Study Abroad

Need-based financial assistance is available to students who wish to study abroad on affiliated programs during the academic year. Participants may be considered for all types of aid (aside from Federal Work-Study). 

Students attending unaffiliated programs are not eligible for any type of financial assistance and may not use Northwestern University financing options such as the 9-Pay or NU Loan programs.

Application & Deadlines

The required financial aid application materials are the same as those for on-campus study, but fall and full year study abroad students are strongly encouraged to apply early, especially for programs with mid-summer start dates. See the Current Students New & Returning Applicant page for a list of required materials.

Program Term Application Deadline Aid Decision Notification
Full year or fall quarter program with July or August start dates April 1 Early June
Winter and/or Spring* May 1 June 21
Summer Rolling deadline, check with our office 10-14 business days

*Students studying abroad during winter and/or spring will initially be awarded aid based on a full year on campus. Revised awards for winter or winter-spring study abroad will be calculated in late October, and revised awards for spring-only programs will be calculated in late February.

Students receiving a renewable outside scholarship should check with the donor to make sure it can be used for study abroad. If so, you are responsible for making arrangements to ensure the scholarship check is sent to our office.

International students receiving financial aid are not eligible to use their Northwestern aid to "study abroad" in their home country.  Please visit the Study Abroad website for more information.

Study Abroad Aid Package

Study abroad program costs will not change your expected family contribution (EFC). When you study abroad, as in any other quarter or year, your EFC will be calculated based on your family's financial information as reported on your aid application materials.

When awarding financial aid for study abroad, our office will use a cost of attendance based on your program's costs, including tuition, room and board, personal expenses, books, transportation, visa fees (if applicable), the Study Abroad Administrative Fee, and HTH Worldwide health insurance. Estimated personal expenses and other costs do take into account reasonable cost of living for the area in which you will be studying.

If you attend a program that costs more than study at Northwestern, your aid will be increased accordingly; if the program costs less than NU, the financial aid award will be reduced.

  • For programs that cost more, the additional expense is shared between Northwestern and the student. Typically, half of the additional cost is met with additional Northwestern Scholarship assistance, and half is met with additional need-based loans. Since work-study is unavailable while abroad, those funds are replaced with additional need-based loans.
  • For programs that cost less, self-help (i.e., need-based loans and work-study) typically is reduced first. The Northwestern scholarship may be reduced if necessary.

Because work-study is not available and budgeted expenses for study abroad may be higher than costs on campus, your loan debt may be higher for the terms you are abroad or for the year overall. Additional loans awarded for study abroad are not eligible for Northwestern's Debt Cap.

For additional information about study abroad billing and budgeting, see the Money Matters section on the Study Abroad website.

Summer Study Abroad 

Summer session aid is extremely limited, and preference is given to students who demonstrate a real need to attend summer school. You can find eligibility and application information on the Summer Session page.

If you are awarded financial aid during the summer, it will likely count as one of your 12 quarters of aid. If you do not qualify for aid, or do not wish to use one of your quarters, we can help arrange other financing, such as a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan or a private education loan. Limited need-based scholarships may also be available through your program office (IPD, BCICS, or GESI).

Students attending non-Northwestern summer programs are not eligible for any form of financial assistance through Northwestern.

For information about other summer study abroad scholarships and outside funding opportunities, please visit the study abroad scholarships page.