Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA

Application Procedures

Eligibility Criteria | How to Apply | Annual Renewal Forms | Packaging Policies | Disbursement of Awards | Frequently Asked Questions

Applicants can help ensure their financial aid applications are given maximum consideration by carefully reading the financial aid guide on this site, following instructions on all financial aid forms, and submitting all materials to the Financial Aid Office or the appropriate agency in a timely manner. The Financial Aid Office staff are available to assist current and prospective students.

Eligibility Criteria

A Southwestern student is eligible to receive federal financial aid if the student:

  • is enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student;
  • is a U.S. citizen or national; is a permanent resident of the U.S.; provides evidence from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services that he or she is in the U.S. for other than a temporary purpose with the intention of becoming a permanent resident or citizen (a copy of the green card may be required); or is a permanent resident of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands or Northern Mariana Islands;
  • has financial need (for need-based aid only);
  • is maintaining satisfactory progress according to the standards and practices of Southwestern as outlined in the Student Handbook;
  • does not owe a refund on a Pell Grant, Perkins Loan or SEOG;
  • is not in default on any student loan;
  • meets any additional requirements for aid received.

The Financial Aid Office will determine eligibility once the office has received the Application for Financial Aid and the FAFSA (see details below).

How to Apply

What do I need to do to apply?

  1. Complete the FAFSA online.

  2. Entering and Current Students should refer to the detailed information regarding applying for Financial Aid on MySouthwestern using the links below (log-in required). Entering Students can contact the Admissions Office with any questions regarding accessing the portal.



The deadline to complete the financial aid application process is:
March 15
for Continuing Students
and June 1 for Entering Students. 


Please Note: The March 2 deadline listed on the FAFSA for California is for Undergraduate State Aid and does not apply to you.

What happens next?

Click here to go to the list of frequently asked questions.

How often do I have to apply for financial aid?

The following forms must be submitted each year. The forms are available in the Financial Aid Office and must be dated annually, on or after January 1. Any applicant seeking financial aid must complete and submit the following forms.

Entering Students - The Financial Aid Office will not process an application until the student has been admitted for enrollment at Southwestern.

Southwestern Financial Aid Application
Southwestern's Financial Aid Application must be completed online each year through the Financial Aid section of this website.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
This form must be completed when the student is applying for a Federal Stafford Loan, Federal Perkins Loans, Institutional Loans, Federal Work Study (FWS), California Graduate Fellowship, and/or scholarships. Southwestern (school code G01295) must be indicated on the form. The FAFSA should be completed online. The processor will send the information (ISIR) electronically to Southwestern's Financial Aid Office. A Student Aid Report (SAR) will also be sent directly to the student.

Please Note: Students must complete one FAFSA per year.

Federal Direct Stafford Loan Master Promissory Note
This form is only required for a first-time borrower applying for a Federal Direct Stafford Loan. Data necessary for the completion of this form will be electronically transmitted to the student's lender, who will in turn mail the application to the student. The student must return the form to the lender for disbursement to occur.

Federal Direct Graduate PLUS (Grad PLUS) Loan Master Promissory Note
This form is only required for a first-time borrower applying for a Grad PLUS Loan. Data necessary for the completion of this form will be electronically transmitted to the student's lender, who will in turn mail the application to the student. The student must return the form to the lender for disbursement to occur.

Please note: If you have an endorser (co-signer) and you wish to increase your loan amount at any time, you will need to complete a new application and promissory note each year.

Private Loan Application
An application and promissory note must be completed each year for private loans. Many lenders allow you to initiate the loan application online. However, once the application is initiated, a promissory note must be returned to the lender for disbursement.

Verification Form
Students may be requested to certify the accuracy of information on the FAFSA in a process called verification. The form must be completed and returned to the Financial Aid Office before they can receive any funds. Students who are selected for verification will be notified about the required documentation and deadlines.

Budget Increase Application
This one-page form, whereby the student can document certain expenses incurred while attending Southwestern, is used to help the student qualify for additional funds. The completion of this form could be beneficial, for instance, for any married student with children. Documentation verifying the expenses listed must be attached to the form.

Additional Documentation
Occasionally, changes are made in government programs during the application process requiring the Financial Aid Office to collect additional information from students. A prompt reply to such a request is necessary to facilitate the disbursement of financial aid funds.

Institutional Scholarships
To be considered for institutional scholarships, a separate application form must be completed and is available in the Financial Aid Office.

Packaging Policies

There is a direct relationship between a student's class rank and the types and amounts of scholarships the student is eligible to receive. For more information on the complete awarding policy, see Southwestern's Financial Aid Policy.

Funds are considered in the following priority:

  1. Federal Direct Stafford Student Loans
  2. Scholarships
  3. Federal Perkins Loan
  4. Institutional Loans
  5. Federal Work Study
  6. Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan
  7. Private Loans

Notification of Awards

All students who have completed the financial aid application process by the published deadline will be notified of their awards as early as possible.

Entrance and Exit Interviews
Prior to release of any federal funds, students are required to complete an entrance interview. Click here for information on completing Entrance Counseling.

All federal student loan borrowers are required to attend an exit interview shortly before they graduate, withdraw from school, or take a leave of absence. Exit interviews may also be completed online.

Other financial aid default initiative and debt management sessions are available during the year. However, they do not take the place of the mandated exit sessions.

Disbursement of Awards

Institutional scholarships and loans, as well as Federal Perkins Loans, are credited to the student's account as soon as possible, but may take up to two weeks after the term commences.

Federal Direct Stafford Loans and Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loans are disbursed at least twice a year by check or electronic funds transfer directly from the lender. Refunds are disbursed on the Friday before classes commence each semester.

Any tuition or fees due to Southwestern are deducted from these disbursements. The difference, if any, will be available within ten business days or as prescribed by regulation. See above for refund details. You may sign up for Automated Refund Direct Deposit through WebAdvisor (go to Financial Information > Bank Information).

Appeal Provision
Every student has the right to appeal to the Financial Aid Committee if the student believes injustice or unfair treatment has occurred (except in those matters set by federal regulations or Southwestern policy) and cooperative action has not been provided by the Financial Aid Office. The Director of Financial Aid can provide guidance regarding the appeals procedure.

All materials pertaining to financial aid are confidential. Student permission (in writing) is required to release any information concerning all aspects of the financial aid process, except as provided by state or federal regulations, to a third party, including spouses or parents. This complies with the FERPA amendments.