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Financial Aid

When is the financial aid application deadline?
What information will I need to fill out the applications?
What forms will I need to submit?
What is the maximum amount that I can borrow?
Will I have to make payments on prior federal loans while in school? If not, when does payment start?
I was working full-time last year and quit to return to school. How will that affect my eligibility?
Do I have to complete a new application each year?
What is the difference between the subsidized and unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan?
What is the difference between Federal Perkins Loan and Federal Direct Loan?
What scholarships are available for law students?
I was awarded a scholarship from a private outside organization; do I need to inform the Financial Aid Office?
Does Delaware Law require entrance and exit interviews?
Does Delaware Law have a Loan Repayment Assistance Program?
How is my estimated family contribution (EFC) calculated?
What impact does my credit report have on my ability to obtain educational loan funds?
How, when, and where are financial aid funds disbursed?
Is direct deposit of my refund check available?
If I do not need the full loan amount offered to me, do I have to borrow that amount?
I am preparing to graduate and need to borrow funding to cover my bar expenses. What do I need to do to access these funds?
When should I complete my bar loan application?
I have completed a bar loan application. What happens next?
What happens to my financial aid if I withdraw or take a leave of absence?
What if my financial aid is not enough to cover my tuition and living expenses?
How do I appeal my financial aid award?
What should I do if I have questions that are not answered in this section?


 

When is the financial aid application deadline?

Entering students do not have a specific deadline but are encouraged to apply early, as some programs have limited funding. Financial aid is processed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Returning students have a priority-filing deadline of April 1 for the upcoming academic year.

What information will I need to fill out the applications?

To complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you will need a copy of your most recent federal tax return. You may use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) within the FAFSA, available three weeks after you complete your taxes electronically. You will be asked for your driver's license number on most financial aid paperwork. If you have not yet completed your tax return, you can complete the FAFSA with estimated information and your W-2s.

What forms will I need to submit?

All students who wish to apply for financial aid must complete a FAFSA, as well as an institutional data form. Those borrowing for the first time at Delaware Law must complete a Master Promissory Note at http://www.studentloans.gov. Some students will also need to submit additional paperwork upon request.

What is the maximum amount that I can borrow?

Most graduate students will be eligible to access $20,500 in a Federal Direct Loan for the 2014-2015 year and may be eligible to borrow additional funding in the form of a Federal Direct GradPLUS Loan. This amount will vary based on the program and academic year of the student.

Will I have to make payments on prior federal loans while in school? If not, when does payment start?

You are not required to make payments on previous federal education loans while you are in school. When you return to school as at least a half-time student, you will be eligible to request an in-school deferment from your lender/servicer. This deferment will be good only as long as you are enrolled. When classes begin, you can request the form from your servicer and submit it to the Registrar's Office. Once you graduate or cease enrollment as at least a half-time student, you will begin your repayment period on your prior loans. There is no requirement to make payments on accruing interest while you are in school, but you may elect to do so. If you choose this option, you will be responsible only for the principal and any remaining interest when you are finished. Private loans may or may not require repayment while in school. Contact your lender for specifics.

I was working full-time last year and quit to return to school. How will that affect my eligibility?

The FAFSA does analyze your previous year’s income and assets. If you are not eligible for any need-based aid (subsidized Stafford Loan, Perkins Loan, or a Dean's Grant), you have the right to request that we use your anticipated income for the current year. To file an appeal, please contact the Financial Aid Office.

Do I have to complete a new application each year?

Yes. Every student who wishes to apply for financial aid must complete a new FAFSA and a new institutional data form each year. If borrowing from the Direct GradPLUS Loan program, a new application must be completed every year.

What is the difference between the subsidized and unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan?

Interest does not accrue on a subsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan while a student is in school, but it does on an unsubsidized Stafford Loan. Graduate students may borrow only unsubsidized loans.

What is the difference between Federal Perkins Loan and Federal Direct Loan?

While both of these are federal loans, it is important to note that a Perkins Loan is administered by the institution. The Federal Perkins Loan has very limited funding available, which means not all students will receive a Perkins Loan. Generally Perkins Loans are small amounts of $1,000 to $3,000, while with the Federal Direct Loan, an individual may be eligible for up to $20,500.

What scholarships are available for law students?

