FAQs, Tips, and Glossary

FAQs, Tips and Glossary

Thank you for your interest in attending Yale Law School. Below you will find helpful information and resources about the financial aid process at Yale Law School, including how to apply, understanding the financial aid process, paying your bills and getting your money, and other helpful hints and tips. For more information, email financialaid.law@yale.edu.

What is the deadline to apply for financial aid?

There is no hard deadline to apply for financial aid at Yale Law School. The FAFSA applications opens each year on October 1, and the FAAST application will open in February. We recommend that applicants complete each application as soon as the application(s) become available or after the student is admitted to YLS. We recommend that current students complete the applications by April 15.

What forms do I need to fill out to apply?

U.S. Citizens: FAFSA (application for federal student loans) and FAAST (application for YLS need-based grants)

Non-U.S. Citizens: International Students can now log onto FAAST to complete the financial aid application

What is Yale Law School’s code for the FAFSA?


I did not get financial aid as an undergraduate – should I still apply?

Yes, you should still apply. Yale Law School uses different formulas for determining financial aid than undergraduate schools, so you may qualify.

My parents do not support me. Do I still have to submit their financial information?

If you are applying for loans only, you do not need to submit parental information.  If, however, you think COAP may be in your future, you should submit parental information so that we can determine the parent contribution.  Otherwise, only the Unit Loan will be COAP eligible. If you choose to apply for grants and you are age 28 or younger, you do need to submit parental information on the FAAST form. We ask for this information because we base our grants on your individual financial situation, including, to some extent, family resources. Please note: we look at family resources differently (and usually to a lesser extent) than most undergraduate institutions. We also take individual circumstances into account, so please be sure to include all relevant information.

My offer includes an "expected parental contribution," but my parents do not plan to contribute. What can I do?

You may apply for an additional student loan to replace the expected parental contribution that is included in your financial aid award. Such loans are eligible for coverage under our loan forgiveness program (COAP).

Is there a separate application for merit or other scholarships?

No. Yale Law School financial aid is need-based – in other words, we give loans and grants (scholarships) based on your financial situation. You should consider applying for outside scholarships – they can significantly reduce the amount of loans you will need.

View additional scholarships that are available in the Outside Scholarship section.

If I have not completed my tax return yet, how can I submit the FAFSA and FAAST applications?

You should estimate the information to the best of your ability and then follow up by sending a copy of your tax return to the Financial Aid Office once it has been filed with the IRS.

When should I expect to receive my financial aid offer letter?

Incoming students, who have received their formal letter of acceptance, should expect to receive your financial aid offer within 3-4 weeks of submitting your FAFSA and FAAST applications.

Once I receive the offer letter, what do I need to do to get my financial aid?

Your offer letter will include detailed instructions, but in general, you will need to select your student loans and fill out additional Yale Law School forms by May 15, 2024 to accept your grant and loans.

How do I choose a student loan?

Choosing what types of student loans to borrow can be confusing and we are happy to discuss the different options with you. There are several types of loans available and the most common types for Yale Law students are the Federal Direct Unsubsidized loans and Federal Direct GradPLUS loans. Since Yale University participates exclusively in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan program there is only one lender, the Department of Education. Since there are special federal loan forgiveness programs that are only available for federal loans, we encourage students to choose federal loans. There are also private loans available and you are free to select the lender of your choice. No matter what loan you choose, you should become fully informed of the terms of each type of loan and your obligations for repayment.

When is the first tuition payment due?

Tuition bills will be posted electronically on July 1st. Tuition for the fall semester is due in full by July 31.

How is financial aid paid and when it is paid?

Financial aid (including loans and grants) is electronically deposited into your student account. One half of the total amount is disbursed (deposited) each semester. For example, if you apply for $20,000 in student loans, $10,000 (minus applicable loan origination fees) will be disbursed ten days before the fall semester begins; the remaining $10,000 (minus applicable loan origination fees) will be disbursed ten days before the spring semester begins.

How do I use my financial aid to pay my tuition? Do I need to pay tuition and then get reimbursed?

No. Once you have submitted all of your financial aid forms, your loans and grants will appear on your bill as an “anticipated credit.” If your financial aid covers your entire bill, you will not have to send a payment. If your financial aid only covers a portion of your bill, you will need to pay the balance due by the deadline.

How do I use financial aid to pay for things other than tuition, like my living expenses?

One half of your financial aid (loans and grants) will be deposited into your student account ten days prior to the start of the semester. These funds will first be used to pay your tuition bill. If your financial aid award is more than the cost of tuition, you will be able to request a refund for the extra funds from your student account ten days before the semester begins. You can then use this money for living expenses, books, etc. When you are preparing your budget, please remember that fall semester is slightly longer (September – December) than spring semester (January – May), so plan accordingly.

