Northwestern College Admission Essay

Interested in sharing the same alma mater as Stephen Colbert and David Schwimmer? If Northwestern is one of your top choices, you should be able to succinctly explain why.

Part of the Northwestern application includes a supplemental essay that asks you to elaborate on why you are applying to their school. Here’s their prompt:

We ask an intentionally open-ended question: why would you like to attend? When you answer, focus on your interests or experiences.

Here are 5 successful “Why Northwestern” essays to help you kickstart yours:


Northwestern ‘18

Any school, but especially Northwestern, is difficult to summarize.  Balanced, spirited, laidback, ambitious; although true, each word generalizes the depth of the overall university experience.  Two descriptors stand out above the rest, however: flexible and magnetic. Keep reading. 


Northwestern ‘20

After researching potential college majors, I decided to pursue engineering with a focus on the more creative and human side. While I love math and science, creativity and human interaction are very important to me. When I attended the Northwestern McCormick School of Engineering information session, Dean Holtgreive talked about the Design Thinking and Communication class; it sounded exactly like the course of study I want to pursue. Read more.


Northwestern ‘19

What appeals most to me about Northwestern is that it houses some of the world’s top scholars and innovators in Evanston who are accessible and willing to work with undergraduates on research projects. After my summer 2014 internship at The University of Akron’s Polymer Science department, the second best in the country, where I designed and implemented a procedure to test the effect of varying gecko toe pad surface chemistry on the effectiveness of the self-cleaning of its feet, I am seeking a school that is committed to undergraduate research. Continue reading.



Northwestern ‘18

There are many things I love about Northwestern, such as the academic flexibility, the chance to take more classes with the quarter system, the variety of clubs, and the proximity to Chicago.

That’s the answer I give to my friends and teachers. While those things are true, my real reason for choosing Northwestern is more than just academics, statistics, or Gator Bowl titles. It was the feeling I got that Friday afternoon in May when I first met Natalie, the student who would be hosting me for an overnight. Read more. 


Northwestern ‘18

With the rapid increase of global communications and the cultural preeminence of social media, the social fabric of American society is constantly shifting, and with it, the role of media within our everyday lives. The Medill School of Journalism would allow me to not only gain insight on the dynamic functions of modern media, but also develop the crucial rhetorical skills required to thrive in the professional world. View full essay.




Interested in reading these students full personal statements, and Why Northwestern supplements? Unlock all of them in one go with our Why Northwestern package! 

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About The Author

Frances Wong

Frances was born in Hong Kong and received her bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University. She loves super sad drama television, cooking, and reading. Her favorite person on Earth isn’t actually a member of the AdmitSee team - it’s her dog Cooper.

This is a college essay of how to answer the question, “Why Northwestern?”. Hopefully from reading this essay, you will be able to gain a better idea of what Northwestern is looking for. As you read this Why Northwestern college essay example, think about what you know about the school that really makes it resonate with you. In this student’s case, it was the Cognitive Science and Psychology department.

During my career at Walter Payton College Preparatory, Northwestern University has been the school I have wanted to attend.

Upon entering Walter Payton College Prep, I became very involved with music at St. Eugene Church, which is my family parish.  Dr. James Bergman, who received his doctorate from Northwestern, was my music instructor. He highly suggested that Northwestern become one of my serious considerations for post-secondary education.

Although I will enter my first year of Post-secondary education, no other schools reached the caliber of Northwestern. In my opinion, my ideal university must match all the qualities that I want in a university such as programs (areas of study), recommendations of people who have experienced Northwestern, and prestige. Thus far, I have spent countless hours thinking about what my ideal university should be, and Northwestern has satisfied all my criteria.

The magnitude of Northwestern is easily seen through its many schools. The school I wish to attend is the Weinberg School of Arts and Sciences. Even though I have a strong passion for music now, my brain and heart are directing me to become a doctor. I hope to double major from Weinberg in Cognitive Science and Psychology. A minor in music theory or in music education from the Bienen School of music is an additional aspiration.

The fact that Northwestern does not specifically have pre-med majors is appealing. It is comforting to know that I will not need to remain in the pre-med major if later I select another field of study. Other areas of study offered at Northwestern have further influenced my decision to attend.

Faculty as well as alumni from Walter Payton College Prep can not begin to express how great the Northwestern experience was for them. My drama teacher, Ms. Kerry Catlin was a Drama major from Northwestern. Ms. Catlin is very proud of the fact that she attended Northwestern. She is very encouraging. As stated previously, the music director from St. Eugene Parish in Chicago has been the main driving force and my inspiration to attend Northwestern. Narissa Diaz an alumna of Walter Payton is currently a freshman at Northwestern. She continuously tells me how great her experience is. I have received further encouragement from Narissa.

The name Northwestern University is synonymous with prestige. To me the name and prestige of a school is very important.

During a campus visit, the beauty and grandeur of Northwestern affected me. Additionally, the atmosphere produced by the students and faculty members I encountered was friendly.

An important point that attracts me to Northwestern is that the institution is committed to paying 100% of tuition for need based students. Since I was a freshman, I have always been looking for different scholarships and financial aid opportunities that would enable me to pay for the great educational opportunity that is Northwestern.

I recently learned from Western Golf Association that I am a recipient of the Evans Scholarship to Northwestern. I could not be more ecstatic because now I can afford to attend Northwestern. I will only have to pay for the books and supplies needed.

At the completion of the preparation of this essay, I further convinced myself that Northwestern is the school for me. From the education and prestige to the recommendations and location, Northwestern is my ideal school. Coming from a single-parent home, financial obligations are hard to meet, and after receiving the Chick Evans Caddy Scholarship I could not ask for any more of a blessing.

After reading this essay I hope you will see that Northwestern University is my dream school. I would appreciate the opportunity to be part of the class of 2013.

Check out our first example of how to answer Why Northwesternhere.

We also have another example for Why NUhere.

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