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Law School Student Expense Budgeting

The student budgets at New England Law | Boston for part-time, day division law school program; the full-time, day division law school program; and those taking law school evening classes allow for a moderate standard of living suitable for a graduate student. Our students come from varied backgrounds, so actual living expenses will vary accordingly.

New England Law uses four standard expense budgets for students: two for Day Division students (living at home or on their own) and two for Evening Division students (living at home or on their own). These law student budgets include married or single students with dependents; but please note that these students are afforded higher allowances against income when their contribution is calculated.

2013-2014 Student Expense Budgets

Additional Expense Budget Information

Living Expenses

The law school living expenses budgets for incoming and returning students consist of a nine-month room, board, and personal expense allowance of $18,630 (if living on your own) or $10,300 (if living with parents). The allowance is divided by nine to provide a monthly total of $2,070 or $1,144.

The Office of Financial Aid intentionally does not break down the monthly allowance into expense sub-groups. We believe this is a personal decision best made by the individual student to accommodate his/her lifestyle. However, we do maintain that $18,630 or $10,300 is the total expense budget allowable — and should be considered carefully when deciding where to allocate funds each month.

Student Health Insurance Expenses

The total cost of attendance budget established by the Office of Financial Aid may include health insurance costs through the school plan, unless waived by the student on Financial Aid Processing Form.  If waiving the school's plan, you will also need to complete a waiver for the Student Accounts Office.  This waiver is available on the United Health Care website; the upcoming year's waiver will be available starting in July.

Adjustments to the Student Law School Budget

The majority of the student budget is financed through federal loans that you must pay back upon graduation.  Therefore, it is important that you live within the established budget guidelines.

If your lifestyle demands elevated spending in one area, you should cut expenses in other areas to compensate.  Any adjustments made to the budget are subject to the same guidelines as the standard budget and in turn must fall under the category of educational expenses only.

Due to federal law, the Office of Financial Aid cannot provide any information to any student or certification to any lender that qualifies the student for a loan or loans in excess of the amount that the student is eligible to borrow.  If you have to be a college student in order to get the loan, then it is an education loan and counts as estimated financial assistance.  If the Office of Financial Aid learns of an education loan taken outside of the maximum allowable budget, the loan must be figured into the student's budget and will reduce his or her borrowing ability.

Changes in Personal Circumstances

Any changes in personal circumstances (e.g. income, scholarships, benefits, additions to assets, marital status, or number of dependents) that were not originally reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be reported to the Office of Financial Aid immediately. Failure to update this information could result in a request for repayment of any financial aid funds received.

There are several items (listed below) that are allowable increases and will be granted when the appropriate documentation is received by the Office of Financial Aid. Also listed below are several items that will not be considered under any circumstances as grounds for a budget increase.

Please note: When a budget increase is granted, it will most likely take the form of additional Grad PLUS loan funds. As a result, it will increase your loan burden upon graduation.  Additional Grad PLUS loans will be subject to a credit check and cannot be guaranteed by the Office of Financial Aid.

Items Eligible for Budget Adjustments

Computer Purchases

Student budgets may be increased to allow for the purchase and insuring of a computer as well as any hardware and software needed (including a printer), provided that all items are purchased at the same time. This increase of up to $2,000 — available one time during your attendance at New England Law — is required to be split into two even disbursements over the fall and spring semesters.  Only purchases made between June and May of the current academic year (ex. June 2012 - May 2013) can be considered for the increase.

The following is required to be considered for this increase:

  • Documentation of the cost in the form of receipts
  • Approval for a loan to cover the cost of the computer

For more details on the computer purchase policy, please refer to the Computer Purchase Fact Sheet.

 

Daycare Costs

Upon request, the Office of Financial Aid may increase a student budget to allow for the cost of daycare for dependent children.  Documentation is required to create an estimate of expected costs.  Daycare costs will only be considered if incurred between August and May of the current academic year (ex. August 2012 - May 2013).  Costs incurred during summer months can only be considered if you are enrolled in summer classes at least half-time.

Healthcare Costs

Unusual and excessive medical expenses incurred during the academic year that are not otherwise reimbursed by insurance may be considered.  Documentation is required to create an estimate of expected costs.  Medical expenses will only be considered if incurred between August and May of the current academic year (ex. August 2012 - May 2013).  Costs incurred during summer months can only be considered if you are enrolled in summer classes at least half-time.

Items Not Eligible for Budget Adjustments

Consumer Debt

The student budget will not allow for a monthly credit card payment.  You are encouraged to refrain from credit card use while in school and strongly encouraged to consider clearing your consumer debt before entering law school.

Automobile Expenses

Although the budget takes transportation costs into consideration, the moderate allowance does not cover the high costs associated with car payments, insurance and parking.  In lieu of a car, we encourage you to take advantage of New England Law's close proximity to public transportation.

Moving Expenses

You may incur moving expenses as you prepare for law school.  These are not covered in the budget and should be taken into consideration before enrolling.  The budget allows a monthly housing cost.  However, any fees associated with moving (e.g. first and last month's rent, security deposits, realtor's fees) will not be considered — even if the move occurs during the three years you are enrolled at New England Law.

Mortgage Payments

Although the budget takes housing costs into consideration, the moderate allowance cannot be increased to cover a student's specific mortgage costs.

Wardrobe Expenses

The costs associated with assembling and maintaining a professional wardrobe is not eligible for budget adjustments.

Bar Expenses

There is no allowance in the student budget for expenses related to taking the bar exam.  However, the Office of Financial Aid has compiled a list of lenders that offer private loans to cover such costs.