You can’t trust what you read these days, especially on the internet. People have said that for a long time, but now it also seems that applies to “official” university information. Regrettably, Northeastern University provides this example. A fine institution with many outstanding programs, whose undergraduate programs are well respected and rare among universities because of its famous coop program. Unfortunately, the website gives very mixed signals that lead to disappointment among disheartened freshman applicants that are among their “most highly accomplished applicants.” NEU has not been known for its generous scholarship policies and support for international students. This helps understand why.
Northeastern University Scholarships
From their website about scholarships, the school identifies merit scholarships ranging from $5-20 thousand per year. Importantly, the school says the top 25% of admitted freshman can be considered. This language shows that students in the top 25% could get a merit scholarship.
The top 25 percent of admitted freshman applicants may be considered for competitive merit scholarships, including the prestigious Dean’s Scholarship. These scholarship awards range from $5,000-$20,000 for the first year. In future years, amounts are awarded on a per semester basis, ranging from $5,000-$10,000 per full semester.
Northeastern Honors Program
Then there is the Honors Program. This program is clearly for exceptional students. Indeed, Northeastern says it reviews the top 10% of incoming freshman for consideration. This is truly an elite pool. Northeastern refers to students accepted to the honors Program as their “most highly accomplished applicants” with “outstanding academic and extracurricular credentials“.
Applicants who have outstanding academic and extracurricular credentials may be invited to join the University Honors Program.
Admitted honors students
Admitted students invited to join the Program are our most highly accomplished applicants, and have been notified of selection in the admission letter.
Northeastern University automatically reviews the top 10% of the incoming freshmen class for admittance into the Honors program. The reviewed materials include high school academic records, such as GPA and SAT/ACT scores, and leadership and community service.
It is clear that a student admitted to the Honors Program is within the top 10% of the incoming freshman pool. If the student does not receive a merit scholarship, it is inconsistent with the prestige of the program. It is also inconsistent with expectations the university itself sets while communicating with the public and raises the question of what is true in their advertising.
I like Northeastern University, but having worked with a very disappointed student admitted to their honors program without merit scholarship support of any kind, I really wonder what their true scholarship policy is. It doesn’t seem to match public statements online.