Paying for Law School: Financial Aid
The University of Washington School of Law’s Commitment to Institutional Aid
The UW School of Law is dedicated to helping students meet educational expenses through loans, grants, and scholarships.
The law school and the University of Washington's Office of Student Financial Aid
(OSFA) are committed to offering a comprehensive financial aid package to help
students achieve their educational goals while minimizing student educational
Investing in Your UW Law Degree
Planning ahead and making informed financial choices can make a difference
before, during, and after law school. Following are some helpful tips for
incoming, current, and graduating students.
Incoming Law Students
Cost of Attendance
Before you sign
any promissory notes, you will want to determine what will be your total cost of
attendance. Consider expenses outside of
tuition and fees such as how much your rent/mortgage payments, transportation,
books and supplies, health insurance, and other living expenses such as food and
entertainment. The University has
provided an estimate of expenses for law students
here. The cost of attendance determines a student’s
financial aid budget for any given year and many students are able to attend law
school that is below those amounts. By
planning ahead, students are able to offset significant costs and lower their
student loan indebtedness.
student’s financial circumstance does not fit the ordinary incoming law student. In those cases, students just need to
submit the appropriate
form so that the Office of Student Financial Aid counselors can review the student’s
Don’t forget that
the total cost of attendance is only for the academic year (September through
June). How you will cover costs incurred
during the summer, whether it is through a paid internship, summer associate
position, or otherwise, you will need to be sure to consider those costs as
Savings and Other Non-Loan Sources
Family members, friends, spouses, partners, student savings have all been great
sources for students to limit the amount of loans they have to borrow. We encourage students to explore alternate
sources of funding if that is an option.
Limiting Other Expenses
try to do as much as possible to limit other expenses such as credit card debt
and car payments. These costs just eat
away a student’s budget during the academic year.
The more a student can pay off their consumer debt before law school, the
better they will be.
Also, getting to
know your credit score and reviewing your credit reports before law school will
help prevent any problems that may arise when borrowing student loans. Just click on the Resources tab for a
listing of the different credit report agencies.
Understanding the Importance of Good Credit
Eligibility for the Graduate PLUS loan requires credit worthiness. A credit
check will take place when you are awarded a GPLUS. We encourage you to check
your credit report before you apply to law school as it may take several weeks
or months to resolve an adverse history. We also recommend that you continue to
monitor your credit throughout the admissions cycle and throughout your law
school career to insure that you maintain eligibility.
Here are some links to the credit reporting agencies:
Learning to Budget
Creating a budget
and sticking to one is one of the least favorite things any student wants to do,
yet it is arguably one of the most important steps. Itemizing how much rent, food,
electricity, phone, water, gas, entertainment, and other living expenses will
help keep you on track month-to-month.
Because your financial aid is only disbursed once at the very beginning of the
quarter, you will need to stick to your budget so that at the end of the quarter
you can avoid being short of funds at the end of each quarter.
One of the most
useful tools for students is free web-based budgeting sites that allow you to
create budgets and track spending. These
www.wesabe.com, among other websites and services that are available.
Do your research and see which one best suits you.
Other Sources for Scholarships
Though we receive a large portion of scholarship information, post them on our
website, and communicate them to students, we don’t always receive all
scholarship notices. We encourage
students to look to their local bar associations, corporations, neighborhood and
community organizations, and other sources for possible scholarships.
Current Law Students
Double Check Your Financial Aid Award
Your financial aid award will be disbursed according to the University’s
timetable for disbursement. You can find that information
here. When you receive your financial aid
disbursement generally at the beginning of the quarter, you will want to double
check that everything has disbursed—particularly those students who’ve received
any scholarships and grants.
Additional Expenses during the Academic Year
Sometimes the cost of attendance and budget set by the University does not cover
your individual financial situation. In those cases, students can complete the
necessary forms to request a revision for additional expenses or
change in financial situation. These costs may include:
Additional course fees
Books and supplies
Cost of professional license
Student medical and/or dental expenses
Unusual transportation costs
Child care and dependent maintenance allowance
Certainly contact the Office of Student Financial Aid at
206.543.6101, or Schmitz Hall 129 with any questions to these forms as OSFA
counselors will be able to walk you through this process.
Because budgeting is so important, we’ll emphasize it again here and just make a
few more reminders. Don’t forget that the
student budget only covers the academic year and does not include the summer
term—so plan accordingly! Are you
planning to take summer courses or receive externship credit and thus need
federal financial aid? Are you applying
for a summer grant through PILA or another entity? Don’t wait to the very last minute!
Emergency Short-Term Loans
Sometimes costs and expenses occur that are unexpected and unavoidable, or you
may endure temporary cash flow problems. OSFA has funds available through the
Short-Term Loan Program. Funds are generally available within 1-4 business
days and are available only to students who are current attending the
University, i.e., loans cannot be processed between quarters. Repayment is due
by the next quarter, or whenever additional funds arrive on the student's
account, whichever is first. Students may apply in their MyUW account. For
more details about eligibility and terms and conditions, please contact OSFA at
firstname.lastname@example.org, 206.543.6101, or Schmitz Hall,
Graduating Law Students
Cost of Professional License
The University may consider a one-time cost of obtaining a first professional
license for a student who is enrolled in a program that requires such a license
or certificate. Submit a
Revision Request regarding Additional Expenses form for more details on the
qualifications. Please note that bar prep classes do not qualify.
Bar Exam Loans
Please click on the tab above
Information for more specific information about bar exam loans.
We hope this information provides you with some guidance. As always, please do
not hesitate to contact us at email@example.com
with specific questions.