Apply for Financial Aid

Take it one step at a time.

students walking on campus sidewalk

Here's how to apply for financial aid:

1. Apply to UNW

    Before applying for financial aid at Northwestern, you must apply for admission and be accepted to UNW. Once accepted, Admissions will award you an academic scholarship and evaluate your eligibility for our discounts.

    2. Complete Your FAFSA

      Next, you’ll complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The Financial Aid Office will use the FAFSA to determine if you quality for any federal aid. You will receive a Financial Aid Award Letter that lets you know what you are eligible for in Federal, State, and UNW Aid. Here are three simple steps to help you submit your FAFSA.

      Obtain an FSA ID
      Visit to get your Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID). Both students and parents need an FSA ID to electronically sign the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and to apply for federal student loans.

      Fill out your FAFSA
      Visit to complete your Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

      Completing the FAFSA online is even easier with the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. If you are a dependent student, you will need your federal tax return and your parents' federal tax return. If you are an independent student you will need your federal tax return, and if married, your spouse's federal tax return. Allow up to two weeks after you have electronically submitted your tax forms for the information to be accessible from the FAFSA IRS Data Retrieval Tool.

      Submit your FAFSA online – School Code: 002371
      You are able to complete your FAFSA online at FAFSA, after October 1, in the year prior to your first college term. The 2024-25 FAFSA is expected to be available in December 2023. Sign your FAFSA online using your FSA ID and include Northwestern's School Code, 002371, to enable your FAFSA to be sent directly to our Financial Aid Office.

      Note: An additional step in the process is required if a student's FAFSA is selected by the Department of Education for a process called verification, in which additional income verification information is needed. If your FAFSA is selected for verification, the Office of Financial Aid Office will contact you for further information.

      3. Complete all other forms

        Complete and submit all forms requested by the Office of Financial Aid. Students will be awarded financial aid after all correct and completed financial aid application materials are submitted to financial aid. Award offers will be sent out within two weeks after the awarding cycle has started. All college aid is subject to available funding.

        4. Learn about billing, payment plans, and important date

          Payments, outstanding bills, account balances, and other information can be found on your student account.

          5. Explore additional financial aid opportunities

            Some students may qualify for additional financial aid opportunities. Explore scholarships, discounts, and grants.


            Check out our parent and guardian FAQs or Contact the Office of Financial Aid:

            Become a Student


            Visit Campus


            Contact Us