FAQ for Financial Aid
You are always encouraged to contact the Office of Financial Aid if you have any questions. For your convenience we have listed the most frequently asked questions and provided answers below. Students who have any questions pertaining to the Office of Financial Aid are welcome to speak with Michelle Cooper directly at email@example.com or print a downloadable copy of the Office of Financial Aid Frequently Asked Questions.
Q. How much financial aid is available to law students?
A: The amount of available financial aid depends on the student’s individual Cost of Attendance. The Cost of Attendance is comprised of the 9-month living expense budget, the cost of tuition based on registered credit hours, and the applicable fees per semester.
Q. Does Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) offer scholarships/grants?
A: Yes, AJMLS does have several scholarships and/or grants available to current and prospective students. Recipients are selected based on LSAT score, grade point average (GPA), and class standing. Newly admitted students do not need to apply for a scholarship. Those who qualify will be notified by the Office of Admissions. For more information visit http://www.johnmarshall.edu/futurestudent/admissions-aid/financialaid/financing/.
Q. Do AJMLS scholarship/grant awards renew on an annual basis?
A: Yes, as a returning student you will retain the award as long as you have a 2.75 or higher cumulative GPA after each academic year. The academic year ends after spring for full-time students and summer semester for part-time students.
Q. Are non-Federal loan funds considered financial aid?
A: Yes. The term “Financial Aid” includes all funds processed – educational loans (federal and private), need-based grants, need or merit-based scholarships, and merit-based fellowships.
Q. Can I request to receive loan funds greater than the cost of attendance?
A: No. Federal guidelines restrict a student’s ability to receive more than the Cost of Attendance (COA) established by the Law School. However, AJMLS will authorize a student to request a Professional Judgment – which is an increase to their individual COA budget for expenses not covered in the COA. Uncovered expenses include childcare expenses, vehicle repairs, medical and dental expenses not covered by the student’s health insurance plan, and a one-time only computer replacement. Professional Judgment requests for an increase to an individual’s COA must be accompanied by the requisite receipts and documentation.
Q. Do I need to make an appointment to discuss my questions with the Financial Aid Office?
A: No. The Office of Financial Aid operates on a walk-in basis; however, appointments are permitted. Please feel free to stop by during business hours:
Monday: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Tuesday: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Wednesday: 9 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Thursday: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Friday: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Additionally, please feel free to contact the Financial Aid Office via phone (404) 872-3593, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FAFSA and Federal Aid
Q. Should I pay for assistance to fill out my Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)?
A: No! Please apply using FAFSA on the Web at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/ and follow the online instructions for each question. You will also be able to chat live online with a customer service representative. Another source of free help is our online guide, http://studentaid.ed.gov/sites/default/files/2012-13-completing-the-fafsa.pdf.
Whether you apply online or use the paper FAFSA, you can get free help by calling the Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC) at the telephone number(s) listed below, or by contacting the Office of Financial Aid.
Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC):
Various websites do offer help filing the FAFSA for a fee. These sites are not affiliated with, or endorsed by, the U.S. Department of Education. We urge you not to pay these sites for assistance that FAFSA provides for free.
Q. What is the PIN?
A: The Personal Identification Number (PIN) serves as your secure identifier to allow you access your personal information in various U.S. Department of Education systems. Your PIN will also allow you to sign your federal student aid application online and allow you to correct your application data online.
In the interest of keeping your personal information secure, do not share your PIN! You should never give your PIN to anyone. Be sure to keep your PIN in a safe place. You can apply for a PIN by clicking http://www.pin.ed.gov/PINWebApp/pinindex.jsp.
Q. Why should I get a PIN?
A: You can use your PIN to access your financial aid data at these U.S. Department of Education websites:
- FAFSA on the Web at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/ : Access and complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You can also:
- 1. submit corrections to your processed FAFSA,
2. use your PIN to electronically sign your submitted FAFSA,
3. obtain a copy of your processed FAFSA information, or
4. add a school code to your FAFSA application.
- The National Student Loan Data System website at http://www.nslds.ed.gov/nslds_SA/ : View a history of the federal student financial aid you have received.
- The Direct Loan Consolidation website at http://www.loanconsolidation.ed.gov/ : Your PIN will enable you to track the processing status of your online Consolidation Loan application throughout the entire consolidation process from application receipt to booking with Direct Loan Servicing.
- Direct Loan Master Promissory Note website at https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/index.action : You can electronically sign a master promissory note (MPN) for your Direct Loans.
Q. How will my PIN be sent to me?
A: It depends. You will select your own delivery method when you submit your request on the PIN site, or while completing a FAFSA on the Web application. Your options include:
- Select your own PIN (this option only appears when you apply for a new PIN or request to change your current PIN).
- Instantly view your PIN online.
- Receive an e-mail with the PIN immediately. This e-mail will contain a link to our secure PIN delivery website where you will be able to input your personal data and retrieve your PIN online. For security purposes, this link will be available for only 14 calendar days. If you do not retrieve your PIN within 14 days, it will be mailed to you at the address you provided.
- Have your PIN sent by postal mail within 7-10 days.
