Northwestern University Top Questions

What is your overall opinion of this school?


Evanston. Ok Chicago. But seriously, Northwestern is located in one of the coolest and most unique city/towns, which contains high rise buildings and fantastic restaurants and shops, as well as residential neighborhoods and sweet houses for students to live in off campus. While Chicago is a kickass city and everyone loves going there (when the weather is nice) whether its to pregame at the Union or to walk around Millennium Park, Evanston has so much that many say only some Juniors and Seniors travel to Chicago after they have fully exhausted all that Evanston has to offer.


Northwestern is eclectic. When I visited campus my senior year of high school, that was what sold the school to me. Our three best programs - engineering, journalism and theater - span the gamut, and as a result, the student body is filled with different types of people. However, the hardest thing about this campus is the North/South divide. Greeks tend to gravitate towards North campus and into Evanston for the bars; South campus is the home of theater kids and the like.


Northwestern is in a great location. Our campus is beautiful all year long. Evanston is so vibrant! Both Evanston and Chicago offer a huge amount of opportunities for students culturally, socially, and academically.


Northwestern is the perfect size for me. It has Big 10 sports while having great academics. It's very close to Chicago while not being in the city. The campus is gorgeous and there's a lot of stuff to do outside when it is nice out. We are right next to the lake, which is amazing.


Northwestern is the perfect school--but that's just for me. It's small so you can get to know everyone, but it's big enough that you can go your 4 years without meeting people. I love the reaction I get when I tell people i go to NU, it's usually a 'wow, congratulations, impressive.' Evanston is a solid college town. It has great restaurants and its proximity to Chicago is great. I think school pride is a little lacking, except during football season (but that's mainly due to tailgating).


Northwestern is a fine academic institution. The administration is trying its best to keep partying to a minimum. It's a great size, big but not too big. Evanston is a great place to be, but its not a "college town." Very few students care about the school's athletic teams.


The best thing about Northwestern is probably how incredibly balanced it is, in almost every respect. Great academics with Big Ten Sports. Campus experience (it's beautiful) and big city experience (20 minutes to downtown Chicago). Snow and winters but also 2 amazing beaches on campus for the Spring. Great science programs (engineering, pre-med) while also having a top-three Theater program and Journalism school. Frat and Sorority life (40%) but a whole artsy hippie scene too. Basically - Northwestern gives you exposure to just about everything you could want out of a college experience. What you make of all that is up to you.


Evanston is a nice suburb with nice scenic landscapes. It is certainly nice to be by a beach. However, unless you are going to be eating at restaurants, Evanston doesn't offer much for nightlife.


The best thing here is that you are challenged to discover new study habits that will help you so much in the future. When I tell people I go to Northwestern, I always get the reaction, "omg smarty pants." or their jaw drops and they automatically think I am an expert in every subject imaginable. My class sizes have decreased since freshman year b/c I am becoming more concentrated in my major and minor. DOwn town evanston is dominated by NU students, but at night, the evanston community comes too and thats when trouble happens unfortunantly. Our greek life is really big and it can get competitive, but it is still a huge part of life here. There is a lot of school pride, but not in sports because what can I say...nerds are not good at sports. we have so much work to do everyday....we dont remember the meaning of weekends or evenings...some say they exist, but I am highly skeptical. We dont "party hard" here because we are all driven, talented individuals..which is the whole reason we got in here, now we just gotta fight to stay here. WE NEED MORE FINANCIAL AID!!!!!!!!! NORTHWESTERN IS SO DAMN STINGY


Too cold. Administration is complacent. Norris decor is wood panelling with pink neon designs ... case in point. Endowment is there for a reason. Student food, facilities, and living spaces are atrocious. Global warming would be the best thing that ever happened to northwestern.


I think that Northwestern is just the right size- it isn't too big, but there are plenty of people to meet. The campus, but closeness to the city gives the students the luxury of having the best of both worlds. There is plenty to do in Evanston, and various restaurants to eat at, but there is also the possibility of going to the city of Chicago for special events! The only thing that disappoints me here at Northwestern, is the lack of school pride. yeah, the athletics are not the best- but why can't we go to the basketball games anyways? The only sport games people go to is football, and not even everyone goes.


I like the size i just wish that the people at this school were more interested in having fun and not so interested in getting a job out of college


Northwestern is the perfect size. Its not too big so you can run into a lot of people you know, but you can also meet new people. The location is great - a small campus in the suburbs right on the lake, but close to a really cool city in Chicago. Evanston kinda sucks though because its way too expensive. There are no cheap bars or cheap restaurants and the living is out of control. Having big ten sports is fun but the school and administration doesn't take them seriously. Any other Big Ten school would have fired our basketball coach by now. They are absolutely miserable. Overall the school seems to just be scheming to take as much money as possible from students and spend as little as possible.


