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Financing Your Education
At Seattle University School of Law, we’re committed to helping you find the best way to fund your education and advance your career.
Tuition and Fees
The MLS program is 30 credits (five credits per semester, for six semesters), so the cost per credit is multiplied by 30 to determine the full base tuition. You pay this amount over the course of the program. The cost per credit can change annually.
For students entering the program in the Fall 2021 semester, the direct costs for the first two semesters are $12,889, calculated as follows:
- $12,720: Tuition (10 credits at $1,272 per credit)*
- $69: Student Bar Association fee
- $100: Matriculation fee
- $12,889: Subtotal of direct costs
*Price per credit hour is subject to change annually.
Seattle U Law offers merit scholarships. These scholarships are awarded based on the admission committee’s review of applications and the standard set of application materials that applicants provide. There is no dedicated application form for the merit scholarship.
Students who are awarded merit scholarships are notified about the amount of those scholarships in their offer of admission letter. To be considered for a merit scholarship, students should apply early, before the priority application deadline for the upcoming term.
Financial Aid Basics
Financial aid is determined by financial need and costs of attendance. Your financial need is the difference between the cost of your education and your financial ability to pay for it. Your financial need is determined by an analysis of the information provided on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
If you’re considering the MLS program, even if you have not yet been admitted, we recommend you go to www.fafsa.gov and complete the FAFSA form as soon as possible, which begins the financial aid process.
- Completing the FAFSA form is easy: you provide demographic information and prior-year income information. You can even authorize the required income information to be pulled from tax forms you filed, eliminating the need for you to locate and then fill out the information.
- When you fill out the FAFSA, use school code 003790 for Seattle U School of Law.
Unless we do not have your FAFSA information, you’ll receive a financial aid offer letter from us about two to three weeks after you receive an admission letter. You should review and accept this offer letter, which tells you what financial aid you qualify for and how to secure the loans.
For more information about your financial aid options, see our financial aid brochure.
Direct and Indirect Costs of Attendance
When considering financial aid, it’s important to understand the difference between direct versus indirect costs of attendance
- The amount you owe SeattleU for your MLS tuition is considered a direct cost. This amount is primarily the base tuition, which is calculated on a per-credit basis (see Tuition and Fees).
- In contrast to the so-called direct cost of tuition, the indirect cost of attendance includes the estimated cost of books, room and board, transportation, personal costs, and related expenses.
The indirect cost of attendance per year is important to you because the figure is used for financial aid and loan purposes. Lenders recognize that you may need funds beyond the cost of tuition to cover your expenses, so you have the option to borrow against these indirect costs.
For students entering the program in the Fall 2021 semester, the indirect costs for the first two semesters are $27,028. For details, see the MLS Online 2021–2022 Cost of Attendance document.
It is important to recognize that you may not incur all the costs included in the estimated indirect cost of attendance. As an online student, for example, you likely will not incur additional transportation or room and board costs even though those costs are part of the calculation. When you consider whether to borrow against the estimated indirect cost of attendance, consider your unique situation.
As described in detail in our blog article about financing your MLS degree, you have multiple options for pursuing student loans:
- A federal direct unsubsidized Stafford Loan
- Credit-based loans: either federal aid, or a loan from a private lender such as a credit union
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
You begin the financial aid process by submitting a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form to the U.S. Department of Education. The government uses the information you provide to determine whether you meet the qualifications to receive a direct unsubsidized Stafford Loan. As noted earlier, financial need is determined by the difference between the cost of your education and your financial ability to pay for it. The borrower’s school determines the amount that can be borrowed based on the cost of attendance and other financial aid the recipient receives.
For the federal unsubsidized Stafford Loans, the annual maximum loan amount is $20,500. Stafford Loans qualify for federal income-driven repayment plans, the Public Interest Loan Forgiveness program, and federal loan consolidation.
Credit-Based Student Loans
If the unsubsidized Stafford Loan is insufficient to cover your living expenses, a credit-based student loan of either of the following types may be an option:
- Federal aid in the form of a grad PLUS loan, which is a direct loan the U.S. Department of Education makes available to eligible graduate or professional students. A grad PLUS loan is typically a better choice than a private loan for credit-based funding because of its eligibility for federal income-driven repayment plans, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, or federal loan consolidation.
- A private loan, such as from a bank or credit union. Private loans are not eligible for federal income-driven repayment plans, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program,
To assess whether a federal grad PLUS loan or a private loan is right for your situation, you’ll need to consider factors about your particular situation. Although more of our students pursue federal grad PLUS loans than private loans, especially if they plan to work in public interest, some students have access to private loans with very good interest rates and terms. In those cases a private loan can be the better choice. Our Financial Aid office can help you understand and evaluate the options.
Interested in the Public Interest Loan Forgiveness Program?
If you’re interested in public interest loan forgiveness, see the detailed information and checklist available at https://studentaid.gov/. The information at this site will help you understand program requirements and how to make payments on time and confirm eligibility for the correct repayment program.
Employer Tuition Assistance or Reimbursement Programs
Employer tuition assistance (sometimes called tuition reimbursement) programs are another avenue that many of our students use to help pay for their MLS degree. Employers may reimburse either the full or partial tuition costs of a program.
Even employers without formal tuition reimbursement programs sometimes help fund the cost of a degree when potential students advocate about the value they can bring to the organization by completing the Compliance and Risk Management degree program.
To learn more about this option and how to pursue it with your employer, see our tuition assistance blog article. Our office can also speak with your Human Resources department to explain the value of the program.
For More Details and Assistance
We want to help you establish the best plan for financing your education and reaping the benefits of a master of legal studies degree. To get started, contact us at email@example.com or (206) 398-4268.
“The rapid expansion of teleworking and remote operations management occurring across the world in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic will forever change the way companies need to address organizational compliance and ethics.”
—David Chen, JD, Affiliate faculty and Seattle University School of Law alumnus