Office of Student Financial Services

FAQs About Student Financial Aid

Private Loans

Q: How do I apply for a private loan?

A: Most private lenders who offer private educational loans have web-based and telephone application processes.

Q: What happens after I apply for a private loan?

A: After you provide your lender with the required information, the lender will perform a credit check. In most cases, the lender will notify you of its decision within minutes. If approved, your lender will prompt you to complete and sign a promissory note for the loan. Following the approval, the lender will contact NYU for certification and disbursement information. This accelerated pre-approval process is an excellent opportunity for students to quickly secure information about their eligibility for private loans.

Q: Can I submit a private loan application with more than one lender?

A: When applying for a private student loan, we recommend that you only work with one lender at a time. Completing simultaneous loan applications will add credit inquiries to your credit report that may, ultimately, impact your credit score. Please review the enclosed list of lenders carefully, selecting your top pick for submitting a loan application. If your first choice of lenders declines your application and you’ve exhausted all possibilities of obtaining an approval from them (e.g. reapplying with a cosigner), you can, at this point, complete a second loan application with an alternative lender.

Q: When should I apply for a private loan?

A: We recommend that you begin the private loan application process in June or July prior to the beginning of classes.

Q. How much can I borrow in private student loans?

A: You may borrow up to the approved student expense budget (less any anticipated scholarships/grants and/or federal student loans). We encourage you to be conservative about the amount you borrow, borrowing only what you need.

International Students

Q: Are international students eligible for Federal Stafford Loans?

A: No. Federal student loans are only available to US citizens and eligible permanent residents.

Q: What kind of NYU School of Law financial aid is available to international students?

A: International JD students may be eligible receive NYU School of Law institutional funding. International LLM students are eligible for merit-based scholarship funding only, as determined by the Office of Graduate Admissions.

Q: As an international student, what types of loans am I eligible to receive?

A: You may be eligible for loans from you own country and some private educational loans through US lenders. Most US lenders will require non-US citizens to have a credit-worthy US citizen co-signer.

Q: Does NYU offer any loans?

A: No. We are unable to offer loans to our students. We also cannot co-sign a loan for a student.

Q: My lender requires that I have a Social Security number. What should I do?

A: Please contact the New York University Office of Global Services at (212) 998-4720 for more information about obtaining a US Social Security number. Information can also be found at If you obtain a Social Security number, you must also update the School of Law’s Office of Records & Registration with this information.

Student Expense Budgets

Q: What items are not covered by the student expense budget?

A: Federal regulations mandate that the student expense budget only include education-related expenses. There are many items that students assume can be included in the student expense budget that are prohibited. The most common misconceptions include the following:

  • Consumer Debt: Students are advised that the budget will not allow for any consumer debt such as monthly credit card payments. Students are advised to budget wisely during the summer months to avoid pay off all credit card debt before coming to law school. The Law School Office of Student Financial Services cannot make allowances for credit card debt.
  • Wardrobe: The cost of a professional wardrobe will also not be considered for a budget adjustment. Students are advised that this cost may be considerable and that wise comparison shopping is advisable.
  • Moving/Summer Expenses: Moving expenses incurred during the summer preceding your entry into NYU School of Law are not legitimate for increases to the student expense budget. Students are advised to budget accordingly if they will be moving into the New York City area. Additionally, expenses incurred during the summer(s) between academic years are not covered under the student expense budget.
  • Bar Study Expenses: Bar study expenses are not allowed under the student expense budget; however, many lenders offer private consumer loans to law students. These loans assist students with paying for the expenses of a bar preparation course and living expenses associated with taking a Bar Exam after graduation. These loans are disbursed to graduating students after graduation.

Q: What if I have medical or dental expenses not covered by my insurance and I’ve already borrowed the maximum allowed?

A: Expenses for necessary medical treatment not covered by insurance may be allowed as an adjustment to the student expense budget, if you have already borrowed to the full extent of the budget. If you have a medical/dental expense that is not covered by insurance, please contact our office. Typically, we expect a detailed cost of treatment and billing summary for the expenses along with a letter from your doctor substantiating your request.

Q: If I purchase a computer, should I request a budget increase?

A: If you have not borrowed up to the budget, you do not need a budget increase. If you have borrowed up to the budget and require additional loan funds to bear the computer expense, you may request a budget increase for the purchase. You will need to complete the NYU School of Law Request for Budget Increase Form and attach supporting documentation of the computer expenses.

Q: What is the maximum budget adjustment amount for a computer purchase?

A: The maximum amount of an increase for a computer purchase is $2,000. Students are permitted only one budget adjustment for a computer during their three years at NYU School of Law.

Scholarships, Loan Disbursements, and Bursar Refunds

Q: I was approved for a loan. When will it be disbursed?

A: All loans are disbursed in two parts at the beginning of each semester (generally in late August or early September and January). Most lenders disburse funds electronically (a selected few mail paper checks) directly to NYU Bursar’s Office, which, in turn, will apply the funds to your Bursar account.

Q: I borrowed money to cover my personal and/or rent expenses. How is this money processed?

A: If you borrowed loans greater than the amount of your NYU bursar bill, the Bursar’s Office will automatically refund the excess amount to you.

Q: When will I get this money?

A: If you completed your loan applications on time and are eligible for a refund, the Bursar’s Office will process your refund check shortly after your account balance is paid in full. This generally occurs each semester during the full first week of classes.

Q: Where will my refund check be sent?

A: Refund checks are mailed to your local address on file with the University. If no local address is on file, the check will go to the permanent address. An outdated address is the most common reason for delays in receiving a refund check. Be sure to update addresses on the NYU student information system, Albert, at

Q: Is direct deposit available for refunds from the Bursar?

A: Yes. We encourage you to sign up for this service. Doing so will reduce the amount of time it takes for you to get your refund. Visit the Bursar’s website to find information about signing up for direct deposit.

Q: Does having prior involvement with the criminal justice system, such as an arrest, charges, or conviction, or answering “yes” to any of the other Character and Fitness questions on the JD admissions application, preclude an admitted student from being eligible for institutional scholarship aid?

A:  No.  NYU Law does not consider a student’s prior involvement in the criminal justice system when determining the student’s eligibility for institutional scholarship aid.  All admitted students, including those with previous criminal convictions and other prior involvement in the criminal justice system, are eligible to apply for institutional scholarship aid during the financial aid application process; and all admitted students are evaluated for such aid on an equal basis with all other admitted students.

With respect to federal student aid, incarceration and/or conviction can impact a student’s eligibility.  More detailed information about the impact of incarceration and/or conviction can be found on the Federal Student Aid website.