Financial Aid FAQ
There are three general categories of aid:
- Gift aid includes tuition waivers, scholarships, and grants, all of which do not have to be repaid.
- Loans from a variety of federal programs must be repaid with interest.
- Employment is available to students on a part-time basis.
"Financial aid" is the sum of scholarship (from any source), educational loans (both federal and private), federal work-study eligibility and a few other miscellaneous things (vocational rehabilitation benefits, veteran educational benefits and Americorps benefits, to name a few).
Financial aid at Loyola is defined as any combination of educational loans, scholarship, and/or Federal Work-Study eligibility. Financial aid packages may include loans of various kinds, work-study funding and, when possible, gift aid.
Filing a FAFSA is required in order to receive federal financial aid, which include Direct Stafford Loans, Grad PLUS loans and need-based institutional aid. The FAFSA, available at fafsa.gov, should be filed as soon as possible after January 1 of the year you plan to enroll in law school. It normally takes 4 to 6 weeks for Loyola University Chicago to receive the processed data. If you have not yet completed your federal income tax returns for the year prior to entering law school, we recommend that you use estimated figures in the FAFSA so that you may submit the form in a timely manner. It is highly recommended that incoming students complete the FAFSA by February 15 and the deadline for upper-class law students is March 1.
The School of Law awards merit-based scholarships which are made on the basis of the admission application. No other form or application is required.
Merit scholarship determinations are made in conjunction with the admission decision, on the basis of the contents of the application file. If you wish to be considered for a need-based scholarship, you must complete the FAFSA and the Loyola University Chicago School of Law Financial Aid Application.
Need-based scholarships are awarded to a small number of accepted candidates who were not offered merit-based scholarships and who submitted the Loyola University Chicago School of Law Financial Aid Application and filed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA should be filed online at fafsa.gov.
Merit scholarships at Loyola University Chicago are awarded to JD candidates on the basis of the information presented in the admission file. Need-based scholarships are offered only after consideration for merit scholarships is complete. Adjustments to both merit and need-based scholarships may occur if the candidate is awarded an endowed scholarship, fellowship or outside scholarship.
Scholarships or grants may also be available from some state governments, community agencies, private foundations, corporations, religious organizations, and civic and cultural groups. Such sources include many minority organizations, as well as state and local bar associations and the American Bar Association.
When programs like these come to our attention, we publicize them to eligible students. However, we do not always learn about such programs in a timely manner, so students are encouraged to research such possibilities on their own. Research might begin on the Internet through online search engines. Please notify us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are awarded any outside scholarship money.
Federal Work Study (FWS) is a federally sponsored part-time employment program. Positions are usually on campus in one of the university's many departments, but may also be in the nearby community. Most students work about 10 to 15 hours a week. Students are paid by check biweekly and are paid for the number of hours worked. Your work schedule can vary from free periods during the day to night or weekend work. While job placement is likely, FWS certification does not guarantee a job or total earnings.
Federal Work Study eligibility for law students is determined upon student request and is usually $2,000 for the year (but can be more or less, depending on the hours the student plans to work).
Many law students work in jobs not requiring Federal Work Study eligibility (such as private law firm clerking jobs). Law students may qualify for positions in law school offices, library, as faculty research assistants, and with specified not-for-profit community agencies through a program subsidized by federal funding. Only programs listed in the link below under Community Work-Study Jobs will be considered. Law students can request a free RamblerLink account to search for available positions. Please note law students are not auto-packaged with a Federal Work Study allowance. Students interested must first secure a position, determine hours per week and hourly pay, and submit an appeal form to the University Financial Aid office. An approved appeal will reduce your eligibility for the Graduate PLUS loan if you have borrowed up to your cost of attendance.
Federal Work Study is not available for summer employment.
More information on Federal Work Study.
The short answer is "no." The standard budget detailed above includes a per month budget (over 9 months) for rent, food, utilities, miscellaneous expenses (such as optional study aids), medical insurance and other health expenses (such as aspirin) and all travel. This budget contemplates a frugal student lifestyle. Any expenses beyond those in the cost of attendance budget must be paid with funds outside of your financial aid package. The sum of financial aid is limited to the total Cost of Attendance.
Your financial aid package (whether scholarships or loans) is not intended to cover such items as those listed below. You must have another source of funds to cover these items, which are not considered a part of the cost of attendance.
- Moving costs
- Deposits for housing and utilities
- Car loan payments
- Payments on pre-existing debt (for example, credit cards)
- Living expenses associated with days before or after an academic enrollment period
If actual living expenses exceed the amount budgeted by the office of financial aid for living expenses, the excess cannot be covered with additional educational borrowing or other types of financial aid.
Because Loyola University Chicago is a private institution there is no difference in tuition for residents and non-residents.
The Department of Education randomly selects a portion of all Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) applicants for verification. You did nothing wrong. You will need to turn in a signed worksheet (including a statement of household size and untaxed income) and a copy of your signed federal income tax return.
FAFSA processing results are sent electronically to the school and a copy (called a Student Aid Report, or SAR) to the applicant. The SAR indicates selection for verification if the applicant has been selected for verification.
You will want to order a free credit report, as soon as possible, from www.annualcreditreport.com. You want to do this to check your credit history and take care of any issues or inconsistencies that may exist.
Issues with your credit can take a while to get cleared up, so it is in your best interest to request the reports and start working on any problems as soon as possible.
Also, you may want to start keeping track of what you are spending on a monthly basis to see how much you are living on, and if there are things you may be able to do without as a law student.
Half-time enrollment is required to receive federal loans. Generally, to be considered half-time a graduate student must be enrolled in at least 4 graduate semester hours (depending on the program). Full-time enrollment is defined as 8 graduate semester hours (depending on the program).
To receive federal assistance for Summer Sessions, you must be enrolled at least half-time. For students enrolled in semester programs, half-time is defined as two credit hours. The credits may be taken in one session or may be divided between sessions.