Q: What forms does an applicant have to fill out in order to receive financial aid at the University of South Carolina?
A: Applicants must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is available online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. When completing the FAFSA, be sure to include University of South Carolina as a school that you list to receive your information. The federal school code is 003448. The priority deadline for filing the FAFSA is April 1.
Q: What kind of federal financial aid is available to first year law students?
A: First year law students can receive a maximum of $18,500 per year from the Stafford loan program. Up to $8500 of this loan may be subsidized (interest does not accrue while in school). The interest rate is currently fixed at 6.8%. You must have a signed Master Promissory Note on file with your lender before the loan funds can be disbursed to the University. Your lender will contact you regarding the Master Promissory Note process. The Stafford loan will be processed by the financial aid office upon receipt of your FAFSA.
Law students can also apply for additional funds under the Graduate/Professional PLUS loan program, with a fixed interest rate of 8.5%. Students can receive such loans up to the cost of attendance (student budget) minus the amount of other financial aid received. Eligibility for the Graduate/Professional PLUS loan is determined by an applicant's credit history. To apply for the PLUS loan, visit www.sc.edu/financialaid.
Q: Does everyone receive the subsidized loan?
A: Not everyone qualifies for the full $8,500 subsidized loan. It is known as a "need-based" aid program, and eligibility is determined by the results of your FAFSA. In the event that the borrower does not qualify for the subsidized loan, he/she may borrow the full $18,500 in an unsubsidized loan.
Q: What about private loans?
A: Many lenders offer private educational loans. The interest rate is usually variable, and may be higher than the fixed interest rate available through the Stafford and Graduate/Professional PLUS loan program. Students can receive private loans up to the cost of attendance (student budget) minus the amount of other financial aid received. Eligibility is determined by an applicant's credit history. For more information on applying for private loans, visit www.sc.edu/financialaid.
Q: How do I check the status of my financial aid application?
A: Financial aid application status is available on VIP (vip.sc.edu).
Q: Who should I contact if I have questions about financial aid?
A: Financial aid for law students is processed by the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships (803.777.8134), located at 1714 College Street, across from the Moore School of Business. The answers to the most common financial aid questions can be found in the information provided on our website (www.sc.edu/financialaid). If you have questions concerning law school scholarships, please contact our Assistant Dean for Admissions, Lewis Hutchison (Email).