|Financing Law School
If you're like most prospective law students, one of the biggest hurdles with law school is how you're going to finance it. Fortunately enough, you can often find money for law school, whether it is in the form of grants, scholarships, or loans.
By far, the most common source for law students seeking financial aid is the student loan. It is estimated that the average debt load for federally guaranteed student loans for law school graduates is just under $40,000. Many law school students don't find this to be enough to pay for law school. They turn to privately guaranteed student loans in addition to federally guaranteed student loans. In this case, the average amount of student loan debt doubles; it is right at about $80,000.
The best thing you can do for yourself if you're considering taking out large sums in student loans is to plan out a budget before-hand and stick with it. The less you can take out, the better off you'll be. Although you will likely have a high salary one day, new law school grad's don't start out as high as they'd always like. Even with a nice salary, paying back between $500-$1,000 each and every month for 10 years after graduation can take out a big chunk of your pay.
We advise you to carefully consider what you actually need and live on a budget during law school. It will also be well worth your time to look for and apply to grants and scholarships, which don't need to be paid back. Although virtually everyone qualifies for student loans and the application process is fairly easy compared to applying for a grant or scholarship, spending the time to look for the "free money" can really pay off. Don't assume that just because you don't have a 4.0 GPA, you won't qualify for a scholarship. Take some time to look at the options and apply. If you're diligent about it, applying for student loans and grants will be well worth your time.
Once you narrow down your selections, you should speak with a financial aid representative at the law schools you might enroll in and learn of any financial aid opportunities they may have. In the event you decide to take out private student loans, be sure you know what the terms are (including interest rates, length of repayment, and grace periods). You don't want to be in for any surprises years later when you graduate.
When it comes to financing law school, it really pays to be as prepared as possible.