At Northeastern, our aim is to support our school counseling colleagues by providing a comprehensive and user-friendly guide that can be a resource to you while supporting your students through the application process. This page can be referenced as often as needed — it will contain the most up-to-date and relevant information about the Northeastern application process. If you need additional assistance, please send any questions or comments to email@example.com, and someone will assist you in a timely manner.
Counselor Information Sessions
Northeastern is offering monthly in-person and virtual information sessions for school counselors. Join us to learn more about Northeastern, our experiential and global opportunities for students, and to have your questions answered during a Q+A session. Register for one of the upcoming events at the link below.
Northeastern University is a leader in interdisciplinary research, global engagement, and the seamless integration of classroom learning through experience. Our academic curriculum is enhanced by real-world experiences such as cooperative education (co-op), research, global opportunities, and service learning. Through this experience-powered approach to education, Northeastern prepares students for a lifetime of achievement, allowing them to make an impact on the world before they graduate.
Undergraduates are empowered to chart their own academic path, through more than 280 majors, including over 180 combined majors, across eight undergraduate colleges and programs. Learn more:
Fall 2023 Applicants
Applications for the Class of 2027 have opened! Students may submit applications through the common application or coalition application. We encourage students and counselors to review our Deadlines & Decisions, Application Requirements, and Enrollment Opportunities closely.
Students who have submitted their application should check their Application Status Check frequently to ensure that their application is complete and no more information is needed for review.
Information for Counselors
Critical Updates for the 2023-2024 Academic Cycle
- Test-Optional: Northeastern will continue to be test-optional through the 2025-2026 application cycle, meaning that students can choose to apply with or without the SAT or ACT.
- Please note: students who choose not to submit testing will not be disadvantaged in the admissions process.
- We invite prospective students and school counselors to read our Testing Policy and Standardized Testing FAQ.
- To review Northeastern’s middle 50% score ranges for the SAT and ACT, please refer to the frequently asked questions to help as you guide students through our admissions process.
- Enrollment Opportunities: When submitting applications for this cycle, your students will be informed about their enrollment options. Our application makes it clear that students should be sure to understand that all these enrollment options are all possible decision outcomes. Through the application, we have provided students with an opportunity to share their preferences among these enrollment options. All applicants are considered for all experiences; however, applicant preferences will help inform the admissions process. Enrollment Opportunities for fall 2023 include
- Northeastern University Boston
- Northeastern University Oakland
- Northeastern University London
- The N.U.in Program
- The Global Scholars Program (formerly known as NUBound)
- NU Immerse
- Early Decision (ED): We expect to enroll roughly half of our entering class through Early Decision. For the class entering in Fall 2022, the ED admit rate was 34% compared to the overall 7% admit rate.
- Fall 2023 ED applicants will be bound to their preference if they are admitted into that program. Please note that this is a new policy for this admissions cycle and will be true for preferences of any of the above enrollment options. ED applicants will not be bound to an enrollment program if they are admitted into a program that was not their first-choice preference—a non-binding decision would be issued. Students who have identified Northeastern as their unequivocal first choice and see Northeastern as a strong academic, personal, and financial fit should consider applying Early Decision I or II.
- Potential Early Decision applicants should visit our website to learn more about the benefits of early decision.
- Northeastern will provide early financial aid reads and fee waivers for students applying Early Decision.
- Prospective Student Programming: Northeastern’s Visitor Center is currently open and accepting visitors. Information sessions and campus tours in Boston and Oakland must be scheduled in advance through our website. We also continue to offer a robust selection of virtual information sessions and program offerings, all of which can be scheduled through our website.
- Financial Aid Updates: During the past academic year, Northeastern awarded over $450 million in financial aid to enrolling students. 65% of first-year students at Northeastern receive financial aid, including merit scholarships and grants.
- Northeastern continues to meet the full demonstrated need for each admitted student who is eligible for federal financial aid (including U.S. Citizens, Permanent Residents, and eligible non-citizens). More information can be found by reviewing the Northeastern Promise.
- Pell Grant Recipients: Undergraduate day students who qualify for a Federal Pell Grant had their full demonstrated need met through a combination of grants, scholarships, and work-study from federal, state, and institutional resources. Financial aid awards for eligible Pell Grant recipients did not include Federal Direct Loans, and students were instead awarded a Northeastern University Access Grant. Learn more about the financial support provided by Northeastern to Pell Grant recipients.
