Financial Aid FAQs

What kind of financial aid is available to me at the University of Chicago? 

Once you are admitted, The University of Chicago Law School will offer you a financial aid package that will equal the cost of attendance. Packages will include loans and may also include scholarship funds.  Scholarships are monies that do not need to be repaid. Loans, both federal and private, must be repaid after graduation.  1L students are not eligible to participate in Federal Work Study. 

How do I apply for Scholarships? 

You will be considered for scholarships when admitted.  There are no extra forms that you need to submit to the Law School.  However, if you would like us to consider your financial need when determining your award, please make sure to complete the Need Access Application.  Parent information is required on the Need Access Application for anyone who is 28 or younger at the time the application is submitted.  Also, if there is some circumstance that you feel should be considered by the Committee, it is important to submit that material in a timely manner.  Petitions should be emailed to: financialaid@law.uchicago.edu.

How do I apply for Loans?

The University of Chicago is a Direct Lending institution and we are therefore able to offer you a streamlined Federal Loans process. To be considered for Federal Direct Loans, you will need to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and University of Chicago Application for Graduate Loans & Federal Assistance (UCAPP).  On the FAFSA, you will need to list the University of Chicago as a recipient school and list our FAFSA code: E00377.

If you have filed your personal tax return, the University of Chicago Law School encourages you to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool available on the FAFSA.  This tool will allow you to pull in your tax data directly from the IRS and will auto-fill the tax portion of the form. 

You will be packaged with a Direct Unsubsidized and a Direct PLUS Loan.  For more information about these loan programs, please review the Federal Student Aid website, "Types of Aid section".  If you prefer, you are welcome to apply for private alternative loans. Application and terms for those alternative loans are available directly with the lender.  Students are not required to accept all loans offered. 

When should I submit these forms?

It is important to submit all forms on time; late forms and information may not be considered.

  • Need Access Form - February 15, 2014 (or, if you are admitted after February 1, two weeks after the date of your admission) - Parent Information Required for applicants age 28 or under
  • FAFSA - May 30, 2014 - FAFSA Code: E00377
    Please note that the FAFSA does not require parental information.
  • University of Chicago Application for Graduate Loans & Federal Assistance (UCAPP) - May 30, 2014

How do I qualify for Federal Loans?

As long as you are a citizen or permanent resident of the United States, you have never defaulted on a federal student loan, and you have completed a FAFSA, you will qualify for the Direct Unsubsidized Loan.  Direct Plus loans require a simple credit check to be performed once you submit the Graduate Student Loan application in May.  The Law School Financial Aid office will determine initial eligibility of all loans and the Student Loan Administration (SLA) will finalize your award by midsummer. 

Are all of these programs open to me if I am an international student?

Unfortunately international students cannot participate in the federal loan programs. However, you are still eligible for scholarships and may still apply for private alternative loans.  It is important to note that the Law School cannot assist you in securing a private loan. You must apply directly with private lenders.  A U.S. cosigner may be required for you to secure funding with a U.S. lender. 

How will I receive my Financial Aid package?

Your award letter will be emailed to you using the account provided on your admissions application. If that email account is inactive, please make sure to update your contact information with the Admissions & Financial Aid Office. 

When will I receive my Financial Aid Package?

We will begin to release awards in early March to those students having completed their forms on time.  Please note that we do not begin to pull forms until after the deadline so we will not be able to confirm receipt before then. However, if you are admitted later in the season, you will receive your award approximately a month after your admission.   

What if I have questions about my award?

If after reviewing your award you have any questions, please feel free to email financialaid@law.uchicago.edu

Do you match scholarships offered by peer institutions?

As a general rule, we do not match scholarship awards from other institutions. However, we are committed to assisting admitted students truly interested in the University of Chicago Law School. To that end, we would be happy to discuss your situation and work through your concerns. If you would like to us to review your award, please email financialaid@law.uchicago.edu and let us know that you would like us to review your award. We will then send you a link to an electronic form where you can provide additional information. Please understand that we have limited funds and cannot alter all awards. We will, however, do our best to make the University of Chicago Law School an option for you. 

Does the University of Chicago Law School offer any loan assistance to students entering Public Interest?

