Applying for Financial Aid


Applying for financial aid is actually pretty easy. There is just one form you need to fill out– the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (or FAFSA), available now at First, you and one parent will each need a Federal Student Aid ID, which you can get here. Your FSA ID will be your electronic signature, so keep it safe!

UNW recommends using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, which will link your FAFSA to your taxes and help populate the form. This cuts down on errors and makes you less likely to be selected for verification.


Verification is a simple audit that 1/3 of the families (nation-wide) need to go through. If you are selected, UNW will let you know what we need from you. Don’t delay on sending those materials in– we cannot award you until you have completed the verification process, if you are selected for it.


FAFSA uses your financial information from 2015, so if your family’s situation has changed since then, Northwestern wants to know. In addition, the FAFSA is a very vague document, so if there is anything extra that Northwestern should know about, please file an appeal.

Some common appealable situations:

  • A lost job or reduction in income
  • Owning a business
  • Elementary/secondary private school tuition
  • Out of pocket medical expenses
  • Support for an extended family member
  • A parent in college.

The appeal form can be found here.


Please schedule a phone call with me so that we can go over the award letter together. I love it when you have your parent(s) in on the same call, so that we can all be on the same page. I like to make sure you know what everything means, answer any questions you might have, explain work study, discuss payment plan options. It might seem self-explanatory, but I really do appreciate getting the chance to discuss it with your family. I try to set up a phone call with you, but you’re more than welcome to set one up with me. Email me at and let’s get something on the calendar.



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