How to Apply for Aid – Graduate

Students should apply for financial aid at least six weeks before the start of a semester, and are awarded on a first come first serve basis. The FAFSA must be renewed every school year. To complete your application 2 steps 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. You can either fill it out on-line, download a copy and print it out, or call the Admissions Office at 1.800.669.3781 to request an application be mailed to you.

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.)

The Priority Deadline for Fall is February 15th, and Spring is November 15th.

Financial Aid Glossary of Terms

Tips for Completing the FAFSA

After the Application Process – What’s Next?

If you are Selected for Verification:

The Department of Education selects applicants for a process called verification. You will know if you are selected when you receive your Award Letter from NU or your Student Aid Report (i.e., the SAR) from the U.S. Dept. of Ed. stating so. During verification, financial aid administrators request and review various documents (e.g., tax return transcripts) to document that the information provided on the FAFSA is correct. Verification must be completed before aid can be disbursed to a student account.

Submit your Award Letter:

New Students: A PDF copy of your Award Letter will be sent to you via email, once our office has received and reviewed your FAFSA results. The awards on the award letter make up your “award package.” To accept your award package, remember to first read all the terms and conditions of your award located in your award letter, then sign and date both items, on the applicable lines provided. Submit a fully signed copy, including both the award letter and terms & conditions of award, to the Financial Aid Services Office. Keep a second copy for your records.

Continuing Students: Award letters will be sent electronically to the Self-Service portal of the NU Eagle web page. An instructional email will also be sent to your NU email account to guide you through submission.

Submit any Missing Information:

Your Award Letter (both hard copy and electronic) will list any additional documents that our office will need from you before your financial aid can be disbursed onto 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 that our office can process your financial aid accurately and in a timely manner.

If you were awarded a Federal Direct Student Loan, and you accepted the loan(s), it is a requirement that you complete both the Online Entrance Counseling, and sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN), prior to us certifying/disbursing any loan funds.

*** If you would like to request additional funding, in the form of a Federal Graduate PLUS Loan, and do not see these funds listed on your award letter, please visit our Graduate Forms page, to download the Graduate PLUS Loan Request Form. (Follow all instructions, as listed on the form.) 

Report Funds from Other Sources:

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

  • Outside Scholarships
  • Employer Reimbursement Programs
  • Stipends
  • Veterans Education Benefits
  • 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 award will be revised to reflect any changes.

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
  • based on prior enrollment at another institution during the same school year.

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. Federal regulations further prohibit a student from receiving government aid at multiple institutions simultaneously.

Estimate any ‘Out-of-Pocket’ Costs:

Once you have been awarded financial aid, you can use this information to compare with your Cost of Attendance (COA) and determine an estimate of your total costs. The Student Accounts Office handles your account and the charges accrued. Visit the Student Accounts website to access the Financial Estimate Calculator to plug in your values, or contact Student Accounts to receive an estimate for your bill.

Determine a Payment Plan:

If your financial aid does not cover all of your charges, you will need to work with Student Accounts to devise a payment plan. There are a few options for covering remaining balances including:

Receive Your Aid:

Awards are generally disbursed within 30 days from the start of the term, and not until all the following have occurred: 1.) All required documentation has been submitted and reviewed by the Financial Aid Services Office 2.) Federal verification has been completed (if applicable) 3.) Grades have been submitted from the previous term, and Satisfactory Academic Progress has been achieved by the student 4.) The add/drop period has concluded for the semester 5.) The Registrar’s Office has confirmed enrollment/attendance. Generally, enrollment verification takes place by the end of the 3rd week of class. Note: Disbursement dates will vary by semester.

Students are reminded that there are loan origination fees deducted each semester, and can result in small, residual balances in one’s student account. Students are encouraged to review the student account balance after financial aid disbursement to be aware of and pay these residual fees.

Your aid will first be applied to any outstanding balance owed on your NU student account. If all of your charges have been paid, and you owe the University no money, any remaining funds (if applicable) 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 student account to be applied toward future charges, please contact the Student Accounts Office.

Special Circumstances

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