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The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be completed each academic year to determine your eligibility for federal student loans. The application may be completed and submitted online on the Federal Student Aid website. Use school code 001739 to have your FAFSA results transmitted electronically to Northwestern University.


The federal government may require verification of certain items reported on your FAFSA before certification or disbursement of federal loan funds. If you were selected for verification, we will contact you with further instructions.

Online entrance counseling

Entrance counseling is required by federal regulation for first-time borrowers at Northwestern University of Federal Direct Loans. The online counseling session provides an overview of the Direct Loan Program, including information about the types of Direct Loans available, the costs of borrowing, eligibility, and repayment. Once you have received your loan offer, check your To Do List on CAESAR for further instructions.

Master Promissory Notes

The Master Promissory Note (MPN) is a legal document in which you promise to repay your loan(s) and any accrued interest and fees to the U.S. Department of Education. It also explains the terms and conditions of your loan(s); for instance, it will include information on how interest is calculated, when interest is charged, available repayment plans, and deferment and cancellation provisions.

Master Promissory Notes are usually valid for 10 years.

You must have a valid Master Promissory Note (MPN) completed for your Federal Direct Unsubsidized (Stafford) Loan(s) and also for your Federal Direct GradPLUS Loan(s) (if applicable) before the loan funds can be disbursed to your Northwestern Customer Account. Once you have received your loan offer, check your To Do List on CAESAR for further instructions.

Exit counseling

Exit counseling is required by federal regulation for students who have borrowed any federal loans during their enrollment at Northwestern University. Students will be notified of this obligation upon graduating, dropping below half-time enrollment or withdrawing from the university.

Reporting of other aid

Your total financial aid (including loans) cannot exceed your Cost of Attendance for the academic year. Please notify us of all financial aid (grants, scholarships, fellowships, assistantships, etc.) you receive so we can make any necessary reductions to your student loans. Loan adjustments may result in your having to return loan funds already approved and disbursed.