Financial Aid FAQ
- How do I accept my award on BanWeb?
Upon successfully logging onto the GWeb Information System using your GWid and PIN (http://banweb.gwu.edu), please complete the following steps:
- Click the link to "Financial Aid Menu".
- Click the link to "My Award Information".
- Click the link to "Award by Aid Year".
- Select the appropriate year and click "Submit".
- Click the "Award Overview" tab to view your financial aid awards.
- Click the "Accept Award Offer" tab to "accept" or "decline" each of the awards listed.
- You may reduce the amounts offered using the drop-down box.
Note: Your responses will update the GW Law database in real time.
- If I have been awarded a merit scholarship and do not want any loans, what do I need to do?
Your merit award should be reflected on BanWeb under the Award Overview Tab. As long as the scholarship status is accepted, you need not take any action.
- What is the status of my loan?
Students should be able to view the status of their loan applications on www.studentaid.gov soon after completing their MPNs. Once the University Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA) originates loans to the Department of Education, students will be able to review the status of their loans on BanWeb as well.
- How can I see my student account eBill?
Log in through BanWeb using your GWID and PIN.
- Click on "Student Records and Registration." Click on "Student Accounts Menu."
- Select "Student Account eBill."
- Once in the system you can select eBills to view your Statement of Account. Call Student Accounts (202.994.7350) with any questions about your bill.
- Sign-up authorized users, such as Parents or Guardians, whom you want to grant access to view and pay your Student Account eBill.
- Enter your banking information to send payments via ACH and receive refunds via ACH.
- Opt-in to receive text messages.
Note: Paper bills will not be mailed to you.
- How do I sign up for the monthly payment plan?
If you are interested in enrolling in the monthly payment plan, please visit: https://studentaccounts.gwu.
edu/monthly-payment-plan. If enrolled in the plan, payments are due on the 10th of each month in July through October for the Fall semester, December through March for the spring semester and April through June for the summer semester. Families enrolling in the payment plan after the first payment is due will need to make up previous months’ payments. Students receiving federal, commercial, and/or alternative loans may not utilize the monthly payment plan.
- How does the seat deposit affect my refund?
Incoming students will see a higher credit balance in the fall semester than the spring semester due to the credit posted for the seat deposit. All seat deposits are credited in the fall.
- When will I get my refund?
Refunds of funds paid to your student account in excess of tuition are processed during the first week of classes. If you have accepted your financial aid award by August 1 you will see a credit balance appear on your GW student account during the first or second day of classes. This assumes that you have completed your Federal Entrance Counseling, signed master promissory notes[MPNs], and have approved GradPLUS credit on www.studentaid.gov, AND are registered for the correct number of hours, AND do not have any holds on your GW student account). If you have set up direct deposit by following the instructions here, you may expect funds to post to your personal bank account within 3-5 days of disbursement to your GW student student account.
- What if I did not accept enough of my federal loan eligibility?
You have until the last day of your semester exams to complete a Loan Increase Form (available on the GW Law intranet financial aid page) and request more federal loan funding up to your total cost of attendance minus all other financial aid.
- What if I have undergraduate and/or graduate student loans? Can I defer them while I’m in law school?
Yes. If you have federal student loans from college or graduate school, you may defer repayment of those loans while you are in law school. Students’ enrollment is reported to the National Clearinghouse by the University Registrar’s Office approximately 45 days after the start of classes. National Clearinghouse is a database visited by servicers of federal and private student loans to obtain enrollment information about their borrowers. You may also obtain a deferment form from your lender(s) prior to the start of law school from their websites.
Note: If you have a prior Federal Perkins Loan, contact the school servicing the loan to request a deferment. Many colleges and universities awarding Federal Perkins Loans do not use the National Clearinghouse to obtain enrollment records. Every year we see at least one law student who has trouble obtaining other federal loans because they did not maintain contact with their Perkins Loan lender and thus inadvertently allowed the loan to go into default status.
- Why has there been a change in my need-based grant?
GW Law need-based grants are based on need as documented in the CSS Profile form and/or FAFSA that you must submit annually. GW Law need-based grants may be adjusted by the GW Law Financial Aid Office (LFAO) if there is a change in need due to a change on the FAFSA or Profile, or the receipt of other aid, such as a merit scholarship by GW Law, or any other aid, such as employee benefits or AmeriCorps payments. GW Law need-based grants may only be applied to tuition charges.
Example: Full-time student receives aid at the beginning of the year for the maximum COA. She receives a merit scholarship, a small need-based grant, the full Stafford loan, and the rest of COA comes from a GradPLUS loan. In November, LFAO is notified that the student will receive a $10,000 Jack Kent Cooke Foundation award for the year. The student would be over-awarded aid for the year by that $10,000, so something’s got to give. LFAO would consider reducing/revoking the need-based grant and reducing the GradPLUS loan, or, depending on amounts and circumstances, reduce only the GradPLUS loan.
- Are GW Law need-based grants guaranteed for all three years?
No. Students must re-apply annually for consideration of our very limited need-based funds. Transfer students, international students and students with merit based scholarships exceeding $15,999 are ineligible for GW Law need-based grants. Applications must be refiled annually.
- Do I need to complete a CSS Profile form every year to be considered for a GW Law need-based grant?
Yes. Your financial situation may change from year to year. LFAO needs to document and analyze need on an annual basis in order to determine need-based awards. Students must also submit the GW Law Financial Aid Request form as mentioned above, and the FAFSA, as grant recipients must borrow the full Federal Direct Stafford loan.
