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In the last decade, through the leadership of President Schapiro, the University has experienced unprecedented growth. Growth can be seen across campus, in the form of new buildings and beautiful renovations, and also in research excellence and academic rigor by faculty, students and alumni.

Research Growth

Research growth: $476.9m in research funding in 2009 >>> $887.3m in research funding in 2020 - 86% increase

Even a global pandemic has not blunted Northwestern University’s remarkable research enterprise, which grew to $887.3 million in 2020. 

The new figure represents an increase of more than 11% over last year’s record-setting total of $798.3 million and makes Northwestern the largest academic research site in the state of Illinois. 

An increasing number of faculty members also have been elected to the most prestigious academic societies in the country. 

Faculty accolades: 95 total members (National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Medicine, National Academy of Engineering, National Academy of Education and the American Academy of Arts of Sciences) in 2009 >>> 164 total members in 2020 - 73% increase 

In 2009 Northwestern had a total of 95 members in the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Medicine, National Academy of Engineering, National Academy of Education and the American Academy of Arts of Sciences.  

Today Northwestern has 164 members. Two faculty members, Chad Mirkin and John Rogers, are members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, and the National Academy of Engineering. Only 25 individuals have ever been elected to all three societies. 

During President Schapiro’s tenure, Northwestern has further established itself as one of the world’s very finest academic institutions. Since he took office, the University has improved by every relevant measure. ”

Lanny Martin, chair of the Northwestern Board of Trustees

Academic Growth


In 2020, US News & World Report ranked Northwestern ninth in the country, up from 12th in 2009.

Five of the University’s graduate and professional programs are ranked in the top 20 by US News and three – Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law and School of Education and Social Policy – are among the top 10.

Arch with ranking figures.

Pell Grant Eligibility

In 2016, President Schapiro and then Provost Dan Linzer announced a key initiative to significantly increase financial aid for students at Northwestern. Specifically, they committed to increasing access for academically qualified students, regardless of their economic background. The University eliminated loans from financial aid packages, meaning all-grant aid packages enabled students to graduate without incurring debt for their main educational expenses. Additionally, Schapiro announced a goal to admit a class of 20% Pell Grant-eligible students by 2020.

Northwestern reached this goal in 2018, two years ahead of schedule.

Student Accolades

Our students continue to show excellence in academics and their chosen fields.

Fulbright Awards
Rhodes Scholarship
Marshall Scholarships
Winston Churchill Scholarships
Truman Scholarships
Goldwater Scholarships

We Will. The Campaign for Northwestern

Campaign tops $6 billion from more than 174,000 supporters

Among the largest fundraising campaigns in the history of higher education, We Will. The Campaign for Northwestern amplified Northwestern’s local and global impact and provided substantial support for campus life, financial aid, facilities, research and schools and units across the University.

Northwestern publicly launched the “We Will” Campaign in March 2014 in support of the University’s “Northwestern Will” strategic plan, with the goals of raising $3.75 billion from at least 141,000 donors. After achieving the goals two years ahead of schedule, the University raised the goals to $5 billion and 170,000 donors in September 2018. The University-wide fundraising initiative concluded June 30, 2021, with a total of $6.1 billion raised from 174,380 donors.

The Campaign was highlighted by a series of transformative gifts. In 2015, the University raised its first “We Will” Campaign gift of over $100 million, from Roberta Buffett Elliott ’54 — followed by landmark commitments from Louis A. Simpson ’58 (’96 P) and Kimberly K. Querrey (’22, ’23 P), the Patrick G. Ryan ’59, ’09 H and Shirley W. Ryan ’61, ’19 H (’97, ’00 P) Family, and the Pritzker Family Foundation.

Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan

As the Campaign concluded, the University announced a $480 million gift from the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Family, the largest in Northwestern’s history. The gift will benefit several areas within Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, including digital medicine, neuroscience, global health and translational research; microeconomics in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences; and the Kellogg School of Management. In addition, a portion of the funds will provide the lead gift to redevelop Ryan Field into a best-in-class stadium that will be dramatically more accessible and provide an enhanced gameday experience for students, alumni, fans and the surrounding community. The stadium redevelopment project also will help further Northwestern’s role as an economic engine for the City of Evanston.