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How do I apply for financial assistance?

Students begin the financial aid application process by submitting the FREE Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA at With the FAFSA, eligibility is determined for federal and state assistance. Federal and state eligibility is limited to Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU) prospects and current students who are pursuing a degree and have either a U.S. citizenship or eligible non-citizen status (applied for permanent residency). Once the FAFSA is completed, students are encouraged to apply for NEIU Foundation and private scholarships. To apply for NEIU Foundation scholarships, students should check scholarship opportunities at Northeastern and use the NEIUport login information to access the application. Priority file date for federal, state and University scholarships is March 1.

How do I create an FSA ID? 

The Federal Student Aid Identification number – a username and password – has replaced the Federal Student Aid PIN and is used as a single sign-on for completing the FAFSA and viewing borrowing history. Visit to create your lifetime FSA ID. It generally takes one to three business days to generate.

What are Direct Costs or Educational Related expenses at Northeastern?

Northeastern's direct educational related expenses include tuition, fees, books/supplies, room/board, transportation, and personal items. These items are updated annually and are commonly referred to as the Cost of Attendance (COA). See the Financial Aid Office website for more information.

What does it mean if a student is selected for verification?

Once the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is completed, a student can either be selected for verification by the Federal Processor or by Northeastern. The term ‘verify’ means to compare actual tax documents and household information with the information entered on the FAFSA application and make the required corrections. The initial FAFSA is the first transaction. Once corrections are made, subsequent transactions are generated and returned electronically to both Northeastern and the student.

What specific financial aid programs can contribute toward my housing costs and meal plan?

A typical financial aid package for undergraduate students includes Federal Pell Grant, Illinois Monetary Award Program Grant (IMAP), Federal SEOG and institutional scholarships to cover direct costs (tuition, fees, books and supplies). To provide financial support for housing, students are highly encouraged to apply for private scholarships by way of, and other corporate franchises (e.g. Great America, Target, Pepsi). Students are also encouraged to explore scholarships from their parent’s employers. Once all FREE money options have been exhausted, students may consider borrowing through the Federal Direct Loan program, private loans or the PARENT Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) since parents most often are the guarantors to the housing lease. Graduate students who have exhausted assistantship, institutional scholarships and Federal Direct Loan options can explore the credit-based Federal GRAD Plus Loan.

The FAFSA asks for information about my parents but I do not receive any support from them. What do I do?

A FAFSA can be submitted without parent information with a minimum eligibility of Unsubsidized Direct Loan funds.To identify other federal or state options, students with extenuating circumstances should inquire about the dependency override option with the Financial Aid Office.

When viewing NEIUport, where is the total balance due or credit balance (for refunds, book voucher or housing eligibility) displayed?

Students should click on the ‘My Account’ channel within the Current Student tab to review paid financial aid assistance. Students with credit balances - after tuition and fees are paid - are eligible to apply this surplus against books and/or campus housing during fall and spring terms. There are no book vouchers or housing charges during the summer term. Actual payments against a student’s University Billing Account take place after the tenth day of classes.

What summer financial aid assistance is available?

Summer financial assistance is limited to students who have submitted the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by the institutional priority file date (February 15) and have remaining Federal Pell Grant or Direct Loan eligibility from the current award year. Typically, students need to be enrolled in at least six credit hours. There are no housing charges for the summer term.

How many credits do I need to receive financial aid and scholarships?

Northeastern students residing in The Nest student housing must be enrolled full-time, which is 12 credit hours for undergraduates and nine credit hours for graduate students (including Teacher State Licensure Program). Although you may eligible for financial aid and scholarships as a part-time student, you must be at full-time status to reside in The Nest.

The housing status which I reported on my FAFSA is incorrect, what should I do?

The Financial Aid Office will receive listing of Northeastern students residing in The Nest student housing from The Nest administrators. The Financial Aid Office will then make the appropriate adjustments to the room and board amount in the Cost of Attendance based on the type of room being leased.

Do loans have to be repaid while I am in school?

In general, no, loans do not have to be repaid while the student is in school. Exceptions to this would be Unsubsidized Direct Loan interest payments, private loans and Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) that may require payment on the interest and/or principal while the student is enrolled.

How does my academic progress affect my financial aid and housing?

Northeastern students residing in The Nest must be enrolled full-time which is 12 credit hours. Prior to withdrawing or failing to complete all coursework for a given semester, students should meet with a Financial Aid Advisor to discuss the results of such actions. Undergraduate students need to maintain a minimum academic grade point average of 2.0 and a completion rate of at least 67 percent. Graduate (master's) students must maintain a minimum academic grade point average of 3.0 and a completion rate of at least 67 percent. Once a student is dismissed from the University, the lease will be terminated.

My award is based on last year’s income. My income and/or my parent’s income has changed. What should I do?

In the instance of unemployment or underemployment, students should answer ‘yes’ to the Dislocated Worker question on the FAFSA. Answering ‘yes’ will create a Special Condition requirement on your NEIUport Current Student tab under Financial Aid Requirements. Make sure your request is complete with all of the required documents attached.  

If you have any remaining Financial Aid questions, please contact The Financial Aid Office at (773) 442-5016 or

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