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Northwestern College


Northwestern CollegeLocated in the small town of Orange City, Iowa, Northwestern College is a private liberal arts school that has an affiliation with the Reformed Church in America. Founded in 1882 by that religious organization, it served as an alternative for students interested in pursuing higher education opportunities while still remaining committed to their religious beliefs and moral values. Though located in a rural area with a small population, the college still provides lots of opportunities for students, including service learning programs and study abroad options. It offers many programs during the spring semester that let students give back and do service learning projects in the United States and abroad. A similar program takes place during the summer session too.

Northwestern College has a total population of right around 1,200 students and has a low ratio of professors to students. It also has a Vision for Learning policy that encourages students to talk about their faith and religious beliefs and to respond to the calls they receive from God. The college now has three residence halls available for male students, two residence halls for female students and several coed dormitories for students living on its campus. Students can participate in clubs, organizations and activities that include an a cappella choir, student symphony, football team and basketball teams. America’s Best Colleges included Northwestern College within the top five of the best colleges in the Midwest.

Resource: 50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest

Northwestern College Accreditation Details

One important thing to know about any college or university is whether it has accreditation. Northwestern College received accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS). NCACS accreditation is a form of regional accreditation that gives the college that right to present graduating students with college degrees. Accreditation from this organization also allows students to get financial aid. NCACS requires that the college apply for a renewal of its accreditation at least once every decade.

Northwestern College also has specialty accreditation for both its teaching education program and its nursing program. Its nursing program has accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The teaching program offered by Northwestern College has accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation in Teacher Education. This accreditation covers the program itself and the observation and student teaching experiences that students do in the field. Accreditation also comes from:

  • Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education
  • International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education
  • Council on Social Work Education

Northwestern College Application Requirements

As Northwestern College offers an online application, apply for admission is easy. Prospective students should look at the requirements for new students first. The college requires that students have a grade point average of 2.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale and that they receive a minimum score of 18 on the ACT or an equivalent score on the SAT. High school graduates can complete the entire application online, but the college also lets them download a paper application and send it through the mail. They must then submit an official high school transcript and an official standardized test score. Though Northwestern College accepts both the ACT and SAT, students only need to take and submit scores from one of those tests. The college recommends that students file the FAFSA immediately after receiving an acceptance letter.

Northwestern College also accepts students who are less traditional. Home school students will need to supply the college with a list of courses they completed in lieu of an official transcript. Transfer students, who are those transferring to Northwestern after taking classes online or on another campus, will need to submit a transcript from their college that shows all the classes they took and the grades received in those courses.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Full-time Northwestern Students take a minimum of 12 semester hours to a maximum of 18 semester hours of classes each semester. Tuition for those students is just over $29,000 a year. Students who take more or less classes are responsible for paying a fee based on the number of credits taken. Room and board starts at around $9,000 a year, which brings the total cost up to around $38,000 annually. Those living in some residence halls can reduce their annual costs by signing up for a combination package that comes with campus housing and a meal plan.

Students who file the FAFSA will receive a notification letter from the college that tells them exactly how much aid they will get for the coming year. More than 90% of Northwestern College students receive financial aid every year, and the average size package is nearly $25,000. This can include more than $5,000 in government loans and additional money from grants and scholarships. The college will even estimate the amount that a student can get from college scholarships before he or she submits an application. Northwestern College also has a work-study program that lets students make extra money during the school year.

Student Experience

Northwestern College offers a completely unique experience for its students. Its spring and summer service learning opportunities allow students to help those living in poverty stricken areas of the United States, but the programs also feature some opportunities that take place overseas. The college offers several unique degree programs too including one in Music and Worship Leadership. Designed for those who want to lead others in their own churches and those with a passion for music, this program requires that students take part in one of the bands or ensemble music groups at the school. Students will also gain course credit for piano lessons and music instruction courses they take.

Among the more traditional college programs available is its nursing degree program. The college designed its Bachelor of Science in Nursing program for students with little experience in nursing and those who work as registered nurses or have an associate’s in nursing. Its nursing lab features six simulators that let students see what it’s like working with real patients before they do any fieldwork. All nursing students must do a minimum of 800 hours of work outside of the college, but the college provides students with the opportunity to do clinical rotations in local hospitals and to do service learning projects to meet those hours. Northwestern College also offers nursing students with practical guidance and tips on passing the national nursing licensing exam.