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Frequently Asked Questions About Financial Aid

How do I enroll for direct deposit?
You will enroll via the student portal and will need to set up the direct deposit using your banking information.

Who do I contact if I have problems with direct deposit?
Call 517-355-3343 ask for MSU Student Accounts (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.). If that does not resolve the issue, email the Office of Financial Aid at for additional assistance.

How do I apply for financial aid?
It’s simple: complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and your information is sent to MSU College of Law within a few days. Our school code is 002290, and you don’t need to report parent information.

Should I use the MSU code or the MSU Law code when completing the FAFSA?
MSU Law students use the same code as all other MSU students, 002290.

What kind of financial aid can I receive?
The Admissions Office considers incoming students for merit-based tuition scholarships, which may be renewed annually. The Financial Aid Office reviews eligibility for federal loans and private loans. Students are also considered for Work-Study on a case-by-case basis. You must file the FAFSA to be considered for federal student loans and Work-Study.

When will I know how much loan money I can get?
Your award package will be available in your financial aid student portal. Students will receive separate notification from the Admissions Office regarding scholarship eligibility.

Do I have to reapply every year?
Students must complete a new FAFSA every year. Although the MSU College of Law has a published deadline of April 1st, financial aid forms submitted after the deadline are accepted.

What if I need more money?
The Financial Aid Office uses a cost of attendance (or budget) to determine aid the amount of aid a student may receive. The budget includes tuition, fees, food and housing, books, and other expenses. The budget does not allow for car payments or credit card bills; such expenses are the student’s responsibility. In some cases, the Financial Aid Office can make modest budget increases for a computer, child care and credits above the budgeted amount.

When do I have to repay the loans?
Generally, federal student loan repayment begins six months after graduation. Repayment may begin earlier if the student disenrolls or enrolls at less than half-time (five credits for fall and spring, three credits for summer) status.. Private loans have different repayment terms so students are advised to read the fine print on their promissory note before applying.

What other financial aid options do I have?
Students can search for scholarships and writing competitions through MSU Law or through outside resources.

Do you have a loan forgiveness program?
MSU College of Law does not have an LRAP. Federal regulations may also allow students to have a portion of their federal loans forgiven if they enter public service.

How do I contact the Financial Aid Office?
The Financial Aid Office can be reached at 517-353-2401 or Students can also call the Office of Admissions at 517-432-0222 to schedule an appointment with Financial Aid.

If I need to apply for a Grad Plus Loan, how long does that take?
Approval can take 24 hours to 10 days, depending on your credit.

What do I need to do to make sure that I’m enrolled in classes and get my refund?
To make sure you receive your refund, you must be enrolled and take any needed loan action(s).

Are there late fees at MSU?
Failing to enroll or take loan actions on time can lead to late fees.

How will I know that I’m getting a refund?
After enrollment, check your Account Detail in the student portal. If there is a negative amount showing, that amount is your potential refund.

If I’m expecting a refund and don’t see it on my billing statement or on Account Detail, what should I do?
Please contact Financial Aid at

How and when will I get my refund?
Enroll in direct deposit via the student portal for fastest access to your refund. If you are not signed up for Direct Deposit, a check will be mailed to the current address the University has on file for you. Refunds are available approximately 10 days before classes begin at MSU. MSU’s start date may be later than MSU Law’s, and the refund date is tied to the main university. If you need funds before your refund is available, please email Financial Aid about short term loan options.

How can I access my refund before it’s disbursed so that I can pay for rent, books and other essentials?
MSU offers an emergency short term loan program, as well as a regular short-term loan program.

  • The emergency short term loan is available as of July 1 each year, and you apply via the link in your financial aid student portal. Funds will be mailed to you (not direct deposited) so please be sure that your (local) address is up to date with the University. Email Financial Aid for more information.
  • You can apply via student portal for the regular short term loan starting in late July each year, and funds will be direct deposited if you are signed up for direct deposit. This loan has a 7% interest rate.
  • Students applying for a short-term loan for more than $1500 or combined loans of that amount cannot pick up a check the same day as the request or have the funds direct-deposited. Loans for $1500 or combined loans of this type will be sent via mail, meaning that funds may not be received for 7-10 days. Please remember this when applying for a loan so that you get your funds on the expected timeline.


How much can I borrow via the short term loan programs?
Students may borrow up to $1500 for qualified educational expenses.

When are the short-term loans due?
Payment is due within 60 days of receipt of the funds.

Why is the College of Law no longer doing cash advances?
As part of the integration with MSU, we are now following MSU policies and procedures. MSU does not issue cash advances as the Law College has done, but the short-term loan is intended to offer the same benefit.

What’s the difference between the billing statement and account detail in the student portal?
The billing statement never changes, whereas the Account Detail shows each change to your account throughout the semester/academic year. The Account Detail screen will take 24 hours to update after any change.

While the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is intended to determine the amount a family can reasonably be expected to pay toward a student's college costs, circumstances occasionally arise that make the FAFSA data an inaccurate picture of family resources. A Professional Judgment (PJ) allows us to evaluate your current financial circumstances with the possibility of increasing your aid.

Some special conditions that may be reviewed:

  • Retirement of dependent student's parent
  • Death of dependent student's parent
  • Parent's loss of employment
  • Reduction of untaxed income (child support or Social Security income)
  • High unreimbursed medical expenses in the base year (the tax year reported on your FAFSA)
  • Circumstances that may complicate your dependency status
  • Additional education expenses not already included in the standard budget, such as child care for a child or dependent, computer costs, travel for educational conferences, study abroad or additional coursework.

How to request a Professional Judgment

Contact an advisor at the Office of Financial Aid to discuss whether you might benefit from completing a Professional Judgment form, which requires substantial documentation on your part.

There is also a PJ request form in your student portal, but contacting our office directly is the preferred method.

The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS®) is the national database of information about loans and grants awarded to students. NSLDS® provides a centralized, integrated view of federal student aid loans and grants that are tracked through their entire lifecycle from aid approval through disbursement and repayment (if applicable).