Apply for Financial Aid

1. Get your PIN

Visit  to get your Personal Identification Number (PIN). Students and parents of dependent students need a PIN for electronically signing your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and to apply for federal student loans.

2. Submit FAFSA Online - UNW FAFSA School Code: 002371

After January 1, you can complete the  Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Good News!  Filling out the FAFSA on the Web is easy with the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.

  • Each year, the financial aid process begins when you complete the FAFSA. However, in order to receive an offer of financial aid you must first apply for admission and be accepted to University of Northwestern.
  • For the quickest FAFSA processing, electronically complete your IRS Tax Form 1040 before completing the FAFSA. If married, you will also need to have your spouse's Form 1040; if you are a dependent student, you will need to have your parents' Form 1040. Allow 5 business days after you have electronically submitted your tax forms for the information to be accessible from the FAFSA IRS Data Retrieval tool.
  • Sign your FAFSA using your PIN and include UNW School Code 002371 to enable your FAFSA Student Aid Report (SAR) to be sent directly to our Financial Aid Office. 
  • Within 3 days of submitting the FAFSA, you should receive an email (to address provided on FAFSA) of your Student Aid Report (SAR) indicating your eligibility for financial aid.  
  • Your Social Security Number (SSN) must be provided to our Financial Aid office via the UNW Admissions Application before we can continue processing your award.

3. Review Your Award Package

Once we have received all information requested and processed your award,  you can expect to receive an award package in your UNW email with an offer of financial aid from UNW.  Review your award package and accept your financial aid on the student portal, theROCK. Your logon access to theROCK is mailed to  you once we receive your admission acceptance to UNW.

4. Authorize Your Loans

Your eligibility for the Federal Subsidized Stafford, Unsubsidized Stafford, and Perkins loan is determined by your FAFSA results.  The loan amount if eligible, will be listed on your award letter. To authorize your loans, you must first accept the loan on theROCK. If you are accepting your first Stafford loan, you must complete the Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Counseling online at

A Quick FAQ

What is Verification?    

A student may receives notice their FAFSA has been selected by the Department of Education for a process called Verification and additional income verification information is needed. 
If your FAFSA is selected for Verification, you will be required to:
  • Complete and return a signed Verification Worksheet found on the Forms page.
  • Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool on the FAFSA to update your and/or your parents or spouse's income information (quicker, preferred option). (OR)  Request a 'Tax Return Transcript' from the IRS to submit to the Financial Aid Office to verify your income information.