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Northwestern University

Guide to CAESAR

CAESAR is the online student portal to the University's Student Enterprise System. It is an essential tool for students to use to manage their financial aid.
Click on the links listed below for detailed CAESAR instructions:

Apply for Aid

Current Students: Each February, current and returning financial aid recipients should check their To Do List for requirements to apply for financial aid for the upcoming academic year.

You will see the To Do List items on your CAESAR home page, or you can navigate directly to the to-do items:

Be sure to select the appropriate academic year from the dropdown menu. You may need to navigate to your user preferences (CAESAR > Personal Portfolio > User Preferences) and update your default aid year in order to see your To Do Items.

Your To Do List will provide links and/or URLs for the application materials that can be completed online. The University Aid Application can only be completed online via the link provided in the To Do List on CAESAR.

Prospective students: You will not be able to access CAESAR until you have been admitted to the University and have received and set up your NetID and password. At that point, you should have already received a financial aid decision. You should still check your financial aid To Do Items to make sure that no additional documentation is required. 

Monitor the Status of Your Aid Application

Both current and prospective students should regularly check their To Do List to make sure that no documentation is outstanding. Our office will record any additional information requested on this list, and failure to provide these materials in a timely manner will delay the processing of your aid application.

View your Financial Aid Award

Students can view their award summary at:

The award summary shows your annual aid award and your aid by term. It also shows any amounts that have disbursed, and there are links to view scheduled disbursements for each term. You will need to select the appropriate aid year to view. If your aid is unavailable, your award decision may not be ready.

Respond to your Financial Aid Award

Once your financial aid decision is complete, you will receive an email from our office notifying you that it is available. You can view it online at:

You will need to select the appropriate aid year to view. If your aid is unavailable, your award decision may not be ready.

You will need to accept, decline or reduce any 'offered' loan(s) or work-study amounts. Please respond to your financial aid award even if you are going to appeal the decision. This allows us to keep track of our committed funds so that we will know what funds are still available. Scholarships and grants offered on the award will be accepted and processed for you. If you are receiving any other aid (e.g. outside scholarships or grants) that is not listed on your award, you will need to contact our office. See the video for more detailed instructions:

Monitor the Status of Your Financial Aid File

Students who have been offered loans as part of the financial aid package should check their To Do Item Lists to make sure that all loan application materials are completed in a timely manner. Failure to apply for your loans will result in the anticipated credits being removed from your billing account and you may incur late fees as a result. Students who are selected for Verification should also make sure that all requested documentation is completed. Failure to comply will delay the processing of your federal loan and grant funds.

View Financial Aid History

You can view a comprehensive listing of your grants, scholarships, federal, institutional and private student loan debt by navigating to your financial aid records on the View NU Financial Aid History page.  You are encouraged to closely monitor their educational borrowing. This information is also valuable for students who need to report aid received as an undergraduate when applying for post-graduate programs.

Please note that the amounts do not include educational debt outside of the University, accumulated interest added or payments made to the lender.

View Federal Work-Study Information

Monitor work-study earnings to ensure you do not surpass your academic year allotment. Federal Work-Study participants can view their current level of earnings by navigating to work-study information at:

Apply for an NU Loan for Parents

Students interested in borrowing from the NU Loan Program should apply at:

The student must initiate the application process via CAESAR and then the parent will be sent information to complete the application process through OWLS. You do not need to have applied for financial aid or have been offered an NU Loan in your award package to apply.

View Invoice

There are two options available for accessing invoice information:

While these are not financial aid pages in CAESAR, financial aid recipients often inquire about these pages since the financial aid applies to their student account.  The View My Account (Real-Time, Daily Activity) option provides the most up-to-date, 'live' information on the account.  The View or Pay Tuition Bill (Monthly Snapshot) option is a link to QuikPay, which allows students to submit a payment electronically. The information on the View or Pay Tuition Bill page is only updated on the 10th of every month. For more information about billing, please visit the Student Financial Services Payment Methods page.

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