Northeastern to invest record $450M in financial aid in 2022-23

four students stand arm in arm in front of university building
Photo by Ruby Wallau/Northeastern University

Northeastern University will provide a record $450 million in financial aid for undergraduate and graduate students in 2022-23, a figure that exceeds previous totals set each academic year for the last dozen years.

The increase in financial aid funds—grants not loans—means that most current students’ cost of attendance will remain stable. About 65 percent of first-year students at Northeastern receive financial aid, including merit scholarships and grants.

Illustration by Zach Christensen

Undergraduate tuition for 2022-23 will be $59,100, which represents an increase of 4.6% from the prior year. The overall cost of attendance—which includes tuition plus room and board—will increase by 4.1% from 2021-22 academic year.

“Northeastern’s commitment to providing an unparalleled experiential education continues to resonate with families all over the globe,” says Satyajit Dattagupta, chief enrollment officer at the university. “Our demand is the highest it has ever been with us surpassing 91,000 applications this past year. Meeting full demonstrated financial need is critical in attracting students from all walks of life, which results in a classroom setting where students bring diverse ideas and push the status quo.”

Dattagupta says the university is committed to meeting the full demonstrated financial need for every student who attends Northeastern, and has been doing so for every freshman and transfer student since 2015-16.

“Demonstrated financial need” represents the difference between the cost of attendance and a student’s expected family contribution, or ability to pay that cost. Demonstrated need is calculated based on a number of factors, including family income, once a student has filled out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, Dattagupta says.

Northeastern is increasing its investment in financial aid at the same time that the university is experiencing record demand. Some 91,086 students applied for the fall freshman class and 2,620 were enrolled. This marks another year for which applications have dramatically increased, including during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Undergraduate students are also covered by the Northeastern Promise, a compact that guarantees eight semesters of funding for students who receive need-based financial aid from the university. Under the Promise, need-based grant funds automatically increase at the same rate as tuition and are guaranteed not to decrease.

Northeastern students are participating in experiential learning programs in 148 countries and 7 continents (yes, even in Antarctica)
Illustration by Zach Christensen

Additionally, the average debt that students carry after graduating from Northeastern has dropped by 47% over the past decade. Today, among students who elect to take out loans, the average debt is $16,000. Approximately 50% of Northeastern students graduate with no debt.

The newest class of Northeastern undergraduate students is academically talented and diverse. While standardized test scores are not required for prospective students, the average SAT two-part score for the Class of 2026 is 1478, and the average high school GPA is 4.29. Students in the new first-year class come from 73 countries.

Northeastern students are participating in experiential learning programs in 148 countries across all seven continents. They pursue co-op positions across multiple industries, ranging from small startups and NGOs to large multinational corporations, including some of the most in-demand employers in the world, such as Amazon, Netflix, and Google. Experiential learning opportunities around the world include educational experiences such as the Dialogue of Civilizations program.

Because of the breadth and depth of their experience, Northeastern students have an advantage in the job market: 97 percent of graduates are employed or enrolled in graduate school within nine months of graduation.