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Frequently Asked Questions

j.d. admissions and financial aid

Admissions Q & A
Financial Aid Q & A


ADMISSIONS

Application Program and Timeline

Do you have an early decision, early action, or early deadline program?
No.

Do you have a rolling admission program?
Yes. We make decisions on applications throughout the admissions cycle.

Does BC Law have a part-time or evening program?
No. BC Law offers a full-time program.

May I apply for the spring semester?
No. Enrollment for the JD program takes place in the fall.

What if I applied to BC Law in the past?
The Office of Admissions retains in its records a copy of an application for one year.  If a candidate applied in consecutive years, the admissions committee may utilize a previous application for reference.  A candidate must submit a new application for the current admissions cycle.  A previous application may not be "reactivated."

How do I check the status of my application for admission?
Please refer to our website: http://www.bc.edu/content/bc/schools/law/admission.html. Scroll to the middle of the page and refer to the section that reads, "to check your application status online," and click the hyperlink.  You will be required to enter the username and password that should have been forwarded to you via e-mail after you submitted your application.  If you do not have this information, please contact the Office of Admission via e-mail: bclawadm@bc.edu.



LSAT

What is the latest LSAT exam I can take? 
Candidates may take the LSAT as late as the February administration if they wish to enroll at the law school the upcoming fall.

May I submit an application prior to the LSAT?
Although the admissions committee cannot review your application without an LSAT score, it is acceptable to submit your application prior to the receipt of your LSAT score.  The Office of Admissions may process your required application materials in advance and forward your application for review immediately after receiving your LSAT score.

How do you treat more than one LSAT score?
We will consider all LSAT scores in the application review process.  We will report the highest LSAT score to the American Bar Association (ABA) and the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC).


Application Review Process

Are there cutoff scores to apply to the law school?
To be considered for admission, BC Law does not require a minimum undergraduate cumulative grade point average or LSAT score.

How many letters of recommendation do you require?
We require two letters of recommendation.  If you wish to submit a third letter of recommendation, LSAC will process a maximum of the three letters through its Credential Assembly Service (CAS).  Please be judicious about submitting supplemental letters of recommendation.  Submitting more than the required quantity of documents does not necessarily grant you a competitive advantage in the admissions process.  If you exceed the amount of required documents, the admissions committee would appreciate information or perspectives that may not already be provided in other areas of the application.

How does Boston College Law view evaluation forms provided by LSAC?
We do not require evaluations and you should not feel obligated to submit them.  If you wish to submit evaluations in addition to the required letters of recommendation, we will accept and review no more than two evaluations.  It is very important to understand that evaluations may not replace letters of recommendation in meeting the requirements for the admissions application.

May I submit an addendum or additional forms provided by LSAC?
Yes.  Candidates may submit supplemental information in support of their candidacy that may otherwise not be provided in the required materials. An example of supplemental materials may be an explanation of academic and/or test performance.  We have space in our application for an optional statement and/or addendum.  We strongly suggest that applicants exercise their best judegment-in terms of content and length-when considering the submission of supplemental materials.

 

Wait List

Do you rank the wait list?
No.

What can I do to increase my chances of admission from the wait list?
You may submit supplemental material for the admissions committee to review while it considers candidates on the wait list.

If I am on the wait list, when should I expect a final decision? 
There is no fixed timeline for the wait list process because it is difficult to predict if or when seats become available.  The wait list process may remain fluid throughout the summer months.


Deferrals


Does the law school defer admission?

The Office of Admissions considers requests for deferrals on a case-by-case basis.  Deferrals are not granted automatically.  We consider very specific circumstances.  If you do not intend to matriculate in the year for which you are applying because you have a commitment to do something else, you may want to consider postponing your application process.  We understand that opportunities may come up simultaneously; therefore, deferral requests are reviewed carefully.

BC Law grants deferrals for candidates committed to the Teach for America program and the Peace Corps.

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FINANCIAL AID

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.

How do I apply for financial aid?
To apply for federal Stafford loans, complete the FAFSA. To apply for institutional financial aid, complete the Need Access.

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.

How do I know if I have good credit?
You should request a credit report from at least one of the three credit bureaus used by the lending industry. These are Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.

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.

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