FAFSA and Law School

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secretad
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FAFSA and Law School

Postby secretad » Tue Jan 25, 2011 9:53 pm

I am on a waiting list at my favorite law school and I do not know when a final decision will be made. I do have back up schools that I will be a lock for.

However, how would my FAFSA (Federal Student Aid) be affected? I would always fill mine out early in the year so that I could get a lot of money, as money tends to run thin the longer one waits to send in the application.

Is there anything for waitlisted students to do in regards to the FAFSA?

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StillHerexxx
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Re: FAFSA and Law School

Postby StillHerexxx » Tue Jan 25, 2011 10:17 pm

You fill out one FAFSA and you can list up to ten schools on it. Put your favorite school on it as well as the other ones. Get it in as soon as possible. You can do it before your taxes are done, but you will have to go in once they are done and change them, but its easy.

I assume that answers your question. FAFSA is to see what kind of need based scholarships you might get, not merit based. Or so I here.

secretad
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Re: FAFSA and Law School

Postby secretad » Wed Jan 26, 2011 11:19 am

StillHerexxx wrote:You fill out one FAFSA and you can list up to ten schools on it. Put your favorite school on it as well as the other ones. Get it in as soon as possible. You can do it before your taxes are done, but you will have to go in once they are done and change them, but its easy.

I assume that answers your question. FAFSA is to see what kind of need based scholarships you might get, not merit based. Or so I here.


I understand that FAFSA is not merit, but like merit scholarships at schools, money will run dry late in the process - even federal aid for people who do not come from rich families.

My question is still not answered, as even if you had ten schools on the list, I was under the impression it was five, that does not determine how much money of federal aid you will get as each school's tuition costs are different. This would then make me believe that if you are waitlisted into the summer like I may very well be, would I not be under extreme strain to obtain much needed federal aid because I will not know the tuition cost of the school I actually attend until the summer?

I hope I am misunderstanding the system because if I am not then that is a utterly abhorrent system.

Bumi
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Re: FAFSA and Law School

Postby Bumi » Wed Jan 26, 2011 11:37 am

I did my FAFSA last night. It doesn't ask you what your school's tuition is. It just looks at your financial picture in a standardized way so your finances can be compared to other students.

You should go ahead and do your FAFSA, and put in all the schools you could potentially see yourself attending given how your cycle has gone so far. As I understand it, and I'm a 0L so I wouldn't trust me if I were you, need aid in law school is primarily loans, because the majority of law students can't just pay tuition checks out of their checking account while they are in school. And they aren't going to run out, like the "free money" merit aid will.

So if you get off the waitlist in the summer, the school would expedite a financial aid package for you that would (I assume) be primarily composed of loans that would get your tuition bill and living expenses covered during law school.

Someone more knowledgeable should definitely correct me where I'm wrong.

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Perch
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Re: FAFSA and Law School

Postby Perch » Wed Jan 26, 2011 1:14 pm

don't mean to steal the thread, but somewhat similar (timing concern):

I'm from a fairly well off family and will be paying for school on my own. Therefore, I'm guessing I won't get any need aid just because I will need to include my parent's salary info.

Question: Is there a real benefit to submitting the FASFA as soon as possible? I'm trying to go to the best school possible (with merit scholarships obviously being an influential, but not determining, factor), even if it means more debt, so I'll need a lot of loan money.

Thanks.

pwyoung
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Re: FAFSA and Law School

Postby pwyoung » Wed Jan 26, 2011 1:21 pm

Perch wrote:don't mean to steal the thread, but somewhat similar (timing concern):

I'm from a fairly well off family and will be paying for school on my own. Therefore, I'm guessing I won't get any need aid just because I will need to include my parent's salary info.

Question: Is there a real benefit to submitting the FASFA as soon as possible? I'm trying to go to the best school possible (with merit scholarships obviously being an influential, but not determining, factor), even if it means more debt, so I'll need a lot of loan money.

