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Class of 2017 Acceptance Letters Sent Out

Students admitted following record-high applications, most diverse admits ever

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March 26, 2013 | by Pat Vaughan Tremmel

EVANSTON, Ill, --- Northwestern University has notified 4,554 applicants they have been accepted for the Class of 2017, which is shaping up to be the most diverse and talented class to date after the University received the highest number of applications ever, 32,772.

Because the number of applications received for the fall incoming class was a record high, the lowest percentage of applicants in the University's history got the much-awaited good news, for an acceptance rate of 13.9 percent.

The emails and letters went out Friday, and financial aid awards will follow in about a week.

Applications have increased by more than 10,000 since 2007, when 27 percent of applicants were admitted.

This year’s application and admit figures reflect both Northwestern’s rising reputation and its strong determination to be more diverse.

“We have worked hard to increase the quality and diversity of each incoming class,” said Christopher Watson, dean of admission at Northwestern. “The last few years of hard work are paying off.”

“Even with the lower admit number, we accepted a record number of underrepresented and international students,” he said. We also admitted a record number of students from Chicago and Evanston. And all 50 states are represented.”

Records also were broken for the numbers of applications received through Northwestern’s chapter of QuestBridge, a national program that helps high-achieving, low-income students apply to top universities, and through the Posse Foundation’s youth leadership program that identifies promising young students from disadvantaged urban backgrounds.

Northwestern increasingly is being recognized nationally and internationally for the excellence of its students and its highly diverse education offered inside and outside the classroom. The education crosses disciplines, continents and 12 schools and programs, on campuses in Evanston, Chicago and Doha, Qatar.

“Northwestern truly takes the whole-brain approach to learning and is uniquely structured to accommodate that way of learning through six strong undergraduate schools and extensive cross-school collaboration between faculty and students,” stressed Michael Mills, associate provost for University enrollment.

“It’s not unusual here, for example, for a Northwestern student with exemplary math skills to play an instrument exquisitely or to act in high-level performances or produce documentaries on the issues of the day,” he said.

Sixty-five percent of Northwestern students graduate with more than one major -- with a double major or a major, minor and a certificate or various other combinations of studies -- sometimes in completely different fields.

Applied learning is a hallmark of a Northwestern education, and a majority of students are engaged in outside opportunities that enhance the classroom experience, including internships, co-ops, research abroad and civic engagement.

Northwestern students, as well as their professors, are winning major research prizes. The research opportunities are plentiful, whether students work with a professor in a science lab on campus or in countries all over the globe. Students combine studies to conduct serious research in the natural sciences, engineering, social sciences, journalism, the arts, humanities and performance.

For the eighth year in a row, Northwestern is among the top 10 producers of U.S. Fulbright grant recipients at the nation's research institutions, according to a ranking published Oct. 24, 2012, in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Northwestern Fulbright winners currently teach, conduct research or study in countries around the world, representing every Northwestern undergraduate school as well as the law and medical schools.

And Northwestern graduates work at the highest echelons of business and technology; produce, direct, write and perform for film and on major stages; use their journalistic skills to produce the most important stories of our day; break Olympic records for their extraordinary athletic skills; and provide political and humanitarian leadership throughout the world.

In last fall’s issue of Northwestern, the University’s alumni magazine, Northwestern President Morton Schapiro summed up the Northwestern difference: 

“Northwestern is likely one of very few institutions that can claim to have had its students, faculty or alumni win all of the following: Nobel Prizes, Academy Awards, Tony Awards, Rhodes Scholarships, MacArthur ‘genius grants,’ Pulitzer Prizes, National Book Awards and World Series and Super Bowl rings.”