Class of 2026 Profile
At Northeastern, we review each application completely and holistically. Each student’s academic performance is considered alongside recommendations, extracurricular activities, and other qualitative measures of success. Our admissions process focuses on identifying dynamic applicants who will thrive in any of our large university settings.
Below are some highlights from the past admissions cycle:
- Northeastern received over 90,000 first-year applications for Fall 2022, a 21% increase over the previous year. This was Northeastern’s largest and most competitive applicant pool to date. While many institutions experienced an increase in applications over the last two years, the degree to which Northeastern's applicant pool grew is particularly significant as growth outpaced many of our selective peer universities.
- Most applied to private, not-for-profit universities in New England, and second most applied to private, not-for-profit universities in the United States
- This was the largest one-year increase in applications at Northeastern in the last two decades
- There was growth experienced across each application plan — a 28% increase in Early Decision (both ED I and ED II), a 30% increase in Early Action with over 50,000 students applying, and a 10% increase in Regular Decision
- All students were considered for three distinct first-year experiences:
- First year on-campus in Boston
- The N.U.in Program (global fall semester with Northeastern cohort at a partner institution, followed by the spring semester on-campus in Boston)
- NU Bound (immersive first year on another Northeastern campus in either the Bay Area or London, returning to Boston for the start of your second year)
- Select students were also admitted to one of Northeastern's pathway programs: NU Immerse (for non-native English speakers) or Foundation Year (for select Boston residents)
- Admission was particularly competitive. Across all rounds, only 6,100 students were admitted (7%) for the fall semester. As we anticipate enrolling half of the class through both Early Decision rounds, admission during Early Action and Regular Decision was particularly competitive. Northeastern's selectivity for Fall 2022 was also impacted by the classes we enrolled in Fall 2020 and Fall 2021. Both were extremely robust classes, and the reason why Northeastern is so focused on enrolling the right-sized class.
Please note that our Visitor Center is currently open, and information sessions and campus tours in Boston and Oakland can be scheduled in advance. We continue to offer a robust selection of virtual information sessions and program offerings, all of which can be scheduled through our website. Online registration can be found here:
First-Year Application Process
All prospective first-year students must submit either the Common Application or Coalition Application by November 1 or January 1.
|Application Plan||Application Deadline||Decision Release||Deposit Deadline|
|Early Decision I *||November 1||December 15||The Early Decision deposit deadline will be shared in the acceptance letter|
|Early Action||November 1||February 1||May 1|
|Early Decision II *||January 1||March 1||The Early Decision deposit deadline will be shared in the acceptance letter|
|Regular Decision||January 1||April 1||May 1|
* Early Decision I and Early Decision II are binding for fall admission.
Possible Admissions Decisions
- Whether students apply through the Early Decision I or II, Early Action, or Regular Decision program, possible admissions decisions include: being admitted to the fall semester in Boston, Oakland, or London, admitted to The N.U.in Program, admitted to the Global Scholars program, or denial of admission.
- Applicants who apply in Early Decision should note that if admitted into an enrollment option that is not their first choice, they will be released from the binding agreement and have until May 1 to submit.Additional information on Early Decision is available here.
- Applicants who apply in Early Decision or Early Action may also have their application deferred to Regular Decision. If deferred, students must confirm their continued interest or withdraw. Students who do not reply to the deferral will not receive a decision in Regular Decision. Any student whose application was deferred should plan to have their high school submit mid-year grades. Any new information from the student should be submitted through their Application Status Check.
- Regular Decision applicants, or students who were deferred from Early Decision or Early Action, may also be admitted to Foundation Year or NU Immerse. More information is provided in the section below on first-year programs.
- In addition, applicants who apply in Regular Decision may be offered a place on Northeastern’s waitlist. If waitlisted, students must confirm their continued interest or withdraw. Students who do not reply to the waitlist will not receive a final admissions decision from Northeastern. Any new information from the student should be submitted through their applicant portal.
