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Northwestern University

Undergraduate Loan Options

You may be eligible for a variety of federal, institutional, and/or private loans. Learn more:

It is important to note:

Federal Loans

To apply for these loans, students must first submit a FAFSA. See application steps for more information on this process. Note: only U.S. citizens or permanent residents are able to participate in federal loan programs.

Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan
Borrower Students enrolled at least half-time who demonstrate financial need as determined by the Office of Financial Aid Students enrolled at least half-time. They do not need to demonstrate financial need. Parents of a federally dependent undergraduate enrolled at least half-time. The borrower must not have adverse credit history (a credit check is required) without an endorser.
Lender William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program
Loan Amount Depends on a student's grade level:
  • Freshman: $3,500 or demonstrated need (whichever is less)
  • Sophomore: $4,500 or demonstrated need (whichever is less)
  • Junior and Senior: $5,500 or demonstrated need (whichever is less)

Depends on a student's grade level and dependency status. Learn more about loan amounts for Unsubsidized Stafford Loans.

Up to the cost of attendance less any other aid received.
Interest Rate
  • Fixed 4.45% for the life of the loan for loans first disbursed between 7/1/2017 and 6/30/2018
  • Fixed 3.76% for the life of the loan for loans first disbursed between 7/1/2016 and 6/30/2017
Fees for loans first disbursed on or after 7/1/2016 can be found on the Federal Student Aid website.
  • Fixed 4.45% for the life of the loan for loans first disbursed between 7/1/2017 and 6/30/2018
  • Fixed 3.76% for the life of the loan for loans first disbursed between 7/1/2016 and 6/30/2017

Fees for loans first disbursed on or after 7/1/2016 can be found on the Federal Student Aid website.

  • Fixed 7.00% for the life of the loan for loans first disbursed between 7/1/2017 and 6/30/2018
  • Fixed 6.31% for the life of the loan for loans first disbursed between 7/1/2016 and 6/30/2017
Fees for loans first disbursed on or after 7/1/2016 can be found on the Federal Student Aid website.
Fees
  • 1.066% for loans first disbursed on or after October 1, 2017
  • 1.069% for loans first disbursed on or after October 1, 2016 through September 30, 2017
Fees for loans first disbursed prior to October 1, 2016 can be found on the Federal Student Aid website.
  • 1.066% for loans first disbursed on or after October 1, 2017
  • 1.069% for loans first disbursed on or after October 1, 2016 through September 30, 2017
Fees for loans first disbursed prior to October 1, 2016 can be found on the Federal Student Aid website.
  • 4.264% for loans first disbursed on or after October 1, 2017
  • 4.276% for loans first disbursed on or after October 1, 2016 through September 30, 2017
Fees for loans first disbursed prior to October 1, 2016 can be found on the Federal Student Aid website.
Application Process

First-time Stafford borrowers: Complete the Accept/Decline financial aid process via CAESAR indicating the amount of loan you wish to accept. Complete the required online Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note (MPN).

Returning students: Complete the Accept/Decline Financial Aid Process via CAESAR indicating the amount of loan you wish to accept. If you submitted an MPN and completed Entrance Counseling in the previous academic year, you do not need to resubmit those documents. If more than 12 months have elapsed since your last loan disbursed at NU, you must resubmit the MPN.

First-time Stafford borrowers: Complete the Accept/Decline financial aid process via CAESAR indicating the amount of loan you wish to accept. Complete the required online Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note (MPN).

Returning students: Complete the Accept/Decline Financial Aid process via CAESAR indicating the amount of loan you wish to accept. If you submitted an MPN and completed Entrance Counseling in the previous academic year, you do not need to resubmit these documents. If more than 12 months have elapsed since your last loan disbursed at  NU, you must resubmit the MPN.

Parents should complete the PLUS Loan MPN application and MPN on the Direct Loan MPN website. Borrowers with an adverse credit history may apply for the loan with a co-signer (called an endorser) who does not have an adverse credit history.
Repayment The borrower has up to 10 years to repay the loan under a standard payment plan. Extended and income-based repayment plans are available. The borrower has up to 10 years to repay the loan under a standard payment plan. Extended and income-based repayment plans are available. The borrower has a maximum of 25 years to repay the loan.

Unsubsidized Stafford Loan amounts

Loan amounts for federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans depends on a student's grade level and dependency status.

Dependent Students (except those whose parents have been denied for a federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan):

Independent Students and Dependent Students whose parents have been denied for a federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan:

Private loans

Private outside agencies also offer loans to Northwestern students. You can find more information about private student loan opportunities at Northwestern’s Student Financial Services website.

Some programs and enrollment statuses may only be eligible for private student loan funding. If this will be applicable to you, the Chicago Office of Financial Aid will note this on your official financial aid package. Please contact our office with any questions.

All loans are subject to final approval by your lender(s) based upon criteria set forth by federal regulations and lender policies. Parent/Graduate PLUS, Northwestern, and private loans are credit-based loans.

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