Applying for Financial Aid
Applying for financial aid for your LLM may seem like a difficult task. While it certainly takes time to apply, we believe this is time well spent as a successful application may provide financial assistance so that you are able to limit your out of pocket costs associated with the pursuit of your LLM We hope you will find that the list below helps you focus your energy and get organized so that you can complete your applications as easily and quickly as possible.
1. Create a system: A large part of successfully applying for financial aid is being organized. Before you start your search for financial aid options, we encourage you to take the time to get organized and create a system for keeping track of the information you find. You may want to consider:
- Creating an email account that is used exclusively for your LLM applications and financial aid applications, Gmail is a great option as it also has an easy to use calendaring system that will be helpful for the next tip!
- Starting a calendar dedicated to financial aid deadlines.
- Creating a filing system for your financial aid applications so that you can keep all of your paperwork in one spot. You may want to consider separate folders for each school you are applying to as well as folders for scholarships and grants you apply for that are not school specific.
2. Do your research: Don’t assume that every school you apply for will need the same information for your financial aid application.
3. Follow the directions: Students are regularly disqualified in the financial aid application process for failing to follow the directions on the application. Make sure you:
- Sign the application
- Provide supporting documentation
- Write legibly
- Submit the application to the address specified by the school or program
4. Make it easy for the program to accept you: Most financial aid departments, grants and scholarship funds encourage applicants to submit their application and supporting documentation online or via email. Whenever possible, use their preferred application method, electronic documents are easier to read and keep track of than paper documents. Paper applications will be in the minority and will stand out, in a bad way.
5. Give yourself enough time: Gathering information and completing applications can take longer than anticipated, so we encourage you to give yourself more time than you think you will need. Remember, financial aid is often awarded on a rolling basis, so submitting a completed application long before the deadline can only help your chances.
6. Have someone proof read your applications: You may find yourself becoming less diligent as you submit your financial aid applications. Ask a trusted friend, spouse, parent or employer if they can review your applications before they are submitted. Having a second set of eye look over your work will help you catch typos, grammatical errors, incomplete sentences and missed questions.
7. FAFSA: U.S. students must complete a FAFSA to qualify for financial aid. The FAFSA may be completed online by the individual or may be completed with the assistance of a FAFSA preparer. In order to complete the FAFSA students will need:
- Social Security Card
- Driver’s License
- W-2 forms from the previous year
- Federal Tax Returns for the previous year
8. English language proficiency: International students studying in the U.S. must often prove their English language proficiency by successfully completing either the TOEFL or the IETLS. We encourage you to showcase your bilingualism or multilingualism in your application! It is definitely an asset!
9. Share your personality: The individuals reviewing your application will review dozens if not hundreds of other applications, if at all possible, share a bit of your personality and how pursuing an LLM will help you reach your goals.