All students who apply to Northeastern are considered for three distinct first-year programs, which provide flexible opportunities for undergraduate students to experience different campuses and partnerships around the globe. First-year programs include:
- First year on-campus in Boston, Oakland, or London
- The N.U.in Program provides a global first-semester experience, with a cohort of Northeastern students spending the fall semester studying with a partner institution in a global location before coming to the Boston campus in the spring semester.
- The Global Scholars Program provides students with an immersive first-year experience, studying in both London and Oakland, and engaging with local alumni and industry leaders before coming to the Boston campus at the beginning of their second year.
- Additionally, all non-native English-speaking applicants will be considered for admission through the NU Immerse program. All Boston residents will also be considered for admission through Foundation Year.
Important Links to Review
Documents not submitted through the Common Application, Coalition Application, or another college readiness platform can either be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org (from an identifiable and verifiable school email address) or mailed to one of the two addresses below:
For application fees, application fee waiver requests (separate from any submitted with the application), or any FedEx, UPS, or Priority Mail packages:
Office of Undergraduate Admissions
271 Huntington Ave
Boston, MA 02115-5000 USA
For transcripts, academic records, and recommendations (if unable to submit online):
Application Processing Center
P.O. Box 8210
Portsmouth, NH 03802 USA
All applicants, regardless of citizenship status, are considered for merit scholarships. U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and eligible noncitizens are also considered for need-based financial aid and federal student financial aid. Currently, 79% of all undergraduate students are receiving aid. Northeastern has committed to meeting the full demonstrated need for all eligible admitted students. For information on tuition, cost of attendance, and additional expenses, please review the Tuition and Fees section on the Student Financial Services webpage.
- Any student who is interested in being considered for need-based financial aid must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the CSS Profile by the appropriate deadline.
- Any first-year applicant who submits all necessary documents by the application deadline will receive their financial aid offer in coordination with their offer of admission.
- Merit scholarships are determined by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. No additional application is necessary, as the application for admissions also serves as the scholarship application. Any student who receives a merit scholarship will be notified about their scholarship when they are offered admission to Northeastern. Merit scholarships can be up to $30,000 per year.
- International students seeking need-based scholarships and grants are recommended to apply for outside scholarships. For resources on outside scholarships, please review the International Students section on the Student Financial Services webpage.
(NU code 3667) Students applying for institutional need-based aid must fill out a profile. Students seeking federal student aid only are not required to complete the CSS Profile Form.
The priority filing date for the CSS Profile depends upon admission application status:
- Early Decision I: November 15
- Early Action: December 1
- Early Decision II: January 15
- Regular Decision: February 15
- Fall Transfer: April 15
Despite our large applicant pool, students are able to stand out in our process through a combination of a multitiered file review process by our staff, as well as through visit and engagement with the university. Interested students should research and connect with the university through virtual offerings and by reaching out to their admission counselor.
In our holistic review, we look for students who have challenged themselves academically by taking advantage of the curricular opportunities available to them; are engaged in activities outside of the classroom; and have demonstrated leadership and an interest in pursuing their passions.
- Northeastern requires the secondary school report, high school transcript (including any predicted grades), counselor recommendation, and teacher evaluation from each applicant. All documents must be submitted to Northeastern directly from the high school or recommender.
- Prospective students who applied in Early Decision II or Regular Decision, or who were deferred from Early Decision I and Early Action, are strongly encouraged to submit the Midyear Report by February 1 to provide additional insight into each applicant’s senior year performance.
- Predicted grades are required for all applicants whose secondary education culminates in externally assessed high school graduation exams or university matriculation exams. Additional information on submitting predicted grades in available on the International Applicants page.
Yes. Northeastern is test optional for all students.
Non-native English-speaking applicants are still required to submit official results from one of the following English Language Tests: C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency (Cambridge English); Duolingo English Test; IELTS Academic; PTE Academic; or TOEFL iBT. We will also consider results from the TOEFL iBT Home Edition and IELTS Indicator. Northeastern will not consider the TOEFL ITP Plus for China.
For fall 2021, approximately 32% of the enrolling class applied in Early Decision I or Early Decision II. For fall 2022, we anticipate enrolling approximately 50% of the incoming class through either Early Decision I or Early Decision II. For context, for fall 2022, the ED admit rate was 33% compared to the overall admit rate of 7%.
