Published February 19, 2020
Here at the UB School of Law, we recognize that the law school application process can be long and stressful. To help answer some of the many questions you have, we’re kicking off a series of Q&A blogs with the faculty, staff, or students who will be able to give you the information you need.
For our second Q&A, we asked our Assistant Director Of Admissions, Amber Melvin to give us her answers on some common questions you have about law school financial aid.
Let’s hear what she has to say!
|1. What’s the difference between taking out loans for law school vs. undergrad?|
|2. Is my initial financial aid award set in stone?|
|3. I need more scholarship, what do I do?|
|4. Do you offer application fee waivers?|
|5. When is the deadline to apply for financial aid?|
|6. What kind of scholarships do you offer?|
|7. How much does it really cost to attend the UB School of Law?|
|8. Will I be able to work while I’m in school so that I have money to live off of?|
|9. What is the cost of living as a law student in Buffalo?|
|10. Are institutional scholarships guaranteed once awarded, or are they conditional?|
Although financial aid offerings may differ between undergrad and law school, the loan options are similar. The best options to explore are federal loans, since they typically have lower interest rates than private loans.
In order to answer this question, it is important to define “financial aid”. According to the New York State Financial Aid Administrators Association (NYSFAAA), Financial Aid is any grant or scholarship, loan, or paid employment offered to help a student meet his/her college expenses. Such aid is usually provided by various sources such as federal and state agencies, colleges, high schools, foundations, and corporations. The amount of financial aid that a student receives is determined through federal, state and institutional guidelines.
I typically hear questions from prospective law students about whether their current income or financial situation will be taken into consideration when determining their tuition cost, similar to how it might have been when they were attending their undergraduate institution. How your aid is determined depends on which law schools you are applying to. It is important to do your research ahead of time to know what aid options you have. At UB School of Law, scholarships granted through the Office of Admissions are strictly merit-based, so your current financial situation is not taken into consideration.
Visit our blog written by our Vice Dean for Admissions about how to negotiate your scholarship.
We do consider application fee waiver requests. Please contact our office at email@example.com to request a fee waiver.
In order to be eligible for federal loans, you should fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1.
These are granted at the discretion of the Admissions Committee and are based on your cumulative undergraduate GPA and standardized test score.
For federal financial aid purposes, the university calculates cost of attendance, including living and indirect expenses. It can be found on the university website here. However, the School of Law calculated a “shoestring” budget that reflects a more frugal cost of living.
UB School of Law only offers what we call a “full-time day program” which basically means that your classes will be scheduled during the day Monday through Friday. With this class schedule, it is hard, if not impossible, to work full-time at any job. Working is discouraged in the first year since it may take away from your time to study, but some people make it work with an evening or part-time job.
It’s easy to stretch your dollar in Buffalo, where the cost of living is well below the national average. Check out UB at a glance to learn more about living in Buffalo.
Merit scholarships granted by the Office of Admissions follow this policy.
We hope Amber could help clear up some of the common questions you have about financial aid!
Stay tuned for more of our Q&A with UB Law blog series!