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Northwestern University

Timeline

January

  • The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is available online. Entering students may begin applying for financial aid for the next academic year. See application steps for information.

February

  • Entering students' application forms must be submitted by March 11.

March

  • The Office of Financial Aid determines financial aid awards for incoming students.

April

  • Financial award decision emails will begin to be released to Northwestern email addresses on a rolling basis beginning April 1 and/or when the official tuition rates for the upcoming academic year has been finalized (typically March/April), whichever is later. Award notice and loan application materials must be submitted electronically within two weeks of receiving them.

May

  • Continuing students' application forms must be submitted by May 2 in order to receive an award notice e-mail in June.
  • Entering students begin submitting their Accept/Decline award notice and loan documents electronically to the Chicago Office of Financial Aid for processing.

June

  • Continuing students begin receiving financial aid award notice emails with instructions on how to access their Accept/Decline Award Notice and loan applications in CAESAR. Award notice and loan application materials must be submitted electronically within two weeks of receiving them.

August

  • Fall tuition billing invoices are e-mailed to students' Northwestern email accounts by the Office of Student Accounts on August 10th.

September

  • Financial aid orientation sessions are held for entering students.
  • Lenders begin disbursing student loan funds to the Office of Student Accounts.
  • Refunds for student living expenses are issued by the Office of Student Accounts beginning on the 1st day of the fall term. Refunds are only issued to students whose bills are paid in full and have excess cash on their accounts. All financial aid award notices and loan documents must also be completed and processed. Learn more about refund policies and procedures.

October

  • Late financial aid applications are processed.
  • The Committee on Financial Aid to Students reviews financial aid appeals.

November/December

  • Late financial aid applicant student loans are processed.
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