Fair operation of the financial aid program requires that students, parents and spouses provide all information requested by the Financial Aid Office as fully and as accurately as possible. It also requires that they notify the Financial Aid Office promptly, and in writing, of any significant changes in their financial circumstances during the year.
Students (and spouses) must report any increase of more than $200 in net income (or aggregate net income) after taxes and business deductions, or a reduction of more than $200 in living expenses (or aggregate living expenses) due to payment in kind for services rendered, or receipt of aid from outside sources.
Decreased resources must also be reported in writing if the student needs an increase in financial assistance.
Corrections to inaccuracies which are reported promptly and in writing will not be subject to any penalty. The Financial Aid Office will adjust the student's financial aid award, if necessary, to what it would have been had the office been aware of the facts when the award was originally made. Failure to meet the requirements for reporting these changes could result in a total loss of assistance, a revision of past awards, and/or serious disciplinary action. In cases where it appears that fraud or willful misrepresentation is involved, the Financial Aid Office will notify the U.S. Department of Education's Inspector General's Office and the appropriate disciplinary committee at Southwestern for further action.
Any funds received which cause an over award may necessitate the return of funds to the lender.
Prospective recipients of student financial aid have the right to receive an accurate description of the following:
- all student assistance programs available to students who enroll at Southwestern University School of Law
- the method by which financial aid is disbursed to student recipients
- financial aid application procedures and instructions
- full cost of attending Southwestern including tuition, fees and books as well as supplies, room and board, personal expenses, and transportation
- the refund policy in effect at the time of enrollment
- courses, faculty and facilities
- how individual financial need is determined and a review of the documents used.
In addition, recipients of student loans have the right to:
- deferment of repayment (Perkins, Stafford) for a grace period of six months (nine months for some Perkins borrowers) after graduation or when the student ceases to attend half-time
- deferment of repayment installments (Perkins Loans) during periods that a student is active in various service organizations or temporarily disabled
- an extension of repayment (Perkins) for up to an additional 10 years if the student becomes a low-income individual during the repayment period.
The responsibilities of student financial aid recipients include the following:
- supplying the following information as accurately as possible: full name, current living and/or mailing address, marital status, number of dependents, and financial resources
- remaining in good academic standing and maintaining satisfactory progress
- notifying the Financial Aid Office of any increase or decrease in financial resources
- being aware of and complying with the deadlines for application and reapplication for aid
- notifying the Financial Aid Office of any change in enrollment status
- making all loan repayments punctually and for the amount agreed upon, including interest charges when applicable
- contacting the lending institution in the event of any changes in name, address, social security number or enrollment status.
The Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA) Programs Ombudsman works with student loan borrowers to informally resolve loan disputes and problems concerning the following federal loans:
- Direct Loans-Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Student Loans, Direct PLUS Loans (for parents) and Direct Consolidation Loans;
- Federal Family Education Loans-Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loans, FFEL PLUS Loans (for parents) and FFEL Consolidation Loans;
- Guaranteed Student Loans, SLS Loans; and
- Perkins Loans
The Ombudsman Customer Service Line is 1-877-557-2575.