FAQs

Pick from the categories of FAQs below:

Selecting Northwestern

When is my tuition deposit due?

To confirm your place in the incoming first-year or transfer class, you must submit your nonrefundable $400 tuition deposit by the deadline associated with your admission round. To pay, first activate your NetID and password, wait 24 hours, then log on to Northwestern's secure CAESAR system and follow the prompts. Both your tuition and housing deposits must be received in order to finalize your enrollment.

When is my room reservation deposit due?

Incoming first year students are guaranteed on-campus housing through the Office of Undergraduate Housing if it was requested on the application for admission. If you plan to live in campus housing, your nonrefundable $200 housing deposit is due by the deadline associated with your admission round. The instructions for submitting a housing deposit are included within the instructions for paying your tuition deposit above.

Students who requested housing will receive additional information in May. All notifications regarding housing will be sent to your Northwestern student email account.

Do I need a final secondary school transcript?

You must submit your final high school transcript as soon as it becomes available and no later than August 1. Your high school can do so online through the Common Application web site using their Final Report form until August 1, or your high school can mail it directly to the Office of Undergraduate Admission. A final transcript must include either an actual date of graduation or a statement that you have graduated. You will not be able to register for classes until your final transcript is received.

Transfer students:

As soon as you complete the semester or quarter you are currently enrolled in at your present university, if applicable, please forward an official copy of your final transcript to the Office of Undergraduate Admission.

For frequently asked questions about our review of your final transcript, please visit The Office of Undergraduate Admission's FAQ page.

I have questions about my financial aid package. Whom should I contact?

Contact Undergraduate Financial Aid with specific questions about the financial aid process at 847-491-8000 or newstudentaid@northwestern.edu.

Email-Accounts

How can I activate my Northwestern e-mail account?

If you haven't activated your @u.northwestern.edu account yet, please go here to get started with the e-mail, IM, calendar, docs, spreadsheets, and presentations collaboration suite. If you've already set up your account, visit and bookmark u.northwestern.edu to log in with your NetID and NetID password.

With @u.northwestern.edu, you'll be able to collaborate with other students and manage e-mail, schedules, documents, and more. Keep in mind that the e-mail Northwestern sends to your account is considered official communication, and you're expected to stay on top of it. Whenever you have a question about e-mail, go to our NUIT website or email the NUIT Support Center.

How do I check e-mail?

Go to u.northwestern.edu and use your log in and password to access your email.

What if I forget my e-mail password?

You can check or change your password through the Northwestern University Information Technology (NUIT) website or by contacting their Information Center at (847) 491-HELP. You may also e-mail questions to consultant@northwestern.edu

Do I have to use my Northwestern e-mail account? I already have an existing address.

Northwestern University's official policy, University E-mail Notifications To Students, states that your Northwestern e-mail account, "is a valid mechanism for official communication with students at Northwestern University. The university has the right to send official communications to students by e-mail. The university has the right to expect that students will receive e-mail and will read e-mail [sent to their Northwestern account] in a timely fashion."

Additional computing policies can be found on Northwestern University Information Technology's website.

Housing

When is my online housing application due?

Online housing applications are due in early June. The online housing application is available at the Freshman Housing website!

Please note that Northwestern does NOT offer housing on a 'first come, first served' basis. We want our new students to have a chance to look over all the information we provide online and take the time to make informed decisions regarding where they want to live. Please do not feel that you need to fill out the application the moment it becomes available online.

When will I get my housing assignment?

Housing assignments are sent to incoming freshmen during the first week of August, via your Northwestern e-mail account. The entire housing process, from application to assignment, will be an online process. Check your Northwestern e-mail account and Undergraduate Housing regularly for updates and information.

What are the dimensions of my room?

Because there are so many diverse housing options for students on campus, we are unable to offer exact room dimensions for specific rooms or buildings. We suggest that you look at the Residence Hall and College descriptions to see estimates for average room sizes in each building.

Can I tour a residence hall room before school starts?

Undergraduate Housing and University Residential Life DO NOT offer tours of housing facilities and individual rooms. Contact Undergraduate Admission for information on campus tours and Preview Northwestern.

How long are the beds? I heard that I'll need special sheets.

Mattresses in Northwestern's Residential Colleges and Halls are 80" in length. Bedding manufacturers also refer to this size as an "extra long twin."

Wildcat Welcome

What is Wildcat Welcome?

Wildcat Welcome is the name of Northwestern's new student orientation program for all incoming undergraduate first year and transfer students.

To learn more about this mandatory but fun program, visit the Wildcat Welcome website which will be updated continuously throughout the spring and summer.

Do I have to come to campus over the summer for orientation?

No, Northwestern does not offer any summer orientation programs. All orientation activities, including academic advising and course registration, will take place during Wildcat Welcome. All new first year and transfer students are required to attend the events and activities associated with Wildcat Welcome.

