Law Financial Aid

USF ID Number

In order to better assist law students and reply to your financial aid inquiries in a timely manner, please be sure to include your USF ID Number in any email inquiries to the Law Financial Aid Office.  In addition, any requests to update your financial aid record should come directly from your USF email account. We cannot process any requests for assistance sent from your personal email accounts.

Health Insurance for Fall 2021

All USF students are required to have insurance. To insure this mandate, USF will automatically bill and enroll all students in University sponsored health insurance. If you are currently on a comparable plan or plan to be on one during the upcoming academic year, you can apply for a waiver of the USF health insurance. The waiver period for the Fall 2021 is from June 6 through September 1.  There are no exceptions to the wavier period.  Information and an online application to waive the University sponsored health insurance fee can be found on the USF Health Promotions web site.  They can be reached by phone 415-422-5797 or email at hps@usfca.edu Please note that if you apply for a waiver during the Fall 2021 waiver period and are approved, you do not need to do it again for the Spring 2022 as a waiver approved during the Fall waiver period will also apply for the Spring.  Please do not contact the USF Student Accounts Office to inquire about a waiver as those request are handled by the Health Promotions Services Office.

Important Information for 2L, 3L and 4L Part Time Students Regarding Add/Drop

Add/Drop began on Thursday, August 19, 2021, AFTER you may have already been processed for a Fall 2021 semester financial aid refund.  Adjustments to your financial aid may be necessary if any of the following situations occur during Add/Drop:

  • If you were offered and “accepted” the maximum financial aid award for part time students but you were registered for less than the expected unit load for the Fall semester as of August 13, your aid refund may have been in excess of your anticipated cost of living expenses for the Fall semester. If you are not planning on adding any additional units, you will be required to return the excess financial aid awarded to you since you cannot receive aid for units that you are not registered for.
  • If you Add a class AFTER your refund has been processed, you will be immediately billed for the additional units. You will need to submit a payment with personal funds to pay for the additional units (or make a personal payment using the funds you received as a refund).  If you are already receiving the maximum financial aid for the semester prior to the addition of your added class, you can request additional financial aid to cover the cost of the additional units. For more information, please contact Eufemia Aquino, Assistant Director of Financial Aid at eaquino@usfca.edu or call 415.422.6210.
  • If you Drop a class AFTER your refund has been processed, with the intention of adding another class with the same unit value, you must Add and Drop on the same day, otherwise the tuition for the Dropped class will be noted as a credit on your USF student account and it may be inadvertently refunded to you if you don’t Add a class on the same day as the Drop. If the Added class has a higher unit value than the Dropped class, the additional unit(s) will create a balance due on your account, which must be paid with personal funds (or make a personal payment using the funds you received as a refund). 
  • If you Drop a class AFTER your refund has been processed, and you do NOT intend to add another class, you will create a credit on your USF student account. You must notify the Law Financial Aid Office immediately by contacting Eufemia Aquino.   Otherwise you will inadvertently be issued a refund for this credit, which you will be required to repay the University since you are not eligible to receive financial aid for this dropped class.

Important:  The Law Financial Aid Office will conduct an audit of all Part Time students' financial aid records after the September 13 census date (last day to withdraw and qualify for prorated financial aid).  If your financial aid for the Fall semester is not appropriate for the unit load you are registered for, we will make the necessary adjustments to your aid and you will be notified via email.  Please remember that any over-award (receiving financial aid in excess of your unit load), will result in the USF Student Accounts Office returning those funds to the lender and creating a balance due on your USF student account. 
 
It is critically important that you review your student account after the census date to insure that your account is reconciled.  Any unpaid balance will result in late fees assessed on your student account and a Hold placed on your student record, which will prevent you from registering for the Spring semester.  You can review your student account online via your myUSF student portal.
 

