Applying for & Accepting Financial Aid

Applying for Aid

Once you've reviewed the Cost of Attendance and Funding Options pages, your next step is to apply for the appropriate financial aid that fits you and your needs. Please review the materials below to see if there is anything else you need to do.

Federal Financial Aid

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    Federal Financial Aid Process

    We will begin creating financial aid packages for incoming students once we have received your FAFSA. In order to receive federal financial aid, there are a few steps you must complete. Steps 1 & 2 must be done in order for us to create a financial aid package. 

    1. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as early as October 1st for the following year's aid.
      • Detroit Mercy Law Federal Code: 002323
    2. Receive and review your Student Aid Report (SAR)
      • If you provided an email address on your FAFSA, you will receive this via email. If you don't see it check your SPAM/Junk folder. 
      • Carefully review the information on the SAR and follow the directions for making corrections, if required.
      • If your SAR states that you have been selected for verification, please contact the Law School Financial Aid Office as soon as you can so that we can begin collecting the required materials. 
    3. Receive and review your award notification
      • Expect to receive your award notification by email when your financial aid file becomes complete. The emails will be sent to official Detroit Mercy student email accounts. Students will use My Portal to access student account information, including financial aid awards. 
      • You can "accept", "decline", or "modify" the amount of federal aid offered. If you have questions on how to do this or the amounts offered to you, please reach out.
    4. Complete Additional Federal Student Loan Requirements at
      • Entrance Counseling:
        • If you have not previously received federal student loans at the graduate/professional level, the Federal government requires you to complete entrance counseling to ensure that you understand the responsibilities and obligations you are assuming.
        • If you have previously received federal student loans but have not received them at Detroit Mercy Law, we encourage students to complete the counseling again. Terms may have changed since you last completed the graduate level entrance counseling.
      • PLUS Credit Counseling 
        • PLUS credit counseling is required if the U.S. Department of Education has informed you that you have adverse credit history and you have either obtained an endorser or documented extenuating circumstances to the satisfaction of the U.S. Department of Education.
      • Loan Agreement(s) - also known as Master Promissory Note (MPN)
        • The Master Promissory Note is a legal document in which you promise to repay your loan(s) and any accrued interest and fees to the U.S. Department of Education. It also explains the terms and conditions of your loan(s). 
        • There are separate loan agreements for the Direct Unsubsidized Loan and for the Graduate PLUS loan. If you think you will be taking out both, please do both.
    5. Request for Additional Information
      • Some applications require that additional information be submitted and reviewed before it is complete. Please respond promptly to all requests.

    If you are thinking about using federal financial aid, you are encouraged to begin the process BEFORE you have been admitted to the School of Law; funds are not committed until you officially enroll. 


    Helpful Hints for Federal Aid

    Read and follow directions carefully on your FAFSA. Failure to do so may cost you time in processing and could delay your financial aid award.

    • Complete your FAFSA as early as October 1. The sooner you complete the FAFSA the easier it will be to resolve any issues.
    • University of Detroit Mercy Federal School Code is 002323
    • Your parents can help you do your FAFSA but you should be doing the FAFSA yourself.
    • As a law student you are considered to be Independent in terms of your FAFSA even if you are living with family or under your parents' insurance.
    • Detroit Mercy Law does not require your parents' tax information.
    • You will use your prior-prior year (PPY) information on your FAFSA. In other words, if you are completing the FAFSA for the 2021-22 academic year, you will use your tax information for 2019.
    • If possible, use the IRS retrieval tool to prefill some of the questions in the FAFSA. This will save you time and may reduce the likelihood that you will be selected for verification.
    • If you are selected for verification, you will need to submit additional materials such as an IRS Tax Return Transcript or proof of a high school degree.
    • Respond immediately to all follow-up requests.
    • Master Promissory Notes and Entrance Counseling - the U.S. Department of Education Federal Direct Loan Program will begin transmitting the 2021-22 documents to the University of Detroit Mercy around July 1. These items will continue to show as "missing" or incomplete on your student account until then.
      • We expect to receive the bulk of the records by July 15. If your student account shows that those items are still missing after July 15, please contact the Law Financial Aid Office
    • The FAFSA asks questions about your enrollment status for the 2021-22 school year. Make sure that you indicate that you will be pursuing a graduate/professional degree. 

    Accepting Your Federal Financial Aid

    Students may accept all or a portion of their federal financial aid by following the steps below.
    1. Log in to My Portal

    2. Choose Self Service Student Profile

    3. Click on Financial Aid in the left column

    4. On the Financial Aid landing page, if you have any missing requirements for financial aid you will see them listed. Please take care of these right away and if you have any questions, reach out.

