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Understanding Northeastern University Admissions: SAT, ACT, and Acceptance Rates

Discover the key factors in Northeastern University admissions, including SAT and ACT scores, acceptance rates, and valuable tips for K-12 students.
How to get admitted to Northeastern University

For years, many students have dreamed of attending Northeastern University. Yet, it might not be easy to get there, as you have to stand out in a highly competitive field of applicants. Still, if you know all the ins and outs, have a strategy to help you excel in the SAT or ACT, understand the acceptance rate, and master the application process, a dream can become a reality. 

Whether you’re aiming for an Early Decision or simply exploring your options, this guide will provide valuable insights into what it takes to become a Husky. By the end, you’ll have a clear plan for your next steps. So, let’s begin!

What Is Northeastern University Acceptance Rate? 

Northeastern got a lot of applications for the 2023-2024 freshman class – 96,327, to be exact. They haven’t officially revealed how many students they’ll accept for the 2027 class, but there is something we know. They want to enroll about 2,600 students for the main campus and 200-300 for their campuses in London and California. So, if we do the math, it looks like the acceptance rate for the Boston campus might be only 5-6% for the class of 2027. That’s super low!

Just to compare, in the past, way more students got in:

  • Class of 2026: 6.8% 
  • Class of 2025: 18% 
  • Class of 2024: 20% 

One big reason why Northeastern University’s acceptance rate is so low is because they get way too many applications. They used to accept about 28% of the students who applied. This doesn’t mean they’re letting much fewer applicants in; it just shows that they’re getting more popular every year.

Northeastern Average SAT: The Range You Need to Know 

If you’re the SAT test-taker, you may wonder what scores are required for Northeastern. The first thing you have to know is that Northeastern University is test-optional, yet students may submit their standardized test results for consideration. Admitted students generally achieve SAT scores within the range of 1470 (25 percentile) to 1550 (75 percentile). Such statistics are our best friend, as nothing will tell you more about the SAT ranges you need to score. Use these numbers as your target goal when preparing for the exam. 

Knowing the average SAT scores is vital because they help you understand how tough the competition can be when applying for Northeastern University. Like other popular colleges, Northeastern looks at more than just your SAT scores when deciding who to admit. They also check your high school grades, the activities you’re involved in outside of school, the recommendations people write for you, and the essays you craft. In other words, they consider the whole picture instead of just one single indicator.

Northeastern ACT Scores Expectations

Even though Northeastern is test-optional, its official website still provides the average CTA scores, which are 33-35. If you score within this range, you are likelier to become an admitted student. Once you decide to take an ACT, make sure you know its structure and leave yourself enough time to prepare. 

GPA Requirements to Get Admitted to Northeastern University

One thing you can know for sure is that Northeastern will carefully consider your GPA when looking at your application. The average GPA of admitted students is 4.04. To get such a score, you need to be one of the top students in your class. That means you should aim for almost all A grades in your courses to stand out among other applicants. 

For an added advantage, you can take a good number of challenging courses like AP or IB classes, etc. Also, if you have some struggles, you can always get a tutor to improve your results and simplify the study process. If you’re a junior or senior, it can be tough to change your GPA at this stage. If it is equal to or lower than the school’s average of 4.04, aim for higher ACT/SAT scores and a great set of extracurriculars. It’s one of the ways to compete effectively with other applicants.

What Do You Need for Application? 

You should always check the updates to the Northeastern University admissions policies on the official website. Still, the basics you will most likely need are the following:

  • Official high school transcript. Your school counselor needs to send Northeastern University your high school report card. It should have your scores from 9th, 10th, and 11th grades. 
  • Standardized tests. Northeastern University is test-optional, but if you want, you can send your SAT or SAT score. They’ll use the best one if you send both types of tests.
  • Counselor recommendation and teacher evaluation. One teacher recommendation and one school counselor recommendation will be more than enough to get you an extra point during your admissions.
  • Self-reported academic record (SRAR). Send your coursework and grades directly to the university. It is possible to do this through an application status check. 
  • English proficiency. Send your English language test results. As stated, all students, regardless of citizenship, must demonstrate English language proficiency when applying to Northeastern.


Types of Applications: What Suits You? 

Is getting admitted to Northeastern University your main goal? Then, you need an Early Decision admission program. But if you are not sure, let’s see all the available options: 

  • Early decision I and II. This is a great way to show that you are dedicated to becoming a part of the university. As they say, “You show dedication to us, and we will show dedication to you.” Besides, it will improve your chances of getting admitted. 
  • Early action. Unlike the previous option, this one doesn’t bind you to join the university if you get admitted. Still, if Northeastern is among your top choices, you can choose this type of application. 
  • Regular decision. The Admissions Committee will look at your grades from the first part of your senior year. What are the benefits of this alternative? You’ll have more time to complete your application.

Important: Don’t forget that you have to pay the application fee. It is a basic procedure that costs $75. You also must know it is non-refundable. 

Source: Northeastern University 

So, whether you’re aiming for an Early Decision, Early Action, or Regular Decision, Northeastern offers choices to suit your preferences and circumstances. 


Keep in mind that Northeastern looks for more than just grades. They want students to bring unique qualities to their community. So, work hard, make your application stand out, and show how much you love learning. If you do it right, your dream of getting admitted to Northeastern University could come true. Good luck on your journey to becoming a Husky!



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