Evanston, IL
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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Reviews 1186 total reviews with an average rating of 3.5

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3 College Sophomore

Majors: Playing Favorites – As a science major, a lot of my world revolves around funding. and it is clear what majors the university favors based on the income the respective departments pull in. Just this year the got rid of 2 biology concentrations (evolutionary biology being one of them) As a biology major I feel like I and a lot of other science majors take a back seat to chemistry and materials science.

3 College Sophomore

Transportation: Shuttles Are Unpredictable – Its hard to get around campus considering the only road surrounds the campus and the busses do not penetrate the campus in a way that enables efficient movement within the campus. The shuttles are great for going downtown though, but they do get crowded. a lot of graduates commute on them so you aren't supposed to use them just to get from one side of campus to the other......which is annoying.

3 College Sophomore

Drug Safety: Drinking Is More Popular – There are certain people and certain groups known to partake in marijuana and other drugs but for the most part people don't.

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: Not a Good Value – We are forced to be on a meal plan if we stay on campus yet the options for the plans are limited. Even in my dorm where I have a cafe on the first floor and my own kitchen which I could use to cook healthy and cheaper meals I am forced to use my 13 meals a week at a place where portions are not up to your control and foods are generally unhealthy.

4 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: Really Safe – In the heart of campus I never feel threatened and I often am able to walk worry-free on campus at night alone. Off campus there are always police officers around and many security alert call buttons. Recently the university has ramped up their alcohol safety programs, they are generally tolerant of the behavior, meaning they put student safety first and recognize responsibility.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: I Love Northwestern – I loved Northwestern before I even started taking classes. It is a beautiful campus and the people are amazing. I made so many great friends and love every second of being here. The social life is better than most people expect, and the academics are top-notch. We have an amazing research university that provides opportunities for anyone to get involved that wants to.

3 College Sophomore

Scholarships: Process Could Have Been Easier – When I first received my financial aid, I didn't receive nearly as much as I needed. I called the financial aid office, and they did not really try to help me much. My mom called a bunch more times and we kept getting a little bit more each time she called/filled out more forms. I think Northwestern could stand to give out a bit more aid considering how expensive the tuition is.

3 College Sophomore

Athletics: Sports Are Alright – We don't have the best sports teams. We lose many football games and the other sports teams aren't the best either. Women's lacrosse is great though, they win every year's championship. Fan support and school spirit is pretty good, we have fun dressing up for football games and such. But again, it could be better. IM sports are good because anyone can play.

3 College Senior

Athletics: Big Ten Sports With Small School Charm – One of the great things about Northwestern is that you can watch Big Ten sports without the pressure of having to buy tickets in advance, get there really early, or feeling pressured to go to every game.

2 College Junior

Weather: Lakeshore Campus in the "Windy City" – I am from the northwest suburbs of Chicago, so I thought I was completely ready for the weather at NU, but the wind coming off of the lake is stronger and colder than I expected, and it's always blowing. As long as you have a wind-breaker when you walk to class, you'll be fine.

5 College Freshman

Facilities: Academic Opportunities Are Vast – so many opportunities if you are willing to go for it.

3 College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: Off campus housing in Evanston is a mixed bag. There is plenty of variety in that you can get a house or apartment and they are not terribly expensive for what they are ($900 to $1500). From what I've seen, the housing is generally nice and is worth the cost. Most housing is near campus and the neighborhoods are fairly safe. One thing I should mention is that parking sucks in Evanston.

3 College Freshman

Greek Life: Greek Is an Option – Being part of the Greek life is only an option when it come to the social scene here in Evanston. There is no stigma associated with being Greek or not. The fraternities and sororities on campus are very active in philanthropy and community service as well as social activities. As far as housing, most Greek organizations own houses on campus. These houses are slightly dated, but are equal if not better than the dorms on campus.

4 College Junior

Academics: I think that Northwestern has lived up to their excellent reputation. I am in the School of Continuing Studies program, and everyone has been nice and helpful. It is however the hardest course work that I have ever done, but I am constantly being challenged and pushing myself.

3 College Junior

Computers: The professors utilize computer resources well, but I have never used the lab ones.

3 College Junior

Weather: It is very windy and can get very cold, which makes going outside for classes daunting.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Academics: Professors Are Unique – Through Northwestern, I have been exposed to professors who are very talented and resourceful. What I like about them is that they are real people who I can relate too. They talk about the mistakes they have made in their careers and their successes. Their resources offer a lot of opportunities and advice.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Nightlife: 21 and Under – Even though I have not reached the age of 21, there are still a lot of fun things to do around campus at night. Located close to the city, easy access to public transportation makes it convenient to go anywhere. I even went on a ghost tour through a historic district! But the university itself offers lots of things to do, including activities like balls, haunted houses, movie nights, and pub nights.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Majors: I'm Glad I'm at Medill – The Medill School of Journalism is one of the best in the country, and I would definitely do it all over again. Although I don't plan on being a reporter, I know my background in Medill gives me a leg up on Communications majors and I still get to take tons of marketing related classes, with an internship my senior year in marketing. Although the field I'm going into isn't great employment-wise right now, being at Medill will definitely help.

4 College Sophomore

Majors: Required Internship – The Medill school of journalism has a required internship during one quarter of your junior or senior year, in the field of your choice (newspaper/online, magazine, broadcast, marketing communications). However, most students also have internships during the summers, and Medill is great about updating it's online career services Web site and helping students revise resumes and cover letters.

4 College Sophomore

Majors: Pretty Straighforward – There's an essay specific to the journalism school if that's the major you're applying for, but it's very straighforward. I didn't encounter any real difficulties when applying, it's pretty similar to all college applications, Northwestern uses the Common App and then there's a supplement.

4 College Sophomore

Majors: Strong Journalism Program – The professors are experts in their fields and are very helpful, the curriculum is great after freshman year where they load you with work to weed kids out who aren't up to the challenge. Overall an awesome program with fantastic opportunities. The program is what you make of it, you can choose to take part in programs like the innocence project and Medill on the hill or not, which I think is great because kids who really love journalism get a ton out of it.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: Evanston is a great college town. There are so many fantastic restaurants within walking distance, and some even have student discounts. There is a nearby movie theater, public library, Whole Foods and CVS, and an easy, accessible, transit system- the Evanston loop. There are great options for off-campus living, and Chicago is just 40 minutes away! Most businesses will be happy to sponsor student-run philanthropies. However, conflict arises when it comes to apartment living. Noise complaints are filed very often and the Brothel Law (no more than 3 unrelated tenants in an apartment) caused quite a stir among students.

3 College Sophomore

Drug Safety: Drinking Is More Popular – Alcohol is definitely a staple at most fraternity or off-campus apartment parties. However, it is easy to enjoy yourself at these parties without partaking in drinking. Personally, I haven't been exposed to or seen any kind of drug scene, but as with any campus, I'm sure there is a population of students that does use drugs. There are pretty strict alcohol policies, but one thing that sets Northwestern apart is its amnesty policy. A student who calls the police to save a friend or themselves will be pardoned for partaking in or being around underage drinking.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Transportation: Get from a to B – The transportation is avaiblable - shuttles around campus, to and from Chicago, etc - but it isn't always entirely reliable.

1 person found this useful Report

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Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

Shayna Starr
Houston, Texas
Grad Year
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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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