Your Financial Aid Offer

After you have completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and supplied any requested documents, you’ll receive a notification from NIU indicating what financial aid you are eligible to receive, including federal, state and NIU grants, federal loans, work-study and NIU scholarships. 

The aid you receive will be based on your Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) and the Cost of Attendance (COA). Read more about EFC and COA in our introduction to financial aid or our financial aid guide (PDF). An accessible Microsoft Word version of the financial aid guide is also available.

If you’re an incoming freshman or a new transfer student, you’ll receive your financial aid notification by the end of March. We generally send notifications to continuing students in May.

Accepting or Declining Your Offer of Student Loans

Be sure to check MyNIU regularly for updates from our office. You must accept or decline offered student loans in a timely manner or you run the risk of losing the funding.

Maintaining Your Financial Aid

There are several things that can affect your disbursement of funds as well as your total Cost of Attendance (COA). Below are some scenarios that may affect your disbursement and COA and what you need to do.

Special Circumstances

Reevaluation of Financial Aid Need

Generally, financial aid eligibility is based on the previous year’s income information. If your financial situation has changed substantially during the year or since completing the FAFSA, you can contact the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office to request a reevaluation of your financial aid need.

Circumstances that can be considered include the following:

  • Loss of income (wages, benefits) because of unemployment (job loss, employment change) change in health, or change in your or your parents’ marital status.
  • High unreimbursed medical and/or dental expenses.
  • Higher cost of attendance due to specific circumstances, such as higher than usual book and supply expenses, commuting costs, or child care costs. (Please note that these circumstances only increase potential loan eligibility.)
Consortium Agreements

A consortium agreement is a written agreement between two eligible schools for the purpose of providing financial assistance to the student. If you are currently pursuing your degree at NIU (NIU is your home school) but wish to attend another institution for a semester or year, then you must initiate a consortium agreement. Classes must be taken for credit towards your NIU degree. Financial aid will not cover audit hours or remedial coursework.

Consortium Agreement Form (PDF)

An NIU student's enrollment in a program of study abroad offered, administered and hosted by another institution that is approved for credit by NIU through the consortium agreement process and procedures may be considered enrollment at NIU for the purpose of applying for federal financial aid.

If NIU is not your home school, you must initiate a consortium agreement with your home school.

Community College Pathways

Financial aid is available for qualified students seeking degrees through the NIU-Community College Pathways.

Financial aid is awarded to a qualified student by the college where the student is seeking his or her degree. If you are currently seeking an associate’s degree, you would apply for financial aid from the community college. If you are currently seeking a bachelor’s degree (because you have already completed an associate’s degree or completing an associate’s degree is not in your plans), you would apply for financial assistance through NIU and would also need to initiate a consortium agreement.

Study Abroad

Most types of financial aid can be used to pay the costs for participating in an NIU administered or approved co-sponsored study abroad program. Students must complete the FAFSA to apply for aid. The student works with the Study Abroad Office to have the budget for the program sent to our office. That budget is then used to determine the student’s financial aid eligibility for the program. Contact the Division of International Programs, or refer to their website for additional information.

Huskie Spotlight

Skyler Imhoff

NIU offers great programs, amazing financial aid, and a culture and life that I really fit into.

NIU School Code

Use NIU's School Code when completing the FAFSA.


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