45
Unigo Top Student Rated School

Northwestern University Campus Life Reviews

On-Campus Housing
Excellent

13%

Very Good

56%

Average

22%

Poor

7%

Terrible

3%

Off-Campus Housing
Excellent

0%

Very Good

43%

Average

31%

Poor

19%

Terrible

7%

Campus Food
Excellent

12%

Very Good

31%

Average

36%

Poor

16%

Terrible

6%

Campus Facilities
Excellent

32%

Very Good

49%

Average

16%

Poor

1%

Terrible

1%

Class Size
Excellent

38%

Very Good

40%

Average

19%

Poor

2%

Terrible

1%

Activities
Excellent

50%

Very Good

33%

Average

12%

Poor

3%

Terrible

1%

Local Services
Excellent

45%

Very Good

28%

Average

20%

Poor

6%

Terrible

1%

Academics
Excellent

36%

Very Good

30%

Average

17%

Poor

11%

Terrible

5%

Overall Review for Northwestern University

Excellent

67%

Very Good

18%

Average

9%

Poor

0%

Terrible

7%

We Asked Students, What's your overall opinion of this school?

Hannah

The main thing that drew me to this school was the dual-degree program. This was a major deciding factor for me, as I was allowed to pursue both a science and music degree at the same time. This program (and the quarter system) makes it possible for me to graduate with two bachelor degrees in five years.

John

It was very overwhelming first. It feels weird when you are no longer at the top of the class like high school because almost everybody here was top of the class. If you start comparing yourself to others around you then it can get pretty daunting, but instead if you focus more about you and what you want to accomplish the opportunities are open to you.

Amber

So fat, I've enjoyed my time at Northwestern University. My financial aid package is good, although I know some people have had trouble with their package after sopomore year. There are many opportunities to get involved in academics and extra-curricular activities, and great facilities.

Ryan

After 4 years spent on the beautiful north shore of Chicago, I couldn't rave more about Northwestern. With a distinctly midwest feel (nice people), Evanston is a great college town 25 minutes by commuter train from downtown. With strong programs across the board and the opportunity to take classes in all department through the quarter system Northwestern mixes both academic and pre-professional pursuits in a unique blend. With one of the largest endowments in the nation, the facilities are state of the art with more improvements to come. Like any top university there will be academic pressure and the winters are undeniably cold but I couldn't think of a better place to spend four years.

Tanayra

Northwestern University has done far more than serve as an institution for me. This school has provided me with a new perspective on life. I feel as though I am a better learner because of Northwestern. The most qualified professors teach here and it is such an honor to get to learn from them. Taking classes here is much different than taking classes anywhere else. They do not feel like tiring classes; people go here to gain real knowledge. The students here are wonderful as well; you are exposed to so many different ideas on a daily basis and I think that is what makes us so special. Northwestern genuinely cares about its students. There are also so many resources here to ensure your success. We have tutors and groups for every difficult class there is. We have an amazing career center to help with internship and job searching. This is one of the best decisions in life I could have ever made.

Jazmin

Great school, beautiful campus. Challenging, but rewarding!

Nnenna

I absolutely love this school. I feel like this is one of he few school where I, as and engineering school, can TA a dance class in the school of communications. The relationships I form outside of the engineering school are some of my most cherished one. We have a very passionate student body and extremely high academics. The quarter system is very fast pace, but I love the variety it provides. In addition I you hate a class it is over much sooner.

Amber

Overall, I love my school and think it's the best fit for me. I was a bit intimidated by its academic reputation, but my professors are great. The student population is very wealthy and not very diverse, but I have found a variety of resources for low-income/first generation college students.

Hannah

Northwestern has the best of both worlds. You get an Ivy League level education with the feel of a state university. There's something for everyone on campus and the smaller class size makes you feel more at home. Whatever you're planning to study, Northwestern is a great school.

Amber

I love it. Although I am only a Freshman, everyone has been incredibly kind and helpful, both while I toured and as I prepare for move-in day. Northwestern has an amazing academic reputation, and I can tell from the class Facebook page that I'm going to make a lot of friends while I'm here. Everyone seems so excited, smart, and creative; I can't wait to get started! My only minor issue is that my schedule won't be finalized until I meet with an advisor on campus after moving in. I like that someone will review my schedule, but I'd rather be prepared and know my schedule well in advance.

Zeke

We did a campus tour. 60% of the students go for free, so if you have any money you are paying an exorbitant tuition to subsidize someone else. Available classes include jokes like Marriage 101. Apparently the students can study graffiti and actually get credit for it. Totally unimpressive tour guides unlike other schools (Duke, IL, Wash U) who had personable and articulate types. NU has sunk the "liberal arts" philosophy to new lows.

