International Students

Students from around the world, welcome to Northwestern!

Because international students are working not only with Northwestern, but also with various financial institutions, your country's embassy, etc. the application process for international students can take up a full year. We encourage you to start the process early, and to complete step 1 as soon as possible.

Who is an international student?

An international student is one who wishes to attend college in the U.S. without residency or citizenship, typically on an F-1 visa.

Generally, this includes people who are: not U.S. citizens, not legal permanent residents or refugees, or dual citizens who completed their secondary schooling abroad.

NOTE: If you are a U.S. citizen living abroad, please apply as a first-time or transfer student.

In the past, the average amount international students have needed to supply is approximately 75% of the total cost to attend Northwestern. The 2017-18 school year tuition, room and board, and other necessary expenses will be approximately $44,204. Therefore, 75% of that figure is $33,153. Expenses for the 2018-19 school year will be slightly higher. International Students have paid these expenses through personal funds, sponsorships, and outside scholarships. 

Follow these steps to apply!

Step 1: Apply!

  1. Complete the application for University of Northwestern - St. Paul! 
  2. Complete the International Student Assistance Application Form.
  3. Take a standardized exam
  4. Provide test scores from a standardized exam. If English is your primary language, you should take the ACT or SAT exam. If English is not your primary language, arrange to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam or an test through the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Minimum test score requirements: ACT: 18, SAT: 860 (combined score of Critical Reading and Math), TOEFL: The minimum score for admission on the paper-based TOEFL is 530; the minimum score using the computer-based test is 197; and the minimum score on the Internet-based test is 71, IELTS: 5.5 or above.
  5. Send your admission counselor, Choua LeMay, your high school transcript. A copy of your high school transcript is required, listing courses taken, number of credits, and grades received. If the transcript is in another language, a school official or other authorized person must translate it into English. Information on the school’s grading system should accompany the transcript. A diploma or certificate of graduation may be required.
  6. If you are a transfer student, and have a transcript from an international college, you will need to get your transcript analyzed by a third-party such as the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services. Official transcripts from any and all colleges attended are required.
  7. Send a copy of your passport (via e-mail) to Choua LeMay

Contact Your Admission Counselor
Have a question? Contact me!

Choua LeMay
Admission Counselor
800-827-6827toll free
651-631-5593 direct

Step 2: Once you are admitted

If you are admitted, we will email you a financial aid award (based on aid application information) which will have a Financial Verification Form (FVF) attached to it. After completing the FVF, return it to Choua LeMay.

You must demonstrate the ability to cover the cost of an entire year of education. Note the tuition and fees for a year at Northwestern and remember that you will need to be prepared to pay similar amounts for each year that you are enrolled at UNW. 

Bank statement(s)

Unofficial copies can be sent from the student and family in order to start the I-20 process. However, an official copy must also be sent directly from the bank to UNW per Federal policy. Lastly, bank statement must clearly state account name and balance within the last 30 days. If possible, please have bank statements converted in US dollars.

Enrollment deposit 

You will be asked to transfer $4,000 (USD) to the University of Northwestern - St. Paul Student Accounts office. This amount will be credited to your university bill.

Contact Your Admission Counselor
Have a question? Contact me!

Choua LeMay
Admission Counselor
800-827-6827toll free
651-631-5593 direct

Step 3: I-20 and travel plan

You will then be issued an I-20, which you will need in order to acquire a student visa to study in the U.S.  Work with the U.S. Consulate or Embassy in your country to obtain your student F1 visa. If, for some reason you are unable to attend Northwestern, your $4,000 will be refunded.

Once you have acquired an F-1 student visa, you must contact your admission counselor, Choua LeMay, to inform her of your travel plans.

At that time, you will be guided through the process of registering for classes and making your housing arrangements.  

Housing policy 

Students age 25 or older cannot live on campus. They must make their own off-campus housing and transportation arrangements. However, students age 25 or younger and with less than 60 college credits are required to live on campus.


Contact Your Admission Counselor
Have a question? Contact me!

Choua LeMay
Admission Counselor
800-827-6827toll free
651-631-5593 direct


Financial Assistance

Most international students are not eligible to receive state or federal assistance. But you may be eligible to receive various forms of University of Northwestern aid based on the results of the International Student Financial Assistance Application.

International students may also qualify to work on campus for up to 20 hours per week.


Fall 2017 Semester:

July 3: Student has all paperwork completed and deposit paid
August 1: Final remaining balance paid
August 14-18: Student arrives in Minnesota and stays with host family
August 23: International Student Orientation
August 25: General Student Orientation
August 30: Fall classes start

Spring 2018 Semester:

November 1: Student has all paperwork completed and deposit paid
December 4: Final remaining balance paid
January 3-8: Student arrives in Minnesota and stays with host family
January 12: New Student Orientation
January 15: Spring classes start