Applying for Aid
The majority of Maine Law students finance their education through a combination of federal and private loans and scholarships.
Law students apply for financial aid through the University of Southern Maine's Student Financial Aid Office. Students are encouraged to apply for aid as early as possible after January 1st. Students applying for admission to the first-year class should apply before February 15th (do not wait for an admissions decision to apply for aid). This will enable the Financial Aid Office to determine eligibility before the non-refundable tuition deposit is due.
To apply for financial aid, students must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA can be filed electronically at the FAFSA web site. The FAFSA includes detailed instructions for completion. Applicants to the University of Maine School of Law must list the University of Southern Maine school code of 009762 on the FAFSA. Note: Graduate and professional students are considered self-supporting for federal financial aid purposes. Thus, parental income/asset information is not considered in determining your financial need.
The Financial Aid Office will notify accepted students by mail of their financial aid award. For specific questions regarding your financial aid, contact USM's Financial Aid Office at (207) 780-5250.
General Eligibility Requirements for Federal Financial Aid
Students must meet the following requirements in order to receive federal financial aid:
- Be a U.S. Citizen or eligible non-citizen with a valid social security number
- Accepted into a degree program
- Enrolled at least half-time
- Maintain satisfactory academic progress
- Not in default on any prior federal education loan, nor owe money on a federal grant
- Registered with Selective Service (if male)
- Not convicted under federal or state law of sale or possession of drugs
Financial aid is not available to international students. International students need to provide proof of financial ability to pay for tuition and living expenses.
International students are considered for Maine Law scholarships.
While many outside grants, scholarships, and loans for study in the United States are limited to U.S. citizens, there are sources of financial aid available for foreign students. Students admitted to our program are often successful in securing outside funding. Sources to consider include financial support from current employers (law firms, companies, government agencies, and universities), from a range of government and private scholarships such as Fulbright, Muskie, Amideast, DAAD, BAEF, SOROS, and Rotary, and loan programs in one's home country. A special educational loan program for non-permanent U.S. residents or citizens is offered by the Global Student Loan Corporation. Other resource information may be found through Edupass: The Smart Guide to Studying in the United States or FINAID, the most comprehensive annotated collection of information about student financial aid on the web.
Types of Loans
Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loans: Federally insured loans that are unsubsidized totaling $20,500 of eligibility annually for qualified borrowers.
Private Loans: Private loans may be borrowed up to the student's total budget (including tuition, fees, room & board, etc.) minus all other financial assistance they are receiving. A number of private loan programs are available with funding eligibility up to the cost of education as determined annually by the university. These loan programs are generally based on creditworthiness.
Federal Direct PLUS Loans (Grad Plus Loan): Graduate students, law students, and parents of dependent undergraduate students may borrow a Direct PLUS loan to help cover the student's college costs. A student's dependency status and cost of education are determined using U.S. Department of Education criteria. Learn more about the program.
Additional Law School Aid Programs
Federal Work-Study Employment Program: Federal subsidized program which enables students to earn money through employment in the University community. Law students often hold jobs in the Law Library or in administrative offices.
Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP): Instituted in 2004, the Maine Law Loan Repayment Assistance Program supports recent University of Maine School of Law graduates in law-related public interest careers (excluding judicial clerkships and academic positions) by assisting them in the repayment of their educational debt.
Veterans Educational Benefits
The University of Maine School of Law is approved by the State Approving Agency for Veterans Education Benefits for veterans and dependents of veterans under various chapters of the United States Code. A student planning to enter the Law School under any of these laws should file an application with the Veterans Administration as early as possible in order that it may be approved before the student begins law study. Information and assistance is available through the Office of the Registrar, University of Maine School of Law, Portland, ME, 04102, (207) 780-4363.
Computer Purchase Program
A one-time budget allowance of up to $2000 is available to law students for the purchase of a personal computer (desktop or laptop) that meets the School of Law’s minimum specifications.
All students seeking to borrow money for a personal computer are required to complete the Personal Computer Cost Review Form. This form should be returned to:
Assistant Director of Financial Aid
University of Southern Maine
96 Falmouth Street
Portland, ME 04102
Offers of financial aid are conditional upon receipt of funds from all funding sources. The Office of Student Financial Aid reserves the right to revise offers of financial aid at any time during the year based on availability of funds or changes in regulations or procedures mandated by University, state, or federal authorities.
Additional information regarding financial aid programs, policies, and procedures may be obtained from the Student Financial Aid Office, 107 Bailey Hall, University of Southern Maine, Gorham, ME 04038, (207) 780-5250.