Financial Aid Quick Facts for New Students

As a new student, there are a few important things you need to know about your financial aid:

Always borrow wisely

Your award letter includes both direct costs paid to the school as well as an estimate of indirect costs such as living expenses. You may not need to borrow the maximum dollar amounts that were awarded to you.

Whenever possible, try to limit the amount of the federal student loans you borrow to only what you need to pay your expenses. Interest begins accruing on the Unsubsidized Stafford Loan as soon as the funds are disbursed.

If you wish to reduce the amount you would like to borrow, contact the Office of Financial Aid.

Complete a Title IV Authorization Form

Northwestern is required to obtain a Title IV Authorization Form from you to pay allowable charges other than standard tuition, fees and/or prior year balances of up to $200. If you do not sign the authorization form, we cannot apply Federal Student Aid to your account until allowable charges are paid by you.

New Federal Student Loan borrowers

If you are applying for a Federal Stafford Loan for the first time, you must complete Entrance Loan Counseling and a Master Promissory Note (MPN). We cannot process your Federal Student Loans until these requirements have been met.

  • Complete both online at – simply log on using your Federal FAFSA PIN number

Payment of financial aid to the University Accounting Office (Room 112)

Financial Aid funds are disbursed into your student account on the 10th business day of the trimester. A check for excess funds will be issued to you if the amount of your financial aid exceeds the tuition and fee charges for this trimester.

Checks will be available for you to pick up after the 10th business day of the trimester. A notice will be sent to your campus email address with a location for pick-up. You will be required to present your Northwestern Student ID Card. If you do not pick up your refund check by the 10th day of the trimester, the check will be mailed to your permanent address.

If you have any questions, contact the Office of Financial Aid.