FINANCIAL AID CHECKLIST
Start your financial planning EARLY! Due to the high cost of private education, most students require financial assistance to pay for their studies. We encourage you to start the application process early in order to pursue all possible sources of financial assistance. For more detailed information, be sure to check out our Financial Assistance Handbook
READY TO GET STARTED? FOLLOW THESE STEPS:
- Complete and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). No matter which law school you choose, you’ll need to complete a FAFSA if you plan on receiving financial assistance. You can do this as early as January 1 (FAFSA Western State School Code: 013710.)
- Complete and submit an Application for Financial Assistance (AFA) to our Student Finance Office. Once you’ve been admitted, we’ll send you an application packet, which will include our Financial Assistance Handbook and the AFA form mentioned above. This form will help us identify which credit based loans you may be eligible for.
- Complete entrance counseling online at www.studentloans.gov. The purpose of the entrance counseling is to ensure that you understand your rights and responsibilities as a new loan borrower and that you understand the regulations governing each loan program.
- Submit your signed and dated Award Letter indicating the awards/loans you would like to accept. Once we receive your completed FAFSA and AFA form, our student financial aid officer will put together and mail you an award package that comes as close as possible to meeting your need. Your Award Letter will detail the types and amounts of assistance that you have been awarded, including any scholarship awarded by our Admissions Department. You may decline an award by crossing it off or accept a lesser amount by crossing off the awarded amount and entering a lesser amount.
- Complete and submit a Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN). This needs to be completed online at www.studentloans.gov by all new students and continuing students who did not borrow previously at Western State.
Most students utilize multiple sources to finance their education. Direct (government) education loans should be your first source. For additional funding, alternative education loans can be used after federal loans are sought. To better understand the specifics of the loan you’ll need, we encourage you to reach out to our student financial aid officer. This officer can develop a student financial aid plan based on your specific set of circumstances. To read more about the loan options available to you, take a look at our Financial Assistance Handbook.
Important Note: The Budget Control Act of 2011 terminates interest subsidies, repayment incentives and the reduction in the interest rate or origination fee for Graduate student Direct Loan borrowers, effective loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2012. This means that graduate student borrowers will pay the origination fee in full – 1% for Stafford and 4% for Grad-PLUS loans. Fees are deducted proportionately from each loan disbursement.
- Federal Direct Loans - Federal Direct Student Loans are low-interest loans to help pay for the cost of a student's education. The lender is the U.S. Department of Education. The Direct Loan is a form of federal self-help aid. Funds are disbursed in at least two payments during the academic year. Loan fees are deducted prior from the disbursements. Direct Loan interest rate for graduate students is currently fixed at 6.8%. This loan is unsubsidized. You’ll be charged interest from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. If you allow the interest to accumulate, it will be capitalized—that is, the interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan and additional interest will be based upon the higher amount.
- Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan - The federal Direct PLUS Loan allows graduate students to borrow money to cover any costs not already covered by the student’s financial aid package, up to the full cost of attendance. There is no cumulative limit. Like the federal Direct Loan, Direct Graduate PLUS loans are provided by the U.S. Department of Education. Direct Graduate PLUS loans have a fixed interest rate of 7.9%. The interest is not subsidized while the student is in school. The PLUS Loan charges loan fees of 4%, deducted from each disbursement check. Repayment begins 60 days after the funds are fully disbursed, and the repayment term is up to 10 years. There is no grace period; however, PLUS graduates may defer their loans during their in-school status. PLUS loans can be consolidated just like Direct Loans, Stafford Loans, and Perkins loans. Eligibility for the Graduate PLUS Loan depends on a credit check to determine absence of adverse credit history.
- Federal Perkins Loan - A Federal Perkins Loan is a low-interest (5 percent) fixed rate loan for students with exceptional financial need. Your school is your lender. You must repay this loan to your school. For graduate studies, you can borrow up to $8,000 per year although awards at Western State generally range from $200 – $6,000 per year depending on your level of financial need, when you apply, and the funding level at Western State. The cumulative maximum is $60,000 as a graduate/professional student (including any Federal Perkins Loans you borrowed as an undergraduate).
- Federal Work-Study - The Federal Work-Study Program provides jobs for students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses. The program encourages community service work and work related to your course of study. In addition to the regular eligibility requirements, the program requires that participants be in good academic standing and capable of maintaining such standing. Hourly pay rates vary depending on the individual employers, year in school, and type of work performed, but usually ranges from $9.50 to $18.00 per hour. A determination of eligibility for federal work-study does not guarantee a job. Rather, it qualifies you to interview for available positions.
