Northwestern University is situated in Evanston, on the edge of Lake Michigan in Illinois, close to Chicago. It is a private college founded in 1851 which has ten graduate and professional schools in addition to the undergraduate school. The renowned Kellogs schools of management make up part of the university. Northwestern University “combines innovative teaching and pioneering research”, and offers a solid needs based financial aid package to students.
Northwestern University offers institutional financial aid in the form of Northwestern Scholarships to students who demonstrate need, based on the difference between attending the school and the expected family contribution. The family contribution is determined by considering the parent’s income and assets, including home equity, and the number of family members, plus additional siblings in college.
Northwestern provides an expected family contribution calculator online, which makes assessing costs easier. In addition to the parental contribution students are also expected to contribute with self help, which is determined as a portion of assets and income earned over the summer vacation.
Financial aid comprises both state and federal grants, work study, institutional scholarships and student loans. However all students who are eligible for the federal Pell grant benefit from Northwestern’s No Loan Pledge Scholarship which replaces all student loans with institutional scholarships. Students must maintain a GPA of 2:0 to remain eligible. This is an excellent initiative which will allow students to graduate without student loan debt.
The Debt Cap Scholarship is offered to all students who receive North Western Scholarships as part of their financial aid package, and caps total federal based student loan borrowing at $20,000. Additionally students from middle income families who maintain a GPA of 3:0 will be eligible for the Founders Scholarship.
From 2011 a new Illinois State Scholarship will be available to state residents who graduate from a City of Chicago or Evanston high school. The Good Neighbour, Great University Scholarship Program, will replace student loans and work study for students who demonstrate financial need, thus replacing all the self help portion of the financial aid package. This is a great incentive for Illinois students to continue to study instate. Eligible students will need to maintain a GPA of 2:0. Illinois State also offers the Illinois Monetary award program for state residents, which is a grant of up to $5000.
Federal work study, when awarded as part of the financial aid package, involves between 6 and 10 hours of work per week, and outside employment is also available. Students may replace their work study award with student loans. In addition to other Northwestern scholarships the university also offers the Fermi and Questbridge scholarships. Outside scholarships are open to all students.
Northwesterns financial aid package makes the cost of attending the University a viable one, despite estimated costs of attendance being $56,000, $40,000 of which is tuition and fees. For instate students the financial package is one of the most excellent ones available.