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Financial Awareness Counseling

Why Financial Awareness Counseling?

When you first borrowed federal student loans, you were required to complete online entrance counseling before your loans could be disbursed. Financial awareness counseling (though not required) is part of an ongoing effort to help you "put all the pieces together" by providing tools and information while you are attending school to assist you in managing your finances. Topics covered in this highly recommended step by step guide include:

  • Your current loan balance
  • How to plan ahead, spend wisely and borrow less
  • Tax benefits for education
  • Protecting your credit and identity
  • Estimated monthly repayment amounts under various repayment plans
  • Pros and cons of loan consolidation
  • Loan forgiveness, deferments, and forbearance

To begin your online financial awareness counseling session, click HERE, sign in and select "Complete Counseling." The process will take approximately 20 to 30 minutes. Please note that you must complete the entire session once you begin. If you close your browser before receiving confirmation of successful completion of the session and then return later, you will need to start over from the beginning. Once you have successfully completed the session, your "To Do List" in CAESAR will be updated to “Completed!” within 5 business days.

The following resources may be of assistance in completing the session:

  • Student Account at Student Center > View My Account in CAESAR. (Sample webpage.)
  • Tuition & fees at
  • Estimate of Costs at the link at the bottom of the "Accept/Decline Financial Aid" webpage in CAESAR. (Sample webpage.)
  • Loan totals at "View Northwestern Financial Aid History" in CAESAR. Click on the third tab "Debt Summ - Loan Type" at the top of the page. (Sample webpage.)
    • Note: When you sign in to the financial counseling tool, your total federal student loan debt from all institutions will be retrieved from the National Student Loan Data System(NSLDS). You may add any loans that are not yet reflected in NSLDS.
 If you have any questions, please contact your Financial Aid Office.