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Base Loan Package

Base Loan Package

HLS grant funding can be significant for students with high financial need, but no student receives a “full ride” grant award. All grant assistance awarded by the school also includes a substantial required loan component known as the “base loan package.” Approximately 50% of J.D. student aid applicants (about 45% of J.D students overall) qualify for Law School grant assistance and the base loan package, while the remaining 50% of aid applicants receive assistance in the form of loans only (Federal Direct Stafford and supplemental loans).

Although financial aid packages vary in composition from one year to the next, some basic guidelines are followed each year. Student need is calculated by subtracting the available resources from a standard budget, which is set at $95,800 for 2018-2019.

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If Your Financial Need Is Less than the Base Loan

If a student’s demonstrated need is less than the base loan ($49,000 for 2018-19), the student is eligible for Federal Direct Stafford Loans (or the equivalent in Harvard Loans for international students) and may obtain supplemental loans, outside aid, or part-time employment for additional funding. This student is not eligible for HLS grant aid.

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If Your Financial Need Exceeds the Base Loan

If demonstrated need exceeds the $49,000 threshold for 2018-19, the student is eligible for the base loan package to meet the first $49,000 of need, and grant aid to meet the remaining need. The base loan package may consist of a combination of Federal Direct Stafford, Harvard, and supplemental loan funds. For international students (those who are not eligible for Federal Loans), the Stafford loan will be replaced with Harvard institutional loans.

Both the overall amount of the base loan and its exact composition changes each academic year in response to the availability of grant and loan funding. The composition of the base loan funds may also change during a given academic year if a particular loan fund is exhausted. The base loan usually rises in relation to annual increases in education costs.

Grant eligibility for any given year is always capped at the rate of tuition for that year. Students with dependent children (who often have high dependent care expenses) will receive a subsidized HLS loan to meet any demonstrated grant eligibility that exceeds the amount of tuition.

Hypothetical Aid Packaging Scenarios

Here are two hypothetical packaging examples to further illustrate how we package financial assistance at Harvard Law School.

Typical Loan Recipient

Financial need is less than base loan of $49,000 for 2018-19 (50% of students on aid received only loans).

Determination of Need

Student Budget $95,800
minus Student Contribution $5,000 *
minus Parent Resource Assessment $45,000 *
_________
equals Financial Need $45,800

Financial Aid Offer

  • Federal Direct Loan (or Harvard Loans for international students) of $20,500
  • Additional aid may come from supplemental education loans, part-time employment and/or outside resources
  • Total funding from all sources must not exceed the student budget of $95,800

Typical Grant Recipient

Financial need is greater than base loan of $49,000 for 2018-19 .

Determination of Need

Student Budget $95,800
minus Student Contribution $2,500 *
minus Parent Resource Assessment $15,000 *
_________
equals Financial Need: $78,300

Financial Aid Offer

  • Base Loan: $49,000
  • HLS Grant: $29,300
  • Base Loan typically consists of a combination of Federal Stafford Loans, Harvard Loans, and supplemental loans, depending on availability
  • Additional aid may come from supplemental education loans, part-time employment and/or outside resources
  • Total funding from all sources must not exceed the student budget of $95,800

* To replace student contribution or assessed parent resources, students may borrow supplemental education loans, seek outside scholarships, and/or seek part-time employment. All supplemental borrowing to cover a parent resource assessment is eligible for loan repayment assistance under the Low Income Protection Plan. However, supplemental loan borrowing to cover an expected student contribution, while permissible, is not eligible for loan repayment assistance under the Low Income Protection Plan.