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Office of Financial Aid

Office of Financial Aid home page

October 14, 2019

2019-2020 FAFSA Available Now

For: Fall 2019, Spring 2020, and Summer 2020

In order to qualify for financial aid each upcoming academic year you must complete a new Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each calendar year. It is available to complete after October 1st of each year.

You can complete your FAFSA online at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov. In order to apply you will need your FSA ID. Please remember to include our school code, E00773, when completing your FAFSA and keep in mind that the school name will be listed as Chicago-Kent College of Law. 

Awarding for the new academic year typically begins mid to late March. Students will receive an award notification email after this time if the FAFSA application and the student file are both complete.

The Department of Education has created a series of YouTube videos called FAFSA: Apply for Aid for an easy to understand step by step guide to the FAFSA process. The links to each video are below:

New Loan Interest Rates for 2019-2020

Effective for federal student loans with a first disbursement on or after July 1, 2019 to July 1, 2020:

Direct Unsubsidized Loan: 6.08%

Direct Graduate Plus Loan: 7.08%

For more information on loan interest rates see our website.

Podcast: LEX Talk Money!

Hosted by AccessLex Education Services team members and accredited financial counselors, Ann Durandetta and Derek Brainard, LEX Talk Money! focuses on the financial matters that matter most to graduate and professional students. Topics include credit, financial stress, debt management, the psychology of financial decision making and much more, and many episodes will feature special guests.

Listen in as Ann and Derek break down complex financial topics into practical strategies that you can use to achieve success in school and beyond!

Availble on iTunes, Google Play or AccessLex online.

Webinars

AccessLex Institute provides free educational webinars on managing student loans and financial literacy. We encourage you to attend one of these and feel more informed about your student loan debt.

Maximizing Your Law School Dollars: What students borrow to finance their education today can have a significant impact on their financial well-being tomorrow. In this session, we’ll review the financial aid process and the basics of student loans. We’ll also discuss the importance of spending plans and strategies for reducing indebtedness while in law school.

Road to Zero: Repayment: How will you repay your student loans? Your current situation, your future aspirations and your financial goals are what should together determine your repayment strategy. This session outlines the features of each of the repayment plans that are available to borrowers and discusses methods to manage your loans like PSLF, consolidation, deferment and forbearance.

Your Public Service Loan Forgiveness Plan: Confused and worried about qualifying for PSLF? This session will walk you through the steps you need to take.

Click here to register

3L Students: May not be eligible for courses over 87 credits

In order to receive federal financial aid at Chicago-Kent College of Law you must meet certain enrollment criteria. Students that do not meet these criteria are not eligible for federal financial aid. The enrollment criteria are as follows:

Be enrolled at least-half time in courses that count toward the 87 credits required for graduation. Any credits taken above the 87 credits required for graduation are not eligible for federal financial aid.

According to the Registrar’s Office, at least half time enrollment is considered to be: 6 credits for fall and spring semester and 3 credits for the summer term. For more information about registration, see the Registrar’s Office.

If you plan to take between 6 and 11 credits, it is best to send your fall and spring enrollment intentions to our office via email. This will prevent delays of your disbursements and refunds. Once we receive your enrollment intentions, we will customize your cost of attendance budget to reflect your projected enrollment. It is best to let us know your enrollment intentions at least 3 weeks before classes start to ensure your financial aid is not delayed.

We understand that you may be close to graduation and not need as many credits as in past semesters. However, you must still demonstrate at least half time enrollment to maintain your federal financial aid eligibility. If you do not meet the enrollment criteria your options are make to payment arrangements with the Student Accounting Office or to apply for a private educational loan (tuition only).

Chicago-Kent Scholarship Eligibility

If you are in your last year and are taking less than 12 credits per semester, no action is required of you to receive your scholarship. Your scholarship will be posted to your student account, but the total amount of scholarship funds cannot exceed your tuition.

2L Student: Awarding changes from 1L year

Your financial aid award will be less than the financial aid package you received your 1L year. Please read the below and if you need to make changes please emails us with the required information below.

These are the awarding differences going from 1L to 2L:

As a first year JD student, your COA is based on a flat rate tuition charge. As a continuing student your initial COA is based on a per credit tuition charge. The tuition component of the COA is based on a minimum of 12 credits per term for full time and 6 credits for part time students.

Eligible continuing students are awarded Federal Work Study (FWS). It is a need based employment program that requires students to earn their award amount through work. FWS reduces the amount a student can borrow in federal student loans. If you do not plan on participating in the program and need additional funds you may email to request the amount be converted into additional loan funds.

