Financial Aid Schedule

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
User avatar
gendefect
Posts: 145
Joined: Wed Jun 23, 2010 1:43 pm

Financial Aid Schedule

Postby gendefect » Sat Sep 11, 2010 6:42 pm

I'm curious out how the whole financial aid things works in terms of the application process. My quite shaky understanding is that you apply to schools, get accepted (hopefully...) some places, decide on one, and then apply for financial aid. Is that right?

Either way, at what point during the year do people tend to fill out the financial aid forms and have the decisions made for them? I'm not sure if it will matter, but I'm getting married in April and don't necessary want my to-be wife's financial situation being taken into account when financial aid is being calculated. Will the process be completed by April of next year?

User avatar
2014
Posts: 5831
Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2010 3:53 pm

Re: Financial Aid Schedule

Postby 2014 » Sat Sep 11, 2010 6:58 pm

It's going to be based on your FAFSA form that you fill out in January, so I assume that she won't be included. As long as you make sure to get the form filled out well before you are married you should be fine. Every school is going to have a different financial aid deadline though most likely.

dudders
Posts: 467
Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2010 4:56 pm

Re: Financial Aid Schedule

Postby dudders » Sat Sep 11, 2010 7:27 pm

Look up the timeline for each school, but for the most part, you will be applying for financial aid to each school you apply to, and before most responses or decisions.

FAFSA - due by Feb. 15 or March 1 for most schools

Need Access - many schools also require the more-involved Need Access Application (similar to the PROFILE form you may have filled out for undergraduate applications), typically by the same deadline

There may also be school-specific scholarship applications (either an optional/supplemental part of the application, or a separate document due by a specific date), or school-specific financial aid applications due at the same deadlines as the FAFSA and/or Need Access.

Schools may offer merit scholarship money at any part of the application process really. If they're going to give you merit aid, it's common to find out in your admission letter, but other schools notify later, either after a certain date or on a rolling basis. Need-based aid (what the FASA and financial aid forms would determine) is limited compared to undergrad, and schools notify beginning in March and during April (which gets tricky for those schools with April 15th deposit deadlines).

For financial aid apps, get your taxes done, file your FAFSA, and submit all necessary forms ASAP, in late January if you have all your W2s and everything available. Depending on age your parents information is often required so they need to do the same before you can file. Schools have a limited pot of need-based money, and like your law school applications, applying earlier makes you more likely to get a bite of the apple. When they're out of money, they're out of money.

In the current application year, all financial aid stuff will be based on the tax year 2010, so if you are getting married in April 2011 that should be irrelevant for your initial financial aid offer. However, schools will be able to take your spouse's wages and worth into account for your 2L and 3L years since you reapply for aid every year.

User avatar
gendefect
Posts: 145
Joined: Wed Jun 23, 2010 1:43 pm

Re: Financial Aid Schedule

Postby gendefect » Sat Sep 11, 2010 7:41 pm

Thanks. That's really helpful to know, particularly that aid works the same way as admission.

The Real Jack McCoy
Posts: 279
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2010 3:55 pm

Re: Financial Aid Schedule

Postby The Real Jack McCoy » Sat Sep 11, 2010 9:35 pm

I think some schools ask if you are intending to get hitched in the near future. I was unaware that they'd consider the 2010 tax year (when single) in determining 2011-2012 aid, even in such an instance; I just assumed it was so they could get the relevant info from your soon to be wife (her assets, her 2010 income, etc.).




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests