Financial Aid

National Louis University participates in the federal Title IV financial assistance programs and the Illinois and Florida State Grant programs and awards institutional grants and scholarships.

For a complete list of grants and scholarships, please visit

Student eligibility for federal and state financial assistance is based on the annual completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  The FAFSA may be completed as early as January 1 (as early as October 1 beginning with the 2017-2018 academic year) at National Louis University’s school code is 001733.

Financial aid, including federal and state grants, institutional scholarships, student loans and student employment are available to both undergraduate and graduate students.

To be eligible for financial aid, students must:

  • Be enrolled at least half-time (six quarter hours for undergraduates and three semester hours for graduates in standard length terms). Undergraduate students enrolled in one-to-five quarter hours may qualify for partial awards from the Federal Pell Grant and/or the State of Illinois Monetary Award Program (MAP).
  • Meet citizenship requirements
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress
  • Not be in default of a prior student loan nor owe a repayment on a federal grant
  • Be fully admitted to a qualifying degree or certificate program at NLU

Once the FAFSA is completed and a student has been fully admitted, the Student Finance Office will send an award letter detailing the awards and dollar amounts for which she or he is eligible. This award letter will include the information and forms required for the student to accept any applicable student loans. A change in number of hours enrolled may result in a change to the financial aid award letter. All financial aid recipients are required to complete a FAFSA for financial assistance each year.

Please visit for detailed information on available aid programs and eligibility requirements.

Financial Aid Policies

Policy for Issuing Cash Refunds to Financial Aid Students

Financial aid is posted on a rolling basis as financial aid awards are processed. If the application of financial aid or other resources to a student’s account results in a credit balance (excess cash), a refund is issued to the student. The University’s goal is to process refunds via direct deposit on a daily basis and via paper check at least once per week but never later than 14 days after the date that the credit balance occurs. Please note that dropping courses can impact a financial aid award.

The amount of financial aid awarded is determined by many factors including the number of hours for which a student enrolls. A reduction in hours may reduce the amount of financial aid a student is eligible for during a term with the possibility of being completely ineligible for financial aid for the term. In addition, federal regulations require that a student complete more than 60% of a term to earn all Title IV funds awarded for that term.

Policy on Course Non-Attendance

This policy pertains to student non-attendance in registered courses. Students who do not attend any enrolled course during the first two weeks of the class and do not inform the instructor of an intention to join the course will be dropped from the class.

This drop will result in a change in enrollment status for the term as well as adjustments in any financial aid that had been previously awarded. Federal regulations require that a student establish attendance in a course in order to receive aid for it. Failure to attend courses for which a student is registered will result in financial aid revisions and may result in a balance due to the University.

Attendance is considered actively engaging in a course. In on campus courses this would be defined as attending the class in person. Online courses define attendance as either posting to a discussion board, submitting assignments, reading classmates postings, etc. Simply logging into the course without actively participating is considered non-attendance and will result in being dropped from the course.

Please note that students who wish to drop a class during the add/drop week should still follow University policy and contact Academic Advising to change their enrollment. Non-attendance is different from withdrawal. Please review the Withdrawal Policy for more details.

Policy on Online Attendance and Participation

Federal regulations require that online students establish attendance/participation in coursework each term to be eligible for federal financial aid. National Louis University verifies student attendance in accordance with this regulation.

For online coursework, logging into the class in D2L is not sufficient, by itself, to demonstrate attendance by the student. Students must establish a record of participation in academically related activities in order to comply with this requirement. These activities include but are not limited to:

1. Physically attending a class where there is an opportunity for direct interaction between the instructor and students (on campus/blended courses only)

2. Submitting an academic assignment;

3. Taking an exam, an interactive tutorial or computer-assisted instruction;

4. Attending a study group that is assigned by the school;

5. Participating in an online discussion about academic matters;

6. Initiating contact with a faculty member to ask a question about the academic subject studied in the course.

Students who only do one of the following are not defined as establishing attendance:

1. Logging into an online class without active participation or

2. Participating in academic counseling or advisement

Students who have not established attendance/participation in online courses by the end of the second week of class will be dropped by the university by the based on the Policy on Course Non-Attendance, which may be found here.