Sam

The campus is gorgeous, and the research that happens here is phenomenal.

Sarah

Northwestern is a great place for people of all kinds. There are so many opportunities and the teachers and academic advisors are extremely encouraging. The academic environment is very challenging and I like how I feel pushed in my classes. However, there is also a great balance with extracurricular activities.

Sonya

They have some great teachers. Most of the teachers are nice and are willing to work with you to help you learn the information. I did a post-bac pre-medicine program. The people in the program were more mature and were there to study and learn. They were social but also respected the learning process. They didn't want to make up results in lab just to get out of a Saturday lab session earlier.

Tiffany

Northwestern has a great social community and support system. Academically, professors are eager to help. Additionally, students are eager to learn and discuss class topics. As an engineering student, students are encouraged to seek help and help each other as peers.

Jenna

Northwestern is exactly what it advertises—beautiful, compassionate, and alive with curiosity and wonder. The campus is impeccable, the teaching staff is top notch, and Evanston is such a cute little town and very accessible from campus. I couldn’t be happier that I chose Northwestern.

Noa

I love it!

Leesa

Northwestern is an excellent place to grow as a student, both academically and extra-curricularly. Smaller class sizes and accessibility of faculty and staff are helpful in setting students up for success. While athletics are not the main focus of the campus culture, students still rally around the teams and revel in the occasional "Cinderella" season. Greek life is not the only means of becoming involved on campus. There are a variety of student-run organizations that are active in campus life, anything from radio, to journalism, to theatre and music. For bright, motivated students, Northwestern is a terrific place to pursue higher education.

Brian

Very disappointing experience (I just graduated). The administration doesn’t care for its students and the student body is highly segregated. Evanston is an ok suburb, but the winter makes it a tough place to live. Very competitive engineering classes. The student body is extremely liberal and progressive. In some ways, it can be a bit overbearing to a moderate and quiet kid looking for truly diverse opinions. Any sociological belief that is an aberration gets shut down and shunned upon by those adherent to Northwestern norms. The university prides itself on diversity, but frankly, its effort best represents tokenism in this regard (evident in even the commencement and convocation speeches). Learning isn’t a priority for most students. Rather, grades take the precedent. If you don’t know what you want to do before you come to Northwestern, you likely won’t know what you want to do when you leave Northwestern. The opposite applies as well.

Sophia

Northwestern is an engaging community with supportive peers and intelligent professors. Truly an all-around great university.

Kayla

I'm only a freshman at Northwestern, so I honestly don't have the most experience here yet. What I do know, though, is that the sense of community here is amazing. Everyone on campus is very friendly and inviting: I have yet to meet a person here that isn't willing to help out or just talk. The school also has a rigorous curriculum, which is great for people who like to be challenged. The only down-side is that Northwestern works on a trimester system (although they call it a quarter system in case someone wants to take class in the "fourth quarter," summer), where each trimester is 10 weeks long. Midterms are about 3 weeks and 6 weeks in, and then finals are in the 10th week, and it was a little overwhelming to take big tests so soon in the year when I was still trying to adjust to life on campus. I made it through, though, and I learned a lot from it, and I still would highly recommend Northwestern to anyone who is looking to challenge themselves academically and make friends in the process.

Sanajah

I believe that Northwestern was one of the best college visits I've done. Not only was my tour guide very kind and patient, but she was also very informative about life at Northwester, whether you're a freshman or a senior. I enjoyed my tour around the huge campus, and being taught fun facts about the school itself. Overall a lovely experience!

Cody

Northwestern University is an absolutely fantastic educational facility. The students are top-tier, the location is exciting yet not dangerous. The biggest knocks that I would report are the cost of tuition, and reduced social life compared to other universities in the surrounding area.

Gabby

Splash. What could this possibly be? More junk mail? My curiosity continues to flourish as I open the email, and read the following words “High school students from the Chicagoland area are welcomed to Northwestern University and take classes from NU students...”. Northwestern has already sparked my interest due to its notable biology department and astounding student feedback. Many times I’ve driven by Northwestern, hoping to have the opportunity to visit the campus. When I took my first step into the building, it felt like it was my first step to a successful future. I breathed in the scent of knowledge and acknowledged the architecture as I walked to the table and received my schedule for the day. Fast forward to 3rd period, creative writing, a thought of dread entered my mind. Although I love writing, poetry was not my strong suit. As I sat down in the room of creativity, students received five sheets of loose leaf. Throughout the period we’d spill our thoughts and share our knowledge amongst the peers. After courageously reading mine outloud, the teacher praised my poem and stated how it was one of the best poems he’s ever heard. Not only did it intrigue me that I was praised by a poet, but also him willing to share his vast knowledge with the students. This is the reason Northwestern is suitable for a person like me. The students and staff show a great amount of drive and passion, which showed me I could excel at something I never thought I would. This was through the course of one day and I can only imagine what knowledge years at Northwestern can bestow upon me. The junk mail I have received has rapidly become the most important mail I have received.

