Northwestern students pack up their canoes during Portage.

Portage: The Journey Begins

Dive into friendships, thinking and experiential learning—all of which will be part of your Northwestern experience—by participating in Portage. Portage is a wilderness experience designed for incoming freshmen and transfer students. In August, prior to Orientation, Portage takes students on an outdoor adventure in Minnesota's Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA). While camping, canoeing and portaging (carrying your canoe overland), you'll have a chance to explore your faith and character as you prepare to get as much as you can—learning with your head and heart—from your college experience.

Christian community—it's wild!

Portage leaders are experienced wilderness instructors who have participated in Coldwater Foundation's Wilderness Leadership Expedition, have completed the full wilderness instructor training, and are certified in first aid and as a first responder. They'll guide your exploration of what it means to be a Christian in community while you work together to navigate the BWCA, talk around the campfire each night, and spend time journaling and reflecting.

Participation costs $450 and is limited to the first 24 students who register. Scholarships are available; email Coldwater Foundation for information.

A Coldwater Foundation program, Portage is endorsed by Northwestern College's Franken Leadership Center to promote and foster a lifestyle of leadership on NWC's campus.

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To reward you, we offer academic scholarships from $8,000 to $18,000. Visit our scholarships webpage to get an idea of what 4-year academic scholarship you’ll automatically receive when you apply, get accepted and enroll.

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Standout stories
Recent grads talk about what they learned at
Northwestern, what they loved about Raider Nation,
and how they hope to lead lives of significance.

Meet our grads

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I Northwestern
Our students love Raider Nation. They love the tight-knit community, their classes and professors, and opportunities to grow as Christians. They love feeling like they belong. See for yourself. You’ll love it.

We our studentsand our students love us

“Northwestern is full of genuine people because the ethos of campus encourages everyone to get out there and just be yourself. I love that. In Hospers Hall we have a saying, "You belong simply because you exist." That's true in Hospers, and it's true at Northwestern.”

Kitrick Fynaardt Kitrick Fynaardt ’21 Math and computer science major from Alton, Iowa

Kitrick's story

“Northwestern faculty are amazing to learn from. They have so many insights about the topics we’re learning about, which make classes interesting and engaging. ”

Jadeyn Veltkamp Jadeyn Veltkamp ’23 Public relations major from Orange City, Iowa

Jadeyn's story

“I chose Northwestern because of the people. Students and faculty are very personable and willing to engage in conversation, whether it’s about academics, athletics or campus life. Northwestern makes me feel like I’m at home even when I’m away from home. ”

Jacob Lynott Jacob Lynott ’22 Nursing major from Hawarden, Iowa

Jacob's story

“I’ve grown through being exposed to so many cultures and new ideas. It made me more well-rounded and rooted in my faith and beliefs.”

Reid Seelhammer Reid Seelhammer ’21 Business administration major from Chatfield, Minnesota

Reid's story

“I have gained so many more things from Northwestern than just a fabulous education. I have grown in my faith every year, I have met incredible friends—including my wife—and established relationships that will last a lifetime, and I have grown in my musical skills. Northwestern is truly an amazing college.”

Joel Van Peursem Joel Van Peursem ’21 Music and secondary education major from Vermillion, South Dakota

Joel's story

“I really love the idea of interdisciplinary study that the Honors Program offers. This really interests me because my majors are so different, and because I love to learn as much as I can. In fact, I wanted to major in four or five disciplines, but that’s not feasible, so instead I enrolled in the Honors Program because it promises experience in fields outside of your own, which is really cool.”

Landon Van Berkum Landon Van Berkum ’22 Computer science and history major from Everson, Washington

Landon's story

“I applied to be part of the Honors Program for several reasons, one being that I wished to give myself the best opportunity to be pushed and to strive to achieve the highest of honors. To not challenge myself at this stage would feel as though I’m selling myself short. What makes this program even more desirable is the faculty; I appreciate that my professors are scholars who wish to promote the growth of each student.”

Jonathan Johnson Jonathan Johnson ’21 Business administration and psychology major from Bellflower, California

Jonathan's story

“At Northwestern, I'm gaining a better and broader worldview. If your education doesn't change the way you live, then something is wrong. Northwestern changes lives.”

Josh Fischer Josh Fischer ’21 Computer science major from Cutler Bay, Florida

Josh's story

“My favorite part of Northwestern is the relationships I've built here. The love of Christ radiates through every person on campus, and all the Christ-centered friendships I've made reflect that love and have encouraged my spiritual growth.”

Schuyler Sterk Schuyler Sterk ’21 English teaching major from Belle Plaine, Minnesota

Schuyler's story

“What I love the most about Northwestern College is my fellow students and my professors. The atmosphere of Northwestern facilitates the development of close relationships, and that reason alone is why I came here.”

Noah Karmann Noah Karmann ’21 Political science and history major from Columbus, Nebraska

Noah's story

“I encourage students to choose Northwestern if they’re seeking intimate learning environments that focus on cultivating connections and interdisciplinary skills.”

Ali Almail Ali Almail ’21 Art and genetics, molecular and cellular biology major from Sanad, Bahrain

Ali's story

“Northwestern’s education faculty are amazing and constantly teach that faith goes hand-in-hand with learning at all levels. I really appreciate how quickly education majors are given hands-on experience in the classroom so we can determine early if this is the career path for us.”

Whitney Erickson Whitney Erickson ’23 Elementary education major from Story City, Iowa

Whitney's story

“I’m learning, being equipped professionally, and growing in my faith. I’m not only absorbing theory, but practicing what is being taught by professors, staff and other students.”

Celina Corrales Celina Corrales ’23 Christian Education/Youth Ministry and Worship Arts major from Choluteca, Honduras

Celina's story

“I love that Northwestern has become a second home and that no matter what, I’ll always have people who support me like family.”

Hayden Lee Hayden Lee ’22 Social work major from Long Beach, California

Hayden's story

“I encourage students to attend Northwestern if they’re looking for a place where they can stand out. The wonderful thing about Northwestern is that it is really easy to find your niche and form lasting friendships.”

Sofia Schaeffer Sofia Schaeffer ’22 Theatre major from Spearfish, South Dakota

Sofia's story

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