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Financing

Learn more about financing your legal education:

Student Administrative Services (SAS) Office & Bank -- Refunds

The Student Administrative Services (SAS) office combines  the traditional offices of financial aid and bursar in one convenient location. The office is located in the Lower Level of D'Amour Library. Your account is assigned, by the student's last name, to a Student Services Administrator (SSA).

SAS

Billing/SAS FAQs -- Payment Plan Options

What does the first summer bill show?

The first bill for the upcoming academic year shows estimated tuition and fees. Any adjustments of tuition and fees due to changes in status will be posted in the next bill after classes commence.

Why is there a Health Insurance charge?
Per Massachusetts law, any student who registers for more than an established minimum of credits must carry health insurance. The University, by default, will provide health insurance and charge the student on the first bill of the academic year. Students are given an interval during which they can waive the University's coverage and avoid the charge. To waive insurance, you must go on-line at the Health Services Forms link.

Once the waiving period is over on August 1 and University coverage is initiated, the health insurance charges cannot be reversed.

How do we arrive at the Estimated Pending Financial Aid that shows on the bill?
The bill reflects aid that the University has awarded and other external scholarships or loans of which we are aware. The University's award may be tentative pending receipt of required documentation and may change prior to the start of the semester. Actual disbursement of the University's award depends on completion of a number of steps, including signed award letters, completed promissory notes, loan counseling and other requested documentation. Students will receive notices from our office detailing any missing items.

What needs to be paid, and when?
The net balance due, after Estimated Pending Aid, is due by the due date noted on the bill, unless the bill reflects a Prepayment Plan. Bills for Plan participants indicate the monthly amount due. After the due dates, that portion of charges not covered by aid and loans is subject to a monthly finance charge of 1 percent.

What is the billing schedule?
Bills that reflect anticipated charges for the fall semester are mailed in June. Prepayment Plan participants are billed on a monthly basis thereafter. All others will not be billed again until after classes begin and aid is posted. Bills are printed on a monthly basis once classes begin. Bills for the spring semester charges are mailed in early December.

When will financial aid be posted to the account?
All financial aid and federal loans are posted once classes begin. The first bill generated after classes start should reflect all aid and loans posted to the account. These items will not appear in the Pending Aid section after posting to the account. Private loans are disbursed the week prior to classes beginning.

When will refunds be available?
Click here for a discussion of refunds.

What if the aid does not post to the account after classes start and disappears from the Estimated Pending Aid section of the bill?
If aid did not post, and the Pending Aid section is now blank, this indicates that the financial aid application process is incomplete or a required step in a particular aid item is missing. In this case, the University's awarded aid is suspended until the problem is corrected. Any portion of the bill not covered by a University Payment Plan is past due by the second bill, and may be subject to finance charges. Call the SAS office to determine what must be done.

Are there other payment options?
The Payment Plan spreads a year's payments over 10 or 12 months. The Early Payment Plan can be used to lock in the current year's tuition rate for future years. Use this link to Payment Plans for more information. If you need to finance a portion of the balance due, there are private loan options beyond the award letter. Remember that you need to plan for the entire year's charges, not just a semester's.

Withdrawal Tuition Refund Policy

Once a student commences a semester, there are non-refundable charges. Click here for a discussion of the tuition and fee refund policy and schedule.

If you need to speak to a Student Services Administrator about financing issues, please call 413-796-2080 or 800-325-1122 ext. 2080.

Financial Aid -- Private and PLUS Loans

Grad PLUS and Private Loans

Students may borrow the remainder of their financial aid budget with the credit based Grad Plus or private loans. The main features to compare are:

1. APR% which balances fees and interest rates.
2. Repayment Period.
3. Interest rate capitalization frequency.
4. Deferability.

Eligibility and Loan Amounts
Private loans are available for all students, some even for those taking fewer than 6 credits. Grad Plus loans are only offered to those taking 6 credits or more per semester. You may borrow up to your cost of attendance, minus any other aid. Students who are in default on any loan or in bankruptcy are typically ineligible for these loans.

The federal Grad PLUS Loan is credit based with no debt to income test. The fixed rate is 6.41 percent with an origination fee of 4.2 percent. Repayment is deferred until 6 months after the end of enrollment. The website for completing the application and promissory note can be accessed by clicking here

Private Loans- Visit ELM Select for a listing and easier comparison of the loans listed below. Note that almost all private loans offer better rates if approved with a credit-worthy co-signer.

Financial Aid -- Federal Direct Student Loans & Work Study

Once a student commences a semester, there are non-refundable charges. See below for a discussion of the tuition and fee refund policy and schedule.

If you need to speak to a Student Services Administrator about financing issues, please call 413-796-2080 or 800-325-1122 ext. 2080.

Direct Loan Promissory Note

The University will notify students via the email address listed on the student's FAFSA when the promissory note is ready to be signed. 