Your students can request a need-based fee waiver through either the Common Application or Coalition Application. Supporting documentation is not required from students, but if you are looking to submit documentation, such as the NACAC fee waiver request form, please email scanned copies to email@example.com.
All U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and eligible non-citizens who plan to apply for need-based financial aid from Northeastern or federal student financial aid, must submit both the FAFSA and CSS Profile by the appropriate financial aid application deadlines.
For additional information on the financial aid application process, please visit the Applying for Financial Aid page on our website.
All applicants are considered for merit scholarship when applying. Students who are in the top 10-15% of our applicant pool are considered for these awards, with strongest emphasis for scholarship selection being placed on academic achievement. Students invited to the Honors Program are offered an Honors scholarship.
Northeastern offers a variety of other scholarships depending on specific student achievements or actions, including competitive scholarships for National Merit Finalists and College Board National Scholars. Additionally, students may pursue microscholarships through the RaiseMe program. Additional information can be found on our Scholarships page.
Students who are interested in being considered for need-based financial aid will need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as well as the CSS Profile. Please note:
- Students whose biological parents are not married to each other are required to provide information about both parent households when completing the CSS Profile.
- Students and families should also be prepared to submit copies of W-2s, signed personal federal tax returns, including all schedules, as well as business tax returns.
- Should additional materials or other supporting documentation be needed, we will indicate this in writing.
All incoming students are encouraged to complete their financial aid application materials by the priority filing date to ensure consideration for all available need-based financial aid programs for which they are eligible. Additionally, all first-year applicants who meet the aid application deadline and submit all required financial aid documents will receive their financial aid offer in coordination with their offer of admission. Once the financial aid awarding process has begun, financial aid awards will continue to be released on a rolling basis for students who complete their aid application materials. First-year students may view their Offer of Financial Assistance through their Application Status Check or their myNortheastern portal.
At Northeastern, we believe in your future. We also believe that financing your education is a partnership that continues throughout your enrollment, not just for your first year. Our commitment is reflected in our unique Northeastern Promise. The Promise enables you to plan for the entire cost of your degree through supporting the following conditions*:
- We are dedicated to meeting the full demonstrated need for each admitted student eligible for federal financial aid.
- Northeastern University scholarship and grant funds will not be reduced during your undergraduate program (for up to eight in-class semesters).
- Northeastern University need-based grant funds will be increased annually at the same percentage rate as the increase in tuition.
- If your family experiences a substantial negative change in financial circumstances, we will reevaluate your aid package and make available all financial resources for which you qualify.
*Please visit the Student Financial Services website for more information regarding the terms and conditions of this commitment.
Approximately one-third of all financial aid applicants are selected by either the U.S. Department of Education or Northeastern’s Office of Student Financial Services to verify the information provided on the FAFSA and/or CSS Profile. If a student has been selected for verification and are required to submit additional documents, they will be notified in writing. Financial aid offers for incoming students are tentative pending the completion of the verification process. Should the verified information differ significantly from the original information provided on the FAFSA and/or CSS Profile, there may be a change in a students financial aid eligibility.
The federally subsidized work-study program gives students the opportunity to work a qualifying part-time job to assist with their educational expenses. Eligible students must have submitted their FAFSA by the priority filing deadline and demonstrate financial need to qualify. If students are eligible for federal work-study, it will be reflected on their offer of financial assistance.
Students must conduct their own job search if they choose to utilize their award. Available positions are limited, and employment is not guaranteed.
Help at Every Step
View our resources to see how Northeastern can help set your students' future in motion
Prospective Student Brochure
Learn how a top-tier education is only the beginning.
Prospective International Student Brochure
See why international students call Northeastern home.
Co-op Education: Powered by Experience
Learn what co-op is, how it is different from internships, and what companies Northeastern students work with.
Financial Aid Brochure
Find out how Northeastern helps you fund your college dream.
Boston High School Students
Explore scholarships and programs that pave your future.
The Torch Scholars Program is a bold and innovative endeavor that provides students with the opportunity to explore their passions and expand their global horizons.
Pre-college programs are designed for talented high school students in the U.S. and around the world who want to give themselves an edge.
We're happy to connect and answer your questions. Email, call, or connect with your local admissions counselor.