The pattern for financing your professional school education is significantly different from undergraduate and other graduate programs. The primary sources of financial assistance for law students are educational loan programs. A chart of the various loan programs for law students has been developed to show the differences in federal loans available to law students.
Federal Educational Loans (William D. Ford Direct Loan Program)
Direct Loans are low cost educational loans made available to eligible students directly from the Department of Education. There are two types of Federal Direct Loans for graduate students: Unsubsidized and Graduate PLUS. The Standard Repayment plan for both loan programs is 10 years. Other loan repayment plans are available (including Extended Repayment [25 years] and Income-Based Repayment).
Eligible students will be provided with instructions regarding the steps to apply for Federal Direct Loans. All borrowers at the College of Law are required to complete promissory notes to finalize their loan eligibility through the William D. Ford Federal Direct Student Loan. First time borrowers of federal student loans must also complete an Entrance Interview online. Only students who plan to matriculate (enroll) at the College of Law should complete promissory notes.
Educational loans only can be borrowed during the loan period for which a student is enrolled at least half time. The loan period is defined as the timeframe between the first day of classes and the last day of classes. Loans cannot be borrowed during periods of non-enrollment and new loans cannot be certified after the loan period has ended.
Law students may borrow up to $20,500 per academic year and as much as $138,500 in Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan funds for all post-secondary education. Loans disbursed after 7/1/06 have a fixed 6.8% interest rate. Students may choose whether or not to pay interest and/or principal while enrolled.
Interest is charged throughout the life of the Unsubsidized portion of the loan. The borrower may choose to pay the interest charged on the Unsubsidized loan or allow the interest to be capitalized (added to the loan principal) when the loan enters repayment. Loans disbursed after 7/1/06 have a fixed 6.8% interest rate.
Law students will be notified of their Unsubsidized Direct Loan eligibility by the College of Law Financial Aid Office, in their financial aid award notification statement.
Graduate PLUS Federal Direct Loans:
The Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan has a fixed 7.9% interest rate. The loan is unsubsidized, meaning interest accrues upon disbursement and throughout the life of the loan. Payments of interest and/or principal may be deferred while enrolled in-school at least half time. The maximum annual amount is the educational cost of attendance, as determined by the school, minus any other financial aid the student borrower receives.
Borrowers must meet the federally established credit requirements to qualify for this loan. Borrowers must have no adverse credit: adverse credit is defined as 90 days or more delinquent on any debt, or having a credit report that shows default, discharge, foreclosure, repossession, tax lien, wage garnishment, or write-off of a Title IV debt, during the five years preceding the date of the credit report. Credit score is NOT used to determine Federal Graduate PLUS loan eligibility. If your credit is denied, please contact the Financial Aid Office at 315-443-1963 for advice on how to proceed.
What You Should Know