What one piece of advice would you give to someone trying to get into Northwestern?

By Maxine Seya

What is the one piece of advice you would give to someone trying to get into Northwestern?

– L

This was one of the questions submitted for the interview with a Northwestern admissions director. Even though it wasn’t selected, it’s a good question that we have some insight on. In total, we’ve been involved with Northwestern admissions in some capacity for 7 years.

Demonstrate commitment to Northwestern. Ever since I was an applicant, I’ve noticed that NU loves it when you show commitment. Why?

1. I’ve interviewed NU applicants every year since graduating. One of the questions the admissions office asks me to report is “how interested or committed does this student appear to be in NU?” They wouldn’t ask if they didn’t care. Students to whom I offered an interview but did not accept or show up never got accepted. The first way to show you’re interested is to make time for the interview and actually show up.

2. Just anecdotally, I applied ED to NU with a profile that I considered average among other admitted students. My sister applied two years later RD with better stats, almost equally strong extracurriculars, and legacy status through me and didn’t get in. My NU supplement literally said “NU is my soulmate.” Some strong words, but the admissions folks loved that.

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Maxine Seya
Maxine Seya is a former investigative journalist, college consultant, and admissions interviewer. She studied at Peking University (Beijing, China) and Université Paul-Valéry (Montpellier, France) and investigated for CNN and Huffington Post before graduating from Northwestern University. She founded SocratesPost to share the human stories behind the admission gates and offer parents clarity as they help their teens with college.