Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA
 

Frequently Asked Questions

Applying for Aid

How do I apply for Financial Aid?
What is the deadline to apply?
Does the March 2 deadline on the FAFSA apply to me?
What happens after I submit an application for financial aid?
How do I sign my Master Promissory Note (MPN)?
What steps are involved in E-signing and getting my money?
What if I already signed a Master Promissory Note in the past?
What if I already completed loan interest counseling in the past?
How are my private loans handled?
Am I eligible to receive a Perkins Loan?
Am I eligible to receive Institutional Loans?
What is Verification?

Disbursement of Aid

What will my award letter include?
What if I need to adjust my award?
When will I receive my award?

When are my funds disbursed?
When will I get my refund?
What happens if my funds get delayed?
What if I need more money?

How do I sign up for direct deposit?
Can I get my books prior to the start of classes?
Does the Cost of Attendance account for purchasing a laptop?
What about my living expenses?
Do you have payment plans?
What types of scholarships are available?
What if I receive Veteran Benefits?
Is a Public Loan Forgiveness Program available?
Is my credit considered for loans?
I don't know if I need a co-signer?
What if I can't get a co-signer?
Will you need my parental information?


APPLYING FOR AID


How do I apply for Financial Aid?

To apply for Federal Financial Aid, you will need to complete the following 3 steps on the Department of Education's website:

 

www.studentloans.gov


Southwestern's school code is G01295.

  1. 2015/16 FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)
  2. Graduate Student Loan Entrance Counseling
  3. Master Promissory Notes: Unsubsidized and/or Graduate PLUS

What is the deadline to apply?

The deadline to complete the financial aid application process is March 15 for Continuing Students and June 1 for Entering Students.

Does the March 2 deadline listed on the FAFSA apply to me?

No. This deadline is for Undergraduate State Aid and does not apply to students attending Southwestern.

What happens after I submit my FAFSA?

For students who have been accepted to Southwestern, the Financial Aid Office will begin processing financial awards in mid-February. Within 10 days of submitting your 2015-2016 FAFSA, you will receive an email notification letting you know that your Award Letter has been processed and given instructions on how to view and "accept" your awarded aid.

How do I sign my Master Promissory Note (MPN)?

You will complete and sign your Master Promissory note(s) on the www.studentloans.gov website. There are separate Master Promissory Notes for Unsubsidized Loans as well and Graduate PLUS loans.

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What if I already signed a Master Promissory Note in the past?

If you are a first-time Direct Loan borrower at Southwestern, you will need to complete a new MPN. You will only need to complete the MPN once during your attendance in law school.

What if I already completed loan entrance counseling in the past?

First-time Direct Loan borrowers at Southwestern will need to complete a new loan entrance counseling. If you already completed entrance counseling while enrolled at Southwestern, then you do not have to complete entrance counseling again.

How are my private loans handled?

If you are signing for a Private Non-Federal Loan, you will need to sign for this loan EACH year that you are requesting this type of loan. Prior to taking out a Private Loan, however, you should speak with the Financial Aid Office to see if you may be eligible for a Federal Grad PLUS loan instead.

Am I eligible to receive a Perkins Loan?

If you are awarded a Perkins Loan, you will receive an email from the Financial Aid Office with instructions on how to e-sign your Promissory Note. You will only need to do this once, since you will be signing a Master Promissory Note.

What steps are involved in E-signing the promissory note for Federal Perkins Loans?

Complete instructions can be found in this document (PDF).

Am eligible to receive Institutional Loans?

If you are awarded an Institutional Loan, you will need to complete a paper Promissory Note available online or in the Financial Aid Office. You must sign a new Promissory Note for this loan every year for each institutional loan that you are awarded.

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What is Verification?

Verification is a process in which students may be requested to certify the accuracy of information reported on the FAFSA. Students who are selected for verification will be notified about the required documentation and deadlines.


DISBURSEMENT OF AID

What will my award letter include?

The award letter will identify all aid which a student requested to be considered for when they completed the FAFSA and for which he/she is deemed to be eligible.

The award letter will indicate eligibility for student loans (including both Stafford and Grad PLUS Loans), Federal Work Study and scholarships. 

NOTE:  If your Award Letter lists the Grad PLUS loan, it means that you meet the eligibility requirements to apply for the loan, but it does NOT mean that you've already been approved for the loan. Credit Approval is required for the Graduate PLUS Loan.

Students who wish to take advantage of the aid which has been offered must complete an acceptance process online (via the student portal) before their awards will be processed.

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What if I need to adjust my award?

During the award letter confirmation process, entering students should indicate any changes and/or reject any types of aid they do not wish to receive.

