clone22 wrote:I keep hearing that berk has decent need based financial aid, but on their website it talks about how berk expects you to take out the first $44K of cost in loans first year, and first $40K in loans for the last two years. Does that mean the rest will be given in grant aid? Does berk definitely not give a greater percentage of need based aid in grants instead of loans? If anyone could chime in, it would be very useful, because $130K in debt seems to be much more manageable than $210K (the full 3 year COA).
I received a substantial need-based grant my 1L year (20k+) and I know of others who are receiving need-based grants in the 20-26k range. As a 2L, it got chopped down a little bit because I became a resident, so things evened out cost-wise (almost everyone becomes a resident as a 2L). Your need-based grants are separate from your loans. You will apply on a separate website (Need Access or Need Based Access, something like that) and you can provide commentary about your situation (for example, if you come from a single-parent home, if your parents' income is substantially low and thus they cannot help you, if you have children or other dependents that you provide for, if you're significant other is in school full-time as well, etc.) You will need to provide all of this info regardless of whether or not you are financially independent from your parents. I have never heard of what you said about needing to take out the first 44k etc. I applied for financial aid (loans) and need-based aid simultaneously. When I got my grant, the balance of what I owed just fell into my loans. Fyi, I didn't find out about the grant until I visited for admitted student's day in April.
As far as 1L and 2L go, if you meet the criteria, you should be set. Not sure what happens as a 3L if you're at a firm. This is actually something I am worried about right now. I'll be working in biglaw this summer, and I am not sure if my grant will be in jeopardy because of the substantial sum we get paid over the 10 weeks. I'll let you know when I find out.