When will I register for fall quarter classes?

Academic advising and registration will take place during Wildcat Welcome. Specific academic advising schedules by school and individual registration times will be available over the summer on the Wildcat Welcome schedule.

Do I have to take any placement tests prior to Wildcat Welcome?

If you have previously studied a foreign language (Arabic, Latin, Chinese, French, Japanese, Korean, German, Hindi, Italian, Portuguese, Russian/Slavic, Spanish, or Swahili), chemistry, computer science, mathematics, or physics, and you plan to continue to study these subjects at Northwestern, you'll need to determine at what level to begin. Departments teaching these subjects may use your scores on the Advanced Placement (AP) Examination, SAT II, and/or a Northwestern placement exam to help you plan an appropriate academic program.

Carefully read the Placement Exam section of this website to determine if you need to take a placement test either over the summer or during Wildcat Welcome. As a rule, online placement exams should be taken as early as possible.

Can I get a printed copy of the Wildcat Welcome schedule?

Upon check-in to your residence hall or residential college, you will receive a printed booklet that will contain the complete Wildcat Welcome schedule. The entire Wildcat Welcome schedule will also be available online at the Wildcat Welcome website starting the end of June/beginning of July.

Who is my Peer Adviser?

The Wildcat Welcome staff members - known as Peer Advisers - are returning Northwestern students who have completed training and are knowledgeable about various services, programs, and procedures on campus. As an incoming freshman or transfer student, you will be assigned to a peer advising group facilitated by a Peer Adviser for the duration of Wildcat Welcome. By late August, your Peer Adviser's name and contact information will be posted on the Personal Information section of the Wildcat Welcome website and your Peer Adviser will e-mail you to say hello and see if you have any questions.

Computing

Where do I start learning about Northwestern's information technology services?

Northwestern University Information Technology (NUIT) is the department that assists students with computing needs on campus. Their newsletter, Get Connected, is mailed in mid-May to all new students and contains a plethora of information that includes an introduction to Northwestern's digital community, computing standards, and the range of online tools and resources to prepare you for connecting to the Northwestern network, buying the right computer for NUIT and individual school requirements.

Does Northwestern have computer purchasing guidelines?

Northwestern University Information Technology provides recommended guidelines for purchasing computers, PDA's, and other hardware. To ensure compatibility with Northwestern technology, please review the recommendations before making your purchase and the Get Connected newsletter.

To purchase a computer or other technical hardware at academic discounted prices, please visit Northwestern's Virtual Store. Northwestern does not endorse any particular vendor.

Does my academic school have specific computing requirements?

The Northwestern University Information Technology newsletter, Get Connected, outlines school-specific computing requirements.

Health and Insurance Forms

I misplaced my health and/or insurance forms. Where can I get replacements?

All health and insurance forms are available online. Many questions about Health Services can be answered through their Frequently Asked Questions webpage. Illinois law and Northwestern University mandate the completion of specific Entrance Health Requirements for all new full-time undergraduate students. You should download, complete, and return both the Admission Health Record, the Tuberculosis (TB) Self-Screening online form, and the Student Health Coverage Selection Form as soon as possible.

Visit the Entrance Health Requirements for New Students section of the Health Service website for detailed information on health-related forms and visit the Insurance Office website for detailed health coverage information.

When are the health and insurance forms due?

For Fall admits, the Admission Health Record form is due by July 1st. Late entrants/Transfer students should return the forms within 30 days of receipt. Visit the Health Service's Entrance Health Requirements for New Students information page for more details.

The Insurance Coverage Selection form is due October 1st. Visit the Insurance Department of the Health Service for more information. For other questions related to Health Services, please check the Health Services Frequently Asked Questions webpage.

Student Accounts

Whom should I contact with questions about tuition, fees, billing and payments?

The undergraduate division of Student Financial Services can assist you with questions concerning student accounts, billing and payments, financial aid and student loans. While the Student Financial Services counselors will be able to respond directly to many of your inquiries, at times they may find it necessary to refer specific questions to our colleagues in Financial Aid, Student Accounts, Student Loans, or in other university offices in order to best serve you.

Be sure to review the Frequently Asked Questions portion of the Student Financial Services website for helpful information.

Pre-Wildcat Welcome Programs

Does Northwestern offer any special programs for new students prior to orientation?

Information about the Pre-Wildcat Welcome programs will be mailed out in early June, but more information on these programs can be found on the Pre-Wildcat Welcome section of this website.

The Pre-Wildcat Welcome programs have strict application deadlines, so please review their materials carefully.

Undergraduate Move-In

What should I bring to campus?

See the "What Should I Pack?" section on the Living@NU website for a list of what to bring and what to leave at home.

Can I ship items to campus?

Yes! Please see the instructions for shipping your belongings to campus on the Living@NU website.

Can I move in early?

No early move-in options are available. There are no exceptions to this policy.