Continuing students who wish to make an adjustment to their aid package (either to cancel a particular type of aid or to reduce the amount of aid) should submit a Loan Change Form to request those changes. The Loan Change Form is available on the student portal or can be picked up in the Financial Aid Office.

When will I receive my award?

Students will receive an email notification letting them know they can view their financial aid package approximately 7 days after they have submitted all documents to the Financial Aid Office. Students will be contacted when/if additional documentation is required.

When are my funds disbursed?

Funds are disbursed the Friday prior to classes beginning. We must internally post the funds to your account once we determine you are eligible (registered, completed entrance counseling and enrolled in the minimum number of units). Once your tuition has been paid in full, the remaining balance will be disbursed to you in the form of a check, or direct deposit if you have elected that option.

When will I get my refund?

Refunds are disbursed the first Friday before classes commence each semester.

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What happens if my funds get delayed

Should there be a delay in your financial aid refund, an interest free loan advance of up to $2,000 per term is available beginning on the first day of classes for that term. You must be registered and have submitted all your Financial Aid documents to be considered.

What if I need more money?

If a student feels that they will need more aid than what was initially offered to them, they should visit the Financial Aid Office to discuss a budget increase. In certain cases and with specific documentation, a student MAY be eligible to increase their Cost of Attendance.

How do I sign up for direct deposit?

You may sign up for Automated Refund Direct Deposit through WebAdvisor (go to Financial Information > Bank Information).

Can I get my books prior to the start of classes?

We suggest that you utilize a credit card to purchase your books. "Book Vouchers" may be provided to students who are receiving sufficient financial aid to cover the cost of books. This allows students to charge your books to your Student Account while you are awaiting financial aid for the term. Book Vouchers are available approximately 1 week prior to classes beginning. You must be registered and have completed all your financial aid documents to be considered for this option.

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What about my living expenses?

In creating the cost of attendance (budget) for all students, the Financial Aid Office considered what a typical student would spend on living expenses, including rent, food and utility expenses over the course of an academic year. These estimates are applied across-the-board to all students who apply for financial aid.

Does the Cost of Attendance account for purchasing a laptop?

With proper documentation, students are allowed a one-time increase in their Cost of Attendance for the purchase of a laptop (Maximum of $1500). Students can pick up a Budget Increase Application in the Financial Aid Office.

Do you have payment plans, and if so, how many different payments can it be split up into?

The school offers a payment plan option whereby students make 5 monthly payments per semester. The first payment in each semester would be due the month prior to the start of the new term. There is a fee of $50/semester to take advantage of the payment plan option. For more information, contact the Financial Aid Office.

What types of scholarships are available?

The school offers a number of institutional scholarships, including the Wildman/Schumacher Scholarship Program for Entering Students, and the Dean's Merit Award for Continuing Students. Information is also available online regarding other scholarship programs  and essay contents that a student may apply for to defray costs. This information is updated regularly to reflect opportunities as details become available. Questions should be directed to the Admissions Office regarding the Wildman/Schumacher Scholarship, and to the Financial Aid Office for all other scholarship opportunities.

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What if I receive Veteran Benefits?

Students receiving Veteran Benefits can utilize those funds to help cover expenses at Southwestern. Students will need to speak to the VA Certifying Official in the Financial Aid Office and complete additional forms in order to begin receiving their benefits.

Is a Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program available?

Yes, the Federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness program was established in 2007. Under this program, Federal student loan borrowers may qualify for forgiveness of the remaining balance of their Federal Direct Loans after making 120 qualifying payments on those loans while employed full-time by certain public service employers. You can find more information on Public Service Loan Forgiveness here.

Is my credit considered for loans?

Credit checks are not involved when a student applies for Stafford Loans. However, credit checks are required when a student applies for a Grad PLUS Loan. Approval for Grad PLUS Loans is not based on the student's credit score. Rather, it's a much simpler review to determine whether or not a student has certain negative credit items appearing on the credit history. The absence of these particular items means a student would be approved for the loan. In the event that a student is denied as a result of their credit check, they would be given an opportunity to secure an endorser (a.k.a. co-signer) in order to obtain loan approval. In some instances, institutional loan funds are available.

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Will I need a co-signer?

Students only need to obtain a co-signer if they are denied a Grad PLUS Loan. If so, the lender will contact the student and inform them of the right to secure an endorser (co-signer) in order to obtain loan approval. Once a co-signer is approved, the student will need to complete another promissory note that links to the co-signer's note. Students will not need a co-signer in order to obtain a Stafford Loan.

What if I can't get a co-signer?

Institutional loans may be available in the event you cannot obtain a co-signer. Please note, however, that institutional loans are not federal loans and are not eligible for federal consolidation.

Will you need my parental information?

All students enrolled in a graduate program are considered to be independent for purposes of completing the FAFSA application, so no parental information will be required.

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