Apply for Financial Aid

The steps to applying for financial aid at University of Northwestern.
Student at the Depot

The first step in applying for financial aid at Northwestern is to apply for admission and be accepted. Once accepted, Admissions will award you an academic scholarship and evaluate your eligibility for our discounts.

The second step is to 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.

How to Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

  1. 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.
  2. Fill out your FAFSA
    Completing the FAFSA online is even easier with the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. For the quickest processing, complete your IRS Tax Form 1040 electronically before completing the FAFSA. If married, you will also need to have your spouse's Form 1040. If you are a dependent student, you will need to have your parents' Form 1040. 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.
  3. Submit your FAFSA online – School Code: 002371
    You are able to complete your FAFSA online at, after October 1, in the year prior to your first college term. 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, northwestern will contact you with further information.

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. Priority deadline is May 1.

If you have questions, contact the Office of Financial Aid:

  • Financial Aid Forms

    Need to fill out a form for financial aid? Verification worksheets, student appeals, financial aid assistance forms, and more are available here.

    Read More
  • Discounts and Grants

    Read More
  • Calculator

    Loan Options

    Money not covered by scholarships or grants can be obtained through various loans; however, unlike grants and scholarships, a loan is a long-term financing option that is repaid with interest after...

    Read More
  • Student using a calculator

    Undergraduate Net Price Calculator

    Calculate your UNW scholarships and other financial aid. Choose your calculator and preview scholarship and other financial aid options.

    Read More
Northwestern shield logo
Become a Student
Location marker icon
Visit Campus
Contact icon
Contact Us