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Unaffiliated Programs

Students who are approved to attend unaffiliated study abroad programs should be sure to consider all of the financial implications and plan accordingly.

Please contact Krista Bethel, Manager of Study Abroad Financial Services, if you have any questions not addressed in the sections below.

  • Billing

    Students will not be billed for Northwestern tuition while attending unaffiliated study abroad programs. Study abroad tuition and all other program expenses must be paid directly to the program sponsor or host institution.

    Students who attend unaffiliated study abroad programs must pay the Northwestern Study Abroad Administrative Fee (SAAF) for any quarter(s) on the program. The SAAF will be billed on the regular Northwestern quarterly invoice schedule.

  • Financial Aid & Loans

    Students who attend unaffiliated study abroad programs are not considered enrolled at Northwestern while abroad. As a result, no financial assistance is available through Northwestern for students who participate in unaffiliated programs or attend unaffiliated foreign institutions. This includes (but is not limited to): federal loans, federal/state grants, Northwestern scholarships, National Merit scholarships, athletic scholarships, outside scholarships, parent/private loans, and other forms of aid. Students are also ineligible for NU payment plans (e.g., 9PAY) during participation in an unaffiliated program.

    Northwestern will not enter into any kind of financial arrangement or consortium agreement with another institution for the purposes of processing federal aid for unaffiliated study abroad programs.

    Students receiving financial assistance are strongly encouraged to apply to Northwestern-sponsored and affiliated programs, and the Study Abroad Office staff is more than happy to advise them on which programs meet their academic needs and personal goals.

  • Loan Repayment

    Because you will not be considered enrolled at Northwestern, any previous student or parent education loans currently in deferment may enter repayment while attending an unaffiliated program.

    • The Federal Stafford Loan has a grace period of 6 months. If you will not be enrolled at Northwestern for two consecutive quarters (including summer), you will likely exhaust the full 6-month grace period.
    • The Federal Perkins Loan has a grace period of 9 months. If you will not be enrolled at Northwestern for three consecutive quarters (including summer), you will likely exhaust the full 9-month grace period.
    • For information on your Federal Parent PLUS Loan or private loans, contact your servicer directly.
    • You can always view your most current federal loan amounts and repayment status in the National Student Loan Data System.

    When you re-enroll at Northwestern, your loans should be eligible for "in-school deferment," meaning that you would not need to make loan payments while enrolled at least half-time at Northwestern. However, keep in mind that if you exhaust your full grace period, you may be required to make payments on these loans during any future periods of non-enrollment (including summer), and you will likely need to begin making payments immediately after you graduate.

    If you have any questions about how attending an unaffiliated program might impact your existing aid or loans, please contact Krista Bethel in the financial aid office.

  • NU/Aetna Health Insurance

    Because you are not considered enrolled at Northwestern during unaffiliated study abroad, you may not be eligible to enroll in the NU-SHIP health plan, particularly if your program will be (or begin) during the NU fall quarter.

    Contact the NU health insurance office directly to inquire about enrolling in the health plan beginning in January; your charges may be prorated for your 9-month enrollment in the plan.

    Note: This is Northwestern's domestic student health plan. You will still be required to meet Northwestern's international study abroad health insurance requirements while abroad.