- How do I satisfy GW’s immunization requirement?
Your spring financial aid will not disburse unless you have submitted required immunization documentation to the university. Please contact the Student Health Services Office for more information about required immunizations at: [email protected] or via phone at: (202)994-6827.
- What if I have external tuition benefits?
If you will be receiving any type of external benefits, please request an External Tuition Benefits Form from LFAO. All benefits may potentially result in a change to your financial aid award.
- Does changing my number of my semester credit hours affect my financial aid?
Yes. Any change from full-time to part-time or vice versa affects your eligibility for loans and may affect your institutional funding (merit scholarships and need-based grants). Students must notify LFAO of any change in enrollment. Students who are part-time must also notify LFAO of any change in the number of credit hours enrolled. Full-time students not enrolled in full-time hours will not have any institutional or federal aid disbursement until registered for full-time hours. If you have questions about the number of credits needed to be full-time or part-time please contact the Law Records Office at [email protected].
- If I lose my merit scholarship due to a reduction in enrollment, exclusion from the law school, or some other reason, can I get it back?
No. Once lost, the merit scholarship cannot be reinstated.
- If I don't get a merit scholarship as a first year student, but do very well academically, can I be considered for a scholarship my second or third year?
No. If you receive a merit scholarship as an incoming first-year student, you keep it for three years of law study (provided you do not lose it through failure to maintain satisfactory academic progress or some other misadventure).
- Can I increase my COA for moving costs or cost of warmer clothing (if I'm from the West Coast)?
No. You can request increases for the purchase of a laptop computer, for out-of-pocket medical expenses incurred during the academic year, for dependent child care costs, and for loan origination fees, with appropriate documentation.
- Can I live within GW's Cost of Attendance limits?
The Law Financial Aid Office sets a maximum on all financial aid, including commercial and federal education loans. You must budget carefully to live within this constraint. Even though your actual expenses may be more than the standard cost of attendance (COA) established for financial aid purposes, your total financial aid for the academic year (scholarships, need-based grants, and education loans) is still limited to GW Law’s published COA, established for the academic year. Expenses exceeding the standard COA cannot be covered with additional education loans, or any other forms of financial aid.
Unless you are enrolled at least half-time during the summer session at GW Law (or elsewhere with permission), financial aid is not available for summer expenses. The amount of aid you can borrow (GW Law scholarships and grants are not available for summer study) cannot exceed the stated COA for the specific summer program chosen.
Costs not allowed in the financial aid budget must be paid with a source other than financial aid. Revolving credit, car payments, and costs of maintaining a pet are typical expenses students seek to cover with loans. Unfortunately, our COA is not meant to cover them. You will be limiting your ability to meet academic year cost of living in the DC area if you try to stretch your living expense monthly allowance for costs like these. We encourage you to pay down credit card debt as much as possible now, before you start school. Make arrangements to leave the car behind—most students don’t need a car in Washington, with its extensive public transportation system.
- How will my credit affect my ability to borrow loans?
Lenders of non-federal education loans and Federal GradPLUS Loans review your credit report. If a report contains negative financial information (whether or not in error) and/or a low credit score, a loan may be denied by the lender, regardless of eligibility certified by a financial aid office. In this case, a qualified cosigner or endorser will most likely be required. A cosigner must have a satisfactory credit history and score, and a debt-to-income ratio capable of supporting the new loan in addition to pre-existing debt. The option to borrow a loan with a cosigner usually follows a loan credit denial. You may appeal a credit denial on a loan; our students often appeal successfully. Even if your loan credit application is approved by a lender after having been denied, chances are strong that any future applications will always be denied. This just means you will need to appeal the decisions each time, including re-signing promissory notes.
There are three main credit reporting agencies:
Equifax 800-685-1111; http://www.equifax.com
Experian/TRW 888-397-3742; http://www.experian.com
Transunion 800-888-4213; http://www.transunion.com
You may obtain a copy of one or all three credit reports free once a year as mandated by the Fair Credit Reporting Act from www.annualcreditreport.com or 877-322-8228. We advise all applicants to obtain a copy of at least one credit report immediately. It is imperative you ascertain if your credit reports contain errors/derogatory information in time to make any necessary corrections, or to begin the process of repairing any damage to your credit rating.
- How can I borrow less?
It is important to think about your budget and how much loan money you really need for law school. Assuming that every $1 borrowed, repaid over 20 years at 7.9% interest, results in $1 of interest costs, then every dollar not borrowed saves $2. Living with roommates is a good way to cut down on costs, as is preparing food at home. If you can get to campus on foot or by bicycle at least some of the time, you can cut back on transportation costs. GW Law School is located in a high-temptation shopping area, with designer coffee/pastry shops galore! Shun them! The old adage still holds true: If you borrow in order to live like a lawyer now, you may very well end up living like a student later.
- Are my repayment expectations realistic?
At an estimated interest rate of 7.5%, educational debt of $100,000 would be repaid at the rate of about $1,187 per month for 10 years, or $739 per month for 25 years. The total amount repaid (including the $100,000 principal) would be about $142,442 for 10 years, or $ $221,697 for 25 years.
There are many online calculators to help predict how much your student loans will cost you in repayment, and to plan for successful repayment before you borrow. Some can be found at www.studentaid.gov. We encourage you to try others on Internet.
- Does GW Law have a Loan Repayment Assistance Program?
Yes, alumni in qualifying public service employment may be eligible for assistance in repaying their federal and private student loans obtained during study at GW Law. For more information visit: Loan Repayment Assistance Program.