Get ready to apply for financial aid
File your FAFSA or Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid.
At Northern Illinois University, we make it easy to get help paying for college. Filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the best way to explore your options.
The filing period for the 2020-2021 academic year starts Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019. You’ll use your 2018 tax information to complete the FAFSA.
Some funds are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, so the sooner you submit your completed FAFSA, the more likely you are to receive assistance if you are eligible.
How do you file a FAFSA?
Visit the Federal Student Aid website, or download the myStudentAid app on your mobile device from the Apple Store (iOS) or Google Play (Android). Use NIU’s school code, 001737, to have your FAFSA results sent directly to our Financial Aid and Scholarship Office.
Filling out your FAFSA is easy, and takes most people less than an hour. Many applicants can automatically pull their information from the IRS online to complete parts of the application.
Why should you apply?
The U.S. Department of Education offers more than $120 million each year to help students pay for college, and you may be eligible for more than you think.
But filling out your FAFSA is about more than receiving federal aid, and we strongly encourage you to submit a free application even if you think you won’t qualify.
What might you receive?
NIU uses the results of your FAFSA, along with your academic credentials, to determine your eligibility for grants from NIU and the government, federal work-study, student loans and some scholarships.
You could use your award money not just toward tuition and fees, but also for housing, books, supplies and even transportation. If you’ve applied to NIU or are already enrolled and have filed your FAFSA, watch for your award letter in the spring to learn all about your financial aid.
The Retention of Illinois Students & Equity (RISE) Act and Alternative Application for Illinois Financial aid
Please note: If you are an Illinois resident but are ineligible for federal aid as an undocumented or transgender student, you can still apply for state assistance. The Retention of Illinois Students & Equity (RISE) Act became law in January 2020. Find out whether you should complete the Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid instead of the FAFSA.
Call 815-753-1395 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll guide you through the process one-on-one.