Admission requirements

Students must have a GPA of 2.0 or better and an ACT of 18 or better (or the SAT equivalent) to be admitted unconditionally. Students with a GPA or test score below those numbers may be asked to submit additional documentation or complete an “Insight Résumé” questionnaire as part of their application before an acceptance decision is made.

Test-optional admission

To help remove barriers to application, Northwestern College is test-optional. Our test-optional policy for students enrolling in the fall of 2022 is as follows: 

  • Applicants enrolled in an accredited public or private high school within the U.S. who have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher will be able to apply and be accepted without a test score.
    • You’re still encouraged to submit test scores if you have them, as your test score may increase the amount of your academic award. (Scores are required for our top academic scholarships.)
    • Test scores are also used to determine placement in first-year math and writing courses. Eligible test-optional applicants who do not submit test scores will be offered alternative placement tests so we can ensure you are registered for the appropriate first-year math and writing courses.
  • Applicants with a GPA of 2.99 or lower will be required to submit a test score. Of those, applicants with a test score below 18 on the ACT (or a comparable score on the SAT or CLT) will be evaluated further for provisional acceptance.
  • Homeschooled students and international students will be required to submit a test score (ACT, SAT, CLT and/or TOEFL).

If you have any questions, please contact the Admissions Officeadmissions@nwciowa.edu or 800-747-4757.

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