Application instructions For citizens of other nations

(not including those with permanent resident status granted by the U.S. government)

Applicants are considered based on their probable success at Northwestern College as indicated primarily by high school grades, class rank and test scores.

Applications should be submitted by May 15 for the following fall semester. However, to receive priority financial aid consideration, submit your materials by March 1.

Any forms referenced below that must be mailed should be sent to:

Office of Admissions
Northwestern College
101 7th Street SW
Orange City, IA 51041

(To expedite your application process, you can scan and email the documents to the admissions office. Printed copies of any emailed documents still need to be mailed to the address above as well.)

Steps to apply

  1. Apply online

  2. Arrange for official English-language copies of your high school and/or college transcript(s) to be sent to Northwestern College. These should include your graduation date, cumulative grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) and class rank, if available. They must include a signature and the official seal of the school sending them. Unofficial or scanned documents can be submitted prior to graduation, but admission will be conditional until we receive your official documents. (College credits earned elsewhere will need to be evaluated by International Credential Evaluations. To initiate an evaluation, you must send Northwestern a) transcripts in both their original language and in a translator-signed, English-language translation, and b) funds to pay the InCRED fee for evaluation [approx. $200]. Once we have received the transcripts and the fee, we will submit both to InCred; evaluation could take up to 6 months, so start early.)
  3. Provide us with your Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) or American College Test (ACT) scores. If you’ve already taken the test, your score may be printed on your high school transcript. If you’ve not taken either of these tests and don’t know whether you can,  contact us to discuss alternatives. International students who are non-native speakers of English may complete their application file with a TOEFL or IELTS score report instead of SAT or ACT scores.
  4. For those international students who do not demonstrate admissible English proficiency on the SAT or ACT, we require your score reports from TOEFL (; NWC code: 6490) or IELTS (; NWC code: 8494). Northwestern’s English proficiency admission standards are:
     Internet TOEFLPaper TOEFLIELTS
    Full Admit 79 550 6.5
    Provisional Admit 62 500 5.5
    ESL Certificate 32 400 3.5

    • If you achieve a Full Admit, no ESL course work will be required.
    • If you achieve a Provisional Admit, you will be admitted with the expectation that you take ESL courses and progress to degree course work within a year. (Up to one year of ESL course work can be counted toward graduation requirements.)
    • If your scores are at the ESL Certificate levels, you’re eligible for enrollment in the one-year ESL certificate program only.

Next steps …

Once you’ve applied and are accepted, you can begin thinking about how to pay for college. We believe international students make an important contribution to our campus, so we support your college goals by offering some financial aid—both need- and merit-based—to all international students. Visit our tuition and financial aid website for information.