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MSL Students

Applying for financial aid, including scholarship funding for full-time residential students, is separate from the admissions process. The Law School Office of Admissions and Financial Aid awards scholarship funding for the full-time residential MSL program, while the Chicago Office of Financial Aid packages loan funding for all MSL programs.

The information on this page goes over how full-time residential students will apply for scholarship funding through the Law School as well as how all MSL students will apply for loan funding through the Chicago Office of Financial Aid. For full-time residential MSL students, bear in mind that the deadlines for the Admission Office's scholarship application may be different than the loan application deadlines noted below.

Students must be enrolled in at least four credits per semester to be eligible for federal student loans. It is the student's responsibility to contact the Chicago Office of Financial Aid if they change their enrollment during a semester.

If you will not be enrolled in at least four credits per semester, you are not eligible for federal student loans.  You may still be eligible for private loans to cover tuition, fees, and book expenses. If you wish to apply for a private loan, please complete the University Aid Application and alert our office that you are only applying for private student loan funding (a FAFSA will not be needed in this case). For more information about available private loans for students enrolled less-than-half-time, please visit the Student Financial Services website.

Note this information applies to domestic students only. View application instructions for international students.

Student financial aid applications are due by the dates listed below (or, if admitted after these dates, within seven days of admission).

Jump to your program:

full-time residential MSLPart-time residential and online MSL

Full-Time Residential MSL

The loan funding application items listed in steps 2 and 3 must be submitted by July 1, 2021 (or, if admitted after this date, within seven days of admission). The scholarship application listed in step 1 may have a different deadline as set by the Admissions Office.

Meeting the loan funding application deadlines ensures that students will receive their financial aid eligibility notice before the first Fall bill on August 10th and can complete all required loan documentation and have their loan funds disburse by the first day of classes. Students who apply for financial aid and loan assistance after their deadline cannot be guaranteed that funds will disburse by the first day of class and may need to use their own resources to pay tuition in the meantime. Applications received after the deadline will be processed in the order in which they were received.

Follow the below steps to apply for financial aid:

  1. Complete the Scholarship Application through the Admissions Office
  2. Complete the FAFSA
  3. Complete the University Aid Application
  4. Accept or decline loan assistance

1. Complete the Scholarship Application through the Admissions Office

Deadline: Indicated in your financial aid email from Admissions

The Scholarship Application is available on the Law School Office of Admissions and Financial Aid's Admitted Student website. This site is linked in your decision letter under "Financial Aid". If you have any questions about completing the Scholarship Application, please contact the Admissions Office.

2. Complete the FAFSA

Deadline: July 1, 2021

  • Visit the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) website and complete the online 2021-22 application. If you do not already have an FSA ID, you will need to set one up before completing the FAFSA. This FSA ID will be used for many Department of Education websites.
  • Designate Northwestern as the recipient of the information; our federal school code is 001739. Any other Northwestern University codes (001740, school-specific codes beginning with an "E"), should not be used.
  • After the FAFSA is processed (allow two weeks), you will receive a SAR (Student Aid Report) summarizing your information. Resolve any incorrect information via the FAFSA web site or by returning the corrected and signed SAR. If you do not receive your SAR within four weeks, or if you need to request a duplicate, call 800-433-3243.
  • International students who wish to apply for private student loan funding are not required to complete the FAFSA and are only required to complete the University Aid Application.

3. Complete the University Aid Application

Deadline: July 1, 2021

  • Students may access this document online via their To-Do list for the 2021-22 academic year in CAESAR on or after March 15, 2021. Your "To-Do List" can be reviewed in CAESAR through either the "Tasks" tile on the homepage, or by clicking on the "Financial Aid" tile from the homepage and then selecting "To-Do List" from the left-hand navigation. 
  • If you are unable to access this document via your To-Do list by March 15, 2021 or within two business days of when you received your CAESAR log-in information from Admissions, please contact the Chicago Office of Financial Aid.
  • International students who wish to apply for private student loan funding are not required to complete the FAFSA and are only required to complete the University Aid Application.

4. Accept or decline your loan assistance

Deadline: As soon as possible after you receive your financial aid eligibility notification email

After you submit all application materials, Northwestern will determine your aid eligibility which may include a combination of loans. Learn more about how aid is determined.

The Law School Office of Admissions and Financial Aid releases scholarship notifications to full-time residential MSL students throughout the spring.

The Chicago Office of Financial Aid reviews all financial aid applications in the order in which they are received. Official financial aid packages outlining loan eligibility are sent out to NU email accounts on a rolling basis beginning in early summer or within 4-6 weeks of when you applied, whichever is later.

Once you receive notification, you must accept or decline any loan assistance offered to you. Learn more about the steps to accept or decline.