How do I request a refund from my student account?

You can request a refund from your student account electronically through the Yale Hub website ten days before the semester begins. You will get your money faster if you sign up for direct deposit (the money will go directly from your student account into your checking account). Instructions about how to sign up for direct deposit are available on the Yale Hub.

Be sure to submit your FAFSA and FAAST forms soon after early February for incoming students. Please read all of the materials that you receive. Keep copies of all of your financial aid applications and all materials that you receive. Do not forget that you will not be able to access your financial aid funds until ten days before the first day of classes. Please make arrangements to cover your expenses until that time. Please let the Financial Aid Office know if anything changes. If you have questions, call, stop by or email the Financial Aid Office – we are here to help!

Contact Informmation

Email: financialaid.law@yale.edu

Telephone: (203) 432-1688

Fax: (203) 436-9771

  • It is your ethical obligation to inform the Financial Aid Office of any changes to your financial situation.
  • Keep copies of all of your financial aid applications and forms.
  • You do not need to borrow the full amount of loans included in your offer letter. Please consider your budget and only borrow the amount you think you will realistically need.
  • Keep an account of how much you have borrowed each year, and be aware of your anticipated monthly payments. It is important that you know what your payments will be before you take out additional loans because that will increase your monthly debt.
  • Carefully read all of the documents that you sign and verify the accuracy of all the information you provide.
  • Review your credit record for accuracy. Even if you pay your bills on time, inaccurate information could be used to deny you credit. We strongly suggest that you obtain a copy of your credit report, review it for accuracy and dispute erroneous information promptly to avoid delays in obtaining your student loans.
  • If you have a serious medical condition, you may want to consider tuition insurance.

Accrued Interest: Interest that accumulates on the loan and is paid by the borrower.

Capitalization of Fees and Interest: When fees and accrued interest on a loan are “capitalized” they are added to the principal balance. The interest becomes part of the principal balance and begin to accrue interest.

COAP: The Career Options Assistance Program (COAP) is available to all graduates of Yale Law School within ten years of graduation. This is a loan forgiveness/repayment program to assist graduates who take lower-paying jobs in any field.

Co-signer: A co-signer on a loan assumes responsibility for the loan if the borrower should fail to repay it.

Consolidation: Combining several loans into a single loan at a weighted average interest rate to reduce the monthly payment amount and/or increase the repayment period. Most federal loans may be consolidated after graduation.

Default: The failure of a borrower either to make installment payments when due or to comply with other terms of the promissory note.

Deferment: A period during which the repayment of the principal amount of the loan is suspended as a result of the borrower’s meeting one of the requirements established by law and/or contained in the promissory note. During this period, the borrower may or may not have to pay interest on the loan. Deferments are often granted if the borrower continues to be a full-time student in another program after graduation from law school.

Deferred Interest: Interest that accrues, but on which payment is delayed until a later date. Such deferred (accrued) interest may be capitalized.

Delinquent: A borrower who has failed to make one or more scheduled payments by the due dates.

Disbursement: The release of loan funds to the school for delivery to the borrower. Disbursements are usually made in two equal installments directly to the school.

Forbearance: An agreement to accept a temporary cessation of loan payments, smaller payments than were previously scheduled, or an extension of time for making payments. Forbearance may be given for circumstances not covered by deferment that adversely affect the borrower’s ability to meet loan payment obligations, such as economic hardship.

Grace period: Specified period of time between the date a student graduates or drops below half-time status and the date loan repayment begins. Grant: A grant is a gift from the Law School to help defray the cost of tuition, which does not have to be repaid.

Interest: A charge for the use of money. Interest is calculated as a percentage of the loan principal. The interest rate charged can be fixed, which means it does not change over the life of the loan, or the rate can be variable, in which case, it changes periodically.

Loan: A loan is a type of financial aid, which must be repaid, with interest.

Need-Based Financial Aid: Need-based financial aid is determined by the student’s financial resources and ability to pay for their education. When the amount they are able to pay is subtracted from the cost of education, the difference is the student’s financial need. This need is usually met with federal loans, private loans, and/or Law School grants.

Need-Blind Admission: The Law School decides whether to make an offer of admission to a student without considering the student’s financial situation.

Principal: Principal refers to the total amount borrowed plus any capitalized fees and interest.

Promissory Note: A legal document signed by the borrower, and co-signer if required, when obtaining a loan. It lists the conditions under which the loan is made and the terms under which the borrower agrees to repay the loan. You should keep copies of your promissory notes so you know what you agreed to for each loan.