The financial aid application process is separate from the admissions application. Do not wait for your admissions acceptance before applying for financial aid.
The prospective student priority filing date for financial aid is March 1, 2013. Applicants seeking need-based funding from Suffolk are encouraged to apply for financial aid by this priority filing date, although applications are accepted throughout the year. Financial aid funds are awarded on a rolling basis, and grants will be awarded first to students who meet the March 1st priority filing date.
Applications received after March 1st will be reviewed for a Federal Direct Loan and will be considered for Suffolk grants and scholarships as funding permits.
New students are notified of their financial aid awards on a rolling basis, beginning in March. To receive a financial aid award letter, applicants must be accepted for admission and have a complete financial aid file.
To apply for financial assistance, submit the all the following documentation by March 1, 2013:
1. 2013-2014 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
Apply on the web at www.fafsa.ed.gov. There is no charge to complete this application. Be sure to list Suffolk University Law School's federal school code of 002218, and Suffolk will receive your FAFSA data directly from the Department of Education. For fast and efficient submission of this application, download and complete this 2013-2014 FAFSA on the Web Worksheet before you complete the FAFSA online.
The FAFSA is the application for all federal student aid and is required by all schools in order to award you federal aid. The form collects income and asset information from the student (and spouse, if married).
Prospective students who are only applying for federal loans do not need to submit any additional forms (unless selected for verification by Suffolk or the federal government) in order to receive a Federal Direct Loan award from Suffolk Law. Students may apply for federal loans at any time throughout the fall and spring semesters, provided the student is enrolled at least half-time.
Students who complete the FAFSA only will be considered for federal loans only.
2. 2013-2014 Need Access Application
Students who would like to be considered for grants, need-based* scholarships and loans from Suffolk University Law School must complete the Need Access application in addition to the FAFSA (both forms must be completed by the March 1st deadline). The Need Access form should be completed only once, ideally in application for the student's first year of enrollment at Suffolk Law, to ensure that the student is eligible to be considered for all forms of aid offered throughout the student's time at the School. The FAFSA form should be completed each year.
In addition, students with special circumstances that may affect ability to contribute to educational expenses should address their concerns in the "special circumstances" section of the Need Access application, which is reviewed by the Suffolk University Law School Office of Financial Aid.
Apply on the web at www.needaccess.org. There is a $28 application fee. Be sure to indicate Suffolk University Law School in the school section and Suffolk will receive your data directly from Access Group.
Please note that the Need Access application collects detailed income and asset information from both the student and parents. Suffolk Law requires parent data from applicants requesting grant funds to help us ensure that we distribute our need-based funds equitably. Although parents may be unable to contribute to their children's graduate education, viewing potential family contribution as a whole is necessary in establishing financial need. The parent section of the form also has a "special circumstances" section where additional information may be included. If extenuating circumstances prevent a student from submitting the required parent information, the student may submit a written, detailed request for a waiver. This request should be submitted directly to the Suffolk Law Office of Financial Aid by mail or email at firstname.lastname@example.org (use "waiver of parent data" for email subject).
In addition to the Need Access application, for consideration for private Endowed Scholarships which are awarded throughout each academic year based on the scholarship's individual criteria, students are also encouraged to complete the Endowed Scholarship Profile application form.
Students who are interested in applying only for federal loans do not need to complete the Need Access form or the Endowed Scholarship Profile form.
*Merit-based scholarships are awarded at the time of Admission by the Suffolk University Law School Admissions Office.
3. 2012 Federal Income Tax Information for both the student (and spouse, if married) and parents
If you are completing the FAFSA after completing your 2012 Federal Income Tax return:
A FAFSA option enables the student to authorize the IRS to transfer tax information from the IRS database directly to the student's FAFSA. This IRS data retrieval process became available on February 3, 2013. All students who are able should use this method to supply schools with 2012 tax information. For electronic tax filers the service will be able to access tax information 2 weeks after filing. For paper form tax filers the service is available 6-8 weeks after filing. Please note we do not need paper copies of the student's 2012 federal tax returns.
If you are completing the FAFSA prior to filing your 2012 Federal Income Tax Return:
Students who have not yet completed their 2012 Federal Income Tax return should complete the FAFSA using estimated tax information based on their 2011 Federal return. 2012 tax information should then be updated on the FAFSA using the IRS data retrieval process as soon as it is available. For electronic tax filers the service will be able to access tax information 2 weeks after filing. For paper form tax filers the service is available 6-8 weeks after filing.
If a student is not able to authorize the IRS to transfer their 2012 tax information at the time they complete the FAFSA, federal regulations may require student aid applicants to submit a hard copy tax return transcript to the school, but only if requested by the Office of Financial Aid. The Office of Financial Aid will contact you if a tax return transcript is needed.
If the Office of Financial Aid requests a tax transcript, the student should visit the IRS online to request a a 2012 tax return transcript. Please note that a tax return transcript that is requested by phone or by mail from the IRS will take significantly longer to process than an on-line request.
The Office of Financial Aid can usually extend a tentative financial aid award using estimated tax figures for new students. The award will then be finalized once the actual 2012 tax information is received.
All Students Should Note: If a student has completed the Need Access form and is applying for need-based grants or scholarships, she/he must also submit a signed paper copy of her/his parents' 2012 federal income tax return. Do not send parent 2011 tax information.