Northwestern University Diversity Statistics: An In-Depth Look

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What’s Covered:

 

A top-tier research university located just outside of Chicago, Northwestern University has many claims to fame, academically and athletically. It is celebrated for programs in business, journalism, medicine, and many others. It’s also a founding member of the renowned Big Ten Conference

 

The university has been making strides to be more diverse and inclusive, particularly in recent decades. How diverse is Northwestern now? Keep reading to find out.

 

Overview of Northwestern Diversity Statistics 

 

Ethnic Diversity

 

Here are the demographics of the undergraduate students at Northwestern.

 

Ethnicity

Percentage

Hispanic or Latinx

13%

American Indian or Alaska Native

<1%

Asian American

18%

Black 

7%

White

50%

Other

12%

 

According to CollegeVine’s benchmarks, a school like Northwestern with a 50-65% white student body would be characterized as a moderately diverse institution.

 

Northwestern provides faculty data by individual school and according to faculty type. Below is the information from its 2018 report.

 

Tenure-line faculty by school

 

American Indian/Native American

Asian American/Pacific Islander

Black/African American

Hispanic/Latinx

International

Multiracial

Unknown

White

Weinburg

0.2%

7.7%

5.5%

5.7%

2.6%

2.0%

0.8%

75.4%

Education

0.0%

2.9%

17.6%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

5.9%

73.5%

Medill

4.5%

4.5%

0.0%

4.5%

4.5%

0.0%

4.5%

77.3%

Bienen

0.0%

8.1%

5.4%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

2.7%

83.8%

Communication

0.0%

4.2%

6.3%

5.3%

4.2%

2.1%

2.1%

75.8%

McCormick

0.0%

21.7%

3.2%

3.2%

1.1%

0.0%

1.6%

69.3%

Feinburg

0.0%

19.4%

1.9%

3.8%

3.0%

0.3%

0.8%

70.9%

Pritzker

0.0%

4.3%

8.5%

4.3%

2.1%

0.0%

4.3%

76.6%

Kellogg

0.0%

7.5%

0.8%

3.0%

9.8%

0.0%

2.3%

76.7%

 

Clinical/instructional faculty by school

 

American Indian/Native American

Asian American/Pacific Islander

Black/African American

Hispanic/Latinx

International

Multiracial

Unknown

White

Weinburg

0.0%

9.1%

0.6%

1.7%

11.9%

0.6%

3.4%

72.7%

Education

0.0%

0.0%

20.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

20.0%

60.0%

Medill

0.0%

4.7%

16.3%

4.7%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

74.4%

Bienen

0.0%

6.3%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

93.8%

Communication

0.0%

1.4%

2.9%

2.9%

1.4%

4.3%

2.9%

84.1%

McCormick

0.0%

13.3%

0.0%

6.7%

0.0%

0.0%

6.7%

73.3%

Feinburg

0.1%

20.4%

3.4%

3.0%

4.4%

0.6%

1.5%

66.6%

Pritzker

0.0%

1.8%

3.5%

3.5%

0.0%

0.0%

1.8%

89.5%

Kellogg

0.0%

4.8%

7.1%

9.5%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

78.6%

 

As you can see, there is less diversity among faculty, as they are predominantly while in every school.

 

Financial Diversity

 

According to a New York Times study published in 2017, Northwestern students come from the following economic brackets:

 

Top 0.1%

1.9%

Top 1%

14%

Top 5%

41%

Top 10%

53%

Top 20%

66%

Bottom 20%

3.7%

 

Northwestern students are predominantly wealthy, despite the fact that admissions are need-blind. This means that ability to pay is not factored into your admissions decision. The school is also no-loan and meets 100% of demonstrated need, so financial aid packages tend to be generous.

 

Geographic Diversity

 

All 50 states and more than 75 countries are represented in Northwestern’s undergraduate student body. 

 

International students make up 8% of the student body. They are eligible for financial aid at Northwestern, with the university meeting 100% of first-year students’ need, although the admissions committee employs a need-aware policy when reviewing applications.

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Cultural Resources at Northwestern

 

Through Multicultural Student Affairs (MSA), students can access cultural programs, groups, events, and resources. MSA consists of four Student Affair groups: African American Student Affairs, Asian/Asian American Student Affairs, Hispanic/Latino Student Affairs, and the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) Resource Center.

 

Along with an online presence, MSA has three physical centers:

 

  • The Temporary Black House
  • The Gender and Sexuality Resource Center
  • The Multicultural Center (MCC)

 

Through different branches and groups, students may receive advising, academic tutoring and support, funding for activities, meeting spaces, and more. MSA sponsors excursions and trips to conferences, community gatherings, the US: Unscripted Stories Podcast, heritage month celebrations, and discussion groups.

