The Northwestern Undergraduate Tuition Cost

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Northwestern building covered in vines.

The Northwestern Undergraduate Tuition Cost

Northwestern University, located in Evanston, Illinois, is recognized as the “Ivy of the Midwest.” Northwestern’s quality academics and athletics culture provide students with the best of both worlds. The university’s commitment to providing a world-class education is reflected in the Northwestern undergraduate tuition fees, which are designed to cover the costs of delivering high-quality academic programs, facilities, and services

Now, how much is the tuition per year for undergraduates at Northwestern? For the 2023-2024 academic year, Northwestern undergraduate tuition costs $64,887.

This figure includes tuition only and does not cover additional costs such as room and board, books, and other personal expenses. The estimated cost of attendance for students living on campus or in off-campus apartments is $91,290 for the full academic year.

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The high cost of tuition and other expenses might be overwhelming for you and your family.  Northwestern offers several financial aid and scholarship opportunities to help offset the cost of tuition and other expenses.

About 61% of undergraduates receive financial aid at Northwestern. The university provides need-based grants, scholarships, and loans to help eligible students pay for their education.

How much does the room and board cost at Northwestern?

One of the key expenses of attending college is the cost of housing and meals, which can quickly add up. You may be wondering, “How much does room and board cost at Northwestern?”

For the 2023-2024 academic year, the estimated cost of room and board at Northwestern is $20,334. This cost is based on a standard double room in a university residence hall, which costs $12,219 for the current academic year, and an Open Access Meal Plan for first-year and second-year students.

The actual cost of room and board may vary depending on the student’s housing arrangements and a meal plan option.

The standard meal plan provides students unlimited access to dining halls and facilities on campus and a specified number of meals per week. The meal plan also includes a certain number of guest meals and dining dollars, which can be used for purchases at campus eateries and vending machines.

A female student glancing back

Northwestern’s residence halls offer various living options, including traditional double rooms, single rooms, suites, and apartments. The university provides detailed information about each housing option on its website so students can easily compare the costs and amenities of each one.

Apart from the Northwestern undergraduate tuition, students must consider the cost of room and board and should also budget for other expenses, such as books, transportation, and personal items. These costs can vary greatly depending on the student’s lifestyle and needs, so it’s important to consider all of the expenses when estimating the cost of attendance at Northwestern.

Does Northwestern offer full financial aid for international students?

International students comprise 20% (4,020 students) of Northwestern’s student body and contribute to the campus’s cultural richness and enrich all students’ academic experience. Each year, Northwestern welcomes hundreds of international scholars contributing to more than twenty academic disciplines.

With a large percentage of students coming from more than 100 countries studying at Northwestern, prospective international students might ask, “Does Northwestern give full financial aid to international students?”

First, it is important to understand that financial aid and scholarships for international students are limited compared to those available to domestic students.

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This is because international students are typically considered independent and are not eligible for federal financial aid. However, this does not mean that no financial aid options are available for international students.

Northwestern conducts a need-aware admission evaluation for international students, which means that a request for financial aid and the amount of financial aid you require may be considered in your admission decision.

Northwestern is committed to meeting 100 percent of students’ demonstrated financial need. The financial aid award considers the total cost of attendance (Northwestern undergraduate tuition, room and board, fees, health insurance, books and supplies, personal expenses, and travel allowance). The grants and scholarships for international students do not need to be repaid as the packages are loan- and work-free.

Financial aid is restricted to first-year undergraduate applicants only. In addition, as part of the need-aware aid program, you must apply for and receive financial aid during your first year if you want to apply for aid in subsequent years.

Students who are in the process of attaining permanent residency in the United States are ineligible for federal financial aid and are considered for admission through a need-aware process. After obtaining permanent status, students are eligible for aid through Northwestern’s domestic aid program.

How do you get a full scholarship to Northwestern?

Attending a prestigious university like Northwestern can be a dream for many students. However, the high cost of Northwestern undergraduate tuition can make it seem unattainable. Fortunately, there are several ways for students to earn full scholarships that can cover the cost of tuition and other expenses.

Let’s answer the common query among aspiring Northwestern students, “How do you get a full scholarship to Northwestern?” The financial aid application process begins with the submission of your financial aid application documents.

  • Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA): The FAFSA is used to determine federal student assistance eligibility. Complete the FAFSA application on the FAFSA website using the federal school code for Northwestern (001739).
  • College Scholarship Service (CSS Profile): The CSS Profile determines eligibility for university financial aid. To complete the Profile, you must go to the College Board website and use the CSS code for Northwestern, which is 1565.
  • Tax Documents: The College Board will send instructions for submitting the custodial parents’ and students’ federal tax returns and W-2s after completing the CSS Profile. These signed forms must be submitted to the College Board’s Institutional Documentation Service (IDOC) rather than the Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid. Those who are not required to file federal tax returns should complete the relevant Non-Tax Filer’s Statement on the IDOC site and, if requested, give a written explanation of your circumstances to the Financial Aid office.

As mentioned, several financial aid resources may be included in your financial aid award, as well as some financing options available.

  • Scholarships and Grants: Programs offered by the federal, state, and institutional programs that provide need-based scholarships or grants.
  • Federal Work-Study: A need-based employment program established by Congress to assist students in finding jobs to cover college expenses while also giving work experience connected to academic disciplines and interests.
  • Loans: Federal, institutional, and private educational loans are accessible.
  • Veteran Benefits: Students enrolled in eligible programs at Northwestern University may apply their VA educational benefits to the cost of their education.
  • Emergency Aid Request: Current Evanston Undergraduate aid recipients who have incurred unforeseen expenses may be eligible for emergency aid.

Northwestern aims to decrease cost as a barrier to higher education, regardless of your financial situation. Northwestern’s commitment to affordability begins with financial aid that covers 100 percent of each student’s demonstrated financial need.

Why do students want to study at Northwestern?

Despite the rising cost of undergraduate tuition at Northwestern and attending college in general, why do students want to study at Northwestern? Northwestern University is a highly prestigious and respected institution, attracting students from all over the world who are seeking a top-notch education and a world-class college experience.

In the 2022-2023 Best Colleges edition by the US News & World Report, Northwestern University is ranked tenth among national universities.

Now, let’s discuss further what attracts students from the US and other parts of the world to apply to Northwestern.

Excellent Academics

Northwestern is known for its rigorous academics and world-class faculty. The university offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and a wide range of graduate programs, allowing students to pursue their passions and interests in various fields.

Additionally, Northwestern is known for its strong research programs and has been ranked among the top research universities in the country.

Diverse Student Body

Northwestern has a diverse student body, with students from all over the world and from a wide range of backgrounds. This diversity creates a rich and dynamic environment where students can learn from each other and gain a unique perspective on the world.

Additionally, Northwestern is strongly committed to inclusivity and provides resources and support for students from underrepresented communities.


Northwestern is in Evanston, Illinois, just north of Chicago. This location provides students with access to the resources and opportunities of a major city, while also offering a welcoming and supportive college-town atmosphere. Additionally, Evanston is known for its excellent schools, vibrant arts and culture scene, and safe and friendly community.

Active Campus Life

Northwestern has an active campus life, with a wide range of clubs and organizations, sporting events, and cultural and social activities.

The university also strongly commits to student wellness, offering resources and support for students to achieve a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Additionally, Northwestern has a vibrant Greek life, and many students are active in fraternities and sororities.

Career Opportunities

Northwestern is known for preparing students for successful careers, with a focus on experiential learning and real-world experience. The university has strong connections with a wide range of employers and provides students with opportunities to network and gain hands-on experience in their chosen field.

Additionally, Northwestern offers various career services, including internships, co-op programs, and job placement assistance, to help students launch their careers after graduation.

An elite private university offering students a world-class education in various disciplines, it’s no wonder that Northwestern is an extremely popular top-choice school. With its popularity, thousands of students submit their applications each year.

Northwestern welcomed just 7% of the 52,225 applicants for the Class of 2027. This indicates that admission to Northwestern is highly competitive and that many qualified students are not admitted yearly.

If you are a prospective Northwestern student, you might be contemplating how to stand out among a large pool of qualified applicants. College admissions experts like AdmissionSight are more than willing to assist you. With our ten years of experience in guiding students through the tough admissions processes, we can help boost your chances of admission. Feel free to book an initial consultation with AdmissionSight experts today.

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