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Summer Financial Aid & Scholarships

Students attending Northwestern-sponsored or affiliated summer programs are eligible to apply for assistance through Undergraduate Financial Aid. In addition, the Northwestern IPD, GESI, and Study Abroad offices offer scholarships for their own programs, and you may also be eligible for other scholarships through your study abroad program or outside organizations..

Undergraduate Financial Aid

Eligibility & Application

Students participating in Northwestern-sponsored or affiliated summer study abroad programs are eligible to apply for summer scholarship assistance and/or loans through Northwestern. Students attending unaffiliated summer programs are not eligible to receive any form of summer assistance through Northwestern financial aid, including loans.

To be eligible for consideration, current financial aid recipients may complete the Summer Aid Application, which is available on the financial aid office website in early spring each year. Summer study abroad students should apply no later than May 1 to have their applications reviewed in time for the summer invoice on May 10.

Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

For students applying for summer aid, your EFC (out-of-pocket costs) in the summer will be the same as it is for any other quarter on campus during the year -- in most cases, this is approximately one-third of the EFC on your financial aid award letter. For example, if your full-year EFC is $30,000 ($10,000 per quarter), your summer EFC would also be $10,000.

You can find your current EFC on your financial aid award letter in CAESAR > Student Financial Services > View Financial Aid > [Year] > Print Award Letter.


Program costs vary, but summer study abroad tends to be much less expensive overall than a regular quarter at Northwestern. As a result, the total amount of aid for which you qualify is also lower in the summer.

Northwestern Scholarship

Northwestern scholarship assistance is renewable for up to 12 quarters of enrollment. If you receive a summer scholarship from the financial aid office, it will mostly likely count toward this limit. This may mean that you have to plan to graduate early or take a future quarter off.

Rising juniors and seniors may petition to use a "future quarter" of aid for a summer study abroad program, as long as they can demonstrate that they will still be able to graduate within 12 quarters. Keep in mind that summer financial aid is still need-based -- this means that, because summer costs are lower, the amount of scholarship you are offered will also be lower; some students who receive Northwestern scholarship assistance during the academic year may not qualify during the summer. Using a quarter of your aid in the summer does not mean transferring the same dollar amount of your Northwestern scholarship to the summer term.

Current freshmen are generally not eligible to use a "future quarter" of aid for study abroad, but may be eligible to borrow loans, and are strongly encouraged to seek outside funding.


Students who do not wish (or are not eligible) to use a quarter of aid may still be eligible to borrow loans to help with summer study abroad costs. If you only borrow loans, summer would not count as a quarter of your aid eligibility. Loans for summer study abroad will not be considered for the Debt Cap.

If you have any questions about your summer aid/loan eligibility, contact Krista Bethel, Senior Assistant Director of Financial Aid.

Outside Scholarships & Funding

There are many opportunities to apply for outside scholarships and funding to help offset the cost of your summer program. These opportunities may also be a funding option for students attending unaffiliated summer programs, who do not qualify for other forms of aid through Northwestern.

Visit the Outside Scholarships & Funding page for more information.