How to Apply
We want to make it easier to navigate the financial aid application process with clear instructions and helpful hints. Follow these steps.
Please see Pre-Admit Checklist and/or Post-Admit Checklist for reminder lists concerning the steps of the financial aid process during application. For helpful hints, see Financing Your Legal Education and Paying for Law School - Watch this financial aid workshop video for some great information on how to pay for and prepare for law school (offered by Jeffrey Hanson, LSAC Educational Consultant). Please note that the student loan interest and fee percentages are no longer correct but there is still value to the video.
1. Apply Every Year
For the federal, state, and university aid programs detailed here (except scholarships), students must apply for financial aid each year. Eligible student recipients normally are awarded a combination of government-insured loans, work-study, and, as needed, alternative (credit-based) educational loans.
2. Complete the FAFSA
If you have not previously completed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you may request the FSA ID (https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa/filling-out/fsaid#pin-replacement). Having your FSA ID in advance will make filing the FAFSA in January much quicker and easier.
Please see Prospective Student Financial Aid Instructions for helpful hints on completing the FAFSA.
To apply for financial aid (except scholarship only), complete the FAFSA (available online). You may not complete the FAFSA until after January 1 of each year (see below for deadlines). General financial aid information will be mailed out after receipt of your application for admission. Our Title IV school code is 003790.
- Entering students should apply as soon as possible for full consideration of all programs. Your file will be evaluated once you are admitted to the law school if your file is complete. You will receive an award letter within approximately three weeks of your admit date (but no earlier than mid-March). Limited funding programs are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
- Continuing students must submit the FAFSA by February 15 for a timely award and consideration for all limited-funded programs.
3. Entrance Counseling
All students receiving financial aid (except scholarship only) are required to complete entrance counseling prior to receiving aid at Seattle University School of Law. You may do so online at www.studentloans.gov (click on Entrance Counseling). If you are applying for the federal Grad PLUS loan, you must also complete Grad PLUS entrance counseling. Click on the Combination - Stafford and PLUS loans option. Financial Awareness Counseling is beneficial, but it is optional and does not count toward the federal Entrance Counseling requirement.
If you are selected for verification (notification is on your Student Aid Report or by institutional request), you are required to submit a 2015 IRS tax return transcript (and your spouse's, if applicable) or select the FAFSA Data Retrieval Tool, W-2 forms (if requested or if employed but not required to file), and a Verification Worksheet (you may receive an additional or different form). For more information, please review the Verification Cover Letter.
You may use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool available using FAFSA on the Web (http://www.fafsa.gov) or submit a 2015 IRS tax return transcript(s) - not photocopies - of the income tax return. To obtain an IRS tax return transcript, go to www.IRS.gov and click on the "Order a Return or Account Transcript" link, or call 1-800-908-9946. Make sure to request the "IRS tax return transcript" and not the "IRS tax account transcript." You will need your Social Security Number, date of birth, and the address on file with the IRS (normally this will be the address used when your 2015 IRS tax return was filed). It takes up to two weeks for IRS income information to be available for electronic IRS tax return filers, and up to eight weeks for paper IRS tax return filers. If you are married and you and your spouse filed separate 2015 tax returns, you must submit tax return transcripts for both you and your spouse.
Entering students may receive a tentative Award Letter prior to being verified, but the award may change due to the verification process. If a change occurs, a Revised Award Letter will follow. Funding cannot be released until verification is complete.
Continuing students are required to submit verification materials prior to file evaluation and the awarding of financial aid.
5. Promissory Notes
Stafford Loan: If you are an entering student or a first time borrower, you must sign a Direct Stafford Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) if there is not one on record at the Direct Loan Center. Please complete one online at www.studentloans.gov. The MPN is effective for ten years.
Grad PLUS Loan: If you are an entering student or a first time borrower, you must sign a Direct Grad PLUS Promissory Note (MPN) if there is not one on record at the Direct Loan Center. Complete it online at www.studentloans.gov. The MPN is effective for ten years. You must also complete a Grad PLUS Request Form (also found at www.studentloans.gov). See Grad PLUS Steps for helpful application hints.
Private Loans: If your credit is approved, you must complete a loan application and promissory note for each private loan annually or for any supplemental private loans. Eligibility amount and lender information will be included with your Financial Aid Award Letter or see Alternative Credit-based Loans for information on alternative loans designed for graduate/law students. These are private lenders used in the past by our Seattle University School of Law students. You may borrow from any private lender you wish listed or not listed here, but please review the terms and conditions of the loan carefully. Because private loans are not eligible for federal loan consolidation, federal income-driven repayment plans or the Public Interest Federal Loan Forgiveness program, we encourage you to consider borrowing the Grad PLUS instead, if additional funding beyond the Stafford loan is necessary.
6. Funding Eligibility
In order to receive financial aid you must maintain academic satisfactory progress according to federal regulations. You must enroll for and complete a minimum number of credits and maintain a minimum GPA each academic year. Students must successfully complete a minimum of 16 credits per academic year (a minimum of 8 credits each for fall and spring terms) and complete their law studies within 7 years, including leaves of absence. In addition, students must be in good standing as defined in Chapter II of the Student Handbook. Should you not meet these standards, you will lose financial aid eligibility. You may petition and if accepted you will be placed on financial aid probation for the following term and be reassessed. See Maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress for more information.
You must be enrolled at least half-time each term to receive a student loan.
Financial aid is provided only up to the 90 credits required to graduate.
7. Receiving Your Funding
Your refund check for living expenses, if applicable, should be available for pick up at the Business Office (a separate department) or by direct deposit by the end of the first week of each term. To ensure that your funding will be ready, return all of the required documents quickly. Complete ABA certification on SUOnline each term. It is particularly important that you complete (or have completed) a Federal Direct Stafford Loan Master Promissory Note and a signed Award Letter/Conditions of Award. You may be required to complete an entrance counseling session, provide tax documentation, or other information.
Always be prepared to pay for books and other expenses from your own resources for approximately the first two weeks of each term.
Please see Pre-Admit Checklist and/or Post-Admit Checklist for reminder lists concerning the steps of the financial aid process. For answers to any questions you have about financial aid, please contact Student Financial Services at firstname.lastname@example.org.