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Financial Aid Guide 2017-2018

Estimate Your Expenses

  • Review the cost of attendance provided to you by the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid.
  • Use the NIU Planning and Cost Estimator to help you consider tuition costs, mandatory fees, housing and other costs.

File Your Free Application for Financial Student Aid (FAFSA)

  • Log onto the FAFSA website and complete and submit your FAFSA. You will need your federal income tax return and W-2 forms to complete the FAFSA. You must have a Federal Student Aid ID number (FSA ID). To learn how to create an FSA ID, visit the IFAP website.
  • Make sure to send your FAFSA to Northern Illinois University (School Code 001737).

Accept, Decline or Reduce Your Loans

  • Once you understand your expenses, log onto MyNIU, where you can accept all or part of any loans that you have been offered. You can also decline any loans that you have been offered. If you accept an amount less than was offered, you can request to have your full eligibility reinstated at a later time.

Apply for (And Accept or Decline) Additional Aid

  • If you find that your expenses exceed your financial aid and your ability to pay out-of-pocket, and you do not have adverse credit, you may consider applying for a Graduate PLUS Loan. The Graduate PLUS Loan application is located at the Federal Student Aid website and you will need your FSA ID to submit your application.
  • You may also choose to apply for private loans.

Complete Entrance Counseling and Your Master Promissory Note

  • If you have not previously had a Direct Loan, you will need to complete Federal Direct Loan counseling and sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN) at the Federal Student Aid website before the disbursement of any loans.
  • You must complete online entrance counseling for the Graduate PLUS Loan.

Sign Up for Direct Deposit

  • If you are ever owed a refund or have a credit balance, set up direct deposit using the bank account you want it deposited in.

Waive Medical Insurance

Pay your Balance On Time

Watch Your To Do List in MyNIU and Check Your Email

  • Make sure to regularly login into MyNIU using your Z-ID and check your To Do List.
  • Regularly check your university-issued email address for new messages about your financial aid rights and responsibilities.

Contact Us


Apply Now!


Phone: 815-753-8595
Swen Parson Hall 151

General Information

Admissions Information:
Swen Parson Hall 151

Other Questions:
Swen Parson Hall 270

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