If you are having any difficulty using this website, please contact the Help Desk at Help@nullHofstra.edu or 516-463-7777 or Student Access Services at SAS@nullhofstra.edu or 516-463-7075. Please identify the webpage address or URL and the specific problems you have encountered and we will address the issue.

Financial Aid FAQs

Financial Aid FAQs

Looking for something else? Ask the Financial Aid Office.

Financial Aid 101
What is financial aid?

Financial aid is more than just grant assistance. Education loans are also a large part of the total financial aid available (and needed) to finance the cost of a legal education. These grants and loans come from a variety of different sources. These include, but may not be limited to, the U.S. Government, Hofstra Law institutional funds, Hofstra University funds, outside awards & scholarships sources and private education loan funds.

How is my eligibility determined?

HHofstra Law uses a standard student budget when packaging federal and campus-based financial aid. Other educationally related expenses may be taken into consideration, such as child care, computer expenses and transportation. (Services such as Uber and Lyft costs will not be considered.) These adjustments to the standard student budget are reviewed and approved on a case-by-case basis. A completed Budget Appeal Form for should be submitted to the Financial Aid Office. The Financial Aid Office produces financial aid offers for admitted law students from March through August. The offers reflect eligibility for federal student loans. Grant and scholarship awards made by the Law School are assimilated into the federal student aid offer resulting in a package combining the federal student loans, and grants and scholarships.

What is the process for determining financial need?

Financial need is the difference between the cost of attendance (student budget) and our assessed student contribution. Hofstra is required by law to use the Federal Methodology formula to determine a student's eligibility for federal financial aid. The data used to conduct this analysis is collected via the FAFSA. Graduate students are always treated as independent for the purposes of determining eligibility for federal aid and therefore, they do not need to submit parental information on the FAFSA.

How is my Expected Family Contribution (EFC) determined?

Your Expected Family Contribution is determined by the data collected on the FAFSA. The information you provide goes through a Federal Methodology formula, which calculates your EFC.

Does HLS offer merit-based or need-based financial aid?

Yes, Hofstra Law School offers both merit and need-based financial aid.

Is my Financial Aid Award Notice the same as my student bill?

No. The Office of Financial Aid sends you a financial aid award letter. Your financial aid award is also available on your Hofstra Portal. Your award notice lists any scholarships, grants, loans, or Work-Study that you are eligible to receive.

The Office of Student Financial Services sends you a bill which is also available to view on your Hofstra Portal. Your bill is the actual amount you owe the University. Financial aid administered by the Office of Financial Aid is applied directly to the charges listed on your bill. You are responsible for paying any amount not covered by these awards.

Will my financial aid award change from one year to the next?

The Hofstra Law financial aid process applies the same need analysis and packaging guidelines to all students. In a given school year, students with similar financial circumstances will receive similar aid packages, regardless of their year in school. However, it is not unusual for a student's financial aid award to change over the three years while enrolled at Hofstra.

Admitted Students
How do I compare financial aid awards from several schools?

Financial aid packages should be evaluated based on quantity and quality. A good measure of the quantity of your aid package is to figure out how much financial aid money you will have left after paying your tuition and fees instead of simply considering the total amount. A financial aid package can be considered high quality if it allows a reasonable level of self-help awards (loans and work-study) compared to the total cost of education at the school.

What factors should I consider in accepting one law school's or another's financial aid package?

Compare the different packaging philosophies and awarding policies at each school. Be aware of changes or prorating that may take place as you continue your legal education. Knowing what to expect after your first year in law school can be a crucial part of making your final choice about which law school to attend.

Will Hofstra match financial aid packages that I have received from other schools?

Hofstra Law School does not "negotiate" or match financial aid awards from other universities. It may be that another university is offering scholarships based on factors such as merit, and not demonstrated financial need or a combination of the two. If, however, the other school has information about your family's financial situation that you did not share with us, or if you have reason to believe we have made an error in our evaluation, please contact us to discuss a possible re-evaluation.

If I decline all or part of my aid package and my circumstances change, can I request that my aid be reinstated?

That depends. If you request reinstatement within the term that the aid was granted, you are still enrolled, and your eligibility has not changed, we can typically reinstate Federal Direct Stafford Loans and Grad PLUS Loans. Reinstatement of aid from other programs would be dependent upon whether funds were available in the various aid programs and the reason for your request.