In addition to applying to the Widener Scholar Program [will this name change?], which awards merit-based scholarships/grants at the time of admission, you should conduct your own search for outside funding. Alumni and friends of Delaware Law have donated several endowed scholarships that are awarded annually according to criteria determined by individual donors. Applications are available to current students in the spring. The Financial Aid Office also has information on more than 100 scholarships posted on our website in a password-protected document. The user name is “lawmoney” and the password is “widener.”

I was awarded a scholarship from a private outside organization; do I need to inform the Financial Aid Office?

Yes. All outside financial aid must be included in your packet. Outside scholarships are typically forwarded to the institution you are attending to be applied toward your tuition.

Does Delaware Law require entrance and exit interviews?

Yes. Entrance interviews are held during orientation at Delaware Law. Exit interviews are scheduled in the month prior to your graduation. If you have additional questions, you can always make an appointment to see a counselor.

Does Delaware Law have a Loan Repayment Assistance Program?

Yes. The Loan Repayment Assistance Program is for students within three years of graduation who secure a position working for a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization that provides legal services that benefit the community, underrepresented groups, or indigent people. Information is provided to students after graduation. (See also: Loan Repayment Assistance Program)

How is my estimated family contribution (EFC) calculated?

When a student completes and submits the FAFSA, a calculation is automatically completed based on the information provided. Graduate students are independent for FAFSA purposes and do not have to provide parental information.

Your EFC is calculated as follows:

  1. Student's income (will include spouse if applicable) - Expenses & allowances = Available income
  2. Student's assets (will include spouse if applicable) - Debts against those assets = Net assets
  3. (Available income x Assessment rate) + (Net assets x Assessment rate) = EFC
What impact does my credit report have on my ability to obtain educational loan funds?

If you have adverse credit history, you may have difficulty obtaining a Federal Direct GradPLUS Loan to cover living expenses or tuition.

How, when, and where are financial aid funds disbursed?

Financial aid cannot be disbursed until ten days before the start of classes for any semester. Funds are requested from the Department of Education and disbursed to Delaware Law. The Bursar's Office will create refunds once funds have been received. If your paperwork is not filed until August or later, however, processing and receipt of funds will be delayed.

Is direct deposit of my refund check available?

Yes. Direct deposit of refund checks is available when you sign up for that service.

If I do not need the full loan amount offered to me, do I have to borrow that amount?

The Financial Aid Office encourages students to borrow only what they need. If you have applied for more than you need, funds can be sent back to your lender at any time. Once your loan has been processed, you will receive an email directing you to your online award letter. The award letter gives you the option to reduce or reject the amount that has been processed for you. Please print the award letter, indicate your changes, sign it, and return it to the Financial Aid Office.

I am preparing to graduate and need to borrow funding to cover my bar expenses. What do I need to do to access these funds?

We encourage all students to borrow up to their maximum budget for the academic year before accessing a bar loan. These loans carry higher interest rates, and the repayment options are not as favorable as those of federal loans. If you are unsure about the amount you have borrowed, please see the Financial Aid Office.

When should I complete my bar loan application?

You should complete a bar loan application approximately a month before you wish to have the funds.

I have completed a bar loan application. What happens next?

After you have applied for a bar loan, the Financial Aid Office is required to certify your loan application. Once this is completed and your application is in order, your lender will mail a check to the address indicated on your application. Delaware Law will not receive funds borrowed through a bar loan.

What happens to my financial aid if I withdraw or take a leave of absence?

If you withdraw or are approved to take a leave of absence, you are considered withdrawn for financial aid purposes. Federal regulations require the Financial Aid Office to perform a return of Title IV calculation to determine your eligibility to retain federal funds based on the actual percentage of attendance during a semester. If the Financial Aid Office is required to return Title IV funds, it will be done according in the order prescribed by law. Institutional aid shall be retained in proportion to the percentage of tuition and fees charged. Please see the Bursar’s Office for the university’s complete withdrawal policy.

What if my financial aid is not enough to cover my tuition and living expenses?

A student's projected cost of attendance is created using average expenses for a typical student. If you have received the maximum financial aid allowed under your cost of attendance, you can request an increase for additional education-related expenses. Please submit a letter to the Financial Aid Office requesting a cost of attendance increase and include documentation supporting your expenses.

How do I appeal my financial aid award?

In order to appeal any financial aid award decision, you must write an appeal letter to the director of Financial Aid. Appeals for budget increases should include a detailed budget plan and be accompanied by relevant documentation. Appeals for need-based aid are not considered until October.

What should I do if I have questions that are not answered in this section?

Contact the Financial Aid Office at 302-477-2272.