Students are eligible for up to four years of Northwestern financial aid, including summer enrollment. You are welcome to consider enrolling during the summer as a path to graduate within four years.
Summer is the final quarter of an academic year. If you receive financial aid during 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 and federal student loans.
You must also be a current undergraduate student. Newly admitted first-year and transfer students are not eligible to apply for summer aid prior to fall quarter matriculation. In addition, students who graduate in June cannot receive aid in the summer term.
Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
Summer should cost your family approximately the same amount out of pocket as any other quarter of the academic year. Your calculated family contribution for the summer term is the same as a regular quarter during that academic year. Typically, the summer EFC 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 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.
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 up to 4 courses. If you plan to enroll in more than 4.0 units of credit, you may be eligible for loan assistance to help cover the cost of overload tuition. Institutional assistance is not provided for overload enrollment charges in any quarter.
In addition, the summer cost of attendance may vary based on other factors, including the length of your enrollment and your intended living arrangements (e.g., on-campus residence hall, Evanston-area apartment, at home, etc.).
For on-campus courses and off-campus summer programs (i.e., Chicago Field Studies, Engage Chicago, study abroad and GESI, and SESP Practicum), summer costs tend to be lower than a regular quarter, so the dollar amount of your summer aid may 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 due to lower costs of enrollment.
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 summer 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 (if eligible) to help make up for these resources in the summer.
If you are awarded outside scholarships or other funding from another source in the summer, you are required 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.
Our office will monitor summer enrollment and may adjust your financial aid if your actual enrollment differs or changes 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 in order to be eligible for financial aid.
If you intend to change your summer enrollment, especially after the start of the summer term, we strongly recommend that you contact our office to speak with a financial aid counselor about how your aid eligibility would change.
Current aid recipients: After you have finalized your summer enrollment plans, complete the Summer Aid Application below. All summer programs, including study abroad and off-campus programs, use the same summer aid application. Additional documentation may be requested upon review of your application. 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.
Non-Aid Recipients: Students who have not previously applied for aid during the academic year should contact us to learn what additional application materials are required and what types of aid you may be eligible to receive.
If you have not yet finalized your summer enrollment plans, you may request a summer aid estimate to receive an outline of your approximate aid eligibility. Summer aid estimates for Summer 2023 will be available beginning in Winter 2023. The summer aid application will be posted in Spring 2023.