Applying for Financial Aid

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Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for financial aid a student must:

  • complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA);
  • be a U.S. Citizen or eligible non-citizen;
  • be registered with Selective Service (if male between ages of 18 and 25);
  • have a high school diploma or General Education Development (GED) High School Equivalency Diploma;
  • be working toward a degree or certificate;
  • meet Satisfactory Academic Progress standards;
  • not owe a refund on a Federal Grant;
  • not be in default on a Federal Educational Loan.

Who Is Eligible - Citizens and Eligible Non-citizens:

  • Citizens of the United States
  • U.S. permanent residents who have an Alien Registration Receipt Card (I-551)
  • Conditional permanent residents (I-551C)
  • Other eligible non-citizens with an Arrival-Departure Record (I-94) from the Department of Homeland Security showing any one of the following designations:
    • Refugee
    • Asylum granted
    • Parolee (I-94 confirms paroled for a minimum of one year and status has not expired)
    • Victim of human trafficking
    • T-Visa holder (T-1, T-2, T-3, etc.)
    • Cuban-Haitian entrant

Who Is Not Eligible:

  • Students who are in the United States on an F1 or F2 student visa, J1 or J2 exchange visitor visa, or a G series visa (pertaining to international organizations)
  • Students enrolled at NIU under the "visiting student" status
  • Students who are neither U.S. citizens nor eligible non-citizens
  • Students incarcerated in a prison facility. For additional infomration click here.  Students who are incarcerated must notify the university at the time of application.
  • Students convicted for the possession or sale of illegal drugs for an offense that occurred while receiving federal student aid (such as grants, loans, or work-study)