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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3 College Freshman

Campus Housing: So there are a lot of options, Bobb is old and gross, Allison is new as are some of the Res colleges and Elder. Dorm rooms are about average size they aren't huge but you will be fine. I would suggest either Elder as a freshman or a residential college (Willard, CCI etc). Many people make friends wherever they are. I live in Bobb and I think it can be hard socially simply because its huge and the school makes no effort to get kids to know eachother within the dorm (there is no programming). I know I would have done better in a smaller dorm that had programming for students, but some kids love Bobb so it depends on how easy it is for you to meet people and what type of community, or lack of community you want.

3 College Freshman

Greek Life: I'm greek. I do think going greek allows you more opportunities socially. Having said that almost all parties open to everyone by midnight and many are just open to anyone regardless. Also many students find clubs that basically are their own form of greek organization. For example, many of the intramurals are really tight nit groups as are many of the dance organizations and many cultural groups.

1 person found this useful Report
2 College Freshman

Transportation: Ok so the standard Chicago transit system goes through Evanston. EL stops are pretty close but if you use them regularly you better have some form of income because though they aren't overly expensive, they are not super cheep and there is no student discount. Northwestern transportation is bad. Though the idea is nice (the intercampus shuttle is great) shuttles (except the intercampus) can be very very late, as in this is not an option to get to class. The times are terrible, they run around once an hour but a lot of shuttles don't start until evening. The shop and ride (goes to target and CVS) is nice but is not consistent. Honestly transportation through the university is bad. We are just big enough for it to be annoying that transportation sucks, but just small enough that the University doesn't find it neccessary to really invest in the system.

3 College Freshman

Nightlife: I'm not super involved in it so keep that in mind. I think there are a lot of parties on campus most nights, there aren't as many nightly as at a state school though there are always kids drinking either in their rooms or at appartments or whatnot on any given night. There are also bars though most people go to ones in Chicago, they are close but will cost you money to get there.

3 College Freshman

Computers: I don't know anyone who does not own a computer. There are computers on campus but you will have to live at the library if you do not own a computer. Kids here are so involved that email is super important, also teachers connect to students through email (ie they tell you when assignments may be due and if they are canceling class and what they expect for the day). Also most of the work I have had has in some way involved a computer. For example, for biology, all of the homework problems/readings are from the book but at 9 pm the night before class we have to write a response on what we found difficult in the reading, these are due online. Also our weekly projects are sent out via a website. I have no classes in which I could do homework without a computer.

3 College Freshman

Weather: I mean its Chicago. It gets cold, it also gets hot but you wont be here when its really hot. The winter sucks, because you have to trudge through the snow to get to class and its cold and people are grumpy, but you survive there are worse things in life.

3 College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: I haven't done it so I can't really say. THere are a lot of options and it is cheaper than anything on campus. Having said that the houses can be gross, but some are nice but those are more expensive.

3 College Freshman

Diversity: I don't think its as great as people claim. I think as a whole its not an intolerant school but when you break it up and actually talk to people there are a lot of stereotypes and I wouldn't say everyone is friends with everyone. Certain student groups really bring people together but I think the whole "all the Chinese kids sit together at the lunch table" thing is very true.

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Drug Safety: I don't know that there is a ton of peer pressure certainly plenty of kids don't drink do drugs. But, my dorm always smells like weed and most kids drink on weekends. There are other things to do, but you may really have to work to find them.

4 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: I like Evanston, its cute, its pretty people are generally friendly there are plenty of places to eat and shop. Its not huge, but Chicago is easy to get to (though not cheap always).

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Guys & Girls: Its college, I don't think we deserve the rep we get. People are attractive maybe not the most attractive but have good personalities. The type of guys you want to marry.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Campus Strictness: It's fine the police aren't here to bust you. You shouldn't be stupid and be respectful of them. Having said that they really do understand that college kids experiment a little. They typically dont do anything to interfere with on campus parties unless students get hurt (so please don't be an idiot and pass out because it causes problems for everyone else). Off campus they can be slightly stricter because off campus is not just for college kids, as in families live here and don't appreciate loud raging parties at 2 am. However if you are respectful they will be.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: There are a ton of options, Evanston has a lot of ethnic diversity so many ethnic food options and your typical fast food options. Also Chicago is close. My only warning is that many place do not accept student discounts and food around here can be expensive.

3 College Freshman

Scholarships: I am fortunate enough to not have had to deal with it but I have a ton of friends who have. In my experience it can suck to be middle class here. If you really can't afford Northwestern then financial aid here is great. But if your family is ok financially but maybe doesn't have 62,000 a year to spare, then they can be a pain in the but. For example if you get an outside scholarship then they will decrease your scholarship from Northwestern, and if you are an RA on financial aid they will decrease your financial aid offering so that you get very little extra for being an RA.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Health & Safety: On campus is fairly safe, keep in mind its an open campus which means families like to walk their dogs their and its always a busy lively area, but also means that it really being safe is a bit of an illusion, there is nothing to stop anyone from pretty much entering any building (except dorms and labs which do have extra security).Also off campus is a mixed bag, students live in cheap housing, often near the EL stops which can be kind of sketchy, when incidents happen its normally in those areas, they aren't places I'd feel safe walking alone. On campus I walk alone at night all the time, it's not great, the school should invest in better lighting, but there are always other students out and the blue lights are nice. There isn't normally a robbery/crime issue, many students leave their doors unlocked and leave stuff at the library and come back no problem (though I wouldn't recomend it because we had an issue at the beggining of the year with some random non NU student who got in and stole computers from open dorm rooms). I don't think its a particularly unsafe campus but be smart, lock doors.

3 people found this useful Report
3 College Student

Campus Strictness: It's not that strict as long as you don't do something majorly wrong.

4 College Student

Guys & Girls: People at Northwestern have diverse interests and it's easy to find people who like the same stuff as you do. The students there are all very nice!

3 College Student

Off-Campus Dining: There's a few restaurants here and there; for more options you have to go into town or something.

5 College Student

Academics: Northwestern has some of the best professors in the nation and offers its students the best academic opportunity possible.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Student

Athletics: There's tons of awesome sports for people to participate in and since admission is free for pro sports there is a huge turnout for big games.

3 College Student

Diversity: I've seen a lot of diversity on campus the times I visited Northwestern. I'm not sure how a campus could be EXTREMELY diverse, so I say it's ok.

4 College Student

Health & Safety: The short time that I've been on Northwestern campus, I didn't really see many health services, but the neighborhood around campus is very friendly and nice.

College Student

Nightlife: The only "party-like" event that I've went to is Wildcat Days, which I wouldn't consider a party, so I can't reply.

4 College Student

Local Atmosphere: It's great if you don't really like the big city atmosphere, but don't want to be in a lonely rural town either. The residential area around campus is great and the scenery is just breathtaking!

3 College Student

Scholarships: If you ever have significant trouble with your financial aid and you're pretty close to the University, you should just stop by the Financial Aid office. They are much more friendlier in person than on the phone.

2 people found this useful Report

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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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