A. Financial Aid Office
The Financial Aid Office administers institutional and outside scholarships, federal and non-federal student loans, federal work-study, VA Benefits, MN GI Bill program, MN Indian Scholarship program, and Department of Rehabilitation Service benefits. The Mitchell Hamline Financial Aid website provides information including timely announcements. Students communicate with the office by e-mail, mail, and on a walk-in basis. Appointments are available.
Federal Financial aid eligibility is determined annually by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The Mitchell Hamline FAFSA School code is G02391. FAFSA applications are accepted and processed throughout the year. Federal aid includes the federal work-study program and federal student loans.
Financial aid pays for tuition, fees, books, supplies, and budgeted living expenses. Registration minimums for federal eligibility are 6 credits in the fall or spring or 2 credits in the summer semester.
Academic eligibility for federal financial aid is reviewed after each semester (see the Mitchell Hamline School of Law Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy. Students who do not meet financial aid satisfactory academic standards, which include a 2.2 cumulative GPA (depending on applicable requirement) and/or 60% satisfactory completion of attempted credits, may not be eligible to receive financial aid. Notification of a financial aid eligibility probation, warning or ineligible status can occur at any point in the financial aid cycle. If disbursement has occurred, funds may be withdrawn, and the student billed directly. Disbursement of financial aid items is through student accounts managed by the Finance Office.
B. Cost-of-Attendance (also known as the student’s “budget”)
1. Establishing the Cost-of-Attendance
Each year, the Financial Aid Office establishes a modest and adequate cost-of-attendance budget which includes actual tuition and fees charges, and estimates of books, supplies and living expenses. Financial aid budget details can be viewed on the Financial Aid Office website.
The total cost-of-attendance is the maximum amount of financial aid available to the student. The FAFSA federal application process results in an expected family contribution (EFC) number, which is compared to the student’s total budgeted cost-of-attendance. The difference between the two numbers is the student’s eligibility for “need” based financial aid items. Need based financial aid items will be offered when available. Students will be offered financial aid items equal to the total budgeted cost-of attendance which is the maximum limit for financial aid. A separate, summer cost-of-attendance is established for summer registration. J-term tuition and study abroad program costs are added to the base cost of attendance.
Financial aid availability for Study Abroad/Off-campus is based on the number of credits approved by MHSL Registrar for the course of study (must have at least 6 credits in the fall or spring or 2 in the summer to qualify for financial aid). The Study Abroad financial aid budget is based on estimated and actual costs which are determined by the host school and communicated directly to the MHSL Financial Aid Office. MHSL scholarships cannot be applied to any off-campus program, and are not portable to other schools. Early termination of your study abroad program may result in financial aid repayment. Contact the Financial Aid Office for additional details and instructions.
2. Adjustments to the Cost-of-Attendance
Adjustments to the estimated cost portion of the cost-of-attendance are made on a case-by-case basis when special circumstances are documented and submitted for consideration by the Financial Aid Office. In general, cost-of-attendance adjustments can be made for reasonable childcare expenses, uninsured and non-elective medical expenses, student insurance premiums, and a one-time computer purchase. Adjustments are specific to the semester in which they occur. Request forms for adjustments are available on the Financial Aid Office’s Forms and Additional Resources web page (Cost of Attendance Budget Adjustments web) and must be submitted with detailed documentation. Adjustments to the cost-of-attendance cannot be made for consumer debt, lifestyle choices, moving expenses or other expenses which are not specific to the academic program.
3. Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program
Federal Work-Study program is need based and requires a completed FAFSA Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application to determine eligibility as funds are limited. Earning work-study eligibility replaces federal borrowing eligibility. Work-study must be applied for and approved each year. The academic year for this program begins in summer and continues through the fall and spring semesters. Student must re-apply for work-study for each academic year. On-campus earnings are limited to $6000, off-campus earnings are limited to $8,000. Work-study funds are paid in the form of a paycheck issued through Mitchell Hamline School of Law. To apply for work-study jobs, review on-campus and off-campus job listings in the Career Development Symplicity area of the Mitchell Hamline Web site, or visit the Career Development Office, Room 103. Job listings are most plentiful at the start of each semester. Work-study eligibility may be earned throughout the academic year and does not require current enrollment during the summer. Please contact the Financial Aid Office for further information.