    5. Next, choose Award Offer Tab

    6. Review the Cost of Attendance - this includes direct and indirect costs

    7. Scroll to the bottom of the page you will see the financial aid offered to you.

    8. You can accept, modify, or reject the federal student aid as is appropriate for you and your budget.


    Using Federal Financial Aid for Living Expenses

    The majority of our students do not work during their first year of law school and many of our students use loans to cover their indirect expenses, such as books and supplies, rent, utilities, and transportation expenses. 

    Students will typically receive the refunds the Friday before classes begin if all of their financial aid requirements are complete.

    To be prepared, students should expect to use personal funds to purchase books so that you have these prior to the start of classes. If you are having financial difficulties and this is not possible, please contact the Law Financial Aid Office. 

    Students who change their enrollment or who are receiving outside aid are reminded that they need to notify Law Financial Aid so that any necessary revisions may be made in a timely manner. Failure to notify the Financial Aid Office of changes may result in delays in refunds and/or adjustments in the refund amount.


    Calculating Your US Federal Loan Needs

    Often times students don't want to take out the maximum in loans that they are eligible for, and as financial aid advisors, we don't want you to take out more than what you actually need either. Students also want to know the exact amount that they will be receiving in a refund for their indirect expenses.

    We've created the following worksheet to help you calculate exactly how much to accept in federal aid and how much to expect in your refund. We want you to be financially well and financially wise.

    US JD Cost of Attendance & Loans Worksheet

    For your reference, below are the credits you will be enrolled in during your first year.
    US JD Program Credits
    Term Credits Fall Credits Winter
    1L Full-Time 16 14
    1L Part-Time 13 11
    1L Extended Part-Time 10 7


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    Detroit Mercy Law Scholarships

    1L Detroit Mercy Law Scholarships

    There is no scholarship application required to receive a Detroit Mercy Law scholarship as a first-year JD student. Applicants who apply for admission by February 1 are prioritized for these scholarships. Awards after this deadline are limited by the availability of funds.


    External Scholarships

    As you apply to external scholarships make sure to read the terms and conditions of the scholarship. Important things to take into consideration:

    • Where will the funds be sent? To you or to Detroit Mercy?
    • Are these funds only applicable to tuition & fees or can they be used for indirect educational expenses (books & supplies, transportation, etc.)?
    • Is there an award ceremony? If yes, can you attend and will it cost you to attend? 

    Finally, if you are awarded an external scholarship, please let the Detroit Mercy Law Financial Aid Office know. 

International Students

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    All International Students

    Non-U.S. citizens do not qualify for U.S. Federal Financial Aid programs unless the applicant is also a U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the U.S. (“Green Card”). 

    1. If you do not qualify for U.S. federal student aid we advise that you check with your home country to see if loans to study in the U.S. are available.
    2. Next, some U.S. lenders offer credit-based educational loans to international students if they apply with a credit-worthy U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or eligible non-citizen co-borrower. If you are able to secure a qualified co-borrower we urge you to do so and consider loans of this type, because approval and more favorable terms will be more likely.
    3. If you are an international student seeking to borrow without a co-borrower you will find fewer lenders from which to choose. The lender listed below does not require a U. S. citizen, permanent resident, or eligible non-citizen co-borrower, however, their interest rates and other terms may be less favorable. Certain restrictions apply as noted.
      • MPower Financing: Offers loans to eligible international students, who are enrolled in a degree program and are within two years of graduation.

    Canadian Provincial Financial Aid

    University of Detroit Mercy is an approved professional university outside of Canada. We suggest Canadian applicants contact financial aid/loan institutions in Canada their appropriate Provincial and Territorial Student Assistance Offices for information on loans, scholarships, bursaries. 


    Canadian Student Line of Credit

    Many Canadian students take out a student line of credit in lieu of or in addition to provincial financial aid. A line of credit is a type of loan that lets you borrow money repeatedly up to a pre-set limited. You can borrow money from a line of credit, pay some or all of it back, and then borrow again; up to your credit limit. For more information, please visit the Government of Canada's page on Student Lines of Credit.

    Below you will find links to the most common student lines of credit in Canada

    You are not required to borrow from one of the lenders identified here or in other University materials. You may choose to borrow from any lender without penalty. We urge you to compare information concerning credit-based student loans carefully to determine the best fit for your particular circumstance.