Thanks.


It's worth it. The government may offer you some subsidized/unsubsidized loans that could help in terms of loan money.

secretad
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Re: FAFSA and Law School

Postby secretad » Wed Jan 26, 2011 5:38 pm

Will post this again for answers hopefully.

I understand that FAFSA is not merit, but like merit scholarships at schools, money will run dry late in the process - even federal aid for people who do not come from rich families.

My question is still not answered, as even if you had ten schools on the list, I was under the impression it was five, that does not determine how much money of federal aid you will get as each school's tuition costs are different. This would then make me believe that if you are waitlisted into the summer like I may very well be, would I not be under extreme strain to obtain much needed federal aid because I will not know the tuition cost of the school I actually attend until the summer?

I hope I am misunderstanding the system because if I am not then that is an utterly abhorrent system.

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StillHerexxx
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Re: FAFSA and Law School

Postby StillHerexxx » Wed Jan 26, 2011 5:49 pm

They access your aid by what you need. You put in tax info, salary, and stuff like that. You choose to put your parent's info in (some schools want it though). I would suggest going on asap and filling it out. A few minutes after you finish it, you will be emailed the highest amount of money they could loan you based on need.

Bumi
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Re: FAFSA and Law School

Postby Bumi » Wed Jan 26, 2011 6:04 pm

secretad wrote:I understand that FAFSA is not merit, but like merit scholarships at schools, money will run dry late in the process


Please post the source of this assertion you keep making that I have placed in bold. I think you're overestimating the amount of free money that is given out (of which the amount is more limited), and underestimating the amount of loans (which are less limited).

My understanding is that the primary purpose of filling out a FAFSA lets you tap into federal subsidized loans that have lower interest rates than the grad plus loans that cover most of the remainder of the cost of attendance for many/most law students. Do federal loans or grad plus loans "run dry late in the process"? I doubt it, but I'd certainly be happy to be proved wrong if I am wrong.

gens1tb
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Re: FAFSA and Law School

Postby gens1tb » Wed Jan 26, 2011 7:29 pm

It would seem weird that applying for fafsa in February instead of January would really alter what you have access to. I say that only because, for example, my employer does not postmark W2s until the last week of January. They're not required to do it any earlier, it seems weird to punish students for not submitting when federal law makes it so they could possibly be unable to do so until mid February.

I guess you could save pay stubs, but there are other factors that affect what your reported wages will be, et c.

pwyoung
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Re: FAFSA and Law School

Postby pwyoung » Wed Jan 26, 2011 8:03 pm

gens1tb wrote:It would seem weird that applying for fafsa in February instead of January would really alter what you have access to. I say that only because, for example, my employer does not postmark W2s until the last week of January. They're not required to do it any earlier, it seems weird to punish students for not submitting when federal law makes it so they could possibly be unable to do so until mid February.

I guess you could save pay stubs, but there are other factors that affect what your reported wages will be, et c.


The FAFSA was altered this year so that you can pretty much guesstimate your numbers and alter them later. Hell, any financial aid office at any school can alter it later.

I'm not sure where this entire running dry assertion comes from either, but I've heard it asserted since applying to colleges in high school.

secretad
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Re: FAFSA and Law School

Postby secretad » Wed Jan 26, 2011 8:11 pm

Bumi wrote:
secretad wrote:I understand that FAFSA is not merit, but like merit scholarships at schools, money will run dry late in the process


Please post the source of this assertion you keep making that I have placed in bold. I think you're overestimating the amount of free money that is given out (of which the amount is more limited), and underestimating the amount of loans (which are less limited).

My understanding is that the primary purpose of filling out a FAFSA lets you tap into federal subsidized loans that have lower interest rates than the grad plus loans that cover most of the remainder of the cost of attendance for many/most law students. Do federal loans or grad plus loans "run dry late in the process"? I doubt it, but I'd certainly be happy to be proved wrong if I am wrong.