Northwestern is a university. I think a lot of people try to make their colleges out to be more than that. But that doesn't work. The best thing about Northwestern to me is how beautiful the campus is. I love walking through the campus. I'd probably change the distance from Chicago, I'd rather be closer because I love going into the city, but the L makes it a huge ordeal. I think the size is just right, I like being to walk down sheridan and see some people I know but still not feel like I'm in high school still. Most people react like "Wow" thats a big deal to most people I know. Top 14th school in the country. That kind of thing. I spend almost all my time on south campus. I love all the buildings by the rock, and thats where most of my classes are. I also like the library and norris. I LOVE evanston. That is why I will always by a southie. I think that Northwestern has a decent administration. I love the professors, but I'm probably not a great candidate to talk about it because I haven't had much experience with the bureaucracy yet. But anytime I've needed something done, it gets done. The biggest recent controversy on campus was probably the scandal with the journalism department head. On south campus everyone was talking about that. I think that there is a dividing line -- there are some people who LOVE it and there are some people you'd talk to who are kinda ambivilant. I've never met anyone who says they don't like it. I can't believe how fast talk gets around. I will always remember staying up all night just talking and bonding with my friends and running out to the beach to watch the sun rise on lake michigan. I will always remember sailing on sunny days and seeing the chicago skyline. I will always remember the feeling I get when walking through weinberg garden or sitting in deering library, like I'm so lucky to be here and so excited to actually learn (yes, i believe one of my biggest college experiences is learning, can you believe that!). I think alot of people complain about social life, which is wierd because a lot of people just rage all the time, I guess you have to dig to find it. I also think some people complain about how there is no passage way from noris to the library (they should have thought of that).


Northwestern's great. It's the right size for me and it offers both the small town feel of Evanston and easy access to one of the most exciting cities in the world. I've visited my friends at other colleges and I can't imagine myself anywhere else.


The more time I spend at NU, the more opportunities I realize this place offers for me. If you put effort into it, there is a chance to get so much back. The professors are excellent, and the size of the campus and student body are perfect. The social life is pretty monotonous, but when you are an upperclassman you start to go downtown more and mix things up. Living in Evanston is kind of a drag because it is expensive and the neighbors don't really like college kids. If I were going to change one thing, I would renovate Norris (the student center) because it is a hideous building that does not have enough services.


Size is just right. It's a great mix of very competitive and high-level academics and big-ten sports/typical college experience (greek scene, etc.). A lot of people assume that I'm smart, possibly snobby when I tell them I go to Northwestern. I spend a lot of time at the library and all of the great ethnic restaurants in Evanston. Most frequent student complaints: the administration is out of touch with the student body, lack of attractive/socially un-awkward people on campus, academics being overly difficult.


The best thing about NU is the location. It is near Chicago which gives you so much opportunities for internships and such. Evanston is also a cute little town with shops and cool places to hang and chill, and again if you want the city life its just an el ride away.


NU is so damn liberal. The people are kind of weird. The sports teams suck. The profs are tight. Pussy def on a pedestal here. RIP Delt.


There are tons of really interesting people here, but as a whole, it feels a little too small. When I go out, I see the same people over and over again and sometimes have a hard time believing there are actually 8,000 undergrads. I have no idea what these people do on the weekends.


i really like that NU isn't a huge public university. it's small enough that you can actually get to know people but large enough that if you don't want to see someone odds are you won't...unless you're in the northwestern 500. the northwestern 500 is the same group of 500 kids that goes to the same bars/clubs on the same nights pretty much every week. these people are mostly of the greek system.


It's a perfect size. I love having Evanston and the city of Chicago.


The best part about Northwestern is the academics. You really feel like you're getting a great education here. 80% of classes are interesting/worth taking and most of those classes excite students to want to learn more about the subject. The oddest thing about Northwestern is the social scene: it's very hard to figure out, but everyone somehow manages to find a group that they fit in with. There's no formulaic personality that everyone seems to be looking for, things just basically fall into place. Not too shabby for a bunch of social misfits.


There is a lot of going out to bars in Evanston on Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, although weekend nights are often spent at places in the city. There are a ton of good restaurants in Evanston, but the shopping is limited to yuppy suburban fare Most of all, I wish it were easier to get into the city. The school needs to give us Upasses for the L, so we can ride for free like the other university students in the city (DePaul and Loyola both have these).


