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Tuition, Fees & Student Budget
Appealing the Student Budget Limit
The Moritz College of Law and the OSU Office of Student Financial Aid are required by federal regulations to establish a Student Budget each year for students. This Student Budget represents the maximum amount of money that an independent student, living a modest lifestyle, should need during his/her enrollment as a full-time student.
In turn, the Student Budget represents the maximum amount of financial assistance that a law student may be awarded for the academic year (the total of grants, scholarships, and loans). The Student Budget is intended to cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, supplies and a living allowance for the time the student is enrolled.
In certain circumstances, a student may have the Student Budget increased to accommodate special expenses. Increases to the Student Budget are considered on an appeal basis. To request an increase, a student must file an Appeal Form. If an appeal is successful, the student's Student Budget will be increased and the student then may request or apply for additional loan assistance.
NOTE: obtaining more funds is a two-step process that involves submitting an appeal to have the "ceiling" raised and then applying for additional loan assistance.
Permissible and Impermissible Reasons
The following are examples of permissible and impermissible reasons for requesting an increase.
Permissible Reasons for a Budget Increase
- Unusual medical/dental expenses for the student or his/her dependent(s);
- Daycare/childcare expenses;
- The purchase of a computer for use in law-school studies;
- Student's decision to live alone in off-campus housing;
- Change in Resources (Income/Financial circumstances).
Impermissible Reasons for a Budget Increase
- Consumer debt or debt relating to financing an automobile;
- Expenses relating to supporting a spouse/child (other than daycare);
- Purchase of computer software, monthly fees for a private Internet Service Provider, or for the upgrade of a computer;
- Purchase of home furnishings or automobile payments;
- Summer living expenses when a student is not enrolled at least half time in summer classes.
Appeals to increase the Student Budget must be supported by documentation, such as an itemized receipt(s), a lease agreement indicating the student is living alone, etc. Instructions relating to the most common appeals appear below.
Appeal forms may be obtained from the Moritz College of Law Office of Admissions and Financial Aid, Room 104 Drinko Hall, on the wall rack located next to Room 104D or downloaded at http://sfa.osu.edu/forms. Current law students may return completed Appeal Forms to the "Financial Aid Drop Off" bin located on the Admissions counter in Room 104 Drinko.
Entering students may mail completed Appeal Forms to:
Assistant Director of Financial Aid
OSU Moritz College of Law
Office of Admissions and Financial Aid
Room 104 Drinko Hall
55 W. 12th Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210-1391
Required Documentation for the Most Common Appeals to Student Budget
Purchase of a Computer
Law students who have purchased a computer may have their budget increased to cover the cost of the computer and a printer. The computer must have been purchased since the start of this academic year, which is July 1st, and an itemized receipt must be submitted and show payment in full. A budget increase will NOT be for software, warranty, carrying case, etc. The student needs to complete ONLY the first page of the appeal form (front and back, with a one or two sentence explanation regarding the need for the PC on the backside). The maximum amount allowable for a computer purchase and/or printer is $1,800.
Law students may have their budget increased for living alone. The only paperwork that a student needs to complete is a photocopy of the signed lease along with the appropriate appeal form. The living alone increase will be granted only for those months that the lease overlaps with the months that the student is enrolled at least half time in the Moritz College of Law.
Students who have unusually high medical/dental expenses during the academic year may have their budget increased. Students should complete of the Appeal Form and work with the Moritz Financial Aid Office.
Change in Income/Financial Circumstances
Law students who believe that the financial information submitted on the FAFSA form is not representative of their financial situation for the upcoming academic year may provide updated information regarding this in the form of an appeal. Typically, appeals are submitted by students who will have a change in income (e.g., due to enrollment in law school) and by students who currently have or recently have had significant personal expenses (e.g., medical).
Along with completed appeal form, student must provide certain documentation depending on the resource change. Please contact our Financial Aid Office about required documentation (e.g letter from employer stating when official last day of work is/was).
Once the completed appeal form and supporting documentation have been submitted, the University Office of Student Financial Aid will evaluate the information to determine whether an adjustment in the student's Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is appropriate and/or whether the Student Budget can be increased. The University Office of Student Financial Aid typically evaluates appeals within 2-4 weeks of their submission.
NOTE: Since appeals to the Student Budget result in increased borrowing limits, it is most important that law students who file an appeal are aware of their overall indebtedness and the impact of repayment.
The Moritz College of Law encourages students to minimize reliance on loans and to consider the consequences of borrowing by projecting the percentage of expected monthly income that will be devoted to loan repayments. Students should always maintain accurate records of loans received and have a full sense of their current total educational debt. Generally speaking, loan repayments should not exceed 15 percent of net income.
Law students who rely on loans are strongly encouraged to calculate the monthly repayment of loans, given the amount borrowed, the interest rate, and the period of repayment.