The Select Few: Northwestern Acceptance Rate Up to 7.5%

16/04/202412 minute read
The Select Few: Northwestern Acceptance Rate Up to 7.5%

While Northwestern’s acceptance rate is still lower than pre-pandemic levels, it’s increased slightly to 7.5%. This represents the first increase since Class of 2024, when the acceptance rate was significantly higher at 9.3%.

The Early Decision acceptance rate remains significantly higher than the Regular Decision acceptance rate, continuing a long-standing trend in the university's admissions procedure.

Northwestern University Acceptance Rate (Class of 2028)

Northwestern announced that it has received over 50,000 applicants for Class of 2028, and has accepted 7.5% of these applicants.

While the university didn’t release the exact number of regular and early applicants, or the exact number of admitted students, we can estimate these numbers based on the acceptance rate and the approximate number of applicants provided in the article by The Daily Northwestern.

Northwestern Acceptance Rate for Class 2028
Number of ApplicationsAccepted StudentsAcceptance Rate
Regular Applications~44,800~2,750~6.1%
Early Applications5,200~1,000~19%
Total Applications~50,000~3,7507.5%

Northwestern’s Regular Decision Acceptance Rate

Analyzing Northwestern's regular decision admission numbers for the Class of 2028 indicate a significant level of competitiveness. The university received about 44,800 applications, with approximately 2,750 students gaining acceptance, resulting in an estimated regular decision acceptance rate of around 6.1%.

Comparing these figures to previous years, the number of regular decision applications this year is slightly lower than last year’s, when the university received around 47,005 applicants.

Notably, the regular decision acceptance rate this year is the highest in the past few years. In the past, the acceptance rate hovering between 5 and 5.6% previously, while acceptance rate is estimated at 6.1% this year.

Northwestern's Regular Decision Statistics
Class ofTotal ApplicationsAccepted ApplicantsAcceptance Rate

Note: Please be aware that Northwestern University does not officially disclose the number of students accepted through their regular decision application process. Consequently, the figures presented in this table are based on estimates and should be treated with caution.

Northwestern's Early Decision Acceptance Rate

Just like previous years, Northwestern aimed to admit half of its incoming Class of 2028 through Early Decision. The university stated that it has a goal of 2,100 students for Class of 2028, half of which are admitted through Early Decision.

With 5,200 applicants to Northwestern’s early decision cycle, the Early Decision Acceptance rate is estimated to be around 19%, a slight decrease from last year’s estimated 20%.

The number of applicants this year is almost identical to last year’s, with only 20 more students applying.

Northwestern University's early decision cycle has a noticeably higher acceptance rate than its regular decision cycle, which is evident from the data. To improve your likelihood of being admitted to Northwestern University, we strongly recommend applying early.

Early Decision Acceptance Rate Comparison
Class of ED ApplicantsED AdmittedAcceptance Rate

Note: Please be aware that Northwestern University does not officially disclose the number of students accepted through their early decision application process. Consequently, the figures presented in this table are based on estimates and should be treated with caution.

In recent years, Northwestern University's acceptance rate has been hovering around 7-9%, making it one of the most selective universities in the United States.

While the acceptance rate increased, it remains lower than pre-pandemic levels. This year’s increase to 7.5% represents the highest acceptance rate since Class of 2024, which was significantly higher at 9.3%

Northwestern Acceptance Rate Throughout the Years
Class ofAcceptance Rate

Northwestern University has continued its test-optional policy for this admissions cycle, a policy implemented due to the COVID-19 pandemic's disruptions. Under this policy, applicants can choose whether to submit their SAT or ACT scores as part of their application.

This year, Northwestern revealed a new set of supplemental questions for the 2023-24 admissions cycle. These questions required applicants to discuss personal experiences that shaped how they see themselves engaging with the University’s community.

This change in question comes following a Supreme Court ruling in June which declared it unconstitutional for universities to take race into account during the admissions process.

With that said, you could still disclose information related to your race or ethnicity and how it has influenced your life experiences through essays, which universities may still consider.

A Day in the Life: Northwestern Student

What Kind of Student Gets into Northwestern?

It's clear that to gain admission to Northwestern, students need to present a truly exceptional profile that extends beyond standardized test scores and academic records.

How Crimson Can Help You Stand Out

Northwestern’s acceptance rate increased, but it’s still among the lowest acceptance rates, and the broader trends in elite admissions highlight how challenging it has become to gain entry into top universities. In this highly competitive landscape, seeking guidance from experienced college admissions advisors can be a significant advantage. Advisors offer personalized support throughout the complex application process, helping you:

  • Craft a Compelling Narrative: They work with you to identify your unique strengths, passions, and experiences. This helps shape a cohesive application that showcases your potential to contribute to the Northwestern community.
  • Navigate Strategic Choices: Advisors can provide insights on application timing (early vs. regular), test score submission, and highlight areas where you can further boost your profile.
  • Excel in Every Aspect: From essay coaching to interview preparation, advisors ensure each application component is polished and demonstrates your preparedness for Northwestern’s rigorous academic environment.

Proven Success in a Competitive Landscape

Crimson Education has a track record of helping students achieve their admissions goals. Our personalized approach and expertise in selective admissions have led to impressive results. This year alone, over 200 Crimson students were accepted to top US universities in the early round. Here's a breakdown of our numbers:

  • 126 offers to the Ivy League.
  • 280+ offers to the US Top 20, including offers to Stanford, MIT, Caltech, Duke, Johns Hopkins, Northwestern, University of Chicago, Rice, Vanderbilt, and University of Notre Dame.
  • 15% of Ivy League and 27% of top 20 early round applicants received offers to their dream schools.
  • 1280+ offers to the US Top 50, including offers to NYU, University of Michigan, Georgetown, Carnegie Mellon, Emory, University of Virginia, and Washington University in St. Louis.
  • 1000+ offers to each student’s first choice school.