Financial Support Upon Graduation

Post-graduation financial support is also available to students | Social Impact | Kellogg School

Loan Assistance Program

The Collins Family Loan Assistance Program (LAP) enables Kellogg graduates to enter careers in the public and nonprofit sectors by reducing the educational debt burden that sometimes limits them from pursuing positions within these sectors. The LAP helps support Kellogg in its commitment to meeting the growing need for public and nonprofit professionals with executive management skills.

How it works

The LAP pays a portion of a graduate’s Kellogg-related educational loan obligations while employed full time within the public or nonprofit sectors. Award recipients must reapply each calendar year. Graduates may continue to receive funds for up to 10 years post-graduation as long as they qualify or until their loans are repaid.

The amount contributed by the LAP is a function of an individual’s financial position and that of his/her immediate family as defined by the Kellogg Financial Aid Office guidelines. Recipients may be responsible for satisfying at least some portion of their annual loan obligation.


The LAP has been supported by the Collins Family Foundation (Ron Collins ’98) and the Steans Family (Jennifer Steans ’89). Several graduating classes from the Full-Time MBA and Executive MBA programs have also designated gifts to the fund.


A. Eligible Graduates
  • The LAP is open to Kellogg graduates with financial need who borrowed U.S.-recognized financial aid loans while enrolled at Kellogg. These loans must have been certified by the Kellogg Financial Aid office. These loans include, federal, NU loans, or private education loans. Eligibility for this program is based on financial need. Need is defined as the cost of attendance minus the student's contribution and any scholarships or employer reimbursement. Please contact the Kellogg Financial Aid Office at if you have any questions.
  • Kellogg alumni may participate in the program up to 10 years after graduation before their loan repayment schedules expire, provided they meet the income and employment requirements.
  • Applicants must be current on loan repayments at the time of application and must be on the maximum length loan repayment schedule.
  • Graduates who are eligible for and have received loan deferments or forbearance will not simultaneously be eligible for the LAP.
  • Loan assistance will be terminated when individuals no longer meet the eligibility requirements listed below.
B. Eligible Employment
  • Graduates employed by nonprofit organizations in the United States that are tax-exempt under sections 501 (c)(3), (4) or (6) of the Internal Revenue Code are eligible for the program.
  • Employees of local, state or federal governments also are eligible.
  • Recipients of the Kellogg Social Entrepreneurship Award are also eligible.
  • To assist in the determination of eligibility, graduates working outside the U.S. for public or nonprofit organizations are required to demonstrate the legitimacy of their organization, either by producing certification from the organization’s host country or by demonstrating accreditation by an international organization.
  • An applicant working abroad also must demonstrate how any cost of living allowances or stipends impact his or her ability to repay educational loans.
C. Eligible Assets
  • A reasonable amount of assets will not disqualify an applicant for the LAP.
  • A substantial amount of physical and financial assets (real estate excluded), however, may lead to a reevaluation of the candidate’s financial condition.
D. Eligible Income
  • Qualifying graduates with adjusted annual incomes of $125,000 or less are eligible for aid.
  • Adjusted income is calculated as half of the combined spouse’s and alumnus’ salaries or alum’s salary if higher minus $5,000.00 for the spouse and $5,000.00 for each dependent.
  • In order to ensure that all qualified applicants receive some support from the LAP, the maximum amount that an applicant may receive is up to $15,000.00 per calendar year with a maximum aid period of up to ten years’ maximum after graduation date if their monthly loan payments for their need-based loans borrowed while in attendance at Kellogg justify that level of aid.
  • To further clarify, this program only includes education loans borrowed while in attendance at Kellogg that were considered financial need-based loans by the Kellogg Financial Aid Office when determining a students’ financial aid package.
  • Kellogg’s LAP support for applicants with non-need based loans will be determined by a special committee. The total loan amount considered cannot exceed the cost of tuition.
  • Support from Kellogg’s LAP is dependent upon availability of funds for each year.

