Many students rely on loans to finance their legal education. We encourage students to budget or establish spending plans to evaluate their expenses. For instance, tuition and fees are considered fixed expenses; however, students have some say on other spending toward their education. There is flexibility on other cost of attendance that is based on choices student make for books and supplies, room and board, transportation and personal expenses. We recommend students borrow based on needs, not wants. Therefore, student borrowers do have a say-so on their total indebtedness when they graduate.
The primary sources of debt for our law students are federal loans. The flexibility of federal loan repayment is a major benefit for borrowers to consider. The options available allow them to change repayment plans that best fit their individual circumstances at any point of time during repayment. Borrower may find all their federal student loan history online at the U.S. Department of Education’s central database known as the National Student Loan Database System (NSLDS).
It is important to note, that when federal loan borrowers reach repayment they are automatically placed into the 10-Year Standard Repayment plan. However, we recommend that borrowers review their federal loan repayment options carefully, so that they can adjust that payment based on their own individual circumstances (at any given time during repayment).
For more information, regarding federal loan repayment you should refer to the following websites:
Federal regulations require all Federal Direct Loan borrowers to complete entrance and exit counseling. We also recommend students complete Life Skills and various Debt & Money Management workshops provided by the Office of Financial Aid while you are attending Miami Law.
Federal Direct Loan Entrance Counseling is conducted by Student Loans.gov. Entrance counseling contains comprehensive information on the terms and conditions of federal student loans and the borrower’s responsibilities. Students are required to complete this process prior to disbursement of funds.
In addition to entrance counseling, First Year JD students should complete Life Skills Learning Path 1 prior to beginning their studies at Miami Law. We also encourage our students to attend any workshops while you are in school that are hosted by the Office of Financial Aid that will assist you with money management (i.e. budgeting), debt management and financial planning.
Federal Direct Loan Exit Counseling is conducted by Student Loans.gov. Student borrowers are required to complete this process if they are graduating, have withdrawn, have reduced their course load below half-time, or are have decided to leave Miami Law. If you do not select a federal loan repayment plan option during exit counseling, you will be placed in the standard repayment plan. Therefore, we encourage our student borrowers to review their loan repayment options carefully and select the option that best meets your individual circumstances. It is also important to remember that you can change repayment plans at any time.
The Office of Student Account Services will send email notifications at the appropriate time with instructions as to how to complete the Loan Exit Counseling process online.
In addition to Exit counseling, Third Year JD & LLM students should complete Life Skills Learning Path 3 and attend Repayment Options and Financial Planning workshops provided by the Office of Financial Aid prior to graduation.
There are also private educational loan options available to students. We strongly recommend that student’s review the federal loan and repayment plan options available first, before pursuing a private educational loan. This will enable them to make comparisons and informed decisions of what is best for their individual circumstances.
The University of Miami recognizes that ensuring the integrity of the student financial aid process is critical to providing fair and affordable access to higher education. Therefore, the University has formalized a Student Loan Code of Conduct. The Code is designed to avoid any potential for a conflict of interest between the University, and its students or their parents, with respect to its interaction with student loan providers, servicers and guarantee agencies. The Code is found in the University's General Business Policies, BSF-070, found in its entirety here.