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Northwestern University

Co-op Programs

The Cooperative Engineering Education Program (Co-op) allows students to complete 12 academic quarters at Northwestern in addition to receiving industry experience in five years.  While a co-op student's financial aid eligibility is determined in the same manner as it is for all other students, the actual financial aid is applied differently.   

Aid During Co-op

Co-op students cannot receive for financial assistance for the quarters they are participating in co-op.  While they are considered enrolled students, they are not eligible for aid since the courseload is “zero” units and a tuition charge is not assessed.

Scholarship Eligibility

Co-op students are still eligible to receive Northwestern scholarship aid over their 12 academic quarters of academic enrollment. The main difference is that a co-op student’s 12 quarters of eligibility will be divided over 5 years under the Traditional Northwestern University Co-op Schedule, rather than 4 years for traditional students.

Students who are recipients of outside scholarships will need to check with their scholarship donor for eligibility during their co-op quarter. (National Merit recipients will not be eligible to keep the portion of this scholarship for the quarter they are on co-op.)  

Expected Earnings Contribution

Co-op students are expected to contribute a portion of their co-op earnings towards their educational expenses. Therefore, the normal summer savings expectation is waived and replaced by a portion of the co-op earnings expectation. An average co-op earnings expectation is determined annually and is considered part of the student’s total self-help (loans and work).  

Co-op Remission Grant

The tuition increase for the fifth year of enrollment may be offset by the Co-op Remission Grant, as administered by the co-op office. The purpose of this grant is not intended as additional assistance, but rather to assess the student at the tuition rate consistent with their fourth year. 

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