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Summer Aid

Students are eligible for up to four years of university financial aid, including summer enrollment. Please consider enrolling during the summer as a means of graduating in four years.

Summer is the final quarter of an academic year. If you receive financial aid in the current academic year, you have already completed most of the required application materials for the summer term.

Eligibility & Awards

You must be enrolled a minimum of 2.0 units of credit to be eligible for most forms of financial aid, including Northwestern grant assistance. Our office will monitor summer enrollment and may adjust your financial aid award if your actual enrollment differs from the expected enrollment reported on your summer aid application.

Your calculated expected family contribution (EFC) in the summer is the same as a regular quarter during that academic year. Typically, this is equivalent to one-third of your full-year EFC, which you can find in CAESAR > Financial Aid > View My Financial Aid > Financial Aid Eligibility.

Summer Costs

Tuition in the summer is charged per unit of credit. As in other quarters, aid can be awarded up to regular full-time enrollment, which in the summer is 4 units of credit. If you plan to enroll in more than 4 units, you may be eligible for loan assistance to help cover the additional cost. Institutional assistance is not provided for overload enrollment charges.

Summer costs vary based on your specific enrollment and length of study, so the amount of aid you receive in the summer may be different from a regular quarter.

For on-campus courses and most other summer programs (study abroad, Engage Chicago, etc.), summer costs tend to be lower than a regular quarter, so the dollar amount of your summer aid may also be less than you receive in other quarters. Some students who receive financial aid during the academic year may not be financially eligible for Northwestern grant assistance during the summer.

Types of Aid

Federal sources of aid (e.g., Pell Grant or loans) are limited to your remaining eligibility from the current academic year.

If you qualify for Northwestern grant assistance, we will make every effort to ensure that your award remains proportional to a regular quarter.

If you receive other assistance that is exhausted during the academic year or unavailable in the summer (e.g., work-study, outside scholarships, etc.), you may be offered federal student loans to help make up for these resources, if eligible.

If you are awarded outside scholarships or other funding from another source, it is your responsibility to notify our office to have your summer aid eligibility reviewed.

The NU Loan is not available for the summer term.

Non-Northwestern Students & Programs

Students visiting Northwestern while pursuing their degree from another institution are not eligible for financial aid through Northwestern.

Students taking summer courses at institutions outside of Northwestern or unaffiliated study abroad programs are not eligible to receive any financial aid or loans through Northwestern.

Northwestern will not enter into a financial or consortium agreement with another institution for the purposes of processing financial assistance.

Enrollment Changes & Withdrawals

Our office will monitor summer enrollment and may adjust your financial aid if your actual enrollment differs from the expected enrollment reported on your summer aid application. Your aid adjustment will depend on your number of credits, length of enrollment, date of withdrawal, and tuition adjustments. You must be enrolled a minimum of 2.0 units of credit to remain eligible for financial aid.

Financial aid does not cover charges for dropped classes. Contact the billing office (Student Finance) if you have questions about your tuition charges or refund schedule.

How to Apply

Current aid recipients should submit the summer aid application below. All summer programs, including study abroad and other off-campus programs, use the same summer aid application. Additional documentation may be requested. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, and award notifications are typically sent within approximately two weeks after submission.

If you only wish to receive your federal eligibility (e.g., your Pell Grant) for the summer term, you are not required to complete the summer aid application. We will add your federal aid eligibility after you are registered for classes and closer to the start of summer term.

Students who have not previously applied for aid should contact us to learn what additional application materials are required and what types of aid you may be eligible to receive.

Summer aid applications are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis. Please register for your summer courses before completing the summer aid application.
If you would like to request an estimate of your summer aid eligibility, please email us at undergradaid@u.northwestern.edu and provide your intended courses/labs and their start/end dates. If you will not live at home, please also let us know your intended summer housing. You will receive your estimate within 3-5 business days.