 

Additionally, Northwestern has numerous student identity groups and organizations, including:

 

Advancement for the Undocumented Community

African Students Association

Ahana Dance Project

Alianza – The Latinx Student Alliance

Alliance of African Scholars

APIDA Town Halls

Asian American Intervarsity Christian Fellowship

Asian Pacific American Coalition

Association for Women in Sports Media

Association of Undergraduate Women in Science

Ballet Folklórico Mexicano: Ritmo de Mis Ancestros

Black Formal

Black Graduate Student Association

Blackboard Magazine

Brazilian Student Association

Brown Sugar

Campus Curlz at Northwestern

CaribNation

China Care

Chinese International Student Association

Chinese Student and Scholar Association

Chinese Students Association

College Feminists

Comunidad Latinx

Council on Chinese Affairs

Dale Duro Latin Dance Company

Deeva

Destino

Eye to Eye at Northwestern

Fiedler Hillel Student Life

For Members Only

For Us, By Us

Girls Empowered by Math & Science

Graduate International Student Association

Graduate Student Association for Latino and Spanish Activities

Graduate Women Across Northwestern

Hong Kong Student Association

Impact

Indian Graduate Students and Scholars Association

Indonesian Students’ Association

InLight

International Student Association

InterVarsity Christian Fellowship

Iranian Student Association

Italian Association

J Street U Northwestern

Japan Club

Japanese American Student Association

Kaibigan: Philippine-American Student Association

Kappa Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc.

Korean American Student Association

Korean Student Association

Koreans Association at Northwestern University

Koreans In Business

La Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Inc.

Latin American Student Alliance

Living in Color

Masculinity, Allyship, Reflection, Solidarity

Minority Association of Pre-Med Students at Northwestern

NU Asian Magazine

OM at Northwestern

Out Da Box

Polish American Student Alliance

Radius Theatre

Rainbow Alliance

Singapore Society

Society of Asian Scientists & Engineers

Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers

Society of Women Engineers

South Asian Students Alliance

Students for Justice in Palestine

Taiwanese American Students Club

Thai Student Association

The Collective

Transfer Student Organization

United World Colleges Club

Vietnamese Student Association

Wildcats for Israel

Women in Business

 

Plans to Improve Diversity at Northwestern

 

Northwestern offers the following statement on diversity:

 

“We commit to increasing diversity within our community. We will work to ensure that our underrepresented students, faculty and staff members thrive in a fair, open, accountable and supportive environment with more opportunities for personal and professional growth. We will be proactive in recruiting Black and other underrepresented students and scholars at all levels by immediately providing resources to schools and departments so they can meet this commitment. We will also utilize the ongoing collaborative work of the Searle Center for Advancing Learning and Teaching, Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, Division of Student Affairs, Office of Equity and Office of the Provost.”

 

According to the university’s 2019 report, Human Resources, in partnership with the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion and with the guidance of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Education Advisory Group, has made strides to make the university more equitable and inclusive. These initiatives include Unconscious Bias and Active Inclusion for Teams workshops, as well as Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Playlists, which curate online videos, readings, and research.

 

Northwestern also made progress on additional initiatives, such as AccessibleNU; Gender-Queer, Non-Binary, and Trans Task Force; and Veterans Support Initiative.

 

LGBTQ+ Inclusivity

 

Northwestern earns four out of five stars on the Campus Pride Index. The university has a Gender and Sexuality Resource Center, which provides programming, services, resources, and a space for the Queer, Trans*, and Ally community. Additionally, the Rainbow Alliance supports the LGBTQIA community.

 

In an effort to make Northwestern more inclusive for LGBTQIA students, the MSA established the LGBTQ Advisory Board in 2016. Among others, its initiatives have included a Queer Wellness Retreat.

 

The university also celebrates Queer & Trans* Empowerment Month and National Coming Out Day.

 

How Diverse and Inclusive Is Evanston?

 

Evanston, Illinois is a suburb of Chicago and not as diverse as its urban neighbor, with the following ethnic breakdown, according to Census data:

 

Race

Percentage

White alone

66.6%

Black or African American alone

16.5%

American Indian and Alaska Native alone

0.1%

Asian alone

9.4%

Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone

0.0%

Two or more races

4.0%

Hispanic or Latino

11.7%

White alone, not Hispanic or Latino

59.2%

 

There are some restaurants with international cuisines, such as Chinese, Indian, Korean, and Mediterranean. 

 

The city also offers resources for the LGBTQ+ community, including Pride activities, a designated Police Department liaison and city liaison, and more. Politically, the city skews liberal.

 

Is Northwestern the Right Fit for You?

 

Along with diversity, you should think about other factors when considering which colleges are right for you, including academic programs, location, size, clubs and activities, and more. 

 

To help you find the right fit, check out CollegeVine’s free chancing engine and school search tool, which will estimate your chances of getting into your top-choice schools and help you match your interests and preferences to the best colleges for you. 

 

Finding the right college can be overwhelming, and that’s why we created this tool to streamline the process.


Short Bio
Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University, where she majored in Creative Writing and minored in History. She lives in Brooklyn, New York and works as a freelance writer specializing in education. She dreams of having a dog.

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