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Northwestern University

How this student rated the school
Educational QualityC- Faculty AccessibilityA-
Useful SchoolworkC- Excess CompetitionD
Academic SuccessC Creativity/ InnovationD
Individual ValueF University Resource UseD
Campus Aesthetics/ BeautyD+ FriendlinessD
Campus MaintenanceC Social LifeC-
Surrounding CityA- Extra CurricularsD
Describes the student body as:

Describes the faculty as:

Quite Bright
Lowest Rating
Individual Value
Highest Rating
Faculty Accessibility
She cares more about Individual Value than the average student.
Date: Apr 13 2004
Major: Music - Performance (This Major's Salary over time)
A nightmare. Worst placebo for an educational experience that could be contrived by big business. First of all the department was a joke - kids were being admitted who could barely perform at a junior high school level, as long as their parents were willing to fork over full tuition. Next they switched the mandatory school-orchestra concerts to Saturday nights to attract NU's donors. Never occurred to them that musicians (hello, what they were supposedly training us to be) depended on Saturday night gigs for a living. So, we were penalized for being employed in our major! Skipping a concert was an automatic failing grade. The dean of the music dept. heard my keyboard placement exam, told me and the professor I placed out of the course - then I received an 'unsatisfactory' grade and was slapped into academic probation (other factors did apply) without bothering to discuss it with me. That's about how accountable the administration was. Northwestern's crowning achievement was to rescind my scholarship after allowing/encouraging me to attend all my classes in the first quarter of my senior year, then demand full price payment. They had awarded me 'independent student' status with the receipt of a signed affidavit from my parents (according to very specific instructions from NU) that they did not support me financially. Then they yanked my scholarship because they claimed they had not received a full financial disclosure in time (demanded at the 11th hour) from my parents - after telling them it would not be necessary! The whole time the personnel in the financial aid office were telling me not to miss any classes. When they decided just to charge me full pop, the FA dept. told me the personnel had to right to advise me to attend classes, but would not own up to it being their mistake. I have been trying to resolve this with them for 17 years. You would not believe the lies I have received on paper from NU. They denied ever having a policy for independent students, claimed I signed a promissory note agreeing to pay full tuition, and claimed they had been trying to collect from my parents (they never did). Then they also claimed they could not locate me to collect from me - yet my parents have had the same phone number for 20 years. Once in a while they still have some felcher call and try to collect from me - the last time while I was moving cross-country, was 7 months pregnant and had gotten out of the hospital THAT DAY from emergency surgery. Some necrofelcher from Northwestern called me up chirping that they would keep trying to collect full tuition for the rest of my life - even bankrruptcy would not discharge the debt. Needless to say they will not release my transcripts so I can just finish my degree anywhere else - some competent school.

Think it was just me? That I was some embittered outcast? I met another victim from the music department - a cellist -a few years later. They had pulled EXACTLY the same number on him - decided after the fact not to fund his scholarship, then charged him full price. Instead of getting a job to which his degree would have entitled him, he was working on the loading dock at the public library. I know some other stuff about people who quit but don't want to name names.

Bottom line - if they are going to treat the music students like they are priveleged to join NU's country club, (you pay to be in regardless of your qualifications), at least they ought to have a credible music department. It ain't nothing to brag about - some instruments just plain sucked - and you could get 10x better education at a REAL music school for a lot less. If you are serious about learning to play your instrument go elsewhere - you don't need the administrative hassle. If you just plain want to attend NU, you don't have to be able to play your way out of a paper bag as long as your parents have $40K and nothing better to do with it than watch you tread water as a musician for four years.

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