Financial Aid for Law School Application Year Timeline
This broad outline will keep you on track in attaining the funds you need to pay for law school. This timeline begins in the summer one year prior to law school matriculation. (reproduced with permission from the Prelaw Advisors National Council).
June - August
- Obtain your credit report from www.annualcreditreport.com or other organization.
- Address any errors or omissions in your report with the credit bureau(s).
- Compile a list of all your current debts and estimate your monthly payments.
- Begin your search for grants and scholarships.
September - December
- Obtain current financial aid budgets for each school to which you will apply.
- Research grant and scholarship opportunities.
- Check law school deadlines for submission of financial aid information.
- Determine whether additional scholarship applications or letters of recommendation will be necessary for any of your chosen law schools.
- Prepare your federal income taxes as soon as you have complete documentation (W-2s, 1099s, etc.).
- Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), available at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
- Complete your law school financial aid applications.
February - April
- Comply quickly with any requests from law schools for additional financial aid information, such as 1040s, W-2s, or institutional information sheets.
- Receive financial aid offers. If you have special concerns or situations, discuss these with the law school financial aid office.
- Feel free to bargain: if a low aid offer from a preferred school might cause you to go elsewhere, ask for reconsideration of your package.
- Examine the net costs and benefits of attending schools where you have been admitted.
- Discuss actual housing costs with law students at individual schools.
- Pay your first law school deposit.
March - July
- Once you have selected your law school, submit your loan application(s) and finalize your housing arrangements.
- Pay your second law school deposit.
From this Point Forward...
- Make a budget and stick to it!