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Statement of Ethical Responsibility

Harvard Law School is committed to the equitable distribution of need-based aid. Student Financial Services collects a consistent set of financial data from applicants, closely reviews applications, and awards aid in accordance with policy set by the School’s Financial Aid Committee.

Central to this process is the expectation that financial information submitted by applicants is both true and complete. If there is evidence that a financial aid applicant has deliberately misrepresented or omitted required information, Student Financial Services will notify the Dean of Students for possible disciplinary action by the Law School Administrative Board. In the case of fraud or other criminal misconduct, referral may be made to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of the Inspector General, or, if more appropriate, to a state or local authority.

As a condition to applying for financial aid at HLS you will need to complete this Ethical Responsibility Web Form to acknowledge the following:

  • That you have read the HLS Student Financial Services’ Statement of Ethical Responsibility and that you agree to adhere to all that is expressed within it.
  • That you have read the information provided on the form about both the Federal and the HLS Institutional verification processes and that if selected you will cooperate by providing any and all requested documentation in a timely fashion.

The form is brief and must be received BEFORE the HLS Student Financial Services Office can process ANY financial aid, whether federal, institutional or private.

Federal and HLS Institutional Verification Processes

In order to ensure the accurate distribution of Federal and institutional resources, the HLS Financial Aid Office has designed its own internal verification process to work in conjunction with the federally-mandated verification process. Both are auditing processes to corroborate data you have provided us on financial aid application forms. Participation in and cooperation with both of these processes, if selected, is a condition you agree to by applying for financial aid. Below are brief descriptions of each process.

Federal Verification

This Federal auditing process, mandated by the U.S. Department of Education, requires us to compare certain information that you provided on your 2017-18 FAFSA application with your (and your spouse’s, if you are married) actual filed 2015 Federal tax data and with information you will provide on a separate Federal Verification Web Form. Financial aid applicants are selected by the U.S Department of Education to participate in this verification process at the time their FAFSA is processed. When we receive your electronic FAFSA data and load it to our system, we will be notified if your file has been selected for Federal Verification. If it is, we will add the additional documentation described above to the list of documents required before we can process your application. We do not extend award offers to HLS students until all verification documents are received and all requirements are met.

HLS Internal Institutional Verification

This internal auditing process is designed to ensure that all students and their parents provide truthful and forthright financial information when completing all of our financial aid application forms. Each year, we will randomly select students from our entire financial aid application pool to participate in this process. In most cases, students selected for this process will be different from those selected by the U.S. Department of Education to participate in the Federal verification process. If selected, you will be notified via email and be given detailed instructions regarding what we will need from you (and your family) to comply with this process. The type of additional documentation we may request includes, but is not limited to: additional personal or business tax documentation (including official copies of tax transcripts from the IRS), copies of bank statements, copies of investment/brokerage statements, copies of trust agreements, and verification of current value of real estate holdings. All data collected will be used to verify information previously provided by you and used in the calculation of your financial aid package.


  • This is a single session form which means that you need to complete the whole form in one session. You cannot complete a portion of the form now and then return at a different time to finish it.
  • We suggest you read through the form before you begin to determine what back up data you need to have ready in order to successfully complete the entire form in one session.
  • We estimate it will take 5 minutes for you to complete this form including reading the statements above.
  • The “Submit Button” will only be enabled if you have filled in all of the REQUIRED Fields. REQUIRED Fields are denoted with an “*”.
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