Types of Financial Assistance for Law Students   

Types of Financial Assistance

Going to law school is challenging enough without worrying about how to pay for it. That’s why Seton Hall Law offers a variety of grants and scholarships, student employment, and federal student loans to enable you to finance your legal education.  All students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible after January 1.

In the 2012-13 academic year, the School of Law awarded approximately $34 million in financial aid; 85% of Seton Hall Law students receive financial assistance.  Our financial aid staff can provide you with sound advice throughout your legal education.  You may request a confidential meeting to discuss your specific needs and the various types of assistance that may be available to you. In addition you can receive assistance in planning and budgeting for law school costs. Your rights and responsibilities of various financial aid programs will be explained to you. This information can be instrumental in helping you manage your financial obligation, particularly if you are considering loans to finance your degree.

  • Student Eligibility

    In order to receive Federal Financial Assistance, each student must meet the general eligibility requirements outlined below:

    1. Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment on at least a half-time basis* as a regular student in an eligible program.
    2. Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen with appropriate documentation.
    3. Register with Selective Service, if required.
    4. Have a valid Social Security number
    5. Maintain satisfactory progress, as defined by this institution, toward a degree.
    6. Meet the requirements of Section 668.40 of the Title IV Higher Education Act of 1965 concerning conviction for sale and possession of illegal drugs.
    7. Not be in default of a prior federal student loan.

    * Effective with the Summer 2012 semester, Seton Hall Law defines half-time enrollment to be at least 5 semester credits during the academic year, and at least 4 semester credits during the summer term. 

  • Student Employment

    The Student Employment Program is managed by the Office of Enrollment Services in conjunction with the Office of Career Services.  Students may be hired in administrative positions in various departments in the Law School.  Upper class students may be hired as a Research Assistant for a faculty member or for certain departments.

    Positions are funded either from the Federal Work Study Program (FWS) or are Departmentally funded.  Once you have secured your position, the Financial Aid staff will determine the source of funding based on available funding.

    To qualify for FWS, you must demonstrative financial need, based on the FAFSA the Cost of Attendance, and other factors. Departmentally funded student employment is not counted as a part of your financial aid award package and you do  not need to demonstrate financial need. There are a limited amount of Federal Work Study funds provided by the Department of Education.  If you are awarded Federal Work Study, you will be awarded a specific dollar amount as a Financial Aid award.  This award is not deducted from your bill; rather, you will be paid based on the actual hours you work.

    1. To apply for these positions, you must first file a FAFSA.

    2. Full-time (9 or more credits), first year students can work a maximum of 15 hours per week during the academic year.

    3. Upper-class students can work a maximum of 20 hours each week during the academic year.

    4. Students may work up to a maximum of 29 hours per week during scheduled breaks (ex.spring break, summer).

    5. The rate of pay ranges from $10.00 to a maximum of $12.00 per hour.

    Summer Employment

    Enrollment in summer classes is not required for a student to be eligible to work in the summer; however, the student must be planning to return to Seton Hall Law for the fall semester. Summer Federal Work study earnings will decrease the amount of eligibility for FWS during the academic year, and may affect the student’s overall financial aid package for the upcoming fall/spring academic year. Students who are interested in working over the summer should contact the Office of Enrollment Services for additional details.

    Student Forms

    Once hired, students must submit the below forms to the Office of Enrollment Services. Work cannot commence until paperwork is approved by the Student Employment Coordinator.

    Student Employment Authorization Form
    - Not available online - obtain from the Office of Enrollment Services.

    Payroll Forms - all forms must be submitted to Arnetta Walker, Office of Enrollment Services.

    1. I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification

    2. W4 Employment Withholding Allowance Certificate

    3. Direct Deposit Payroll authorization Form


    All student timesheets can be completed via your LawNet/PirateNet account under the "Offices & Services" tab, then Timesheets.

    1. Completing Timesheets - a Kronos Quick reference guide 

  • Yellow Ribbon Program (Education Benefits for Military Veterans)

    What is the Yellow Ribbon Program?

    A provision of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008, the Yellow Ribbon Program expands education benefits for military veterans.  For individuals attending a private school who are 100% eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits, the Post 9/11 GI Bill pays $17,500 towards tuition and fees per academic year. The Yellow Ribbon Program allows private universities to enter into an agreement with the Veteran's Administration to fund tuition expenses that exceed the amount covered by the GI Bill. Seton Hall Law, along with matching funds from the Veteran's Administration, will provide up to $30,000 in tuition benefits annually.

    Visit the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for addition information.

    To Apply for Yellow Ribbon Benefits at Seton Hall Law:

    1. Call the VA at 1-888-442-4551 and speak with a VA representative to review your eligibility for the Post 9/11 GI bill and other benefits. Explore your options carefully before signing up for the Post 9/11 GI bill because this is an irrevocable decision.

