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The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be completed annually to establish a student's eligibility for federal loans. The application may be completed and submitted online at Students who want their FAFSA data transmitted electronically to Northwestern University should enter Department of Education code 001739 online.


The federal government may require verification of certain items reported on your FAFSA before certification or disbursement of federal loan funds. Students selected for verification will be notified by our office.

Online entrance counseling

Entrance counseling is required by federal regulation for first-time borrowers at Northwestern University of Federal Direct Unsubsidized (Stafford) and GradPLUS Loans. Students who have received their loan awards may check their To Do List on CAESAR for further instructions.

Master Promissory Note (MPN): First-time borrowers at Northwestern University must complete an MPN for each type of loan they accept.

Exit counseling

Exit counseling is also required by federal regulation for students who have borrowed any federal loans during their enrollment at Northwestern University. Students will be contacted upon graduating, dropping below half-time enrollment or withdrawing. See the Exit Counseling page on the Student Financial Services website for additional instructions.

Reporting of other aid

Students who receive other financial aid (such as assistantships or traineeships), must by law inform their financial aid advisors. If necessary, appropriate reductions will be made to any loan funds already approved or disbursed. Receipt of these additional funds may result in students having to return loan funds already disbursed.