I suppose the assertion comes from places like this:

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index ... 538AAnmiPo

[The limited fund programs are the ones that you are almost guaranteed to miss out on, if you don't submit your FAFSA application by the priority aid deadline. The day after the deadline is the day that most schools begin to assemble each student's aid package, and the limited fund programs are usually distributed only to those students who met the deadline.]

http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/par ... fafsa.html

[2. It may vary from college to college, but being late does not necessarily eliminate you from consideration for financial aid. It does reduce your chances to get the best/most. ]


These links basically say that loan give outs by the government are not going to run out, regardless of date of application. However, limited funds for grants and such may be tapped out.

My situation is what if the waitlisted school I absolutely want to go does not accept me until say June or July.

secretad
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Re: FAFSA and Law School

Postby secretad » Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:33 am

Bump for my prior post.

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northwood
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Re: FAFSA and Law School

Postby northwood » Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:44 am

StillHerexxx wrote:They access your aid by what you need. You put in tax info, salary, and stuff like that. You choose to put your parent's info in (some schools want it though). I would suggest going on asap and filling it out. A few minutes after you finish it, you will be emailed the highest amount of money they could loan you based on need.



they email you what your estimated family contribution will be, not the maximum amount they can loan you based on need. Depending on the type of loan, there is a maximum amount for both year, and cumulative.

Bumi
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Re: FAFSA and Law School

Postby Bumi » Thu Jan 27, 2011 12:17 pm

secretad wrote:My situation is what if the waitlisted school I absolutely want to go does not accept me until say June or July.


Then your package will probably be mostly loans, which is just like almost all of the rest of us who aren't taking big merit aid packages. If this is "abhorrent" to you, then I don't know what to tell you, dude.

Here's an idea: get off the waitlist in July, defer your acceptance (edit: this may not work), work for another year so that you aren't so hard up for cash, and then do your FAFSA on January 1, 2012.

LurkerNoMore
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Re: FAFSA and Law School

Postby LurkerNoMore » Thu Jan 27, 2011 12:23 pm

secretad wrote:I suppose the assertion comes from places like this:

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index ... 538AAnmiPo

[The limited fund programs are the ones that you are almost guaranteed to miss out on, if you don't submit your FAFSA application by the priority aid deadline. The day after the deadline is the day that most schools begin to assemble each student's aid package, and the limited fund programs are usually distributed only to those students who met the deadline.]

http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/par ... fafsa.html

[2. It may vary from college to college, but being late does not necessarily eliminate you from consideration for financial aid. It does reduce your chances to get the best/most. ]


These links basically say that loan give outs by the government are not going to run out, regardless of date of application. However, limited funds for grants and such may be tapped out.

My situation is what if the waitlisted school I absolutely want to go does not accept me until say June or July.


College and law school are totally different. Law school financial aid = loans. Those don't run out. Any need based aid is at the discretion of the school. They either have across the board policies where they meet certain levels of need (in which case it doesn't matter when you get in), or they use it to lure students to attend, in which case you probably won't be eligible as a wait list candidate.

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D. H2Oman
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Re: FAFSA and Law School

Postby D. H2Oman » Thu Jan 27, 2011 12:24 pm

secretad wrote:I am on a waiting list at my favorite law school and I do not know when a final decision will be made. I do have back up schools that I will be a lock for.

However, how would my FAFSA (Federal Student Aid) be affected? I would always fill mine out early in the year so that I could get a lot of money, as money tends to run thin the longer one waits to send in the application.

Is there anything for waitlisted students to do in regards to the FAFSA?gdane



Fill out it bro

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northwood
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Re: FAFSA and Law School

Postby northwood » Thu Jan 27, 2011 1:32 pm

You need to fill out a fasfa to get federal loans. Fill it out, make sure taht school in on it, and make a decision about where you want to go later.