If your current cost of attendance does not meet your financial requirements please send your fall and spring enrollment intentions, and if you are authorizing a FWS conversion, via email to the Office of Financial Aid. In your email, please specify the following in your email authorization request:

  1. Exact dollar amount that you need
  2. Number of credits that you intend to take in both semesters
  3. If you are declining FWS

Please note, the Office of Financial Aid cautions students against borrowing up to the Cost of Attendance limit.

1L Students: Your Award Breakdown

Financial aid is awarded for the entire academic year. Not per semester. This means you will receive an equal half of your accepted aid for the fall semester and the other half for the spring semester, minus the loan origination fee.

The tuition billing for first year students is based on a flat rate of 30 credits for the year. Students have a set registration schedule of 16 credits for the fall semester and 14 credits for the spring semester (unless they opt to do the 1L Your Way alternative). Tuition is billed per credit hour per semester. This means your charges for the fall and spring semester will not be equal, but your financial aid disbursements will be equal. As a result, your accepted financial aid may not cover all of your charges or provide you with the refund amount you were expecting.

We strongly recommend students plan accordingly and have created this form to help you determine your aid and refund per semester.

Planning to Study Abroad?

In order to determine if your study abroad program/course is eligible to receive financial aid please see by the Office of Financial Aid. If your eligibility is approved the following steps apply:

1. Complete the Google Doc sent to you by the Office of International Law and Policy with your personal information. The Office of International Law and Policy will enter the required information needed for our office to award you federal financial aid. The financial aid process for the study abroad program can take 4 to 6 weeks. 

2. Required one-one-one counseling appointment with the Office of Financial Aid prior to departure. The other school's calendar may not match the Chicago-Kent academic calendar. If your start/end dates are outside the standard Chicago-Kent calendar it is considered a unique circumstance and requires special attention. Therefore you are required to make an appointment for special on-one-one counseling as to how it will affect your financial aid disbursement.

3. Our office will review your eligibility criteria: FAFSA on file, be enrolled at least half-time, be a degree-seeking student and demonstrate reasonable academic progress toward graduation or completion. Also, you must not be in default on federal student loans and be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

4. You must be enrolled in courses that count toward the 87 credits required for graduation. Any credits taken above the 87 credits required for graduation may not be eligible for federal financial aid. Please plan accordingly.

5. Your cost of attendance will be based on the the living expenses and tuition charges of the program, not the standard Chicago-Kent budget. The information is obtained by the Office of International Law and Policy from the partner school abroad. If a currency conversion is required, the Office of Financial Aid will perform the conversion. 

6. You will be paying C-Kent tuition in addition to any program/administrative fees from the partner university that may be applicable. 

7. A financial aid award will be formulated for you. You will be notified via email once you can view and accept your financial aid award on the myIIT portal. 

8. Loan funds will be disbursed to your student account according to the Kent disbursement schedule. Typically funds are scheduled to disburse 10 days before the start of your enrollment period. This means you will need to make financial arrangements to secure your travel, books, room and board, and other personal expenses ahead of time. You may contact the Office of Financial Aid for disbursement information.

9. If you are expecting a refund from an excess in student loan funds, please contact the Student Accounting Office. It is recommended that you set up direct deposit of your refund before it is processed by the Student Accounting Office. Please keep in mind that the Office of Financial Aid does not process refunds. You can reach their office by email at sa@iit.edu or by phone at (312) 567-3794 option 5.

The Office of Financial Aid does not determine the Cost of Attendance for host schools. For this reason, it is very crucial for each student to thoroughly research the host school's charges and costs of living prior to their departure. It is the students responsibility to budget themselves until their financial aid is processed.

Planning to Visit Another Law School?

1. Complete Application to Visit Another Law School form. The Assistant Dean of Academic Administration and Student Affairs must approve the student to take courses at another law school. Bring the form to the Office of Financial Aid for signature or provide a copy of the form to the Office of Financial Aid.

2. Required one-one-one counseling appointment with the Office of Financial Aid prior to departure. The other school's calendar may not match the Chicago-Kent academic calendar. If your start/end dates are outside the standard Chicago-Kent calendar it is considered a unique circumstance and requires special attention. Therefore you are required to make an appointment for special on-one-one counseling as to how it will affect your financial aid disbursement.

3. Complete Financial Aid Request to Visit Another Law School form and submit it to the Office of Financial Aid. Please be sure to include all contact information for the school you plan to visit. Incomplete applications may result in processing delays. Please allow at least 5-6 weeks for processing of your financial aid.

4. Our office will request that your host school's Financial Aid Office complete a Consortium Agreement, with the cost of attendance amounts, and their Registrar's Office provide Enrollment Verification with dates of attendance, and credit hours.

