Northwestern receives historic number of applications as overall acceptance dips slightly to 7%


Daily file photo by Angeli Mittal

Acceptance rates lowered to 7% for the class of 2027.

Joanna Hou, Campus Editor

Northwestern received a record number of undergraduate applications for the class of 2027 as its acceptance rate fell to 7%.

The University saw applications increase to 52,225, up 667 from the previous year, according to University spokesperson Erin Karter. The number of applications has risen by about 12,500 since the 2019-20 admissions cycle. 

Last year, NU’s acceptance rate rose slightly to 7.2%. This year’s acceptance rate matches the class of 2025 as the University’s lowest rate in history. Low acceptance rates are part of a nationwide trend across many colleges, with elite universities like Harvard University seeing rates as low as 3.19% in the 2021-22 admissions cycle.

The increases in selectivity are due in part to test-optional policies, which many colleges implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic for the class of 2025 as students struggled to find open standardized testing sites and faced other barriers to taking exams. 

According to a survey done by enrollment management firm Maguire Associates, these policies have also helped increase application numbers from low-income students and from students who belong to marginalized racial and ethnic groups. This month, Columbia University became the first Ivy League school to extend test-optional policies indefinitely. 

Karter said the status of the University’s test-optional policy, which NU has extended through the 2023-24 admissions cycle, remains to be determined. 

According to NU’s admitted student page, potential incoming freshmen will have until May 1 to decide whether to accept or reject the offer of admission. 

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @joannah_11

Related Stories: 

As Northwestern admits 7% of applicants for its class of 2026, President Schapiro says he still reads application files

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

Northwestern’s acceptance rate rises for second straight year, now at 9 percent