Need-Based Grant

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The AUWCL Office of Financial Aid offers a limited number of need-based grants to qualifying full-time JD students who plan to utilize federal loans to pay for law school. Grants are available to U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens as defined by federal criteria. Full-tuition scholarship recipients are not eligible to apply. 

Eligibility for the need-based grant is determined by analyzing data from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA - March 1 deadline1), along with other institutional financial aid and/or external resources. While we do not expect parents to contribute to law school, historical financial aid information from the FAFSA is reviewed for all applicants regardless of age, marital status or dependents in order to gain a sense of the socioeconomic background the student is coming from and to gauge systemic need. This is most commonly demonstrated by receipt of a full federal Pell Grant during undergraduate studies.

Grant recipients must maintain full-time enrollment (12 credits per fall/spring semester), comply with program rules, and are limited to three years of support. Recipients must utilize their full Direct Stafford Loan eligibility ($20,500) each year to be considered for the need-based grant, and the AUWCL Financial Aid Office will revoke grants for students who do not exhaust their full Direct Stafford Loan eligibility.  For those who qualify, the annual award maximum is $15,000.

Prospective AUWCL students will have the opportunity to submit supplemental information via a separate Need-Based Aid Application in early March (see How to Apply for more information).

Currently enrolled 1L and 2L full-time JD students should refer to the email from sent on 2/21/2024 regarding the FAFSA deadline. Should further information be required for need-based grant consideration, we will notify you directly.

The deadline to complete the AUWCL Institutional Need-Based Aid Application is 3pm (EDT) on March 15, 2024. A link to submit the application will be emailed to full-time JD applicants in the first week of March.2 

Additionally, incoming students who wish to be considered for a Need-Based Grant should submit the FAFSA by March 1.1 Funding is limited and priority consideration is given to qualifying admitted students that meet the March 1 deadline.

Please Note: The FAFSA and the AUWCL Institutional Need-Based Aid Application can be submitted prior to an admissions decision in order to meet the respective deadlines. However, need-based funding is limited and priority is given to prospective students admitted by the March 15 deadline. Students admitted after the March 15 deadline will only be reviewed at a later date if funding allows.

IMPORTANT: The following application steps are for prospective (incoming) full-time JD students only.

Step One: Before the March 1 deadline1, the student applicant is required to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online and select American University title IV code 001434. Parent information is not required on the FAFSA; however, you may wish to include this data if there has been a significant change in parental income since your undergraduate studies. Applicants with circumstances that are not represented on their FAFSA and/or by their financial aid history must email prior to the March 1 deadline for information regarding the appeals process. 

Step Two: A link to submit the AUWCL Institutional Need-Based Aid Application will be emailed to full-time JD applicants in the first week of March.2 The deadline to complete this application is 3pm (EDT) on March 15, 2024.  

Step Three: Incoming JD grant recipients are notified via email beginning in April.

1 If you are unable to meet the March 1 deadline, be sure to submit your FAFSA as soon as possible. Due to 2024-2025 FAFSA processing delays, students who meet the March 15 AUWCL Institutional Need-Based Aid Application deadline and submit the FAFSA after March 1 will be considered as funding allows. Please note: If you have already submitted your 2024-2025 FAFSA but did not include American University’s school code, you will need to update your FAFSA to add American University after your FAFSA is processed by the Department of Education in March.

2 If you applied for admission to the full-time JD program by March 1 and believe you are eligible but have not received an email by March 8, 2024 with a link to complete the AUWCL Institutional Need-Based Aid Application, please double check your spam/junk folder, then email for assistance.