At Mizzou Law there are three categories of student financial aid: Scholarships, Federal Work-Study, and Federal Student Loans. Federal loans are funded by the U.S. Department of Education through the Ford Federal Direct Loan Program (FFDL).
To be eligible for first round scholarships, entering students must have a complete admissions application by January 15. There is no separate scholarship application. Additional scholarships are awarded to second and third year students based on law school performance. For more information on scholarships click here.
Mizzou Law employs students through part-time jobs funded through the Federal Work Study Program. All work study positions are located in the law school library and student employees receive regular biweekly pay checks. To apply, visit the law school’s student employment page.
Remember, student loans are the most common form of financial assistance for law students. Federal loan programs include the Federal Direct Stafford Loan program and the Federal Direct Grad PLUS program.
If you plan to use student loans to pay for law school, it best to begin with the end in mind. Before borrowing, think about the day when you have to begin paying back your student loans. Make a budget and estimate the amount you need to borrow. Estimating your cost will help you manage your debt and help you avoid borrowing money you do not need. Take steps now to make repayment simpler; you’ll be glad you did. Remember, the less you borrow the less you have to pay back.
Federal Student Loans
First, think of other options available to you before deciding to borrow student loans.
The loan options available to law students include federal and private loan programs. Federal Direct Loans are issued directly from the government and offer flexible repayment terms, fixed interest rates, and vast deferment options. Private loans usually have variable interest rates (depending on the lender) plus their credit requirements are stricter than federal loans. Note: the federal Graduate Plus Loan Program is the only federal loan program that requires an acceptable credit history.
With the Federal Direct Loan Program, you
- Borrow directly from the federal government and have a single contact — your loan servicer — for everything related to repayment
- Have online access to your Direct Loan account information via your servicer’s website
- Can choose from several repayment plans that are designed to meet the needs of almost any borrower, and you can switch repayment plans if your needs change
For law students there are two types of federal loans available:
- Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan Program — Direct Unsubsidized Loans are loans that can help you pay for law school. The lender is the U.S. Department of Education. The annual loan maximum for law students is $20,500 per academic year and the interest rate for 2020-2021 is fixed at 4.3%. This loan has an origination fee of 1.06% and repayment begins six months after graduation.
- Direct PLUS Loans for Professional Students — Law students can borrow a Direct PLUS Loan to help cover education expenses. To qualify for the PLUS loan you must pass a credit check. You can’t have adverse credit so get your finances in order and make sure your credit file is accurate. For a free copy of your credit report visit www.annualcreditreport.com. Applicants who do not qualify for the Graduate Plus Loan may appeal the credit decision or obtain a credit worthy co-signer. The interest rate for 2020-2021 is fixed at 5.3%. The Graduate Plus loan has an origination fee of 4.2% and repayment begins six months after graduation.
Mizzou Law Shortridge Loan Program
The Shortridge Loan Program is designed to help law students gain practical experience in the public sector. Mizzou Law provides up to 10 loans annually in the amount of $4,000 to selected students who work in the area of public service or public interest during the summer. The Shortridge loan offers a 0% interest rate, a 12 month grace period beginning after graduation before entering repayment, and a 7 year repayment term.
For more information about the Mizzou Law Shortridge Loan Program, contact the Mizzou Law Financial Aid Office.
Alternative (Private) Education Loans
Many private lending institutions offer credit-based loan programs to students. Students should carefully consider the interest rates, loan fees and terms of the program before making a selection. Most institutions have an online application followed by a credit check. Once the school is notified, the school will certify the loan amount. The student most likely will then be required to complete either an online or paper promissory note. Some lenders may require a credit-worthy co-signer who is a U.S. citizen.
- Please be aware that private loans do not qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. Mizzou Law requires that all students seeking a private loan complete a loan counseling session with the Mizzou Law Financial Aid Office.
- For a list of Mizzou approved private lenders visit the Mizzou Law Private Lender Page.