Applying for Financial Aid

All students must complete the Federal Direct Loan application process to receive funding. These forms are due to our office by May 1, for returning students. The deadline for new students is registration. MSL cannot process any additional requests after April 15 for the current year. The financial aid application process for the Federal Direct Loan program at the Massachusetts School of Law involves submitting:

1. Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

The FAFSA is required of all students applying for financial aid. You will need to fill out a FAFSA (or renewal FAFSA) for each year you attend MSL. MSL’s FAFSA code is 032353.  Once completed, the Department of Education will forward the school an electronic copy of your records for use in verifying your eligibility.  Please review this copy for completion and errors.

New for the 2012-2013 academic year will be the IRS Data Retrieval Option on the FAFSA. We are strongly encouraging students to choose this option when completing the FAFSA if you are eligible to do so. If you complete and submit your federal tax return to the IRS prior to completing the FAFSA, utilizing this option will pull the data from your return into the FAFSA. Please do not use your parent’s information – As a Graduate Student you are considered an Independent Student.

If on the FAFSA you listed your tax return status as “will file” because you had not yet filed a return, you can amend your FAFSA by logging back in and changing this status to “already filed” and update all relevant income fields and select the IRS Data Retrieval option once you have actually submitted a federal tax return to the IRS.

To successfully use this option you must:

  • Have a federal tax return filed with the IRS (electronically filed tax returns will have data available in 1-2 weeks; paper tax returns will have data available in 6-8 weeks)
  • Have a valid social security number
  • Have a FAFSA PIN

You will be unable to use this option if:

  • Your marital status changes after the end of the tax year on December 31, 2011
  • You filed married, filing separately
  • You filed an amended tax return
  • You filed a foreign tax return

If you are not eligible to use this option for any of the reasons listed above, you may need to submit a tax transcript to the Financial Aid Office – we will contact you if this is necessary and will provide you with the steps to make this request with the IRS. DO NOT REQUEST A TRANSCRIPT UNLESS WE INSTRUCT YOU TO DO SO. DO NOT SUBMIT A PAPER COPY OF YOUR TAX RETURN; WE CAN NO LONGER ACCEPT THIS DOCUMENT.


2. Entrance Counseling

First-time financial aid borrowers at MSL must  complete entrance counseling which can be completed  through Confirmation of completion for  this document will be sent automatically to the school. An Entrance Counseling must be received before the Office of Financial Aid will initiate your loan request.


3. Master Promissory Note

First-time financial aid borrowers at MSL must also complete  a Master Promissory Note, which can be completed at Confirmation of completion of this  document will be sent automatically to the school. An MPN must be received before Direct Loans will disburse your fund request to the school.  The origination fee is 1% and the interest rate is 6.8%.


4. MPN2

You will NEED to determine the amount you wish to borrow for the academic year. The MPN2 form must be received before the Office of Financial Aid will initiate your loan request.


5. Form 3

This form gathers your past history of all financial aid received.

6. Budget

While you’re in school you will have to fill out a budget in order to receive a loan.  The reason for this requirement is to guide you – as to how much debt you could safely afford.  Please provide MSL with a copy of your budget.


7. Copy of your Driver’s License

8. Copy of Social Security card or Valid US Passport

9. Additional documents might be needed for your Massachusetts School Law financial aid file

All students requesting financial aid are required to submit additional documentation, if requested.  Students should exhaust their full eligibility in federal loans before resorting to a private loan.  Federal loans may have more beneficial terms (including consolidation, loan cancellation/forgiveness, a fixed interest rate) than the private loans available.  Should you choose to borrow a private education loan instead of the Federal Graduate PLUS Loan, please be aware you must contact your lender directly to initiate the loan and inform MSL’s financial aid office.

Check your status!

Returning students can check what’s still needed and what’s been received by sending an email to Lynn Bowab.

Incoming students can check what’s still needed and what’s been received by sending an email to  Kathy Perry.


If any information is missing, your financial aid packet can’t be processed. If you do not understand any part of the financial aid process, please contact  Kathy Perry. The financial aid process must be completed in full by the first day of class to avoid interest charges and fees. Please note:  Please mail, fax, email, or drop off your forms!


Federal Graduate PLUS Loan:

Please note that Grad PLUS loans (as well as private loans) are credit-based; inclusion of this loan amount on your award letter does not mean the loan has yet been approved, certified or applied to your account.  Credit review is done by Direct Loans; if you are not approved for the Grad PLUS loan based on your own credit, you will receive a notification from Direct Loans regarding obtaining an endorser for the loan. The origination fee is 4% and the interest rate is 8.5%.

Please follow these steps to complete a request for a Graduate Plus Loan

* You must have a current FASFA for the Academic Year, in which you are applying for the Graduate Plus Loan.

* You must have an up to date financial aid file with all paperwork completed (FASFA form, form 3, budget, drivers license, Social Security card  or passport).

* Please make sure you have turned in to Lynn or Kathy the MPN2 form indicating the amount you with to borrow – Please note: No requests can be processed after April 30.

*  You must have a completed Graduate Plus Entrance session at studentloans,gov

(Please note: you may have already completed this step when you applied for the Stafford Loan)

* You must complete a Graduate Plus application request through the following website  if your application is approved you have completed the process. If your application was denied and you intend on resubmitting your application with an endorse, please continue to step 6.

* If you are resubmitting your application with an approved endorser please provide MSL (Lynn or Kathy) with the following information: Endorser’s Name, Date of Approval and Loan ID Number.


Privacy Act Disclosure Notice

The Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a) requires that the following notice be provided to you. The authority for collecting the information requested on this form is §451 et sec. of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended. Your disclosure of this information is voluntary. However, if you do not provide this information, you cannot be considered for a Direct PLUS Loan. The information on this form will be used to determine your eligibility for a Direct PLUS Loan. The information in your file may be disclosed to third parties as authorized under routine uses in the Privacy Act notices called “Title IV Program Files” (originally published on April 12, 1994, Federal Register Vol. 59 p.17351) “National Student Loan Data System: (originally published on December 20, 1994. Federal Register Vol. 59 p. 65532). Thus, this information may be disclosed to federal and state agencies, private parties such as relatives, present and former employers and creditors, and contractors of the Department of Education for purposes of administration of the student financial assistance program, for enforcement purposes, for litigation where such disclosure is compatible with the purposes for which the records were collected, for use by federal, state, local or foreign agencies in connection with employment matters or the insurance of a license, grant, or other benefit, for use in any employee grievance or discipline proceeding in which the Federal Government is a party, for use in connection with audits or other investigations, for research purposes, for purposes of determining whether particular records are required to be disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act, and to a Member of Congress in response to an inquiry from the congressional office made at your written request.

Because we request your social security number (SSN), we must inform you that we collect your SSN on a voluntary basis, but section 484(a)(4) of the HEA (20 U.S.C. 1091(a)(4)) provides that, in order to receive any grant, loan, or work assistance under Title IV of the HEA, a student must provide his or her SSN. Your SSN is used to verify your identity, and as an account number (identifier) throughout the life of your loan(s) so that data may be recorded accurately.

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