The law school’s financial aid office will
review your financial aid application
materials and calculate your eligibility
for the various forms of financial aid
from all sources. It is important to
carefully review your package and to
understand the terms and conditions of
all aid offered to you.
Here is a list of steps you must take to apply for financial aid.
If You Are Applying for Federal Aid
- The financial aid process begins with the gathering of
information about the specific financial aid application
procedures and deadlines for the schools that you are
interested in attending. You should not wait until you
receive admission to begin the process. In fact, you
should be investigating the financial aid procedures
and deadlines as you are investigating the admission
- Prepare your federal income tax returns as early as
possible after the first of the year. Schools may want to
see a copy of your actual tax return, so be sure to
keep a photocopy for your files. The Free Application
for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) requires information
that is requested directly from your tax return. You can
file the FAFSA for an upcoming academic year
beginning October 1 of the prior calendar year. You
can submit the FAFSA anytime after that date—the
earlier, the better.
- Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). FAFSA is a
need-analysis tool developed by the US Department of
Education. As the name implies, there is no charge for
the collection and processing of data or the delivery of
financial aid through this form. So, do not pay anyone to
help you complete or process your Free Application for
Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If you need help filling out
the application, contact the financial aid office at any of
the law schools to which you are applying for assistance.
- When completing the FAFSA form, you will designate
the names and school codes of up to 10 law schools
to which you are applying. Additional schools may be
added once the FAFSA is processed. Information on
school codes is available from any law school financial
aid office or at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
- The FAFSA form asks for information about your
income, assets, and other financial resources. Be
sure to answer “yes” to the following two questions:
All graduate/professional students are considered
financially independent of their parents for the
federal loan programs.
- Are you a graduate or professional student?
- Have you completed a bachelor’s degree by
July 1 of the year you will be attending law school?
- The law schools to which you apply will determine the
type and amount of financial aid you are eligible to
receive. The amount offered by each law school will
vary because costs vary from school to school. You will
receive notification of your financial aid package once
all information has been received, if you have been
offered admission to the school.
- Once you determine the school that you will attend,
you will need to apply for any loan funding you need to
borrow. Follow the instructions provided by the school
to complete the required loan application materials.
Remember, you cannot borrow more than what the
financial aid staff has determined you are eligible to
borrow. Also, you should borrow the minimum amount
needed to attend the school you have chosen.
If You Are Applying for Institutional Scholarships and Grants
Call, write, email, or visit the website of the financial aid
office of the law schools to which you are applying.
Determine if the school requires any applications or
documents in addition to the FAFSA and admission
application materials for you to be considered for financial
aid, including any scholarship or grant funding they offer
to students. You may need to complete an institutional
financial aid application or an additional fee-based
application such as the CSS Profile. The school also may
require you to provide financial information from your
parents if they offer need-based scholarship/grant
funding. In addition, be aware of any application filing
deadlines—many schools do have priority deadlines for
receiving the financial aid application materials.