Northwestern admits strongest class yet

April 19, 2011

Northwestern University in Qatar welcomed the strongest group of admitted students in the University’s three-year history to campus last week.

The group of more than 80 visited campus for Preview NU, an event held in their honor. This year, the class’ comprehensive admission score was more than 20 percent higher than in years past, said Mounir Ouanaimi, Northwestern’s director of admissions.

“Northwestern admitted a very competitive class this year,” Ouanaimi said. “Each year we’ve seen an increase in both the number and academic prowess of applicants and this year was no exception.”

The comprehensive admissions score is an internal measure that Northwestern uses to identify the strongest candidates and takes into account standardized test scores, high school grades, essays, recommendations and a personal interview.

The increase in average scores for admitted students is all the more impressive because a greater number of students were admitted this year than in years past, which is evidence of huge gains in the number of qualified applicants over all, Ouanaimi said.

The competition for admittance was so tough that some students who applied to Northwestern last year and were admitted, but declined to attend failed to win admission this year after applying a second time, Ouanaimi said.

“The pool of qualified applicants was deeper than ever,” he said. “While every class we’ve admitted so far has been exceptional, we’re proud that the University continues to attract more and more qualified students each year.”

The admitted students were clearly excited by the possibility of becoming Northwestern students.

Alanna Alexander decided to apply to Northwestern after attending a summer workshop at the University in which she learned how to shoot video and tell stories with moving images, she said. She applied to the journalism program.

“I’m really, really excited about Northwestern,” Alexander said. “I love journalism because it’s about people and because there is always something happening – things people are doing, new ideas, new inventions.”

Alexander is looking forward not only to the academics at Northwestern, but also to the extra-curricular activities available to all students in Education City.

“You have the chance to grow as an overall person through the activities that are here: recreational photography, community service and everything else,” she said.

In addition to being exceptionally strong academically, this year’s group of admitted students also represented more than 25 countries – including the United States, China and countries around the region.

For the third year in a row, more Qataris were admitted than any other nationality.

Admitted students have until May 5 to submit a deposit and enrollment form to hold their spot in Northwestern’s Class of 2015.