March 2, 2011 at 1:46 pm (Financing Law School)

If you are an undergraduate student or looking to enter law school next year and haven’t yet filled out your FAFSA (the “Free Application for Federal Student Aid), drop everything and do it now! In order to receive Stafford loan money (the $20,500 afforded to graduate students at a low and sometimes subsidized interest rate) you must complete the FAFSA.  Additionally, some law schools have specific scholarships reserved for those who exhibit financial need (as determined by the FAFSA-generated expected family contribution amount). Many law schools set a deadline of March 10, though others have a “priority deadline” of February 15th. I realize this all may be routine for those who have already received financial aid or federal Stafford loans to finance their educations; but I know many of my readers are fellow non-traditional students who may not otherwise be familiar with how the Stafford loan program or need-based financial aid works. 

It is easiest to complete the FAFSA form if you have already filed your taxes but you can also use your 2010 wages and W-2 information. You will need your law school’s federal code and you can enter up to 10 schools you may attend this fall. A handy list of law school codes can be found here, or you can use the search tool integrated into the FAFSA form. The FAFSA form is filled out directly on the website and submitted electronically.  Best of all, the form took me just 20 minutes to complete.  The website for filing out the FAFSA is: www.fafsa.ed.gov.


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