This broad outline will keep you on track in attaining the funds you need to pay for law school. This timeline begins in the summer a year prior to law school matriculation.
- Obtain your credit report.
- Address any errors or omissions in your report with the credit bureau(s).
- Compile a list of all your current debts and estimate your monthly payments.
- Begin your search for grants and scholarships.
- Obtain current financial aid budgets for each school to which you will apply.
- Research grant and scholarship opportunities.
- Check law school deadlines for submission of financial aid information.
- Determine whether additional scholarship applications or letters of recommendation will be necessary for any of your chosen law schools.
- Prepare your federal income taxes as soon as you have complete documentation (W-2s, 1099s, etc.).
- Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
- Complete your law school financial aid applications.
- Comply quickly with any requests from law schools for additional financial aid information, such as 1040s, W-2s, or institutional information sheets.
- Receive financial aid offers. If you have special concerns or situations, discuss these with the law school financial aid office.
- Examine the net costs and benefits of attending schools where you have been admitted.
- Discuss actual housing costs with law students at individual schools.
- Pay your first law school deposit.
- Once you have selected your law school, submit your loan application(s) and finalize your housing arrangements.
- Pay your second law school deposit.