Types Of Law School Financial Aid

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Types Of Law School Financial Aid

Loans

Few students can afford to pay for law school without some form of educational loan. Scholarships, work-study and other forms of aid typically do not cover the cost of a law school education. Many students find they must supplement their savings and scholarship assistance with educational loans. Ave Maria School of Law participates in the Federal Direct Loan Program which includes the Federal Direct Stafford Loan and the Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan.

General Loan Information

  • Loans must be repaid.
  • Always borrow conservatively. Develop a budget on which you can live reasonably and frugally. Make sacrifices to avoid all unnecessary expenditures. Remember, you will only be in law school for a short time. Sacrifice now while you are a student, so you do not have to when you are no longer a student.
  • Generally, you will repay $3 for every $1 that you borrow. Only borrow what is absolutely necessary.
  • Keep copies of all loan forms you have signed and all correspondence from your lender.

Federal Direct Stafford Loan
The Federal Direct Stafford Loan Program offers unsubsidized loans to graduate students.  Eligibility for the unsubsidized Stafford Loan is not based on financial need; students are responsible for interest that accrues on the loan from the time the loan funds are disbursed until the loan is repaid in full. You may choose to pay the interest while you are in school to reduce your final repayment amount. Otherwise, you may choose to capitalize the interest, which means to defer interest payments while enrolled in school and let the accrued interest be added to the loan principal, thus increasing the amount that must be repaid.

Terms

  • Annual Borrowing Limit – Graduate students may borrow up to $20,500 each academic year.
  • Aggregate Borrowing Limit – Graduate students may borrow up to an aggregate total of $138,500 including undergraduate loan amounts.
  • Interest rates – The interest rate for the Federal Direct Stafford Loan is fixed for the life of the loan, but each July 1, the interest rate will be recalculated for new loans by the U. S. Dept. of Education based on the previous May’s auction of the 10 year Treasury bill. The interest rate on Federal Direct Stafford loans is fixed at 5.84% as of July 1, 2015. Interest starts accruing on this loan at the time of disbursement.
  • Origination Fee – An Origination Fee of 1.068% will be charged. The fee goes to the federal government to help reduce the cost of the loans.
  • Repayment – Federal Direct Stafford Loan repayment begins six months after you graduate, or are no longer enrolled at least half-time.
  • Master Promissory Note – If you are borrowing a Federal Direct Stafford Loan for the first time, you must complete a Master Promissory Note online. The Master Promissory Note that you sign will be used for all of your subsequent Federal Direct Stafford Loans at the Law School. You will not need to sign a new promissory note for each academic year, nor will you sign a new note if you decide to change the amount of your Direct Loan.
  • Disclosure Statements – The Master Promissory Note does not list the amount of your loans. When each loan is disbursed you will receive a Disclosure Statement from the U. S. Dept. of Education listing the amounts and types of your Direct Loans. You will receive a new Disclosure Statement for each new loan that you borrow, and if any changes are made to the amount of your loans. Be sure to keep your Disclosure Statements as a record of the loans you have received at the Law School.
  • Entrance Counseling – If this is the first time that you have borrowed a Federal Direct Stafford Loan, you are required to complete an Entrance Counseling Session to inform you of your rights and responsibilities as a borrower. Your loan funds will not be disbursed to the Law School until you have fulfilled this requirement.  The Entrance Counseling Session may be completed online.

Grad PLUS Federal Loans
The Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan is a fixed interest, non-need based loan. In order to be eligible, the student borrower must not have an adverse credit history; otherwise, the student can apply with an endorser (co-signer) whose credit history will be considered.
Ave Maria School of Law bears no responsibility for the financial support of students who have been denied Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loans for reason of credit, default, bankruptcy, or other financial problems.

Terms

  • Annual Borrowing Limit – Graduate students may borrow up to the cost of attendance minus all other financial aid received including Federal Direct Stafford Loans.
  • Aggregate Borrowing Limit – None.
  • Interest rates – The interest rate for the Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan is fixed for the life of the loan, but each July 1, the interest rate will be recalculated for new loans by the U. S. Dept. of Education based on the previous May’s auction of the 10 year Treasury bill. The interest rate is fixed at 6.84% as of July 1, 2015. Interest starts accruing on this loan at the time of disbursement.
  • Origination Fee – An Origination Fee of 4.272% will be charged. The fee goes to the federal government to help reduce the cost of the loans.
  • Credit Check – Borrower cannot have an adverse credit history.  Adverse credit is defined as being 90 days or more delinquent on any debt, having a credit report that shows bankruptcy, default, discharge, foreclosure, repossession, tax lien, wage garnishment or write off of a Title IV debt during the 5 years preceding the date of the credit report.  Lack of credit history or insufficient credit history is not considered adverse credit.
  • Repayment – Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan repayment can be delayed until six months after you graduate, or are no longer enrolled at least half-time.
  • Master Promissory Note – If you are borrowing a Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan for the first time, you must complete a Master Promissory Note online. The Master Promissory Note that you sign will be used for all of your subsequent Direct Grad PLUS Loans at the Law School. You will not need to sign a new promissory note for each academic year nor will you sign a new note if you decide to change the amount of your Direct Loan.
  • Disclosure Statements – The Master Promissory Note does not list the amount of your loans. When each loan is disbursed you will receive a Disclosure Statement from the U. S. Dept. of Education listing the amounts and types of your Direct Loans. You will receive a new Disclosure Statement for each new loan that you borrow, and if any changes are made to the amount of your loans. Be sure to keep your Disclosure Statements as a record of the loans you have received at the Law School.
  • Entrance Counseling – If this is the first time that you have borrowed Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loans, you are required to complete an Entrance Counseling Session to inform you of your rights and responsibilities as a borrower. Your loan funds will not be disbursed to the Law School until you have fulfilled this requirement.  The Entrance Counseling Session may be completed online.

