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Co-op Programs

The Cooperative Engineering Education Program (Co-op) is designed such that students can complete their academic work in five years while also receiving industry experience.    

Aid During Co-op

Co-op students are not eligible for financial aid for the quarters in which they are participating in their co-op. Students are considered enrolled at the university, but the courseload is “zero” units and a tuition charge is not assessed. Since there are no units and there is no charge, students are not eligible for financial aid.

Scholarship Eligibility

Co-op students are eligible to receive Northwestern scholarship aid during their enrollment and in those quarters in which they have course units. Since the enrollment is spread over 5 years (Traditional Northwestern University Co-op Schedule), the maximum number of years of eligibility is also available for 5 years. Co-op students will have one additional year of eligibility rather than being limited to no more than 4 years as, is the case with other students.

Students who are recipients of outside scholarships should check with their scholarship provider for eligibility during their co-op quarter.  

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.