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Missing Student

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Concerned about a missing student?

If a member of the University community has reason to believe that a student is missing, they must immediately notify University Police (UP). UP will generate a missing person report and initiate an investigation, and if the person is determined to be missing, will initiate the required notifications as per federal and state laws.

Examples of circumstances that may be consistent with a missing student:

  • A student is missing from their residence for more than 24 hours.
  • A student absent from class, work or activities when this is not typical behavior.
  • A student overdue in reaching home, campus or another specific location past their expected arrival.

How to report a missing student

Contact University Police immediately

Contact the police immediately at 847-491-3456 if you believe that a Northwestern University student is missing.

Visit the University Police Website

Learn more about this issue

Frequently Asked Questions

What will happen after I report?

After a missing person report has been filed with Northwestern University Police, and the person for whom the report has been filed has been missing for 24 hours, Northwestern University Police will:

  • Notify the individual(s) identified by the student in CAESAR to be contacted in such circumstances.
  • Notify a parent or guardian (if the student is less than 18 years old and not emancipated) if a parent or guardian is not identified by the student as their missing person contact in CAESAR.
  • Notify appropriate law enforcement agencies in compliance with all statutory requirements.
  • Notify the Dean of Students or Vice President of Student Affairs.
  • Northwestern University may issue community notice(s), including photograph(s) of the student, to assist in locating a missing student.

Know your rights: Northwestern's Non-Retaliation Policy

Northwestern's Policy on Non-Retaliation strictly prohibits retaliation against any member of its community for reporting or inquiring in good faith about suspected wrongful or unlawful activity, or participating in an investigation or proceeding related to such activity. The University considers such actions to be protected activities in which all members may freely engage without worry of negative consequences.