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Financial Aid Checklist

Follow these steps to apply for Federal Student Loans:

S T E P 1: Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Include school code (001739) to have your FAFSA data forwarded electronically to Northwestern University.

STEP 2: An award notice will be sent to your Northwestern email address with instructions for accepting/declining (via CAESAR) the federal student loans you were offered. Note: Access CAESAR ( the Northwestern University student portal) with your Northwestern netID and password.

STEP 3: Check your To Do List in CAESAR for information and instructions regarding completing your loan requirements at: studentloans.gov. Online Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Notes (MPNs) must be completed before loan funds can be disbursed to your Northwestern Customer Account. Note: If you were offered and accepted both the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan and Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan, you must complete two separate Master Promissory Notes (MPNs).

STEP 4: The loans you accepted will be transmitted to the U.S. Department of Education for approval. If you were offered and accepted a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan, the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) will complete a credit check as part of the approval process. If you are denied the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan, you will receive an email from Northwestern instructing you to contact the DOE. The DOE will advise you whether you can appeal their decision or need an endorser (cosigner). Note: You may review your credit reports in advance to identify/resolve problems at: annualcreditreport.com

STEP 5: Once you are registered for classes, you can access your billing information in CAESAR. Navigate as follows: My Account > View My Real-Time Account. Note: The loans you accepted will be transmitted to the U.S. Department of Education for approval and scheduled for disbursement just prior to the start of each quarter.* For additional information on Federal student aid programs, please visit studentaid.ed.gov.