How to Apply for Aid – Online Campus

Students in the online programs are eligible to apply for federal aid, and two forms are required:

1. Complete an Admissions Application  

Northwest University awards financial aid to students that have been approved for admission. To apply for admission, you must complete the Admission Application here online.northwestu.edu/admissions or, call the Admissions Office at 866-327-0264.

2. Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)  

The FAFSA is required by all schools that offer federal or state aid. To complete the FAFSA, visit www.fafsa.gov. The Northwest University FAFSA School Code is 003783 (Note: Your social security number is required to complete a FAFSA, – Higher Education Act of 1965.)

These applications must be completed every year. Students are awarded on a first come first serve basis. It is highly recommended that students complete these forms at least six weeks before the start of a semester.

Types of Available Aid

Tips for Completing the FAFSA

Financial Aid Glossary of Terms

After the Application Process–What’s Next?

1. If you are Selected for Verification…

The Department of Education selects about 30% of applicants for a process called verification (refer to “Glossary of Terms”). You will know if you are selected when you receive your Award Letter or your SAR. During verification, Financial Aid Administrators request and then review various documents (i.e. tax return transcripts and/or other verification forms) to document that the information provided on the FAFSA is correct. Verification must be completed before aid can be disbursed onto a student account. Until verification is completed, the financial aid package a student initially receives is estimated and subject to change per federal regulations or must be confirmed once verification is completed.

2. Turn in your Award Letter and Other Documents.

An Award Letter will be available once our office has received both your FAFSA results and your NU Application for Financial Aid. The awards on this letter make up your “award package”. To accept your award package, remember to first read all the terms and conditions of your award, then submit your signature. Once a student is a current student, award packages can be sent, viewed, and submitted electronically.

Your Award Letter will also list any additional documents that our office will need from you before your financial aid can be disbursed to your student account. Keep in mind that new requirements may appear based on information we receive that impacts your eligibility after an initial award offer is made. Turn in your paperwork ASAP so our office can process your financial aid fully!

3. Report Funds from Other Sources.

Aid received from outside sources may affect your aid eligibility. Additional aid sources may include:

  • Outside Scholarships
  • Stipends
  • Veterans Education Benefits, etc.
  • Private Alternative Loans

If you are expecting funds from these or other sources, let us know immediately to avoid any surprises if we have to recover funds already disbursed to you. Your awards will be revised to reflect any changes.

4. Awards may Change; Know the Requirements.

Some awards are estimated…

  • based on preliminary information from the funding source
  • because your enrollment determines the actual amount, not to exceed the estimate
  • based on awards you received during previous semesters.

Your awards may be revised if we receive updated information that requires it. Federal regulations prohibit you from receiving more financial aid than your cost of attendance.

5. Estimate Your Costs.

Once you have been awarded financial aid you can use this information to compare with your program’s cost of attendance and come up with an estimate of your total costs. This cost of attendance can be provided by a representative from the Financial Services Team. The Student Accounts Office handles your account and the charges accrued. Visit the Student Accounts website to access the Financial Estimate Calculator and plug in your numbers, or contact Student Accounts to receive an estimate for your bill.

6. Receive Your Aid.

Payments you owe to the University are charged to your student account. If all of your financial aid paperwork is completed prior to the beginning of your cohort, all available financial aid funds will be disbursed to your student account after the add/drop period ends to go toward covering your balance.

If all of your charges have been paid, you owe the University no money, and a credit balance results. The remaining funds will most often be issued to you in the form of a refund check from the Cashier’s Office. If you would like the funds to remain on your account to go towards covering future charges please contact the Student Accounts Office. (If your credit balance is due to PLUS Loan funds, your parent has the option to choose to have the refund sent to them directly, given to you in the form of a refund check, or left on your student account.)

Special Circumstances

Sometimes the FAFSA may not reflect the true financial situation your family is in – Ex: cases where your family has had a change of employment, additional expenses including unexpected medical expenses, or emergency situations. We recognize that each situation is unique, so please communicate your circumstance to the Financial Aid Services Office.