Do I have to reapply for the merit based scholarship I receive?

Students do not need to reapply for merit scholarships. If, however, you have received need-based aid in addition to the merit scholarship, then you must update your financial records by filing renewal financial aid applications (Free Application for Federal Student Aid and and the NeedAccess form) every year. Students receiving merit scholarships have to meet the academic standard noted in their scholarship letter.

Application Process
Should I wait until I get admitted to file for financial aid?

No. File as soon as you can so that your application for financial aid can be considered as soon as possible after you are admitted.

What if I haven’t completed my tax returns by then?

You can complete the application forms with the best estimate of your prior year income. Depending on what types of aid you are applying for, you may need to submit signed copies of federal tax returns to our office once they are completed. It is important to provide the most accurate information you possibly can, because when the actual data is reviewed, this could affect your eligibility.

Should I report the total accumulated in IRA and Keogh plans on the FAFSA?

No. You do not have to include retirement plan accumulations when totaling the value of assets. However, any annual contribution must be reported since they are considered discretionary payments and are usually untaxed income.

I’m a part-time student. Am I eligible for financial aid?

Yes. Students in the part-time program can apply for financial aid to assist with both tuition and living expenses.

I was awarded a scholarship from a private outside organization. Do I need to inform the Financial Aid Office?

Yes, you are required to inform us about your outside aid as this may effect your eligibility for other financial aid funds. It’s helpful to know this early in the process. If we find out about the outside aid when the sponsor sends your money to Hofstra, it may cause budgeting problems, especially if we have to cancel aid you are no longer eligible to receive.

What should I do if my federal financial aid won’t cover all of my expenses?

You should make an appointment with the financial aid office to discuss budgeting concerns.

It’s the middle of the school year and I haven’t applied for financial aid. Is it too late or can I still apply?

There are priority deadlines established to ensure timely processing of financial aid requests, but students can request financial aid throughout most of the academic year. Review the rest of our website for general guidance on financial aid and contact our office if you need assistance with the application process.

Should I apply for Hofstra Law financial aid?

The vast majority of students attending Hofstra Law are financial aid recipients. It also incorporates federal, institutional and private education loan assistance. Students who do not qualify for any of our scholarships may still qualify for financial aid from the Federal Stafford loan program and the Graduate PLUS loan program. All students can apply for financial aid money (loans) from our office to finance the full cost of their legal education.

Do I have to apply for financial aid every year?

Yes, you must reapply each year.

How can I get an overview of the entire Hofstra Law financial aid application process?

In order to give you a clear understanding of the Hofstra Law financial aid application process, we have broken our process into a series of steps that outlines what you need to do to complete your application and what you can expect to receive from us during the application process. Everything you need to know about applying for financial aid can be found in the Applying for Aid section of our website. Please contact us if you have questions or need more detailed assistance.

Where do I send the completed forms?

Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University
Hempstead, New York 11549
Fax: 516-463-4936

How do I know if Hofstra Law received my FAFSA data?

If you have received your Student Aid Report (SAR) and listed Hofstra University’s school code (002732), we will have access to your FAFSA data. If you have not received your SAR and it has been more than four weeks since you completed your FAFSA, call FAFSA at 800-4-FED-AID to inquire on the status. When completing the FAFSA, please make sure the personal information you provide matched that on your LSAC account.

What is a Master Promissory Note, and why is it important?

A Master Promissory Note (MPN) is a legal binding contract you enter into when you obtain a student loan. In most cases, it is the actual loan application that also lists the conditions and terms of the loan as well as information about interest calculations, deferment and loan cancellations. You should carefully read all application and promissory note material. Remember that the promissory note is your contract with the lender. You should file your promissory notes with your permanent financial records.

How long are an MPN and entrance interview valid?

Master Promissory Notes and entrance interviews are valid for 10 years. If you are a Hofstra University graduate and have borrowed through Hofstra University, you should not need to complete another promissory note or entrance interview.

Does this MPN apply for all Federal Direct Loans?

No, this MPN is only for the Federal Direct loan program. Grad PLUS and Perkins loans have their own MPN that must be signed.

Will my Stafford loans cover my tuition?

