Evanston, IL
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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Reviews 1251 total reviews with an average rating of 3.5

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2 College Sophomore

Athletics: Strong School Spirit for Poor Performance – There is strong school spirit during homecoming football games, but this is rarely found during any other athletic activities. Northwestern University is not great when it comes to team performance in varying athletic teams.

3 College Sophomore

Diversity: Although there is a dominant white population, all ethnicities can be found. There are many student groups that include and are open to everyone regardless of race, economic background, political beliefs, religion, and sexual orientation.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: Quiet Town Neighboring Big City – Although there aren't that many things to do in the quiet town of Evanston, it only takes about an hour to get to the heart of Chicago.

College Freshman

Parking: City Life – Most undergrads live on campus and don't really need a car. You can take the El or a bus to the city easily.

3 College Freshman

Drug Safety: Don't Tell – Most people have and use the money to do drugs - the Dorm Advisors can't do anything unless they catch you directly. Most people in my dorm go to frats to drink, though you can drink in the room if you keep the door closed. the whole lax policy drives me nuts - I'm here to study. Though honestly, it's probably better than you'd find at most college: I just got landed with a partygirl as a roommmate.

4 College Freshman

Academics: I'm hoping to get into the musical theatre certificate program (we audition in the spring of frosh and soph years) and so I'm currently preparing for that. Most of my classes were challenging without being impossible, though one professor was kind of a washout. We tend to get to know the profs extremely well, which helps whenever you have questions about the industry or even another class.

5 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: Amazing Choices – Even without Chicago, which is a quick ride away and can provide you with absolutely any dining experience, Evanston provides all the dining you could want. There's a huge variety, from your normal Chipotle, Noodles and Jimmy Johns, to really ethnic places that range from Thai to Stir Fry and Sushi. Also great Chicago style pizza, and places like Burger King and Clarke's diner that are open til 2 am or all night. Really decently priced and lots of places offer student discounts.

2 College Freshman

Parking: Don't Bring a Car – With Evanston and all classes within walking distance, don't bring a car. Parking in Evanston is generally free but away from campus and limited.

If you're concerned, get a bike.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Athletics: Decent Big Ten Sports – It's awesome going to such a prestigious school that still has Big Ten sports. We play against some of the best teams in the country, and actually usually do decently against them. The best part about going to only a decently good school is when you beat big teams (like Iowa). Often people will forgo going to games for studying, but there's always really spirited crowds that go to every game, making them really fun to go to.

3 College Freshman

Guys & Girls: Girls Hotter Than Guys...But Thats OK – There's tons of beautiful girls here, and I'd have to say the guys aren't quite as attractive. However, you go to Northwestern, which seriously ups the chances that someone you're interested in is smart, interesting, and passionate, which is a huge plus.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Overall Experience: Not Perfect, but Everything I Could Have Hoped for – I absolutely love Northwestern. While it does have its drawbacks (notably the quarter system's break schedule), NU's positives--unparalleled academics and location by Chicago, community feeling, Big Ten sports, beautiful campus, social and intelligent students--make up for them, and I can't imagine going anywhere else.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: Perfect Combination of Evanston and Chicago – Northwestern offers you everything you could want in terms of location. Campus is located in Evanston, which is an awesome suburb that has amazing dining and shopping and feels very "homey." However, Chicago is about a 30-40 minute ride away via El, CTA, or shuttle, which--as the 3rd largest city in the country--can provide you with absolutely any cultural experience or entertainment you could imagine. I can't imagine going to college anywhere else--Northwestern provides the perfect detached collegiate setting with a big city experience.

4 College Freshman

Transportation: Take the Shuttle – There is a free shuttle that takes you around campus. It is especially useful during the winter months. The campus is very long and it is very hard to get across it in a single passing period. Having a bike is definitely recommended, but that doesn't work well during the winter.

3 College Freshman

Campus Strictness: Some CAs will cite students for possessing or consuming alcohol. Others will turn a blind eye. For academic offenses, like plagiarism and cheating, the punishments are pretty strict and severe. They make you write an essay about academic integrity as part of your freshman acceptance procedure.

3 College Freshman

Campus Housing: Dorms at Northwestern – Generally, dorms at Northwestern are pretty good but are generally dumping grounds for freshmen. Upperclassmen tend to live off-campus, in sorority/fraternity houses, or in the higher quality upperclassmen dorms. Residence halls are another option for those wishing to enter a closer knit community. Many people stay in their residence halls throughout their college career.

3 Recent Alumnus

Facilities: The libraries in the school are very helpful when you need a quite well equipped place that provides you with the essentials to do your homework anytime during the day and even nights.

2 Recent Alumnus

Diversity: What happens when you mix a huge amount of white rich kids with a small smattering of everyone else? Northwestern. Read the comments in the Daily Northwestern (campus newspaper) for an idea. Comments I've seen include "financial aid-iots," "minorities with chips on their shoulders," etc. Luckily, there are pretty vocal student organizations who stand up for students of color and other likely targets of bigotry. But the numbers make it a pretty bad place for authentic diversity.

2 people found this useful Report
1 Recent Alumnus

Campus Dining: I moved off-campus almost entirely to save money from the mealplan. It's beyond ridiculous.

4 Recent Alumnus

Scholarships: Admins Are Awesome, Students Are Pricks – the university does a fantastic job with providing financial aid. NU is need-blind and made going here cheaper for my family than the in-state school i applied to. when my dad lost his job, they upped my aid mid-year to keep me in school. that being said, a lot of the other students look down on you for 'taking their money' (and say that to your face). elitism at its worst in that department.

2 people found this useful Report
5 Recent Alumnus

Health & Safety: Super Safe – well-lit campus, visible campus police, you can walk around at 3am. a blissful bubble.

2 Recent Alumnus

Greek Life: Choose Wisely.. there is a HUGE divide between greek and non-greek at NU. greeks are generally thought of as entitled, preppy, and in their own little world. non-greeks are thought of as more hardworking/nerdy, less concerned with appearances, and more interested hanging out than hooking up. the real question is: how much do you wanna pay for friends??

2 people found this useful Report
3 Recent Alumnus

Nightlife: One Extreme or the Other – Either you are a freshman and go to frat parties where you know pretty much no one or you are an upperclassman and throw house parties where you know everyone. There aren't many good places to mingle and meet people in a casual setting.

4 College Sophomore

Facilities: Student Groups – As far as big universities go, Northwestern is one of the more diverse, which makes it easy to join campus groups that tend to your interests.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Drug Safety: Not Really – I know very few people who do any drugs at all, and the ones who do usually just smoke. Nothing too serious.

5 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: Evanston Restaurants – There are tons of restaurants within walking distance of Northwestern--you can find pretty much any type food you could possibly want.

1 person 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.

Admitted Students' GPA/Test Scores More on admissions . . .

Applicant Status At Northwestern University

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