- Applying to the Law School
- Full–Time and Part–Time Programs
- Entering Class Profile
- Minority Student Program
- Financial Aid Overview
- Paying for Law School
- Admitted Students
Questions about financial aid to ask every law school:
— What is the average debt of your graduates?
— Besides the FAFSA, do I have to submit an institutional financial aid form?
— Do you require parents’ financial information? At what age am I considered independent?
— What is the cost of attendance for a full-time student? Can you break that down by categories?
— Will my spouse or partner’s income be considered when determining financial aid? Will my home be considered an asset?
— I received a merit scholarship. Can I expect the same level of funding each year? How many students lose their scholarships and how do they replace the lost funding?
— Can you provide detailed employment statistics about your most recent graduates?
How do most students finance law school?
Money for law school is available in the form of scholarships, grants, work-study, and loans. Most law schools will provide a financial aid package that contains these sources of funding. A typical package for most full-time Rutgers students includes $20,500 in federal Stafford Loans and scholarships awarded by the institution. New Jersey State grants and federal work-study funding for those who qualify will also be included. Graduate PLUS loans or private educational loans cover any remaining unmet need.
I received a merit scholarship from Rutgers–Newark and some other law schools. Can I count on a merit scholarship every year?
Your Rutgers-Newark merit scholarship is renewable provided you have a cumulative law school GPA of 3.00 or better.
|Rutgers School of Law–Newark Merit Scholarship Retention Data|
|Students Matriculating in||# Entering with Conditional Scholarships||# Whose Conditional Scholarships Have Since Been Reduced or Eliminated|
|Year||# Awarded/Retained/Lost||% Retained|
|2012||70 Awarded/56 Retained/14 Lost||80% Retention Rate|
|2011||51 Awarded/42 Retained/9 Lost||82% Retention Rate|
|2010||60 Awarded/49 Retained/11 Lost||82% Retention Rate|
|Based on this three-year compilation, an average of 81% of our merit scholars retained their awards after completing the first year. It should also be noted that merit awards lost after the first year are automatically reinstated after the second year if the student has attained the required 3.00 GPA. Of the nine awards lost in 2011, one was reinstated. Of the 11 awards lost in 2010, six were reinstated.|
How do I apply for a financial aid package?
Applicants for financial aid need to file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 15th. The preferred filing method is online at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/(Rutgers Title IV school code is 002629.) Once you’ve been admitted and the university has access to your FAFSA information, Rutgers will automatically prepare a financial aid package for you.
Does Rutgers also require an institutional financial aid application?
No. Unlike many other law schools, Rutgers only requires the FAFSA. We also do not consider parental income/asset information when calculating financial need and do not include home equity in need-analysis calculations.
How does the university establish a student’s “need”?
Financial need is determined by subtracting the amount you can contribute toward your legal education, as well as any scholarships you receive, from the total cost of attendance. The amount you can contribute is known as your “Expected Family Contribution” or “EFC” and is determined and calculated as part of the FAFSA application process.
What does “cost of attendance” mean?
Each year, law schools create an expense budget to reflect how much it will cost to attend their school. The budget includes institutional charges, such as tuition and fees, as well as an amount for books, housing, food, transportation, and miscellaneous items based on typical expenses for that geographic region. This budget is your “cost of attendance.” Students should be especially mindful of cost of attendance when comparing law school costs because this is the actual amount of funding you’ll need each year.
Will my financial aid package cover the cost of attendance?
Your financial aid package will cover a large portion of your tuition and student fee expenses at Rutgers–Newark. However, most full-time students will need additional funding to cover books and living expenses. If you don’t have savings or other resources available, you will need to apply for a federal Graduate PLUS loan or for a private educational loan. These loans can provide the funding for all uncovered expenses included in your cost of attendance. However, these loans are credit-driven and borrowers will need to demonstrate “credit worthiness.” If you have a poor credit history, you may not be approved.
Is there anything I can do to improve my credit score?
There are a few things you can do now to improve your score and increase your chances of being approved for a Graduate PLUS or private educational loan. First, request a copy of your credit report (www.annualcreditreport.com) so you can clear up any mistakes or problems. Second, pay down credit card balances as much as possible; debt/credit ratio is a major factor in determining your credit score. Third, pay your monthly bills on time; the promptness of payments is also a determinative factor in credit scoring.
Are there private lenders that you recommend?
Rutgers does not have a preferred lender list. We feel the federal loan programs (Stafford and Graduate PLUS) are the best option for most students. If students are not eligible for or prefer not to use the federal loans, Rutgers provides information about private educational loans at studentaid.rutgers.edu.
I have existing college debt. How can I pay that on a student budget?
Most educational debt is eligible for an “In School” deferment if you are enrolled at least part-time. The university registrar will certify your “In School Deferment” form once you have registered for classes and submitted a paid term bill.
I know I’ll be paying back loans after law school. How can I calculate what my monthly payments will be?
Direct Loans will offer you a variety of repayment options on your Stafford and Graduate PLUS loans when you leave school. Detailed descriptions of each option and calculators to determine monthly payment amounts and interest charges are available at studentloans.gov.
My goal is to work in a public interest job after graduation. Does Rutgers-Newark have a Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP)?
YES! We encourage our students to consider careers in the public interest/public service sectors, and created LRAP to make this a more viable option. Every graduate who is working in eligible employment and earning below the maximum salary cap set each year receives LRAP assistance. Since its inception, our LRAP has provided $1,374,000 in assistance to 200 alumni.