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.

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 E00387
  • Meet federal aid eligibility requirements including
    • Be U.S. citizen, Permanent Resident, or have other eligible non-citizen status
    • Selective Service registration for student born male
    • 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 (SAP) standards
  • Engage in coursework/research/ internships over the course of each financial aid payment period per federal regulations

Note that federal aid cannot exceed the annual cost of attendance figures developed by the Financial Aid Office. 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, and available without a credit application
  • Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan

Additional Federal Direct Loan requirements include:

  • Acceptance of offered loan in the PeopleSoft Student Administration System
  • Completion of Entrance Counseling
    • Entrance Counseling reviews in detail the rights and responsibilities of borrowers
  • Completion of separate Master Promissory Notes (MPNs) for each loan type
    • MPNs are legal agreements in which borrowers promise to repay their loans
  • Enrollment in at least 6 credits each period/semester Federal Direct Loan is desired
  • For Grad PLUS Only: Complete a Federal Direct Grad PLUS application, including credit check with “no adverse credit history” status
    • 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:

  • 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
  For Loans Disbursed July 2017-June 2018 For Loans Disbursed July 2018-June 2019
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan 6.0% 6.6%
Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan 7.0% 7.6%

 

  • 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.
  For Loans Disbursed 10/1/2017 - 9/30/2018 For Loans Disbursed 10/1/2018 – 9/30/2019
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan 1.066% 1.062%
Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan 4.264% 4.248%

 

  • Borrowing Limits – There are maximums per academic year as well as total borrowing limits by program:
  Annual Borrowing Limit Aggregate Borrowing Limit
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan $20,500 $138,500 (including all Stafford loans borrowed as an undergrad)
Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan If approved, up to total cost of attendance less other forms of aid No limit, if applications are approved

 

About Federal Direct Loan Repayment:

All loans must be repaid.

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 servicer apply for deferment while they are enrolled at least half-time. Students may choose to pay the interest on their loans while they are in school, thus lowering their total cost of borrowing.

Students graduating or dropping below half-time enrollment status are required to complete Exit Counseling to review their rights and responsibilities as they enter into repayment. The criteria for certain loan forgiveness programs is also covered in Exit Counseling. In most cases, students have a single six-month grace period after leaving school before needing to begin payments. Students who have already had a grace period may enter into immediate repayment. Grad PLUS borrowers should contact their servicers directly about deferment.

Students have repayment options other than the Standard 10-year term. Alternatives include Graduated repayment, Extended term, and various Income-Driven repayment plans. Eligibility for Income-Driven repayment plans is determined by student applications each year via the StudentLoans.gov website. Some students choose to consolidate multiple federal loans into a Federal Direct Consolidation Loan. There are pros and cons to each of these options.

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.

See Resources for Loan Borrowers for additional information links.

Federal Work-Study Program

Federal Work-Study (FWS) is a federally-funded employment program for students who demonstrate 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.

Federal Work-Study earnings are paid bi-weekly two weeks after the submission of timecards for hours worked. Earnings are not deducted from the fee bill, but are given via Direct Deposit or paper checks. Students may choose to save FWS earnings to pay the following term’s charges, or they may use earnings to pay for current needs.

Students are responsible for securing their own Work-Study jobs. Both on-campus employment as well as select paid off-campus community service opportunities are available. UConn Law’s Office of Student Employment assists students in obtaining employment and other matters, including pre-employment paperwork. 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.