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Frequently Asked Questions: Prospective Students Applying for Financial Aid

What types of financial aid can I apply for?

All admitted first-year students are considered for merit-based scholarships, which does not require a separate application. 

There are three main types of financial aid for which you can apply: 

1) grants, that is, outright grants of money that do not have to be repaid, 

2) federal loans including Direct Unsubsidized and Grad PLUS, and 

3) private loans, which are funded by outside lenders. 

You can apply for all three types of aid through our office. For more information on each of these types and other sources of financial aid, visit Forms of Aid. Transfer students are eligible for loan assistance, only. 

How do I apply for financial aid?

Please read through our application instructions for additional information. 

When do I apply for financial aid?

The earliest that you can apply is January 1, for the upcoming fall semester. 

Is there a financial aid deadline for first-year law students?

No, there is not a financial aid deadline for first-year law students; you can apply right up to the start of the school year, if you wish. However, tuition for your first semester will be due in full by the first day of classes. Of course, the earlier we have your completed application, the sooner we can issue your award letter. Our continuing students have a financial aid application deadline in May of each year. 

When will I receive my award letter?

We begin processing financial aid requests in March. You must be admitted to the Law School and your financial aid file must be complete before we can process your request. You should receive an email with your award amount from us no later than two weeks from the date your financial aid application is completed. If you have not heard from us after three weeks of submitting all your information, please follow up with our office at or 734.764.5289.

Am I at a disadvantage because I was admitted late in the spring or during the summer?

Absolutely not! Candidates who receive offers late in the admissions cycle receive consideration for need-based grants and loans on exactly the same terms as those admitted earlier in the season. 

Do I have to include parental information with my financial aid application?


Am I required to submit my tax return to your office?

If you are eligible for need-based grants, we will need your 2019 federal tax return before we can disburse your funds. 

Am I required to apply for financial aid each year?

Yes, in order to be considered for federal aid you must complete a new FAFSA each year. Happily, since we award three-year aid packages, we will not be asking you to provide us with any additional information. 

Under what circumstances might my financial aid award change in future years?

Your financial aid is awarded for three years, so your aid will not decrease. It is possible that your aid could increase if you work in eligible public interest jobs over the summer before your third year of law school.  

Additional Loans 

How do I pay for law school if the financial aid that was offered to me does not cover my cost of attendance?

You can apply for additional loans (federal Grad PLUS or private loans) to make up any shortfall in Michigan Law's budget for you. If this is not clear when viewing your award information on Wolverine Access, make sure you have selected the Award Notices tab, and not Award Summary tab. The amount that you can request is listed as Grad PLUS/Alternative Loan Eligibility. By clicking on that link, you will be given a comparison of federal Grad PLUS and private loans, along with application instructions. 

Should I borrow federal Grad PLUS or private loans?

For most of you, Grad PLUS is going to be your best option. Federal Grad PLUS loans are eligible for the loan repayment assistance programs (LRAP) that are offered by Michigan Law and the federal government. Grad PLUS also offer generous amounts of deferment for unemployment and economic hardship. Private loans are not eligible for any of the loan repayment assistance programs, and they come with very little flexibility during repayment. Further information is available here.  

Computer Loans 

Are computer loans available?

A detailed computer loan FAQ is available for further information.   


Do you offer any merit-based scholarships?

While the University of Michigan Law School devotes many of its financial aid funds to applicants who have demonstrated financial need, we also offer merit awards. The Admissions Office administers our two merit scholarship programs: Darrow Scholarships, which cover as much as full tuition plus a stipend, are awarded to a handful of exceptional students in each entering class selected by the faculty in reflection of the recipient's outstanding scholastic achievements, as well as the sense that they will one day go on to a remarkable career; we also offer Dean's Scholarships, which vary in size, and are offered to those whose academic achievements and demonstrated leadership promise significant contributions to both the Law School and the legal profession. All admitted applicants will be considered for merit-based scholarships, and no separate application is required. If you have additional questions about merit scholarships, please contact the Admissions Office at 734.764.0537 or 

In cases where no merit scholarship has been offered, the Financial Aid Office is occasionally able to take financial award offers from competing schools into account. 

Where can I find information on outside scholarships?

For your convenience, we have a listing of scholarships that are available to our students. Some web scholarship searches are available online. You can also research scholarships at your local library or on the Internet. We also post scholarship opportunities at the Law School as they come to our attention. If you receive an outside scholarship, in most cases it will not decrease grant assistance from us, so it is definitely worthwhile to pursue outside funding.  


When is tuition due?

Typically, fall tuition is due at the end of August; and winter tuition is due at the beginning of January. For exact billing due dates, visit the U-M Student Financial Services website

What forms of payment are acceptable?

The University of Michigan accepts cash, check, and online payments. We cannot accept credit card payments. For further information, visit the Student Financial Services website


When will I receive my financial aid disbursement?

Typically, each of your financial aid sources (grants and loans) will be available on the first day of classes of each semester for which you are enrolled. Your financial aid will be applied directly to your student account, and any excess funds will be refunded directly to you. 

How will I receive my refund?

The fastest, most convenient way to receive your refund is by direct deposit. We strongly encourage you to set up direct deposit on Wolverine Access under Student Business > Payroll & Compensation > Direct Deposit. If you do not sign up for direct deposit, your refund check will be mailed to the permanent address that is listed on Wolverine Access.

Non-U.S. Citizen JD Students

What types of financial aid are available for non-U.S. citizen JD students?

Non-U.S. citizen students who are pursuing their JD are automatically considered for merit-based scholarships, and no separate application is required. Additionally, applicants can be considered for need-based grants through the Financial Aid Office. Complete application instructions are available on our website. Please note that non-U.S. citizen students are not eligible for federal Direct Unsubsidized or Grad PLUS loans, and private loan programs typically require a U.S. cosigner. Our non-U.S. citizen sample loan comparison chart/FAQ provides an overview for several lenders.

Transfer Students

What types of financial aid are available for transfer students?

You are eligible to be considered for loan assistance only. There are two types of loans for which you can apply: 1) federal loans including Direct Unsubsidized and Grad PLUS, and, 2) private loans. Step-by-step application instructions are available.

Paying Back Loans

Does Michigan Law offer assistance to graduates who choose modest-paying employment after graduation?

Yes, we do! We have an excellent loan repayment assistance program (LRAP). For further information about our Income-Based Debt Management Program and the federal government's programs, please visit the Loan Repayment Assistance Programs section on our website.

How does the federal government's loan repayment assistance program work?

Please visit our CCRAA FAQ for details.

What types of loans should I borrow if I might need loan repayment assistance after I graduate?

You should only borrow federal loans (Direct Unsubsidized and Grad PLUS).

I have read about these programs, but I'm still confused?

Please direct all questions to the Financial Aid Office. Please feel free to schedule an appointment to meet with a financial aid counselor.

Do I have to make payments on my loans while I'm in school?

Direct Unsubsidized and Grad PLUS loans do not require any monthly payments until six months after you graduate or drop below half-time enrollment. If you have federal loans from before law school, you should request an in-school deferment (contact your lender for the form) to postpone repayment until after you graduate or drop below half-time. Private loans might require payments while you are in school so you should contact the lender.

What if I can't find a job right away?

Federal loans (Direct Unsubsidized and Grad PLUS) come with generous amounts of deferment for unemployment and economic hardship. Private loans do not offer nearly as much flexibility during repayment so proceed with caution.