International Students

Students from around the world, welcome to Northwestern!

Because international students are working not only with Northwestern, but also with various financial institutions, your country's embassy, etc. the application process for international students can take up a full year. We encourage you to start the process early, and to complete steps 1-4 by March 31. 

An international student is one who wishes to attend college in the U.S. without residency or citizenship, typically on an F-1 visa.

NOTE: If you are a U.S. citizen living abroad, please apply as a first-time or transfer student.

Follow these steps to apply!

Step 1

Take a standardized exam.

If English is your primary language, you should take the ACT or SAT exam. If English is not your primary language, arrange to take the Test of English as a Foreign Lanugage (TOEFL) exam. See more details above. 


Step 2

Complete the application for University of Northwestern – St. Paul!

Complete our online application here or request a paper application by contacting Choua LeMay in our Admissions office (see right).


Step 3

Complete the International Student Assistance Application Form.

When both applications are complete, we will send you a financial aid award packet, which includes the Financial Verification Form (FVF) for the I-20.


Step 4

Complete the Financial Verification Form (FVF). 

After completing the FVF, return it to the Northwestern Admissions Office. The line for Total Resources on your form must balance the line for Total Costs.

You must demonstrate the ability to cover the cost of an entire year of education. When we receive your FVF in satisfactory condition and your application to the college is complete, it will be reviewed.


Step 5

Once you are admitted

If you are admitted, you will be sent a letter of acceptance. At that time, you will be asked to transfer $4,000 (USD) to the University of Northwestern – St. Paul Student Accounts office. This amount will be credited to your university bill.

You will then be issued an I-20, which you will need in order to acquire a student visa to study in the U.S.  Work with the U.S. Consulate or Embassy in your country to obtain your student F1 visa. If, for some reason you are unable to attend Northwestern, your $4,000 will be refunded.

Note the tuition and fees cost for a year at Northwestern, and remember that you will need to be prepared to pay similar amounts for all four years of your education.


Step 6

Once you have your Student Visa

Once you have acquired an F-1 student visa, you must contact the Office of Admissions to inform us of your travel plans.

At that time, you will be guided through the process of registering for classes and making your housing arrangements.  Please note that our housing policy does not allow any student age 25 or older to live on campus.  Any student age 25 or older must make their own off-campus housing and transportation arrangements.

Before you arrive on campus, you must arrange a payment plan for any remaining costs by e-mailing the Student Accounts office at


Step 7

What documents are required for an international high school transcript?

A copy of your high school transcript is required, listing courses taken, number of credits, and grades received. If the transcript is in another language, a school official or other authorized person must translate it into English. Information on the school’s grading system should accompany the transcript.

A diploma or certificate of graduation may be required. Official transcripts from any/all colleges attended are required. Any credits being transferred must be evaluated using one of the evaluation services found at the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services.



Is the TOEFL required if my native language is other than English?

Yes, unless you have taken the ACT or SAT exam and your scores are acceptable. New student scholarships may be awarded on the basis of ACT/SAT scores and high school grades.

The minimum score for admission on the paper-based TOEFL is 530; the minimum score using the computer-based test is 197; and the minimum score on the Internet-based test is 71.


Contact Your Admission Counselor

Have a question? Contact me!

Choua LeMay

Admission Counselor
800-827-6827 toll free
651-631-5593 direct

Financial Assistance

Most international students are not eligible to receive state or federal assistance. But you may be eligible to receive various forms of University of Northwestern aid based on the results of the International Student Financial Assistance Application.

International students may also qualify to work on campus for up to 20 hours per week.