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SPS Graduate Programs

When should I apply for financial aid?

The deadline for financial aid depends on the quarter for which you are requesting aid. See Application Steps for more information.

Do I need to reapply for financial aid every year?

Yes. Students must reappy for financial aid every year.

Which forms are required in order to apply for financial aid?

What happens if my financial aid documents are not in by the financial aid deadline?

The Office of Financial Aid can not guarantee an award and funds will be posted to your account by the first day of classes. This may result in late fees, registration/transcript holds, and not receiving a living/book expense refund in a timely manner. If you are passed the deadline, please submit the missing items immediately. The sooner these are in the sooner you will receive an award. We ask that you allow 4 to 6 weeks to process an award after all of your financial aid documents are in. Please be sure to view your checklist to be sure no further information is required and all documents are received.

How much is tuition for programs in the Graduate School of Professional Studies?

The cost of tuition per course varies by the program for which you are enrolled. You can find the current tuition rate for your program in the Tuition section.

How much of the costs will my financial aid cover?

Students are generally offered financial aid to cover tuition and books only. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid if you need information on funding for living expenses.

Are grants and scholarships available?

Federal and institutional grants and scholarships are not available to Graduate students in the School of Professional Studies. Students may look for outside scholarship assistance on the web at websites such as, or any other scholarship search engine. Please keep in mind that students should not be required to submit any form of payment in order to apply for outside scholarships.

What loans programs are available?

Information about available loan programs for SPS graduate programs can be found on the Graduate Loan webpage.

What happens if I only enroll in one course?

Students that are enrolled in one course are not eligible for federal loans. The financial aid office offers students enrolled less than half-time private student loans which are subject to credit approval. Please contact the financial aid office if your enrollment differs from the information provided on your University Aid Application.

What kind of financial aid is available for International Students?

International students interested in financial aid are offered private student loans after completing the University Aid Application. Most lenders require a US co-signer for International student applicants. The interest on private student loans begins to accrue once the loan has been disbursed to the student's account. Students typically go into repayment six months after graduation.

I have an anticipated credit on my account. Can I receive those funds before classes start?

No. Students may not request a refund via CAESAR until the first day of class.

Classes have started but my funds have not yet disbursed. I need money for living expenses and books. What should I do?

If a student has completed all required documents and their term has officially started but their funds have not disbursed, they may come to the Office of Financial Aid with their Wild Card to request a cash advance. The maximum amount of cash advance per month varies per program. The cash advance will appear as a charge against the student's anticipated credit.

I accepted more loan assistance than I need. Can I reduce or cancel my loans?

Yes. Students who wish to reduce or cancel their loans can e-mail the Office of Financial Aid from their NU e-mail account and request to reduce their loan assistance. Students must include their name and student ID number and state the loan program they wish to reduce or cancel. If they wish to reduce the loan and not completely cancel it, they should state the amount to which they want the loan reduced.

Am I able to request additional loan assistance than what I accepted?

If students rejected a portion of their loan assistance at the beginning of the year and decide later that they need those funds, they can request that the Office of Financial aid reinstates their originally offered loan amounts. Students may be required to complete additional loan applications or documents depending on the loan type. If students accepted 100% of the aid they were offered in their financial aid award, they are generally not eligible to receive additional funding unless they can document extenuating circumstances (i.e. medical bills not covered by insurance). For more information on requesting additional funding for extenuating circumstances, please contact the Office of Financial Aid.

How will an outside scholarship affect my financial aid?

If a student has accepted 100% of their loan assistance, the Office of Financial Aid will be required to return an equal portion of their loan assistance to make room in the cost of attendance for the outside scholarship. If a student has declined a portion of their loan assistance equal to or greater than the amount of the scholarship, their other aid will not be affected. Students must submit all of the required application documents each year they wish to receive financial aid.

Where should my outside scholarship check be sent?

Scholarship checks should be sent to the Office of Financial Aid at 710 N. Lake Shore Drive, Suite 629, Chicago, IL 60611.