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Tuition and Financial Aid

Federal Student Loans and Work Study

Federal Direct Student Loan

The Federal Direct Student Loan Program offers unsubsidized loans to graduate students. Eligibility for the unsubsidized Student Loan is not based on financial need; students are responsible for interest that accrues on the loan from the time the loan funds are disbursed until the loan is repaid in full. You may choose to pay the interest while you are in school to reduce your final repayment amount. Otherwise, you may choose to capitalize the interest, which means to defer interest payments while enrolled in school and let the accrued interest be added to the loan principal, thus increasing the amount that must be repaid.

Terms

Annual Borrowing Limit – Graduate students may borrow up to $20,500 each academic year.

Aggregate Borrowing Limit – Graduate students may borrow up to an aggregate total of $138,500 including undergraduate loan amounts. Interest rates - The interest rate on Federal Direct Student loans is fixed at 6.8%.

Origination Fee - An Origination Fee of 1% will be charged. The fee goes to the federal government to help reduce the cost of the loans.

Repayment – Federal Direct Student Loan repayment begins six months after you graduate, or are no longer enrolled at least half-time.

Master Promissory Note - If you are borrowing a Federal Direct Student Loan for the first time, you must complete a Master Promissory Note online. The Master Promissory Note that you sign will be used for all of your subsequent Federal Direct Student Loans at Vermont Law School. You will not need to sign a new promissory note for each academic year, nor will you sign a new note if you decide to change the amount of your Direct Loan.

Disclosure Statements - The Master Promissory Note does not list the amount of your loans. When each loan is disbursed you will receive a Disclosure Statement from the U. S. Dept. of Education listing the amounts and types of your Direct Loans. You will receive a new Disclosure Statement for each new loan that you borrow, and if any changes are made to the amount of your loans. Be sure to keep your Disclosure Statements as a record of the loans you have received at Vermont Law School.

Entrance Counseling – If this is the first time that you have borrowed a Federal Direct Student Loan at Vermont Law School, you are required to complete an Entrance Counseling Session to inform you of your rights and responsibilities as a borrower. Your loan funds will not be disbursed to the Law School until you have fulfilled this requirement. The Entrance Counseling Session may be completed online.


Federal Grad PLUS Loan

The Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan is a non-need based loan that allows the student to borrow up to the cost of attendance less all other financial aid received. In order to be eligible, the student borrower must not have an adverse credit history.

Terms

Annual Borrowing Limit – Graduate students may borrow up to the cost of attendance minus all other financial aid received including Federal Direct Student and Private Educational Loans.

Aggregate Borrowing Limit – None.

Interest rates - The interest rate is fixed at 7.9%. Interest starts accruing on this loan at the time of disbursement.

Origination Fee - An Origination Fee of 4% will be charged. The fee goes to the federal government to help reduce the cost of the loans.

Credit Check - Borrower cannot have an adverse credit history. Adverse credit is defined as being 90 days or more delinquent on any debt, having a credit report that shows bankruptcy, default, discharge, foreclosure, repossession, tax lien, wage garnishment or write off of a Title IV debt during the 5 years preceding the date of the credit report. Lack of credit history or insufficient credit history is not considered adverse credit. The student can apply with an endorser (co-signer) whose credit history will be considered.

Repayment – Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan repayment can be delayed until six months after you graduate, or are no longer enrolled at least half-time.

Master Promissory Note - If you are borrowing a Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan for the first time, you must complete a Master Promissory Note online. The Master Promissory Note that you sign will be used for all of your subsequent Direct Grad PLUS Loans at the Law School. You will not need to sign a new promissory note for each academic year nor will you sign a new note if you decide to change the amount of your Direct Loan.

Disclosure Statements - The Master Promissory Note does not list the amount of your loans. When each loan is disbursed you will receive a Disclosure Statement from the U. S. Dept. of Education listing the amounts and types of your Direct Loans. You will receive a new Disclosure Statement for each new loan that you borrow, and if any changes are made to the amount of your loans. Be sure to keep your Disclosure Statements as a record of the loans you have received at the Law School.

Entrance Counseling – If this is the first time that you have borrowed Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loans, you are required to complete an Entrance Counseling Session to inform you of your rights and responsibilities as a borrower. Your loan funds will not be disbursed to the Law School until you have fulfilled this requirement. The Entrance Counseling Session may be completed online.


Private Educational Loans

There are a variety of private education loan programs available. These loans are also known as alternative loans. Interest rates, repayment terms and credit criteria vary from lender to lender. We strongly encourage you to consider borrowing through the Federal Direct Loan Program (Federal Direct Unsubsidized Student Loan and Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan) before you decide to borrow a private education loan.

The interest rates on the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Student Loan and the Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan are fixed at 6.8% and 7.9% respectively. The interest rate on private education loans are variable, adjusting over the life of the loan. Although these variable interest rates may be low now, they may exceed the fixed interest rates of the federal loans over time.

Private education loans cannot be consolidated with federal student loans into a Federal Consolidation Loan. Unlike federal student loans, private education loans are not eligible for loan forgiveness under the Income Based Repayment Plan. Student’s may not borrow additional private educational loan funds if they are borrowing the maximum eligible amount of Federal loan funds (Unsubsidized and Grad PLUS).


Federal Perkins Loan

The federal Perkins loan program is a limited, revolving source of loan funds offered through VLS and the Federal government. Funds for this program are from prior recipients repaying their loans. These low interest loans are intended to help financially needy students pay for education. Perkins loans carry a fixed 5% interest rate for the life of the loan and are subsidized, which means interest does not accrue on the loan until you enter repayment. Due to limited funding, funds from the Perkins Loan are awarded to the financially neediest students and who file their FAFSA by the priority date of March 1st. Repayment begins 9 months after graduation or when enrollment drops below half-time. Repayment is over 10 years, but can be extended up to 25 years depending on the repayment plan a student chooses. The average award for a Perkins loan is $6,000 annually.


Federal Work Study Program

Federal Work Study (FWS) is a beneficial resource-not only because it can help to offset student loan debt, but also because it can enhance your résumé. Most positions are available on campus, and there are a limited number of work study opportunities with various non-profit organizations in the area. Students awarded work study as part of their financial aid package and are limited to no more than 20 hour per week during the semester. The average award is $1,500 per term. First year JD students are not eligible for work study on the recommendation of the ABA.