Northwestern campus

Emergency Loans

An emergency loan is intended to assist students in unexpected short-term financial situations. This loan is not related to the student's financial aid award nor the direct expenses associated with attending Northwestern University. A student may obtain an emergency loan of up to $500.00 per quarter (regardless of their Student Account status), if they are:

  • Currently registered for a term in session.
  • Able to repay the loan within 60 days or by the end of the current term, whichever comes first.

To obtain an emergency loan, the student may visit The Graduate School or  Student Financial Services to complete an emergency loan form. 

Cash Advances

Cash advances* are available to students whose loan funds have not yet disbursed, if they:

  • Are registered appropriately for a term in session
  • Have a net credit on their Student Account
  • Have completed all loan requirements. (The student should refer to their “To Do List” on CAESAR for any outstanding requirements.)

Students may obtain a cash advance of up to $3,000 per day up to the Total Adjusted Balance on their Student Account. To determine if loan funds have disbursed, the student should check their Student Account on CAESAR at For Students > Financial Services > View My Account. If the Grand Totals (at the top of the page) list:

  • A negative Account Balance, this indicates that there is actual credit on the Student Account. In this case, a cash advance is not needed and the student may request a refund.
  • A positive amount under Total Anticipated Aid with a negative Adjusted Balance, this indicates that the loan funds have not yet disbursed. To obtain a cash advance, the student must visit Student Financial Services to complete a cash advance form. 

*The maximum amount available in actual cash is $500.00. Any advance over $500.00 must be made by direct deposit.

Emergency loans and cash advances are not available before the start of (or after the end of) the quarter. If you have questions concerning your eligibility for an emergency loan or cash advance, please contact The Graduate School or  Student Financial Services for assistance.