5. A financial aid award will be formulated for you, once we receive all required documentation from the visiting school. You will be notified via email once you can view and accept your financial aid award on the myIIT portal.

6. Loan funds will be disbursed to your student account at Chicago-Kent according to your enrollment period at the visiting school. Typically funds are scheduled to disburse 10 days before the start of your enrollment period at the visiting school, not according to the standard Chicago-Kent academic calendar. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid for disbursement notification.

7. If you are expecting a refund from an excess in student loan funds, please contact the Student Accounting Office. It is recommended that you set up direct deposit of your refund before it is processed by the Student Accounting Office. Please keep in mind that the Office of Financial Aid does not process refunds.

Also, please be aware that:

  • Visiting away students are not eligible for Chicago-Kent scholarships during their time away from Chicago-Kent.
  • It is the student's responsibility to pay charges accrued at the visiting school. 

We strongly recommend that you budget accordingly based on the procedures outlined above.

Loan Exit Counseling Requirement for Graduating Students

The U.S. Department of Education requires federal loan borrowers who are graduating to complete Federal Loan Exit Counseling. If you have already attended an in person loan exit counseling workshop you must complete step 2 of the requirement online. If you were not able to attend, you must complete the online requirement.

Go to www.studentloans.gov to complete this requirement. This counseling explains the rights and responsibilities of repaying a student loan. A student in a graduating/withdraw/less than half time status is considered to be in their 6 month grace period for federal loans obtained at Chicago-Kent, as of the new status date. After the 6 month grace period the repayment period will begin. Even if a student plans on re-enrolling in the future at Chicago-Kent or another school this requirement is still mandatory.

If you were not able to attend the group workshop you may listen to a live webinar version of The Road to Zero: A Strategic Approach to Student Loan Repayment Webinar, presented by AccessLex.

If you did not get a chance to schedule a one-on-one appointment, and you would like to do so now, you can still do that through AccessLex. You may select to speak with Dr. Theresa Pop Braun that facilitated the loan repayment workshops this semester. Just select her name from the list here.

Students are encouraged to contact the team of Accredited Financial Counselors at AccessLex, if they have questions about their loan repayment options. These counselors will answer your questions and help you feel confident about your financial strategy. You may contact a counselor by phone, live chat or email. You may also schedule an appointment directly with a counselor at a time most convenient for you. Go to https://www.accesslex.org/accessconnex for more information.

 

 

Bar study loan information

Bar Examination loans are intended to assist students in paying for bar preparation courses and meeting other financial needs while studying for the Bar Exam.

Students may submit the application for the Bar Exam Loan funds during their last year before graduation. The terms, conditions, and credit criteria for Bar Examination Loans are similar to those for alternative loan programs. Unfortunately, students with negative credit ratings are generally not eligible for Bar Exam loans.

To apply for a Bar Examination Loan, review the Bar Loan Information, on our website. Once you are approved, the lender will contact our office to certify your loan. The funds will be disbursed directly to you from the lender.

See our website or stop in the office for more information.

NASFAA Financial Literacy Report

The Opportunities to Improve the Financial Capability and Financial Well-being of Postsecondary Students report describes current efforts to enhance financial education among students to help them make informed decisions about choosing where and how to finance postsecondary education, and to aid students in making sound financial decisions when enrolled and beyond. Key topics include:

  • Policies and resources to help students make decisions on college choice and financing;
  • Tools for navigating the college search and decision-making process;
  • Tools for navigating postsecondary education financing and repayment;
  • Financial decisions facing currently enrolled students and recent graduates;
  • Institutional efforts to improve the financial capability of enrolled students;
  • Recommendations and next steps for higher education institutions

Free Credit Report

Did you know that you are now able to receive a free credit report once every 12 months? We encourage students to review their credit reports annually to check for inaccuracies and identify any suspicious activity.

To receive your free credit report, please visit the following link: http://www.annualcreditreport.com. This central site allows you to request a free credit file disclosure, commonly called a credit report, once every 12 months from each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

Please be aware that other sites may advertise free credit reports, but this is the only site that is sponsored by the federal government and the three nationwide credit reporting agencies. Other sites may charge fees.

Financial Aid Contact Information

The Office of Financial Aid is dedicated to assisting students in financing their education and making financially informed and responsible decisions. Please feel free to contact our office at any time during the office hours listed below.

Office Hours - Suite #230

Monday-Friday 8:30am-5pm

Phone: (312) 906-5180 - Fax: (312) 906-5274

Email: finaid@kentlaw.iit.edu

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