    2. Obtain a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) from the VA for your benefits.

    3. Once admitted by Seton Hall Law, e-mail the Certificate of Eligibility to Karen Sokol
      (karen.sokol@shu.edu ), Office of Enrollment Services, to apply for Seton Hall Law's Yellow Ribbon match.

    Once approved for the Yellow Ribbon Program at Seton Hall Law, we will certify your enrollment with the Veteran's Administration. 

  • Student Loans

    Loans are funds that you must repay.  Your Financial Aid Award Letter will list the maximum loan amount that you are eligible to receive for the academic year, however, you should review your own situation and borrow only what you can comfortably afford to repay.  We recommend that you utilize the repayment calculator on the federal student aid website as a guide in determining monthly payment amounts when you enter repayment.  Please visit the links listed above for additional information on federal, private and bar exam loans, as well as information on how to manage your debt.

    For more information, please contact the Office of Financial Resource Management at 973-642-8850 or law_financial@shu.edu.  You may also stop by the office located on the 3rd floor of the Law School.

    Federal Loans

    Direct Stafford Loans

    The Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan is a federal loan borrowed directly from the U.S. Department of Education and administered by the school. The annual loan limit is $20,500 per academic year. Interest accrues on the Unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loan from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. Interest accumulated while in school or during other periods of nonpayment is capitalized (added to the principal amount of the loan), but a student has the option to make interest payments while in school.

    1. Interest Rate:  5.41% (for 2013-14).
    2. Origination Fee:  For the 2013-14 year, 1.051% will be deducted proportionally from the gross amount of each loan disbursement. Example: If you borrow $20,500, the total origination fee is @$214. Each disbursement will be $10,143 ($10,250 less $107).
    3. Grace period: 6 months after graduation, withdrawal, leave of absence, or drop to less than half-time status.
    4. Repayment Plans: Federal Direct Stafford Loans have various payment options:  Standard 10-year Repayment Plan, Graduated Repayment Plan, Extended Repayment Plan, Income Contingent Repayment Plan (ICR), and Income Based Repayment Plan (IBR).
    5. Aggregate Stafford Loan debt (both Subsidized and Unsubsidized): $138,500 with no more than $65,500 in Subsidized. Note:Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans are no longer available to law students as of July 1, 2012, however, the aggregate loan limit may not exceed Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loans previously borrowed.
    6. Direct Loan Consolidation is available. 
    7. Application Procedures.

    Direct Graduate Plus Loan

    After applying for the Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, Law students may apply for a Direct Graduate Plus Loan to cover remaining educational costs up to the Cost of Attendance minus all other estimated financial assistance. Direct Graduate Plus Loans are another option in addition to private (alternative) loans. Direct Graduate PLUS loans are credit based, meaning that a credit check is performed to determine eligibility for the Direct Plus Loan. Your credit score is not used in determining eligibility, however, borrowers must demonstrate that they do not have an adverse credit history*.& If adverse credit exits, the borrower may be approved for the loan by obtaining a credit worthy endorser (co-borrower).

    1. Interest Rate:  6.41% (for 2013-14).
    2. Origination Fee: For the 2013-14 year, 4.204% will be deducted proportionally from the gross amount of each loan disbursement. Example: If you borrow $40,000, the total origination fee is $1,680. Each disbursement will be $19,160 ($20,000 less $840).
    3. Deferment for 6 months after student is no longer enrolled at least half time.
    4. Repayment Plans: Federal Direct Stafford Loans have various payment options: Standard 10-year Repayment Plan, Graduated Repayment Plan, Extended Repayment Plan, Income Contingent Repayment Plan (ICR), and Income Based Repayment Plan (IBR).
    5. Direct Loan Consolidation is available. 
    6. Application Procedures.

    *Please contact the Financial Aid Office for information on the definition of adverse credit history.

    Federal Perkins Loan

    Federal Perkins loans are awarded on a rolling basis to those with exceptional financial need until funds are exhausted for the year. Loan amounts range from $1,000 to $6,000 depending on available funding and student eligibility. The average loan amount to Seton Hall Law students is $4,000. Interest does not begin to accrue on the Perkins loan while the student is enrolled at least half-time or during the nine month grace period following the last date of attendance. The interest rate is 5% with a maximum repayment term of 10 years. Federal law requires that students complete an entrance and exit interview.

    Access the links from the University website to Sign your Perkins Master Promissory Note, check your Perkins account, or to Complete Perkins Entrance or Exit Counseling.

    Additional information may be obtained from the Office of Financial Resource Management.

