Frequently Asked Questions
j.d. admissions and financial aid
Do you have an early decision program?
No, we do not have an early decision program.
Do you have a rolling admission program?
Yes. Applications are read in the order in which they are complete. We do not wait until the deadline of March 31 to send out our decisions.
What is the latest LSAT exam I can take?
Candidates should take the LSAT no later than December. We accept February scores, but candidates who take the test in February will not have completed files until very late in the admissions cycle.
How do you treat more than one LSAT score? We will consider all LSAT scores in the application review process. We will use the highest LSAT score for reporting to the ABA and LSAC.
Do you accept more than two letters of recommendation?
Yes, but remember that a third can delay the completion of your file. If you want to send a third letter, please put a note to that effect on your application. Please remember that we prefer that the letters of recommendation be submitted through the LSAC Letter of Recommendation Service.
What is an Evaluation?
An evaluation gives law school admission committees information about your abilities above and beyond what is currently provided via test scores, transcripts, and letters of recommendation. Evaluation rates both cognitive and non-cognitive attributes and skills that have been identified as important to success in law school. The evaluation uses a scale that represents degrees of a particular characteristic. Evaluators can also include free-form text comments.
How will Boston College Law view Evaluations?
We do not require Evaluations but we will accept up to three. These Evaluations are not in place of letters of recommendations. The Evaluations are an adjunct to LSAC's current Letter of Recommendation (LOR) Service and will function in a similar way, except that the Evaluation Service is entirely online. For more information go to LSAC.org.
Do you grant fee waivers?
We will consider a waiver of the application fee on a case-by-case basis. Requests for fee waivers should be e-mailed to email@example.com.
If you were granted a fee waiver from LSAC, your BC Law application fee will be automatically waived.
If you are a current or past participant in Teach for America, please send us a copy of a letter verifying your participation and we will waive your application fee.
Do you rank the wait list? What can I do to increase my chances of admission from the wait list?
No, we do not rank the wait list. You are welcome to submit anything you may think would be beneficial to your file. We will consider all information when the time comes for us to review our wait list.
When should I expect a final decision if I am on the wait list?
We try to make decisions in a timely manner but you should keep in mind that some wait list candidates do not receive a final decision until July or August.
What are the various components of a financial aid package?
There are two components: federal aid, i.e., Stafford Loans, which total $20,500 per academic year; and institutional financial aid, i.e., Boston College Law School scholarships, the Law School Loan, and the Perkins Loan.
When do I apply for financial aid?
Once you have submitted your application to the Admissions Office, you are ready to apply for financial aid. The FAFSA and Need Access for the "new" academic year become available online after January 1. Try to complete both by February 15, which will allow 4 weeks of processing time for the data to reach us by out priority deadline of March 15. Complete the FAFSA and the Need Access even if you have not yet received an admission decision; that way, we will have a complete financial aid file for you at the time you are admitted.
On the FAFSA, do I complete the student AND parent section?
No, you only need to complete the Student section on the FAFSA.
On the Need Access, do I complete the student AND parent section?
Yes, unlike the FAFSA, you do need to provide parental information on the Need Access. If parents are divorced, the non-custodial parent's financial information is required as well. If you do not include your parental information, your Need Access application will be considered incomplete and you will not be considered for institutional aid.
Why is parental information required on the Need Access for BC Law School?
Like many law schools, we consider students' family resources to equitably distribute our institutional, need-based funds.
Does BC Law School have a separate application for its scholarships, grants and institutional loans?
By completing the Need Access application, you will automatically be reviewed for our need-based scholarships, grants, and loans.
Does Boston College Law School offer Merit Aid?
Yes, there are merit scholarships awarded to incoming law students based on their applications for admission--no separate financial aid application is required. Additionally, our Public Service Scholarships are awarded without regard to need.
SPECIFIC NEED ACCESS QUESTIONS
Do I need to provide my parents' information on Need Access if I am no longer listed as a dependent on their tax forms? What if I have lived on my own for several years after college? What if I am an "older" student?
Yes, we still require your parents' financial information in order to determine your eligibility for institutional funding.
What if my parents will not be contributing financially to my law school education; should they still provide their financial data on Need Access?
Yes, if they don't provide this information, you will not be reviewed for institutional, need-based funding. Whether or not your parents plan to contribute should not be a factor in their decision on whether or not to provide their financial data.