Northwestern is big enough to be largely anonymous to teachers faculty but small enough that you'll see lots of familiar faces in your major and your chosen social group. Evanston hates us, and we generally hate them: basically its a college stuck in the middle of an upperclass suburban neighborhood. The Administration is completely focused on raising their national ranking. The students are generally focused on getting ahead. If you're not the type to deal with loud L.A. kids, pushy New Yorkers, rich Chicago suburbanites, or asians this probably isnt the school for you.


The best thing about Northwestern is really a combination of quality teaching, the students, and proximity to Chicago. Though centered in the oft-discredited Mid-West, Northwestern is a world class school. The size of the school is perfect, just enough to run into old faces and acquaint with new ones. While Northwestern's administration is somewhat tentative when it comes to student quality of life issues (dorms and dining halls), the effort to make students happy has been made apparent in other noteworthy ways (great guest speakers, performances by music, student, and other art groups, and great academics). Student organizations, government, and other groups make life on campus dynamic. Nearly everyday something is happening at the "Rock", the heart and symbol of Northwestern tradition. Evanston maintains a contentious relationship with the university. At times, this tension is felt (you find out your neighbor is a family of four and have called the cops for a noise disturbance), though it does not play a large effect in student happiness. An issue Northwestern's administration should really focus on is making the campus safer, especially at night. One hears of burglaries and theft more often than one should.


The best thing about Northwestern, really has nothing to do with Northwestern. I chose to live and learn at Northwestern for four years, because of the food surrounding the campus. Downtown Evanston and Downtown Chicago have everything edible that I could ever want or need. There is a Lou Malnati's Pizzeria in Evanston, and several in Chicago, which has the best salad, deep dish pizza, and dessert in the continental United States. For that matter, it's the best salad, deep dish pizza, and dessert in the entire United States. Also, Al's Italian Beef is in both Evanston and Chicago, which is a cheap delicious lunch that never gets old, due to the diversity of the menu. Of course, good snack food is also necessary when choosing a college, and Northwestern is near the most perfect popcorn that money can buy. While the nearby Gary Poppin's popcorn is delectable, Garret's Popcorn restaurants are a taste of heaven and hell combined (heaven because it tastes so good, hell because you can't stop eating it even though you know it's terrible for you). There are four Garret's Popcorn stores just an El ride away from campus. Finally, the cream of the crop... Buffalo Joe's eatery. Buff Joe's is extremely close to campus and more importantly, is open 'til midnight every day. I refuse to eat buffalo wings or cheese fries anywhere else in the world, because nothing compares. The only bad part about Buffalo Joe's is that it makes all other food seem dismal by comparison. Northwestern itself cannot take any credit for what makes it the #1 college in America.


this is a great school that has the resources of a well endowded university and professors that make you feel like you are at a small liberal arts college


Northwestern is just the right size. The thing that strikes me is that there are people who are amazing at all genres of academics and extracurriculars. It's really diverse in terms of talent.


The best thing about Northwestern is the things that are always going on around Campus. There are frats, theater productions, movie shoots, advanced screenings, concerts and so much more.


One of Northwestern's very best features, apart from its outstanding academics, is its campus and location. The campus is large, spacious, and perfectly groomed in the spring and summer (but watch out for the atrocious winters!), and the administration has even filled in a mile-long stretch of Lake Michigan and created "The Lakefill," an island park of sorts complete with soccer fields, walking trails, and incredible views of downtown Chicago across the lake. Additionally, the rest of Evanston is a boon for students. Filled with an astoundingly varied set of restaurants and bars, Evanston offers the perfect tool for college students, and the 30 minute El ride to downtown Chicago provides a great buffer against distraction. Unfortunately, Evanston is one of those college towns that pretends it is not; while it is not readily apparent in day-to-day life, the City of Evanston and Northwestern University's administration fight constantly over taxes, student jaywalking, and other typical college town transgressions that they would be better off merely accepting. An interesting thing about Northwestern is that the diversity and polarization of the student body, combined with a consistently terrible athletics program, leads to a large lack of school pride. Attendance at the football games is good, but not representative of that of other Big Ten schools, and why should it be? Defeat is generally promised even before the game has begun, so the atmosphere is often less than invigorating. The same goes for basketball, Northwestern's other Big Ten sport.


Northwestern is an all around academically focused school. For the majority of students, academics is the priority. This means that you will often find people studying instead of partying on the weekends. But at the same time, many Northwestern students seem to live by a "study hard play hard" philosophy. In the winter time, when you need a break from the books, drinking is a favorite pass time.


Northwestern is located near the city, which is very nice. Northwestern's social scene, however, is lacking. A lot of committed students, and a couple of intense frat guys, make for an interesting/awkward mix.


