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FAQs, Tips & Glossary

Applying for Financial Aid

1) What is the deadline to apply for financial aid?
For the 2015-2016 academic year, the aid application deadline is March 15, 2015 for incoming students and April 15, 2015 for continuing students.

2) What forms do I need to fill out to apply?
U.S. Citizens: FAFSA at www.fafsa.ed.gov (application for federal student loans) and Need Access www.needaccess.org (application for YLS need-based grant)
Non-U.S. Citizens: International Students can now log onto Need Access www.needaccess.org to complete the financial aid application

3) What is Yale Law School’s code for the FAFSA?

4) I did not get financial aid as an undergraduate – should I still apply?
Yes, you should still apply. Yale Law School uses different formulas for determining financial aid than undergraduate schools, so you may qualify.

5) My parents do not support me. Do I still have to submit their financial information?
If you are applying for loans only, you do not need to submit parental information. If you choose to apply for grants and you are age 29 or younger, you do need to submit parental information on the Need Access form. We ask for this information because we base our grants on your individual financial situation, including, to some extent, family resources. Please note: we look at family resources differently (and usually to a lesser extent) than most undergraduate institutions. We also take individual circumstances into account, so please be sure to include all relevant information.

6) My award includes an "expected parental contribution," but my parents do not plan to contribute. What can I do?
You may apply for an additional student loan to replace the expected parental contribution that is included in your financial aid award. Such loans are eligible for coverage under our loan forgiveness program (COAP).

7) Is there a separate application for merit or other scholarships?
No. Yale Law School financial aid is need-based – in other words, we give loans and grants (scholarships) based on your financial situation. You should consider applying for outside scholarships – they can significantly reduce the amount of loans you will need. A list of some scholarships is available at http://www.law.yale.edu/admissions/outsidescholarships.htm .

8) If I have not completed my tax return yet, how can I submit the FAFSA and Need Access applications?
You should estimate the information to the best of your ability and then follow up by sending a copy of your tax return to the Financial Aid Office once it has been filed with the IRS.

Your Financial Aid Award

9) When should I expect to receive my financial aid award letter?
Incoming students should expect to receive your financial aid award within 3-4 weeks of submitting your FAFSA and Need Access applications.

10) Once I receive the award letter, what do I need to do to get my financial aid?
Your award letter will include detailed instructions, but in general, you will need to select your student loans and fill out additional Yale Law School forms by May 3, 2015 to accept your grant and loans.

11) How do I choose a student loan?
Choosing what types of student loans to borrow can be confusing and we are happy to discuss the different options with you. There are several types of loans available and the most common types for Yale Law students are the Federal Direct Unsubsidized loans and Federal Direct GradPLUS loans. Since Yale University participates exclusively in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan program there is only one lender, the Department of Education. Since there are special federal loan forgiveness programs that are only available for federal loans, we encourage students to choose federal loans. There are also private loans available and you are free to select the lender of your choice. No matter what loan you choose, you should become fully informed of the terms of each type of loan and your obligations for repayment.

Paying Your Bill and Getting Your Money

12) When is the first tuition payment due?
Tuition bills will be posted electronically on July 1st. Tuition for the fall semester is due in full by August 1st.

13) How is financial aid paid and when it is paid?
Financial aid (including loans and grants) is electronically deposited into your student account. One half of the total amount is disbursed (deposited) each semester. For example, if you apply for $20,000 in student loans, $10,000 will be disbursed on the first day of classes in the fall; the remaining $10,000 will be disbursed on the first day of classes in the spring.

14) How do I use my financial aid to pay my tuition? Do I need to pay tuition and then get reimbursed?
No. Once you have submitted all of your financial aid forms, your loans and grants will appear on your bill as an “anticipated credit.” If your financial aid covers your entire bill, you will not have to send a payment. If your financial aid only covers a portion of your bill, you will need to pay the balance due by the deadline.

15) How do I use financial aid to pay for things other than tuition, like my living expenses?
One half of your financial aid (loans and grants) will be deposited into your student account at the beginning of each semester. These funds will first be used to pay your tuition bill. If your financial aid award is more than the cost of tuition, you will be able to request a refund for the extra funds from your student account after the first day of classes. You can then use this money for living expenses, books, etc. Please note, it may take up to a week after classes begin for you to be able to request a refund from your student account. You will need to bring sufficient money to cover your living expenses through Orientation and the first week of classes (including rent, food, etc.). When you are preparing your budget, please remember that fall semester is longer (September – January) than spring semester (February – May) so plan accordingly.