NOTE:  As the University makes every effort to structure assistance to be tax favorable to the recipients, we also balance the need to expand the availability of this assistance to graduates who may not necessarily qualify under the tax-free loan forgiveness rules.  To the extent that the University determines the loan repayment assistance may not qualify as tax-free, the University may report the payments on a Form 1099.   Generally, the University treats as non-taxable, forgiveness if the borrower works for a 501(c)(3) or domestic government and the educational loan is domestic government sourced or Northwestern University sourced.  Note, the 501(c)(3) employer cannot include Northwestern University.  Generally treated as taxable are all other scenarios (when working for a 501(c)(4), a 501(c)(6), foreign government, when educational loan is privately or commercially sourced).

The University does not provide personal tax advice. We encourage recipients to contact a professional tax advisor for assistance with their personal income tax questions concerning their loan assistance award.  The information herein is for general University informational purposes only and should not be relied on for personal tax assistance.

Application procedures

Complete the LAP application and upload it using this secure upload link. After you have completed uploading the documents, please send an email to to notify them that you have uploaded an application.

Please note that the employer verification must come directly from the employer.

Please also review the required initial Loan Application Disclosure.  Please see Rate, Fee and Cost Information.

Each applicant should also submit:
  1. Essay (1-2 pages) describing his/her background, involvement in the public/nonprofit/ngo sector as well as career focus
  2. Personal income and asset statement
  3. Summary of Kellogg educational debt
  4. Federal income tax return
  5. Verification of employment and salary level for the applicant sent by the employer directly to the Kellogg Office of Financial Aid
  6. Verification of employment and salary level for the applicant’s spouse (if applicable) sent by the employer directly to the Kellogg Office of Financial Aid
  7. Proof of employer’s nonprofit status or comparable documentation for nongovernmental organizations
  8. Documentation (payment schedules) of need-based loans for both Kellogg School and non-Kellogg related loan obligations.
Applications and supporting documentation must be uploaded via the secure Kellogg Office of Financial Aid link by February 1st for assistance for the calendar year. Due to most employees working remotely, mailed physical applications will not be accepted in 2021.


A. Disbursement

  • Upon determination of eligibility, available funds will be distributed among eligible applicants. Due to the limited size of the LAP endowment, and depending upon the number of eligible applicants and available funds, applicants may receive less that the maximum amount possible under the program.
  • Funds will be disbursed on a semi-annual schedule.
    • The first payment will be released between Feb. 15-Mar. 1, contingent upon proof of employment and salary level.
    • The second payment will be distributed on or about July 1 after the Kellogg Office of Financial Aid receives a complete tax return and May pay stub showing year-to-date income and current salary from the applicant.
  • If the award recipient becomes ineligible during a year for which the LAP funds already have been disbursed, the recipient must repay the portion for which he or she has become ineligible. Therefore, award recipients are required to sign a promissory note for each disbursement, as if signing for an interest-free loan. The note will be canceled if the recipient remains eligible throughout the calendar year. If an applicant becomes ineligible once funds have been disbursed for the year, he or she must repay that year’s disbursement along with the balance of the educational debt. An applicant will become ineligible, and thus be required to repay his or her loan, under the following conditions:
    • The applicant completes repayment of the original educational debt.
    • The applicant leaves the qualifying employment
    • The applicant otherwise fails to comply with program requirements, including administrative procedures.
  • When a graduate no longer qualifies for the LAP and has not repaid his or her entire educational debt, he or she will begin to repay the balance of the loan in the following calendar year. The details will be handled individually with the program administrator. The specific terms of repayment will be based on the applicant’s salary upon leaving qualifying employment, generally according to the following repayment schedule:
Amount Subject to Repayment Repayment Period
$1 to $5,000 Up to three years
$5,001 to $10,000 Up to six years
$10,001 and above Up to 10 years

B. Loan Consolidation / Acceleration

  • If the applicant has chosen to consolidate his or her student loans, the LAP payments will be based only upon the Kellogg-related portion of the consolidated payment schedule.
  • LAP payments are based on the standard 10-year repayment option. If the applicant chooses to accelerate his or her payment, the LAP payments will remain at the 10-year repayment rate.


Kellogg’s Financial Aid Office will administer the program with input from an Advisory and Selection Committee. The Committee will review and evaluate the application in terms of the applicant’s income and debt levels with respect to the LAP’s objectives and available resources.

For more information, contact

Financial Support Upon Graduation

Financial support is available during students’ programs and after graduation for social entrepreneurs and for those stepping into public or nonprofit roles.

