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Cost & Financial Aid


Participating in CFS during the fall, winter, or spring quarter will cost the same tuition as a normal quarter at Northwestern during the academic year and is covered by financial aid.

Summer tuition is charged per unit of credit and is typically not covered by financial aid; for details, see Summer with CFS and the Northwestern Summer Session web site.

Many CFS internships are unpaid, and many CFS students will have little time to work for pay at additional jobs during the CFS quarter. Students receiving work-study allocations will need to plan carefully about when they can earn their work-study allocation throughout the year.  Work-study students may need to work with a financial aid counselor in the Financial Aid Office to discuss loan assistance during their CFS quarter.

Most students buy their lunch close to their internship sites. This usually costs between $12-$15 a day. CFS students on meal plans are eligible for a meal plan change, since they will be away from campus for a number of meals each week. Dining Services offers the Flex Pack 210 which is 70 meal swipes and $100 dining dollars or the Purple 50/50 commuter plan, which is 50 swipes and $50 dining dollars   Students can change their meal plan by filling out this form. Students will also need to submit a letter to from CFS, confirming participation in the program.   To request this letter, please email  There is a deadline each quarter by which changes to meal plans must be made; please visit Dining Services for more information.

Students should expect transportation costs into the city to be $200-$400 if they are taking either the CTA or METRA to their internship. Sometimes students are able to take the Northwestern Intercampus Shuttle and walk to their internship location.

Financial Aid

Northwestern never wants cost to be a barrier to high quality, life-changing experiences such as Chicago Field Studies.  To that end, students with demonstrated financial need may be eligible to receive additional financial aid to help defray some of the costs associated with unpaid CFS internships.  These stipends are awarded by the Financial Aid Office to students at the beginning of their CFS quarter.  

Northwestern Career Advancement (NCA) provides funding to support or supplement the career development needs of undergraduate students with financial need. Students can apply to receive funding to cover travel to interviews, the purchase of professional attire and more.  More info here:



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