16) How do I request a refund from my student account?
You can request a refund from your student account electronically through the Student Information Systems website after the first day of classes (www.yale.edu/sis). You will get your money faster if you sign up for direct deposit (the money will go directly from your student account into your checking account). Instructions about how to sign up for direct deposit are available at http://www.yale.edu/sis/.

Helpful Hints For Incoming Students

Be sure to submit your FAFSA and Need Access forms by March 15 for incoming students. Please read all of the materials that you receive. Keep copies of all of your financial aid applications and all materials that you receive. Do not forget that you will not be able to access your financial aid funds until the first week of classes. Please make arrangements to cover your expenses until that time. Please let the Financial Aid Office know if anything changes. If you have questions, call, stop by or email the Financial Aid Office – we are here to help!

Jill Stone, Director of Financial Aid jill.stone@yale.edu
Kellie Webb, Assistant Director kellie.webb@yale.edu
Roselyn Llanos-Robles, Sr. Admin. Asst. roselyn.llanos-robles@yale.edu
Telephone (203) 432-1688 Fax: (203) 777-6140

Tips for all Students Applying for Financial Aid

It is your ethical obligation to inform the Financial Aid Office of any changes to your financial situation.

Keep copies of all of your financial aid applications and forms.

You do not need to borrow the full amount of loans included in your award letter. Please consider your budget and only borrow the amount you think you will realistically need.

Keep an account of how much you have borrowed each year, and be aware of your anticipated monthly payments. It is important that you know what your payments will be before you take out additional loans because that will increase your monthly debt.

Carefully read all of the documents that you sign and verify the accuracy of all the information you provide.

Review your credit record for accuracy. Even if you pay your bills on time, inaccurate information could be used to deny you credit. We strongly suggest that you obtain a copy of your credit report, review it for accuracy and dispute erroneous information promptly to avoid delays in obtaining your student loans.

If you have a serious medical condition, you may want to consider tuition insurance.

Glossary of Terms

Accrued Interest: Interest that accumulates on the loan and is paid by the borrower.

Capitalization of Fees and Interest: When fees and accrued interest on a loan are “capitalized” they are added to the principal balance. The interest becomes part of the principal balance and begin to accrue interest.

COAP: The Career Options Assistance Program (COAP) is available to all graduates of Yale Law School within ten years of graduation. This is a loan forgiveness/repayment program to assist graduates who take lower-paying jobs in any field.

Co-signer: A co-signer on a loan assumes responsibility for the loan if the borrower should fail to repay it.

Consolidation: Combining several loans into a single loan to reduce the monthly payment amount and/or increase the repayment period. Most federal loans may be consolidated after graduation.

Default: The failure of a borrower either to make installment payments when due or to comply with other terms of the promissory note.

Deferment: A period during which the repayment of the principal amount of the loan is suspended as a result of the borrower’s meeting one of the requirements established by law and/or contained in the promissory note. During this period, the borrower may or may not have to pay interest on the loan. Deferments are often granted if the borrower continues to be a full-time student in another program after graduation from law school.

Deferred Interest: Interest that accrues, but on which payment is delayed until a later date. Such deferred (accrued) interest may be capitalized.

Delinquent: A borrower who has failed to make one or more scheduled payments by the due dates.

Disbursement: The release of loan funds to the school for delivery to the borrower. Disbursements are usually made in two equal installments directly to the school. Forbearance: An agreement to accept a temporary cessation of loan payments, smaller payments than were previously scheduled, or an extension of time for making payments.

Forbearance may be given for circumstances not covered by deferment that adversely affect the borrower’s ability to meet loan payment obligations, such as economic hardship.

Grace period: Specified period of time between the date a student graduates or drops below half-time status and the date loan repayment begins.

Grant: A grant is a gift from the Law School to help defray the cost of tuition which does not have to be repaid.

Interest: A charge for the use of money. Interest is calculated as a percentage of the loan principal. The interest rate charged can be fixed, which means it does not change over the life of the loan, or the rate can be variable, in which case, it changes periodically.

Loan: A loan is a type of financial aid which must be repaid, with interest.

Need-Based Financial Aid: Need-based financial aid is determined by the student’s financial resources and ability to pay for her education. When the amount she is able to pay is subtracted from the cost of education, the difference is the student’s financial need. This need is usually met with federal loans, private loans, and/or Law School grants.

Need-Blind Admission: The Law School decides whether to make an offer of admission to a student without considering the student’s financial situation.

Principal: Principal refers to the total amount borrowed plus any capitalized fees and interest.

Promissory Note: A legal document signed by the borrower, and co-signer if required, when obtaining a loan. It lists the conditions under which the loan is made and the terms under which the borrower agrees to repay the loan. You should keep copies of your promissory notes so you know what you agreed to for each loan.