10. Appeals

Students or applicants may submit an appeal to have the Law Financial Aid Office review their aid eligibility or financial aid package if they believe that their individual circumstances warrant further review. These special circumstances appeals are considered by the Law Financial Aid Office on an individualized, case-by-case basis.

Students and applicants are encouraged to reach out to the Law Financial Aid Office via email to discuss their situation. Students and applicants can also book an appointment with the Law Financial Aid Office if they would like to discuss their situation in more detail.

Cost of Attendance/Budget Appeals

The Law Financial Aid Office will review appeals for additional student loan funding should a student's financial aid package not reflect their individual circumstances. The Law Financial Aid Office will not award additional scholarship funds for any type of approved appeal. If a COA/budget appeal is approved, the student’s cost of attendance will be increased as will the amount of student loan funds the student will be permitted to borrow.

The typical situations for which the Law Financial Aid Office is able to adjust a student’s cost of attendance are outlined below. All appeals are considered on an individualized, case-by-case basis and the situation usually relates directly to the student’s ability to remain enrolled and to complete the degree program. 

A complete appeal includes both the Law Budget Appeal Form and the necessary supplemental documentation outlined on the form. The Budget Appeal Forms are available on the Financial Aid Forms webpage

Computer Supplement/Technology Purchase

Law students may request an increase to their cost of attendance for the purchase of a computer or laptop once during their Law School program. The maximum increase available is $1,500 or the documented cost of the purchase, whichever is less. Extenuating circumstances (theft that is documented with a police report, documented damage, etc) may be considered if a student has already received a computer supplement while at the Law School.

Out of Pocket Medical Expense Not Covered by Insurance

Students who have out of pocket medical expenses not covered by their current health insurance must submit the following items to the Law Financial Aid Office with their request for additional loan funds:

  • a written explanation of the medical emergency and the prescribed treatment;
  • documentation from the health care provider certifying that the prescribed treatment, including all medications, is or was required to continue enrollment at the Law School;
  • documentation of actual costs of the prescribed treatments and/or medications; and
  • documentation showing to what extent these expenses were not covered by health insurance

It may not always be possible to offer loan assistance to cover all of the relevant costs.

Dependent Care Expenses

Students who have underage children or other underage dependents for whom they are responsible may appeal for additional assistance to meet daycare and childcare expenses. The appeal for assistance must include documentation of actual expenses.

Family Contribution Appeals

Admitted applicants have the right to appeal the expected family contribution/student aid index (EFC/SAI) determined by the FAFSA or the UChicago Need Application if there has been a significant involuntary change in circumstances in your (and/or your family's) financial situation since you completed the aid application. Applicants should contact our office if you have specific questions regarding your family contribution.

A family contribution appeal is only considered during the admissions process. Continuing students are not considered for for family contribution appeals as Law School scholarship funding is a three-year award and is not adjusted after the student matriculates.

Involuntary Loss of Wages

Students or applicants may appeal if their family experienced an involuntary loss of wages due to job loss. Documentation required will vary on a case by case basis, but may include:

  • Year-end tax statements (W2s, 1040s)
  • Severance contracts, agreements or letters
  • Termination letter of letter verifying reduction in salary
  • Letters from former employers confirming the last date of employment
  • Last paycheck showing year-to-date earnings

Students who wish to appeal based on a family loss of wages should contact our office to determine the exact documentation required.

One-Time Income Events

Students or applicants whose tax information reported in financial aid application is higher than usual due to a one-time income event may appeal to have that one-time income removed from consideration. Documentation required will vary on a case by case basis, but may include: 

  • Year-end tax statements (W2s, 1040s, 1099 forms)
  • Court documents
  • Statements from employers or attorneys