Apply for Financial Aid
Before you can apply for financial aid, you must first apply for admission and be accepted to University of Northwestern. Only admitted students can receive offers of financial aid.
Visit fsaid.ed.gov at any time to get your Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID).
Both students and parents need a FSA ID for electronically signing your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and to apply for federal student loans.
Financial aid is awarded based on the assumption that a student is enrolled for 15-18 traditional undergraduate credits. Students should contact the financial aid office if enrollment is different because this may impact financial aid eligibility. Students taking Undergraduate Paythways (UP) [online courses] should contact the financial aid office to find out how financial aid may be effected.
SPECIAL NOTE: For students planning to start at Northwestern in the Spring or Summer Semesters: Please complete Steps 1–4 as soon as you can in the academic year—ideally prior to your start of your semester. Northwestern can’t guarantee full funding with a later start in the academic year, but we will award all funding that is available to you.
All college aid is subject to available funding. Priority deadline is May 1.
Submit FAFSA Online (October–May)
University of Northwestern FAFSA Code: 002371
You will be able to complete the 2017/18 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) after October 1, 2016. You will use your 2015 tax information and your parents' 2015 tax information to complete the 17/18 FAFSA.
The Free Application for Student Financial Aid (FAFSA) is the federal application used to determine financial aid eligibility.
- Students must file a FAFSA each year.
- File as soon as possible after October 1 prior to the academic year you are applying for financial aid.
- Some financial aid funds are limited with funding going to the earliest eligible applicants.
- Students can continue to receive financial aid each year as long as they continue to meet federal, state and University of Northwestern financial aid eligibility requirements.
- Separate applications are required for scholarships and loans.
Submitting the FAFSA
FAFSA Information Resources:
- IRS Data Retrieval Tool Guide - Quick Instructions for using the new IRS tool.
- FAFSA Tips - Great tips to prevent delays by avoiding common mistakes on the FAFSA.
- FAFSA on the Web Worksheets - Organize all the required information before entering it online.
- Completing the FAFSA - Detailed answers for filling out each item number on the FAFSA.
Check the status or review the results of your processed FAFSA application by logging in to fafsa.ed.gov.
To be considered for federal financial aid, you must:
- be a US citizen or eligible noncitizen of the United States with a valid Social Security Number (SSN).
- be enrolled or accepted for enrollment.
- be making Satisfactory Academic Progress as determined by the federal and UNW policies.
- have financial need (except for Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans and Private Loans)
- not owe a refund on a federal grant or be in default on a federal education loan .
- be a Minnesota resident for state financial aid programs.
- be registered with Selective Service** If you are a male between the ages of 18 and 25;
Other requirements may apply. Contact the UNW Finanacial Aid Office for more information.
Selective Service Information
If you are a male who is at least 18 years old and born after December 31, 1959, you MUST be registered with Selective Service in order to receive Federal student aid. You may now register with Selective Services online.
After mid-November, and within one week after we have received all your documents and any questions have been resolved, you can expect to receive an award package in the mail with an offer of financial aid from UNW.
Reviewing Your Award Package
Your award package will include an award letter, which will list any financial aid for which you are eligible. It will also include instructions about authorizing your loans (if applicable). Assess your award package and determine whether you want to accept all of the financial aid you are offered, or portions of it.
Accepting Your Financial Aid
To accept your financial aid offer, please follow these steps:
1. Log on to TheROCK
2. Select the "Finances" tab
3. Select "Financial Aid Awards" link in upper-left page and choose Aid Year, and submit.
6. After accepting terms, select "Accept Award Offer" tab to accept, change, or decline loans offered
6. Important: If accepting your first Federal DL Loan (Sub and/or Unsub) at Northwestern, you must go to https://studentloans.gov-Log in with FSA ID, select and complete both "Complete Loan Counseling (Entrance)" and "Complete Loan Agreement (Master Promissory Note)".
7. To Request a Direct Parent PLUS Loan, a parent must go to https://studentloans.gov-the parent should log in with FSA ID. On the Home page select Apply for a Direct PLUS Loan then PLUS Application for Parents. Parents applying for first PLUS loan for their student must also complete the Parent PLUS MPN by returning to Home page, select Complete Loan Agreement (Master Promissory Note), then PLUS MPN for Parent.
NOTE: Access to theROCK is limited to students only and username and password are sent to students upon admission. Please contact us immediately to let us know if you make any changes to your housing, registration or FAFSA information. Awards are subject to change based on this information.
An educational loan is a long-term financing option that is repaid with interest after graduation. Terms and interest rates vary.
Your eligibility for loans is determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). When you receive your award package, you will see a list of the loans for which you are eligible as well as the funds available per loan. You may choose to borrow all, some or none of the loan amount.
Types of Loans
There are limited Federal Perkins Loan funds available to students with exceptional need. This loan has a 5% annual interest rate with a 10-year repayment period.
This loan is awarded to students who demonstrate financial need as determined by the FAFSA. The federal government pays interest on this loan while the student is enrolled in school (at least half-time, pursuing a degree or certificate) and during a six month grace period after leaving in-school status. The fixed interest rate for the life of the loan is based on the date of the first disbursement.
This loan is non-need based and the student borrower is responsible for the interest which accrues on the loan while enrolled and prior to repayment. The student may choose to make interest payments during the in-school period or capitalize the unpaid accrued interest when repayment begins.
This loan is non-need based loan available to parents of dependant students. Repayment begins 6-8 weeks after the Spring disbursement.
Some families choose to use private loans to help pay for college. Various lenders offer private loans for students who need to borrow more than their Direct subsidized/unsubsidized loan amounts.
Private loan interest rates may be higher or lower than federal loans. Private loan interest rates and terms are normally based on credit strength so applying with a credit-worthy co-signer is highly recommended.
Students/families pursuing private loans are encouraged to apply and compare rates and terms offered so they can make an informed decision regarding the best financing option for their particular situation.
If you have now completed your education here and have borrowed a Direct Loan (Subsidized or Unsubsidized Loans or Perkins Loan) while attending University of Northwestern, you need to complete exit counseling for your loans at studentloans.gov. Once you have completed the online exit counseling we will receive e-mail notification that you have completed the process.