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Grants and Loans


Grants are need-based awards funded by the federal or state government. Grants are funds that do not require repayment.

Federal Pell Grant

A Federal Pell Grant is awarded based on financial need from your FAFSA application. Federal Pell Grants are awarded only to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor’s or professional degree.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant

The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is for eligible undergraduate students who will receive Pell Grants and have exceptional financial need. Consideration for a FSEOG will be given first to students with the lowest expected family contribution from their FAFSA application and have a need to help pay down that terms balance.

Illinois Grant Programs

Illinois Monetary Award Program (MAP) Grant

Recipients of a MAP Grant must be Illinois residents (if you are a dependent student, your parent(s) must be Illinois residents), actively pursuing an undergraduate program of study, and be enrolled in at least four quarter credit hours. The MAP Grant is awarded based on the Illinois Student Assistance Commission’s comprehensive review of the family’s financial situation and cost of attending the college, as well as state funding authorization. To be considered for this grant, the applicant must complete a FAFSA prior to the deadline specified by the State of Illinois.

All students must meet the following general eligibility requirements:

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  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
  • Have received a high school diploma or GED
  • Be enrolled in classes leading to a U.S. Department of Education approved certificate or degree (Students may check with the financial aid office if they have questions regarding approved degrees and/or certificates)
  • Not be in default on a federal student loan
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress
  • Have resided in the state of Illinois for at least one year prior to the start of the academic school year. Proof of Illinois residency is required before a MAP Grant is awarded. Parents of dependent students must also be Illinois residents.

Illinois students also have access to many other types of grants. Clicking on the link below will take you to an external website containing more information on each program.


For many students and parents, loans represent an important resource to help finance your investment in education. Since Northwestern College is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, we are able to participate in the Federal Student Loan Program, which allows students and their parents to borrow money to help fund their educational program. A loan is money that will need to be paid back. Our financial aid office will be able to answer your questions regarding student loans and discuss repayment options.

Direct Subsidized Loans

Direct Subsidized Loans are available to undergraduate students with financial need. While in school at least half-time, the interest is subsidized by the federal government.

Direct Unsubsidized Loans

A Direct Unsubsidized Loan may be used instead of or in conjunction with a Direct Subsidized Loan; however, interest on Direct Unsubsidized Loans begins to accrue at disbursement.

Direct Plus Loans

Parents of dependent students may borrow up to the cost of attendance, minus other financial aid, based on credit approval. Dependent students whose parents are denied a Direct PLUS Loan may borrow an additional Direct Unsubsidized Loan.

Alternative Loans

These loans are a flexible alternative for students who want help managing the cost of a college education. Students may borrow up to the cost of their undergraduate education, less financial aid. These loans are credit-based and are available after all federal and state financial aid options are exhausted.

Edvisio Program

This loan may be used to cover the gap between financial aid and tuition cost once all available financial resources have been exhausted. Students may have more than one loan but cannot go above the outstanding loan maximum. Students may be eligible to borrow up to $10,000 funding in the Edvisio program, which varies by program. Our financial aid advisors are able to assist with any questions regarding this option.