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Financial Aid Payment Procedures

Receiving payments
Depending on the type of aid, payments will be applied to either your student account or made directly to you.

Payments applied to your account Payments made directly to you
  • Federal Title IV Financial Aid, excluding work-study earnings
  • Institutional Financial Assistance (Aid from Northwestern)
  • Outside Scholarships
  • State Assistance
  • Loans Disbursed Electronically
  • Loan Checks made Co-payable to the Student and the University
  • Work-study pay checks for Federal College Work-Study positions
  • Excess aid in your student account (if aid exceeds your amount due, you may receive a refund)
  • Excess aid from a loan check (if you receive a loan check and have no balance in your student account)
  • Excess aid from anticipated aid (if your student account indicates aid has been processed but not disbursed, you may be eligible for a cash advance)

More about procedures for various payment types

Federal Title IV Financial Aid Payments
Federal Title IV financial aid, excluding federal work-study, is applied directly to your tuition and fees account. Your student account contains charges for tuition, allowable fees, and room and board. It may also include charges such as library fines, parking fines, room damage charges, and health service fees.

You may authorize the University to use your Title IV aid to pay for all charges billed to your account or to limit your Title IV payments to tuition, allowable fees, and room and board charges. You may change this authorization at any time through the Office of Student Accounts.

Work-Study Payments
Federal Work-Study funds are not automatically credited towards student accounts. They are issued directly to you. The University Payroll department now requires work-study paychecks to be direct-deposited into your bank account. Set up direct deposit on the Faculty and Staff Information System (FASIS).

Pay is deposited on a biweekly basis. You will receive it on Fridays, two weeks after the end of the pay period.

Scholarship Checks
You are required to forward scholarship checks to the Office of Financial Aid so that funds can be applied to your student account.

Student Loans
Loans are disbursed directly to your student account. Often students plan to use loan funds for living expenses. If you have a credit balance of actual funds in your student account (not a credit balance due to anticipated aid), you may receive a refund.

Law School, Kellogg, and Medill graduate students currently receive automatic refunds and need only notify Student Accounts if they do not wish to receive a refund; all other students must request a refund each term.

You can request a refund or establish direct deposit, which would send refunds directly to your chosen bank account, via CAESAR.