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Northwest Missouri State University

Northwest Facts

Last updated on July 7, 2014

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The Location

  • Northwest Missouri State University is located in Maryville, Mo. (population: 11,972)
  • Founded in 1905
  • Northwest’s main campus: 370 acres
  • Northwest’s campus is designated the Missouri Arboretum
  • University Farm: 448 acres
  • Rural lakefront: 315 acres
  • Northwest Kansas City Center at the MCC-Maple Woods campus offers graduate degrees in education and business.
  • Northwest St. Joseph Center at the Historic Green Acres Building offers graduate degrees in education, business and science.

Enrollment Statistics

  • 6,485 students
  • 5,542 undergraduate, 943 graduate
  • 63.4% in-state, 27.3% out-of-state
  • 5.5% international enrollment
  • 12% minority enrollment
  • Students represent 45 states and 30 countries
  • Average ACT Score: 22
  • Average High School GPA: 3.36
  • Average Admissions Index: 129.72

Academic Information

  • Northwest offers: 124 majors, 72 minors and 19 pre-professional programs
  • 67% freshman retention rate, considerably higher than national and regional averages.
  • Based on 2012-13 data, 97.5% of our graduates find employment or continue their education within six months of graduation.
  • Northwest's student loan default rate is 5.6%, compared to Missouri's average rate of 8.6% and a national average of 9.1%.
  • 57% graduation rate, 19% higher than the national average
  • Average class size of 27
  • 70% of Northwest classes have fewer than 30 students.
  • 247 full-time faculty members
  • 95% of tenure and tenure-track faculty have the highest degree in their field.
  • 100% of classes taught by professionals, not graduate assistants
  • 50% of Northwest’s regular courses are web enhanced.
  • 22-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio
  • Laptops and textbooks are included in tuition at Northwest, ensuring that all students have access to the tools they need to be successful in the classroom. The textbook rental program saves students an average of $1,168 per year.

Student Life

  • 90% of first-year students at Northwest rate their experience as “good” or “excellent,” and 87% of seniors said they would choose Northwest again if they could start over their college career, according to findings in the 2012 National Survey of Student Engagement.
  • 41% of students are living on campus
  • More than 70% of students actively participate in one or more of Northwest’s 149 student organizations.
  • 14% of students participate in Greek Life
  • Students gave about 25,000 hours of their time to their community in the 2009-2010 academic year.
  • Students have about 1,200 opportunities to build their resumes right on campus through student employment.
  • Northwest named to 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for its commitment to service-learning and civic engagement. Northwest has been named to the honor roll six times since its inception in 2006.


  • Division: NCAA Division II
  • Mascot: Bobby Bearcat
  • Colors: Green and White
  • 74% Student-Athlete Academic Success Rate
  • 59% Student-Athlete Graduation Rate
  • Women's basketball team advanced to the 2011 NCAA Division II Final Four
  • Wrestling club won the 2011 National Collegiate Wrestling Association Division II National Championship and was runner-up in 2012
  • 2010, 2012 and 2013 Universal Cheerleaders Association national champions
  • 1998, 1999, 2009 and 2013 NCAA Division II football national champions, four-time national runner-up 
  • Myles Burnsides named 2009 National-Scholar Athlete of the Year


  • More than 70,000 alumni and friends
  • 18 Alumni Chapters throughout the United States and 1 in Japan
  • In FY10, The Northwest Foundation recorded the second best year in the foundation’s history, raising more than $6 million.
  • In FY10, The Northwest Foundation awarded 852 scholarships, providing $601,287 in support to students


  • Ranked among top five energy-reducing schools by 2013 Campus Conservation Nationals.
  • Winner of the 2011 Annual Recycling Award from the Missouri State Recycling Program, which recognizes outstanding contributions in a series of recycling collection, waste or recycled content procurement.
  • The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, a mixed use academic and business incubator, winner of the Southern Growth Policies 2010 Innovator Award. This marked Northwest’s second-straight year to win the award.
  • Since 1982, Northwest has been on the cutting edge of alternative fuels. Approximately 75-85% of the University’s thermal energy needs are provided through alternative fuels, saving taxpayers more than $13 million since the program’s inception.
  • The Horace Mann Laboratory School and the Phyllis and Richard Leet Center for Children and Families provide a clinical experience for pre-service teachers and a diverse and interactive learning environment for children ages three through sixth grade.
  • The Department of Agricultural Sciences offers students hands-on experience at its 448-acre R.T. Wright Farm, which is home to beef, swine, dairy, poultry and sheep herds, as well as row, silage and hay crops. Students also gain experience at the campus orchard, Horticulture Complex, a composting facility and on the campus grounds as the Missouri State Arboretum.
  • The Department of Communication and Mass Media offers students hands-on experience through two campus radio stations, a campus TV station, a semi-independent broadcast production company, and award-winning student publications including a newspaper, yearbook and online magazine.