No. Students are only eligible for $20,500 per year in Federal Direct Loan funds. You will most likely need to round out your aid with a Grad PLUS or private loan.

Bills, Payments and Student Accounts
What is the difference between the Financial Aid Office and Student Financial Services?

The two offices have separate administrative functions. The Financial Aid Office, located in Joan Axinn Hall across from the law school, determines eligibility for grants, scholarships, loans and work-study. We also provide services such as financial planning, entrance and exit interviews and other guidance related to managing your money. Student Financial Services, located on the second floor of Memorial Hall, is responsible for billing and collecting payments from students for Law School tuition and other charges. To recap, we've listed who you'll want to contact regarding the following:

Financial Aid Student Financial Services
Grants Tuition Payments
Scholarships Monthly Payment Plan
Federal Student Loans Refund Requests
Commercial Student Loans Refund Check Pick-Up
Financial Planning Your Billing Statement
Entrance & Exit Interviews Your Student Account
Credit Issues Meal Plan Changes
Work Study Residence Hall Charges
Loan Repayment Assistance Program You can contact the Office of Student Financial Services at studentfinancialservices@hofstra.edu or visit them in Memorial Hall on the second floor.
When will I receive the financial aid I have been offered?

To obtain the funds offered in your financial aid award notice you must (1) accept the award and follow all instructions in the award notice and return the signed copy (if you are a grant recipient) to Hofstra Law, and (2) complete other documents as needed to obtain funds offered (e.g., a student loan application/master promissory note or loan entrance interview). It can take up to six weeks to receive disbursements under some financial aid programs. Please plan ahead and enroll with sufficient funds to cover at least your first two weeks of living expenses. Financial aid is disbursed at the beginning of each semester in which funds are awarded. Please contact Student Financial Services Office to assist you with billing questions.

When do I receive a bill from Hofstra University and when does it have to be paid?

You will receive an e-bill for the Fall semester from the Hofstra University Student Financial Services Office in July. You must respond to the bill by the specified due date. The Spring semester bill will generally arrive in early December and is generally payable in early January. Please follow the due date on the statement. If you have been awarded Hofstra Law aid, or have applied for loans which have been processed by the Financial Aid Office, a temporary credit for these funds may appear on your billing statement. Please contact the Student Financial Services Office to assist you with billing questions.

What do I do if I am covering all costs with loans that will not pay until August?

Don't worry, if you applied for your private loan before July and you have completed your FAFSA, your student account will indicate that you have pending aid and you will not be charged late fees.

Applying financial aid toward your bill.

Hofstra grants and scholarships and federal loans will appear as pending credits on your tuition bill. Students whose scholarships or federal loans do not appear on their bills should contact Student Financial Services. Half of the scholarship and federal loans are applied toward each semester. In order to use a private loan toward the tuition deadline, the loan must be approved by the lender and certified by the University. Please keep in mind that private loans are divided into two equal disbursements to be applied to the Fall and Spring semesters.

Change of Status
Will my eligibility for financial aid change if I change my enrollment status?

Yes, if you withdraw from Hofstra Law School or change the number of credit hours for which you are enrolled your eligibility for your offer of aid will likely change as well. You should contact the Financial Aid Office to discuss how it may affect your eligibility for financial aid.

Cost of Attendance Budgets
Do I need to borrow the full amount suggested by the student expense budget?

No, the budget is a guideline for planning your expenses for the academic year. In fact, many students find that their actual expenses are less than the amounts allowed under the budget. Living on less now allows you to borrow less and to save money in the long run.

What items are not covered by the student expense budget?

Federal regulations mandate that the student expense budget only include education-related expenses. There are many items which students assume can be included in the student expense budget that are prohibited. The most common misconceptions include the following:

  • Consumer Debt: Students are advised that the budget will not allow for any consumer debt such as monthly credit card payments. Students are advised to budget wisely prior to attending law school and pay off as much credit card debt as possible. The Law School Office of Student Financial Services cannot make allowances for credit card debt.
  • Moving/Summer Expenses: Limited moving expenses incurred during the summer preceding your entry into Hofstra may be used to increase to the student expense budget. Students are advised to budget accordingly if they will be moving into the New York City area. Additionally, expenses incurred during the summer(s) between academic years are not covered under the student expense budget.
  • Bar Expenses: Bar study expenses* are not allowed under the student expense budget; however, many lenders offer private consumer loans to law students. These loans assist students with paying for the expenses of a bar preparation course and living expenses associated with taking a bar exam after graduation.

