Financial Aid

Loans for Online Students

Up to 2% of the total amount of the Federal Direct Subsidized Loan, Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, and up to 5% of the Federal Direct PLUS Loan mentioned below may be deducted by the Department of Education. In addition, if a student graduates or ceases to attend half time, they are required to complete an exit loan counseling session.

Aggregate Loan Limits (Students cannot take out a total of more than these aggregate amounts during their time in school):

  • Undergraduate Dependent Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized limit: $31,000
  • Undergraduate Independent Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized limit: $57,500

Federal Direct Subsidized Loan

Eligibility: Financial need as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

Amount: Amounts are based upon the number of cumulative credits a student has earned. The following chart lists the requirements:

Class Credit Amount
Freshmen 00 – 29 $3,500/year
Sophomore 30 – 59 $4,500/year
Junior 60 – 89 $5,500/year
Senior 90+ $5,500/year

Renewal: Must re-apply for financial aid and maintain satisfactory academic progress.

Terms: Payment of loan begins six months after the student ceases to be enrolled at least halftime; for information on the interest rate see here. The interest rate is fixed at the time of disbursement. Loan fees are charged according to Federal laws (maximum is 1%).

First-time borrowers at Northwest University must accept the loan by returning their Award Terms and Conditions Statement and completing the entrance counseling online that will explain issues, rights, and responsibilities. Entrance Counseling and MPN can be completed by the student. Federal Direct loan funds are sent to the college from the lenders by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). EFT funds will be credited directly to the student's account. The student borrower must sign any loan funds sent by check.

Apply: Complete the required Entrance Counseling and Loan Agreement.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan

Eligibility: Not need-based

Amount: The amounts are the same as the Federal Direct Subsidized Loan, plus an additional $2,000/year (see chart above). Additional amounts are available for independent students and dependent students whose parents were denied a PLUS loan:

Class Amount
Freshmen/Sophomore $4,000
Junior/Senior $5,000

Renewal: Must re-apply for financial aid and maintain satisfactory academic progress.

Terms: Borrowers are responsible for the interest while they are enrolled and during repayment period. Interest payments can be deferred while student is in school and during their grace period. The interest rate is calculated by the same formula as Subsidized Direct Loans. Payment of principal and interest begins six months after the student ceases to be enrolled at least half-time. Interest rates, loan fees, application, and disbursement process are the same as for the Federal Direct Subsidized Loan.

Apply: Complete the required Entrance Counseling and Loan Agreement.

Federal Direct Parent Loan (PLUS)

Eligibility: Must be a parent of an enrolled dependent student and have an acceptable credit rating.

Amount: The maximum amount is the student's estimated budget minus financial aid.

Renewal: Application required annually. In addition the student must re-apply for financial aid and maintain satisfactory academic progress.

Terms: Check is made co-payable to the borrower and school. For information on the interest rate and loan fees see here. The interest rate is fixed at the time of disbursement. Repayment of principle, which can be deferred while student is in school, and interest begin 60 days after the last disbursement. Disbursement process is the same as for the Federal Direct Subsidized Loan.

To apply for a Federal Direct PLUS loan, the Application, Promissory Note, and credit check can be completed via the Direct Loan website.

Apply: Complete the required Entrance Counseling and Loan Agreement.

Private Loans

Students may opt to apply for a Private loan (sometimes referred to as an Alternative loan) to pay for their costs. Private loans are available from many lenders. Each of these lenders will have their own terms and conditions for borrowing and repayment. Northwest University suggests that you do research to determine which lender is the best fit for you. Northwest University is not able to recommend any particular lenders, but provides an historic list based on several prior years.

Private loans decisions are based on the credit scores of the student borrower and most will require a cosigner. The cosigner may be a parent, or other creditworthy individual. The amount available may be based on both the student's credit and on the student's budget.

Learn more about these types of loans and a comparison of several lenders with whom Northwest students have worked.