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Portable Tuition Benefits

The Dependent Portable Tuition Plans pay benefits toward the cost of tuition for eligible dependents (up to age 26) enrolled in an undergraduate degree program at an accredited, FAFSA-approved college or university other than Northwestern University.


Dependent Portable Tuition applications must be submitted each term with one application per dependent.  Applications are processed in the order in which they are received.  Timely submission of you request will ensure your application is processed.   However, during peak times during the year, processing times will increase.  We cannot guarantee that all applications will be processed prior to another institutions tuition payment due date.

For assistance completing your application, please see the Dependent Portable Tuition step-by-step guide.

The application window for 2023 benefits will not open until early-December 2022.

Fees Notice: As of Fall Term 2022, the Tuition Assistance benefit for courses outside of NU no longer covers any fees.  The plan will continue to cover 50% of eligible tuition for eligible dependents at FASFA eligible institutions. 


Dependent children taking undergraduate courses as full-time students at schools other than Northwestern University may take advantage of this benefit.

Allowable expenses 

The maximum number of terms for which the Dependent Portable Tuition Plan benefit will be paid for a dependent child is 8 full-time academic semesters or 12 full-time academic quarters.

Scholarships and grants are included in the Dependent Portable Tuition Benefit calculation even if they are not exclusively applicable to tuition.  If scholarships and grants equal less than 50% of the tuition, then the benefit is 50% of the total tuition. If scholarships and grants equal more than 50% of tuition, then the benefit is equal to the tuition minus the scholarships and grants (the tuition benefit plus scholarships and grants can never be more than the tuition).

 Payment examples

Benefit payments 

Approved Dependent Portable Tuition benefit amounts may be paid to the employee or to the student's institution. 

To the employee: 

To the institution: 

Tuition benefit and plan ID for different years of employee service.
Required Qualified Service Tuition Benefit Plan ID 

5 years - Full-time Service 

Up to 50% of billed tuition 


Hired before 1/1/2000 - Full-time Service* 

100% of billed tuition up to $5,616 per academic year ($2,808 per semester or $1,872 per quarter)


* Eligibility requires date of hire prior to January 1, 2000. Employees hired prior to January 1, 2000 may choose either the percentage or flat amount plan for each child in a family. Once the percentage plan is chosen for a child, an individual may not later choose the flat amount plan for that same child. 


An online application is required per dependent child for each term (semester, quarter or trimester) of study. 


For each dependent portable tuition application, you will need to submit the following documentation:


By submitting an application, you are agreeing to the following statement: I certify that the information provided is correct. I agree to comply with the provisions of the Northwestern Tuition Benefit plan as described in the plan document. 

Getting started

  1. Determine the course of study or program in which your dependent would like to participate.
  2. Apply for and be accepted into the program.
  3. Register for your courses.
  4. Apply for the tuition benefit. See step-by-step guide.