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If you are applying for financial aid, you should begin by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), available at the Clark financial aid office, or from the law schools to which you are applying.

The FAFSA is a needs analysis tool developed by the U.S. government. You are asked for information on your income, assets, and other financial resources, to be used to compute how much you and your family should contribute toward your legal education. Many schools will also require copies of tax returns and in some cases, the completion of a supplemental form. This information helps the law school to develop an analysis of what types of aid you will need (i.e.- scholarships, grants, loans, work study) to pay your expenses.

Types of Financial Aid

Perhaps the most common method to obtain funds for law school is through loans. You may decide that your bank offers certain loan programs that are particularly suited to your needs; check with them. More often than not, law students rely on one of three federally-guaranteed loan programs: the Perkins Federal Loan, the subsidized Federal Stafford Loan, and the unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan.

  • Subsidized Federal Stafford Loan – Up to $8,500 a year is available to students who meet the need criteria. Interest is paid by the federal government while you are enrolled in law school. Repayment of the loan begins six months after you graduate, withdraw, or drop below half-time status.
  • Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan – A student may borrow up to a combined total of $18,500 in subsidized and unsubsidized loans. You choose to either pay the interest or allow the interest to accrue while you are in law school.
  • Perkins Federal Loan – Available to students at some schools, each award is determined by the law school itself with information obtained from your FAFSA. Students must demonstrate need. The federal government pays the interest while you are in school. Repayment begins six months after you finish school or drop below half-time status.
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