How to Apply for Financial Aid
Law school is a major large investment in your future and navigating the financial aid process can be tricky. The Financial Aid Office at California Western is here to help every step of the way.
Financial Aid Applications
To receive federal aid, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You can also check your financial aid status or view your aid package on the California Western Online Aid System.
- New users must set up an account using your Social Security Number and your student ID.
- If you forget or lose your password, you can reset it using your custom security questions.
- If you should have trouble with the online Financial Aid Application, you can get help by contacting the Financial Aid Office at 619-525-7060.
Your Financial Aid Package
When your eligibility has been determined, you will be notified via email and given the option to accept, reduce, or decline the aid outlined in your award package. Once accepted, we will begin to process the loans you requested.
Promissory Note and Entrance Counseling
If this is your first time borrowing federal loans at California Western, you must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and federal Entrance Loan Counseling on the Student Aid website.
Detailed Steps to Apply for Financial Aid
The following is a detailed list of steps that should be taken when applying for financial aid at California Western School of Law:
- Before completing any forms, read the Financial Aid section of this Web site. Be sure to take note of the applicable deadline dates: while you may apply for aid after these dates, the full array of aid sources may not still be available if you apply late.
- Complete the current Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
- The California Western School of Law institution code is G13103.
- You may complete your application electronically, via FAFSA On The Web, or you may complete the paper version of the application. It may take the processor four to six weeks to process a paper application.
- Once processed, a Student Aid Report (SAR) will be mailed to you by the processor and an electronic version of the SAR will be transmitted to the schools you indicated on your FAFSA.
- Create your account on the California Western School of Law Online Aid System. Students must be accepted for admission before they can create an account; instructions on establishing a login will generally be emailed to you within a week of your admission.
- Once the Financial Aid Office has determined your aid eligibility, we will send you an email directing you return to the Online Aid System to accept, reduce, or decline the aid in your award package.
- Once you have accepted one or more loan awards, the Financial Aid Office will begin
to process the loans you requested.
- The Direct Loan Servicing Center will then process the loan, which, in the case of Graduate PLUS includes a credit check.
- You must also complete a promissory note (usually a Master Promissory Note) for each loan type either electronically at StudentLoans.gov or on paper; if you receive a promissory note in the mail, complete and return it to Direct Loan Servicing as soon as possible.
- All students must conduct entrance counseling prior to receiving federal student loan aid. Students who have not previously received aid as a graduate student should complete Graduate Student Entrance Counseling at StudentAid.gov.
- Submit any additional documents that are listed on the Documents tab of the Online Aid System. Federal Work-Study authorization forms will not be available (or needed) until after you begin attendance at California Western.
- You may defer payment of tuition and fees by filing a Tuition Deferment/Promissory
Note with the Business Office.
- You may only defer the amount of tuition and fees that will be covered by your financial aid.
- Tuition deferments based on student loans are valid only after you submit your FAFSA or Renewal FAFSA to the federal processor and your California Western Financial Aid Application to the Financial Aid Office.
- Be aware that if your lender denies your Graduate PLUS or private loan application, the portion of tuition deferred based on those loan funds becomes due and payable immediately.
- Applicants with derogatory credit should be prepared to secure another method of financing.
- California Western School of Law will not provide funds to replace your Graduate PLUS or private loan if it is denied by your lender.
Once all of the necessary documents have been received and reviewed, your eligibility for financial aid will be determined and an Award Notification indicating the types and amounts of aid you have been awarded will become available on our Online Aid System.
Note: Graduate PLUS and private loans are subject to lender credit criteria. Your lender will decide whether to approve or deny your Graduate PLUS or private loan application. For these reasons, the appearance of an Graduate PLUS or private loan on your Award Notification does not guarantee lender approval.
Please feel free to contact the Financial Aid Office if you have any questions.
Important Financial Aid Deadlines
Although California Western offers admissions on a rolling basis; students should keep the following deadlines in mind if they plan on applying for financial aid.
Fall/Spring or Fall Only Application Cycle
- March 2: Submit your 2022-2023 FAFSA to the federal processor by this date. Exception: new students admitted for the fall 2022 term after February 16, 2022, must submit their FAFSA within two weeks of their admission date, or be considered late.
- Mid-August: New students and first-time borrowers should complete their online Entrance Counseling sessions by now. All students must complete Entrance Counseling before receiving federal aid for the first time at CWSL.
- Late August: Excess funds payments - payments of loan amounts that exceed institutional charges - will be sent out by Student Accounts 1-2 business days prior to the first day of classes. A student's financial aid file must be complete before disbursements can be made.
Spring/Summer or Spring Only application cycle
- March 2: FAFSA deadline. Submit your 2022-2023 FAFSA to the federal processor by this date. Exception: new students admitted for the spring 2023 term must submit their 2022-2023 FAFSA no later than two weeks after their admission date or be considered late.
- Late December - Early January: New students and first-time borrowers should complete their online Entrance Counseling
sessions by now. All students must complete Entrance Counseling before receiving federal
aid for the first time at CWSL.
Early January: Spring disbursements available at the Business Office 1-2 business days prior to the first day of classes. A student's financial aid file must be complete before disbursements can be made.
Summer/Fall, Summer Only, or Summer Break Work-Study application cycle
- March 2: Summer Financial Aid Application deadline. Submit Supplemental Aid Application for Summer to the Financial Aid office. If not already completed, submit your 2021-2022 FAFSA and 2022-2023 FAFSA to the Federal processor by this date.
- Late April: Summer disbursements are available through the Student Accounts Office 1-2 business days prior to the first day of classes. (Summer Study Abroad students will not receive aid until shortly before the start of their abroad program.) A student's financial aid file must be complete before disbursements can be made.