Become a Raider
Become a Raider
Become a Raider
Start your standout story.

Your step-by-step guide

Your step-by-step guide

Your step-by-step guide

The journey from high school to college may feel daunting, but we’re here to guide you through every step.


Are you a future Raider? Visiting campus is the best way to start figuring that out. Explore our visit options and choose the one that fits you best.

Visit Raider Nation

If Northwestern seems like it could be the college for you, apply! Our online application is free and easy to complete.

Apply to become a Raider
($200; refundable through May 1)

As soon as you’re accepted, we recommend you deposit within 2 weeks. We use your deposit date to determine your spot on the list for preferred housing and first-semester courses*. It costs $200 to deposit, and your deposit is fully refundable through May 1 if you choose not to attend NWC. (*You’ll receive a housing + roommate survey and course preference survey in the spring.)

Deposit and secure your spot
File the FAFSA

For most families, filing the FAFSA is the first step toward affording the college you want, enabling you to receive federal and state grants and loans. It also helps us determine what NWC scholarships and grants will help you be a Raider. You can file starting in December. We recommend you file as early as possible so we can get you a financial aid package early in the new year. (If your family isn’t filing a FAFSA, let us know so we can get you a financial aid package quickly.)

FAFSA instructions
Attend RED101

Once you’ve applied and been accepted, you’ll be invited to RED101—our deep-dive visit experience for seniors seriously considering a Raider future. There are 4 options between November and April. Space is limited, so register early to get your preferred date.

Choose a RED101 date
Be a Raider!

When you’ve decided to be a Raider, let us know! Starting in May, we’ll guide you through an enrollment checklist that will take you all the way to Raider Nation Orientation weekend in August.

Email your counselor to commit
Checklist available in Spanish