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Northwestern QuestBridge

The QuestBridge College Match Program partners institutions with high-achieving low-income students. Northwestern is proud to have participated in the QuestBridge College match program since 2009. In our commitment to ensuring student success, the University provides generous financial scholarships to matched students.

If I am a matched student, how is my scholarship amount determined?

Once you have been matched and Northwestern has received all of your application materials, we use this general criteria to determine your eligibility:

  • No matched student has a calculated parent contribution. A matched student may have a student contribution (summer earnings and/or student asset).
  • Matched students may have a work component in their award.
  • All costs beyond the student contribution and work component will be covered by federal, state, and/or institutional scholarships.

Are all of my costs covered?

Northwestern uses standard costs when determining eligibility. Once we have established your contribution, we meet your need with federal, state, and institutional assistance, including student employment (e.g., work-study). This does not guarantee that you will not owe any balance; your actual costs may fall above or below the standard amounts. It is therefore important that you budget carefully in order to maximize your available resources.  Be particularly thoughtful when making your housing selections and buying your books. Financial aid counselors are always available to help.

I have a balance due on my student account. Aren't all of my costs covered?

Since Northwestern uses standard costs when determining eligibility, your costs can deviate from these standard amounts. For the most part, any additional costs will not increase your aid eligibility, so you should be mindful when making your financial decisions. For example, Northwestern's standard costs includes the cost of a standard double room. If you select a more expensive option (like a single room) or a less expensive option (like a triple) your aid will not be adjusted. In addition, your summer earnings and/or work component may help cover some of your costs.

There are cases, such as health insurance or other special circumstances that may warrant an adjustment to your award. Consult with a financial aid counselor if you have any questions.

Note: Although Northwestern meets your full need, it is also important to note that some of your need may be met with work. Work-study funds must be earned and do not apply directly to your student account like grants and scholarships.

Will I receive additional assistance with my NU-SHIP health insurance premium?

Northwestern requires all students to have health insurance. If you do not have coverage or your coverage does not meet the University's minimum requirements, QuestBridge Match students are eligible to receive Northwestern scholarship assistance to cover the cost of the student health insurance plan offered by the University.

What if I have an outside scholarships or other resources? How is my award affected?

Your total resources cannot exceed your cost of attendance, therefore any additional resources must be accounted for in your award package. Outside scholarships will first reduce the work components and then the summer earnings contribution. Outside resources beyond these will reduce the Northwestern grant, dollar for dollar.

I am a QuestBridge Match. Why wasn’t I offered Federal Work-Study in my award?

Eligibility for Federal Work-Study is based on federal methodology as applied to the information reported on your FAFSA. If Federal Work-Study was not included in your award,  you do not have eligibility to participate in the Federal Work-Study since all of your federal and institutional need has been met with grant assistance.

Although you are not eligible for a Federal Work-Study allotment, you may explore non-work-study employment options once you are on campus.  Some popular options include the employment with the University Dining Services or the University Phone-a-thon.

Why was a loan offer included in my award?

A federal Direct Subsidized or Unsubsidized Loan may be included in your award notice to reflect your federal aid eligibility. This loan was simply provided as an optional financing option. 

Am I eligible for additional loan?

You may be able to request additional loan funding, for example to replace your federal work-study allotment. Also, students needing additional assistance for unusual expenses may be offered loans as well. Some examples include: single room, study abroad, computer purchase, and vision or dental insurance.

I was a QuestBridge Finalist, but I was not matched by Northwestern. How is my scholarship amount determined?

Non-matched students will have their financial aid eligibility determined through our standard need-based awarding process. Finalists can still participate in the Northwestern QuestBridge Scholars Network (NQSN).

 Still have questions? Please contact us!