I think the size of the school is perfect. It's large enough to have the assets of a large university, but small enough so I can recognize people on the streets


Northwestern is a relatively small school with a great student body. Everyone is nice and smart, and people also like to have unconventional fun that does not include going to frat parties every weekend. The greek scene can be a bit overbearing sometimes, but once you get your mind out of Evanston and start finding what there is to do in Chicago, the social experience is that much better. People do their own thing here, and everyone is involved in campus in some way, shape, or form. The administration at Northwestern is similar to any other competitive school's.


I think Northwestern is the perfect school for someone who is looking for a highly competitive institution that has a small-school feel. Along with having the same academic reputation that ivy schools have, Northwestern is not nearly as pompous as students from other top-ten institutions- here, people have realized that everyone is smart and thus the novelty has worn off. Evanston is a great little town, though not completely student-friendly; it's expensive, small and isn't really open past 11 pm.


I believe that Northwestern has the perfect combination of small town campus with big city atmosphere. Due to our proximity to Chicago, we can access the night life nearly any day. We also have the perfect balance of class work and activity. Many individuals are thoroughly involved on campus with the multitudinous organizations that suit almost any desire, while still maintaining focus on education within the classroom setting. I personally enjoy the mix between Winter and Spring, as the dreary Winter months, which last too long, make the Spring that much more appreciable and wonderful. It is also fantastic being a part of the Big Ten athletic conference, even though we frequently do not do well in major sports like football and men's basketball. Merely, seeing the other teams encourages a competitive atmosphere. The biggest drawback is cultural diversity. Even though students come from all over the United States and world, for that matter, there is very difference in socioeconomic background. I think that fact alone has a severely negative impact on the college experience.


People who know Northwestern, what kind of school it is, are impressed when I tell them I go to Northwestern University. If they don't know how good of a school Northwestern is, they ask, "isn't that a Bible college in Minnesota?" It kinda gets annoying.


Northwestern is way too small. Or maybe it isn't to small, but it just feels way because so few of the people here go out. There is what we call the "Northwestern 500," which are about 500 students that go out religiously on Mondays, Thursdays and whenever else they can When you go to the Keg, you only see these students, and it feels like all of you every singly person there, not to mention intimate details of their life: who the last person they hooked up with is, what greek house they're in, who their friends are, etc.


I think the best part about Northwestern is the campus. It's beautiful. The size is just about right. People usually don't know what Northwestern is or they are incredible impressed. It's the perfect type of college town. There is lots of school pride, and we have lots of alums come. Students hate the weather in the winter though.


the best thing about NU is the beautiful campus, Evanston, and the connections you can make with professors and other students. people social network a lot!


When I tell people I go to Northwestern - they usually don't even know where it is or WHAT it is. It makes me really upset, because this is supposed to be the 13th best school in the country, yet no one seems to know. I haven't really figured out WHY this is yet... but I wish someone would tell me!!!


Northwestern has a place for everyone, you just have to go in search of it. The opportunities aren't going to come right to your door. If you want to be part of a group or committee, etc you have to go seek out the opportunities. If you don't, your life at Northwestern will be completely driven by schoolwork, which is less than desirable.


The best thing about Northwestern is that everyone cares about succeeding. No one gives you crap about staying in for the night to do work, but since everyone works hard, everyone plays hard, too. There's also a lot of amazing research opportunities in every major field and ton of extracurriculars, but the extracurriculars tend to be more academic or philanthropic, so if you want social, you might want to go Greek. You also meet the most unique and amazing people-students come from all over the world and your best friend might end being completely different from you culturally, ethnicity wise, religious, and politically. One thing I'd change about Northwestern is the teaching/faculty. I felt like my adviser knew nothing about me after four years and gave me totally useless guidance. The professors can totally suck. Northwestern is a research institution, so a lot of the profs teach because they have to, not because they want to, and they're not good at it. Which doesn't bode well for your GPA. There's not nearly enough school pride, either. And the dorms are gross.


Best thing: the best of all worlds. urban city (chicago), cute college town (evanston), strong academics (6 great undergrad schools), but strong social scene (greek life, extracurricular life, urban life, etc) benefits of school spirit with the Big 10, but also benefits of the prestige of a private institution. you get a pretty intense winter, but fall and spring are beautiful. lake michigan is a plus too. one thing i'd change: evanston residents can take themselves waaaay too seriously. both students and residents just need to chill out and look at each other as humans, and not as stereotypes, and we'd have a happier medium going on. School pride is admirable for being a private small institution in the big 10. there are definitely a lot of ppl happy and proud to be here.


