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Here are a few orientation-related terms to understand.

  • HLS Student Financial Services: we award financial aid to JD students, process student loans, monitor JD student billing status, and administer the Low Income Protection Plan and Summer Public Interest Funding.
  • Harvard University – Student Financial Services: this is the central office that manages student accounts and Harvard University loans for the entire University:
    • Student Accounts Office – for current students
    • Loan Office – typically for graduated students whose loans are in repayment, or current students who would like to make a payment on their loans
  • Student Billing Account: your online Harvard University Student Billing Account on my.harvard, which shows your Harvard University charges and credits. The central Student Accounts sends account notifications twice a month if you have an outstanding balance, but you can always access your account online to view any new transactions or charges that have occurred since the last time that you logged in. HLS Student Financial Services does not collect payments, but we can help you understand your charges and credits.
  • Financial Aid: any loans, grants, or scholarships you have secured from HLS or outside sources. You can always view your current financial aid package under “Budget & Awards” in the SFS Self-Service Portal.
  • HELIOS: the Law School’s student information system, which contains the course catalog and other course-related information. Visit HELIOS.
  • Financial Clearance: this is our way of saying that you have paid all of the charges on your student billing account and can begin to attend classes. Until you have obtained financial clearance, you will not be able to complete the registration process and your access to class registration on HELIOS may be blocked.
  • Cash Advance: this is what we call any payment made to you (either through direct deposit or by check) when aid funding (such as student loans, grants, and scholarships) that has been secured and will be applied to your student billing account exceeds the current amount due. We call this an “advance” because HLS is advancing this funding to you before it is disbursed to your bill so that you can meet your living expenses. You can learn more about cash advances here.