    *Please note that the actual cost of taking the bar exam (the amount New York State charges to take the exam for example) may now be added to the cost of attendance.
Can I request to have my budget adjusted?

If you have a legitimate educational expense that causes you to exceed your student budget, our office can consider an adjustment once appropriate documentation is reviewed and approved. Please bear in mind that adjustments are, for the most part, only made under extraordinary circumstances. A copy of the Budget Appeal Request form (PDF) should be submitted along with supporting documentation.

What if I purchase a computer — should I request a budget increase?

The following items will be considered: computer purchase (one time only), health insurance, loan fees and a dependent child adjustment. These items may be considered on a case-by-case basis: travel and other expenses. Please note that cost of living increases will not be approved. Students are advised to wait until their budgets are approved before allocating these funds toward expenses.

What if I buy my computer before classes begin?

In order to be considered an allowable budget expense under federal guidelines, the purchase of the computer needs to occur either during or just prior to the start of the academic year.

What is the maximum budget adjustment amount for a computer purchase?

The maximum allowance for a computer purchase is $1,500. Hofstra University has a contract with IBM and Apple, both of which offer student discounts on purchasing computers or can be used as a guideline when making computer purchases. You can access the IBM/Apple-Hofstra Discount Web page through the following link: http://my.hofstra.edu/www/Support/IT/it_computer_sales.jsp. Students are permitted only one budget adjustment for a computer during their three years at Hofstra Law.

What items may be considered in a budget increase?

The following items will be considered: computer purchase (one time only), health insurance, loan fees and a dependent child adjustment. These items may be considered on a case-by-case basis: travel and other expenses. Please note that cost of living increases will not be approved. Students are advised to wait until their budgets are approved before allocating these funds toward expenses.

Does Hofstra Law have a financial aid appeal process?

Yes, Hofstra Law does have an appeal process. You may appeal your federal financial aid award if you experience significant and/or unforeseen changes in your financial circumstances that affect your ability or your family’s ability to contribute towards the cost of your education. You may also appeal if you believe some important financial information was either not included with your original application or missed in our review of your original application. It is advisable that you discuss your appeal request with the financial aid office prior to submission so that we can give you guidance on how to proceed.

While we must conform to federal and institutional guidelines and enforce Hofstra Law Financial Aid Policy consistently to ensure equity and fairness to all applicants, we are also committed to factoring in an individual student’s extenuating circumstances whenever possible and appropriate. Please know that while you do have the right to question policies enforced by the office, this is not the intent of the appeals process. The appeals process allows you to ensure that we have taken everything into account in your personal financial situation when determining your eligibility for aid according to existing policy.

Generally speaking, appeals must focus on financial circumstances related to the cost of education. Appeals based on discretionary expenses external to direct education-related costs, such as high credit card debt, car payments, wedding expenses, discretionary travel, and the like cannot be considered.

Generally, appeal requests are resolved within two weeks; however, during our peak processing seasons, due to the large student population we serve, appeal requests may take longer to review. During those times, we appreciate your patience as we try to provide thorough consideration to each appeal request.

Deadlines and Timing
What are the Hofstra Law financial aid application deadlines?

April 1 is the priority deadline for filing for institutional need-based grants and loans. June 30 is the deadline for having a completed financial aid file in order to avoid any late fees.

After I apply, when should I expect to receive my award decision?
  • Admitted Students: Admitted students will receive an award letter approximately two to three weeks after they have been admitted and their financial aid application has become complete. However, please note that our financial aid systems are not typically prepared for the new admissions/financial aid cycle until the middle of February or early March. Therefore, students who are admitted and complete their application prior to March may have to wait until our systems are ready for processing before receiving notice of their financial aid award. Students whose file is completed after June 30 may not be processed in time to have financial aid credits reflected on the fall semester term bill. While we make every effort to process these late applications in time to get financial aid credited on the term bill, students who apply late may need to make other temporary arrangements to satisfy their term bill and register for fall classes until their financial aid is processed.
  • Returning Students: Returning students whose aid applications are completed by April 1, the priority deadline for filing for institutional need-based grants and loans, can expect to receive their financial aid award letter two to three weeks after their financial aid file is complete. Applications received after the April 1 deadline will still be reviewed in the order they are received. However, we do not guarantee that funds will be available. Students whose file is completed after June 30 may not be processed in time to have financial aid credits reflected on the fall semester term bill. While we make every effort to process these late applications in time to get financial aid credited on the term bill, students who apply late may need to make other temporary arrangements to satisfy their term bill and register for fall classes until their financial aid is processed.
Receiving Notifications

