This B-School Has A 5.6% Acceptance Rate. Here’s What It Takes to Get In

Northeastern University’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business reported a dramatic decline in acceptance rate between 2021 and 2022, down more than 10 percentage points to 5.73%

This School Saw A 5.6% Acceptance Rate. Here’s What It Takes to Get In

Gaining admission into Northeastern University is about as difficult as getting into some Ivy League schools now.

The Massachusetts-based university had an acceptance rate of just 5.6% this past year—making it nearly as competitive as Ivy League schools such as the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School (4.50%) and Cornell University’s Dyson SC Johnson (4.79%).

Applications to Northeastern University for the fall 2024 semester have surged past 98,000, marking a significant 53% increase since 2019. Over 90,000 students have applied each year since 2022. Once considered a “commuter school,” Northeastern is now a nationally-recognized university that many students strive to attend.

“Northeastern was a reach school for me, but it was one of my top schools,” Chloe McKinstry, an incoming first-year music industry major, tells The Huntington News.


Experts say the increase in applications to Northeastern may be due to the university’s lack of supplemental essays, which gives students an incentive to apply.

“There are always going to be students that say, ‘Northeastern is a little bit of a reach for me’ or ‘It isn’t my first choice school,’ but there’s no extra essay,” Joan Casey, a college counselor and founder of Educational Advocates College Consulting, tells The Huntington News.

In addition to no supplemental essay, Northeastern is also test-optional—meaning applicants aren’t required to submit SAT or ACT scores for admission.

“We are unlikely to put that in as a requirement because … the Northeastern philosophy is about flexibility,” Ken Henderson, Northeastern Chancellor and Senior Vice President for Learning, says. “If you choose to do something, great, if you choose not to do it, that’s fine. It’s the same as being test-optional for SATs and ACTs. If you choose to do it, great. That can be an additive to your case. If you don’t, that’s fine as well.”

The flexibility of applying to Northeastern, experts say, makes the school an ideal choice for many applicants.

“A school’s supplementary requirements affected my desire to apply a good amount,” Siena Rossi, an incoming first-year nursing major, tells The Huntington News.


If you’re intent on getting accepting into Northeastern, you’ll need to have competitive numbers.

The university has an average GPA of 4.04, which means you’ll need nearly all straight A’s if you’re intent on competing for a spot.

“Focus on taking challenging courses, such as honors, Advanced Placement (AP), or International Baccalaureate (IB) courses, and aim for high grades,” according to collegevine. “A solid GPA demonstrates that you can handle the rigor of college coursework.”

While Northeastern is test-optional, submitting a strong SAT or ACT score will only help improve your chances. The 25th percentile SAT score at Northeastern is 1450, while the 75th percentile score is 1535. In other words, a score of 1450 places you below average, whereas a score of 1535 is above average. You’ll want to score at least 1450 on the SAT if you do choose to submit a test score.

Sources: The Huntington News, P&Q, collegevine, PrepScholar

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