How can I afford law school IF I don't qualify for institutional funding AND my parents have decided not to contribute financially to my legal education?
You can apply for a federal Grad PLUS loan in addition to your Stafford loans. As long as you have a good credit history, this option will be available to you. You can apply for an amount greater than tuition and fees and use those funds for living expenses.
SPECIFIC FAFSA QUESTIONS
What is the Federal Code for Boston College, as required on the FAFSA?
Our federal school code is 002128.
Should I use estimated dollar amounts for the FAFSA, since my tax forms won't be ready until April?
Yes, you should use estimates if you don't file your taxes early.
How do I know if Boston College Law School received my FAFSA data?
If you receive your Student Aid Report (SAR) and listed the federal code for Boston College (002128) on your FAFSA, we should have access to your data. If you don't have your SAR and 4 weeks or more have passed since completing your FAFSA, call FAFSA at (800) 4-FED-AID for assistance.
How do I list more than 6 schools on my FAFSA?
Use your Student Aid Report (SAR) for multiple FAFSA submissions. You can replace schools already submitted with new schools, and resubmit the SAR online. Note: Correct errors and resubmit your original SAR first before replacing with new schools.
Can I use the SAR to update/correct the estimated dollar amounts on my FAFSA?
Yes, the SAR can be used for any corrections. As you get closer to filing your taxes, review your SAR to correct any financial data, thereby matching your FAFSA data to your tax returns.
When do I find out about my financial aid award?
Our goal is to provide you with a conditional financial aid package prior to our first deposit deadline, so that you may make an informed decision about whether or not to attend Boston College Law School. The earlier you submit your FAFSA and Need Access online (we recommend prior to February 15), the sooner we will be able to determine your eligibility. We begin making financial aid awards for admitted students in March.
Why is my financial aid award "conditional"?
It is conditional because the data you report on your FAFSA and Need Access, early in the calendar year, is usually an approximation or estimate of the data you report on your tax forms.
When does my financial aid award become "final"?
Once we've had a chance to review your federal tax forms (1040's), federal tax schedules and W-2's, as well as those of your spouse (if applicable) and your parents, we will determine if your financial aid award needs to be adjusted. This process starts in June when tax documents are expected to be in our office.
What if I did not file taxes because my income fell below the required filing minimum or because I didn't have any income in 2011?
We will then need any W-2('s) or 1099(s) you received for 2011. In addition, you must indicate your filing status with the IRS by checking the appropriate box on the Boston College Law School Financial Aid Validation Form
What if I did not file taxes because I had zero income?
Then we will need a signed letter from you stating that fact. In addition,
you must check the appropriate box on the Boston College Law School Financial Aid Validation Form indicating your filing status.
Will I receive a "final" financial aid award after my taxes are reviewed?
We will send "revised" award letters to students only if their financial aid package was adjusted after reviewing their tax forms.
Once the federal Stafford Loan and institutional components of my financial aid package have been finalized, where can I turn to supplement my financial aid package so I am covered up to Cost of Attendance?
You can apply for a federal Grad PLUS loan to fill in any gap. You must have good credit to qualify for a Grad PLUS loan. You can apply for a Grad PLUS loan in an amount in excess of your directly-billed expenses like tuition and fees and use the money for living expenses.
What does Law School cost?
Cost of Attendance is broken down into direct school expenses (tuition, fees, books) and living expenses (rent, utilities, food, transportation, etc.). Tuition is adjusted each year. For the current academic year 2011-12, our Cost of Attendance is $60,908; tuition is $41,590 of that amount.
When should I apply for the Grad PLUS loan?
We recommend that you begin the process of applying for a private loan in early June, and preferably prior to July 1st.
I am an international student. Can I apply for financial aid?
No, both the federal government and Boston College require U.S. citizenship or U.S. Permanent Residency status in order to be eligible for financial aid.There are some U.S. lenders willing to make student loans to international students, but they all require a co-signer who is an American citizen.
Does BC Law offer a Loan Repayment Assistance Program ("LRAP") for graduates working in public interest?
Yes, BC Law graduates can apply to the Francis X. Bellotti Loan Repayment and Forgiveness Program, which supports recent Boston College Law School graduates in law-related public interest careers by assisting them in the repayment of their educational debt. The awards are renewable annually. Recipients are determined by a Scholarship Committee appointed by the Dean of the law school.