- Alternative and Bar Loans - The private education loans are available to students who are unable to finance the entire cost of their education with only federal guaranteed student loans and other financial assistance. Each program offers different terms. Most lenders charge guarantee, origination, and repayment fees, and the repayment options vary. Some programs may offer deferment of principal and interest while in school; others may offer interest-only payments or require payment on the principal. Although these loans are not based on the student’s need, other financial assistance is always considered when determining maximum amounts. No combination of financial assistance may exceed the total cost of attendance for each academic year. Bar loans are used to cover costs associated with fees for bar review courses as well as living expenses. Eligible students must be in their last semester of law school and they must be preparing to take the State Bar at the first opportunity after graduation.
IMPORTANT NOTE: These are credit-based, privately guaranteed education loans. They cannot be consolidated or combined with federal loans. Approval is the decision of the lender and Western State does not provide full replacement funds when a lender denies a loan. See lenders’ websites for current rates and fees.
- Private Scholarships - Hundreds of privately funded scholarships are available nationally to qualified students. Scholarships are considered gift aid, which does not have to be repaid, and are often awarded for merit in academics or a particular field of study. Scholarships may also be awarded based on ethnic background, religious affiliation, and special interests. For more information on external scholarship searches, please visit www.fastweb.com or www.studentawards.com. In addition, announcements that are sent to the Student Services Office regarding available scholarships are posted on the bulletin board just outside the office.
- Bureau of Indian Affairs - U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs administers a Higher Education Grant Program for students who are of a federally recognized Indian tribe that receives services from the Department of the Interior. Applicants must have financial need established by the institution they are planning to attend. Application should be made at their respective Bureau of Indian Affairs area or agency office serving their tribe, or, the Tribal Contractor that administers the Higher Education Grant Program for their tribe. The Student Finance Office will assist you with your application, but the final decision rests with the BIA agency that serves you.
- Veterans Educational Benefits - Veterans must complete a registration form each semester, and submit it to the Student Finance Office. First payments take approximately 90 days to arrive. All prior credit is evaluated prior to enrollment certification. Veterans are subject to satisfactory progress rules as stated in this publication. To see if you qualify for benefits, contact your local VA office or visit www.gibill.va.gov Western State participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program.
- Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits – Western State will assist in coordinating receipt of education benefit funds for students who qualify for Vocation Rehabilitation. Students must apply directly to and be approved for benefits through the appropriate federal, state, or private agency.
- State Financial Aid - Western State College of Law at Argosy University is not currently participating in any state aid programs.
SCHOLARSHIPS & PAYMENT PLANS
When you have been admitted, you are automatically considered for a scholarship. There is no supplemental application! You will be notified if you have been awarded a scholarship.
- Scholarships - Western State offers merit scholarships to eligible new and continuing students. Scholarships cover tuition only; books, fees, and living expenses are not covered. A student may not receive more than 100% of tuition for any one semester from scholarship or remission sources. All scholarship programs are subject to change at any time without notice. In addition, Western State assists in the facilitation of other scholarship programs including the Scott McCune Memorial Scholarship for continuing students with an interest in tort law. Announcements regarding these and other available scholarships are posted on the bulletin boards.
- Tuition Payment Plans - Western State offers short-term payment plans to help students meet their financial obligations to the law school. With these approved plans, students are able to make tuition and fee payments throughout the semester and/or while awaiting the delivery of financial assistance funds. Contact the Student Accounts Office for more information.
COST OF ATTENDANCE
The cost of attendance represents the maximum amount of financial assistance that you can receive from a combination of all sources, not to exceed program limits. To determine the cost of education, the Student Finance Office establishes standard budgets that reflect average expenses (using student surveys, institutional costs, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and U.S. Department of Education guidelines) for students during the award period. These budgets vary according to living arrangements and the length of the award period. Each budget includes average tuition and fees, books and supplies, housing, food, transportation, personal expenses, and loan fees when applicable. These budgets serve as a guide for reasonable expenses for a “modest standard of living” according to federal standards.
Examples of the cost of attendance estimates used can be found by clicking here.
Please keep in mind that the budget is an estimated representation of 2016-2017 costs and is subject to change.