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Future JD Students

Before Law School: Careful Planning

Plan a financial strategy before you enter law school. If possible, pay off any outstanding consumer debt. Save as much money as you can to reduce the amount you will borrow. Have a plan for meeting the expenses of your legal education and anticipate what portion of the plan will be based on borrowing. It is also important that you have a good credit history.

Because most of your financial aid is likely to come from loans, you are likely to graduate from law school with debt to repay. Currently, many law students are borrowing more than $100,000 to finance their legal education. Keep accurate records of all loans you receive during your enrollment in law school; this will help you manage your repayments when you complete your education. A good resource for tracking all your federal student loans is the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS), created by the US Department of Education. You can view a complete history of your federal student loans at nslds.ed.gov.

You are required to complete entrance counseling prior to the first disbursement of a Federal Direct Unsubsidized or Direct Graduate PLUS loan in a new degree program. You also are required to complete exit counseling prior to leaving school. The financial aid staff will instruct you on how to complete these loan-counseling requirements. You may need to do so online or during in-person meetings at the law school. Information about the loan terms, repayment obligation, payment options, sample payment schedules, and other important information about managing loan repayment will be provided to you during this counseling activity.

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