During the summer before your matriculation, our office sends admitted students correspondence via email to the address on file with the Office of Admissions. We may periodically send correspondence to your permanent mailing address. Once enrolled, please update your addresses as needed with the School of Law’s Office of Academic Records or via your Hofstra Portal. During your academic career at the School of Law, your Hofstra University email account will be our primary method of communicating with you.

How can I stay informed about financial aid deadlines, policies, workshops and about employment and outside funding opportunities?

Read the emails sent to you from the financial aid office (lawfinaid) AND periodically take a look at the financial aid Web page; important information and reminders about key upcoming deadlines and events will be posted here. We are working hard to keep our site updated and useful so that you can get what you need quickly and efficiently in one central location.

Disbursement of Loans and Student Refunds
I was approved for a loan. When will it be disbursed?

All loans are disbursed in two parts at the beginning of each semester (10 days prior to the first day of classes). Lenders will electronically wire the disbursement monies directly to Hofstra University’s Office of Student Accounts, which, in turn, will apply the funds to your account.

How do I cancel/reduce my student loan?

Hofstra University generally requests that student loans be disbursed to the University ten days prior to the first day of class for the upcoming semester. Students have the right to cancel all or part of the loan or disbursement prior to or after the funds have been disbursed to the University. Prior to the disbursement of the loan students should contact the Hofstra Law Office of Financial Aid and request that the loan be canceled or reduced. After the loan has been disbursed to the University, students need to contact the Office of Student Financial Services and requested that all or a portion of the loan funds be returned to their lender. You can contact the Office of Student Financial Services at studentfinancialservices@hofstra.edu or visit them in person in Memorial Hall on the second floor.

I borrowed money to cover my personal and/or rent expenses. How is this money processed?

If you borrowed loans greater than the amount of your Hofstra Law tuition bill, you can request a refund of your credit balance from the Office of Student Accounts.

How do I know if I have a refund?

You can view the status of your account through your Hofstra Portal.

If you have a refund, visit the Refund Policy page to learn how to request a refund and view our refund policy.

International Students
Are international students eligible for Federal Stafford Loans?

No, only U.S. citizens and permanent residents may apply for Stafford Loans.

What kind of financial aid is available to international students?

International students may be eligible to receive Hofstra Law merit-based scholarship funding only, as determined by the Office of Admissions.

Please note: Due to their ineligibility for federal loans, many international students may have a significant gap between total costs and available funding. Thus, we encourage all international students to investigate all available options in their home countries and outside funding organizations. International students may also get useful information at http://www.edupass.org/.

As an international student, what types of loans am I eligible to receive?

The only alternative financing available is through a private lender/bank. Most require a co-signer who is a U.S. citizen. Approval of these loans is made independently by the lending institution after Hofstra certifies your enrollment and cost of attendance.

Does Hofstra Law School offer any loans?

Yes, they are based on need and funding is very limited.

Loan Deferment and Repayment
When do I start repayment on my Federal Direct Loans?

Repayment begins six months from the date of your actual last day of classes, whether it be your last semester, a leave of absence or if you should drop below a half-time status.

When do I start repayment on my Federal Grad Plus Loans?

Your first payment will be due six months after you graduate, leave school or drop below half-time enrollment.

When do I start repayment on my Federal GradPlus and/or Consolidation Loans?

Repayment begins immediately after the actual last day of your classes, whether it be your last semester, a leave of absence or if you should drop below a half-time status. Your first payment will be due 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed.

When do I start repayment on my private loans?

Repayment of private loans generally begins from six to nine months after graduation. You need to contact your individual lender for the exact start date.

Where can I request a loan deferment form?