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StillHerexxx
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Re: FAFSA and Law School

Postby StillHerexxx » Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:22 pm

They had my estimated house or parent help, and it also said max amount I would recieve in federal loans. Unless I mixed it up.

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northwood
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Re: FAFSA and Law School

Postby northwood » Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:29 pm

I think you might have mis read the max amount. They will tell you the max that you can take out for each type of loan for both the academic year, and for the duration of your schooling ( I think its like 20K for a year, and 138 total- im not sure about the specifics, but its around those numbers). THey also tell you the estimated family contribution number- which each school uses to calculate how much need based aid you are eligible for( maybe for undergrads, but not sure about grad programs). Just fill it out, and when your school does the financial aid summary, you will see how much you need to take out.

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The Stig
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Re: FAFSA and Law School

Postby The Stig » Fri Jan 28, 2011 4:54 pm

northwood wrote:I think you might have mis read the max amount. They will tell you the max that you can take out for each type of loan for both the academic year, and for the duration of your schooling ( I think its like 20K for a year, and 138 total- im not sure about the specifics, but its around those numbers). THey also tell you the estimated family contribution number- which each school uses to calculate how much need based aid you are eligible for( maybe for undergrads, but not sure about grad programs). Just fill it out, and when your school does the financial aid summary, you will see how much you need to take out.


FWIW, all grad students are considered independent, so do not put your parent's info on the FAFSA. This (depending on your personal income) give you access to federal loans, as mentioned earlier (around 20k per year). You shouldn't have an estimated family contribution that is as high as it was in UG, because your parents are not considered in the process!

HTH!

too old for this sh*
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Re: FAFSA and Law School

Postby too old for this sh* » Fri Feb 11, 2011 2:16 pm

The Stig wrote:
northwood wrote:I think you might have mis read the max amount. They will tell you the max that you can take out for each type of loan for both the academic year, and for the duration of your schooling ( I think its like 20K for a year, and 138 total- im not sure about the specifics, but its around those numbers). THey also tell you the estimated family contribution number- which each school uses to calculate how much need based aid you are eligible for( maybe for undergrads, but not sure about grad programs). Just fill it out, and when your school does the financial aid summary, you will see how much you need to take out.


FWIW, all grad students are considered independent, so do not put your parent's info on the FAFSA. This (depending on your personal income) give you access to federal loans, as mentioned earlier (around 20k per year). You shouldn't have an estimated family contribution that is as high as it was in UG, because your parents are not considered in the process!

HTH!


Presumptions fail...

Some of us in the real world for a long time see EFC's that are over $10K...which is frustrating since the 20-hour work limitations as a 1L kill the gross annual numbers. The EFC does not take into account a drastic reduction in funds that ocurs when one leaves the workforce to go to law school full time...

That being said, the same access to the $20.5K Stafford exists as would be there for someone in their early 20's.

Skyhook
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Re: FAFSA and Law School

Postby Skyhook » Fri Feb 11, 2011 5:23 pm

Trying to get an understanding of how this process works. Somewhat apprehensive about the impending debt. Clearly there are many variables thus difficult to give guidance, but any help with the following questions much appreciated.

Does the estimated financial contribution tell me how much I can't take out in government loans, and therefore would need to borrow privately if not funding with my own assets?

I have some joint savings with my wife. They correspond pretty closely to my EFC. If I had no savings, would my EFC become 0? (I assume it's more complicated than that!)

How much can you have in the bank and in available assets (shares, etc) before they start adding EFC $?
Do they give you a working capital allowance in other words?

What is the maximum level of income before EFC $ start to be added, assuming no savings currently held?
If a couple have a taxable income of over e.g. $50000 does that mean some EFC is expected?

too old for this sh*
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Re: FAFSA and Law School

Postby too old for this sh* » Fri Feb 11, 2011 5:52 pm

Skyhook wrote:Trying to get an understanding of how this process works. Somewhat apprehensive about the impending debt. Clearly there are many variables thus difficult to give guidance, but any help with the following questions much appreciated.

