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Returning Students (All Programs)

Below you will see an overview of the financial aid application process for domestic returning students. (PLEASE NOTE: non-U.S. citizens should review application instructions for international students).

The information on this page applies to the following programs.

Note: Students in SPS non-degree and professional development programs need only complete the 2020-21 University Aid Application.

Deadlines

Students are encouraged to return all completed application materials by the deadline listed below. For programs that list deadlines by term, your application deadline is based on the first term for which you are applying for financial aid for the academic year.

2020-21 deadlines based on first-term of enrollment
Program Deadline
Feinberg School of Medicine (MD program) April 1, 2020
Pritzker School of Law ELLM in Chicago: April 1, 2020
JD, JD-MBA, Tax-LLM: May 1, 2020
Residential and Online MSL: June 1, 2020
Kellogg Evening & Weekend MBA Program Summer: May 15, 2020
Fall: August 10, 2020
Winter: December 1, 2020
Spring: March 1, 2021
Physical Therapy Program May 1, 2020
Prosthetics/Orthotics Program May 1, 2020
Physician Assistant Program May 1, 2020
SPS (all graduate and undergraduate programs) Fall: July 10, 2020
Winter: November 9, 2020
Spring: February 8, 2021
Summer: April 26, 2021

Importance of meeting deadlines

Meeting the financial aid application deadlines listed above ensures that students will receive their financial aid award notice, can complete all required loan documentation, and have their 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. Applications received after the deadline will be processed in the order in which they were received.

Financial aid applications may not be processed once a term has ended (in other words, students may not be eligible to receive funds for the Fall term if they apply for those funds during the Winter term).

Application steps

1. Complete the FAFSA

  • Visit the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) website and complete the online 2020-21 form. 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.

2. Complete the University Aid Application

  • Students may access this document online via their To-Do list for the 2020-21 academic year in CAESAR in mid-March 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, 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 your loan assistance

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

  • After you submit all application materials, Northwestern will determine your aid package which may include scholarships, grants and/or loans. Learn more about how aid is determined.
  • Next, our office will begin sending financial aid eligibility notification emails on a rolling basis beginning June 1, 2020. Your financial aid eligibility will likely include a combination of student loans but may also include scholarships or grants depending on your program and individual eligibility as determined by your application for financial aid.
  • Student must accept or decline any loan assistance offered to them via CAESAR. Learn more about the steps to accept or decline. Scholarship and grant assistance is automatically accepted.

Note: Students in SPS non-degree and professional development programs need only complete the 2019-20 University Aid Application.

Deadlines

Students are encouraged to return all completed application materials by the deadline listed below. For programs that list deadlines by term, your application deadline is based on the first term for which you are applying for financial aid for the academic year.

2019-20 deadlines based on first-term of enrollment
Program Deadline
Feinberg School of Medicine (MD program) April 1, 2019
Pritzker School of Law ELLM in Chicago: April 1, 2019
JD, JD-MBA, Tax-LLM: May 1, 2019
Residential and Online MSL: July 1, 2019
Kellogg Evening & Weekend MBA Program Summer: May 15, 2019
Fall: August 9, 2019
Winter: November 29, 2019
Spring: March 2, 2020
Physical Therapy Program May 1, 2019
Prosthetics/Orthotics Program May 1, 2019
Physician Assistant Program May 1, 2019
SPS (all graduate and undergraduate programs) Fall: July 12, 2019
Winter: November 8, 2019
Spring: February 7, 2020
Summer: April 27, 2020

Importance of meeting deadlines

Meeting the financial aid application deadlines listed above ensures that students will receive their financial aid award notice, can complete all required loan documentation, and have their 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. Applications received after the deadline will be processed in the order in which they were received.

Financial aid applications may not be processed once a term has ended (in other words, students may not be eligible to receive funds for the Fall term if they apply for those funds during the Winter term).

Application steps

1. Complete the FAFSA

  • Visit the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) website and complete the online 2019-20 form. 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.

2. Complete the University Aid Application

  • Students may access this document online via their To-Do list for the 2019-20 academic year in CAESAR in mid-March 2019. 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, 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 your award package

Deadline: As soon as possible after you receive award notice

  • After you submit all application materials, Northwestern will determine your aid package. Learn more about how aid is determined.
  • Next, our office will begin sending financial award decision emails on a rolling basis beginning June 1, 2019. Your financial aid package will likely include a combination of student loans.
  • Student must accept or decline their award package via CAESAR. Learn more about the steps to accept or decline.