Applicants can help ensure their financial aid applications are given maximum consideration by carefully reading the financial aid guide on this site, following instructions on all financial aid forms, and submitting all materials to the Financial Aid Office or the appropriate agency in a timely manner. The Financial Aid Office staff are available to assist current and prospective students.
A Southwestern student is eligible to receive federal financial aid if the student:
- is enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student;
- is a U.S. citizen or national; is a permanent resident of the U.S.; provides evidence from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services that he or she is in the U.S. for other than a temporary purpose with the intention of becoming a permanent resident or citizen (a copy of the green card may be required); or is a permanent resident of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands or Northern Mariana Islands;
- has financial need (for need-based aid only);
- is maintaining satisfactory progress according to the standards and practices of Southwestern as outlined in the Student Handbook;
- does not owe a refund on a Pell Grant, Perkins Loan or SEOG;
- is not in default on any student loan
The Financial Aid Office will determine aid eligibility once the office has received the student's FAFSA and all required supporting documents (see details below).
How to Apply
To apply for Federal Financial Aid, you will need to complete the following 3 steps on the Department of Education's website:
Southwestern's school code is G01295.
- 2015/16 FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student
- Graduate Student Loan Entrance Counseling
- Master Promissory Notes: Unsubsidized and/or Graduate PLUS
*** If you are an LL.M. student, you must also complete the Financial Aid Application online ***
IMPORTANT FINANCIAL AID DEADLINES
The deadline to complete the financial aid application process is:
March 15 for Continuing Students
and June 1 for Entering Students.
Please Note: The March 2 deadline listed on the FAFSA for California is for Undergraduate State Aid and does not apply to students attending Southwestern Law School.
How often do I have to apply for financial aid?
Students must apply for financial aid each academic year they are in school. Certain documents must only be completed once, while others need to be filled out each year. Please see the information below or contact the Financial Aid Office for details.
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
The FAFSA should be completed online each year and is available on January 1st of each year. This form must be completed by students applying for Federal Stafford Loans, Federal Perkins Loans, Institutional Loans, Federal Work Study (FWS) and/or scholarships. Southwestern's school code (G01295) must be indicated on the form.
Southwestern Financial Aid Application
All Continuing Students (and new LL.M. students) must complete the Financial Aid Application online each year through the Financial Aid section of this website.
Direct Unsubsidized Loan Master Promissory Note
This form is required for all first-time borrowers applying for a Federal Direct Stafford Loan and must be completed on the www.studentloans.gov website. Students only need to complete the MPN once while in attendance at Southwestern.
Direct Graduate PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note
This form is required for all first-time borrowers applying for a Grad PLUS Loan and must be completed on the www.studentloans.gov website. Students only need to complete the MPN once while in attendance at Southwestern.
To be considered for institutional scholarships, a separate application form must be completed and is available in the Financial Aid Office.
For more information on the complete awarding policy, see Southwestern's Financial Aid Policy.
Funds are considered in the following priority:
- Federal Direct Stafford Loans
- Federal Perkins Loan
- Institutional Loans
- Federal Work Study
- Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan
- Private Loans
Notification of Awards
All students who have completed the financial aid application process by the published deadline will be notified via email of their award package.
Entrance and Exit Interviews
Prior to release of any federal funds, students are required to complete an entrance interview. Click here for information on completing Entrance Counseling.
All federal student loan borrowers are required to attend an exit interview shortly before they graduate, withdraw from school, or take a leave of absence. Exit interviews may also be completed online.
Disbursement of Awards
Institutional scholarships and loans, as well as Federal Perkins Loans, are credited to the student's account as soon as possible, but may take up to two weeks after the term commences.
Federal Direct Stafford Loans and Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loans are disbursed at least twice a year by check or electronic funds transfer directly from the lender. Refunds are disbursed on the Friday before classes commence each semester.
Any tuition or fees due to Southwestern are deducted from these disbursements. The difference, if any, will be available within ten business days or as prescribed by regulation. See above for refund details. You may sign up for Automated Refund Direct Deposit through WebAdvisor (go to Financial Information > Bank Information).
Every student has the right to appeal to the Financial Aid Committee if the student believes injustice or unfair treatment has occurred (except in those matters set by federal regulations or Southwestern policy) and cooperative action has not been provided by the Financial Aid Office. The Director of Financial Aid can provide guidance regarding the appeals procedure.
All materials pertaining to financial aid are confidential. Student permission (in writing) is required to release any information concerning all aspects of the financial aid process, except as provided by state or federal regulations, to a third party, including spouses or parents. This complies with the FERPA amendments.
Click here to go to the list of frequently asked questions.