Northwestern’s acceptance rate falls to 6.8 percent, lowest in University history


Graphic by Carly Schulman

The University’s acceptance rate over the years.

Diego Ramos-Bechara, Assistant Arts & Entertainment Editor

Northwestern accepted 6.8 percent of the 47,633 first-year applications received for the Class of 2025, according to University spokesperson Jon Yates.  

This year’s acceptance rate is a steep decrease from the Class of 2024’s rate of 9.3 percent and marks the lowest in University history. The University received 2,855 transfer applications and expects to release results in May, Yates said. 

From 2010 to 2018, the University saw a continuous decline in its acceptance rate, dropping from 23.1 percent to 8.4 percent. In the last two application cycles, this trend reversed. The classes of 2023 and 2024 saw acceptance rates of 8.9 percent and 9.3 percent, respectively. 

The current acceptance rate of 6.8 percent is in part due to an increase in applications, as the University received about 8,730 more applications than last year.  

NU isn’t the only institution that’s seen a decrease in acceptance rates this year. Among other top universities, Yale University’s acceptance rate dropped from 6.54 percent for the Class of 2024 to 4.62 percent for the Class of 2025. 

To account for the hardships inflicted by COVID-19, NU offered a test-optional admissions policy in the 2021 admissions cycle, meaning applicants could elect whether to include standardized test scores with their applications. 

Standardized testing has seen its share of criticism, with arguments that they should not be used as a means to determine college admissions, citing data indicating inherent bias in favor of affluent, White and Asian American students. 

The University has extended its test-optional policy for the 2022 admissions cycle but has yet to comment on whether or not the policy will stay once the pandemic ends. 

Admitted students to the class of 2025 have until May 3 to accept or reject their admission to the university. 

Email: [email protected] 

Twitter: @D_Ramos42 

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