Financial Aid Policies for Law Students
for law students
Securing the Aid Offered
The financial aid award notification provides information about the source and amount of financial aid funds that a student has been awarded. Please note that some portion of the offer may require further action by the student to secure the funds offered. The College assumes that students will accept all merit-based scholarships and no further action is required for securing these funds. However, there are additional steps required to secure loan resources.
Note: In order to ensure that financial aid funds are available on the first day of the semester, all steps for securing aid should be completed no later than one month prior to your enrollment.
Students who wish to borrow any of the loan funds offered on the award notification will need to follow the instructions on Securing Your Aid.
Registered students who completely withdraw from all classes after the start of the semester may be eligible for a recalculation of student account charges in accordance with College policy. Students must initiate formal withdrawal in the Law Registrar’s Office in order for this refund calculation to occur. Please refer to the College catalog for specific information regarding withdrawal policies and procedures.
Separate calculations will be done to determine how much institutional and federal aid a student is eligible to retain. Federal regulations may require a recalculation of federal aid eligibility if a student withdraws from, drops, or does not begin scheduled coursework offered in a modular format. Modular courses are those which do not span the length of the semester. In addition, a recalculation of aid eligibility may be required for students who cease enrollment during the course of a semester but who have not gone through the official withdrawal process. Please contact us for additional information on the impact withdrawing from the College will have on financial aid eligibility.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy
Effective July 1, 2012
Students are required to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress and remain in good academic standing to be eligible for federal, state, and institutional financial assistance. In order to be making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), a student must meet both qualitative and quantitative standards that indicate satisfactory progress toward their degree.
The qualitative standard required by the SAP policy is that first year law students must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 1.8. Law students beyond the first year must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0. This standard is measured at the end of each spring semester.
To meet the quantitative standard, a student must maintain a pace of course completion of at least 67%. Pace is federally defined as cumulative hours completed divided by the cumulative hours attempted. Students can attempt no more than 150% of the total number of credits in the program. This standard is measured at the end of each spring semester.
All financial aid recipients will be monitored for compliance with the SAP policy at the end of each spring semester, once spring semester grades have been posted. Both GPA and pace will be measured at that time.
Failure to meet terms of policy
If a student fails to meet terms of policy aid eligibility is rescinded. Students whose aid has been suspended may petition for reinstatement. If a petition is granted, the student is placed on Financial Aid Probation for one semester. The student must then meet terms of policy or be following the agreed upon academic plan at the end of the semester to continue receiving aid.
Based on institutional academic policy, grades for transfer credit do not count toward the student’s cumulative GPA at Lewis & Clark and therefore do not count toward the qualitative component of the SAP policy. Credits accepted for transfer credit by Lewis & Clark will count both as hours earned and hours attempted when calculating the student’s pace of completion to evaluate the quantitative component of the SAP policy.
Unsatisfactory completion of a course
At the time when compliance with the SAP policy is monitored, courses in which grades of W, I, F, No Credit or No Grade are assigned will be counted as credits attempted, but not earned and will affect the pace of completion calculation.
Release of Financial Aid Records & Information
Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) Part 99, federal regulations prohibit the Financial Aid Office staff from discussing financial aid information with other persons (including parents or a spouse) without an enrolled student’s written permission. Personally identifiable information, other than items classified as directory information by the College, is protected. For the purpose of releasing this information to specific individuals, organizations, or agencies, enrolled students are required to sign a release form available in our office or from our website. To protect students’ personal information, when communicating with enrolled students via email, we will only use the student’s Lewis & Clark e-mail address. Additional information regarding FERPA and campus FERPA policies is available in the College catalog and from the Registrar’s Office. Copies of the act can be viewed on the U.S. Department of Education’s website.
Disbursement of Aid
Financial aid will be applied to student accounts and will be used to address charges incurred, such as tuition and fees. Financial aid cannot be applied until the appropriate paperwork has been completed and the funds are received. Aid applied to a student account that 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 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.
Should the information used to determine eligibility for financial aid change, a revision to the financial aid award may be necessary. A revised award notification, which supersedes any previous award notification, 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 Financial Aid Office, even after funds have been disbursed. Examples of situations that may result in a financial aid award revision and should promptly be reported to us include:
Change in enrollment status - If a student changes divisions (Day/Evening) or drops below half-time enrollment, eligibility for aid will be reviewed. A change in cost associated with a change in division enrollment will require a revised financial aid award. Students must be enrolled at least half-time to be considered for Federal Stafford, Perkins, and Grad PLUS Loan funds.
Receipt of additional assistance including external resources - Aid received from sources inside or outside Lewis & Clark such as scholarships, loans, tuition waivers, or educational benefits can impact a student’s eligibility for other aid programs.
Verification changes - The College is required to make corrections to inaccurate information discovered through the verification process and to use the verified information in determining a student’s eligibility for financial aid. Significant corrections to a student’s original information may cause a change in eligibility and result in a revised award notification.
Changes to your FAFSA data – If a student updates or corrects information provided on the FAFSA, it is possible that a financial aid award revision will be necessary. Students may also request that family emergencies such as involuntary job loss or significant unanticipated medical expenses be reviewed to determine if a financial aid award can be revised.
Taxability of Grants & Scholarships
Due to the Tax Reform Act of 1986 (Public Law 99-514), scholarships and grants received in a calendar (as opposed to academic) year by a student in excess of tuition and books (including required equipment and supplies) for that calendar year are subject to federal income tax. The excess amount needs to be reported as income. Earnings from student employment including Federal Work-Study are taxable as wages. Please note that student loans are not covered by these provisions of the tax law. Since students are required to report taxable awards to the IRS as income, they should keep a detailed record of their expenses. Housing and food are considered non-exempt, so scholarships and grants spent on these items are subject to income tax. The College is not responsible for notifying students of the taxable amounts of grants and scholarships. Financial Aid Office staff cannot serve as tax consultants or advisers. Detailed information concerning the taxability of scholarships and grants can be found in IRS Publication 970 Tax Benefits for Education, on www.irs.gov, or by consulting a personal tax adviser.
Student Right to Know
Federal regulations state that all prospective and current students have a right to know specific information about the college they are considering or currently attending. The following table lists a number of topics and where one can obtain the appropriate information at Lewis & Clark College:
General College Information: Course catalog, Law Registrar or Admission Offices, Online – lclark.edu
Financial Aid: Course catalog, Financial Aid Guide, Office of Financial Aid, Online – go.lclark.edu/fao
Refund Policy: Course catalog, Student and Departmental Account Services, Office of Financial Aid, Online – lclark.edu
Completion or Graduation Rates: Law Registrar’s Office, Institutional Research, Online – lclark.edu
Transfer Out Rates: Law Registrar’s Office, Online - law.lclark.edu/offices/registrar
Campus Security Report: Campus Safety Office, Online - lclark.edu/about/campus_safety
Career Exploration, Internships & Job-Hunting Assistance: Law School Career Services and Career Advising, Online - law.lclark.edu/offices/career_services