PERFECT COLLEGE TOWN!!! Evanston is a great little city, and if you get bored there you are either a quick train or bus ride into Chi-town. The campus is beautiful and downtown Evanston has good shopping and a ton of delicious restaurants, with a wide range of prices for each.


The best thing about Northwestern is that it has a perfect blend of everything. It is a prestigious academic institution where you can receive an awesome education and best of all, it is close to a big city, Chicago. Furthermore, if you are interested in law or medicine, Northwestern's Law School and Medical School are all conveniantly located in Chicago. If you can't find anything fun to do during the weekends in Evanston (the city in which Northwestern undergrad campus is located), you just need to hop on a bus or the El (subway) for an hour and go to downtown Chicago. You can find good places to eat, drink, party, or sight-see. I honestly wouldn't change anything about Northwestern except the weather. Too bad the administrators have no control over that though. I absolutely love has probably given me the best 4 years of my LiFE. My school is just right. There are arond 7,000-8,000 undergraduates. When I tell people from the Midwest that I am from Northwestern, they usually react in a positive manner with "Oh! That's a good school." However, if I tell people from California (where I'm originally from) that I go to Northwestern, they usually think I go to school somewhere in Oregon or Washington. More people know of Northwestern in the Midwest and the East Coast. Back when I was a freshman or sophomore, I spent the bulk of my time studying in CORE (the study area in the library). During junior and senior year, I spent a lot of my time in the Multicultural Center because I was heavily involved in extracurricular activities that benefitted the minority community. Evanston is a very conservative college town. If you ever decide to live off-campus, try and make sure your neighbors are fellow Northwestern students so that you can be as loud as you want at night. The last thing you want is to have unfriendly neighbors that will call the cops on you when you want to have a night of fun. Northwestern's administration is generally very helpful. However, when I was applying for an unpaid internship during the summer between sophomore and junior year, certain individuals within the school administration WOULD NOT help me by signing a form that allowed me to work the internship because they said it posed a "liability." I was extremely frustrated because I felt the administration was just looking out for their own interests instead of helping out me, a regular student. Instead, I turned to my professors who willingly signed the form on my behalf. The biggest recent controversy on campus would probably have to be an article written by Rob Jackman which stated that minority greeks inherently create racial segregation on campus. After this article was published, the minority greek community at Northwestern was outraged and held a "UNITY" protest throughout campus that showed the purpose of such minority organizations. At Northwestern, there is a fair amount of school pride. Not everyone will say they LOVE Northwestern, but I believe most students genuinely pride the fact that they go to Northwestern. The one unusual thing I noticed about Northwestern is the crappy weather. You will definitely learn to appreciate good weather when you go to this school because from December through February, you will wish you attended a nice, sunny school in California. One experience I will always remember about Northwestern is New Student Week during freshman year. It is probably one of the most fun weeks in your life because everything is a novelty. You meet new people, you experience life away from home, and the school basically caters to you during this week through lots of student-oriented events such as "Fling at the Field," a dance party for all freshman held at the Field Museum in downtown Chicago. It was loads of fun. The most frequent student complaints is probably the never-ending cycle of midterms and finals because of the quarter system. You don't really get a nice, long break (besides Winter Break) to really relax. Another complaint is that there is no real central gathering place for students. The Student Center (called Norris) doesn't really serve as a quad where students hang out because it is too far from everything else on campus.


-Best thing- Football/basketball games + beach on campus + good academics -Good size -Most people recognize NU as a great school -College town -Little school pride compare to state schools, but alot for a private


it's too small. i hate seeing the same people I saw at a party last night the next day. I like being able to do whatever I want without the fear that I am going to have to deal with the consequences for four years or more. Parents are impressed when i tell them that i go to Northwestern, kids are somewhat impressed, but it does not evoke the same reaction as, say Harvard, or say, University of Southern California, which are schools that many kids here had the option of going to, but chose not to. Evanston sucks as a college town. Everything closes early except for Burger King, which is just straight up shit food unless you're a pothead, in which case, it's "DELICIOUS DUDE!!!!" There is quite a bit of school pride, even though our sports teams are not very good, which I was impressed about. I really like school pride, but I did not want to sacrifice academics for school pride, and I think i made the right choice in that respect.


I don't know, I like it./Money!/Just right./Some ask where it is, some are just damn impressed./Probably the dorm, but then it's winter right now. :(/"What college town?" Evanston dislikes us./Admin seems fine./The Medill guy making up his quotes./Some school pride. We got to football games./People say there is to make themselves feel good./Rush./People always complain - and it's usually illigetamate. This is a good school.