Applying for Financial Aid


Enrollment Changes

Reduction of Hours

Financial Aid is awarded based on full-time enrollment. You should consult with a financial aid counselor prior to adjusting your academic load to less than full-time (12 credit hours) as this change in status may impact your financial aid.

Reducing your credit hours has implications for both your aid eligibility for the current semester and future terms. Your aid eligibility is based on the number of credit hours for which you are enrolled on at the end of the add/drop period, usually the Friday of the second week of classes. If your enrollment increases or decreases it may affect your financial aid eligibility.

If your aid was distributed based on full-time enrollment (12 credits undergraduate; 9 credits graduate) and you drop to part-time on or before census date, your aid may be reduced. 

Withdrawal from NIU

Federal regulations state that financial aid is earned by attending class. You have not earned 100% of your financial aid until you have attended more than 60% of the term. If you withdraw before this date, a portion of your financial aid has not been earned.

The date of withdrawal, not institutional costs, will determine the amount of federal aid that must be returned to the federal programs. Your financial aid eligibility will be recalculated based on your actual period of attendance - you may be asked to repay a portion of the aid that had been distributed to you.

If you fail to earn credit for any of your classes (receive grades of F, W, I and/or NC), federal regulations require the Student Financial Aid Office to assume you stopped attending your classes.

If you did stop attending classes, this is considered an unofficial withdrawal. This means that the midpoint of the term is used as your last date of attendance and your aid eligibility is reduced by up to 50%.

NOTE:  Any withdrawal will reduce your percentage completion rate, which is part of the standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress for the receipt of financial aid.