The promissory notes for the Federal Direct Unsubsidized loans, as well as the Grad PLUS loan, are electronically signed at studentloans.gov. Sign in using your FAFSA PIN and choose "Sign Master Promissory Note."

 

Direct Loan Entrance/Exit Counseling

Federal Direct Loan Entrance/Exit Counseling

You must complete your Federal Direct Unsubsidized or Grad PLUS Loan Entrance Counseling online. The University cannot disburse loan proceeds until the required counseling has been completed at studentloans.gov. Sign in using your FAFSA PIN and choose "Entrance Counseling."

This same link is used to access the federal loan Exit Counseling site. The Exit Counseling is requested upon graduation, or when a student leaves Western New England University.

Income-Based Repayment and Loan Forgiveness

As a result of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007, discussed in more detail here, repayment of all federal student loans is capped at 15 percent of your adjusted gross income and, if you work in a government or public interest position after law school, your loan balance is forgiven after 10 years of such employment (and 120 monthly loan payments). The income-based repayment and loan forgiveness provisions of this important new law apply only to federal loans and thus become a major factor supporting the selection of federal direct, as opposed to private and state, loans.

College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007

The College Cost Reduction and Access Act (CCRAA) was signed into law on September 27, 2007. The law creates a new loan repayment program and loan forgiveness option for borrowers. Borrowers who meet the requirements outlined in the law may be eligible to have a portion of their student loan debt forgiven.

There are two separate and distinctcomponents:

  1. 1)  Income-based repayment (IBR) and

  2. 2)  Loan Forgiveness

INCOME-BASED REPAYMENT (IBR)

The Income Based Repayment option takes effect beginning July 1, 2009. Loan payments will be limited to 15 percent of a borrower's discretionary income or 15 percent of the amount that a borrower's adjusted gross income exceeds 150 percent of the poverty line, divided by 12. Borrowers may remain in IBR more than 10 years. Borrowers currently repaying loans according to income-contingent repayment or income-sensitive repayment plans will have the choice to continue in their current plans or may participate in the program created by this law.

Which loans are eligible for IBR?

  • All Federal Direct Loans (FDL) and federally guaranteed loans (FFEL) are eligible for IBR including: subsidized and unsubsidized Federal Stafford loans; Federal Grad PLUS loans and Federal Direct Consolidation loans.

  • Loans made by a state or private lender and not guaranteed by the federal government are never eligible. Parent PLUS loans are not eligible for IBR. Federal Perkins Loans are only eligible when part of a Federal Direct Consolidation Loan. Borrowers should seek advice before consolidating a Perkins loan because Perkins loans include cancellation provisions.

    LOAN FORGIVENESS

    Loan Forgiveness cancels the remaining debt after 10 years of public service employment and after 25 years for all other borrowers.

    The Secretary of Education will cancel the balance of any interest and principal due on any Federal Direct Loan - including Direct Stafford, PLUS, or Consolidation Loan - that is not in default of a borrower who:

  • Has made 120 Federal Direct payments or ten years of payments (whichever is longer) after October 1, 2007 and is employed in a "public service job at the time of the 120th payment. The borrower must have been employed in a public service job during 120 payment periods. (A public service job is defined as a full-time job in emergency management, government, military service, public safety, law enforcement, public health, public education, social work, public interest law services, child care, public library sciences, or any other job at an organization that is described in section 501(C)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.)
  • Periods of deferment and forbearance are not counted toward the payments. Payments made before October 1, 2007 do not count.

  • Borrowers may consolidate into Direct Lending in order to qualify for this loan forgiveness program starting July 1, 2008.

  • The Department will repay or cancel any outstanding loan principal and interest for all borrowers (regardless of type of employment) after 25 years of repayment.

Which loans are eligible for Loan Forgiveness?

  • Eligible loans include federal Direct Stafford Loans (Subsidized and Unsubsidized), Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loans, and Federal Direct Consolidation Loans. Borrowers in the Direct Loan program do not need to consolidate in order to qualify for loan forgiveness. Borrowers in the FFEL program will need to consolidate into Direct Loans.

  • Although the Federal Perkins Loans are not eligible for public service loan forgiveness, if they are included in a Federal Direct Consolidation Loan the entire consolidation, including the Federal Perkins Loans, is eligible for public service loan forgiveness. One may use the income-based repayment and income-contingent repayment on such a consolidation loan.

  • Federal Perkins loan borrowers will need to consider the tradeoffs of including the Perkins loans in a Federal Direct Consolidation loan. When Federal Perkins loans are consolidated, they lose several favorable benefits, such as subsidized interest, a 9 month grace period, and a generous loan forgiveness program.

    OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

  • Under current tax law, canceled and forgiven debts are generally treated as income and your forgiven debt may be taxed as income. There is strong pressure to have Congress amend the tax code to exclude such loan forgiveness from taxable income, before this becomes an issue in 2017.

  • If you file income tax as “married, filing separately,” your spouse’s income will not be counted when calculating loan repayments.

  • You must be employed in the public service area when forgiveness is requested as well as when your IBR payments are made.

