Cost of Attendance

Northwestern University is among a small group of private institutions that continue to meet the full demonstrated institutional financial need of our aid applicants. If you don’t qualify for need-based aid, we can help you navigate other available funding options.

The cost of attendance for the 2015-2016 academic year for students in university housing or off-campus apartments:

  • Tuition: $48,624
  • Fees (Health $200, ASG $174, Athletic $49): $423
  • Room & Board: $14,936
  • Books & Supplies: $1,620
  • Personal Expenses: $2,457
  • Loan Fee: $35
  • Transportation: varies
  • Total: $68,095

The cost of attendance changes each year, and includes both standard and variable figures. 

Standard figures, which are the same for all students, include:

  • Tuition: standard rate for in-state and out-of-state.
  • Fees: required for all full-time undergraduates: Health Services fee, Associated Student Government fee, Athletic fee (fall only).
  • Room & Board: based on the weighted average cost of a double room on campus and the equivalent of a 19-meal board contract. Used for all students regardless of your living arrangement. View our Living Off-Campus page for more information.
  • Books, Supplies and Personal Expenses: based on average costs.

Variable figures, which may differ on an individual basis, include:

  • Transportation: an allowance included to help offset travel expenses from a student's home and campus.
  • Loan Origination Fees: not all students will have an allowance for loan origination fees.

Commuter Students

Students who reside with parents/family have a different cost of attendance than the one outlined above. The total cost for commuter students is $56,433, which includes $984 for transportation and $2,325 for room and board. The budgeted room and board cost is less since commuter students will reside at home, and the transportation expense is an allowance toward commuting to and from campus.

Student Health Insurance

All full-time Northwestern students are required to have health insurance coverage either through the Northwestern University/Aetna Student Health Insurance Plan or the student’s own health insurance carrier.  The University will automatically enroll students in this program at the start of the fall term unless students waive coverage by the deadline and provide proof of other health insurance coverage. Students should consult the Health Service Office for more information about this requirement.

The Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid does not automatically include the cost of health insurance in the estimated cost of attendance. However, students who do need to use the Aetna Student Health Insurance who do not have the resources to cover the cost may request additional assistance from the Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid. If approved, Assistance provided will be in the form of a loan or instituational grant assistance. Students should complete and submit a Health Insurance Assistance Request by the deadline.

Computer Purchase

A computer allowance is not automatically included in the estimated cost of attendance. However, if a student wishes to purchase a computer and would like to borrow funds to help cover the expense, he or she should contact the Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid. The cost of attendance may be increased to include the one-time cost of a reasonably priced, education-related computer. Students should contact our office to discuss an appropriate amount to spend prior to the purchase. Requests will need to include the actual receipt.  Students who do not have resources available to pay for the computer up front may submit documentation of their intended purchase once on campus and our office will work with you to discuss your options.