Does the estimated financial contribution tell me how much I can't take out in government loans, and therefore would need to borrow privately if not funding with my own assets?


Not really.

I have some joint savings with my wife. They correspond pretty closely to my EFC. If I had no savings, would my EFC become 0? (I assume it's more complicated than that!)


no because I never gave them asset information...just the basic numbers for income and tax paid. I still got hit with an EFC in excess of $10K. Was not interested enough to see whether the number jumps with assets included...

How much can you have in the bank and in available assets (shares, etc) before they start adding EFC $?
Do they give you a working capital allowance in other words?

What is the maximum level of income before EFC $ start to be added, assuming no savings currently held?
If a couple have a taxable income of over e.g. $50000 does that mean some EFC is expected?


The EFC is somewhat of a misnomer. The reality is that most law students receive no 'need based' aid and the scholly money and other loans really has no connection to the EFC. And to your income question, I can tell you that a taxable north of $50K WILL result in a five figure EFC number. I do not know how high the EFC numbers can go...I don't remember seeing many north of $10-12K, and I have filled it out a few times in anticipation of applying- only to get discouraged at the EFC or to have other life factors get in the way. I've spent the past few years working diligently on getting rid of some of the other debt load I was carrying since, even with much of it at 0%, it was still debt that required servicing. Then there was that nasty little miscalculation tiff with the IRS over a filing in the 90's (interest and penalties are a bitch).

However, not to despair because eligibility still exists for Stafford at $20.5K plus whatever other private loans might be taken...the Stafford was all that populated with my FAFSA completion.

Skyhook
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Re: FAFSA and Law School

Postby Skyhook » Fri Feb 11, 2011 6:04 pm

too old for this sh* wrote:
Skyhook wrote:Trying to get an understanding of how this process works. Somewhat apprehensive about the impending debt. Clearly there are many variables thus difficult to give guidance, but any help with the following questions much appreciated.

Does the estimated financial contribution tell me how much I can't take out in government loans, and therefore would need to borrow privately if not funding with my own assets?


Not really.

I have some joint savings with my wife. They correspond pretty closely to my EFC. If I had no savings, would my EFC become 0? (I assume it's more complicated than that!)


no because I never gave them asset information...just the basic numbers for income and tax paid. I still got hit with an EFC in excess of $10K. Was not interested enough to see whether the number jumps with assets included...

How much can you have in the bank and in available assets (shares, etc) before they start adding EFC $?
Do they give you a working capital allowance in other words?

What is the maximum level of income before EFC $ start to be added, assuming no savings currently held?
If a couple have a taxable income of over e.g. $50000 does that mean some EFC is expected?


The EFC is somewhat of a misnomer. The reality is that most law students receive no 'need based' aid and the scholly money and other loans really has no connection to the EFC. And to your income question, I can tell you that a taxable north of $50K WILL result in a five figure EFC number. I do not know how high the EFC numbers can go...I don't remember seeing many north of $10-12K, and I have filled it out a few times in anticipation of applying- only to get discouraged at the EFC or to have other life factors get in the way. I've spent the past few years working diligently on getting rid of some of the other debt load I was carrying since, even with much of it at 0%, it was still debt that required servicing. Then there was that nasty little miscalculation tiff with the IRS over a filing in the 90's (interest and penalties are a bitch).

However, not to despair because eligibility still exists for Stafford at $20.5K plus whatever other private loans might be taken...the Stafford was all that populated with my FAFSA completion.


Ouch for the IRS! Guess you really don't want to get into a fight with them... ever.

Well, thanks for the rundown on those questions.
Looks like I've got a some definite EFC no matter what I do.

Where does it say you are eligible for the Stafford loans?
And are you really too old for this shit? I'm wondering if I am...




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