Private Education Loans
There are a variety of private education loan programs available. These loans are also known as alternative loans. Interest rates, repayment terms and credit criteria vary from lender to lender. We strongly encourage you to consider borrowing through the Federal Direct Loan Program (Federal Direct Stafford Loan and Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan) before you decide to borrow a private education loan.
The interest rates on the Federal Direct Stafford Loan and the Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan are fixed. The interest rate on private education loans are variable, adjusting over the life of the loan. Although these variable interest rates may be low now, they may exceed the fixed interest rates of the federal loans over time.

Private education loans cannot be consolidated with federal student loans into a Federal Consolidation Loan. Unlike federal student loans, private education loans are not eligible for loan forgiveness under the Income Based Repayment Plan.


Bar Exam Loans

Bar Exam Loans are special loans designed by private lenders specifically for third-year law students who are planning on sitting for a Bar Exam shortly after graduation and are looking for assistance in paying for exam-related expenses.

Bar Exam Loans are different than the loans that students borrow to pay for law school. Students who want to borrow funds to pay for Bar Exam preparation activities and for living expenses while they are preparing for the Bar Exam can apply for a Bar Exam loan from a private lender. Students should contact the lender of their choice, either on the web or by phone, to find out more about their Bar Exam Loan Programs. Listed here are the lenders we found who offer Bar Exam Loans.


Student Employment

Student employment is available through the Federal Work-Study (FWS) program.

  • FWS jobs are available on-campus in the Library, the Bookstore and Café, and various administrative offices (e.g. Admissions Office, Career Services Office, Development Office).  Jobs are also available as Research Assistants for Law School faculty members.
  • FWS jobs are available at select non-profit and government organizations.  A limited number of FWS jobs are also available at private law firms in the law school locale.
  • FWS jobs are available through the FWS Reading Tutor program which provides one-on-one and group reading tutoring to children in after-school programs at local elementary schools during the academic year.


Writing Competitions



VA Benefits/Yellow Ribbon Program

Ave Maria School of Law is approved to provide training to students who are eligible to receive Veteran’s Educational Benefits. Students with questions about their benefits should review information available on the Department of Veterans Affairs website. This site provides a way for students to send inquiries electronically to the regional processing center as well as learn of news about changes to benefits and other topics.

Post-9/11 GI Bill and Yellow Ribbon Program
The Post-9/11 GI Bill provides financial support for education and housing to individuals with at least 90 days of aggregate service on or after September 11, 2001, or individuals discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days. Veterans must have received an honorable discharge to be eligible. Under the Post-9/11 GI Bill for private schools, the VA will pay the full net cost of tuition and fees up to a maximum of $20,235.02 for the 2014-2015 academic year. For more information about the Post 9/11 GI Bill, visit the Department of Veterans Affairs website.

Yellow Ribbon

Students who are eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill at the 100% level may also be eligible for the Yellow Ribbon Program. Beginning with the 2014-2015 year, qualifying eligible military veterans can attend AMSL at little to no out-of pocket tuition cost through the Yellow Ribbon Program. Qualifying, eligible veterans will have a 100% of tuition and mandatory fees met through a combination of Post 9/11 benefits and the Yellow Ribbon Program.

Checklist to Apply for VA Education Benefits:

  1. Go online to the Department of Veteran Affairs and complete an application through VONAPP. Students who have used VA education benefits at another school will need to request a change of place of training.
  2. Provide the Office of the Registrar with the following documents:
    1. Copy of the completed VA application
    2. Copy of your most recent DD-214
    3. The Request for Veterans Administration Certification form
    4. Yellow Ribbon Participation Request form (if applicable)
  3. Students receiving benefits through the Post-9/11 GI Bill will also need to provide the Registrar with a copy of their Certificate of Eligibility. The Certificate of Eligibility is a document provided by the VA indicating your eligibility percentage under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, how many months of eligibility you have remaining, and whether or not you are eligible for the Yellow Ribbon Program.

For Additional Information
If you have questions about VA education benefits at Ave Maria School of Law, please contact Angela Kojiro, Registrar at registrar@avemarialaw.edu or by phone at (239) 687-5332.