To be eligible for federal student aid, you must:
- complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA);
- be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen (for most programs) with a valid Social Security number (SSN);
- be working toward a degree or certificate;
- register (if you have not already) with the Selective Service, if you are a male between the ages of 18 and 25;
- maintain satisfactory academic progress once in school.
There are three categories of federal student aid: grants, loans, and work-study. Grants provide financial aid that does not have to be repaid. Loans provide borrowed money that must be repaid with interest. Work-study allows students to earn money to help pay for education expenses while enrolled in school.
Your financial aid “offer” – the aid your school awards you – may include funds from the following federal financial aid programs:
Federal Direct Stafford Loans are available to graduate students who meet the eligibility requirements. Borrowers at the graduate level have a fixed rate of 6.8 percent. Origination fees or insurance fees of up to 3 percent may be deducted from each disbursement.
Generally, Stafford Loan repayment begins six months after the student graduates, enrolls less than half time, or withdraws from school. This six-month period is referred to as the “grace” period. No repayment is required while the student attends school at least half time or during grace or deferment periods. Typically, borrowers have up to 10 years to repay.
The amount students can borrow through the Stafford program depends on their college cost, their expected family contribution (EFC), how much other financial aid they may receive, and their enrollment status. There is also an aggregate loan limit (the maximum a student can borrow for his or her entire school career) for all students under the Federal Family Education Loan Program. The limit for professional/law students is $138,500, and $65,500 of the limit is the maximum allowed for subsidized loans. This maximum also includes all undergraduate loans. Law students are typically eligible to borrow up to $20,500 per year through the Stafford loan program.
Typically, many graduate students are eligible to borrow $8,500 per year in subsidized Stafford loans. If you qualify for a subsidized Stafford Loan, the government will pay the interest on your loan until the date your repayment is scheduled to begin and during any deferment periods.
Graduate students may also qualify for an additional unsubsidized Stafford loan for $12,000 per year. If you elect to borrow unsubsidized Stafford loans, you are responsible for paying all of the interest that accrues on the loan. With unsubsidized loans, interest payments can be deferred while the student is in school. A student may elect to pay the interest only while going to school. There is an area on the Master Promissory Note (MPN) for students to make that request. If the student chooses to let the interest accumulate, it will be added to the principal balance of the loan at repayment. It is to the student’s advantage to pay the interest while in school.
Federal Perkins Loans are interest free while the student is enrolled. During repayment, the loan has a 5% interest rate. The maximum annual loan amount is $6,000 for graduate students. Funding for the Perkins loan program is limited and students must be offered this loan in their award package to qualify.
Federal Work Study provides students with the opportunity to work on campus and earn money to help pay for their educational expenses. Funding for the Federal Work Study program is limited and students must be offered this work opportunity in their award package to qualify.
Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans are credit-based unsubsidized loans made to graduate or professional students. These loans are typically used to cover tuition and living expenses. Federal Family Education Loan Program PLUS Loans are funded through private lenders; a graduate or professional student must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the school must determine the student’s eligibility for the maximum annual amount of a Stafford Loan (subsidized or unsubsidized) before the student may apply for a Graduate PLUS Loan. Direct PLUS Loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2006 have a fixed interest rate of 7.9 percent. Origination fees or insurance fees of up to 4 percent may be deducted from each disbursement.
Law Merit awards are a renewable institutional grant funded by the University of La Verne College of Law. The terms for maintaining your Law Merit are outlined in your initial award notification letter sent by the Office of Admissions. The Office of Financial Aid is responsible for evaluating and applying the Law Merit award after the class rankings are finalized.
Alternative educational loans are credit-based private loans offered through various lending institutions to pay for educational expenses. Alternative loans are more expensive than federal government guaranteed loans and should only be used when all other options have been exhausted. These loans usually require school certification and amount borrowed must be within the borrower’s cost of attendance. Eligibility is based on the borrower’s unmet need and the creditworthiness of the borrower (or co-borrower), if applicable. Please contact lenders directly with any questions related to specific terms and conditions of their loan products.
Bar loans are private educational loans designed to assist law school graduates during the study period immediately after graduation. Bar loans are offered to credit-worthy borrowers to help pay for living expenses. Depending on the loan program and your total debt, you may apply for up to $15,000. Bar loan applications must be certified by the Financial Aid Office, and disbursement checks are mailed directly to the graduating student by the lender. Applications are generally completed six months prior to graduation, but most lenders will accept applications after graduation as well. International students may be eligible to apply, depending on the lender. Please contact your private educational loan lender for applications and information.