Understanding Your Award Guide
This page contains important information for law students about your financial aid award, such as how we determined your eligibility for financial assistance, what steps you need to take to process the aid you have been offered, and how that aid will be disbursed to you. Answers to many of your financial aid questions can be found here.
Once we have reviewed the data provided on your FAFSA and any other required documentation, we will prepare your financial aid award. The financial aid award notification gives information about the source and amount of financial aid funds that a student is eligible to receive.
Table of Contents
- Next Steps Checklist
- Determining Eligibility
- Statement of Rights and Responsibilities
- Aid Renewal
- Student Account Information
- Terms and Conditions
- Sources of Assistance
- External Resources
- Work Opportunities
- Loan Programs
|Review this guide.||Before making your admissions deposit|
|Calculate your estimated refund or balance due after financial aid.||Before making your admissions deposit|
|Complete your verification (only if required)||As soon as possible, preferably by April 15, 2023|
Pay your admissions deposit
See admission notification for due date.
|Accept/decline federal student loans through your Self-Service account and complete required loan processing steps on StudentAid.gov. Note: the same deadlines apply if you borrow a private education loan||Before July 1, 2023|
Set up a payment plan with Nelnet if you wish to pay your bill in monthly installments.
|Report external scholarships.||As you are notified of them|
Financial aid assists you with the cost of an education. You don’t have to be in a low-income category to qualify for financial aid. Some students receive aid based on special achievements, while others receive aid based on their demonstrated need. Need is the difference between what it costs to attend a college and what you and your family can afford to pay.
This page includes what rights and responsibilities a financial aid recipient has.
Students may be asked to provide documentation to validate information provided on the aid application through a process called verification. Students who are selected must complete the verification process to confirm their eligibility for aid. Lewis & Clark may require verification to resolve discrepant information provided in the process of applying for aid or prior to consideration of special circumstances.
If selected, you will find a list of the items required to complete verification on your application status page (incoming students) or in your Self-Service account (continuing students).
Should the information used to determine eligibility for financial aid change, the financial aid award may be revised. A revised award notification, which supersedes any previous award notification received by the student, will then be issued. Carefully review any revised award notification to determine if additional action is necessary to secure funding. Changes in awards are subject to availability of funding. Please note that financial aid revisions can occur any time new information is provided to the Office of Financial Aid, even after funds have been disbursed. The following events are examples of situations that should be promptly reported to the Office of Financial Aid, as they may result in a financial aid award revision:
- change in enrollment status
- receipt of additional assistance, including external resources
- verification changes
- student financial changes
Financial aid awards are year specific and students must reapply for assistance on an annual basis. For financial aid purposes, summer is the first semester of the new academic year at Lewis & Clark. Continuing students who wish to be considered for need-based financial aid and/or federal student loans must file a FAFSA with the U.S. Department of Education at FAFSA.gov. The FAFSA becomes available on October 1 and students are encouraged to complete the application process no later than February 15 for priority consideration.
Use the Budget Worksheet to estimate charges and financial aid credits, and it will calculate your estimated account balance in each semester. As you complete the worksheet please note that loan origination fees will be deducted from each loan disbursement. We encourage you to complete a Budget Worksheet annually after receiving your award letter to better understand the distribution of your aid and help you plan your finances for the year ahead.
Lewis & Clark student account activity is made accessible through the Student Account Center. The Student Account Center enables you to retrieve an electronic statement (E-Bill), view live account information, make a payment, select your refund preference, and enroll in the monthly payment plan option.
Disbursing Financial Aid
Financial aid will be applied to student accounts and used to address charges incurred, such as tuition and fees. Financial aid funds cannot be applied until the appropriate paperwork has been completed and the funds are received.
Credit Balance Refunds
Aid applied to a student account which exceeds the amount a student has been charged may be refunded to the student. Refunds will be processed after the first day of classes in each term and only when a credit balance actually exists on a student account. Refunds must be used to cover education-related expenses, such as off-campus living expenses, transportation, and/or books and supplies.
Refer to the Financial Aid Policies webpage for details on the following policies:
- securing the aid offered
- withdrawal policy
- satisfactory academic progress policy
- release of records and information
- disbursement of aid
- taxability of grants and scholarships
- student’s right to know
Scholarships for Incoming Students
The Law School Admissions Committee offers scholarship and grant aid to a significant percentage of the incoming class. Questions about the application process or scholarship amounts should be directed to the Law School Admissions Office. Awards described as renewable do not have grade requirements, but recipients must remain in good standing while enrolled. Renewable awards are also subject to a cap. Refer to your scholarship notification letter for complete details.
Each year fellowships are offered to entering students with academic merit and significant experience in environmental advocacy or research. Fellows receive a grant towards their tuition in the first year, as well as faculty mentoring, access to special programming, and a possible research assistant position in the second or third year of law school.
Scholarships for Continuing Students
A number of scholarships are available to continuing law students. The application process takes place during the spring semester. Please be aware that some scholarships may not be awarded every year.
Tuition Waiver Program
The Tuition Waiver Program is a benefit of employment extended to eligible Lewis & Clark employees, their dependents, and their spouses. Application for this benefit is made through Human Resources.
External resources are funds awarded by an organization other than Lewis & Clark and include scholarships awarded by religious, civic, or other organizations; state and federally funded scholarships or grants not listed in this guide; or tuition benefits received from an employer. Students must notify the Office of Financial Aid of any external resource(s) they will receive in a given academic year regardless of the amount. Notification can be made by submitting a copy of the scholarship letter or using the Report/View Outside Awards section of your Self-Service account.
Inform donors to send scholarship payments directly to the Office of Financial Aid. It is institutional policy to divide scholarship funds equally between the semesters of enrollment. Scholarship donors may request a different distribution of the student’s funds by providing written instructions to the Office of Financial Aid with the scholarship payment. In most cases, receipt of external funding will result in a dollar-for-dollar decrease in the student’s Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan or private loan eligibility. However, in some cases it may be necessary to reduce the amount of a need-based Federal Work-Study award.
Many second and third year law students find working part-time while enrolled to be a beneficial and rewarding aspect of their law school experience. Law Career Services provides resources to help students locate job opportunities in the legal field. To work in some off-campus legal agencies, students must have a Federal Work-Study award.
Many of our students access educational loans in combination with other aid sources and financing strategies to make a Lewis & Clark education possible. These loan programs allow students to borrow against their future earning potential, which research indicates improves with educational attainment.
Important Info on Federal Direct Loans
All first-time borrowers will be required to complete a Federal Direct Loan Master Promissory Note and Entrance Counseling to receive Federal Direct Loan funding. These steps can be completed at StudentAid.gov.
Frequently used financial aid terms and definitions.