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Financial Aid for Law Students

Financial Aid for Law Students

Frequently Asked Questions

Is financial aid available for summer classes?

Federal loans are available (usually in the form of a Graduate PLUS loan) for summer classes. You will need to submit a summer financial aid application if you wish to apply for summer aid, which is typically available in April of each year. We will notify all current students once the application is available.

Is financial aid available for international students?

Unfortunately, international students are not eligible for federal financial aid, but you may qualify for a merit scholarship through the Sturm College of Law. You may also be eligible to borrow a private education loan through a bank or credit union if you have a U.S. citizen as a cosigner.

If I am only planning to receive merit-based aid, do I need to fill out the FAFSA?

No. Only students who are applying for need-based aid are required to submit the FAFSA. However, we encourage all prospective students to apply for aid in the event that you do qualify for need-based aid or decide to use available student loan options.

What is the deadline to submit the FAFSA? What if I miss the deadline?

The FAFSA can be completed as early as October 1st each year. We recommend that you submit the FAFSA shortly after October 1st to ensure you have access to as many types of federal aid as possible, as some funds can run out as time passes. To increase your chances of receiving highly sought-after awards such as work-study, new students should apply by January 15th. Continuing students should submit their FAFSA by March 15the.

How long will it take for DU to receive my FAFSA?

We will typically receive your FAFSA within 7-10 days after you submit it. You can verify receipt on the Student or Incoming Grad Students tab of PioneerWeb.

What is my Expected Family Contribution (EFC)?

Your Expected Family Contribution (EFC)—calculated when the FAFSA is completed—is an amount that indicates how much of a student's resources should be considered "available" for college expenses. It is used as an index to determine financial need, however, and should not be thought of as a dollar amount you will need to pay to DU.

How is "financial need" determined?

Financial need is calculated by subtracting your Expected Family Contribution from your Cost of Attendance. The total amount of your need-based awards cannot exceed your calculated financial need. Need-based financial aid awards include scholarships, grants and work-study.

I applied for a Graduate PLUS or private loan. Has it been certified by DU?

Please allow 1-2 weeks for a loan to be certified. Once your PLUS or private loan is certified by DU, it will appear as a part of your overall financial aid package on PioneerWeb.

I was denied a Grad PLUS loan. What are my options?

Students who are denied a Graduate PLUS loan can either reapply with an endorser (co-signer) or appeal the decision. Find further information about your options on

I have additional aid not listed on my award letter (such as a private scholarship). Will this affect my financial aid package?

It might. Your financial aid eligibility is limited by the cost of attendance and your expected family contribution. Therefore, if you receive additional aid (such as a grant, scholarship, or tuition benefit) from outside the University of Denver, we may have to adjust your financial aid award package. We will first reduce student loans, then work-study, before reducing any DU scholarships or grants. In some cases, however, additional outside awards that must pay toward tuition charges may result in the reduction of a DU scholarship or grant that is also restricted to tuition.

I haven't received my award letter yet. When can I expect it?

Award letters are sent out every year beginning in early February for incoming students and late-May for returning students. Remember you must be admitted to a DU program to receive an award letter. If you have not received it yet, and you feel like you should have, we may need some additional documentation from you. Be sure to check your financial aid requirements on PioneerWeb, or contact our office for more information.

I cannot access my account to accept my award online. What should I do?

You will need to accept the terms and conditions of your award through PioneerWeb before you will be able to accept, reduce, or decline any of your financial aid. See our Understanding Your Award & Next Steps page for more information. If you do not remember your password or cannot log into PioneerWeb, contact the Help Desk at 303-871-4700.

If I accept a loan, will it be disbursed over fall and spring semesters automatically?

Any aid you accept through PioneerWeb will be split evenly over the fall and spring semesters. If you will only be here for one term, or will be graduating early, please submit an Enrollment Adjustment form so we can adjust your aid accordingly.

I will be enrolled in both the law school and another graduate program. What do I need to do?

Students enrolled at the Sturm College of Law will automatically have their financial aid packaged as a law student (semesters only), even if they are a dual-degree student. We can adjust your student budget to reflect both programs and the costs associated with each, however. Please see our Dual-Degree Student page to learn more. All students in a dual-degree program will need to submit a Budget Adjustment Form so we can adjust your financial aid accordingly.

I was awarded work-study. How do I apply for a position?

If you were awarded work-study, log into PioneerWeb, go to the Student tab and click on the "Find a Job" link. That link will take you to all of the currently available work-study positions through DU.

Will I lose my financial aid if I choose not to maintain full- or half-time enrollment?

All federal aid—including students loans and work-study—are only available to you if you maintain half-time enrollment (4 credits). The terms of departmental scholarships may vary; please contact the Sturm College of Law directly for information about the minimum requirements of those awards.

How will my financial aid be affected if I withdraw from all of my classes?

A portion of your loans may have to be returned, even if they have already disbursed to your account. Please review our refund and withdrawal policy for more information.

Are there academic requirements for me to keep my financial aid?

In order to keep receiving any federal aid—including loans—you must be making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). The minimum standards for SAP are:

  1. Maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.30
  2. Complete and pass a minimum of 66.6% of all the courses you attempted
  3. Complete your degree requirements within 150% of the minimum credits required to graduate

If you fail to meet these minimum standards, your financial aid will be placed on suspension. Learn more about the SAP policy.