Financial Aid FAQ

Why should I apply for financial aid?

All students are encouraged to apply for financial assistance at the beginning of their academic year regardless of their current plans to cover the costs of their program. Having a finalized financial aid package can make accessing the aid much easier should your plans change later in the year. Please note that once you are awarded aid, you have the option to decline or cancel all/part of your award.

How do I apply for financial aid?

Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at for the appropriate academic year you wish to enroll. Make sure to list Northeastern University using school code 002199.

Which FAFSA form should be completed?

If you plan to enroll in: Complete the
Winter 2020 (graduate), Spring 2020, or Summer 2020 (undergraduate)  2019-2020 FAFSA
Summer 2020 (graduate), Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, or Summer 2021 (undergraduate) 2020-2021 FAFSA 

What are the eligibility criteria for financial aid?

  • Applicants must be citizens or eligible non-citizens of the United States,
  • Applicants must have a high school diploma or G.E.D.,
  • Applicants must be registered with Selective Service if required, 
  • Applicants must not be convicted of a drug-related crime in the last year,
  • Applicants must not be in default from previous student loans,
  • Applicants must be enrolled in at least 6 credit hours per term for federal loans,
  • Applicants must be matriculated in a degree-granting program,
    • Special Student status makes a student ineligible for financial aid; there are some supplemental loan options available. More information is available here.
    • For Certificate Programs, students may borrow private student loans only.

When will I receive my financial aid award?

In general, new students will receive their award notifications around registration for their term of entry. The schedule is as follows:

Term of Entry  Financial Aid Award Notification 
Fall Term July
Winter Term November
Spring Term November (bachelor's completion) February (graduates) 

Students who complete their files, or are admitted, after we begin sending award notifications for your term of entry should expect to receive their award 7-10 days after acceptance or date the file is complete (whichever is later).

What type of financial aid will I receive in my award?

Bachelor's Completion students are considered for: 

  • Federal/State Grants - Pell Grant, SEOG, MA Grant
  • Federal Loans
    • Freshman: up to $5,500 Dependent; up to $9,500 Independent
    • Sophomore: up to $6,500 Dependent; up to $10,500 Independent
    • Junior/Senior: up to $7,500 Dependent; up to $12,500 Independent
  • All based upon financial eligibility determined by FAFSA

Graduate Students 

As a graduate student your aid will consist mostly of student loans. Most students will be eligible to borrow up to $20,500 in the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan program. The amount of loans that you will be offered will depend on your yearly Cost of Attendance (COA). The COA is based on tuition, fees, and cost of living.

CPS Scholarships

  • The College of Professional Studies is privileged to be able to provide scholarship opportunities for new, incoming bachelor's completion students. These merit- and need-based alumni- and faculty-supported scholarships are awarded several times a year. Selections for scholarships are made based on a variety of factors, which may include: financial need, academic merit, and personal circumstances. Scholarship criteria and applications can be found on the CPS Scholarship webpage.

How will I receive my financial aid award?

All financial aid awards will be delivered electronically. An email notification will be sent when the award has been created. New students will be sent an email to the email address provided on the Admissions application. All subsequent communications from Student Financial Services (SFS) will be sent to the email address.

Are there any academic requirements to keep the financial aid I have been offered?

Beyond the overall eligibility requirements for financial aid, there are several other enrollment requirements to be eligible to keep any financial assistance that has been offered. These requirements include:

  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress
  • Maintain enrollment in at least 6 credit hours per quarter
  • Earn at least one A through D letter grade each quarter
  • Keep loans out of default status

Failure to maintain any of the requirements listed above could result in a cancellation of federal assistance or a recalculation of eligibility.

Will I be able to have my refund before the start of classes at the start of term?

No. We will not process refund requests for the current academic term until the first day of classes. Furthermore, requests cannot be approved until students have completed “I Am Here” (if required). Also, there is a 7-10 business day processing time associated with student refund requests at the start of any term.

Student Financial Services offers book vouchers to qualified students. To determine if you are eligible, please reach out to your financial aid counselor. Counselor assignments are available by clicking here.

Who can assist me if I have questions about the financial aid process?

For general questions, you can contact our office Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. at 617-373-2897. For more specific questions related to your application, contact your assigned counselor. Counselor assignments are available by clicking here.