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MSL Students

Applying for financial aid, including scholarship funding for full-time residential students, is separate from the admissions process. The Law School Office of Admissions and Financial Aid awards scholarship funding, while the Chicago Office of Financial Aid packages loan funding.

The information on this page goes over how to apply for loan funding through the Chicago Office of Financial Aid. If you are a full-time residential MSL student and would like to also apply for institutional scholarship funding, please see the Law School Office of Admissions and Financial Aid website for more information, as a supplemental application may be needed. The scholarship application deadline may differ from the loan application deadline noted below.

Students must be enrolled in at least four credits per semester to be eligible for federal student loans. It is the student's responsibility to contact the Chicago Office of Financial Aid if they change their enrollment during a semester.

If you will not be enrolled in at least four credits per semester, you are not eligible for federal student loans.  You may still be eligible for private loans to cover tuition, fees, and book expenses. If you wish to apply for a private loan, please complete the document in step two and alert our office that you are only applying for private student loan funding (a FAFSA will not be needed in this case). For more information about available private loans for students enrolled less-than-half-time, please visit the Student Financial Services website.

Note this information applies to domestic students only. View application instructions for international students.

To be considered for student loan funding, students must return all completed application materials by their deadline listed below. 

Deadlines

All student loan application materials must be submitted by the following dates:

  • Residential MSL students: June 1, 2018 (or, if admitted after this date, within two weeks of admission)
  • Online MSL students starting in Fall 2018: July 1, 2018 (or, if admitted after this date, within two weeks of admission)
  • Online MSL students starting in Spring 2019: November 1, 2018 (or, if admitted after this date, within two weeks of admission)

Meeting the financial aid application deadlines listed above ensures that students will receive their financial aid award notice, can complete all required loan documentation, and have their funds disburse by the first day of classes. Students who apply for financial aid after their deadline cannot be guaranteed that financial aid funds will disburse by the first day of class and may need to use their own resources to pay tuition in the meantime. Applications received after the deadline will be processed in the order in which they were received.

Application Steps

  1. Complete the FAFSA
  2. Complete the University Aid Application
  3. Accept or decline award

1. Complete the FAFSA

Deadline: see above

  • Visit the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) website and complete the online 2018-19 application. If you do not already have an FSA ID, you will need to set one up before completing the FAFSA. This FSA ID will be used for many Department of Education websites.
  • Designate Northwestern as the recipient of the information; our federal school code is 001739. Any other Northwestern University codes (001740, school-specific codes beginning with an "E"), should not be used.
  • After the FAFSA is processed (allow two weeks), you will receive a SAR (Student Aid Report) summarizing your information. Resolve any incorrect information via the FAFSA web site or by returning the corrected and signed SAR. If you do not receive your SAR within four weeks, or if you need to request a duplicate, call 800-433-3243.
  • International students who wish to apply for private student loan funding are not required to complete the FAFSA and are only required to complete the University Aid Application.

2. Complete the University Aid Application

Deadline: see above

  • Students may access this document online via their To-Do list for the 2018-19 academic year in CAESAR on or after March 15, 2018. Your "To-Do List" can be reviewed in CAESAR through either the "Tasks" tile on the homepage, or by clicking on the "Financial Aid" tile from the homepage and then selecting "To-Do List" from the left-hand navigation. 
  • If you are unable to access this document via your To-Do list by March 15, 2018 or within two business days of when you received your CAESAR log-in information from Admissions, please contact the Chicago Office of Financial Aid.
  • International students who wish to apply for private student loan funding are not required to complete the FAFSA and are only required to complete the University Aid Application.

3. Accept or decline your award

Deadline: As soon as possible after you receive your award notice email

After you submit all application materials, Northwestern will determine your aid package. Learn more about how aid is determined.

The Law School Office of Admissions and Financial Aid releases scholarship notifications to full-time residential MSL students throughout the spring. The Chicago Office of Financial Aid reviews all financial aid applications in the order in which they are received. Official packages are sent out via email on a rolling basis beginning in early summer.

Once you receive notification, you must accept or decline your financial aid award. Learn more about the steps to accept or decline.

Students who submit their application materials after the deadline will be considered for financial aid but may not qualify for all financial aid programs based on the availability of funds.

Deadlines

All financial aid application materials must be submitted by by May 1, 2017 (if admitted after this date, within seven days of admission).

Application Steps

  1. Complete the FAFSA
  2. Complete the University Aid Application
  3. Accept or decline award

1. Complete the FAFSA

Deadline: May 1, 2017

  • Visit the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) website and complete the online 2017-18 application. If you do not already have an FSA ID, you will need to set one up before completing the FAFSA. This FSA ID will be used for many Department of Education websites.
  • Designate Northwestern as the recipient of the information; our federal school code is 001739. Any other Northwestern University codes (001740, school-specific codes beginning with an "E"), should not be used.
  • After the FAFSA is processed (allow two weeks), you will receive a SAR (Student Aid Report) summarizing your information. Resolve any incorrect information via the FAFSA web site or by returning the corrected and signed SAR. If you do not receive your SAR within four weeks, or if you need to request a duplicate, call 800-433-3243.
  • International students who wish to apply for private student loan funding are not required to complete the FAFSA and are only required to complete the University Aid Application.

If you do not wish to be considered for loan funding but do wish to apply only for institutional scholarship funding, you are not required to complete the FAFSA. Please email the Chicago Office of Financial Aid to request that the FAFSA be removed from your To-Do list in CAESAR and then contact the Law School Office of Admissions and Financial Aid for more information about the steps needed to apply for institutional scholarship funding.

2. Complete the University Aid Application

Deadline: May 1, 2017

  • Students may access this document online via their To-Do list for the 2017-18 academic year in CAESAR on or after March 15, 2017. Your "To-Do List" can be reviewed in CAESAR through either the "Tasks" tile on the homepage, or by clicking on the "Financial Aid" tile from the homepage and then selecting "To-Do List" from the left-hand navigation. If you are unable to access this document via your To-Do list, please contact the Chicago Office of Financial Aid.
  • International students who wish to apply for private student loan funding are not required to complete the FAFSA and are only required to complete the University Aid Application.

3. Accept or decline your award

Deadline: As soon as possible after you receive your award notice email

After you submit all application materials, Northwestern will determine your aid package. Learn more about how aid is determined.

The Law School Office of Admissions and Financial Aid releases scholarship notifications throughout the spring. Official financial aid packages are sent via email on a rolling basis throughout the summer, but only if a student submits a tuition deposit.

Once you receive notification, you must accept or decline your financial aid award. Learn more about the steps to accept or decline.