All U.S. citizens and eligible non-U.S. citizens are required to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to apply for financial aid at HLS, regardless of whether you intend to apply for consideration for HLS need-based grant assistance or for the federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans only.
International students are not eligible for federal aid and, therefore, cannot complete the FAFSA.
Your submission is processed by FAFSA and generally made available electronically to the HLS Student Financial Services Office in 48 hours. So, please allow at least 3 business days for the FAFSA to be changed to “received” on your “Application Requirements” tab of the SFS Self-Service Portal.
Be sure to list “Harvard Law School” rather than “Harvard University” as the data recipient on your application. If you do not, we will not get your data.
There is no cost to complete this form.
The Federal government considers all graduate students to be independent for the purposes of determining eligibility for federal loans. Therefore, you only need to complete the student (and spouse, if applicable) sections of this form. Parent information is not required on the FAFSA for graduate students.
The 2022-2023 FAFSA will ask you to report your 2020 calendar year income. FAFSA data is only used to determine your eligibility for Federal Loans. If you are applying for HLS need-based grant, your eligibility will be based on the financial data you and your parents will be asked to report on our own institutional forms found within the SFS Self-Service Portal.
When filling out the FAFSA, all HLS students should opt to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (explained in detail below) when completing the FAFSA. This allows students who have filed a 2020 tax return with the IRS to directly transfer their IRS data directly into their FAFSA. Doing this will make sure data is consistent and will greatly minimize delays in the processing of your aid.
Importance of IRS Data Retrieval Tool
If applicants do not use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool within the FAFSA on the web application, the following things MAY occur:
It will be much more likely for the applicant’s FAFSA application to be selected for Federal Verification if the applicant does NOT use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when completing the FAFSA application and/or if the applicant changes their IRS retrieved data within the FAFSA once the Tool has been used to transfer their official IRS data.
As a result of being selected for Federal Verification, the applicant will have to submit additional documentation to the Student Financial Services Office before Federal aid can be authorized. This will include submitting a Federal Verification Web Form and will possibly involve the applicant to request an IRS tax return transcript from the IRS.
This additional documentation may take 6-8 weeks to complete due to IRS processing time and could result in a significant delay for applicants!
IRS Data Retrieval Within FAFSA
Within the FAFSA application, the applicant is required to report income information for 2020.
If the student and/or spouse are non-tax filers, then there is no IRS data to retrieve; and therefore the IRS Date Retrieval Tool is irrelevant.
If the student and/or spouse are tax filers, then the FAFSA applicant will be presented with questions about their respective tax returns. The applicant will then, if eligible, be given the option to open up the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, enter certain identifying information, and finally transfer their IRS data directly into the FAFSA on the web application.
Do NOT make changes to that IRS information once it is retrieved. If you do, the data retrieval will be invalid.
Unfortunately, some applicants who are tax filers are ineligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. If this is the case, you should still submit the FAFSA and provide your data accordingly to the best of your ability.
The U.S. Department of Education mandates that all schools that award federal financial aid verify key pieces of financial information that were submitted as part of the FAFSA. The Department of Education randomly selects and flags students it selects for this process.
If you are selected, we will get in touch with you to request any additional financial information we will need to comply with this mandated verification process as determined by the US Department of Education. We will not be able to process your application for aid until we complete this required verification process so we appreciate your prompt attention to this requirement.