    Private Loans

    About Private Student Loans

    If you require additional funding to cover educational expenses (the Cost of Attendance) not covered by other sources of financial aid, you may borrow either a Federal Direct Graduate Plus Loan or a Private Educational Loan (offered by a private lender.)  Both are considered a part of your financial aid package.

    Since federal education loans are less expensive and offer better terms than private student loans, you should exhaust your eligibility for federal students loans before resorting to private student loans. Access our Federal Grad Plus/Private Loan Comparison sheet.

    Interest Rates

    Private student loans typically have variable interest rates, with the interest rate tied to an index, such as LIBOR or PRIME, plus a margin.  Some private loans do offer a fixed interest rate.  The LIBOR index is the London Interbank Offered Rate and represents what it costs a lender to borrow money. The Prime Lending Rate is the interest rate lender offers to their most creditworthy customers. A rate of LIBOR +2.8% is roughly the same PRIME + 0.0%. The spread between LIBOR and Prime has been growing over time. So all else being equal, it is better to have an interest rate pegged to the LIBOR index, as such a rate will increase more slowly than a rate pegged to the Prime index.

    Applying for a Private Loan

    You may borrow a private loan up to the amount listed on your award letter. Before borrowing a private loan, we encourage you to create a budget and seriously consider the minimum amount you will need to meet your basic expenses while in law school. We encourage to check out various in-school budget calculators such as the one available at www.finaid.org. You must reapply each year for a private loan.  Additional information on the application process is available under Applying for Loans.

    LENDER url/web address phone #
    Citibank www.studentloan.com 1-800-967-2400
    Discover Bank www.discoverstudentloans.com 1-866-380-1727
    NJ Higher Education Assistance

    Authority (NJCLASS)

    www.hesaa.org 1-800-792-8670
    Sallie Mae www.salliemae.com/shulaw 1-888-272-5543
    Wells Fargo www.wellsfargo.com/student 1-866-380-1727

    Bar Study Loans

    Bar Study Loans are available to graduating students to cover the cost of Bar Exam expenses, such as Bar Review Courses, Bar application fees, and living expenses incurred while studying for the Bar Exam. Bar Loans are private loans that require credit approval by independent lenders and eligibility depends on criteria established by the lender.

    Students and co-borrowers must also meet citizenship requirements as established by the lender. Funds are sent directly to the student. Typically, you may apply for a Bar Study Loan if you are enrolled at least half time in your final year of study at an ABA-accredited law school, or have graduated from one within the last 12 months.

    Please contact the Enrollment Services for additional information.

    Managing your Debt

    Your Credit Counts!
    The interest rates and fees you pay on a private student loan are based on your credit score and the credit cosigner, if any. It is better to apply for a private student loan with a cosigner even if you could qualify for the loan on your own. Applying with a cosigner usually results in a better rate. 

    If you plan to utilize a private loan for living expenses to help finance your Seton Hall Law education, we recommend that you verify your credit report is accurate and in good standing. Credit reports frequently contain misinformation that can take time to correct. Obtaining a copy of your credit report early allows you to correct any adverse information prior to applying for a private loan. You should also periodically obtain a copy of your report while in school to ensure that your private loan eligibility in future years will not be affected because of adverse credit information.

    You are entitled to receive one free credit report file every 12 months from each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies.  You may obtain your free credit report from www.annualcreditreport.com or by calling 1.877.322.8228.  Regularly checking a credit report from the three nationwide credit bureaus is a great way to fight identity theft.

    However, if you would like a copy of your credit score, you must purchase the credit score.  A credit score is a complex mathematical model that evaluates many types of information in a credit file.  A credit score is used by a lender to help determine whether a person qualifies for a particular credit card, loan (such as a private loan) or service.  Generally, the higher your score, the less risk you represent and the better rates you will be offered.

    The credit score may also be purchased though www.annualcreditreport.com, or by contacting one of the three nationwide consumer credit reporting companies directly:

    Equifax - www.equifax.com
    P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241  
    Experian - www.experian.com
    888.EXPERIAN (397.3742)
    P.O. Box 2002, Allen TX 75013  
    TransUnion - www.transunion.com
    P.O. Box 1000, Chester, PA 19022  

    Should you obtain a copy of all three credit file disclosures simultaneously?
    It is entirely your choice whether you order all three credit file disclosures at the same time or order one now and others later. The advantage of ordering all three at the same time is that you can compare them (However, you will not be eligible for another free credit file disclosure from the Central Source for 12 months). On the other hand, the advantage of ordering one now and others later (for example, one credit file disclosure every four months) is that you can keep track of any changes or new information that may appear on your credit file disclosure. Remember, you are entitled to receive one free credit file disclosure through the Central Source every 12 months from each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion – so if you order from only one company today you can still order from the other two companies at a later date.

    Additional information on private loans is available at the Office of Financial Resource Management.