When should I arrive on move-in day?

All new students living in the residence halls will be asked to sign up for a specific move in time. More information about these specific move in times, will be available via the Wildcat Welcome move in site. If you have special circumstances in which you need a specific move in time, please contact the Office of Residential Life.

On move-in day, where are parents and students permitted to park? How long can we park?

For all the details about move-in day and parking, please see the move-in day section of the Wildcat Welcome website.

Will there be students to assist with move-in?

On move-in day, all Wildcat Welcome Peer Advisers will be assisting with your move in to the residence halls. We also have a volunteer crew called the Purple Posse that will be assisting with move in, escorting parents to their orientation sessions and answering questions at information kiosks around campus.

When should parents plan on leaving?

Parent events will be scheduled for the first day of Wildcat Welcome starting after the move-in time slots are completed. Parent and Family Orientation programming will begin on Monday evening. Required student events will begin Monday morning (with events in the residence hall on Monday evening) and will continue through the rest of Wildcat Welcome. Parents and family members generally will leave mid-afternoon on Tuesday.

Cell Phones, Banks & Hotels

Does Northwestern recommend a particular cell phone carrier?

Northwestern neither endorses nor recommends any particular cellular provider, but there are several vendors who provide service in the Evanston area. These vendors are AT&T, Sprint/Nextel, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon. For more information on cell phone service on campus, visit
http://www.it.northwestern.edu/telephone/cellphone.html.  Please note, University-provided landline service in student rooms is available by request only, it's a good idea to bring your cell phone to campus. The Undergraduate Housing Office will distribute information about how to order landline service for your University-managed residence hall room. WildCARD Advantage Business is also a good resource for students to review.

Which banks are located near campus?

Northwestern neither endorses nor recommends any particular bank.  The only bank located on campus is U.S. Bank (which can be linked to your WildCARD), however, many other national banks are located in Evanston and are walking distance from Northwestern's campus.  National banks located in Evanston include (in no particular order) Chase, Bank of America, National City, Citibank, Fifth Third, and others.  This list is subject to change, so we recommend you contact the national bank you are most comfortable with to determine whether they have a location in Evanston, IL.

Where can parents stay while in Evanston?

There are many options for accommodations in Evanston and the surrounding areas. This is not a complete listing as there are many hotel options in the Chicagoland area, so feel free to use your own selection methods as well (hotels.com, lodging.com, the 800 number of your favorite hotel chain, etc). WildCARD Advantage Business is also a good resource for students to review.

Services for Students with Disabilities

What is Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD)?

SSD is the office that determines the appropriate academic and programmatic accommodations for students with disabilities. Through SSD, students can make arrangements for modifications such as testing accommodations, books on CD or in e-text, scribe services, auxiliary aids, handicap parking placards, sign language interpreting, and other accommodations as determined appropriate by SSD and the student requesting an accommodation.

How do I know if my condition is considered to be a disability and if I qualify for accommodations?

Students with physical or mental conditions that interfere with major life activities may qualify for accommodations. SSD provides services to students with various disabilities including, but not limited to, learning disabilities, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD), sensory impairments, mobility impairments, anxiety disorders, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and chronic medical conditions.

Accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis. If you are unsure if you qualify for accommodations, please contact SSD.

How are reasonable accommodations determined?

Accommodations must be supported by documentation from a professional, such as a physician, psychologist or learning specialist.

In general, disability documentation must be comprehensive enough to allow the SSD staff to make informed decisions about reasonable accommodations and should include the name of the condition, a description of how the condition impacts one's major life activities as well as recommendations for adjustments.

Additional information about documentation requirements is available online. Accommodations will be determined after careful consideration of disability documentation, need for accommodation and program requirements.

What is the procedure for receiving academic accommodations at Northwestern University?

Each student requesting disability accommodations must meet with SSD staff to review his/her disability documentation and cooperatively determine accommodations. Once accommodations have been determined and the student has signed an accommodations agreement, accommodations can be implemented with various departments. Please visit SSD's website for more details about SSD's registration procedure.

To promote self-advocacy, students who have been granted testing accommodations are typically asked to meet with each of their instructors, in the beginning of each quarter, to discuss accommodation needs and to deliver letters from SSD verifying which accommodations have been granted. Because accommodations are individual and granted on a case-by-case basis, there are many methods of implementation. SSD staff will discuss accommodation arrangements with each student registered with the office when appropriate accommodations are determined.

Will any information regarding my disability be printed on my transcript?

No. Disability-related information is maintained in the SSD office.

SSD follows a strict confidentiality policy. For more information, please contact the SSD office.

How can I reach SSD?

Availability of walk-in appointments is very limited during Wildcat Welcome so it is recommended that students call the SSD staff at (847) 467-5530 (V)/(847) 467-5533 (TTY) or e-mail them at ssd@northwestern.edu to set up an appointment.