Deferment forms should be requested from your lender.

Where should I submit my deferment forms?

All deferment forms should be submitted to the Office of Academic Records. Please contact them with any questions regarding this process 516-463-5917.

What is loan consolidation?

Loan consolidation allows borrowers to combine their federal education loans into a single loan with one monthly payment, which can be significantly lower than the payment required under the standard 10-year repayment option.

Does Hofstra Law School offer a loan forgiveness program (LRAP)?

Yes, our Loan Repayment Assistance Program is available to students who enter qualifying public interest employment and meet the program’s guidelines.

Loan Information

Please note: The Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University does not partner with or have an affiliation with any online lender search tools or loan comparison charts.

Direct Loans

You must complete the following in order to receive your Direct loans:

  • Request an FSA ID at fsaid.ed.gov. For step-by-step assistance, please call 1-800-433-3243.
  • Visit the federal website studentloans.gov, and log in with your FSA ID to complete (for step-by-step assistance, please call 1-800-557-7394):
    • Direct Loan Entrance Counseling
    • Master Promissory Note

Graduate PLUS Loan

For the Graduate PLUS loan, you must visit the federal website studentloans.gov, and log in with your FSA ID to complete (for step-by-step assistance, please call 1-800-557-7394):

  • Direct Loan PLUS Counseling
  • Graduate PLUS Application Request
  • Master Promissory Note
  • Students experiencing credit issues may wish to apply with an endorser. Call 1-800-557-7394 for more information.

Please note: These steps are mandatory in order for the loans to disburse to the student account. The Entrance Counseling and MPN requirements only need to be completed once and are good for 10 years. Issues at studentloans.gov can be directed to 1-800-557-7394.

How do I apply for a private loan?

Most lenders use internet and telephone application processes.

When should I apply?

After you have been admitted and have received your Financial Aid Award letter and at least six weeks prior to the start of the semester to insure the funds are here in time.

Do private lenders pull credit reports?

Yes, a lender will determine whether or not they will lend to you based on your credit history. If your credit might be an issue, pull your credit report and make any corrections you can. To receive a copy of your credit report, you can go to www.annualcreditreport.com.

If I am turned down for a loan, can I borrow from Hofstra or can the Law School secure a loan for me?

Hofstra does have a loan program, but it is based on need and the funding is very limited. However, Hofstra Law does work with some lenders who are willing to take a “second look” at a student’s loan application.

What if I need more?

If you think that you will need more funds, please contact the Financial Aid Office and request information concerning a budget adjustment. Loans will only be approved up to the cost of attendance. Students with children should contact the Financial Aid Office for a revised budget. The Law School does not increase budgets for spouse related costs.

What happens after I apply for a private loan?

After you provide your lender with the required information, they will perform a credit check and, in most cases, will notify you of their decision within minutes. If approved, your lender will prompt you to complete and sign a promissory note for the loan. Following the approval, the lender will contact Hofstra Law for school certification and disbursement information. This accelerated pre-approval process is an excellent opportunity for students to quickly secure information about their eligibility for private loans and for those traveling outside the country during the summer months.

Can I submit a private loan application with more than one lender?

When applying for a private student loan, we recommend that you only work with one lender at a time. Completing simultaneous loan applications will add credit inquiries to your credit report that can, ultimately, reduce your credit score. Please review the enclosed list of lenders carefully, selecting your top pick for submitting a loan application. If your first choice of lenders declines your application and you’ve exhausted all possibilities of obtaining an approval from them (e.g., reapplying with a cosigner), you can, at this point, complete a second loan application with an alternative lender.

How much can I borrow in private student loans?

You’re eligible to borrow up to the approved budget less any anticipated scholarships and/or Federal Stafford loans. We encourage you to be conservative about the amount you borrow, borrowing only what you need.

Personal Finance — Managing Your Finances
Recordkeeping: what items do I need to save?

It is important that you start a financial aid file. In it, keep your award letter, letters coming from the federal government and all Student Account statements. This should help with taxes and repayment after graduation.

Do I have to report any grants, scholarships or fellowships to the IRS as income?

