Federal Aid Programs
The UConn School of Law participates in Title IV federal student financial aid programs, including Federal Direct Loans and Federal Work-Study.
FAFSA & Federal Aid Eligibility
To qualify for any form of federal student aid, students must:
- Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year by the FAFSA deadline
- Use school code 001417
- UConn Law’s priority deadline is February 15th (This impacts Federal Work-Study eligibility. Later applications for Federal Direct Loans are possible.)
- Do not include parent information. Law students are considered independent.
- Meet federal aid eligibility requirements including
- Be U.S. citizen, Permanent Resident, or have other eligible non-citizen status
- Not be in overpayment or default status for federal aid
- Enrollment in federal aid-eligible program (J.D., LLM)
- Complete any additional required application processes including verification, confirmation of identity and citizenship status, or enrollment history documentation. Students should not submit additional information unless directed by the Financial Aid Office. Communications will be sent to University email accounts.
- Meet the School of Law’s Satisfactory Academic Progress standards
- Engage in coursework/research/ internships over the course of each financial aid payment period per federal regulations
Note that federal aid cannot exceed cost of attendance. Learn about other limits and conditions below.
Federal Direct Student Loans
Law students eligible for federal aid may access two federal student loan programs:
- Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan – preferred per lower fees & interest rate, and available without a credit application
- Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan
Federal Direct Loan funds are disbursed to student accounts via UConn’s Student Administration System.
Additional Federal Direct Loan requirements include:
- Acceptance of offered loan in the Student Administration System
- Completion of Entrance Counseling
- Entrance Counseling reviews in detail the rights and responsibilities of borrowers
- Select “University of Connecticut” when completing Entrance Counseling
- Completion of separate Master Promissory Notes (MPNs) for each loan type
- MPNs are legal agreements in which borrowers promise to repay their loans
- Select “University of Connecticut” when completing MPNs
- Enrollment in at least 6 credits each period/semester for which Federal Direct Loan is desired
- Accepted Origination Status
- For Grad PLUS Only: Complete a Federal Direct Grad PLUS application, including credit check with “no adverse credit history” status
- Select “University of Connecticut” when completing a Grad PLUS application
- Students who do not pass the credit check can appeal or apply with a credit-worthy endorser. Both alternatives are through the StudentLoans.gov site.
Differences between the Federal Direct Loan programs include:
Borrowing Limits – There are maximums per academic year as well as total borrowing limits by program.
Interest Rates – Money you need to repay in addition to the “gross” or original amount you agreed to borrow. These are subject to change each fiscal year.
Origination Fees – These are automatically deducted from the loan by the Department of Education before the proceeds are credited to student accounts, thus reducing disbursements to a smaller “net” amount. These fees are subject to change each October.
|Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan||Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan|
|Annual Borrowing Limit||$20,500||If approved, up to total cost of attendance less other forms of aid|
|Aggregate Borrowing Limit||$138,500 (including all Stafford loans borrowed as an undergrad)||No limit, if applications are approved|
|Interest Rate for Loans Disbursed July 2018 - June 2019||5.28%||6.28%|
|Interest Rate for Loans Disbursed July 2019 - June 2020||4.3%||5.3%|
|Origination Fees for Loans Disbursed 10/1/2020 - 9/30/2022||1.057%||4.228%|
|Origination Fees for Loans Disbursed 10/1/2019 - 9/30/2020||1.059%||4.236%|
About Federal Direct Loan Repayment:
- Loans must be repaid.
- Students may opt to pay interest on their loans while they are in school, thus lowering their total cost of borrowing.
- In-School Deferments: Federal Direct Loans do not need to be repaid while students are enrolled at least half-time (6 credits).
- Technically, Grad PLUS loans enter into repayment when they are disbursed, but Grad PLUS borrowers can contact their loan servicer to apply for deferment while they are enrolled at least half-time.
- Grace Period: Students graduating or dropping below 6 credits have a single six-month grace period before needing to begin loan payments.
- Students who have already had a 6-month grace period may enter into immediate repayment.
- Grad PLUS borrowers should contact their loan servicer directly about deferment.
- Exit Counseling Requirement: Students graduating or dropping below half-time (6-credit) enrollment are required to complete online Exit Counseling to review their responsibilities and options.
