Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
If you would like to apply for federal student aid you should complete the FAFSA. Priority processing and aid consideration are given to those who apply for financial aid by the suggested deadline of February 28. However, we still encourage you to apply for financial aid if you miss the priority deadline. When completing the FAFSA, you will need to list Notre Dame’s Federal School Code: 001840.
The FAFSA requires information from the most recent tax year; however, estimated numbers may be used if you have not yet completed a tax return. You need not complete the parental section of the FAFSA.
The Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan Program is referred to as unsubsidized because the in-school interest is not paid by the federal government to the lender while the student is enrolled in school. Interest on Unsubsidized Direct Loans begins to accrue after disbursement of the loan funds. However, the student may choose to have the payment of the interest deferred during enrollment and later capitalized (added to principal) at the time repayment begins.
The Federal Graduate/Direct PLUS Loan provides a borrowing option for graduate/professional students. Based upon the borrower’s creditworthiness, a student may borrow from this federally guaranteed, non-need-based loan program.
After exhausting the opportunities available from the federal aid programs, you may consider private loan programs as a source of funding. The terms and conditions of these programs vary, so you’re encouraged to carefully review the details of each before selecting a private loan program. Private loans are not eligible for loan consolidation programs made available for federal student loans. Interest rates, fees (both at the time of borrowing and at repayment), credit checks, and annual and aggregate loan limits require careful evaluation by the student as a consumer.
Law students who expect to rely on a private loan are strongly encouraged to obtain a copy of their credit report at the earliest possible date. This way you will be able to identify and correct any inaccuracies or potential problems you may have in qualifying for a private loan. Credit reports may be obtained from any of the following credit bureaus:
- Experian : (800) 682-7654
- Trans Union: (800) 916-8800
- Equifax: (800) 685-1111
- You may also request a free credit report on an annual basis from annualcreditreport.com.
Loan indebtedness is an important factor to consider because the repayment of student loans can impact your career options. We encourage all students, who expect to rely on debt to finance law school, to develop a budget. Doing so can reduce overall borrowing. If you expect to rely on loans to finance your legal education, you may find this loan calculator website helpful.