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Financial Aid

First Year

Financial aid for first-year students is in the form of University Fellowships, which are awarded on a competitive basis. All applicants are considered for financial aid; a separate form is not required. If you have already been awarded a fellowship or scholarship from an outside organization, please let us know when you submit your supporting materials.

University Fellowships pay for your tuition plus a monthly stipend. Financial aid covers all twelve months in the year (the regular academic year and summer quarter).  Health insurance for 12 months is also included.

Funding in the Second Year and Beyond

Students who are admitted with full funding in their first year (i.e., with a University Fellowship) will also be eligible for funding in subsequent years, provided they make satisfactory academic progress. The nature of this funding is discussed below. All other students should refer to their admission letter for information on funding for subsequent years, if any.

Second through fourth year

Funded students are supported during the regular academic year as Teaching Assistants or Research Assistants. Funding during summer quarter is in the form of Research Assistantships or Summer Graduate Fellowships.

To be eligible to be a Teaching Assistant, students must demonstrate proficiency in spoken English. Students with undergraduate or graduate degrees from institutions where instruction is in English are exempt from this requirement.  Other students can demonstrate proficiency by scores on certain tests in the two years prior to admission, or scoring at least 65 on the Versant English Test taken on arrival at Northwestern.

Dissertation year

Fifth year students who are on the job market are offered University Fellowships in the spring quarter of their fourth year, and the fall and winter quarters of their fifth year. These students are funded as Teaching Assistants in the spring quarter of their fifth year. Some fifth year students elect to work as Research Assistants.