Part or all of a grant, scholarship or fellowship may be taxable even if you do not receive a W-2 form. If you are in a degree program, amounts you use for expenses other than tuition and course-related expenses (e.g., amounts used for room, board and travel) are taxable. To determine this taxable amount, add up all grant, scholarship and fellowship awards received in a calendar year, then subtract all tuition, fees, and book and supply expenses. If the remaining amount is a positive number, it must be reported as income. This amount must also be reported on Worksheet C of your FAFSA. If you are not in a degree program, the full amount of the grant, scholarship or fellowship is taxable.

What about Work-Study income? Is this taxable?

Yes. Any money received as the result of work (i.e., Work-Study employment, temporary employment on- or off-campus, some fellowships, etc.) is considered taxable income. You will be asked to file a withholding form (W-4) and you will receive a statement of income and taxes withheld form (W-2) each calendar year. Your taxable earnings from need-based employment must also be reported on Worksheet C of your FAFSA. Questions regarding your withholding status should be directed to the University Payroll Office.

How do I live within my budget?

Look carefully at your budget and figure out how much you have to spend each month. Add the room and board to the personal costs, then divide it by nine months. Find affordable housing. Remember that you are a student. The more modest you are now, the less you will need to be once you are a lawyer.

Why is it important to budget?

Every budget increase to your Grad PLUS or private loan is unsubsidized. This means that you are accruing interest throughout the year on your loan. A student who borrows $50,000 in private funds over three years at a 6.8% interest rate will have a monthly payment of roughly $800. If you add the federal loans, which will amount to $55,500 with a monthly payment of $600 per month or so, you are looking at paying $1,400 per month after graduation. This is a lot of debt to take on – even for a lawyer!

I'm having trouble making ends meet and managing my finances. Is there somewhere I can get help with this?

Our office provides more services than just processing financial aid applications. If you need help understanding your finances, learning money management skills or repairing your credit, you can make an appointment with the financial aid office and get help with these sorts of issues. Our office also provides a session for students who are graduating to prepare them for financial success after law school.

Are there any helpful websites that can assist me with financial aid, credit, tax, and other topics?

There are a number of websites that can help you investigate financial aid, credit, tax, and other topics, and we have dedicated a portion of our website to assist you in your financial planning.

Summer Session and Visiting Another Law School
Can I apply for financial aid to assist with summer school expenses?

Students attending Hofstra Law are encouraged to work over the summer to assist with their educational expenses. However, if a student wishes to attend the summer sessions, they must provide their own financial assistance. Stafford Loans, Grad PLUS Loans or student private/alternative loans may be an option. Students must be registered in a total of 5 credits in the summer terms to be eligible for federal aid.

What happens to my financial aid if I do a Study Abroad program?

Hofstra Law offers students several opportunities to study abroad while pursuing their J.D. degree. Students wishing to participate in one of Hofstra’s study abroad programs will continue to have their financial aid processed by the Law School Financial Aid Office. Scholarship aid and federal loans will continue uninterrupted if the student remains enrolled full time. If studying with a Consortium Agreement, a Consortium Agreement Form must be submitted to the Office of Student Financial Services.

You may request that your student budget be increased to reflect higher living expenses, the cost of your airfare and additional fees associated with the study abroad program. If you are approved to study abroad, the Office of Student Affairs will send you a letter approving the program. You may submit this letter with a written request to adjust your budget.

Students should take the following steps regarding their financial aid in the semester preceding their participation in a study abroad program:

  1. Arrange with a family member or friend to coordinate your finances while you are abroad.
  2. Provide the Office of Student Accounts with the name and address to send any refund checks.
  3. Request increases to your student budget and apply for additional loans, if necessary.
  4. If you need to endorse your private loan check, please do so before you leave. Otherwise the Student Accounts Office will have to forward the check to you to endorse and wait for you to return it before the refund can be processed.

Please be aware that the Law Financial Aid Office is unable to advance funds for students who are studying abroad. You must follow the same refund policies that are in effect for all other students. In many cases we are unable to process your refund check before you leave the U.S. You should bring sufficient funds to cover your expenses for at least one month.

What happens to my financial aid if I visit another U.S. law school?

Students may choose to attend another law school while completing their J.D. at Hofstra Law. The Law Financial Aid Office will continue to process your federal and private loans as long as the Dean’s Office has approved your request to visit another school. The amount of the loans will be adjusted to reflect the host school’s student budget.