Note: If you don’t use the PIN site to apply for your PIN [for example, you apply for a PIN when you submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you will automatically receive your PIN electronically if you provide a valid e-mail address]. If you do not provide a valid e-mail address, you will be sent a PIN through regular postal mail.
Q. I lost my PIN. What should I do?
A: If you have lost or forgotten your PIN, you will need to request that it be sent to you again. If you think that someone else may know your PIN, or you believe your PIN may have been compromised when it was lost, a new PIN can be generated for you.
- Click https://pin.ed.gov/PINWebApp/PINServlet?state=100 for instructions for replacing a lost PIN or to request a duplicate of your PIN.
Q. How can I check the status of my FAFSA application?
A: You can check the status of your FAFSA immediately after submitting it online. You can check the status of a paper FAFSA after it has been processed (roughly 7-10 days from the date mailed). To check the status of your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA):
- Go to the FAFSA on the Web home page at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/ and click Start Here to log in, or
- Call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243).
If you have already checked the status of your processed application and would like to view your application data, click https://fafsa.ed.gov/FAFSA/app/fafsa?locale=en_US . (Note: You must have a U.S. Department of Education PIN.)
Q. What is the Data Release Number (DRN)?
A: The DRN is required to make certain changes associated with the FAFSA you filed. You can make corrections to your mailing address and/or to the schools you listed to receive your FAFSA data. Just call the U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid Information Center (1-800-4-FED-AID [1-800-433-3243]). The DRN also allows you to release your FAFSA data to schools you did not list on your original FAFSA. The DRN is printed in the lower left-hand corner of your Student Aid Report (SAR).
Q. Can I add a school code to my FAFSA application?
A: Yes. You may either make the correction online with your PIN number, over the phone (1-800-4-FED-AID) if you have your DRN number (see above), or you can fax the request (1-877-264-9664). Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) school code is G31733.
Q. Have you received my FAFSA?
A: AJMLS will download FAFSA applications after the June 1st deadline. Confirming that AJMLS is listed as one of the institutions listed on your Student Aid Report (SAR) once your application is processed assures you that AJMLS will receive your FAFSA application.
Q. Do you require that I submit parental information on the FAFSA?
A: No. Graduate students are automatically considered independent for purposes of federal financial aid. Therefore, you do not need to complete the parent information section of the FAFSA.
Q. My taxes will not be completed prior to your deadline. Is it OK to use estimates when completing the FAFSA?
A: It is fine to use your best estimates when completing the FAFSA. However, you will need to update your FAFSA once you do actually file your tax return. If you are offered and accept admission to AJMLS, the Office of Financial Aid will notify you if additional forms or documents are needed to process your financial aid. Until then, you are not required to send us any tax forms. All changes to your FAFSA must be made by July 15th. Please note: If your file is selected for verification, a hold may be placed on your financial aid disbursement until your completed tax returns and tax transcripts are received by the Office of Financial Aid.
Q. I am an international student. Do I need to submit a FAFSA?
A: A student must be a U.S. Citizen or eligible non-citizen in order to receive federal financial aid. Students who do not fall into either category are not eligible for federal financial aid and thus do not need to complete the FAFSA. For information on federal eligibility, you may refer to the chapter on “Citizenship” in the Federal Student Aid Handbook at the following link: http://ifap.ed.gov/fsahandbook/1112FSAHbkVol1.html
Q. How can I check the status of my student loans?
A: You should contact the servicer of your loan. If you don’t know who your servicer is, log on to http://www.nslds.ed.gov/nslds_SA/ to find out about your federal student loans. The site displays information on loan and/or federal grant amounts, outstanding balances, loan statuses and disbursements. To use the NSLDS Student Access website, you will need to provide your Social Security Number, the first two letters of your last name, your date of birth, and your PIN.
Q. I have questions about my financial aid award. Whom should I contact?
A: Contact the Office of Financial Aid at AJMLS. The financial aid administrators combine various forms of aid into a package to help meet a student’s need. Using available resources to give each student the best possible package of aid is one of the aid administrator’s major responsibilities.
Because funds are often limited, a financial aid package might fall short of the amount a student is eligible for. Also, the amount of federal student aid in a financial aid package is affected by other sources of aid received (scholarships, fellowships, etc.).
Q. How long does it take to apply for financial aid?
A: The process is fast and easy. The FAFSA can be completed online, and should take from 20-40 minutes to complete. Once your FAFSA is processed you will receive a copy by email of your FAFSA report, the Student Aid Report. Please review your Student Aid Report. If there are any discrepancies or if the Department of Education requests further documents be submitted to the Office of Financial Aid, the Student Aid Report will indicate what is needed. AJMLS will receive access to your FAFSA application within 7-10 business days after completion. If you receive any requests for additional documents from the Office of Financial Aid necessary to determine eligibility, the process may be delayed based on your response time.
Q. What is the earliest date I can apply for financial aid using FAFSA for Fall 2013?
A: January 1, 2013 is the earliest date that you can apply for financial aid using FAFSA for Fall 2013.
