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Scholarships at Northwestern University School of Professional Studies

SPS Scholarships are awarded annually in the fall term at the start of the academic year. The deadline to apply for scholarships for the upcoming academic year is September 1. Scholarship recipients are given the full details of the scholarship support awarded the beginning of the fall term in order to assist with course and financial planning for the upcoming academic year.

Scholarship awards are based on consideration of the following: need (as determined by the application for financial aid), merit, and program completion rate of progress, as well as scholarship specifications and available funds. Preference is given to students who have not previously received a scholarship or grant award. Applicants will be considered for all scholarships for which they are eligible (descriptions below).

Scholarship funds must be used at SPS during the academic year for which they are awarded, and toward courses that satisfy applicant's degree requirements.

Application Eligibility & Requirements

All students who meet scholarship requirements can apply annually. To be eligible for scholarship funding, applicants are required to meet the general eligibility requirements listed below as well as the requirements listed for each scholarship:

Please note: All award recipients should schedule a meeting with the Northwestern Chicago Office of Financial Aid to discuss the impact of the award on aid and debt levels. If awarded a scholarship, you must submit a thank you letter for the scholarship donor upon receipt of your scholarship award notification.

Application Deadline

SPS Scholarship Application and required supporting materials are due September 1 for full consideration. 

PLEASE NOTE: For undergraduate transfer students who are admitted to SPS after fall term and continuing students who satisfy their admission requirements after fall term, a second spring application cycle will be open for Spring and Summer scholarship consideration. Required materials are due March 1 for consideration.

PLEASE NOTE: only new applicants who have not been reviewed for the current academic year are eligible for the spring application cycle.

Application Process

Applicants submit a single application (with all required materials) per year and will be considered for all scholarships for which they are qualified. 

Click here to access the SPS Scholarship Application and here for the SPS Scholarship Recommendation form. The application and recommendation forms are in fillable PDF documents, and Adobe Reader is recommended to access them. If you need to download a free copy of Adobe Reader, please visit the Adobe Acrobat Reader page.


If you have questions about the scholarship process or about the status of your scholarship application, please email


Recommendations supporting scholarship applicants are made using the SPS Scholarship Recommendation form. Recommendations must be sent directly to SPS at from the recommender’s university email account.

Please note: If you experience technical difficulties while completing the application or recommendation, please print the form, complete it manually, and send a scanned copy or clear picture of the completed form to


Undergraduate Scholarships

Undergraduate Osher Reentry Scholarship

The Bernard Osher Foundation Reentry Scholarship is available to newly admitted and continuing undergraduate degree-seeking students who demonstrate both strong academic achievement and financial need. Preferred applicants are between the ages of 25 and 50 and must have reentered higher education after a cumulative interruption of five years or more.

Students eligible for the Osher Reentry Scholarship must:
  • Be pursuing first undergraduate degree
  • Have reentered higher education after a cumulative interruption of five years or more
  • Have achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher at SPS
  • If a transfer student, must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher from all previously attended institutions.
  • Have demonstrated financial need as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the Northwestern University Aid Application
  • Submit the completed SPS Scholarship Application and a recent academic recommendation

Undergraduate Continuing Student Scholarship

Current SPS degree-seeking students continuing their undergraduate program, who demonstrate both academic achievement and financial need, will be considered for the Continuing Student Scholarship. Applicants must have completed at least four SPS courses to be eligible and have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 from SPS.

Students eligible for the Undergraduate Continuing Student Scholarship must:

Undergraduate Transfer Student Scholarship

This scholarship rewards outstanding transfer applicants for success in previous academic study. Scholarship recipients receive a one-time tuition grant for up to three courses at SPS, based on available funds. Applicants must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 from all previously attended institutions.

Students eligible for the Undergraduate Transfer Student Scholarship must:

Undergraduate Unemployed Student Scholarship

This scholarship was created for continuing SPS undergraduate degree-seeking students who have recently and involuntarily lost their employment. Applicants must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 from SPS.

Students eligible for the Undergraduate Unemployed Scholarship must:

Additional Scholarship Opportunities

Northwestern University Employee Circle Scholarship

For more than 100 years, the University Circle has promoted fellowship and friendship among the women of Northwestern University. The University Circle established a tuition scholarship program in 2005 to assist university employees enrolled in SPS further their career opportunities. The scholarship is funded by donations from University Circle members as well as the public. 

Applicants must be pursuing a credit-bearing credential, in good academic standing with a minimum “B” average (3.0 cumulative GPA), and have been employed by Northwestern University for more than one year. The University Circle scholarship is awarded once per year and has an annual application deadline of March 1. 

Complete University Circle scholarship guidelines can be found on the University Circle page.

Graduate Global Health Fieldwork Scholarship

The Practicum experience of the SPS Masters of Science in Global Health (MSGH) provides students with the opportunity to directly apply their education and positively impact underserved regions, in partnership with global organizations. To support this important work, the scholarship award will help make fieldwork possible by reducing tuition expenses. Scholarships will be awarded to students who demonstrate academic merit and financial need. The application deadline for this scholarship is September 1.

Note: Due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, virtual practicums will be available during the 2020-2021 academic year.

To apply for the scholarship, students must:

International Fieldwork Travel Scholarship recipients register for the practicum in the upcoming academic year, if they have not already enrolled. Scholarship funds will be disbursed to the student account the quarter that the fieldwork is to occur and applied to any outstanding tuition balance on the account at the time of disbursement. It is the intent of the scholarship to reduce tuition expenses so that fieldwork is possible. By accepting the scholarship, recipients agree to report on their experience and its impact at the completion of their practicum. Stories may be shared with the broader SPS community.

Students are eligible to receive this award once over the course of their graduate career at SPS.

External Scholarship Resources

Many SPS students have been successful in the past in pursuing sources of financial support that are external to SPS and Northwestern University.  We encourage students to pursue options available to them. 

Some of those options include:

Alpha Sigma Lambda Student Scholarship

Founded at Northwestern in 1945, Alpha Sigma Lambda Honor Society is the oldest and largest chapter-based honor society for full-and part-time adult students pursuing an undergraduate degree. The Alpha Sigma Lambda society recognizes those dedicated adult students who achieve and maintain high scholastic standards.

Students do not have to be a member of the Alpha Sigma Lambda chapter to apply, and continuing undergraduate students are eligible to apply. Students must have completed 9 units of graded coursework at SPS, achieved a grade point average of 3.2, and demonstrate a financial need for assistance to complete their degree.

The Alpha Sigma Lambda scholarship guidelines and application can be found on the Alpha Sigma Lambda website. Application packets must be submitted to by no later than March 1, 2021.

Private Illinois Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship

In support of the organization’s mission to increase community college awareness of private colleges and universities in the state of Illinois, Private Illinois Colleges and Universities (PICU) grants a minimum of two scholarships per term — one $1,000 and one $500 award — to community college transfer students looking to achieve their educational goals.  More information on the scholarship, including submission deadlines for the PICU Scholarship Application, is available on the PICU website.

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