4. Scholarships and Awards
The total value of all on or off campus scholarships, grants, stipends and fellowships cannot total more than the student’s total tuition charges. In the case of a student earning a stipend, the student holding the position may earn a portion or the entire stipend, depending on the individual student’s scholarships. If, for example, a student receives scholarships which equal 100% of a student’s tuition charges, they will not be able to earn any of the stipend. If a student is on 85% scholarship, they will be able to earn the stipend up to the total tuition charges for the academic year. This may or may not be the entire stipend. Scholarships do not pay for student fees.
The law school awards scholarships to entering students. Students retain these scholarships as long as they remain in good academic standing based on the parameters of the admissions letter. Students who do not maintain good academic standing will forfeit their scholarships effective in the fall term following the spring term after grades/rankings are made available. Other scholarships open for application during the academic year will be announced on the website. Newly available scholarships continue to be announced on the website. The total value of all scholarships cannot exceed a student’s tuition costs and are not applicable to student fees. Scholarships are credited to students’ accounts after the add/drop deadline for each semester. Withdrawal from the law school before the end of the semester for which a scholarship was awarded will result in the pro rata reduction of the scholarship.
Fellowships are included in scholarship totals. The total amount of scholarships, grants, and fellowships received cannot exceed a student’s total tuition bill.
7. Outside Scholarships
Throughout the academic year, the law school receives information about scholarships from outside organizations. Scholarship announcements are published on the Financial Aid web page. All scholarship values are counted into financial aid item totals.
8. Student Loans
Mitchell Hamline participates in the federal Department of Education Direct Loan Program. Eligibility for Unsubsidized, and Graduate PLUS federal loan programs requires the annual submission of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The Mitchell Hamline federal school code is G02391. The FAFSA determines the federal loans types a student is eligible to receive. Financial aid must be applied for each academic year which begins in the summer and continues through the fall and spring semesters. No FAFSA application is required for a private non-federal loans borrowed through commercial or state lenders. International students who do not qualify for federal loans may apply for private non-federal loans. The Mitchell Hamline Financial Aid Office will process any loan and assist with any loan application. All borrowing is optional. There is no obligation to borrow any offered loan. Partial loan amounts may be borrowed.
It is the student’s responsibility to complete the appropriate loan applications, promissory notes and any other processing requirements. Complete loan program details including borrower rights and responsibilities are available from lenders. The Federal Direct Loan website is located at studentaid.gov. Early application is encouraged to assure that funds are available no later than the due date established by the Finance and Student Accounts Office. Unpaid student accounts may be assessed late fees, and an academic hold may be placed by the Finance Office if funds are not received in a timely matter. See the Student Finances website for due dates payment plan information.
Federal Direct Lending Unsubsidized Loan
- Non-need based
- $138,500 aggregate maximum
- 7.05% fixed interest rate
- 1.057% loan origination fee
- 6-month principal repayment grace period after, graduation, student leaves school or is less than half time
- No credit check is required
- Unsubsidized loans accrue interest from initial disbursement: $20,500 annual maximum
- All first-time borrowers must complete a Loan Program Entrance Counseling session
- Borrowers who graduate or leave the law school must complete a Loan Program Exit session before their graduation will be certified or transcript will be released.
Federal Direct Lending Grad PLUS loan
- Non-need based
- No aggregate maximum: limit is the cost-of-attendance minus all other aid received
- 8.05% fixed interest rate
- 4.228% loan origination fee
- 6-month principal repayment grace period after, graduation, student leaves school or is less than half time
- Direct Lending credit approval is required. If the loan is credit denied, it is the student’s responsibility to follow up with the lender. The Direct Lending program borrower assistance number is 1.800.557.7394.
- Interest accrues from initial disbursement
Private Educational Loans
Students may wish to apply for private educational loans which provide funds for J.D. and LL.M students, international students, and for bar study.
