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Information for New Students

Welcome to Northwestern! As you make preparations for the beginning of the school year, don't forget to make time to pick up your student ID card, the Wildcard. 

Getting your Wildcard

All students are to submit their ID photo online. Please review the guidelines and upload your photo on our Wildcard Photo Submission pageEvery incoming student should complete the photo submission
process by July 1.

All International Students: International students who complete the photo submission process can expect their Wildcards to be made available upon arrival on campus.

Domestic Undergraduate First-Year and Transfer Students: Your Wildcard will either be mailed to you or made available upon your arrival on campus depending on your student status—domestic or international, first-year or transfer—and the time available for mailing. Domestic first-year and transfer students who complete the photo submission process on-time can expect their Wildcards to be mailed out on the dates shown:

Wildcard Mailing Dates for New Students
First initial of last name: Mailing Dates (reflect 2022 dates):
A through I August 1–5
J through Q August 8–12
R through Z August 15–19
Leftover submissions August 22–26

After August 26, no Wildcards will be mailed to domestic undergraduate first-year and transfer students. Instead, if you are:

  • Residing on campus, your Wildcard will be made available when you check in at your student residence at your designated move-in time.
  • If you are not living on campus, your Wildcard will be made available at a designated pick-up location on campus during Wildcat Welcome.


Graduate Students: The Wildcard distribution process varies per program. If you are unsure where to pick up your ID, please contact your school's Student Affairs Office.

School of Professional Studies Students: Online students who are not in close proximity to either campus may request that their Wildcard be mailed to them. Please follow the instructions on how to request your card here.


If you have questions, please feel free to contact us at or 847-467-6843.