Applying for Federal Financial Aid

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Step 1 - Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

It is preferable, but not required, to fill out your FAFSA after you have filed your federal income tax return. Learn more about when to apply

Prospective students

To apply for federal financial aid, you must complete a FAFSA. In the process of filling out a FAFSA, you will apply for a Federal Student Aid PIN which you will use to sign your FAFSA.

The Northwestern Health Sciences University school code is 012328. An online FAFSA is typically processed within several days if you thoroughly complete the application.

For a preliminary estimate of the financial aid you are eligible to receive, use the Student Aid Calculator.

Current students

To continue to receive federal financial aid each year, you must submit a FAFSA (click on "Returning User" button) and sign with your PIN. Our Financial Aid Office will keep you informed about this process. GO TO STEP 4.

Step 2 - Complete Online Entrance Counseling for Federal Direct Loans

Prospective students

Federal Direct Loans are fixed-rate student loans for undergraduate and graduate students attending college at least half-time. Federal Direct loans are the most common and one of the lowest-cost ways to pay for school.

If you are applying for a Federal Direct Loan, you must complete online Entrance Counseling by filling out an online questionnaire. To complete the questionnaire, sign in with your Federal Student Aid ID and follow the online instructions.

Once you complete the online entrance counseling, Northwestern can access this information automatically, to start processing your loan.

Step 3 - Sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN)

Prospective students

To complete your Federal Direct Loan application process, you must sign a Master Promissory Note with your Federal Student Aid ID. The promissory note is a legal document that obligates you to repay your federal student loan. To sign your promissory note, Federal Student Aid ID  and follow the rest of the online instructions.

Step 4 - Submit additional documentation as requested

You may be selected for verification, a process in which the Financial Aid Office must verify certain information that you or your parent provided on the FAFSA. If you are selected for verification, you will be notified by email about any additional documentation that is required. Learn more about documentation and verification.

You may also "Track Your Financial Aid" on your FAFSA and view the "Documents" tab to see if any additional documentation is required.

Online tools

GradReady - helping you manage the financing of your education

To help you prepare for what's ahead, Northwestern Health Sciences University offers a useful, free tool - GradReady.

The website is secure and has great videos, tools and resources to help you understand important financial topics, including how to manage your tuition, budget and bills.

Women's Guide to Paying for College - advice for securing financial aid

For expert advice on finding and securing scholarships, grants and financial aid - visit Women's Guide to Paying for College.

This no-cost guide provides key financial aid information and resources all in one place - including an interview with a college admissions expert who specializes in funding higher education for women.

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