Financial Aid and Loans

Introduction to Financial Aid

The term “financial aid” is often used to refer to one or both of two different sources for financing legal education.  One source is scholarships or grants—that is, awards that do not have to be repaid by a student.  A scholarship or grant might be solely need-based, solely merit-based, or a combination of both.

A second source is loans—public or private. 

This page provides you with information about loans. Scholarships and grants information can be found on a separate web page.


Types of Loans: Federal Loans and Loans from Financial Institutions (Private loans)

There are two sources of loans for law students. One is the federal government.  One is financial institutions such as banks. 

Federal loans for law school consist mainly of two loans: Stafford loans, and Grad PLUS loans (these are available if the student has exhausted Stafford fund).  These federal loans have certain parameters and features set by federal law, which are the same for all law students.  These include: qualifying criteria for the borrower, interest rate, loan fee, the fact that the rate is fixed for the loan period, timing for cancellation, and the possibility of income-based repayment.

Educational loans from private financial institutions can vary substantially in their terms and parameters.  To mention just a few differences, a bank might offer a fixed interest rate and a variable interest rate (while the federal loans use only a fixed rate), the interest rate of the loan can differ from lender to lender, and some lenders may offer lower interest rates for those with better credit history.

Federal Loans

Consistent with the legislation that authorized the College of Law, on September 1, 2015 the College of Law moved from being a unit within the UNT System to become a professional school of UNT Dallas. College of Law students are able to access federal loans and aid effective with this merger.   

Evaluating the Option of Private Loan Financing

If you are considering borrowing through a private lender, we encourage you to:

  • Be sure you have exhausted all other possible sources of financial aid.
  • Consider all ways to reduce your expenses before you decide how much to borrow.  
  • Borrow only what you absolutely need.

Loan Counseling

Loan counseling is required before taking out a student loan.  The online loan counseling session provides very useful information and guidance about private loans.  The session covers: private loan basics, private versus federal loans, eligibility, choosing a lender and loan, repayment, and delinquency and default.  If you apply for a private loan to attend the College of Law, you will be notified about how to complete the online loan counseling. 


It is the student’s choice to select: which private lender, amount of educational loan, and the type of educational loan from among those offered by the lender or lenders.  Our Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships will work with any lender you have selected in taking the steps such as certifying cost of attendance, processing, etc.  The Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships adheres to the Code of Conduct as established by the Higher Education Opportunity Act as well as the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators' (NASFAA) Statement of Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct for Institutional Financial Aid Professionals. View the Code at University of North Texas at Dallas Student Financial Aid & Scholarships Code of Conduct.

Here are the basic steps entailed in applying for a private loan.  Please note that this is general information.  More specific information relating to your particular financial aid will appear through the myLaw portal at the appropriate time.

Step 1.  Review the basic background on private loans.
Step 2.  Review different lenders, keeping in mind important questions to ask. 

After you have been admitted to College of Law:

Step 3.  Choose a lender and complete the application to the lender.
Step 4.  Go through and complete on-line loan counseling. (A link to this will appear in your myLaw student portal.)
Step 5.  Review and accept/reduce/cancel the loan. (The information about your loan and the location for taking this step will appear in the myLaw portal.)

Page last modified on September 11, 2015 at 3:48 pm.