Contact the Indiana Law Financial Aid Office
Phone: (812) 855-7746
E-mail: iulawfa [at] indiana [dot] edu
If you need financial assistance to pay for your educational costs, several federal loan programs are available. It’s very important to understand the implications of borrowing to finance your education. Loans will become a debt that you will be obligated to repay with interest after you graduate or leave school. Some types of loans will accrue interest while you are in school. Loans are a true investment in your education and your future as an attorney. Therefore, it is wise to be cautious and somewhat conservative in the amount you choose to borrow. You can access your federal student loan history at: www.nslds.ed.gov.
Student loans can only cover educational expenses that are non-discretionary and that occur during the time you are officially enrolled as a student. For example, while modest living expenses are covered, your financial aid budget does not allow for the purchase of a car, car payments, credit card debt, or a spring break trip.
IU participates in the Federal Direct Loan Program. There are two types of loans available to Graduate Students through the Federal Direct Loan Program: Direct Unsubsidized Loans and Graduate PLUS Loans.
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans
To apply for the Direct Unsubsidized Loan you simply need to complete your FAFSA. You will automatically be awarded your maximum eligibility sometime in early June. You can borrow up to $20,500 per academic year (limited by the estimated cost of attendance less any other financial aid you may receive.) In mid-July, you will also need to complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN), if you do not already have a valid MPN on file.
The interest rate on the loan is fixed at 6.8% and it begins accruing at the time of disbursement. There is also an upfront 1% origination fee, which is deducted from your loan upon disbursement. The Direct Stafford Loan lifetime aggregate limit is $138,500.
Whle you are in school, you will have the option to pay your accrued interest quarterly. Unpaid interest continues to accrue and will be compounded 6 months after your enrollment drops below half-time status . Your loan servicer should automatically postpone repayment until 6 months after you graduate.
For those students who need to borrow more than the $20,500 available through the Direct Unsubsidized Loan program, they may apply for a Direct Graduate PLUS Loan to meet the remainder of their financial need.
Graduate PLUS Loans have a 4% upfront origination fee and the interest rate is fixed at 7.90%. Interest begins accruing upon disbursement and students have the option of paying it quarterly. Unpaid interest will continue to accrue and will be compounded 6 months after your enrollment drops below half-time. Your loan servicer should automatically postpone repayment until 6 months after you graduate.
Graduate PLUS Loan Request forms will be made available by the Law School Financial Aid Office in mid-June. If your credit is approved, you will then need to complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) in order for the funds to disburse.
You must have good credit to receive funding from this program.
Be sure to obtain a copy of your credit report to make sure that all of the information recorded is accurate and to help you identify items that might need resolution before you submit your GRAD PLUS application. A borrower would be denied a Graduate PLUS loan:
The reasons for being denied a Graduate PLUS loan are not limited to these examples, but the results have shown that good credit is needed to receive a Graduate PLUS loan.
You can obtain a free annual credit report from any of the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. If your ability to attend law school is contingent upon borrowing a Graduate PLUS Loan it is critical that you find out whether you are able to borrow ahead of time.
This loan program is for those students who show exceptional financial need. In order to be considered for this award, you need to file the FAFSA by March 10th and have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) that is less than $5000. Funding for the program is limited and awards are not guaranteed.
Award amounts vary per year but are generally around $1,500. The interest rate is fixed for the life of the loan at 5%. Acrrued interest is paid by the federal government while you are enrolled at least half-time and during the nine-month grace period, post graduation.
Law students submitting FAFSAs by March 10th may apply to IU departments to participate in the Federal Work-Study Program. These awards function as federally funded graduate assistantships. While first-year students are not encouraged to work, a limited number of these assistantships are available in other departments for second and third-year students with superior records or specific skills. Demonstration of financial need is required and students generally work about 20 hours per week. Award amounts vary based on financial need and departmental stipend amounts. In addition, each year Indiana Law faculty members employ second and third year students to work with them on research projects for an hourly wage.