Step 2Claim your financial aid

Before you apply for financial aid, make sure you have applied for admission.

Northwestern offers generous scholarships and grants to partner with international students and their families in meeting the cost of their education. Each year, Northwestern discounts more than 65% of international students' billed expenses with merit- and need-based aid.

International students typically pay between $12,500 and $22,500 per year. What you end up paying will be the difference between Northwestern's costs and the scholarships and grants you receive.

Northwestern's costs

Your costs for a year at Northwestern will include the following:

  • Tuition:  Tuition is only for classroom instruction. Your total financial aid from Northwestern cannot exceed the cost of tuition. View current tuition costs.
  • Room and Board:  "Room and board" refers to on-campus housing and food service costs. All unmarried students younger than 23 years old are expected to live on campus. We consider this an important part of our students' learning experience. View current room and board costs.
  • Fees:  College fees are additional costs for particular services. Some—such as the Technology Fee—are charged to all students. Others—such as orientation, lab, studio art course or music lesson fees—are charged only to students who are using that service. View current fees.
  • Other expenses: Costs such as books, insurance and personal expenses are not included in your Northwestern account. However, those estimated annual expenses must be reported on your Form I-20. International students are required to provide financial statements documenting that they have sufficient funds available to pay their full first-year costs before the Form I-20 can be issued by Northwestern College.

Sources of financial aid

International students have a variety of options for financial assistance when it comes to paying for their Northwestern education :

  1. Academic scholarships
    Academic scholarships are awarded based on your cumulative academic record in secondary and/or higher education as reported in your official transcript evaluation. Your award will be listed in your acceptance letter and will be applied upon enrollment. Renewal requires maintaining the specified minimum grade point average.


  2. Activity scholarships
    Students who plan to participate in these co-curricular activities while in college are eligible for additional scholarship money:


  3. Northwestern College International Grant and donor scholarships 

    Northwestern values the cultural contribution that international students bring to our learning community. We realize that U.S. higher education is expensive, so we offer additional aid to support your enrollment at NWC. A  CSS Profile is required for international students to claim Northwestern College financial aid beyond academic and participation scholarships.

    International Grant All admitted international students who file the  CSS Profile will receive an International Grant between $5,000 and $15,000 per year to help meet educational expenses. These awards are based on remaining need after other scholarships have been applied. International Grants are automatically renewed each year as long as the student maintains involvement in campus life programs.

    Donor Scholarships Some scholarships funded by donors for students with particular qualifications are also awarded to international students based on their application information and CSS Profile.

    IMPORTANT NOTICE: If you don't wish to be considered for an International Grant and/or donor scholarship, notify the intercultural development office ( intl@nwciowa.edu) that you don't intend to file a CSS Profile and that you would like to receive your Financial Certification directly. Your Financial Certification will summarize your estimated expenses and list any academic or activity scholarships for which you qualify.


  4. Outside scholarships Some students bring financial aid from other organizations to fund their studies at Northwestern College. We'll be happy to work with you and your scholarship agency to use these. Search "International Student Scholarships USA."
  5. Student employment Student employment is not guaranteed, but students who wish to work on campus are usually able to find employment. If you work 5 hours per week during the entire school year, you should be able to earn approximately $1,200 per year. Off-campus employment is not typically allowed by an international student's F-1 visa.

Please note:

  • International students are not eligible for financial aid or loans available to U.S. students from public sources.
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