First-time & Renewal Application Instructions
You must reapply for financial aid, including loans and employment, each year. First-time aid applicants, or students only wishing to apply for loans, should contact the Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid before beginning this process. If you only wish to apply for federal aid, you only need to complete and submit the FAFSA.
Students who plan to study abroad during the fall quarter or full academic year are encouraged to apply for aid early, by April 1 rather than May 1.
|Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)*
- The FAFSA determines your eligibility for federal student aid.
- Visit the FAFSA website and complete the application. Northwestern’s federal school code is 001739.
- If you filled out the FAFSA online last year, you can use your FSA ID to access your Renewal FAFSA online.
- Once processed, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR). Correct any inaccurate information on the FAFSA website.
- Those able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when completing the FAFSA are strongly encouraged to do so. Those who do not may be required to submit copies of their IRS tax transcript.
- Beginning with the 2017–18 FAFSA, students are required to report income information from an earlier tax year. For example, on the 2017–18 FAFSA, students (and parents, as appropriate) must report their 2015 income information, rather than their 2016 income information.
|Complete the College Scholarship Service (CSS) Profile
- The CSS Profile helps determine your eligibility for institutional aid.
- Visit the College Board website and complete the Profile. Northwestern’s CSS code is 1565.
- Once processed, you will receive a Data Confirmation Report. Any corrections must be submitted directly to our office.
|Complete the Northwestern University Aid Application (UAPP) via CAESAR
- Visit your To-Do List on CAESAR and click on "Complete UG Univ Aid Application Online."
- You may save your data and exit at any time, but you must submit at the end to complete the application.
- This application must be completed by the student and is not available through CAESAR Guest Access.
|Submit Parent W-2 Forms
- W-2 Forms can be submitted via fax at (847) 491-5969 or email at email@example.com. Please be sure to include the student name and Northwestern ID number. If you do not have access to fax or email, you can submit these forms to our office via regular mail.
|Submit any Additional Requested Forms
|Respond to Award Letter
- Accept/Decline your financial aid award even if you plan to submit a Special Circumstances Review request. The financial aid award is not a contract, but a confirmation that you have received and reviewed the information it contains.
Your Award Package
*If you only wish to apply for federal aid, you only need to complete and submit the FAFSA.
You will receive an email notification of your award package during the summer sent to your Northwestern email address. If you are a returning applicant, and your financial circumstances have remained the same, you can expect a similar award.
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- If you would like to accept a loan included in the package, see the Loans section to view the application instructions for your loan(s).
- If you would like to submit information regarding a change in your financial situation, please refer to our Special Circumstances Review webpage for instructions.
- Students who will study abroad during the fall quarter or full academic year are encouraged to complete all aid application materials by April 1, especially for programs that begin in July and August.