Frequently Asked Questions
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NIU College of Law does not offer an official part-time program. However, a small number of students will be allowed to attend NIU College of Law on a part-time schedule. If you would like to do so, you must meet with the associate dean for student affairs to determine your schedule. Please note that NIU College of Law does not offer evening classes.
Whether attending on a part-time or a full-time schedule, all students must complete the same required courses. If you are on a part-time schedule you must enroll in at least nine credit hours each semester, except in your final semester at the College of Law. You may switch from a part-time to a full-time schedule, and vice versa, during your educational career. Each semester, students on a part-time schedule work directly with the associate dean for student services to determine their schedules and credit hours.
All students, whether seeking a part-time or full-time schedule, must fulfill the same admissions requirements.
- Please visit the costs and funding page on our website for more information about financing your education.
- Complete and submit the Free Application for Financial Student Aid (FAFSA). You will need your federal income tax return and W-2 forms to complete the FAFSA. You must have a Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID). For instructions on how to create an FSA ID, go to the FSA site. Be certain to select NIU (School Code 001737) as a recipient of your FAFSA.
- The U.S. Department of Education will send you your Student Aid Report (SAR). Review your SAR and, if necessary, make changes or corrections to your FAFSA.
- After you complete and submit the FAFSA, submit any other application or information requested by the SFAO. Your financial aid offer will then be posted to your myNIU account within a week, beginning in April.
- If you are accepted to NIU Law, you will be sent directions that explain how to log onto myNIU.
- Log on to myNIU and view your financial aid awards.
- Decide how much to take out of each award type. Awards are broken down into three categories: scholarships, federal direct loans, and graduate PLUS loans.
- Scholarships: Because we place a strong emphasis on providing a quality legal education at an affordable price, we have a relatively small number of scholarships to award. Furthermore, if you have been awarded a scholarship, it will not appear in your myNIU account until later in the summer.
- Federal Direct Loans: You may borrow up to $20,500 per year in federal direct loans. You are responsible for paying the interest that can accrue on the loan from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. As soon as your loan is disbursed, interest begins to accrue. After you graduate, these loans have a six-month grace period before repayment begins. A federal direct loan has forbearance and deferment options, may be consolidated, may be paid back under several different repayment plans and may be eligible for forgiveness under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.
- Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans: If you do not have adverse credit, you may secure the additional amount of aid for which you are eligible by applying for graduate PLUS loans. A graduate PLUS loan is federally guaranteed, interest accrues while you are in school and repayment begins following graduation. A graduate PLUS loan has forbearance and deferment options, may be consolidated, may be paid back under several different repayment plans and may be eligible for forgiveness under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.
- If you choose to apply for a graduate PLUS loan, you can apply online (select "Graduate/Professional Students").
- Accept or decline your awards. Your federal direct loan eligibility amount will be viewable after you complete the FAFSA. Your graduate PLUS loan eligibility amount will be viewable two weeks after you complete and submit the application.
- If you have accepted your unsubsidized federal direct loan eligibility, you must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN). You can access the MPN online (select"Graduate/Professional Students"). Additionally, you must complete an MPN for graduate PLUS loans.
- You must complete online entrance counseling for graduate PLUS loans online (select "Graduate/Professional Students").
- Your awards will be applied to your account. You will receive any excess aid in the form of a reimbursement during the first several weeks of classes. You will receive a refund check in the mail unless you have set up direct deposit.
Loan assistance from private lenders is available to you for purposes of assisting with bar exam expenses, bar application fees and associated living expenses. Bar loans are made payable directly to you and, because they are not a component of your financial aid package from NIU Law, you may choose to borrow from $500 to $15,000. These loans are commercial loans and are based upon your credit worthiness and, as such, the interest rate/fees will vary from lender to lender based upon your credit criteria. NIU does not recommend any particular lender.
More information about private student loans and a private loan comparison chart can be found on the FinAid site.
As always, the NIU Law Office of Admissions and Financial Aid strongly encourages you to minimize borrowing. To this end, we encourage you to carefully think through the impact of borrowing additional money, because cumulative borrowing can significantly impact your post-graduation lifestyle for the ten or more years you will be in repayment.