Applying for Financial Aid

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Attending college is a great investment in your future. Many families need assistance to help offset the educational expenses. The NIU Student Financial Aid Office (SFAO) is pleased to assist students and their families in securing the resources needed to fund educational expenses. We are available through campus visits, phone, and email communications to support you in the pursuit of your academic goals at NIU.

Never assume that you will not qualify for financial assistance. There are many types of financial aid available to help manage the cost of education, such as grants, loans, campus employment, and scholarship opportunities.

FAFSA Tutorial:  7 Easy Steps to FAFSA

FAFSA FAQ

Financial Aid Application Basics

  • FAFSA – Complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.gov Online applications are strongly encouraged, but if you should require a paper FAFSA, contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 800-433-3243.
  • FAFSA PIN - In order to file your FAFSA, you'll need a Federal Student Aid PIN.  A PIN may be applied for at the time of filing the FAFSA online (our recommendation) or if you wish, it may applied for online ahead of time. If you are a dependent student, your parent must apply for one too. Your PIN allows you (and your parent) to electronically sign your FAFSA.  To find a FAFSA PIN application tutorial and to apply for the FAFSA PIN, click FAFSA PIN or on the FAFSA button located on the left side of the page .
  • NIU FAFSA School Code – 001737
  • Estimated Tax Information – It is acceptable to estimate the tax information requested on the FAFSA and update to the actual amounts at a later date.
  • IRS Data Retrieval - When completing the FAFSA we strongly encourage you to utilize the IRS Data Retrieval option if you qualify to do so.  It will simplify the application process and minimize the amount of documentation you would need to submit to NIU should your FAFSA be selected for verification.  If you do not choose to utilize the IRS Data Retrieval when the FAFSA is completed, it is possible to select that option when updating the FAFSA. 
  • Next Steps - Check your MyNIU “To Do List” and your NIU student e-mail regularly to see what other information or documentation you may need to submit, and submit in a timely manner.
  • Award Notification – Once your FAFSA and any other requested documents have been received and processed, an award notification will post to your MyNIU “Campus Finances”. Students new to NIU will also receive their initial award notification through the U.S. Postal Service. We typically begin sending award notifications in early March and continue throughout the academic year.