-op program that sets you up with an internship. The problem I'm having the most is trying to pass my classes. Northwestern isn't exactly known as an engineering school, so the program is a little disorganized. Until now (my second quarter of school), I didn't even know how dropping classes worked or why I'd want to do it. Sometimes it's really hard to find someone to talk to when you have a problem as well.

5 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: There are a TON of places to eat in Evanston and almost all of them have NU student discount options. We've got falafel, stir fry and more! There's also an el station in Evanston, so, if you can't find what you want there, you almost definitely will find it in Chicago. Almost every restaurant I've been to in Evanston has been nice, but reasonably priced.

4 College Freshman

Majors: I didn't have any sort of problems getting into my Engineering major. When I applied to NU, I applied directly to the engineering college and everything was fine. From what I understand, it's not that difficult to change majors either.

4 College Freshman

Majors: I'm a freshman, so I haven't had any experiences with internships yet, but I'm hoping to get one soon. From what I've heard, the internships at NU could be more accessible.

4 College Freshman

Campus Dining: There are six dining halls (actually, there are kind of secretly seven, because Plex has two sides!), and four are on south campus. I live on south campus, so I can rotate between all four (five!) dining halls. Each would get tiresome if I had to go there all the time, but I don't, so it doesn't get old. The food is delicious (with a few bad items here and there), in my opinion. For people who are on north campus a lot, Sargent has good food and there's a lot of variety.
Also, I'm not going to fully explain Hot Cookie Bar, but it is what it sounds like. It's pans of warm cookies that you can put ice cream on. Okay, I guess I explained it.

4 College Freshman

Academics: I'm a math major. Math is in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, so I have a language requirement (I started Chinese with no experience and am LOVING it) and distribution requirements ("distros"). Weinberg students have to earn two distros in each of six broad areas (the areas being natural sciences, historical studies, etc.). Consequently, I get a liberal arts education while getting my math major. It's cool. You can use AP/IB credits for two of these distros.
All my professors are super smart and interesting, and the workload is appropriately challenging but manageable. The quarter system lets you take more classes than you could at semester schools! I don't know what else to say - NU deserves its great academic reputation.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Academics: I'm a Music Performance Major.
Required music academic classes can be a bit of a drag, but are always worth it in the long run.
The faculty here is OUTSTANDING and incomparable. Getting the opportunity to take lessons, have coachings, and work in ensembles with them is an incredible experience.
Wonderful peers--encouraging atmosphere.
The Dean of Undergraduate students in Bienen is a queen. She is incredibly helpful with class conflicts, planning your schedule, finding internships, etc. She makes it possible for so many students to do so many things.

4 College Senior

Off-Campus Dining: There are many varied off-campus options, including sit-down varieties as well as grab'n'go.
Fast food from Subway, Taco Bell, Burger King Jimmy John's
Pizza from Lou Malnati's, Carmen, Giordanos', Gigio's, Papa John's
Great coffee places, cafes, sandwich shops.
I couldn't be happier with the dining options found in Evanston. All types of food for any wallet!

3 College Senior

Off-Campus Housing: Lots of options for students.
There is a silly brothel law, that fortunately is never enforced...
The closer you get to campus the more expensive the apartments are.
Any Parliament Enterprises apartments are poorly run..and likely to have mice!

4 College Senior

Campus Strictness: Campus will put students caught smoking/drinking on probation. It is easy to get this removed from your record if you don't break probation or if you meet with an advisor/take the appropriate classes. Very fair.

3 College Freshman

Transportation: There are plenty of shuttles for different needs [between Evanston and Chicago campuses, around Evanston campus, sports shuttles] but no one ever knows when they run. We're a fairly small campus, so public transportation is really not very necessary. SafeRide operates late at night to take kids back to their residences, but perhaps if they had more cars, more people would use the service.

4 College Freshman

Guys & Girls: Northwestern's orientation programs force you to meet new people, and it's just as easy to meet people of interest through activities and stuff as it is through parties. We're a sports school, so naturally there are some jocks, and a party school with plenty of frat-bro types, but they don't count for everything. There are equally as many "real" girls as there are flowery, pretentious, and petty girls; in general you can find any kind of person at NU. The culture is really more about how interesting everyone is. While hookups are more common than actual relationships, the latter is very, very possible.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Facilities: All the facilities are great and there are many ways to get involved in anything you are interested in

4 Recent Alumnus

Computers: Computers are in the library. Can't think of another place where there are a lot of computers for student use. It's annoying that you have to pay nominal fees for printing (via cash-loaded WildCard) when you're paying so much already in tuition, but c'est la vie. Can be hard to get a station at peak times, but generally not that bad.

1 person found this useful Report
3 Recent Alumnus

Off-Campus Housing: There's plenty of off-campus housing to be had, especially if you have reliable friends who are going in with you. Studios and one-bedrooms are significantly more expensive than shared housing. Landlords for affordable apartments do not keep their units up very well--just the bare minimum to make them passable. They know students do not treat the units well and move out after 1-3 years anyway. There are standard apartment buildings to whole houses for rent to luxury condo-style apartments all within walking distance from campus.


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Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

Shayna Starr
Houston, Texas
Grad Year
View all previous student authors

At Northwestern, schoolwork can seem overwhelming at points, but students don’t let that stop them from having fun. After spending the school week doing long readings, writing papers, and taking ever-present midterms, students have a knack for finding ways to kick back and relax. This does not always include partying. For those who want to party, the option is always there. If partying is not your thing, there are movies, cool coffee shops to check out, and all of Chicago's cultural offerings just a short "L" ride away.

Northwestern students are generally happy with their choice of school—there is a retention rate nearing 100 percent year after year. There are the usual complaints (cold winters, hard classes, and lack of sleep, to name a few), but everyone has their reason for choosing NU, and the reasons usually do not disappoint. Most students like most aspects of their life at Northwestern. The mid-size student body (8,000 undergrads) allows you to meet new people in various activities or classes, but you are guaranteed to see familiar faces every time you walk outside or eat in a dining hall. Different aspects of the school can be hit or miss, depending on what you’re looking for, but the people you meet and the friends you make will greatly enhance your experience. Students come from many walks of life, but the differences in backgrounds are hardly noticeable on the surface. Everyone has similar goals for the future, and everyone will go places after they graduate. This is Northwestern, after all.

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