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How Aid is Determined

A student's financial aid award is established on an individual basis and depends upon the cost of attendance and the expected student contribution.

Policies by program

Feinberg School of Medicine (MD Program)

A student's financial aid award is established on an individual basis and depends upon the cost of attendance and the expected family contribution. The amount that remains after the family contribution has been applied towards the cost of attendance is considered the student's institutional need. In short:

Cost of attendance minus expected family contribution equals institutional need.

Cost of attendance

The cost of attendance changes each year, and it includes tuition, fees, room and board, transportation, and other figures.

Expected family contribution

To determine the family contribution, Northwestern examines aid application materials and notes any special circumstances.

If you are an NU Dependent student, the expected family contribution determined in the first year (which is used to determine need-based grant assistance only and does not affect federal loan eligibility) includes both a parental contribution and a student contribution:

  • The parental contribution is based on a number of factors, including the parents' income, assets, and family size.
  • The student contribution includes a portion of their personal assets and savings from summer employment.

If you are an NU Independent, the expected family contribution includes only the student contribution, which is based on income, asset and family size.

Pritzker School of Law

A student's financial aid award is established on an individual basis and depends upon the cost of attendance and the expected family contribution. The amount that remains after the family contribution has been applied towards the cost of attendance is considered the student's institutional need. In short:

Cost of attendance minus expected family contribution equals institutional need.

Cost of attendance

The cost of attendance changes each year, and it includes tuition, fees, room and board, transportation, and other figures.

Expected Family Contribution

To determine the family contribution, Northwestern examines aid application materials and notes any special circumstances.

The expected family contribution generally depends on the student's marital status, number of dependents in school, and the student (and spouse's) taxable and non-taxable income and assets. However, if you are a JD applicant and are considered NU Dependent, the expected family contribution determined in the first year includes both a parental contribution and a student (and spousal) contribution:

  • The parental contribution is based on a number of factors, including the parents' income, assets, and family size.
  • The student (and spousal) contribution includes a portion of their personal assets and income.

Kellogg Evening & Weekend MBA

A student's financial aid award is established on an individual basis and depends upon the cost of attendance and the expected family contribution. The amount that remains after the family contribution has been applied towards the cost of attendance is considered the student's institutional need. In short:

Cost of attendance minus expected family contribution and Outside Resources equals total financial aid eligibility.

Cost of attendance

The cost of attendance changes each year, and it includes tuition, fees, room and board, transportation, and other figures.

Expected Family Contribution

To determine the family (student) contribution, Northwestern examines aid application materials and notes any special circumstances.

The expected family contribution depends on the student's marital status, number of dependents in school and taxable and non-taxable income and assets.

Physical Therapy Program

A student's financial aid award is established on an individual basis and depends upon the cost of attendance and the expected family contribution. The amount that remains after the family contribution has been applied towards the cost of attendance is considered the student's institutional need. In short:

Cost of attendance minus expected family contribution equals institutional need.

Cost of attendance

The cost of attendance changes each year, and it includes tuition, fees, room and board, transportation, and other figures.

Expected Family Contribution

To determine the family (student) contribution, Northwestern examines aid application materials and notes any special circumstances.

The expected family contribution depends on the student's marital status, number of dependents in school and taxable and non-taxable income and assets.

Prosthetics/Orthotics Program

A student's financial aid award is established on an individual basis and depends upon the cost of attendance and the expected family contribution. The amount that remains after the family contribution has been applied towards the cost of attendance is considered the student's institutional need. In short:

Cost of attendance minus expected family contribution equals institutional need.

Cost of attendance

The cost of attendance changes each year, and it includes tuition, fees, room and board, transportation, and other figures.

Expected Family Contribution

To determine the family (student) contribution, Northwestern examines aid application materials and notes any special circumstances.

The expected family contribution depends on the student's marital status, number of dependents in school and taxable and non-taxable income and assets.

Physician Assistant Program

A student's financial aid award is established on an individual basis and depends upon the cost of attendance and the expected family contribution. The amount that remains after the family contribution has been applied towards the cost of attendance is considered the student's institutional need. In short:

Cost of attendance minus expected family contribution equals institutional need.

Cost of attendance

The cost of attendance changes each year, and it includes tuition, fees, room and board, transportation, and other figures.

Expected Family Contribution

To determine the family (student) contribution, Northwestern examines aid application materials and notes any special circumstances.

The expected family contribution depends on the student's marital status, number of dependents in school and taxable and non-taxable income and assets.

SPS - Graduate

A student's financial aid award is established on an individual basis and depends upon the cost of attendance and the expected family contribution. The amount that remains after the family contribution has been applied towards the cost of attendance is considered the student's institutional need. In short:

Cost of attendance minus expected family contribution equals institutional need.

Cost of attendance

The cost of attendance changes each year, and it includes tuition, fees, room and board, transportation, and other figures.

Expected Family Contribution

To determine the family (student) contribution, Northwestern examines aid application materials and notes any special circumstances.

The expected family contribution depends on the student's marital status, number of dependents in school and taxable and non-taxable income and assets.

SPS - Undergraduate

A student's financial aid award is established on an individual basis and depends upon the cost of attendance and the expected family contribution. The amount that remains after the family contribution has been applied towards the cost of attendance is considered the student's institutional need. In short:

Cost of attendance minus expected family contribution equals institutional need.

Cost of attendance

The cost of attendance changes each year, and it includes tuition, fees, room and board, transportation, and other figures.

Expected Family Contribution

To determine the family contribution, Northwestern examines aid application materials and notes any special circumstances.

If you are a federally Dependent student, the expected family contribution includes both a parental contribution and a student contribution:

  • The parental contribution is based on a number of factors, including the parents' income, assets, and family size.
  • The student contribution includes a portion of their personal assets each year and savings from summer employment. The summer earnings expectation varies based on class level and actual reported income.

You are considered federally dependent and must submit your parent's information and signature on the FAFSA if you answer "no" to all of the following questions:

  1. Are you over the age of 24 as of January 1 of the current academic year?
  2. Are you married?
  3. Do you have children for whom you provide 50% or more of their financial support?
  4. Do you have other dependents for whom you provide 50% or more of their financial support?
  5. Are you a Veteran of the United States Armed Forces?
  6. Are you currently on active duty in the United States Armed Forces?
  7. Are/were you an orphan or ward of the court?

If you are federally Independent, the expected family contribution includes only the student contribution, which is based on income, asset and family size.