Emergency Loan Fund (ESLs)
Emergency Student Loans (ESLs) are short-term no interest loans used for extraordinary financial circumstances that may arise during a student’s enrollment at the law school. Extraordinary circumstances are those that create a financial hardship that cannot be alleviated by alternative funding options. The Financial Aid Director reviews all ESL requests. For more information on ESLs, contact the Financial Aid department at firstname.lastname@example.org. Emergency Student Loans have a $25 processing fee.
9. Other Funding Sources
VA Benefits are processed through the Mitchell Hamline Financial Aid Office. Contact the office for guidance with your benefits. In accordance with Title 38 US Code 3679 subsection (e) of the Veterans Benefits and Transition Act of 2018, Mitchell Hamline School of Law will not impose a penalty on any student using veterans education benefits under Chapter 31 (Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment) or Chapter 33 (Post 9/11 Education Benefit) because of the individual’s inability to meet his or her financial obligations to the institution due to the delayed disbursement of funding from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
MN GI Bill is administered through the Financial Aid Office. Eligibility is determined by application through the Minnesota Department of Higher Education.
MN Indian Scholarship program is administered through the Financial Aid Office. Eligibility is determined by application through the Minnesota Department of Higher Education.
10. Enrollment Certification
The Law school verifies a student’s enrollment to outside interested parties for a variety of reasons. These include deferment of educational loans, insurance, and certification of enrollment status for third-party funding (e.g. VA benefits, employer reimbursement). For these verifications the Law school uses the following definitions:
Fall and Spring Semesters
- Minimum Full-time enrollment: 12 or more credits
- Minimum Half-time enrollment: 6 credits
- Less than half-time enrollment: 1 – 5 credits
- Full-time enrollment: 4 – 8 credits
- Half-time enrollment: 2 credits
- Less than half-time enrollment: 1 credit
The above credit levels apply to enrollment verification only and may not be the definition for tuition billing levels. The levels for tuition billing can be found on the Student Finances website. Some federal and private loan deferment eligibility requires halftime enrollment as defined by the above credit criteria.
Federal loan eligibility requires at least half time enrollment.
11. Deferment of Existing Student Loan Payments
The law school reports student enrollment electronically to the National Student Loan Clearinghouse starting 2 weeks after the start of the summer semester and continuing throughout the academic year. The start date reported is the first date of the semester. The Clearinghouse updates lender(s) with student enrollment level so lender(s) can determine eligibility for deferring loans.
Students with private non-federal loans or who have previously borrowed federal loans and are not currently borrowing federal loans should contact the Financial Aid office for in-school deferment forms.
A student who accepts financial aid, registers for classes, and does not withdraw or begin classes is not eligible to receive financial aid.
C. Study Abroad Programs and Financial Aid
Financial aid availability for Study Abroad/Off-campus programs during summer, fall or spring is based on the number of credits approved by MHSL Registrar for the course of study. Fall or spring semesters require a minimum of 6 credits, summer requires 2 credits. J-term study abroad financial aid eligibility has no credit minimum but requires 6 credit minimum registration in either the preceding fall or following spring semester. The Study Abroad financial aid budget is based on estimated and actual costs for the program which are determined by the host school and communicated directly to the MHSL Financial Aid Office. MHSL scholarships cannot be applied to any study abroad program charges and are not portable to other schools. Early termination of your study abroad program may result in financial aid repayment. Please contact the Financial Aid Office for additional details and instructions.
D. Return of Financial Aid
A student who withdraws from school or decreases their enrollment status may receive a decrease in the institutional charges as well as a reversal of a portion/all of their financial aid, depending on timing. See Tuition and Title IV Refunds for more information.
E. Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy
Federal financial aid regulations require all students who receive Title IV federal financial aid and/or Minnesota Office of Higher Education (OHE) funds to maintain good academic standing and a satisfactory pace in the progress toward their degree. These regulations apply to all attempted coursework including coursework for which the student did not receive financial aid. A student who does not meet Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress standards (FA SAP) may lose federal and or state financial aid eligibility, but may regain eligibility when the standards are again met, or with an approved appeal.
For the full text of this important policy, see the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy on the Financial Aid Office website.