Applications for the Class of 2021 Loan Assistance Awards are now open and can be found here.

Kellogg Social Entrepreneurship Award
/ Loan Assistance Program

Kellogg Social Entrepreneurship Award and Loan Assistance Awards

The Kellogg Social Entrepreneurship Award allows students to use their business knowledge to make a positive social impact. Each year, one Kellogg student is awarded $70,000 as seed funding and organization support to develop a social venture post-graduation. Additionally, Kellogg Social Entrepreneurship Awardees are additionally eligible for Kellogg’s LAP, Collins Loan Assistance Program (see below). 

The Social Impact Loan Assistance Awards are provided to selected awardees to help substantially and quickly (over two years) pay down a significant portion of the Kellogg student debt of graduating students who are planning to work in the social impact space. Students can be pursuing their social impact venture as an entrepreneur full-time OR be going to work for a social impact organization, social enterprise, or nonprofit. Students are required to provide evidence that funds have been applied to loans and that they continue to work full-time in their chosen field. Note: students with family loans are not eligible to apply. This is a highly-selective award with a vigorous consideration process and these awards are not guaranteed to be awarded each year. Social Impact Loan Assistance Award application.

How it works

All graduating Kellogg students are eligible to apply. Students submit applications in the spring, and applications are reviewed by a committee of faculty and staff at Kellogg. Applicants are then invited to interview in-person for the awards for which they are applying.


All students completing their degree at the end of the respective academic year are eligible to apply. For social entrepreneurs, students must demonstrate the willingness to pursue their endeavor full time upon graduation. The business entity may take any legal form, but must be independent and autonomous and still in the startup phase. The central mission of the venture must be oriented to have a social impact. For students applying for the Loan Assistance Awards who plan to work at social impact organizations, students must demonstrate an exceptional commitment to the social impact field and be eligible to apply based on their loans.

Application requirements

For the KSEA Award:

  • Clearly and concisely articulates how the venture’s proposed idea will address the root causes or create systemic social change
  • States the theory or framework on which you base your premise of social change
  • Outlines a three-year implementation and operational plan, including staffing for functions such as client outreach, funding, distribution and marketing
  • Indicates tangible results to date, if any
  • Defines how outcomes and success will be measured, and how this measurement is an established effective practice or new to the field
  • Explains how scale and sustainable impact will be achieved
  • Indicates the financing support plan
  • Provides a financial model with at least a three-year projection
  • Summarizes the management team’s strengths and areas of needed management expertise, regardless of whether the expertise is currently in place
  • Identifies missing/needed resources and pathways to access them
Criteria for selection:
  • Is the venture self-sustaining?
  • Will the venture create significant social impact?
  • Does the venture address a root cause or deliver enduring benefit?
  • Is the approach innovative, unique or a significant improvement to existing approaches?
  • Does the leadership have a clear idea & implementation strategy? Can they execute?
  • Is there a demonstrated viable scaling plan?
  • Has the leader demonstrated commitment to the idea and venture?
  • Is the leadership well-positioned for success?
For the Loan Assistance Awards:
  • Student will graduate this academic year from the MBA or EMBA program.
  • Student will work full-time in a social impact role at a nonprofit, government office, social enterprise, or social start-up. 
  • Student will graduate Kellogg with student loans through Kellogg Financial Aid.
  • Student commits to working full-time in social impact for at least two years following graduation.
Criteria for selection:
  • This is a competitive process and only a small number of graduating students will be selected.
  • Students’ track-record of activity in social impact courses and activities at Kellogg will be taken into account.
  • Students’ personal approach to impact in the career will be considered. 
  • Degree of social or sustainability need addressed by the students’ proposed work will be assessed

Reporting requirements

Recipients should submit quarterly progress reports to share their progress and learnings. A comprehensive final report is due within 60 days of the conclusion of the award. Additionally, the recipient will be requested to mentor future Social Entrepreneurship awardees and honor speaking engagement requests from Kellogg.


The award will be disbursed in quarterly installments during the 12-month period. The award is granted to the individual, meaning that the recipients are not employees of Northwestern University and therefore are responsible for their own taxes, office and supplies, insurance, etc. Kellogg reserves the right to discontinue payments if the recipient is not progressing appropriately through the year.