Northeastern University Acceptance Rate | Strategies and Insights for Admission Success 2024

If you were to tell someone who attended college thirty, twenty, or even ten years ago that Northeastern University, once perceived more as a commuter school than a nationally renowned institution, now boasts a single-digit acceptance rate, they would likely be astonished. Established in 1898, this Boston-based private university underwent a remarkable transformation over the past century. In 2000, Northeastern ranked 162nd in the nation according to U.S. News. Fast forward to today, it comfortably sits among the top 50 universities, with an average incoming SAT score of 1484, a significant leap from the 1157 average two decades ago. Today, Northeastern receives over 96,000 applications annually, reflecting its newfound status as a highly sought-after institution.

What is The Northeastern ED Acceptance Rate?

For the Class of 2027, Northeastern University accepted 39% of Early Decision (ED) applicants. This rate is higher than the 33% acceptance rate for the Class of 2026 but lower than the 51% acceptance rate for the Class of 2025.

Northeastern University provides both Early Decision I and Early Decision II options, with deadlines set for November 1 and January 1, respectively.

What is The Northeastern Acceptance Rate?

Northeastern University received a staggering 96,327 applications for its 2023-24 freshman class. While the official acceptance rate for the Class of 2027 has not been released, the university aims to enroll approximately 2,600 students on the main campus and an additional 200-300 students across its campuses in London and Oakland, CA. Based on this information, the estimated acceptance rate for the Boston campus is projected to be around 5-6% for the Class of 2027, marking an all-time low.

For context, previous acceptance rates were considerably higher:

  • Northeastern acceptance rate for the Class of 2026: 6.8%
  • Class of 2025: 18%
  • Class of 2024: 20%

What is The Northeastern SAT, ACT, and Class Rank?

In the Class of 2026, Northeastern University saw its highest median SAT score to date, reaching 1500. Impressively, 81% of test-takers scored 700 or above on the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (EBRW) section, while 94% achieved scores of 700 or higher in Math. The mid-50% range for ACT scores stood at 33-35. Additionally, a remarkable 77% of Class of 2026 members ranked in the top decile of their high school class, with 95% placing in the top quartile.

What is The Admission Insights at The Northeastern?

  • The school received 96,327 applications for the most recent admissions cycle, up from 91,100 for the Class of 2026.
  • Over the last four years, the number of applicants has surged by 49.5%.
  • Early Decision (ED) applications experienced a significant 30% increase in the 2022-23 admissions cycle.
  • Since 2015, Early Decision applications have skyrocketed from 772 to 5,872.
  • A substantial 71% of the applicant pool identified as non-White, reflecting the university’s diverse community.

What is The Northeastern Demographics?

Geographically, Northeastern University’s undergraduate population hails from 48 U.S. states. Notably, students from less populous and more remote regions, such as Wyoming, South Dakota, and Alaska, often benefit from enhanced admissions prospects.

The states with the highest representation among Northeastern undergraduates include:

  1. Massachusetts
  2. New York
  3. New Jersey
  4. California
  5. Connecticut
  6. Pennsylvania
  7. Florida

Examining ethnic identity, the breakdown of students is as follows:

  • Asian: 18%
  • Hispanic: 11%
  • African American: 6%
  • White: 43%
  • International: 15%
  • Two or more races: 6%

Regarding gender distribution:

  • Male: 46%
  • Female: 54%

Further Insights into Northeastern’s Acceptance Rate:

Now, let’s delve into a college-by-college breakdown of where and what current undergraduates are studying, based on the most recent data available:

  • College of Arts, Media, and Design: 1,514 students
  • Bouvé College of Health Sciences: 2,134 students
  • D’Amore-McKim School of Business: 4,449 students
  • College of Engineering: 3,958 students
  • Khoury College of Computer Sciences: 2,938 students
  • College of Science: 3,374 students
  • College of Social Sciences and Humanities: 1,860 students
  • University Programs: 611 students

What is The NU Yield Rate?

Northeastern’s yield rate, which measures the percentage of accepted students who choose to enroll, reached 33% last year, marking a notable increase compared to previous years. While this figure falls short of the exceptionally high yield rates observed at prestigious institutions like Stanford and Harvard, which typically exceed 80%, and those of schools such as the University of Chicago, MIT, and Yale, all boasting 70% or higher. Nonetheless, Northeastern lags behind other elite private institutions like Vanderbilt, Rice, and Carnegie Mellon. These statistics underscore Northeastern’s keen interest in gauging applicants’ commitment and enthusiasm, with a clear admissions advantage extended to those who express Northeastern as their top choice.

What is The Admission Criteria at The Northeastern?

Northeastern University’s admissions process prioritizes five key factors as “very important”: the rigor of the secondary school record, GPA, standardized test scores, the application essay, and recommendations. Additionally, the university considers extracurricular activities, talent/ability, character/personal qualities, and volunteer/paid work as “important.” Other factors, such as first-generation status, race/ethnicity, class rank, demonstrated interest, and geographical residence, are classified as “considered.”

In the words of Northeastern’s admissions officers, Candidates who bring diverse experiences, perspectives, and interests to our community are identified by the Admissions Committee following a holistic application evaluation.” With a commitment to assembling a diverse and accomplished freshman class, “the Admissions Committee seeks to enroll students who have been academically successful and actively involved in their school and community.

The Northeastern Application Process Key Tips

If you’re aiming to become one of the 96,000+ hopefuls vying for a spot at Northeastern in the next admissions cycle, here’s what you need to know:

  • Northeastern University does not offer interviews as part of the admissions process. Instead, you’ll need to leverage your essay and recommendations to establish a personal connection with an admissions officer.
  • Demonstrated interest does matter at Northeastern, so it’s crucial to engage with the admissions office. Connect through social media, consider visiting campus, or meet Northeastern representatives at college fairs near you.
  • In the 2022-23 admissions cycle, Northeastern did away with supplemental essay prompts. This places even more emphasis on your primary Common App essay when applying to the university.


Northeastern University has undergone a remarkable transformation over the years, evolving into a highly competitive institution with a single-digit acceptance rate. Aspiring applicants should be aware of the university’s emphasis on various factors in the admissions process, including academic rigor, test scores, and extracurricular involvement. Engaging with the admissions office and crafting a compelling application are essential steps in pursuing admission to Northeastern. With its diverse student body and commitment to academic excellence, Northeastern continues to attract a large pool of talented individuals eager to become part of its thriving community.