Fall 2021 Semester Loan Deferment Information

All USF students who borrow funds from the federal government are eligible to receive loan repayment deferments while enrolled in law school at least half-time.  The University Registrar will send class registration confirmation to the National Student Loan Clearinghouse in mid-September AFTER our law school census date (last date to withdraw with partial tuition refund).  This Clearinghouse is used by all lenders to confirm your registration for the academic year.  No additional forms are needed for you to complete to receive loan repayment deferments for the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan and Graduate PLUS Loan.

Fall 2021 Financial Aid Disbursement Date

The Disbursement date is the earliest possible date that funds from both federal and private sources can be sent to the University each semester.  Funds are sent electronically by each provider in two equal installments, once each semester. Federal regulations require that aid be disbursed no earlier than approximately one week before the start of each term. Scholarship funds are also disbursed at the same time federal and private loan funds are disbursed.

The earliest scheduled disbursement date for both federal and private sources for the Fall 2021 was Friday, August 13, 2021.

Once funds disburse, your fall semester bill is paid off and any remaining funds left over after your bill is paid, is refunded to you.  Aid will continue to be disbursed throughout each semester as individual student financial aid files become complete later in the term and/or additional federal or private loan applications are processed and approved.

As an FYI, the earliest disbursement date for the Spring 2022 semester will be Monday, January 3, 2022.

Fall 2021 Excess Aid Refund Process

If your total financial aid exceeds your tuition bill, you will be refunded any excess aid funds once your aid disburses and after your tuition bill is paid. Your excess aid funds should be used to cover your cost of living expenses (food, rent, etc.) for the semester.  The refund process typically begins the next day AFTER funds are disbursed. 

Refunds are sent electronically to your bank account as long as you have signed up for the direct deposit refund process. If you have not signed up for direct deposit refund process, a paper check refund will be made available to you.

IMPORTANT: The disbursement date is NOT the date you receive the excess funds in your bank account.  Direct deposit refunds are typically received in your bank account 3-5 business days AFTER the aid funds have been disbursed to your University student account, depending on your banking institution. 

A paper check refund is typically made available 10-15 business days AFTER the aid funds have disbursed to the University. Refunds as a result of an overpayment from a personal check may take up to 15 business days to process.

If you are already enrolled in direct deposit, you do NOT need to re-enroll. Please be sure however, that your assigned bank account on file is still active by viewing the information online via your MyUSF student portal.

If you are relying on a refund for living expenses including the purchase of your books, food, etc., please plan accordingly. The USF Student Accounts Office will make every effort to insure that you receive your refund in a timely manner, but there can be unanticipated delays due to excessive refund processing as the University processes aid refunds for all USF students around the same time.

Please note that the earliest that a student can expect to receive a direct deposit aid refund in their bank account may not be until the week of August 23. Be sure to plan your finances accordingly for the beginning of the semester as aid refunds may not be available until the first week of classes.

The direct deposit refund process is the quickest way to receive excess aid funds for living expenses.  It is highly recommended that you sign up for this refund process.  If you are not enrolled in direct deposit refund processing, the enrollment information is noted below.   Online Instructions.
•    Log on to MyUSF.
•    Click on the link for “Student Self Service”
•    Click on the "Student Account" link and then "Direct Deposit Authorization" to enter the requested information.

You may update or change your direct deposit information at any time. Once you enroll, please allow 5 business days for your bank account to be verified and the direct deposit process to be activated. Any excess aid funds after tuition is paid will be processed as a paper check refund if direct deposit is not activated.

Applying for Financial Aid for the Fall 2021/Spring 2022

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA, for the Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 academic year is now available online at https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa.  All students who wish to receive financial aid for the 2021-22 academic year are required to complete the new 2021-22 FAFSA at www.studentaid.gov.  Our Title IV code is 001325 and must be included in your FAFSA application.  Financial Aid award notification for the Fall 2021/Spring 2022 began in mid-April for current students who have completed a 2021-22 FAFSA. You will be notified via email. Award information will be available to view online via your myUSF student portal.

The FAFSA should be completed as soon as possible in order to receive the maximum financial aid consideration for 2021-22 or no later than April 1, 2022.
 
