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 only. The institutional application is offered free-of-charge and must be completed electronically on an annual basis. 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. 

Parental information is required of every applicant for need-based grant support. Applications without parental information will not be considered unless approved by the AUWCL Financial Aid Office. Applicants with extenuating circumstances must email finaid@wcl.american.edu prior to the March 1 deadline. 

While we do not expect parents to contribute to law school, the application requires this information 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, which is most commonly demonstrated by receipt of a full federal Pell Grant during undergraduate studies. Eligibility for the need-based grant is determined by analyzing income and asset information, along with other institutional financial aid and/or external resources.  

The need-based aid application is not required for consideration of merit scholarships offered through the AUWCL Office of Admissions and/or federal student loans through the Department of Education.

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 Stafford loan eligibility.  For those who qualify, the annual award maximum is $15,000.

The need-based grant application deadline is March 1 (steps outlined below) and must be completed must be completed annually. Need-based grant applications can be submitted prior to an admissions decision to meet the application deadline; do not wait for an offer of admission to apply.

Late applications will only be reviewed if funding is available. 

Please note: the 2021-2022 application is closed and no further submissions will be accepted.  The 2022-2023 application will open in December 2021. 

Before you begin, you will need your federal taxes to answer application questions. The application for fall 2022/spring 2023 requires your 2020 federal taxes.

The information submitted on the application is confidential and secure. Only the particular user has access to submit and view their data. In other words, student applicants cannot see the parent data and vice versa.

Step One: Before March 1, 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. 

Step Two: Before March 1, the student applicant completes their section of the AUWCL Need-Based Aid Application online. Detailed instructions are found on the application. Parental information is required of every applicant for need-based grant support. Applications without parental information will not be considered unless approved by the AUWCL Financial Aid Office. Applicants with extenuating circumstances must email finaid@wcl.american.edu prior to the March 1 deadline. 

Step Three: The submitted student application sends a secure email to the parent email address granting them access so they can complete their section. The email will be sent by finaid@wcl.american.edu. Please note that valid email addresses must be used or the application will be considered incomplete.

Step Four: Parent completes and submits their section of the application. Detailed instructions are found on the application. All sections of the application, student and parent, must show as “submitted” by the March 1 deadline in order to receive grant consideration.

Step Five: The AUWCL Financial Aid Office reviews the completed application to determine need-based grant eligibility. Additional information, including non-custodial parent data, if applicable, may be requested during the review process. Recipients are notified via email in mid-March (incoming JD students) and in June/July (continuing JD students).

First-time users of the institutional application will create a login. Current AUWCL students must use their AU credentials. Prospective/admitted students can use a personal email account to create their login and then will submit their application either using their AUID or LSAC number. Parents will use the email address given on the student application. Valid email addresses are required.

Once you submit information on the AUWCL Need-Based Aid Application, it cannot be updated and you will need to notify the AUWCL Financial Aid Office of any necessary changes in writing to finaid@wcl.american.edu.

Completed applications can be printed after submission; however, you can only print your section that you completed.

Student applicants can confirm the status of individual sections after logging in to their application account.

For more information on the grant process, please email finaid@wcl.american.edu.