Frequently Asked Questions

General

How much financial aid is available to law students?

It depends on the cost of attendance, which includes the 9-month living expense budget plus tuition/fees.

Are non-Federal loan funds considered financial aid?

Yes. The term "financial aid" includes all funds processed educational loans (federal and private), need-based grants, need- or merit-based scholarships, and merit-based fellowships.

Does UCLA offer grants to law students?

UCLA Law students are eligible to apply for institutional funds, but should read carefully the program's awarding criteria. Students who wish to be considered must complete the Need Access Electronic Student Application, which collects family profile data that enables the law school to determine eligibility for need-based grants. The deadline is March 2.

What if my personal budget exceeds UCLA’s student budget?

Unfortunately, federal guidelines restrict students’ ability to receive more than the cost of attendance established by the University. However, UCLA will permit students to request an increase to the budget for childcare expenses, medical and dental not covered by the graduate student health insurance plan, and a one-time-only computer purchase.

Whom should I contact if I have questions about establishing California state residency?

Inquiries regarding residence requirements, determination and/or recognized exceptions should be directed to the Resident Deputy's Office.

Under what conditions should law students visit the main campus Financial Aid Office?

None. We are glad to offer extensive financial aid student support services within the law building.

Do I need to make an appointment to discuss my questions with the Law School Financial Aid Office?

Our office operates on a walk-in basis. Please feel free to stop by during business hours:

Monday - Friday
9:00am - 4:00pm (closed for lunch between 12 noon - 1:00pm)
65 Dodd
Additionally, you are welcome to contact us at (310) 825-2260 or finaid@law.ucla.edu.


FAFSA and Federal Aid

Does the UCLA School of Law have its own FAFSA code?

No. Our FAFSA code is the same for undergraduate, graduate and professional students: 001315.

Have you received my FAFSA?

UCLA will download FAFSA applications after the March 2 deadline. You can ensure that UCLA receives your FAFSA application by confirming that UCLA is listed as one of your institutions on your Student Aid Report (SAR) once your application is processed by the federal processor..

Do you require that I submit parental information on the FAFSA?

No. Graduate students are automatically considered independent for purposes of federal financial aid; therefore, you do not need to complete the parent information section of the FAFSA.

I am applying to more than ten schools. How do I know it is safe to remove the original schools from my application so that I can then submit my FAFSA to other institutions?

When you receive your SAR indicating that the federal processor has processed your application, it is safe to go back to the FAFSA website to remove the original schools and add additional ones.

My taxes will not be completed prior to your deadline. Is it okay to use estimates when completing the FAFSA?

It is fine to use your best estimates when completing the FAFSA. You will need to update your FAFSA once you do actually file your tax return. If you are offered and accept admission, then we will notify you if we need any forms or documents. Until then, you are not required to send us any tax forms, and you should update the FAFSA by May 1.

I am an international student. Do I need to submit a FAFSA?

A student must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen in order to receive federal financial aid. Students who do not fall into either category are not eligible for federal financial aid and thus do not need to complete the FAFSA. For information on federal eligibility, please refer to the chapter on Citizenship in the Federal Student Aid Handbook.

What is the annual Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan limit for graduate students?

All law students who submit a FAFSA and meet eligibility requirements are entitled to receive an annual allocation of $20,500 in a Direct Unsubsidized Loan, regardless of their assets or income. Students eligible for the Federal Perkins Loan receive an annual allocation of $4,000. FAFSA must be completed every year beginning January 1 and no later than March 2 to meet the priority deadline date.

What is the aggregate Federal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan limit for graduate students?

The U.S. Department of Education permits all eligible recipients to receive a lifetime amount of $138,500 in Direct Subsidized and Direct Unsubsidized Loans, including undergraduate and any graduate loans received. However, no more than $65,500 can come from the Direct Subsidized Loan.

What if I have exhausted my annual Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan eligibility and I still have not reached the cost of attendance. How do I secure additional loans?

These students will have a choice to obtain either a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan or a credit-based private education loan. Both of these loans have a credit review requirement; however, the Direct Graduate PLUS Loan has a current fixed 7.21% interest rate, while private loans could have a variable or fixed rate. The repayment options for private loans are the same as for the federal loans, but the interest rate is assigned based on the borrower’s FICO (Fair Isaac Corporation) score. Oftentimes, students have not acquired enough credit to establish a viable credit history, and the lender may ask for a co-borrower. The loan funds are disbursed through the University and not directly to the student.


Need Access Application and Need-Based Grants

Do you require that I submit parental information for the Need Access application?

We do require parental information for the Need Access application unless a student falls into one of several categories. For a complete listing, please refer to the Need Access Grant section on the Financial Aid Resources page.

My taxes will not be completed prior to your deadline. Is it OK to use estimates when completing the Need Access application?

It is fine to use your best estimates when completing the Need Access application. You will have to update your application online at www.needaccess.org once you do actually file your tax return, no later than May 1. Need Access applications that do not reflect the actual federal income tax figures after May 1 will not be considered for the need-based grant. If you are offered and accept admission, then we will notify you if we need any forms or documents. Until then, you are not required to send us any tax forms.


Transfer Students

When I completed the FAFSA, I did not include UCLA’s school code. How do I get my data to your campus?

By updating your FAFSA online and providing UCLA’s federal school code: 001315.

Does UCLA require a hard copy of my financial aid transcript?

No, because you will cancel eligibility for loans, scholarships and grants at your former law school and begin the entire financial aid process at UCLA.

Should I notify the Director of Financial Aid at my current school that I have transferred to UCLA, or will the Dean here handle that?

After you have been admitted to UCLA Law, contact your Dean of Students and the Director of Financial Aid. These administrators play significant roles to finalize the necessary separation paperwork from both the University and lenders.

My loan funds already have been disbursed to my current law school. Can’t the financial aid office just mail them to UCLA?

No. Lenders disburse funds to individual schools on behalf of a student. If a student withdraws from the university or transfers to a different university, the disbursed funds must be returned to the lender and the student is required to reapply for the loan through the new financial aid office.

Will I keep the same interest rate on my educational loans when I change schools?

Yes. The interest rate on federal loans is the same regardless of the school you attend.

How do I defer repayment on the loans I received during my first year of law school?

The UCLA Registrar's Office reports student enrollment information to the National Clearinghouse at least twice a semester. If you received a Federal Perkins Loan during your first year of law school, you should speak with your previous institution's financial aid administrator about deferring repayment.

If my loans are in repayment, how soon can I request enrollment verification in order to postpone my repayment?

Once your semester fees are paid, the Law School Records Office can issue an enrollment verification form, which you may then forward to your lender along with your deferral request form.