Financial aid awards for the 2021-22 academic year were made available to continuing law students around mid-March as long as the 2021-22 FAFSA was completed and USF received your FAFSA information by the priority date of March 1, 2021.  You were be sent an email notification at that time by the University Financial Aid Office indicating that you could review your financial aid award online via your myUSF online student portal.

IMPORTANT: The 2021-22 FAFSA can be completed after March 1, and you will still be able to receive federal educational loan aid for this upcoming year. However, delaying completing your FAFSA will affect when you receive your award notice as well as your eligibility for Federal Work Study.

Upcoming Private Scholarship Deadlines   

Independence Foundation Legal Fellowship Program
The Independence Foundation is a private, not-for-profit philanthropic organization located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, serving Philadelphia and its surrounding counties.  The Foundation is specifically interested in addressing the need for legal aid and assistance to the disadvantaged.  In order to help to meet this need, in 1996 the Foundation established the Independence Foundation Public Interest Law Fellowship Program.  Independence Foundation Public Interest Law Fellowships provide support for law school graduates, outgoing judicial law clerks and attorneys who are currently employed and who want to work in the public interest for a legal services organization that qualifies as a 501(c)(3) organization and provides legal services to individuals who are disadvantaged, including the elderly, the disabled, the homeless or those deprived of their civil or human rights.
Deadline: 9/21/2021
Amount: varies

Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. Law School Diversity Scholarship and Application (Diversity)
Applicant is a member of an ethnic, racial, or other minority or any individual who demonstrates a defined commitment to issues ofdiversity within their community; Applicant is a U.S. citizen currently attending an addredited law school within the U.S.; Academic achievement as reflected by a minimum 3.0 GPA and at least on semester of classes completed at an accredited law school.
Deadline: 10/1/2021
Amount: $1,000

Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. Disability Scholarship and Application (Disabled Student)
The Disability Scholarship was established in 2014 as part of the law firm’s commitment to helping students with disabilities or injuries who are in need of financial assistance for educational purposes.  The scholarship is available to students of any age, with any type of disability, including but not limited to physical disabilities, medical conditions, mental or psychiatric conditions, speech and language, learning disabilities, behavioral conditions, and all other conditions.
Deadline: 10/1/2021
Amount: $1,000

GAR Disability Advocates Law School Scholarship (Disabled Student)
At GAR Disability Advocates, we believe that everyone, regardless of background or social status, is entitled to high-quality legal representation to fight for their rights. In order to fulfill the need for high-quality lawyers and legal professionals in the workforce, we are committed to helping students in need to afford higher education. To help more students who are passionate about law pursue a degree, we are sponsoring an annual scholarship, awarded to one law student, to be put toward their law school costs.
Deadline: 10/15/2020
Amount: $1,000

HBH Diversity Scholarship
Hartog, Baer and Hand (HBH) is pleased to announce the creation of an annual Diversity Scholarship. The scholarship is a one-time award of $5,000. The scholarship will be given to a law student from an underrepresented community who is from or resides in Contra Costa or Alameda County, or is interested in practicing law in Contra Costa or Alameda County after graduation.
Deadline: 10/31/2021
Amount: $5,000

Answering Legal Scholarship
Answering Legal’s Future Attorneys of America Scholarship is dedicated in choosing one law student, of academic excellence, every year and awarding them with the FAAS merit scholarship.  We consider it a great honor to be able to support law students who show ambition, perseverance, and of course, merit in their studies, in the legal community and in their lives.
Deadline: 11/5/2021
Amount: TBD

Emery Reddy, PLLC Scholarships 
Emery Reddy is proud to announce its fifth annual round of scholarships. Each year we offer financial assistance to students earning degrees in the legal field.  Scholarships are open to all applicants who are attending or accepted into an accredited college or university within the United States; winners will be required to provide proof of enrollment and good standing upon selection.
Deadline: 11/30/2021
Amount: $2,500