Steps to Apply for Financial Aid

Here are some simple steps to help you submit you FAFSA application. If you have questions, contact Financial Aid at 651-631-5105 or

1. Apply for FSA ID

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

2. Submit FAFSA Online – School Code : 002371

After January 1, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

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 be admitted to University of Northwestern – St. Paul. Apply here if you have not yet begun your Northwestern application process.

Filling out the FAFSA on the Web is even easier with the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. For the quickest processing, complete your IRS Tax Form 1040 electronically 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 up to two weeks 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 FSA ID and include Northwestern's School Code 002371 to enable your FAFSA Student Aid Report (SAR) to be sent directly to our Financial Aid Office. Within three days of submitting the FAFSA, you should receive an e-mail (at 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 your Northwestern Application for Admission before we can continue processing your award. Some FAFSA applications are subject to verification; see *Verification section for details.

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 Northwestern student e-mail account with an offer of financial aid. Review your award package and accept your financial aid on the student portal, theROCK. Your login access to theROCK is mailed to you once we receive your admission acceptance to University of Northwestern – St. Paul.

4. Authorize Your Loans

Your eligibility for Federal Stafford loans 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

5. Verification

An additional step in the process is required if a student receives notice their FAFSA has been selected by the Department of Education for a process called Verification, in which additional income verification information is needed.

If your FAFSA is selected for Verification, you will be required to complete and return a signed Northwestern Verification Worksheet.

Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool on the FAFSA to update your and/or your parents or spouse's income information (quicker, preferred option). Another option is to request a 'Tax Return Transcript' from the IRS to submit to the Financial Aid Office to verify your income information.

You can reduce the likelihood of verification if you complete and file your tax return before submitting your FAFSA information.