Alvin

Northwestern is named after a direction: northwest. Not a person, or a city, or a state, but a direction. Always moving forward. We come from all around the globe, from all 50 states and from more than 100 different countries. We all have our backgrounds, our cultures, our differences. We all have those things that make us unique, that make you you and me me. We are a diverse and unique community. But we are all here to learn. Some come with an idea of what they want to do; others come undecided; but we are all here, and under the guidance of our teachers, our counselors, our peers, our mentors, every one of us will find a passion. Because of the incredible support that we have, everyone will find a path that they truly love, a field that they can dedicate their whole lives to and feel fulfilled at the end of it. Everyone will find a direction -- THEIR direction -- and keep moving forward.

Lexia

Northwestern University was the best college choice I could have ever made for myself. It is a perfect match and I know right now since it is summer break all of my friends and I are ready to get back onto campus. I am so happy to be able to call NU my home for at least the next three years, the only thing I wish that could change is how expensive going to this university is.

Dhivya

I absolutely love Northwestern. Any school has its positive and negative aspects, but Northwestern's positive characteristics drastically outweigh its negative characteristics. I have witnessed immense personal growth in myself emotionally, mentally, and of course, academically since coming to Northwestern. I am so grateful for the friends I have made, the conversations I've been a part of, and the opportunities that are available to me. I am thankful that I can say the words "once a wildcat, always a wildcat."

Cameryn

Northwestern University has many great academic opportunities for students to both explore different disciplines and cultivate their already chosen disciplines. There are many people from different cultures and backgrounds that students have an opportunity to build relationships with and learn from. The only down side is that there are still some groups on campus that do not feel as though there are safe spaces for them on campus.

Laura

I have had the pleasure of spending two incredible academic years as a students at Northwestern University--and I am beyond pumped to continue my education here for two more years until I graduate in June 2019. Northwestern University is a highly competitive, demanding, and intense place of study, but the opportunities provided by attending such a prestigious university are priceless and incredibly valuable.

Raghavendra

Northwestern University is a difficult school, but it definitely is worth all the effort. You're surrounded by the most affable, exciting, and intelligent people you will ever meet, and it's truly the place to be. It's perfectly situated so close to Chicago, and the academics, sports, and extracurriculars are all amazing!

Joyce

I love Northwestern! As a student in McCormick, classes and exams can be brutal and extremely competitive, as most engineering classes are curved to a B-, but the overall atmosphere is great. Northwestern is a great place for students who are passionate about what they do.

William

It is a prestigious and diverse in more ways than one can count. Students here are excellent in anything they do, and always find their place and people. It is especially great for anyone who is multi-faceted and wants to do 2 very different things. For example, I am a premed and also in engineering school

Eric

It has given me more than I thought it would, in terms of experiences, friends, and connections. It can feel competitive at times, especially if you are in classes graded on a curve. But there are always wonderful, supportive friends to get you through the toughest exams, go out with you on weekends, and grow together with.

Isabel

I really like Northwestern. Everyone here is definitely intelligent and because there is a significant amount of both liberals and conservatives, there are a lot of interesting conversations. The professors are also really great and most of them really want to interact with students.

Steven

I had an amazing time at Northwestern, inside the classroom and outside. The school excels in so many areas - journalism, theatre, engineering, etc - and you get to mingle with all of them. My fraternity was a very positive experience, and I loved living in Evanston; close enough to Chicago to enjoy the city, far enough to enjoy a high quality of life.

Katylyn

Northwestern State University of Louisiana is an amazing college to attend! It offers many cultural, educational, and social opportunities. It’s like a home. In my opinion you should attend nsu if you’re considering a university, it’s definitely welcoming and will be the best choice!

Rachael

Northwestern's academics are great, the social scene is really what you make of it, and the campus is absolutely beautiful. As a journalism major in Medill, there's also an extensive alumni network which is very involved in student life and lots of opportunities outside of the classroom that students are encouraged to take advantage of.

Ayobami

Northwestern University is an excellent institution that combines world-class academics with fun and excitement. Everyone here loves to have a laugh, and while we work extremely hard, we know how to balance our health, recreation, and time with everything else. A degree from Northwestern already speaks volumes, but you will also learn many skills that will open up doors bigger than the ones that your degree opens.