Part-Time Residential and Online MSL

Part-time residential and online MSL students are not eligible for institutional scholarship funding. The loan funding application items outlined below must be submitted by the following deadlines:

  • Residential part-time MSL students and Online MSL students starting in Fall 2021: July 1, 2021 (or, if admitted after this date, within seven days of admission)
  • Online MSL students starting in Spring 2022: November 1, 2021 (or, if admitted after this date, within seven days of admission)

Meeting the loan funding application deadlines ensures that students will receive their financial aid package before the first Fall bill on August 10th and can complete all required loan documentation and have their loan funds disburse by the first day of classes. Students who apply for financial aid after their deadline cannot be guaranteed that financial aid funds will disburse by the first day of class and may need to use their own resources to pay tuition in the meantime. Applications received after the deadline will be processed in the order in which they were received.

Follow the below steps to apply for loan funding:

  1. Complete the FAFSA
  2. Complete the University Aid Application
  3. Accept or decline award

1. Complete the FAFSA

Deadline: See above

  • Visit the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) website and complete the online 2021-22 application. If you do not already have an FSA ID, you will need to set one up before completing the FAFSA. This FSA ID will be used for many Department of Education websites.
  • Designate Northwestern as the recipient of the information; our federal school code is 001739. Any other Northwestern University codes (001740, school-specific codes beginning with an "E"), should not be used.
  • After the FAFSA is processed (allow two weeks), you will receive a SAR (Student Aid Report) summarizing your information. Resolve any incorrect information via the FAFSA web site or by returning the corrected and signed SAR. If you do not receive your SAR within four weeks, or if you need to request a duplicate, call 800-433-3243.
  • International students who wish to apply for private student loan funding are not required to complete the FAFSA and are only required to complete the University Aid Application.

2. Complete the University Aid Application

Deadline: See above

  • Students may access this document online via their To-Do list for the 2021-22 academic year in CAESAR on or after March 15, 2021. Your "To-Do List" can be reviewed in CAESAR through either the "Tasks" tile on the homepage, or by clicking on the "Financial Aid" tile from the homepage and then selecting "To-Do List" from the left-hand navigation. 
  • If you are unable to access this document via your To-Do list by March 15, 2021 or within two business days of when you received your CAESAR log-in information from Admissions, please contact the Chicago Office of Financial Aid.
  • International students who wish to apply for private student loan funding are not required to complete the FAFSA and are only required to complete the University Aid Application.

3. Accept or decline loan assistance offered to you

Deadline: As soon as possible after you receive your financial aid eligibility notification email

After you submit all application materials, Northwestern will determine your aid package. Learn more about how aid is determined.

The Chicago Office of Financial Aid reviews all financial aid applications in the order in which they are received. Official financial aid packages outlining loan eligibility are sent out to NU email accounts on a rolling basis beginning in early summer or within 4-6 weeks of when you applied, whichever is later.

Once you receive notification, you must accept or decline any loan assistance offered to you. Learn more about the steps to accept or decline

Student financial aid applications are due by the dates listed below (or, if admitted after these dates, within seven days of admission).

Jump to your program:

full-time residential MSLPart-time residential and online MSL

Full-Time Residential MSL

The loan funding application items listed in steps 2 and 3 must be submitted by July 1, 2020 (or, if admitted after this date, within seven days of admission). The scholarship application listed in step 1 may have a different deadline as set by the Admissions Office.

Meeting the loan funding application deadlines ensures that students will receive their financial aid eligibility notice before the first Fall bill on August 10th and can complete all required loan documentation and have their loan funds disburse by the first day of classes. Students who apply for financial aid and loan assistance after their deadline cannot be guaranteed that funds will disburse by the first day of class and may need to use their own resources to pay tuition in the meantime. Applications received after the deadline will be processed in the order in which they were received.

Follow the below steps to apply for financial aid:

  1. Complete the Scholarship Application through the Admissions Office
  2. Complete the FAFSA
  3. Complete the University Aid Application
  4. Accept or decline loan assistance

1. Complete the Scholarship Application through the Admissions Office

Deadline: Indicated in your financial aid email from Admissions

The Scholarship Application is available on the Law School Office of Admissions and Financial Aid's Admitted Student website. This site is linked in your decision letter under "Financial Aid". If you have any questions about completing the Scholarship Application, please contact the Admissions Office.

2. Complete the FAFSA

Deadline: July 1, 2020

  • Visit the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) website and complete the online 2020-21 application. If you do not already have an FSA ID, you will need to set one up before completing the FAFSA. This FSA ID will be used for many Department of Education websites.
  • Designate Northwestern as the recipient of the information; our federal school code is 001739. Any other Northwestern University codes (001740, school-specific codes beginning with an "E"), should not be used.
  • After the FAFSA is processed (allow two weeks), you will receive a SAR (Student Aid Report) summarizing your information. Resolve any incorrect information via the FAFSA web site or by returning the corrected and signed SAR. If you do not receive your SAR within four weeks, or if you need to request a duplicate, call 800-433-3243.
  • International students who wish to apply for private student loan funding are not required to complete the FAFSA and are only required to complete the University Aid Application.