Student Withdrawal and Return (Loss) of Federal Title IV Funds

The Student Finance Office is required to recalculate the percentage of financial aid earned by a student who officially withdrew before completing more than 60% of the quarter or who failed to pass at least one class in a term and ceased attendance at some point (unofficial withdrawal). The funds subject to this calculation include the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant, Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant, Iraq Afghanistan Service Grant, Federal Perkins Loan, Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans, Direct Parent PLUS Loan, and Direct Graduate PLUS loan. We use a calculation that determines what percentage of the aid a student earned and what amounts may need to be returned. This calculation is called Return of Title IV and must be done within federally mandated timeframes.

Please note that the Return of Title IV calculation is separate from the National Louis University tuition refund policy. Students who withdraw from classes may end up having an account balance with the University after the required financial aid adjustments are made. Learn more about NLU's Withdrawal Policy.

The financial aid awarded was based on enrollment in the entire term and any unearned funds must be returned by National Louis University and/or the student. A portion of the refund received may need to be returned to the University.

We use the date a student officially withdraws from classes to calculate the percentage of the term completed. For students who cease attendance without officially withdrawing from school the midpoint in the term or the last date of an academic activity are used to calculate the percentage of the term completed.

Any funds that need to be returned are done so in the following order:

1. Direct Unsubsidized Loan
2. Direct Subsidized Loan
3. Federal Perkins Loan
4. Direct Graduate PLUS Loan
5. Direct Parent PLUS Loan
6. Federal Pell Grant
7. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
8. Federal TEACH Grant
9. Iraq Afghanistan Service Grant

Click here to learn more about Consumer Information on Return of Title IV.

Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid Eligibility

Federal regulations require that a student receiving Title IV financial aid funds maintain specific standards in his or her academic program in order to remain eligible to receive these federal financial aid resources. These standards are called Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). SAP is defined as passing a required number of hours and achieving a required grade point average during a reasonable period of time. Regulations require that a student’s entire academic history be considered, including periods of time when he or she did not receive financial aid. These Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress apply only to eligibility for financial aid, and not necessarily to eligibility for continuation at the University, or for readmission to the University.

Please see the Standards for Academic Review for University guidelines.

The SAP Components

SAP regulations require that the University monitor three different areas of a student’s academic record. Students must meet the required threshold in all of these areas in order to remain eligible to continue to receive financial aid. These standards are cumulative and a student must meet the requirements at the end of each term of enrollment.


The three components of SAP are:

1. Quantitative Standard – Pace
Pace is the rate at which a student is progressing toward program completion. Students must receive passing grades (A, B, C, D, P or X) in at least 67% of all credits attempted. Credit hours attempted include withdrawals (WW, WS, WF, WU or WN), in progress evaluation (I), no credit (N) and failing (U, F, FX) grades. Pace is calculated by dividing the total number of hours completed by the total number of hours attempted. For example, a student who has attempted 50 credit hours and has successfully completed 40 credit hours would have a Pace of 80%. All transfer credit hours that are accepted from other institutions will be counted as both attempted and completed hours.

2. Qualitative Standard – GPA
An undergraduate student must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 2.0. A graduate student must maintain a minimum CGPA of 3.0. Some programs require a higher GPA. Please refer to the individual program for specific requirements.

3. Quantitative Standard – Maximum Time Frame

A student is ineligible to receive financial aid after she or he has attempted 150% of the credit hours required to complete the degree program. The maximum time frame is one and a half times the degree program length. For example, an undergraduate student enrolled in a 180-hour degree program is allowed 270 hours to complete the program. At the end of the add/drop period all registered hours will be counted in the maximum time frame determination. All transfer credit hours that are accepted from other institutions will be counted as both attempted and completed hours. Once a student has reached the maximum time frame, she or he is no longer eligible to receive financial aid. 

Please note that SAP is monitored at the end of each academic term of enrollment for all students. The quantitative and qualitative standards used to judge academic progress will be cumulative and will include all periods of the student’s enrollment, even periods in which the student did not receive financial aid funds.

Withdrawal and In-Progress Grades

Courses with withdrawal (W) grades and those with in-progress (I) grades are included in hours attempted but not in hours passed.

Repeated Courses

Students are permitted to repeat a course when the grade earned does not award credit for the degree of study two times and receive financial aid for the class. Students are also permitted to repeat a passed course once and receive financial aid for it. Repeating courses must be in accordance with University policy. The grade achieved in the repeated course is recorded on the academic record, however, the original grade also remains on the academic record. The course with the highest grade is used in determining cumulative credit earned and in computing the GPA. All repeated courses are included in hours attempted.