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Tuition and Fees Frequently Asked Questions

Tuition:
  1. If I withdraw from school, will I receive a refund?
  2. If I drop a course, will my tuition for that course be refunded?
  3. How many courses does full-time tuition cover?
  4. Are any federal tax credits or deductions available for tuition and fees payments?
Fees:
  1. Is University hospital insurance required?
  2. If I register late, will I be charged a penalty?
  3. Is rush service available on a transcript?
Housing and Meals:
  1. How do I reserve a room in University housing?
  2. How much does it cost to live in University housing?
  3. Are housing options available to graduate students?
  4. How often am I billed for housing?
  5. If I move out, is my contract automatically canceled?
  6. If I cancel my room reservation, will my deposit be refunded?
  7. How can I buy a meal plan?
  8. Can I change my meal plan after I sign the contract?
  9. Are there meal plans for graduate students?
Tuition:

1. If I withdraw from school, will I receive a refund?
You may be eligible for a refund of refundable fees and some of your tuition, depending on when you turn in your Withdrawal Form to the Registrar's Office. The Offices of Student Accounts and Financial Aid consider the date the completed form is received at the Registrar's Office as the official date governing financial adjustments. If you leave the University without official notification of your intent to withdraw, the midpoint of the quarter will be recorded as the official withdrawal date.

The percentage of tuition you receive depends on your school or program, as well as the percentage of the term that had elapsed by your official withdrawal date. For the refund schedule, see the Withdrawal from the University section of Registration Changes and Tuition Refunds.

2. If I drop a course, will my tuition for that course be refunded?
You will not be charged any tuition or fees for the dropped course if you file a completed Change of Registration Form with the Registrar's Office within the first five days of the quarter. The University cannot give refunds or reduce tuition bills for any course dropped after the fifth day of classes.

3. How many courses does full-time tuition cover?
Different schools and programs have different definitions of full-time status. The following schools have identified the required number of courses for full-time tuition charges.

  • Kellogg School of Management: 3 - 5 courses.
  • McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science: MEM and MPM: 3 - 4 courses; MITP: 2 courses
  • Medill School of Journalism: Graduate Journalism and IMC: 3 - 4 courses; PMP-IMC: 2 courses
  • School of Music: 3 - 5 courses
  • The Graduate School: 3 - 4 courses
  • Undergraduate Division: 3- 4 courses

4. Are any federal tax credits or deductions available for tuition and fees payments?
You may be eligible for one of two federal tax credit programs for tuition and fees:

  • The Hope Scholarship Tax Credit addresses the first two years of college. It allows taxpayers to claim a tax credit of up to $1,650 per eligible student for each year.
  • The Lifetime Learning Credit is for college juniors, seniors and graduate students. The Lifetime Learning Credit allows taxpayers up to a maximum $2,000 tax credit per return.

Alternately, you may be eligible for a tax deduction. Eligible taxpayers can deduct qualified, limited educational expenses from adjusted gross income. The tuition deduction allows for a reduction of income subject to tax by up to $4,000.

For more information on tax benefits, see the Tax Information web page.

Fees:

5. Is University hospital insurance required?
University hospital insurance is required for all full-time students who do not have other hospitalization coverage. All students, new and returning, who do not wish to participate in the Northwestern plan must submit a waiver (including evidence of comparable medical coverage through another plan).

University hospital insurance is optional for part time students, who must show proof of registration in two classes on a continuing basis to secure the Plan for each quarter of enrollment desired. Part-time students enrolled in the hospitalization plan must also pay a Health Clinic Fee.

For more information about insurance, see your school or program's Tuition and Fees page.

6. If I register late, will I be charged a penalty?
You will be charged $25 for registering at an unscheduled time. If you cannot pay the penalty fee at registration, you will be charged an additional $5 surcharge for billing.

7. Is rush service available on a transcript?
Rush service is available for an additional $7.

Housing and Meals:

8. How do I reserve a room in University housing?
To reserve a space in one of Northwestern's residence halls, you need to pay a $200 room reservation deposit. The deposit will be applied against your housing charges for the first academic quarter you live in University housing.

For more information on applying for housing, see the Student Affairs web pages, Applying for Housing (for Undergraduates), and Graduate Housing.

9. How much does it cost to live in University housing?
Rental rates vary according to the facility; the facility's web page can provide specific information:

10. Are housing options available to graduate students?
Graduate housing is available on both Evanston and Chicago campuses. Abbott Hall apartments is based on the Chicago campus and Engelhart Hall is based on the Evanston campus. For Kellogg School of Management students, the McManus Living/Learning is an option.

See Graduate and Professional Student Room and Board for more information.

11. How often am I billed for my housing?
Residence hall and sorority and fraternity housing charges are billed to your student account at the beginning of each quarter.

12. If I move out, is my contract automatically canceled?
University housing and meal contracts provisions are binding for the term of the contract. Unless formally released from your contract, you are responsible for the room rental charges for the contract's term.

Graduates may be charged a room cancellation fee of $300. Cancellation is subject to the approval of the Graduate Housing Office.

13. If I cancel my room reservation, will my deposit be refunded?
If you wish to cancel your room reservation, you must notify the Undergraduate Housing Office immediately. A refund, when authorized, will be applied first against any outstanding University charges in your account.

14. How can I buy a meal plan?
Undergraduate students living in University residence halls or graduate students living in Evanston campus apartments can purchase a meal plan by filling out the Meal Request Form, which can be filled out online or downloaded from nuCuisine Meal Plans.

There is no meal plan available for Chicago campus students, but they may purchase food from the campus a la carte options.

Students living in sorority or fraternity houses must contact the individual organization, which sets these rates.

15. Can I change my meal plan after I sign the contract?
Yes. To do so, you must complete a meal contract online or print out the Board Contract Change & Request Form at nuCuisine Meal Plans.

16. Are there meal plans for graduate students?
Englelhart Hall apartments contain kitchens. However, any student may purchase an Evanston campus meal plan option. See nuCuisine Meal Plans for prices and purchase requirements.

There is no meal plan available for Chicago campus students, but they may purchase food from the campus a la carte options.