- The criteria for federal loan forgiveness are also covered in Exit Counseling.
- Repayment Options: Students have repayment options other than the Standard 10-year term. Alternatives include Graduated repayment, Extended term, and various Income-Driven repayment plans.
- Eligibility and monthly payments for Income-Driven repayment plans is determined by application/recertification each year via StudentLoans.gov.
- Some students choose to consolidate multiple federal loans into a Federal Direct Consolidation Loan.
- Students having repayment difficulties are encouraged to contact their loan servicer as soon as possible to avoid adverse credit impact and default status. Deferment and forbearance options may be available.
- Students seeking Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) should recertify employment eligibility annually via StudentLoans.gov.
There are pros and cons to each repayment option. Contact the Student Finance Office or review Resources for Loan Borrowers for additional information.
Federal Work-Study Program
Federal Work-Study (FWS) is a federally-funded employment program for students with financial need. Work-study funds are limited and offered to eligible students based on a variety of factors including financial need and FAFSA filing date. Students should indicate interest in Work-Study on the FAFSA.
Important FWS Details:
- Both on-campus employment as well as select paid off-campus community service opportunities are available for students with FWS.
- UConn Law’s Office of Student Employment assists students in obtaining employment and other matters, including pre-employment paperwork.
- Students are responsible for accepting Work-Study offered in the Student Administration System and must secure FWS employment by a deadline each year or forfeit the award.
- Federal Work-Study earnings are paid bi-weekly two weeks after the submission of timecards for hours worked.
- FWS earnings are not deducted from the fee bill, but paid via Direct Deposit or paper checks. Students may choose to save FWS earnings to help pay the following term’s charges, or they may use earnings to pay for current needs such as meals, transportation, supplies, etc.
The Office of Student Employment also assists student employees who work in a limited number of jobs in a separate Student Labor program, which does not require Federal Work-Study, a FAFSA application, or financial need.
Resources for Loan Borrowers
Federal Direct Loans are usually the best choice for students. Loans are funds that must be repaid, unless students meet conditions for loan forgiveness.
The following links are provided to assist with financial planning for both federal and private borrowing.
Federal Direct Loan Application & General Info
- Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan Program Info
- Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan Info
- The Grad PLUS Loan application is found on studentloans.gov
- StudentLoans.gov - Students borrowing Federal Direct Loans must complete the following:
Other Borrowing and Financial Literacy Resources
- Financing your Legal Education - By AccessLex, a non-profit offering free information and financial planning services to law students
- MAX by AccessLex online financial literacy programming – Free self-paced online courses and other materials developed for the specific needs of law students
- Various helpful calculators on FinAid.org
- Your Money Matters and CashCourse – UConn main campus’ financial literacy initiative with programming developed by the National Endowment for Financial Education
Resources for Loan Repayment / Forgiveness
- Prior to graduation, use the Repayment Estimator to estimate loan payments within available repayment plans
- Exit Counseling is required for all graduating students as well as students dropping to a less-than-half-time enrollment status. Review cumulative federal loan borrowing history, repayment options, and servicer information.
- National Student Loan Data System
- Another source to review federal loan borrowing history (cumulative and detail) and servicer information.
- U.S. Department of Education/ Federal Student Aid
- How to Repay Your Loans – Various repayment plans, how to make payments, consolidation processes, forgiveness and cancellation information, steps to take if you cannot afford your payments, etc.
- Public Service Loan Forgiveness – Eligibility rules, forms, and application process
- Public Service Loan Forgiveness Help tool – approx. 10 minute process
- The Institute for College Access & Success
- Equal Justice Works - a non-profit dedicated to promoting public service
For Private/Alternative Loans
UConn maintains a list of suggested private loans for Law students through ELMSelect. Note: Your private loan lender is your choice; UConn will certify a loan from any lender.
- From ELMSelect, select either “Law” or “Bar” to view loan products. Applications are made directly with individual lenders.
It is important to compare fees, interest rates, and repayment terms between private and federal loans.
- See the main campus’ Loans for Graduate Students page for more information.
Private loan application processes vary. Apply by June to ensure payment by the fall payment deadline.