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Frequently Asked Questions

How many times can I apply to the Career Development fund?

  • Students can receive $300 in funding for an Interview Suit through the Career Development Fund/JC Penney Suit-up event up to two times during their undergraduate career at Northwestern. The funding must be in an interval of two years or more (i.e.: freshman and junior year or sophomore and senior year), and will not be provided in consecutive years.  Student will be required to justify why the second suit is necessary.
  • Students can apply a maximum of $550 in reimbursement for Graduate/Professional School Test Prep and Application Fee assistance one time during their undergraduate career at Northwestern. To the extent possible, please plan to include all expected expenses related to your test preparation and application costs at one time.

Can I be reimbursed through the Career Development Fund?

Interview Suit funding: Funding is paid by reimbursement.  Students can receive up to $300 to make eligible attire purchases.

Graduate/Professional School Test Preparation and Application Fees:  Reimbursement is the preferred funding method.  Students should save receipts for all eligible expenses and submit at the same time for reimbursement up to $550.

What other resources for undergraduate student support exist?

Several offices and schools on campus offer funding to support undergraduate professional development needs. The review committee may refer an applicant to one of these resources if it is a more appropriate fit for the funding request. Check out the SES One Form and the Office of Undergraduate Research to search for additional funding sources.

What funding resources exist for graduate students?

Graduate students are typically able to receive professional development funding through their academic program or school of enrollment.  We recommend that you contact your academic program to learn about available funding opportunities.

What am I allowed to buy with interview suit funding?

  • One blazer
  • One matching bottom (dress pants or skirt)
  • One dress shirt/blouse to be worn with the suit
  • One tie
  • One Belt
  • One pair of professional dress shoes

What resources exists if I need business casual attire?

’Cats Closet offers students access to FREE gently used professional and business casual attire appropriate for career fairs, interviews, information sessions and the workplace. Our mission is to eliminate barriers that prevent students from looking and feeling their best as they navigate their internship and job search and enter the professional world.

What if I made a purchase over the summer, am I still eligible?

Recent purchases may be eligible for funding. You will need to apply to the Career Development Fund when it opens in September. To have summer expenses covered, students will need to apply within the first few weeks the fund is open, no later than the end of September. If approved, summer purchases that meet the criteria of the fund can be reimbursed. We only reimburse eligible expenses.

How long do I have to turn in my receipts/essay?

Receipts and essay should be turned in within 1 month of funding. Please apply accordingly. For purchases made over the summer, students need to apply right away, before the end of September, to be considered for reimbursement.

What should I wear to an interview?

You can find helpful information in our Career Guide. You can also meet with your career adviser to discuss preparation for your interview, including what to wear.

What if I don’t get the email from Hyperwallet with my reimbursement?

Please pay close attention to your email the week after you submit your receipts. Reimbursements should take no more than 5 business days to process. If you don’t recall getting an email, search your inbox, SPAM and deleted items for a message from do.not.reply@northwestern.prepaid.com. If you don’t have it, and it has been more than 5 days since you submitted your receipts, please email Beth Tucker at beth.tucker@northwestern.edu.

What is the student/subject ID needed to activate my Hyperwallet card?

This ID will be shared during your funding meeting. If you have questions about your student/subject ID, please email beth.tucker@northwestern.edu.

What if I have trouble activating my Hyperwallet card?

Please be sure you are using Google Chrome browser. Also, sometimes when you login for the first time, it will appear like there is a $0. Refresh or log out and back in and it should show the correct balance. If you still have problems, email beth.tucker@northwestern.edu.

Are there any fees associated with the Hyperwallet cards?

There is $3.00 monthly inactivity fee charged by Hyperwallet to participants who activated the account but have not used the money on the account for more than 90 days. Once any of the money is used, the 90 day policy starts again. In addition, the money on the Hyperwallet card will expire if the participants do not activate the account within 180 days. Therefore, it is very important that you use or transfer your funding in a timely manner to avoid any inactivity fees.

There is also a $1.50 fee to make a bank transfer. This amount will be added to your reimbursement to cover the bank transfer fee.

What happens if I buy my suit + other allowed items and I haven’t spent the full $300?

If you can buy all the items allowed for less than $300, that’s great! We will reimburse you for what you spent + $1.50 bank transfer fee. $300 is the maximum you can receive. However, you are not allowed to buy more than what is specifically allowed to use up the $300. If you can get the suit for less, it allows us to use the remaining money to fund additional students. 

What if I was funded to purchase a suit previously and it doesn’t fit anymore?

Students are allowed to apply twice for an interview suit, but not in subsequent years. To be eligible for a second suit, students must include justification for the second suit. The application should include why they can no longer wear the first suit and need another one.

What if I have more questions about my internship/job search or my career goals?

You can schedule an appointment through Handshake with a NCA career adviser.

Can I apply to get a suit if I already have a full-time job offer?

Students must be in pursuit of an opportunity. Graduating seniors who already have secured a job or grad school admittance are not eligible for funding.

More questions?

Feel free to contact our office at nca@northwestern.edu.