College Spotlight: Northwestern University
College Expert at the Coast to Coast College Tour
Minneapolis Marriott West
May 20, 2015
As the only private school in the Big Ten Conference, Northwestern University is accustomed to standing out. Located in Evanston – just north of Chicago on the shores of Lake Michigan – the lives of 8,400 undergraduates, 6,600 full-time graduate students, and the Evanston residents are intertwined. “The citizens of Evanston bleed purple,” chuckled Kimberly Lindsay of Northwestern’s Office of Undergraduate Admission.
There are six schools and 190-plus majors, minors, and certificates open to Northwestern undergraduates within a quarter system. Incoming freshmen pick one of six schools, although 67% eventually pursue double majors across schools. The student-to-faculty ratio is 7:1, and 77% of all classes have fewer than twenty students. At the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, aspiring freshmen engineers are clustered in groups of four and given real world problems to solve. In the recent past, freshmen in the Design Thinking and Communication course teamed up with the Shedd Aquarium to create a waterproof shoe for penguins with sore feet. The goal of the McCormick School is to develop the “whole brain engineer.”
With a renowned School of Communication, it was only natural for Northwestern students to create a philanthropy called “Dance Marathon.” For five consecutive years, they have raised $1 million in donations for the Starlight Children’s Foundation and the Evanston Community Foundation. Northwestern also is home to Dillo Day, an annual all-day music festival organized by the Mayfest student group. It’s the largest student-run festival of its kind. A couple of Northwestern’s notable alumni include Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Stephen Colbert. Some of the more famous alumni make regular appearances on campus.