How Does the Northwestern Financial Aid Program Work?

iEditorial Note: These blog posts represent the opinion of DoNotPay’s Writers, but each person’s situation and circumstances vary greatly. As a result, you should make sure to do your own independent research. Because everyone is unique, our self-help tools are never guaranteed to help with any specific situation. DoNotPay is not a law firm, is not licensed to practice law, and is not equivalent to the services of a licensed lawyer. DoNotPay provides a platform for legal information and self-help, and does not offer legal services. Third party news articles mentioned on our website do not necessarily reflect the views of the company, or the current services that we offer.

The Essentials of the Northwestern Financial Aid Program

Did you know that Northwestern University awards more than $195 million in financial aid to its students each year? This means that, even if your household income isn’t enough to cover your college expenses, a grant or a scholarship offered by the university can help.

Our guide offers essential info about Northwestern financial aid—such as deadlines, necessary forms, and all other parts of the application process. DoNotPay can even help you increase a low support amount by appealing the college’s decision!

Getting Familiar With Northwestern University Financial Aid Types

The university offers several financial support programs for undergraduates coming from federal, state, and institutional resources. Here are the available options:

  • Grants and scholarships
  • Student loans
  • Work-study program
  • Veteran Affairs benefits
  • Various aid packages

Grants and Scholarships

Available grants and scholarships are divided into three categories represented in the following table:

Institutional ScholarshipsFederal and State GrantsOutside/Third-Party Scholarships
  • Northwestern University Scholarships
  • Northwestern Endowed Scholarships
  • Good Neighbour, Great University
  • QuestBridge National College Match Scholarships
  • Founders Scholarships
  • Karr Achievement Scholarships
  • Chicago Star Scholarships
Federal grants:
  • Pell Grants
  • Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants

State grant:

  • Illinois Monetary Award Program
Depend on the resources


If you want to borrow money for your college costs and return it later, you can apply for the following loan programs:

  • Need-based loans, including:
    • Federal Perkins Loans
    • Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans
  • Non-need-based loans, such as:
    • Private loans
    • Institutional loans for parents
    • Federal Parent PLUS Loans
    • Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans


The university also helps you pay for your college expenses by providing you with various part-time job opportunities—on- and off-campus. A traditional job fair at the beginning of every school year is a perfect chance for everyone interested to find out more about the available work-study options.

Veteran Affairs Benefits

Students attending approved programs at this university are also eligible for some veteran benefits, including:

  • The Montgomery GI Bill-Reserves
  • The Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty
  • Veterans Vocational Rehabilitation
  • Reserve Educational Assistance Program
  • Survivors and Dependents Educational Assistance
  • The Post 9/11 GI Bill/Yellow Ribbon Program

Aid Packages & Emergency Aid

The list below shows some existing aid programs available at Northwestern University:

  • The Art of the Possible
  • Working Together
  • Building for the Future
  • Lending a Hand
  • Emergency Aid Program

Applying for Financial Aid at Northwestern University

To assess your financial need and education circumstances, the Northwestern financial aid office requires you to fill out two forms:

  • Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)—It can be found online and submitted via mail, the official app, or your federal student aid (FSA) profile. Combined with the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, this form should provide your basic financial info to help the team determine your eligibility
  • CSS/Financial Aid Profile—You can complete it online. If your biological or adoptive parents are separated or divorced, both of them must fill out a separate application

You can complete the form after October 1st, 2021, and submit it by February 15th, 2022. Once you do this, all that remains is to:

  1. Send your federal tax forms to the College Board
  2. Receive and check your Student Aid Report (SAR) for potential errors
  3. Wait for the university to evaluate your qualifications and answer your request

How Does the Northwestern University Financial Aid Office Determine Your Financial Need?

The Northwestern University financial aid team will calculate your financial need by determining the difference between your:

  1. Estimated Family Contribution (EFC)—the total sum you and your family can pay without financial aid
  2. Cost of Attendance (COA)—the total amount you must pay for all college-related costs

Here’s a table with a short overview of education costs for on-campus students at Northwestern University for 2021/2022:

CategoryCosts per Year
Full tuition amount$60,276
Housing and meals$18,264
Books and other supplies$1,566
Personal expenses$2,193

The Awarded Amount Seems Too Small—What Can You Do?

Has the envelope from Northwestern University arrived, but you aren’t too happy with the outcome? If the offered sum is too small for your education expenses, you can look for alternatives.

Are you interested in multiple colleges? Check out their financial aid offers! We created some super handy guides on financial support programs at other universities and grad schools, including the ones below:

University of California San Diego Financial AidRutgers University Financial AidStanford University Financial Aid
New York University Financial AidUniversity of California, Los Angeles Financial AidUniversity of California, Davis Financial Aid
Cornell University Financial AidPrinceton University Financial AidUniversity of California, Santa Cruz Financial Aid
MIT Financial AidUniversity of California, Berkeley Financial AidColumbia University Financial Aid
Harvard University Financial AidPurdue University Financial AidYale University Financial Aid

If you don’t want to give up on your first choice, file an appeal. Write a letter to the university and disclose the reasons for being unhappy with the awarded sum. You can also mention more attractive offers you got from other universities or any other financial circumstances that may help your case. Another option is to and let us appeal the decision on your behalf!

Compose a Perfect Financial Aid Appeal Letter With DoNotPay

Skip composing the entire appeal letter yourself—DoNotPay was made to do it for you! Our app features a practical tool that gathers basic financial info from you, generates a personalized claim, and sends it to an appropriate department!

All you have to do is follow these easy steps:

  1. in a web browser
  2. Choose the Appeal for More Financial Aid product
  3. Answer questions from our chatbot regarding:
    1. The college you want to enroll at
    2. Potential financial aid offers you got from other universities
    3. Financial difficulties you are facing at the moment

This way, you will avoid administrative hassle and increase your chances of getting a higher financial aid amount!

Only the Sky Is the Limit for DoNotPay

DoNotPay has an insane number of features that keeps growing. Our platform can help you:

Say Goodbye to Spam Mail With DoNotPay

DoNotPay has designed a feature that will put a stop to the flood of junk and spam mail into your inbox! We can help you join a class action against a spammer or take any person or company that’s wronged you to small claims court!

Need a virtual credit card number or a fake phone number to protect yourself from scammers? We’ve got you covered! We can help you fight text spam or even assist you in sending mail without any chance of error.

Our users’ safety is our number one concern, so we’ve developed a feature that will protect you from cyber stalking or harassment!

Want your issue solved now?