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Northwestern University

Accepting or Declining Your Award

After our office processes your financial aid award, you will receive an email to your Northwestern address containing the Award Notice. This page provides more detail about each of the items on your Award Notice, which should be thoroughly reviewed before accepting, declining, or reducing your financial aid award.

You may submit an appeal if you believe that your financial aid award did not fully consider your individual circumstances.

Understanding your Financial Aid Offer

The financial assistance offered to you will specify amounts for the following items:

Monthly Budget Allowances

A standard educational budget is used for all students, and it covers the period of enrollment. The budget is a total based on:

Total Family Contribution

The family contribution is determined using your family's financial information as reported on the FAFSA and other application documents you submitted, as well as your period of enrollment.

Responding to your Financial Aid Offer

This information applies to all Medical (non-dual degree), Law, Evening & Weekend MBA, Physical Therapy, Prosthetics/Orthotics, Physician Assistant, SPS Graduate, and SPS Undergraduate programs. Medical dual-degree students: see instructions below.

You will accept, decline, or reduce your financial aid award electronically via CAESAR. This must be done every time you receive a Financial Aid Award Notice email or a notification of financial aid award revision email from our office. Do not return the paper (PDF) award notice to our office.

  1. Log onto CAESAR using your Northwestern e-mail account NetID and password.
  2. Navigate to For Students > Financial Services > Accept/Decline Financial Aid Package. Select the appropriate aid year.
  3. Accept, decline, or reduce your financial aid award.
    • To reduce your loan offer, check the "accept" button. You will then be able to reduce the amount of loan offered to you by modifying the amount in the "Accepted" box.
  4. When you submit your award notice electronically, we recommend that you select "Yes" to the Statement of Authorization. You may rescind your authorization at any time by contacting the Office of Student Accounts.
  5. Determine which, if any, loan materials you need to complete by checking your "To Do" items. Your outstanding "To Do" items can be reviewed in CAESAR by going to Financial Services > To Do Item History and selecting the appropriate aid year.

About the Statement of Authorization: Current federal regulations require that we obtain your authorization to use Title IV assistance (i.e., federal loans) to pay University charges other than tuition, fees, room and board. Such charges might include the student health plan, library fines, parking charges, room damage charges, and health service fees. Not providing the authorization means that you will have to make a payment for these charges yourself once you receive the refund of Title IV aid.

Medical dual-degree students

  1. Print a copy of your Financial Aid Award Letter via CAESAR under "View My Financial Aid".
  2. Mark the loans you wish to reject on the front side of your Award Notice. If a loan is not marked as rejected, we will assume it is accepted.
  3. Complete the "Student Agreement" on the back of the Award Notice. Be sure to sign your notice.
  4. Submit your signed Award Notice to the Office of Financial Aid. You must submit an original copy of the signed award notice either by bringing a copy to the financial aid office or sending a copy via U.S. Mail. The Office of Financial Aid cannot accept a faxed copy or an e-mail attachment. This should be done every time you receive a Financial Aid Award Notice from our office unless noted otherwise; keep the second copy for your records.
  5. Complete any additional forms listed on your "To Do" list in CAESAR as requested.
  6. Submit completed forms and any required supporting documents to the Office of Financial Aid.
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