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Financial Aid FAQs

When is the financial aid application deadline?
What information will I need to fill out the applications?
What forms do I have to fill out?
What is the maximum amount that I can borrow?
Will I have to make payments on prior Stafford or Perkins loans while still in school? If not, when does payment start and at what interest rate?
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 Stafford loans?
How do I appeal my financial aid award?
What scholarships are available for law students?
I was awarded a scholarship from a private outside organization; do I need to inform the Office of Financial Aid?
Does Delaware Law have entrance and exit interviews?
Does Delaware Law have a Loan Repayment Assistance Program?
How is my estimated family contribution (EFC) calculated?
What is the difference between the Federal Perkins Loan and a Federal Stafford Loan ?
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 in order 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 during a semester?
What should I do if I have questions that are not answered in this section?
What if my financial aid is not enough to cover my tuition and living expenses?


 

Answers

When is the financial aid application deadline?

Entering students do not have a specific deadline; however, they are encouraged to apply as early as possible as some programs have limited funding. Financial aid is processed on a first come first serve basis.

Returning students have a priority filing deadline of April 1 for the 2015-2016 academic year.

What info will I need to fill out the applications?

In order to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, you will need a copy of your 2014 Federal Tax Return for the 2015-2016 academic year application. 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 do I have to fill out?

All students wishing to apply for aid must completely fill out a FAFSA and an institutional data form. Those borrowing for the first time at Delaware Law must complete a Master Promissory Note (in order to access a Federal Direct Loan). Some students will also need to submit additional paperwork upon request. (See What forms do I need?)

What is the maximum amount that I can borrow?

Most students will be eligible to access $20,500.00 in a Federal Direct Loan for the 2015-2016 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 the student’s academic year.

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

No. You are not required to make payments on previous federal education loans while you are in school so long as you are enrolled as (at least) a half-time student.  As a half-time student (or more), you will be eligible to request an in-school deferment from your lender service. This deferment will only be good as long as you are enrolled. You can request the form from your lender and submit it to Delaware Law’s Office of the Registrar once classes begin. Once you graduate or cease enrollment (as a half- or full-time student), you will begin the repayment period on your prior loans. There is no penalty for you to make payments on accruing interest while you are in school, although you are not required to. If you choose this option, you will only be responsible for the principal and any remaining interest when you are finished. Private loans may or may not require repayment. Contact your lender for specifics.

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

FAFSA does analyze previous years’ 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 Office of Financial Aid.

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 GradPLUS Loan Program a new application must be completed every year.

What is the difference between the Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford loans?

Interest does not accrue on a subsidized Federal Direct Loan while a student is in school but it does on an unsubsidized Stafford Loan. The amount of funding a student may be eligible for will be different for each.

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 need-based aid are not considered until October.

What scholarships are available for law students?

We suggest that students complete individual scholarship searches for outside funding. Alumni and friends of Delaware Law have donated several endowed scholarships. These scholarships are awarded annually by the Scholarship Committee based on the criteria determined by the individual donors. Applications are available to current students in the spring. In addition, the Office of Financial Aid has researched and made available information on more than 100 scholarship opportunities. Please visit this link  for access to outside scholarship data. (See also: Delaware Law Endowed Scholarships)

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

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 have entrance and exit interviews?

Yes. Even if you have attended another institution you are required to complete an entrance and an exit interview. Entrance interviews are held during your orientation at Delaware Law. Exit interviews are scheduled in the month prior to your graduation. If you have additional specific questions you can always make an appointment to see a counselor.

Does Delaware Law have a Loan Repayment Assistance Program?

Yes. We do have a Loan Repayment Assistance Program for students who are within three years of graduation. This program is directed at students who secure a position working for a non-profit, non-governmental organization that provides legal services that benefit the community, underrepresented groups, or indigent people. Information is provided to students after graduation. See Loan Repayment Assistance Program.

How is my estimated family contribution (EFC) calculated?

When a student completes and submits the FAFSA, an automatic calculation is done based on the information provided. Your EFC is calculated as follows.

  1. Student Income (includes spouse’s income, if applicable) - Expenses & Allowances = Available Income
  2. Student Assets (includes spouse’s, if applicable) - Debts Against Those Assets = Net Assets
  3. EFC =  Available Income x Assessment Rate + Net Assets x Assessment Rate
What is the difference between the Federal Perkins Loan and a Federal Direct Loan?

While both are federal loans, it is important to note that a Perkins Loan is administered by the institution. Limited funding is available through Perkins loans, which means not all students will receive a Perkins Loan. Generally, these loans are from $1,000 to $3,000, while a Federal Direct Loan may be for as much as $20,500.

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 balances.

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

Financial aid cannot be disbursed until 10 days before the start of a semester’s classes. This allows the Office of the Bursar to create refund checks for the beginning of the semester. All funds are disbursed to Delaware Law. Please be aware that there will be a delay in processing and receipt of funds if your paperwork is not filed until August or later.

Is direct deposit of my refund check available?

Yes. Direct deposit of refund checks is available (information on how to sign up for direct deposit of refunds).

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

The Office of Financial Aid encourages students to borrow only what they need. If you have applied for more than you needed, funds can be sent back to your lender at any time. You will receive an award agreement telling you what amount has been processed once your loan has been processed. The award agreement asks you to accept or reject your aid. At this time, you can reject all or part of your financial aid packet.

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

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

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 Office of Financial Aid is required to certify your loan application. Once this is completed and your application is in order your lender will mail a check directly to the address you have used on your application. Delaware Law does not receive the funds borrowed through a bar loan.

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

If you withdraw or are approved to take a leave of absence during a semester, you are considered withdrawn for financial aid purposes. Federal regulations require the Office of Financial Aid 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 Office of Financial Aid is required to return Title IV funds, funds will be returned in the order prescribed by law. Institutional aid shall be retained in proportion to the percentage of tuition and fees charged. Please see the Office of the Bursar for the university’s “complete withdraw” policy.

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

Please contact the Office of Financial Aid at 302-477-2272 or lawfinaidde@mail.widener.edu

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

A student's expense 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 requesting a cost of attendance increase and include documentation that supports your expenses to the Office of Financial Aid.