Christine

Northwestern University has laid the ground work for innovation. The Medill school is always up to speed on shifts in the industry related to journalism or marketing. What I love most about the school is we're able to apply what we learn in the classroom to the real world immediately. We're making an impact globally. This school has forever changed my career and will continue to do so as I work towards graduation.

Madeleine

I can not imagine anywhere I would be happier. I have grown so much as an academic, as an artist, and as a person in my time here. The drawbacks come with it being insanely competitive, which can breed a toxic culture. Also, getting into clubs is insanely difficult, but once you're in they are amazing. I love my friends, and I love the motivation everyone seems to hold intrinsically to self-improve.

Tanaz

I have truly enjoyed my experience here - they have great resources available to students and a beautiful campus. The professors have been wonderful, and generally make themselves available outside of class to provide extra assistance. There are a variety of career advising and course help opportunities available.

Roger

I want to share my experience with Northwestern in the hope that potential students and maybe even the university’s administrators will learn from it. Basically, I had a horrible experience at Northwestern, in large part because of my mental health issues and the university’s awful response to them. I went there about a decade ago, so it’s possible things have changed since then. I went to Northwestern mostly because it was the highest in the US News ratings out of the schools I was accepted to. I was very competitive with my friends to see who could get into the most prestigious school. To all the young people reading this: Please, for the love of God, do not choose your university like that. Forget about prestige -- it’s doesn’t matter. Think hard about who you are and who you want to be, and whether the schools you are looking at would be a good fit. Try to get a sense of what the students and the classes are like. I didn’t do much of that, and I regret it now. When I entered the university, I was a very socially awkward young man with lots of intellectual interests -- sort of a dork, frankly, although I did like to party a bit, and I was fun around close friends. I was determined to make the most of my time at the university to become a writer and a scholar. I was somehow placed into this tiny all-male dorm no one had ever heard of (it doesn’t exist anymore), where the other guys were oddballs like me. The dorm was very isolated from the rest of the campus social scene, but it was the perfect place for me. That first year was actually great. I made good friends and was passionate about my classes. I remember that I would get homesick for the university when I went home for breaks. If I had rated NU at the end of that year, I probably would have given it an A-. But sophomore year was like a “perfect storm” for me. I had been dealing with mental health problems for a long time -- in retrospect, severe anxiety (panic attacks) and depression, although I didn’t realize what they were at the time, and I was too ashamed to ask my parents or friends for help, which was a huge mistake. For complicated reasons, these issues came to a head in the first quarter of sophomore year, and I suffered a mental breakdown that exacerbated my social awkwardness and caused me to withdraw into myself. At the same time, my freshman year group of friends dissolved because our dorm was turned into a frat house and everyone scattered across campus. The physical distance and my mental health problems alienated me from them, and they all formed new groups of friends. I basically became this intensely awkward, socially isolated loner. I knew I needed help, so I went to the student counseling center early that year. They put me on antidepressants (which I don’t think I needed -- I don’t think my depression was chemical) and, after one or two introductory meetings with the person in charge, paired me with a grad student in psychology who would psychoanalyze me. I am extremely bitter about this to this day. I needed help, and the university basically used me to help a grad student practice being a shrink. The grad student clearly didn’t know what she was doing, and I stopped going after a few sessions. I descended deeper into mental illness over the course of that brutal winter. I would spend all day by myself in my single dorm room. I accept a lot of the blame for what happened to me socially -- because of my mental problems, I became a bitter, sarcastic, sometimes even mean person, just not fun to be around. This is what makes mental illness so difficult, I think -- it can be hard to sympathize with the person suffering from it. But I am adamant that NU did not give me the help I needed. I sort of pulled myself halfway out of this by the end of sophomore year, but my social anxiety was still a huge unresolved issue, and I had more or less lost my friends (this CAN happen -- college is socially cutthroat, and friendships will wither if you fall out of touch with people, especially if social interaction doesn’t come easy to you). The rest of my time at the university went on that way. I was brutally awkward, feeling adrift with no social circle. Every social interaction was agony. I tried “putting myself out there” and joined student organizations to make friends, but I couldn’t break through with anyone. By that point, it seemed like everyone else had settled into their own social circles and wasn’t interested in making more friends. I had fallen through the cracks. I felt like I wasn’t a real student at Northwestern, that I didn’t belong there. In the midst of these mental health problems, I neglected my education. I remained intellectually curious, but I put in only moderate effort in my classes and forgot about all the goals I came to the university with, such as learning languages. Northwestern was mixed bag academically. Some classes were very good, but many were very much not. You might encounter lots of “dud” classes if you aren’t careful. Also, the professors, with some exceptions, weren’t friendly or accessible to students. Here is my take on Northwestern students. Forty percent of the campus is Greek, and you will find that people in sororities and fraternities often treat those outside the Greek community with open contempt (especially frat boys). A large portion of the student body come from upper-class elite families, especially the coastal elite, and they can be very snobby. The student body, by and large, didn’t seem to show much intellectual passion. They didn’t seem to care much about what they were studying because they planned to go to law or med school. It was taboo to have conversations about political or intellectual topics. I’ll give an example. During spring break in my senior year, I went on a service trip with about a dozen other NU students (I would recommend this -- it was fun overall). One of them was this intellectual guy who liked to talk about history, politics, etc. Most of the people on the trip, especially a group of sorority girls, HATED him, talked about him constantly behind his back, and mocked him to his face. It just was not cool to be passionate about intellectual things. I don’t want to paint with too broad a brush -- there are lots of interesting and passionate people at NU, but they are the exception. I just didn’t fit in there, and I wish I had put in the research to realize that before I went there instead of just looking at US News. In my senior year I made another effort to resolve my mental health problems. I went to the student counseling center, and they told me there was a six-week wait for an appointment… it was my second-to-last quarter at that point, and it just didn’t seem worth it. Student counseling might have improved since then, but it was AWFUL when I went there. I ended up being adrift in my years after college, not knowing what to do, feeling a lot of bitterness about my experience, still struggling with mental health issues and escalating substance abuse issues which took years to fully deal with. A few years after finishing at NU, I went to a well-regarded graduate program at a state school, and I had SUCH a better experience there. The students were from all walks of life, mostly middle-class, a lot more friendly and mature (although this might have more to do with them just being older than an NU thing). The professors were so much more accessible, and I could get to know them! This just goes to show what a mistake it is to be blinded by a “prestige” name like Northwestern. I often get phone calls and emails from NU asking me to donate money as an alum… these infuriate me. They couldn’t spare anyone to help me when I was a student there and was dealing with serious mental health problems, but now they can pay someone to solicit me for money? It is outrageous. When I was a student, it would have helped me so much just to have someone qualified call me occasionally and ask how I was doing, if I was making any progress, and give me advice. My advice to NU is to devote the money you use for soliciting donations to your mental health services. It will pay off in the long-run because you will have happier alumni. I often wonder how my life would have been different if I had gotten the help I needed at NU. In the end, my experience there only worsened my anxiety and ruined my self-esteem and left me with all this baggage that I spent the next decade working through. NU might be a blast for people who want to go Greek, but if you are a sort of awkward, quirky, intellectual person like me, think hard before you go there. I hope this review helps people.

