Northwest Nazarene University was originally established by Eugene Emerson in 1913 as the Idaho Holiness School for Bible training. After two subsequent name changes, Northwest Nazarene was born as a private, degree-granting liberal arts college in 1917. Two decades later, it became the first college affiliated with the Church of the Nazarene to become accredited. Endowed for $21.7 million, NNU now stands as a Christian co-educational, master’s-level institution in the CCCU with over 1,300 undergraduates and 700 post-graduates. Occupying 90 urban acres, Northwest Nazarene is located in Nampa, Idaho’s third-largest city, just 20 miles west of Boise.
According to the U.S. News, Northwest Nazarene University is the 44th best regional college, 25th most veteran-friendly school, and 25th top value in the West. In particular, NNU houses America’s 165th best undergraduate engineering program and 123rd top online graduate education degrees. The Princeton Review included Northwest Nazarene within its 126 “Best Western Schools” for 2017. On Niche, NNU stands as the country’s 24th most conservative college with the 61st best college campus. College Factual ranked Northwest Nazarene University in the top 10 percent nationally for religious studies. Washington Monthly honored NNU as the West’s 93rd best bang for the buck too.
Northwest Nazarene University Accreditation Details
Last reviewed in 2016, Northwest Nazarene University holds regional accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). This third-party agency accredits institutions in seven states, including Idaho, with recognition from the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Additional discipline-specific approvals are held from:
• Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)
• Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
• National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
• Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)
• National Association of Schools of Music (NASM)
• Association of Theological Schools (ATS)
• Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
• Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
Northwest Nazarene University Application Requirements
Getting into Northwest Nazarene University isn’t easy with the “selective” admission rate of 55 percent. Prospective first-year Crusaders should graduate from a licensed high school with a ranking in the top 50 percent. In lieu of a diploma, freshmen can submit a minimum GED standard score of 450 or above. Homeschooled applicants must present a transcript of courses, including four units each of English and math. Admission is generally granted for a secondary GPA of 2.5 or higher, though the mean is 3.54. Undergraduates given unconditional acceptance also typically score above 18 on the ACT or 1270 on the SAT.
Students attending other regionally accredited institutions with 28+ college-level, not remedial, credits can transfer. Incoming students with less must abide by the above freshman criteria. Being in good standing and carrying a minimum 2.0 GPA is required. Adult programs, such as the RN-BSN, will require finishing an associate degree with grades of “C” or better. International students hail from Kenya to Korea, but verification of English proficiency is needed with a IELTS score above 5.0 or equivalent. Graduate admission at NNU depends on a regionally accredited bachelor’s degree. If students’ cumulative GPA is below 3.0, taking the GRE or GMAT is expected. M.Ed. applicants must already hold state teaching certification.
Northwest Nazarene University has an August 15th deadline for Fall and December 15th deadline for Spring admission. The following materials must be emailed or mailed at least one week before classes begin:
• Completed online NNU application
• Check or money order for $50 fee
• Official sealed transcripts from each school
• College entrance exam scores
• Two online recommendation forms
• One- to two-page original essay
Tuition and Financial Aid
Full-time undergraduates at NNU are charged $14,075 per semester or $28,150 annually. Studying part-time will cost $1,200 per semester credit. Bachelor’s students pay an additional $500 each year for activity, technology, and facilities fees. Unless waived, health insurance plans cost $1,855 each. Room and board is estimated to cost $6,800 yearly. The annual cost of attendance for undergraduates is roughly $37,355. Graduate students pay an average tuition price of $8,694 each year, but costs vary by program. For example, the MBA bills students $560 per credit while the MSN charges $595 per credit.
The NCES applauds Northwest Nazarene for awarding financial aid packages to 99 percent of new full-time students for $19.4 million yearly. NNU Crusaders graduate with an average debt of $28,000 from Perkins, Stafford, and Grad PLUS loans. However, many free assistance programs like the Pell Grant, FSEOG Grant, TEACH Grant, or Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant are available. Residents of the “Gem State” strike gold with the Idaho Opportunity Scholarship, Idaho Governor’s Cup, and Tschudy Family Scholarship. Federal Work-Study jobs provide approximately $2,200 for employment in programs like America Reads. Institutional awards, such as the Wesley Scholarship, Riley Scholarship, Nazarene PK/MK Grant, Trustees’ Church Matching Scholarship, and Engineering Excellence Scholarship, are also abundant.
Northwest Nazarene is a small, close-knit “College of Distinction” rooted in the liberal arts tradition that provides academic choice with over 60 fields of study. Some unique undergrad majors include the B.A. in Cultural Studies, B.A. in Kinesiology Education, B.A. in Philosophy and Religion, and B.A. in Worship and Music Ministry. NNU Online provides high-caliber, adult-oriented programs like an A.A. in Liberal Studies. There are 17 graduate degrees ranging from the M.S. in Clinical Counseling to the M.A. in Spiritual Formation. Courses have an average class size of 17, so meaningful connections are made with professors of the Christian faith.
Personal and spiritual growth at Northwest Nazarene University extends well beyond the classroom. Each student adheres to lifestyle requirements, which include attending chapel service in Swayne Auditorium weekly. Mission trips are arranged yearly to Poland, Argentina, Haiti, and more. Crusaders must complete an approved cross-cultural experience, such as the Chinese Culture Series or Native American Powwow. CCCU off-campus programs like the Los Angeles Film Studies Center are available. Future computer experts can attend the HACK_R Bootcamp in the Doceō Center. Its Nampa location also places students near the Snake River Stampede Rodeo, World Center for Birds of Prey, Boise National Forest, and Egyptian Theatre.
Over 40 student-run organizations contribute to NNU’s campus life. Depending on their interests, residents may help the disabled with Angels Club, groove with Swing Dance Club, study the mind in Psychology Club, or join the award-winning Students in Free Enterprise team. Quirky annual events like the Fresheree Talent Show, The Woman is Required to Pay (TWIRP) Group Date, and Rootbeer Fest offer good, clean fun. Students cheer on their 13 varsity teams in the NCAA Division II Great Northwest Athletic Conference. Northwest Nazarene University also has intramural leagues for everything from ultimate Frisbee to racquetball.