Evanston, IL
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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4 College Sophomore

Weather: I love the weather, but I also grew up with this weather. It can be unpredictable, which is a hassle.

2 College Freshman

Weather: The school is in a suburb of Chicago and overlooks Lake Michigan. It's beautiful until November and then you are constantly freezing when you are outside.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Weather: Winters are definitely cold and windy, but fall and spring are beautiful.

3 College Freshman

Weather: Despite living in the Midwest, I find the weather up in Evanston to be colder than expected, probably because it is along Lake Michigan. Winter isn't terrible, but a long winter coat and boots are definitely needed.

3 College Sophomore

Weather: The winter gets pretty cold, and it makes a 10-15 minute walk seem much longer than it really is. It's always windy here, so I usually wear a coat longer than at home. But it's not a major problem I have to deal with here.


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 98th
    Coldest Winters
  • 377th
    Hottest Summers

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

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

It’s no secret—Chicago has some brutal and, at times, bipolar weather. Basically, winter comes early and stays late. Snow covers the campus from December to March, with the sun making a handful of appearances in between. However, the fall is many students' favorite season. Temperatures hover between 50 and 60 F for much of the quarter, and the colorful leaves make a gorgeous backdrop for walks to class. Spring has a tendency to start out colder and rainier than one might hope, but by late May, the weather should settle down into a slew of nice days. During the spring, it is common to find students studying at the beach and playing Frisbee outside.

As for the winter, preparation determines comfort. Every temperature can be withstood with the right clothes. Make sure to bring your heavy down coat, hats, gloves, earmuffs, thermal socks, and snow boots. Learn the skill of layering, and you will face winter like a champ. Winter is all about staying warm, and less about making a fashion statement. With the right apparel and a positive mind-set, the winter is not as bad as many make it seem.

Facts & Statistics

Temperature Averages
Spring - High: 57 °F
Spring - Low: 38 °F
Summer - High: 81 °F
Summer - Low: 61 °F
Fall - High: 62 °F
Fall - Low: 43 °F
Winter - High: 35 °F
Winter - Low: 18 °F
Precipitation Averages
Spring: 3.32 in./month
Summer: 4.02 in./month
Fall: 3.26 in./month
Winter: 2.00 in./month
What to Pack
  • Hand warmers
  • Hats, gloves, scarves
  • Heavy snow jacket (either down or synthetic materials-fleece won't hold up)
  • Heavy wool jackets for those in-between months (think: pea coat)
  • Thermal underwear
  • Thick, wool socks
Did You Know?
During winter quarter of 2011, a blizzard hit Chicago, dropping around 20 inches of snow in some areas. During the blizzard, Northwestern canceled classes for the first time in more than 30 years. During this snow day, students gathered on the library lawn and had a massive snowball fight.


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