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Yes. Scholarships are awarded to students based on high academic achievement, athletic ability, or club participation without consideration of need.  A FAFSA is required for any student to receive any athletic scholarship or E-Sports scholarship.

Some scholarships require that the student have a specific major and an established GPA in a specific field of study. However, there are scholarships still available for freshman and highly encouraged to opt in and provide their letter of recommendation for the Liberty Funds.

No. The grade point average for scholarships is reviewed at the end of the academic year, so you will have two semesters to meet the GPA requirement. However, we will notify you at the beginning of spring semester if you are at risk based on your fall grades.

Individual scholarships may vary. Please contact the Financial Aid Office if you wish to withdraw for a semester to discuss your specific aid.

Federal regulations require that students who receive Federal Title IV aid may not receive more financial aid than their demonstrated financial need. Your award offer will be reviewed and adjusted as necessary. Northwood University will first reduce your loan or work study award. We will send you a revised financial aid notice via email that reflects the changes in your award.

  1. Donors may specify the semester(s) in which the scholarship is paid.
  2. If a student wants the scholarship distributed in a way that differs from what the donor requests, the student will be asked to get an authorization letter from the donor.
  3. If the donor letter does not specify a distribution schedule, Northwood University will be split with half in the fall and half in the spring.
  4. If the scholarship has been split and the donor has not given instructions, the student may request the entire award be moved to the fall semester. However, the student is then cautioned that they may be short of funds for the spring semester.

Yes. If you are receiving federal aid, we are required to include the scholarship in your offer. In addition, most scholarship donors send the checks to the University and make them payable to Northwood University and the student. This is done to verify that you are enrolled at Northwood University. Informing us early reduces the number of corrections that must be made to your financial aid and allows us to begin processing any loans included in your offer.

Please contact the Finance and Accounting Office at (989) 837-4207 with proof of scholarship to discuss options for billing deadlines.

If the check is just written to Northwood University please drop off or send the check to 4000 Whiting Drive Midland, MI 48640 C/o Finance & Accounting Office. If the check is written to you and Northwood University, please sign the back of the check and mail or drop off to Finance and Accounting

Student Loans

The Master Promissory Note (MPN) is a legal document in which you promise to repay your loan(s) and any accrued interest and fees to the U.S. Department of Education. It also explains the terms and conditions of your loan(s).

In this process, you will complete the following steps:

  • Enter your personal and school information
  • Enter your reference information
  • Read the terms and conditions
  • Review, electronically sign and submit the MPN

All first-time borrowers must complete entrance counseling. Entrance counseling explains the obligations you agree to meet as a condition of receiving a Direct Loan. During entrance counseling, you will learn about the following:

  • What a Direct Loan is and how the loan process works
  • Managing your education expenses
  • Other financial resources to consider to help pay for your education
  • Your rights and responsibilities as a borrower

The federal government pays the interest for the student during the student’s at least half-time enrollment and through most deferments, the borrower qualifies for. If the student’s loans are unsubsidized the student is responsible for the interest during school, the student’s grace period, and any deferments.

Effective 07/01/12, Congress has eliminated subsidized graduate student loans.

The student is not required to make payments while enrolled at least half time, but has the choice of paying the interest quarterly or allowing the loan servicer to add the interest to the loan (capitalization).

The first payment is due within 60 days of the second disbursement. The first payment will be due in February or March for most of our PLUS borrowers. Your parent borrower may also elect deferring loan repayment while you are enrolled in school.

Your parent and the Financial Aid Office will receive notification from the Direct Loan Origination Center of credit denial. The Financial Aid Office will automatically process an additional unsubsidized loan up to $4000 for a freshman/sophomore or up to $5000 for a junior/senior. The notification from Direct Loans will outline the options available to your parent to contest the credit denial or to secure an eligible endorser.

If your parents are willing to co-sign a loan for you, there are alternative loans that may be borrowed by the student through private lenders. Private lenders also allow non-family members to co-sign a loan for you.

Federal Direct Subsidized, Federal Direct Unsubsidized, and Federal PLUS Loans are paid directly to student accounts in two disbursements. One disbursement is applied in the fall and one disbursement is applied in the spring. Any excess funds will be sent to the student and parent.

Yes. If you do not have a prior Master Promissory Note (MPN) on file with the Direct Loan Program you must complete an MPN and Entrance Counseling online. Once this has been done and you meet all other eligibility requirements, the loan(s) will be applied to your student account.

No. The amount on the award notice is your maximum eligibility for student loans based on the budget, student grade level, status and the student’s other financial aid. You need to decide as a family what you will be able to manage without loans and then how much you need to borrow.

About Your Award Letter

Before the Financial Aid Office is able to offer you financial assistance, you must have applied for admissions, provided a valid social security number on the Northwood application (this is not required for admission, but is required for us to connect your FAFSA and your NU account properly), and been accepted for enrollment at Northwood University.

After you have been accepted and the Financial Aid Office has received your FAFSA from the Department of Education and any requested documentation from you, the Financial Aid Office will notify you via your Northwood University email that you have an award letter ready to view via your Self-Service Portal. The award letter will notify you of the types and amounts of aid that you may receive. You can access Self-Service on

  • Institutional Aid (merit, athletic, clubs, etc.)
  • State Aid
  • Federal Grants
  • Student Employment-Student/Optional Loans

Both scholarships and grants are considered to be Gift Aid. Gift Aid is free educational funds that do not need to be repaid. Scholarships are awards based on the student’s achievement (academic, talent, athletic). Grants are awards based on financial need as determined by completing the FAFSA.

No. You may reduce or reject some or all of the offered loans or work awards and still receive the offered scholarships and grants. Rejected loans and work study awards may result in unmet financial need. Northwood University will not replace rejected loans and work study awards with additional scholarships or grant awards. You can reject and reduce your loans on self-service under

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