How the Aid Process Works

There is a lot that goes into the financial aid process and a full timeline is available, but below is a brief overview of the key steps in the process. Remember that the Office of Financial Aid is available to help answer any questions you have about the aid process or requirements.

How Aid is Determined

Financial aid packages are compiled on an individual basis. Incoming students may be offered institutional Law School scholarship funding to assist with educational expenses. Students can use student loan funding to cover the full cost of attendance for the given academic year, after accounting for institutional funding or external funding reported to the Financial Aid Office (including outside scholarships). 

Other aid may be available based on a students' individual circumstances and the impact on your loan eligibility is dependent on the type of aid being used. 

Aid Application Process

The aid application process has a few different steps.

Apply for Financial Aid

Students who plan to apply for federal student loan funding to help cover their educational expenses must submit the FAFSA by early summer to begin the process. The FAFSA is academic year-specific and is typically available in the fall each year.

Admitted and incoming students do not have to take any additional steps to be considered for institutional Law School scholarship funding during the admissions process. However, admitted JD students who would like to have their financial need considered during the scholarship determination process must submit the UChicago Law Need Application. Admitted JD students will receive more information about submitting financial need information shortly after being admitted. 

Students who want to borrow private student loans, either standalone or in combination with federal student loans, must apply directly with their chosen lender by late summer and then alert the Financial Aid Office upon approval. 

Finalize Your Aid Package

Once you have applied for financial aid, the Financial Aid Office will process your application and reach out regarding any outstanding steps to finalize your application, which could include verifying your eligibility for federal student loans.

The Financial Aid Office begins finalizing loan offers for the following academic year in the early summer. Once your aid package and loan offers are ready to review, you'll receive an email notification from our office that your aid package is ready to review in my.UChicago. You must then take specific steps to respond to your aid package and finalize your loan offers for the academic year before they can be applied to your student account. 

Report Outside Financial Assistance

It is the student's responsibility to report any outside assistance (grants, tuition assistance, scholarships, outside financial resources, etc.) they will receive that isn't included on the aid package. You can report this assistance in my.UChicago by navigating to "My Financial Aid" and clicking "Report Aid from Other Sources".

Financial Aid Disbursement and Refunds

Scholarships and finalized loan funding are disbursed (or paid out) to your University student account to pay tuition and fees that were charged to your student account by the Bursar's Office. The Bursar charges tuition and fees on a quarterly basis so financial aid is likewise allocated across all three quarters in the academic year. You can review your student account in my.UChicago.

If your financial aid for a quarter exceeds your tuition and fee charges for the quarter, you can receive a refund of the excess credit from the Bursar via my.UChicago to use towards living expenses and other educational expenses. Students with Law stipend funding or other university-sourced income will receive this funding via Workday, the University's human resources system. It is important that you set up direct deposit in both my.UChicago and Workday.

You can find more information about financial aid disbursements and refunds on the Financial Aid Disbursement and Refund webpage as well as on the Bursar's website.

Maintain Continued Aid Eligibility

Students receiving federal student loans must demonstrate satisfactory academic progress to continue receiving federal student loan funding during their degree program.

If you change your enrollment or plan to take a leave of absence or withdraw from the Law School, there are impacts to your financial aid. The Bursar's Office maintains the University policies with regards to tuition adjustments due to a leave of absence or withdrawal.

Make Changes to Your Financial Aid

You may sometimes find that the amount of loan funding you originally accepted needs to be adjusted up or down for a variety of reasons. Federal student loans are flexible and in most cases, your loan funding can be adjusted during the academic year.

If you find that you need additional loan funding but have already received aid equal to your cost of attendance, you may have options to appeal your cost of attendance with the Financial Aid Office and open room for additional loan funding.

Prepare for Graduation and Loan Repayment

Students do not begin repaying federal student loans until they graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment. We have more information on our website about loan repayment options, considerations for those going into public service roles, and consolidation and refinancing.