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Northwestern University

Late Fees FAQs

Registration Holds

When is a hold applied to a student’s account?

The registration hold is applied automatically the day after charges are due (e.g. October 1, for charges on the September 10 bill).

Does a hold prohibit late fees from being applied?

No - the hold prevents registration for the next term, but is independent of the late fee being applied.

Timing and Frequency

When is a late fee applied to a student’s account?

We apply late fees once a term, usually in November for Fall, in February for Winter, in May for Spring, and in July for Summer.  This is applied in batch, based on balances on the account that were due for that term.

The late fee will not be applied until the charges past due are over $499.

How often are late fees applied? Do they continue to accumulate? Do they max out?

Late fees are applied once a term. They continue to accumulate for as long as the account holds an outstanding balance of $500 or more.

Proactive Measures

What can students do to ensure they don’t receive a late fee? (Any tips or best practices besides making payments on time?)

Students receive an email each month telling them their bill is available. They also receive an email when the registration hold is placed. Students should pay attention to these emails and check their accounts at least once per month when the bill is generated. 

We will waive one late fee that a student receives, upon request and once payment is made. Waiving subsequent late fees is possible but requires a written request and a consultation with our office.

Are there any warnings that students receive before a hold or late fee is applied to their account?

There are no specific warnings that a hold or late fee is imminent for a particular student, although late and returned penalties are described both on our website (Late And Returned Payment Penalties), and on page 4 of the Student Financial Regulations handbook. Additionally, warnings about registration and transcript holds and late fees are listed on the monthly statement, for students with a balance. We are working on adding language to the billing notification email warning that late fees and registration holds will result from non-payment of the charges due.

Deadlines and Follow Up

Are there any deadlines or circumstances TGS students should be aware of?

Bills are generated the 10th of each month and payment is due the 1st of the following month. 

For TGS students, the tuition and fee charges for a quarter will appear on the next monthly invoice after the student registers for classes. Details can be found on the Payment Due Dates page of our website.

Even though a student may be 'fully funded', there may be charges on the account that are not covered by the funding package. This can include library fines, parking fines, health services, and other incidental charges, but *always* includes the quarterly activity fee, which students are responsible for paying.   

If students have questions about the late fees appearing on their accounts, what should they do?

Students with questions should contact the Student Finance customer service team at studentaccounts-ev@northwestern.edu (Evanston) or studentaccounts-chicago@northwestern.edu (Chicago) to speak with a customer representative.

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