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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College Sophomore

Weather: Fall and spring quarters are great, but winter quarter you will want to die. Consider studying abroad during that time.

College Freshman

Facilities: More likely than not, the school has everything you're looking for, it's just a matter of finding it. Come here with an open mind and be ready to work hard. If you have the self-motivation, you will do well here. However, don't expect to be guided every step of the way—it's up to you to take advantage of all the resources.

High School Student

Computers: I was worried that using a laptop here would be frustrating, but it's not now that they updated the network. The new WiFi extends nearly everywhere, including the residence hall rooms. However, the WiFi stability is still shaky, so getting kicked off is common. There's still no way to print wirelessly, you still need an Ethernet cable to watch TV, and a lot of normal online functions (like file sharing) are blocked. Overall, though, the wireless is a huge improvement to the campus and is probably the reason that nearly everyone I know has a laptop this year.

High School Student

Health & Safety: I feel very safe standing outside of a building in a kinda isolated area because the University police are always friendly and alert.

Niche User

Health & Safety: I think people generally feel safe on campus. Certainly, there are events that cause alarm, but generally, people feel safe. However, going to school near a big city is evidently going to cause problems.

Niche User

Health & Safety: Security has honestly been an issue as of late, but we have very little crime. I know that sounds odd, but all of a sudden we had a few assaults, so they are beefing up security more. That being said, I often leave my door unlocked and do not feel uncomfortable doing so. I rarely, if ever, feel unsafe at Northwestern, or in most of the surrounding area. Evanston is pretty tame, other than some somewhat aggressive panhandlers. We do have a lot of security options for students like the escort service, which will pick you up anywhere if you ever feel unsafe.

Niche User

Health & Safety: Northwestern has its own police force; they have all the authority and privileges that any town police force has, except their main task is to enforce the laws here at NU. Although the campus can be pretty dark after sunset, I'd say I always feel secure here, but then again, I'm a guy; the women on campus might not share my sentiment.

Niche User

Health & Safety: Safety is not so hot, but they're working on it. A lot of the campus is not well lit, but there is student escort that runs in the evening and will pick you up and take you to locations at or near campus. There is also a shuttle that runs in the evenings.

Niche User

Health & Safety: This is a pretty safe campus because it's in the suburbs, but you have to remember that it is the first suburb north of Chicago. Evanston is a very diverse town, economically. The area surrounding the campus is really nice, but there are some bad areas of town. NU has its own police force in addition to the Evanston police. There are areas that you shouldn't walk alone at night, but for the most part, I feel safe. I must warn that there have been some attempted sexual assaults in the past few months, but the girls have gotten away because of police officers or other people in the area. This is highly out of the ordinary, and the University notified all the students in a bulk e-mail. The girls were walking in dark areas alone and pretty late at night. Also, I have never had a problem with theft in the dorm or anything like that.

Niche User

Health & Safety: I would say that security on Northwestern campus is pretty good. There are lights and phones everywhere, and I have never had a problem. Also, there is a car service that runs from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. so that you don't have to walk anywhere alone at night. However, the surrounding area of the campus can be a bit shady. For the most part, though, I think it's pretty good.

Niche User

Health & Safety: Security is not that much of a concern because the campus is in Evanston, which isn't particularly crime-ridden. The administration recently installed a bunch of new streetlights on campus.

Niche User

Health & Safety: There have been some incidents on campus, but generally, safety is high. I have never been bothered, except for the occasional homeless person asking for change in downtown Evanston.

Niche User

Health & Safety: Security and safety are well accounted for on campus. Most walkways are well lit and have emergency phones available. To prevent people from traveling alone, the University provides a student escort service at night. Depending on the dorm, theft usually isn't a problem. However, it is still advisable to lock your door when you are away since theft happens occasionally.

Niche User

Health & Safety: I feel safe on campus, for the most part. The NU police are always patrolling the streets. However, there is not a great deal of lighting in certain areas, which is a negative. The escort service, which is supposed to be able to pick you up when it is late and you don't want to walk, is not all that efficient and sometimes they won't even be able to pick you up for two hours.

Niche User

Health & Safety: I have heard of only a few serious incidents on campus. There are thefts, but if you are careful and close/lock windows on ground floors and follow common sense, there isn't too much of a problem. The reported number of assaults is small, and there is a great women's center and counselors on hand to help with all incidents (reported or not). In general, I actually feel safe walking alone at night.

Niche User

Health & Safety: On campus, I feel completely safe, even in the middle of the night. There is adequate lighting and call-boxes are spaced regularly along all the pathways. I rarely see non-students on campus late at night. Off campus, it's a little less safe because Northwestern can't control the security level of the city. I try not to walk alone in Evanston after 10 p.m., but I have done it in the past without any resulting consequences.

Niche User

Health & Safety: There has been discussion about safety in the last few years. People are mugged occasionally, but I haven't heard of anyone being seriously attacked. If it's late, try to travel in groups and stay in well-lit areas. The police are around, but not necessarily when you need them.

Niche User

Health & Safety: Well, we all know people periodically get mugged near campus or on the Lakefill, but I've never felt more than vaguely worried walking around, mostly because my mind tells me I should be concerned and not because I feel an actual threat. I guess I feel like the University's safety measures are nice and all, but we're all basically adults and have a certain responsibility to look out for ourselves. I've never felt that I deserved more than the University offers in terms of safety precautions. There are certainly enough locks on the doors.

Niche User

Health & Safety: For the most part, security and safety are good on campus. Just be smart. Don't leave $20 sitting on the couch in your dorm lounge (Although, I know someone who did this for three days, and her money was still there when she came back.)

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Niche User

Health & Safety: Most of the University area is pretty safe, but there are some very sketchy areas in Evanston, particularly the areas around Howard and the high school. In the daytime, though, you're basically safe anywhere. Just be aware.

Niche User

Health & Safety: I always feel safe walking around on campus, even late at night. It's still good to walk with someone if you can, especially if you're going off campus.

Niche User

Computers: The network is good, the computer labs are never crowded, and almost all students have their own computer. I'd recommend bringing a PC, but it's not necessary to succeed here.

Niche User

Computers: The network is nice-Ethernet is fantastic. I hate going home and having to use the dial up again. As far as computer labs go, they exist, but life is a lot easier if you have your own, especially because our registration is online, and a lot of things revolve around e-mail.

Niche User

Computers: The computer labs are good, although it can be frustrating when the printer is down in a lab or a bunch of computers aren't working. If you have one, or can afford one, you should bring it to school just because it is much easier to type a paper in your room than to travel to a lab and work there.

Niche User

Computers: Definitely bring your own computer, if just for convenience. I have never seen the labs overcrowded, but it's a hassle when you need to work on something at 3 a.m. and you have to go find an open lab. Also, having your own computer lets you keep in close contact with cross-campus friends.


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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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