As early as 5 business days after submitting your completed FAFSA, you can start the Entrance Loan Counseling, Stafford and/or Graduate PLUS loan application(s), and the Master Promissory Note(s). Please adhere to the following deadline dates to ensure timely processing:
June 1st - FAFSA completed at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/
June 30th – Entrance Loan Counseling completed at https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/index.action
July 15th - Apply for Stafford and/or Graduate PLUS Loans at https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/index.action
July 15th - Master Promissory Note(s) completed for Stafford and Graduate PLUS Loans at https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/index.action
Q. Do I need to apply for financial aid every year?
A: Yes. You will need to complete the http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/ annually.
Q. What is the annual Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan limit for graduate students?
A: All law students who submit a FAFSA and meet eligibility requirements are entitled to receive an annual allocation of $20,500 in a Direct Stafford Unsubsidized Loan regardless of their assets or income! The FAFSA must be completed every year beginning January 1 and no later than June 1st to meet the priority deadline date.
Q. What is the aggregate Federal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan limit for the graduate students?
A: The U.S. Department of Education permits all eligible recipients to receive a lifetime amount of $138,500 in Direct Subsidized and Direct Unsubsidized Loans, which includes undergraduate and any graduate loans received. However, Graduate/Professional students are no longer eligible for Direct Subsidized loans for loan periods beginning on or after 7/1/12.
Q. What if I have exhausted my annual Federal Direct Loan eligibility and I still have not reached the Cost of Attendance? How do I secure additional loans?
A: Students have a choice to borrow a credit-based Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loan, obtain a credit-based private education loan, or pay cash for the outstanding balance. Both of these loans have a credit review requirement. However, the Direct Graduate PLUS loan has a fixed 7.9% interest rate while private loans have a variable rate. The repayment options for private loans are the same as the federal loans, but the interest rate is assigned based on the borrower’s FICO (Fair Isaac Corporation) score. Oftentimes, students have not acquired enough credit to establish a viable credit history, and the lender may ask for a co-borrower. The loan funds are disbursed through the school and not directly to the student.
Q. How soon after my loan(s) has been disbursed to the law school can I expect to have my overage/refund check?
A: Generally overage funds are available 10 business days after classes have begun and/or three business days after the Drop/Add period has ended.
Q. What happens if I change my enrollment status at any point in the semester?
A: Enrollment status affects all types of financial assistance. Dropping classes after the semester has begun could have an impact on the eligibility for any loan. Once an overage/refund has been issued to a student and then courses are dropped, that could create an over award and a required return of federal and/or private funds.
Please be sure to contact the Office of Financial Aid if you are an aid recipient, and are considering a change to your enrollment. Adding or dropping courses creates an additional bill after funds have already been disbursed based on the prior enrollment.
Q. What should I do if I withdraw or take a leave of absence after receiving my loan checks?
A: If you receive a retroactive withdrawal before 60% of the semester is completed, AJMLS allows for a 100 percent refund of tuition. However, the complete loan amount or a portion thereof may have to be returned to the lender, including any overage/refund amount you may have received. These are federal regulations that control the Return of Title IV Funds. These situations are individualized, and it is important to contact all offices that need to be involved. The Associate Dean of Academics, the Registrar’s Office and the Office of Financial Aid will advise you appropriately regarding any and all repercussions of a withdrawal.
Q. What aid is available for summer attendance?
A: Students have usually exhausted their Stafford loan funding prior to the summer semester so Graduate PLUS loans are the only funds typically available.
Q. When I completed the FAFSA I did not include AJMLS’s school code. How do I get my data to your Law School?
A: You will need to update your FAFSA online and provide AJMLS’s federal school code: G31733
Q. Does AJMLS require a hardcopy of my financial aid transcript?
A: No. You will cancel eligibility for loans, scholarships and grants at your former law school and begin the entire financial aid process at AJMLS.
Q. Should I notify the Director of Financial Aid at my current school or will the Dean tell him/her I have transferred?
A: After you have been admitted to AJMLS, contact your Dean of Students and/or the Director of Financial Aid. These administrators play a significant role to finalize necessary separation paperwork from both law schools and lenders.
Q. My loan funds have already been disbursed to my current law school. Can’t the financial aid office just mail them to AJMLS?
A: No. Lenders disburse funds to individual schools on behalf of a student. If a student withdraws from the law school or transfers to a different law school, the disbursed funds must be returned to the lender and the student is required to reapply for the loan through the new financial aid office.
Q. Will I keep the same interest rate on my educational loans when I change schools?
A: Yes. The interest rate on federal loans is the same regardless of the school you attend.
Q. How do I defer repayment of the loans I received during my first year of law school?
A: The Office of Financial Aid reports student enrollment information to the National Student Loan Data System every semester. If you received a Federal Perkins loan during your first year of law school, you should speak with your previous institution’s financial aid administrator about deferring repayment.
Q. If my loans are in repayment, how soon can I request enrollment verification in order to postpone my repayment?
A: After the add/drop period has expired; AJMLS’s Registrar’s Office can issue an enrollment verification form that you may then forward to your lender along with your deferral request form.