Yes, we have a Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) which can assist graduates accepting Public Interest positions. We strive to offer graduates maximum flexibility and encourage anyone considering the work in the public and not-for-profit sector to borrow only federal loans. LRAP assists with federal loans payments only.  You can also take maximum advantage of our assistance when you combine it with the Income Based Repayment Plan and Federal Public Service Forgiveness Program . If you would like to talk more about loan repayment assistance, please feel free to email the Admissions & Financial Aid Office at financialaid@law.uchicago.edu. 

Does the University of Chicago Law School participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program?

Yes, the Law School is a proud participant of the program. If you think that you may qualify, please make sure that you request a Certificate of Eligibility from your Veterans Administration office and complete the application on the University Registrar’s webpage. 

Once I have decided to attend the University of Chicago Law School, how do I accept my financial aid award?

Once you have paid your deposit and completed your commitment form, you have accepted your scholarship.  To have your loans processed you will need to do the following:

  1. Submit your Graduate Student Loan Application by no later than May 30, 2014,
  2. Make any needed corrections to your FAFSA,
  3. Complete your Stafford  Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note
  4. Complete your Graduate Plus Application if you are in need of those funds,
  5. Complete your Graduate Plus Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note 
  6. Complete your Federal Perkins Promissory note and submit Reference Form--SLA will provide more information, if you have been awarded this loan. 

Once these forms are received, the Student Loan Administration will verify your information, process your GradPlus Loan request and email to you an updated loans package.  There may be loan changes from the initial award letter to account for the yearly tuition increase, if your EFC requires it or if you have qualified for a Perkins Loan. Once you have received this package, please contact us if you have any questions. 

Is there anything I need to do to make sure that my living expense refund comes to me in a timely manner?

Yes, it is a good idea to sign up for both Ebilling and Direct Deposit with the University Bursar.  This will ensure that you keep a log of your bills and that you receive your funds as soon as they are available. As a precaution, it is a good idea to make sure that have saved some personal funds to tide you over, should your financial aid be delayed.

What If I need more money than budgeted for me?

While the Student Loan Administration will process your request, you should set up a time to discuss your request with the Financial Aid office. Please note that we have guidelines that need to be followed when adjusting student budgets.  We cannot assist you with consumer debt, car payments and other such expenses. However, $1,500 will be automatically applied to the financial aid package of all incoming students to cover the cost of a laptop computer (or other computer equipment that you may need).  If you have a financial issue and are not sure whether you can ask for more funding, please feel free to stop by and discuss your situation. 

How do I make sure that my file is complete and that I will get my funds on time?

If you have received an official loan award email from the Student Loan Administration, and it does not list any "to do" items, then you are all set. This email should come to you 3-6 weeks after submission of your Graduate Loan Application and after you have signed your promissory notes and completed the entrance counseling. If you have not received that email and it has been more than 6 weeks, please feel free to give us a call. The Law School would like to encourage all students to sign up for EBilling and Direct Deposit, two services offered by the Office of the Bursar. Signing up for these services will allow you to view your bill remotely and to receive your refund as soon as it is available. 

If I wasn’t offered Scholarships, can I reapply in my 2L or 3L year?

The University of Chicago Law School offers three-year awards only. This means that we cannot offer you scholarship later in your program. However, we will send you emails, throughout your time with us, with links to outside scholarship opportunities. We would encourage you to apply for as many as are appropriate as each dollar received reduces your debt load. To start your search process, we have put together a list of some available outside scholarships for law students. 

If scholarships are three-year awards, are loans as well?

Unfortunately, you must complete a new FAFSA and Graduate Loan Application each year to renew your loans. We will send you a reminder email approximately one month before that deadline. 

What if I would like to reduce the amount of loans that I have requested?

You may reduce your loans at any time. After disbursement, you may pay a penalty depending upon when you elect to reduce. To make changes, please send an email to the Student Loan Administration listing the loan and the amount of the reduction. 

Can I defer my other educational loans?

Yes, you likely can. It is important to check in with the lender and complete any paperwork that they request. If they require a Certification of Enrollment, please mail that form to the Law School Financial Aid Office and we will complete it as soon as you are enrolled. 

What if I am still confused and need more direction?

If you feel that you need more personalized attention, please feel free to contact us and set up a time to talk one-on-one. We know that financial aid can be stressful and we would like to help you in any way that we can.