Jesse

While Northwestern's big on "student life" and pushes for diversity/inclusion, being a part of the school makes one feel almost displaced. The quarter system puts them off of almost every other school's schedules, greatly limiting time on breaks that could be spent with friends at other institutions. Within the school itself, there are many opportunities to get involved with clubs and events, but the time crunch students face due to the packing of an entire course in 10 weeks or less and the constant stream of exams makes it hard to balance much else alongside classwork. This balance is made even more difficult to keep in place as a good portion of the teaching faculty performs in a sub-par fashion, making the students work even harder to teach themselves much of, if not all, the material which they should be getting taught. Further, there is a push by the university of making it "accessible to everyone", meaning that even those in financial hardships can attend and not worry too much about being able to afford food and housing. The only issue with this is that the school almost entirely stops helping after admission. Grants and scholarships are given out to those who can't pay the huge tuition and fees, but then they're left to figure out how to get winter clothes, understand their living situation, and find resources on campus that'll help them through the classes they have to take that ask for 4 different computer programs and overpriced textbooks. For those who don't own a high-performance computer, the library computers seem to be the only option to use many class-required programs, as the "loaner laptop" system the school has in place is not only limited (1st come 1st serve basis), it is also inefficient and shrinking due to it being moved away from under the Student Enrichment Services into the main school library, all because of the large budget cuts the school puts into effect (as a result of them investing heavily into the athletics program which only benefits a small population of the school). This university has incredible potential to be a top institution, and to be part of one of the most helpful and most forming experiences some people may have in their lives, but it limits itself greatly simply because of poor management.

Mercylynn

I loved my time at Northwestern. I was not only challenged intellectually, but I grew in greater knowledge of my identity and my purpose in life. The school offered me great opportunities to learn and be prepared for different paths of life. I found a community and a home and met amazing people in the process.

Peyton

I don’t feel like typing my opinion but Unigo requires me to :)