How to Prepare Financially for Law School
Develop a Budget
Now that you will be a student again, prepare yourself for living on a much tighter budget. Review the Cost of Attendance, or Student Budgets, from the Office of Financial Aid website to see the allowance for living expenses.
Pay Down Consumer Debt
Financial aid budgets can’t take into account consumer debt payments, so eliminating any monthly payments before you enter law school is a smart idea. Also, try to avoid purchasing any “big ticket” items that will require monthly payments while attending law school. Paying off as much as possible and saving money now will make life easier when you are in school. And, could allow you to borrow less and save on interest charges.
Check your Credit
Most educational loans require a credit check. If you need to borrow a loan for your tuition and/or living costs, reviewing your credit report early allows more time to improve your credit score or to correct erroneous information. Paying your bills on-time and reducing your debt will help increase your credit score. You can obtain your credit report from all three national credit reporting agencies for free once a year here.
Research Scholarship Opportunities
The Office of Financial Aid posts scholarships on the Suffolk Law website as they become available. A number of organizations offer free scholarship search engines, like FinAid, College Board, and Fastweb. Don’t forget to pursue any tuition benefits available through your employer and any scholarships offered by civic organizations to which you or your family may belong. Remember, scholarship searches should be free; never pay any site or company that “guarantees” money. The only guarantee is that you will be out your hard earned money!
Apply On-time for Financial Aid
The priority filing date for Suffolk University Law School is March 1st each year for new students entering in the fall. To apply for federal student loans, file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).