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Northwestern University

Enrollment Status

Your financial aid will likely reduce if your enrollment is less than full-time. Awards will be adjusted dollar-for-dollar for the amount of the reduction in tuition at the same proportion as the original award. Typically, students will see reductions in both the self-help component of their financial aid award (loans and work-study) as well as the scholarship component. Be sure review the University's Course Load Policies provided on the Registrar's website.  

Enrollment Categories

Half-time Quarters

Students are generally eligible for institutional assistance (most notably the Northwestern Scholarship) for up to 12 quarters of enrollment. Students may use a combination of full and half-time quarters to meet this maximum.

If a student needs to complete their final half-quarter in a different academic year, they will need to file the appropriate financial aid applications for that academic year. Depending on their family’s financial circumstances, their financial aid eligibility may differ from their original half-time quarter of enrollment. For more information on this policy and an example, please visit our Half-Time Enrollment Page.

Refunds

Students who have taken any refunds based upon full-time financial aid awarded, and whose awards are subsequently reduced due to half-time or less than half-time enrollment, may be responsible for a resulting balance due on their tuition account.

Summer Enrollment

Students who enroll in summer session and receive institutional assistance will have their summer attendance counted toward their maximum eligibility at the half-time or full-time rate, depending on their enrollment. Exceptions to this policy may be made, so students with special circumstances are encouraged to speak with a financial aid counselor prior to completing their Summer Financial Aid Application.

Overload Enrollment

Enrollment in more than 5.5 units will result in additional tuition charges. Term course loads greater than 5.5 units will be assessed at a rate of $5,766 per unit for the 2015-16 academic year and $5,980 per unit for the 2016-17 academic year. Institutional assistance is not provided for the additional overload enrollment charges. Students can contact our office directly to discuss additional financing options for this cost, such as Federal Stafford or Parent PLUS Loans.

Students who have met their institutional funding limit may still have remaining federal financial aid eligibility. Please review Satisfactory Academic Progress for details regarding the maximums for federal financial aid eligibility.

Terms Of Eligibility

Institutional aid can only be applied to 12 quarters of enrollment unless you are enrolled in a pre-approved five-year program. Federal aid, which is available for U.S. Citizens and permanent residents, may be available for a longer period. We understand that some students may need additional support beyond their allotment. Students are encouraged to contact our office to speak with a financial aid counselor to determine the best course of action for their special circumstances. Options may include submitting a special circumstance review request to the Financial Aid Committee or submitting a Supplemental Enrollment Benefit request. If a student needs to complete their final quarter in a different academic year, they will need to file the appropriate financial aid applications for that academic year. 

Withdrawing from the University 

The Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid is required to recalculate federal financial aid eligibility for students who completely withdraw, drop out, are dismissed, or take a leave of absence prior to completing more than 60% of a term, and for those who do not successfully complete at least one course in a term. If you are considering a withdrawal and would like specific information regarding the impact on your financial aid eligibility, please contact a financial aid counselor. 

The calculation used to determine your charges after a withdrawal is completely different than the calculation used to determine your federal aid eligibility. Please refer to the Office of Student Account's refund calculator page for more information regarding tuition/fee charges and Living @ NU for information about housing charges. For more information on the University’s withdrawal policy, student can also visit the Office of the Registrar's Withdrawal from the University page.

Unofficial Withdrawals

The Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid is required to review students who received federal financial aid and did not pass any of their classes. The review must be conducted to determine whether the student earned the non-passing grades while attending classes or stopped attending classes but did not officially withdraw. Students who have ceased attendance without officially withdrawing may be required to repay a portion of the federal financial aid for the term. If it is determined that a student never began attendance in some or all classes, aid may be cancelled completely.

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