Cost of Attendance
We recognize that students come from different backgrounds, experiences and lifestyles; however, the student educational Cost of Attendance (budget) reflects a modest lifestyle. Students may not borrow in excess of the approved budget; however, there are certain, but limited, instances when a student’s budget can be increased to accommodate expenses. The Office of Student Financial Services (OSFS) may consider a budget adjustment once appropriate documentation is reviewed and approved. Examples of legitimate educational expenses include:
- Computer purchase – A one-time allowance up to $2,000. The computer must be purchased first from a retail or online retail store.
- Dependent Care – Students with dependent children may request funds to assist with expenses associated with child care.
- Bar Exam Expenses – Third year law students may request a one-time budget increase for expenses paid to take one bar exam. This does not include bar exam preparation.
Each of these expenses would need to be accounted for, with proper documentation, by submitting the OSFS Special Circumstance Form (2012-2013 from will be available after July 1, 2012). To secure funding for the aforementioned budget increases, you have the following options:
- Utilize any remaining Federal Direct Loan money available to you (regardless of budget adjustment, the maximum Stafford Loan eligibility for the year is $20,500)
- Request the Federal Graduate PLUS Loan
- Apply for a private education loan of your choice
Expenses Not Covered
Federal regulations state that the student budget must only include education-related expenses. Examples of items that will not be considered in the budget are:
- Consumer Debt – The budget will not allow for any debt such as monthly credit card payments. We encourage students to pay off all credit card debt before starting law school. The OSFS cannot make allowances for credit card debt.
- Attire – The cost of a professional wardrobe cannot be considered for a budget adjustment.
- Bar Preparation Expenses – Bar preparation expenses are not allowed in the student budget. However, many lenders offer private student loans to law students that will assist with paying for the expenses of a bar preparation course and living expenses associated with taking a bar exam after graduation (see Bar Study Loan link on the left taskbar). Employers may also pay bar exam-related expenses for their future employees.
- Other expenses – Daily living expenses related to spouse or children cannot be included (with the exception of child care costs). Car purchase and moving expenses are additional examples of expenses that cannot be considered for budget adjustment.