Students receiving scholarship aid should be aware that they will not receive their scholarship while they attend another law school. If a student decides to visit another law school and then returns to Hofstra to complete their studies, the scholarship will be reinstated.

Transferring loans to the host school involves the following steps:

  1. The student is accepted by the host school as a visiting student and registers for classes there.
  2. The host school’s financial aid office completes a Hofstra Law consortium agreement form.
  3. The Consortium Agreement is returned to Hofstra for approval by the Office of Financial Aid.
  4. Once the Consortium Agreement is approved, the loan funds will be disbursed to Hofstra University.
  5. Hofstra University will forward the loan funds to the host school.

Please note: The above steps must be completed for each semester that the student is visiting away. Please be aware that the refund process may be delayed since the consortium agreement must be reviewed by Hofstra University before the loan funds can be forwarded to the host school. You should have enough funds with you for at least a month of expenses in the event that there are delays.

Transfer Students
I'm considering transferring from the part-time division to the full-time division of the J.D. program. How will that affect my eligibility for financial aid?

Students who transfer from the part-time to the full-time program are eligible to apply for federal loan funds and private loan funds, just as they could prior to transferring. The primary impact is that the cost of attendance is adjusted to reflect the full-time enrollment status.

Transfer or Advanced-Standing Applicants

As soon as you decide to apply to transfer to Hofstra, please have your FAFSA information submitted to the Hofstra Law Financial Aid Office. The FAFSA should be submitted by the April 1 deadline for grant, scholarship and Work-Study eligibility. Do not return your FAFSA to the Office of Financial Aid. The FAFSA may be completed online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Be certain to list Hofstra University and include the school code 002732. Do not wait for an offer of admission before submitting the FAFSA. If you delay in submitting the FAFSA and are admitted as a transfer student, there will likely be a delay in receiving your financial aid funds.

Should I notify the director of financial aid at my current school or will Hofstra tell her I have transferred?

After you have been admitted to Hofstra, contact your dean for students and the director of financial aid. These administrators play significant roles to finalize necessary separation paperwork from both the university and lenders.

My loan funds already have been disbursed to my current law school. Can't the financial aid office just mail them to Hofstra?

No, lenders disburse funds to individual schools on behalf of a student. If a student withdraws from the university or transfers to a different university 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.

Will I keep the same interest rate on my educational loans when I change schools?

Yes, the interest rate on federal loans is the same regardless of the school you attend. However, private loan interest rates could vary.

My current lender already mailed a pre-populated loan application to me. Can I use it?

No. After you have been admitted, write the word "cancel" in huge print on the promissory note and return it to the lender. Contact the lender to explain that you've transferred and will submit at a later date a new application.

My current school processes private loans electronically. Can I expect the same at Hofstra?

Perhaps. It depends on the lender. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid for more information.

Be sure to:
If you have not already done so, be sure to request the Department of Education to forward your student profile to Hofstra by adding Hofstra to your FAFSA. Hofstra's school code is 002732.

After you have been admitted to Hofstra Law, request the financial aid administrator at your current school to cancel all of your loans for that academic year.

If you received a Federal Perkins loan during your first year of law school talk with your current financial aid administrator about deferring repayment.

Withdrawing and Academic Leave
How do I withdraw from the Law School if I need to leave before I’ve completed the degree program?

The Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University has developed a procedure for withdrawing from the Law School without completing a program. For more information, please review the withdrawal procedure.

If I take an academic leave, do I have to begin repayment of my loans?

Not immediately. The Federal Direct loan has a grace period of six months and the Federal Perkins loan has a grace period of nine months before repayment begins. Most commercial loan programs also have a nine-month grace period. Federal Direct GradPLUS loans and Federal Direct Consolidation do not have a grace period and repayment begins immediately (however, students may qualify for a deferment or forbearance to temporarily relieve him of his payment responsibility at that time). Therefore, when you take a leave of absence, you may not have to begin to repay your loan until the end of the grace period. If you re-enroll in school at least half-time prior to the end of the loan’s grace period, you will not enter repayment as long as you ensure that your lender knows you have re-enrolled.

Will I lose my scholarship when I return from leave?

When you return from leave, your scholarship will be reinstated under the same terms as the agreement you signed.