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Tuition and Aid

Northwestern’s options make higher education more accessible.

Working Together

From scholarships and grants to work-study programs, low-interest student loans, and payment plans, we're here for students and their families, from application to graduation and beyond.

Photo of a student playing in band

of students are employed or continuing their education full-time six months after graduation (2013)

I come from a family of four siblings who were all in college almost concurrently. Northwestern gave me an amazing opportunity to study at a world-class university without worrying about crushing debt.”

Timothy Suh

I’m a first-generation college student coming from a single-parent household with three younger siblings. Northwestern’s financial aid showed me that while I was finally away from home and on my own, my dream school would support me every step of the way.”

Darlene Reyes

need blind when determining the admission for US citizens and permanent residents

of undergraduates receive financial aid

in scholarship assistance (2015-16)

A Variety of Aid Options

No two families’ finances are exactly alike. Using federal guidelines and University policies and procedures, Northwestern's financial aid staff reviews each family's situation carefully to meet a student's full financial need.

Student with his parents walking through the arch

Parent financing options

Whether or not you qualify for aid, you might worry about the ability to pay your college bills. Both need-based federal loans and non need-based loans—such as our NU Loan and the low-interest federal PLUS loan—are available through the Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid.

Financial Aid for Parents
Students in class

Our scholarships

Approximately 51 percent of our undergraduates receive a Northwestern University scholarship, which does not need to be repaid. Visit the Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid for more information.

All Northwestern Scholarships


Your family's financial contribution, called the Expected Family Contribution (EFC), is based on information provided on two forms: the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The formula used to calculate the EFC takes into account the following factors: your earnings and savings, parental income, nonretirement assets, taxes paid, family size, number of family members in college, private K-12 school costs, nondiscretionary expenses and any special circumstances.

Families whose EFC is less than the total Cost of Attendance (COA) for one year at Northwestern have what is known as "demonstrated financial need." Northwestern's financial aid package equals the difference between the COA and the EFC.

You can also use our Net Price Calculator, which estimates the amount of grants, scholarships and aid that may be available so you can find the "net price" of attendance.


This chart shows average aid packages across a range of family Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) levels awarded to Northwestern freshmen who enrolled in Fall 2015.

Family Income (AGI)* Percent Receiving Aid Average Aid Package
$0-$29,999 98% $50,029
$30,000-$59,999 96% $56,752
$60,000-$89,999 89% $50,877
$90,000-$119,999 87% $44,021
$120,000-$149,999 91% $37,537
$150,000 or more 50% $25,876

*Families in the higher income ranges may have more than one student enrolled in college to qualify for aid.

A financial aid package typically includes a combination of need-based scholarships, grants, loans and part-time work that together meet a student's full financial need. See examples of different financial aid packages on the Undergraduate Financial Aid website.

2015-16 Figures Amount
Tuition for full-time students in degree programs

Full-time registration for all undergraduate degree-seeking students is 3 to 5.5 units of credit in a quarter. Tuition is billed on the first invoice for each quarter.

Room & board

The figure is based on the weighted average cost of a double room on campus and the equivalent of a 19-meal board contract. 


Fees include: Loan fee ($35), Health fee ($200), Associated Student Government fee ($174), Athletic fee ($49).


These figures, based on average costs, include: Books and supplies ($1,620) and personal expenses ($2,457).

Variable figures

Additional costs such as transportation (dependent on the distance of your home to campus) and Loan Origination Fees, will vary from student to student.


Payment dates are aligned to Northwestern's quarter system. For parents who prefer to spread quarterly payments over nine months, Northwestern offers a payment plan called 9PAY, which allows parents to pay their bills in nine monthly payments. Learn more about 9Pay Payment Plan on the Student Financial Services website.

Term eBill Available Payment Due
Fall 2015 August 10 September 1
Winter 2016 December 10 January 1
Spring 2016 March 10 April 1
Summer 2016 May 10 June 1
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