Student Financial Services will be making some important changes to our e-mail communication practices. Prior to the end of the Fall 2023 Term, our office will implement the new, user-friendly Student Financial Services Inquiry Form in the self-service portal. Read more about this transition and what it means for you.

Effective Fall 2023, Northeastern University has implemented a new policy regarding late fees. Learn more about this policy.

Policies & Procedures

Changes in Financial Circumstances

We welcome the opportunity to discuss a substantial change in your family’s financial status since filing the FAFSA and/or CSS Profile. Such circumstances include separation/divorce, loss of income, high medical and/or dental expenses (not covered by insurance), or a documented catastrophic expense.

The majority of financial assistance is based upon financial need. The FAFSA (and CSS Profile for freshman undergraduate students) form collects data primarily on your financial resources from two tax years ago. We recognize that a family’s income is not always consistent from one year to the next, and that circumstances beyond a family’s control may inhibit a family’s ability to contribute to educational expenses.

Income or Job Loss as a Result of COVID-19

Northeastern makes every effort to work with students and families to discuss and evaluate changes in a family’s financial circumstances. We understand that many families have been impacted by COVID-19 as well as additional categories of financial hardship, including, loss of job or reduction in pay. With any potential change in circumstance evaluation, you will be required to provide documentation regarding the nature of the financial change, as well as the short- and long-term impact of these changes. We work in partnership with families to review and understand their change in circumstances. Our office evaluates appeals through the course of the academic year and leverage available documentation to perform the most comprehensive review possible.

Initiating the Change in Financial Circumstances Request

If you or your family have experienced a Change in Financial Circumstances, please submit a Change in Circumstances request via the SFS Service Portal.

Upon receipt of the completed form, we will then review the circumstances and provide you with additional information on whether formal appeal documents will be required. Please note that additional required documentation may include, but is not limited to, documentation of income change or job loss, final pay stub(s), and/or documentation of any unemployment benefits.

Please note, to access the Change in Circumstances Form, your Northeastern login is required. If you are a newly admitted student to Northeastern University, visit this website for additional information on setting up your Northeastern online account login.

All Change in Circumstance requests will require the submission of supporting documentation, including current and prior year signed federal tax returns and W-2/1099 information. In addition to these required documents, you must also provide the following information, if applicable, depending on the reason for your appeal:

Loss of Income

  • Most recent pay stubs for parents/student (required)
  • Statement of unemployment benefits
  • Copy of termination letter
  • Severance package information

Death of Parent/Spouse

  • Most recent pay stub(s) of surviving partner (required)
  • Death certificate
  • Life insurance or death benefits

Natural Disaster or Significant Medical Expenses

  • Copies of medical/dental bills
  • Statement of insurance coverage
  • Cost of replacement property
  • Receipts for expenses

Review Process

Student Financial Services will review the provided documentation and determine if there can be a recalculation of your original Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Please allow three to four weeks for processing of your Change in Circumstance request. During this time, please keep an eye out for requests from our office for additional documentation or information.

If there is a recalculation in your EFC, you will be reconsidered for additional financial aid on a funds available basis. Please note that submitting an appeal does not guarantee that you will be eligible to receive additional financial aid. While we understand that changes to income and assets can have an impact on day-to-day expenses, it often may not change the EFC or eligibility for federal or institutional aid opportunities.

For questions about the appeal process or status, please contact Financial Aid.

Other Appeals

Merit-Based Scholarships

Students are evaluated for merit-based scholarships at the time of admission. If you have been offered a merit scholarship, the amount provided reflects the amount of assistance Northeastern University is able to offer. Please note that students cannot be reconsidered for merit-based scholarships during upperclass years.

Additional Sibling in College

For students and families experiencing the change of concurrently supporting multiple students in college, you may be eligible to submit an appeal and complete the Sibling Enrollment Verification Form. The Sibling Enrollment Verification Form must be completed by the partner institution and is used to confirm a sibling’s active enrollment in a degree program at a Title IV aid eligible institution. After receiving this documentation, we will review the student’s eligibility for additional institutional financial aid. Please note that, provided the student completes the FAFSA, they will automatically be considered for federal and/or state aid based on this change.