3. Complete the University Aid Application

Deadline: July 1, 2020

  • Students may access this document online via their To-Do list for the 2020-21 academic year in CAESAR on or after March 15, 2020. Your "To-Do List" can be reviewed in CAESAR through either the "Tasks" tile on the homepage, or by clicking on the "Financial Aid" tile from the homepage and then selecting "To-Do List" from the left-hand navigation. 
  • If you are unable to access this document via your To-Do list by March 15, 2020 or within two business days of when you received your CAESAR log-in information from Admissions, please contact the Chicago Office of Financial Aid.
  • International students who wish to apply for private student loan funding are not required to complete the FAFSA and are only required to complete the University Aid Application.

4. Accept or decline your loan assistance

Deadline: As soon as possible after you receive your financial aid eligibility notification email

After you submit all application materials, Northwestern will determine your aid eligibility which may include a combination of loans. Learn more about how aid is determined.

The Law School Office of Admissions and Financial Aid releases scholarship notifications to full-time residential MSL students throughout the spring.

The Chicago Office of Financial Aid reviews all financial aid applications in the order in which they are received. Official financial aid packages outlining loan eligibility are sent out to NU email accounts on a rolling basis beginning in early summer or within 4-6 weeks of when you applied, whichever is later.

Once you receive notification, you must accept or decline any loan assistance offered to you. Learn more about the steps to accept or decline.

Part-Time Residential and Online MSL

Part-time residential and online MSL students are not eligible for institutional scholarship funding. The loan funding application items outlined below must be submitted by the following deadlines:

  • Residential part-time MSL students and Online MSL students starting in Fall 2020: July 1, 2020 (or, if admitted after this date, within seven days of admission)
  • Online MSL students starting in Spring 2021: November 1, 2020 (or, if admitted after this date, within seven days of admission)

Meeting the loan funding application deadlines ensures that students will receive their financial aid package before the first Fall bill on August 10th and can complete all required loan documentation and have their loan funds disburse by the first day of classes. Students who apply for financial aid after their deadline cannot be guaranteed that financial aid funds will disburse by the first day of class and may need to use their own resources to pay tuition in the meantime. Applications received after the deadline will be processed in the order in which they were received.

Follow the below steps to apply for loan funding:

  1. Complete the FAFSA
  2. Complete the University Aid Application
  3. Accept or decline award

1. Complete the FAFSA

Deadline: See above

  • Visit the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) website and complete the online 2020-21 application. If you do not already have an FSA ID, you will need to set one up before completing the FAFSA. This FSA ID will be used for many Department of Education websites.
  • Designate Northwestern as the recipient of the information; our federal school code is 001739. Any other Northwestern University codes (001740, school-specific codes beginning with an "E"), should not be used.
  • After the FAFSA is processed (allow two weeks), you will receive a SAR (Student Aid Report) summarizing your information. Resolve any incorrect information via the FAFSA web site or by returning the corrected and signed SAR. If you do not receive your SAR within four weeks, or if you need to request a duplicate, call 800-433-3243.
  • International students who wish to apply for private student loan funding are not required to complete the FAFSA and are only required to complete the University Aid Application.

2. Complete the University Aid Application

Deadline: See above

  • Students may access this document online via their To-Do list for the 2020-21 academic year in CAESAR on or after March 15, 2020. Your "To-Do List" can be reviewed in CAESAR through either the "Tasks" tile on the homepage, or by clicking on the "Financial Aid" tile from the homepage and then selecting "To-Do List" from the left-hand navigation. 
  • If you are unable to access this document via your To-Do list by March 15, 2020 or within two business days of when you received your CAESAR log-in information from Admissions, please contact the Chicago Office of Financial Aid.
  • International students who wish to apply for private student loan funding are not required to complete the FAFSA and are only required to complete the University Aid Application.

3. Accept or decline loan assistance offered to you

Deadline: As soon as possible after you receive your financial aid eligibility notification email

After you submit all application materials, Northwestern will determine your aid package. Learn more about how aid is determined.

The Chicago Office of Financial Aid reviews all financial aid applications in the order in which they are received. Official financial aid packages outlining loan eligibility are sent out to NU email accounts on a rolling basis beginning in early summer or within 4-6 weeks of when you applied, whichever is later.

Once you receive notification, you must accept or decline any loan assistance offered to you. Learn more about the steps to accept or decline