    BENEFITS FOR INDIVIDUALS BEGINNING REPAYMENT BEFORE JULY 1, 2009

    Payments made after October 1, 2007 on a Federal Direct Loan count toward the 120 payments required for forgiveness. To benefit, the borrower must have a Federal Direct Loan or Federal Direct Consolidation Loan. Borrowers planning on 10 year careers in a job eligible for forgiveness may want to obtain a Federal Direct Consolidation Loan and begin payments under an income contingent repayment (ICR) plan (thus paying as little as possible). It appears that borrowers may elect to change the repayment plan from income contingent to income based after July 1, 2009, but there is a possibility that the borrow might need to obtain a new Federal Direct Consolidation Loan.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Withdrawal Tuition Refund Policy

Western New England University participates in the Federal Direct Loan program, which allows the University to receive loan funds directly from the U.S. Department of Education and to disburse them to eligible students. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form is your application for this program and can be completed on-line at http://www.fafsa.gov/. We no longer require copies of the federal Form 1040 income tax return or W-2 forms. Please use the IRS Data Retrieval Process when filing the FAFSA. If filing the FAFSA before completing federal income tax forms, update the FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool at least two weeks after the tax returns have been filed. 

Federal Direct Loans are government-funded loans. They can be awarded to any student provided he/she is not in default on a government student loan. Up to $20,500 can be borrowed per year. After July 1, 2012, all Federal Direct Loans for law students are Unsubsidized loans. Subsidized loan eligibility for graduate and professional students has been eliminated. Actual Direct Loan disbursements are reduced by origination fees of 1.05% which are retained by the government.  For example, total maximum disbursements for the year are $20,286, or $10,143 per semester.

Eligibility and Loan Amounts
You must be enrolled at least half-time in a degree program to receive Federal Direct student loan fundsLoans are based on financial need as determined by the University’s analysis of your completed FAFSA. Students must be U.S. citizens, eligible non-citizens, or permanent residents to receive Federal Direct Loans. They must also not be in default on a prior student loan and not declared bankruptcy in the last seven (7) years.

Interest Rates & Fees
Interest rates for the Federal Direct student loans are a fixed 6.21 percent with a 1 percent origination fee.

Repayment Requirements
Repayment begins six months after enrollment ceases to be at least half-time. The maximum payback period is 25 years.

Sample Loan Repayment Schedule
Sample repayment calculators are found on most lender sites, private and federal. The federal site is studentloans.gov.

Massachusetts Bar Foundation Emergency Loan Fund
The School of Law occasionally loans small amounts of money to students on a short-term basis. These loans do not exceed $500 and the interest rate is 12 percent annually. Contact the Assistant Dean for Law Student Affairs for an application.

Federal Work-Study (FWS)
Federal Work Study is available for summer employment after a student completes their first year.

The FWS award is $3000 and is based on financial need. Funds are limited and awarded on a first come basis. Public Interest Scholars and Holmes Scholars are ineligible for consideration.

A summer FWS application and the FAFSA are required by a specific submission date.

 

Tuition Refund Schedule

Our refund policy is based on the fact that the University makes commitments in advance to our teaching staff and others who provide vital services to students and the University. Your enrollment may have prevented another student from registering for a course or may have kept us from canceling a course with low enrollment. We must cover the costs of these services to you and other students. 

Financial aid recipients, please note:  The University is required to cancel aid and loans using a prescribed formula. Even if charges are covered by financial aid prior to withdrawal, after withdrawal and cancellation of aid there is a good chance that there will be a balance due to the University.

Fees, including room and board, are nonrefundable and tuition payments are not transferable. For a full discussion of withdrawal and refunding issues, click here to view the University catalogue.

15 Week Classes (Typical Traditional Student): Refund period is for four weeks.

  • 100% prior to first class meeting.
  • 75% during first week of classes.
  • 66 2/3% during second week of classes.
  • 33 1/3% during third week of classes.
  • 25% during fourth week of classes.
  • No refunds after the 4th week of classes.

11 Week Classes: Refund period is for three weeks.

  • 100% prior to first class meeting.
  • 75% during first week of classes.
  • 50% during 2nd week of classes.
  • 25% during 3rd week of classes.
  • No refunds after the 3rd week of classes.

8 Week Classes: Refund period is for two weeks.

  • 100% prior to 1st class meeting.
  • 75% through the 3rd day of term.
  • 50% through the 6th day of term.
  • 25% through the 10th day of term.
  • No refunds after the 10th day of term.

6 Week Classes: Refund period is for one week

  • 100% prior to 1st class meeting.
  • 75% through 1st day of term.
  • 50% through 3rd day of term.
  • 25% through 5th day of term.
  • No refunds after 5th day of term.

Two Week Winterim: Refund period is for three days

  • 100% prior to 1st class meeting.
  • 75% through 1st day of term.
  • 50% through 2nd day of term.
  • 25% through 3rd day of term.
  • No refunds after 3rd day of term.