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Northwestern University

Special Circumstances Review

Financial aid eligibility is determined by the information provided in the financial aid application materials. In some case, families might experience a change in financial circumstances not reflected in those materials. Special circumstances might include:

If appropriate, additional assistance might be provided to meet these unique circumstances.  That assistance might be in the form of a loan, student employment, or scholarship aid.

Please note that funding is limited. The ability to respond to changes in financial circumstances is dependent upon the availability of aid resources.

In some cases, sufficient time must pass before an award can be adjusted. If the change in circumstances has just recently occurred, a sufficient amount of time must lapse. For example, a very recent job loss might soon be followed by new employment; therefore, a review might be delayed for an appropriate amount of time.

How to Request a Special Circumstances Review

If you have new or additional information regarding your financial circumstances, you can submit an appeal in writing to our office using the Special Circumstances Application. Please include the required supporting documentation outlined on the application. Documents should be submitted via secure document upload, or via email, fax, or regular mail. Please note, we strongly recommend that taxes and other sensitive documents be submitted via document upload, as other methods may not provide the same level of data security.

Based on your circumstances, you might also need to complete a Reduced Income Statement, available on our Forms page.


Response Time

Students typically receive responses two to three weeks from the date of receipt, with some exceptions:

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