Skip to main content


Updated 4/28/2020

School-Specific Questions

In addition to the broader admissions-related questions listed below, some of Northwestern's schools have developed FAQs with specific information on school policies, procedures and student needs. Please visit the School and Unit Coronavirus Websites page for school-specific information.

Prospective and Admitted Students

1. Will the coronavirus outbreak have any effect on the admissions process for prospective or newly admitted students?

The coronavirus outbreak will not impact how the University evaluates applications for admission to any of its programs. 

We understand that many communities  are experiencing school closures or restricted activities. We are committed to working with schools and communities to ensure all candidates receive full consideration for Northwestern’s incoming classes.  Secondary school officials with questions or concerns about undergraduate admissions should contact, primarily if a student will not be able to complete their secondary school education. 

For undergraduate students admitted to Northwestern through our Early Decision round and anyone else who has received an offer of admission to the University, rest assured that your admission offer is in no way jeopardized by the health crisis. As for how this outbreak may affect your transition to Northwestern, it is still too early to provide any concrete information.

2. Will the May 1 deposit response date for admitted students be extended given COVID-19 developments?

We do not expect the May 1 deposit date to change. We will provide robust virtual programming for admitted students and find creative ways to remotely connect them with the Northwestern community.  

3. Will the COVID-19 response affect Northwestern’s review of transfer applicants?

We do not expect COVID-19 to affect our transfer review process. While our official deadline for transfer applicants is March 15, we are able to be flexible with later submissions, and our application will remain open until April 10. Students who wish to apply as transfer students after April 10 can email to request a deadline extension, which may be granted on a case by case basis. We expect to release decisions for transfer applicants on a rolling basis between mid-April and mid-May. 

If your transfer application materials are delayed because of circumstances related to COVID-19, we will do our best to be flexible. While we are not able to waive standardized testing requirements, we can accept various types of late materials so long as your Common Application or Coalition Application is submitted on time.

4. Can prospective students register for a tour and information session at the Segal Visitor Center?

At this time, all programming at the Segal Visitor Center has been canceled at least through May 31. Families should check the admissions website for updates. (Updated 4/28/20)

5. If the University does not resume on-campus classes in the fall, may incoming first-years request a deferral to begin in fall 2021?

At this point, the University has not announced any changes or anticipated changes to fall quarter. While we fully understand the desire to see what’s around the corner, we don’t expect to know more until summer. Of course, our deep hope is that it will be safe for the Northwestern community to come back together and resume courses on campus in late September. (Our quarter-system means that our academic year begins later than most.)

The University’s response team is posting all Covid-19-related announcements on this website, and we recommend checking this for updates. New information and FAQs will be posted here as the circumstances surrounding the pandemic and Northwestern’s response plan continue to evolve.  

Our deadline to seek approval for a gap year proposal is July 1, so admitted students who accept their offer on or before May 1 will still have two months to request a deferral. (Added 4/21/20)

6. Will Northwestern continue to require either the SAT or ACT given recent test cancellations?

We recognize that canceled test dates raise concern among students who have been hard at work preparing for them. But the College Board and ACT appear committed to providing future testing opportunities as soon as possible, including free statewide tests where applicable, and at this point there is still time for students to test before next year’s application deadlines. Both testing organizations have indicated that they will add test dates and introduce remote testing options should the need arise. (Note that subject tests are optional in our application process, and rest assured that there is no “wink” implied by the term optional—you can take that word at face value.) We will of course be monitoring the situation closely and will provide additional guidance about standardized testing if necessary. (Added 4/21/20)

Financial Aid

1. If or when I apply for financial aid for next year, will I receive notice?

All aspects and functions of the Financial Aid Office will remain intact. Financial aid applications will be processed in the same manner as in any year.