Early Decision Application Instructions
Follow the steps below to apply for financial aid. Once all materials are received, the Financial Aid Office will review your application to determine aid eligibility. You will be notified of your aid package shortly after your admission decision.
For more information on how we determine aid eligibility, see the Aid Basics & Eligibility section.
If you wish only to apply for federal aid, you just need to complete and submit the FAFSA.
|Task||Submit as early as||Submit no later than||Instructions|
|Complete Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)*||October 1||December 1||
|Complete College Scholarship Service Profile (CSS)||October 1||December 1||
|Submit Tax Materials||November 1||December 5||
Your Award Package
*If you only wish to apply for federal aid, you only need to complete and submit the FAFSA.
You will receive your financial aid decision shortly after your admission decision. If you have demonstrated institutional financial need, your financial aid package may include a combination of scholarship or grant assistance, student loans, and student employment.
- If you have been offered a loan, you will receive loan information in June with instructions on how to apply for it.
- If you would like to submit information regarding a change in your financial situation, please refer to our Special Circumstances Review webpage for instructions.
Upon being admitted to the Early Decision program, the expectation is that students will withdraw any other admission applications and deposit at Northwestern by February 1. While this is considered a binding contract, there is an exception in place for cases of financial hardship. If a family completes the financial aid application by the December 1 deadline and believes that the resulting financial aid award would make it impossible for the student to attend, our office first asks that they file a Special Circumstances Review request outlining any possible special circumstances and correcting any mistakes on the application. Though this review may or may not result in a change to the financial aid award, the student can petition the director of financial aid requesting to be released from the Early Decision contract if the family still feels that it would be financially impossible for the student to accept the offer of admission.