ps494 wrote:Does anyone have any idea how much can law students typically take our in federal loans? Also, can federal loans only be used for specific school related items (i.e. books, tuition, etc.) or can you spend on anything you want?
The amount you can qualify for will depend on your school. Essentially, you should qualify for federal loans (even if you don't qualify for Stafford, you should still qualify for GradPlus for as much as is appropriate) up to an amount determined by your school to be the total costs of tuition/fees + estimated cost-of-living (COL) expenses.
The COL estimate will be calcuated by the school based on the costs of living in the area around the school, so for places with a higher COL your total loan amounts will be larger. This money should be sufficient to cover everything you need while you're in school (rent, food, transportation, books, student health insurance, etc.) but it's a fixed amount and you can decide how to spend it as you see fit. If you can find a really cheap place to live then that gives you more money for food, if you eat really cheap that gives you more money for other things, etc. It's just a lump sum and you're supposed to make it last until the end of the semester as you see fit, or cover any shortfall yourself.
You can spend it on anything you want, but keep in mind this is money you're borrowing at up to 8.5% interest, so you shouldn't just go randomly blowing it on things.