A-Z Index

How To Apply

Where do I start?

Complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) on the Web (Northwest Federal School Code: 002496).

  • You and a parent will need to request an FSA ID and password to access this application.
  • If you apply without an FSA ID, you will be required to print a signature page within the FAFSA Form and you will be required to mail it to the central processor.
  • Renewal applications require your FSA ID to access the application.
  • Students and parents are encouraged to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool within the FAFSA to report income and tax data. For security purposes, you will not be able to see the information transferred from the IRS on your FAFSA.

Why apply early?

Apply October 1 as the FAFSA will use prior-prior year tax return information.

  • For consideration of state programs (FAFSA must be processed before February 1).
  • For programs with limited funding (will be processed on a first completed basis).
  • To avoid finance charges.
  • So aid will credit timely to your account and any refunds can be ready when you verify.

Standard Scholarship Application

The Standard Scholarship Application is intended for most major-specific scholarships (not including any performance-based scholarships). All Freshman, Continuing, Transfer, and Graduate students will be able to complete the application on CatPAWS after they have been accepted for admission. The Standard Scholarship Application is available from September 1 through February 1. 

Students will be asked to provide activities they have participated in, honors they have received, and positions they have held, provide short answers, and upload attachments (resumes, transcripts, etc.). Each student's completed application, along with the necessary academic information, will be forwarded to the appropriate departments for evaluation and consideration. This Standard Scholarship Application will not be required for admission-based scholarships.

If accessing CatPAWS for the first time, will need to set up your Northwest email account

If you've already set up your email account. Please use the following instructions to access the application:

  1. Go to: CatPAWS
  2. Click: Log In/Enter Secure Area
  3. Enter your Northwest Network Account username and password
  4. Click: Student Tab
  5. Click: Standard Scholarship Application (major-specific)

The Standard Scholarship Application will be available until February 1. Students must submit the application by February 1 to be considered for scholarships awarded for the upcoming academic year. Feel free to log in and update your application as many times as you wish until the deadline date. After the deadline date closes, your completed application, along with necessary academic and demographic information, will be forwarded to the appropriate departments for evaluation and consideration. At that point, departments may prefer to contact you for any additional information. All scholarships will be awarded for the upcoming aid year unless stated otherwise.

If you are interested in performance-based scholarships (athletics, music, theatre, and forensics), you will need to contact the appropriate department for additional information.

If you have any questions regarding the Standard Scholarship Application, please contact the Office of Scholarships and Financial Assistance at or 660.562.1363.

2024-2025 FAFSA Application

To learn more about the 2024-2025 FAFSA Simplification Act and what you can do to prepare please visit this FAFSA Information page.