The following is important information for financial aid recipients regarding the Cost of Attendance and Federal Loans for individuals enrolled within the Distance Learning Program as a MELP, MERL or LLM student.

Cost of Attendance and Federal Loans

Your financial aid award letter indicates the level of funding you can receive in federal financial aid funds for the MELP, MERL or LLM Distance Learning Program. Financial Aid eligibility is based on the cost of education (see projected costs below) and the information provided on the FAFSA. Students enrolled in the Distance Learning MELP, MERL and LLM programs are charged per credit and awarded funds to cover the cost of participating in the 5-semester program. The table below indicates the maximum amount that can be borrowed based on full-time enrollment.

Cost of Attendance and Federal Loans
MELP and LLM Distance Learning 5-Semester Degree Program
BudgetMELP and LLM Distance Learning 5-Semester Degree Program
Tuition$40,350
VLS Student Administration Fee$1,000
Federal Loan Fees Est.$500
One-Time New Student Fee$250
One-Time Graduation Fee$110
Subtotal (Direct Costs) $42,210
Internet Connection$1000
Book Allowance$2500
Subtotal (Indirect Costs) $3500
Total$45,710

PLEASE NOTE: For students who are using Federal Direct Unsubsidized Student Loans to cover the cost of their educational expenses, we are now using a “Borrower-Based Academic Year” (BBAY). The BBAY is an option provided by the Department of Education that allows colleges to package any two semesters as one academic year. This means that Unsubsidized Loans, which are capped at $20,500 per academic year, will fully cover the cost of attendance each semester for the MELP/LLM distance learning program (unless you choose to take a residential class at some point during your distance learning program; then, the GradPLUS Loan will be an option.)

Student Loan Terms 2014-15*
Loan TypeAnnual Interest RatesFeeMaximumRepayment
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan6.21%1.073%$20,500/year ; $138,500/maxSix month grace period and may lifetime max: apply for IBR or PAYE or Loan Consolidation after Graduation and/or Public Loan Forgiveness, as applicable.
Federal Direct GradPLUS Loan7.21%4.292%up to budget(Same as Federal Ubsub. Stafford Loan - see above repayment.)
  1. Deferment forms are required on an annual basis during all in-school and post-graduate deferment periods. Failure to process the required deferment forms on time will automatically enter you into repayment. You may potentially forfeit your deferment privilege and you may be responsible for any additional costs of collection and attorney's fees.
  2. Ten-year repayment​ period, but may be extended with repayment choice.
  3. No prepayment penalty.
  4. Cancellation upon death or total and permanent disability of borrower.
  5. Defaulted loans are reported to a national credit reporting agency and may prevent a borrower from receiving additional credit.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THE LOAN PROGRAMS ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE AT ANY TIME DUE TO BOTH FEDERAL AND INSTITUTIONAL REGULATIONS.

The Unsubsidized Loan has a fixed interest rate of 6.21% and a 1.073% fee, making it less costly than the Grad PLUS loan which carries a 7.21% interest rate and a 4.292% fee. Borrowers are responsible for the interest that begins to accrue upon disbursement. Interest will be deferred, or you can make interest payments on a monthly or quarterly basis. Deferred interest is added to the principal balance of the loan upon entering repayment. Payment on your Federal Direct Student loans begin six months after graduation, withdrawal from school, or if you are enrolled less than half-time.

Your Unsubsidized Loans will be disbursed by term, according to the borrower-based academic year below. Funds are disbursed to the VLS Business Office on the first day of each term. Tuition and fees are paid first, any remaining funds are sent directly to the student in a refund check.

Disbursement Schedule - Borrower Based Academic Year (BBAY) - Two Semesters (Four Terms)
Semester 1Semester 2
Student ExpensesTerm 1Term 2Term 1Term 2
Tuition (3 credits per course at $1,345 per credit)$4035$4035$4035$4035
Student Administration Fees$100$100$100$100
Federal Loan Fees Est.$50$50$50$50
Internet Connection*$100$100$100$100
Book Allowance*$250$250$250$250
Total*$4535$4535$4535$4535

* This chart does not include one-time fees of $250 Administrative Fee for new students and one-time graduation fee of $110. Should a student need to borrow a loan for certain specific, limited expenses which exceed the projected Cost of Attendance as listed above, they may contact the VLS Financial Aid Office for more information. If the request falls within federal and institutional guidelines, a small GradPLUS Loan may be awarded. This would also pertain to any DL student who is approved for a residential class and/or associated expenses.

Terms and Conditions of Financial Aid

  1. FINANCIAL AID POLICIES
    1. Financial aid offered by the school is awarded on the basis of financial need or merit. All students who apply and are eligible for assistance will be offered financial aid subject to availability of funds.
    2. To maintain eligibility for financial aid a student must be in good standing and making satisfactory academic progress as determined by the school.
    3. All scholarships and financial aid will be awarded on a yearly basis. Students are required to file a FAFSA each year to determine if the student will continue to qualify for aid.
    4. All awards received, including but not limited to: Fellowship, Tuition Waiver, or Stipend is included as anticipated Financial Aid, and will reduce any or all institutional scholarship previously awarded by Vermont Law School.
    5. All outside scholarships received by a student to attend Vermont Law School must be reported to the Financial Aid Office even though they may be received after aid from the school has been awarded. Federal regulations require the school to consider these resources in determining a student’s total award.
    6. Vermont Law School reserves the right to review and modify the award based on changes of a student’s financial or academic status or the availability of funds, which are beyond its control.
    7. Any funds received under the Federal Direct Loan programs must be used solely for expenses related to attendance at Vermont Law School.
    8. If a student leaves school before completing the academic year, the student may be responsible for repayment of a pro-rated amount of any portion of aid payment made which cannot be reasonably attributed to meeting the educational expenses related to attendance at Vermont Law School. The amount of such repayment is to be determined on the basis of criteria set forth by the Secretary of Education.
  2. FEDERAL DIRECT LOAN PROGRAM
    (Unsubsidized Direct Loan and Grad PLUS Loan)
    1. Loan proceeds will be disbursed at the start of each academic term, and applied directly to tuition and fees. Any credit balance created as a result of this disbursement will be refunded directly to the borrower to be used for educational related expenses.
    2. Funds are disbursed by electronic means and applied directly to the student’s account. Students will be notified in writing within 30 days that the funds have been disbursed.
    3. Students must complete the required entrance counseling on-line session at www.studentloans.gov prior to disbursement of any loan funds.
    4. Students must complete a Master Promissory Note before any loan funds will be disbursed.
    5. During the last term prior to graduation, students must complete an exit counseling session, on-line or in person with the Financial Aid Office.
  3. VETERANS BENEFITS
    1. Students must provide Vermont Law School with their Certificate of Eligibility letter received from the Department of Veterans Affairs prior to receiving a Financial Aid Award.
    2. If a student is eligible for Yellow Ribbon Fund benefits from the VA and VLS, then any previously awarded merit or need-based scholarship from Vermont Law School will be rescinded. In other words, a student may not receive both Yellow Ribbon and Merit or need-based scholarship from Vermont Law School.
    3. Vermont Law School will maintain a file for each Veteran, and communicate the required information to the Veterans Affairs using VA-ONCE.

For More Information

For more information about Federal Student Loan programs, visit these sites:

www.studentaid.ed.gov

This US Department of Education site provides excellent information on types of federal aid and management of loans.

www.nslds.ed.gov

This site provides information about all your education loans—dates loans were distributed, loan amounts, and loan servicers.