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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.

2016-2017 Student Expense Budgets

Additional Expense Budget Information

Living Expenses

The law school living expense 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/family). The allowance is divided by nine to provide a monthly total of $2,070 or $1,144, respectively.

The Office of Financial Aid intentionally does not break down the monthly allowance into expense sub-groups. We believe this is a personal decision that you can make best for yourself, based on your lifestyle. However, we do maintain that $18,630 or $10,300 is the total expense budget allowable—and should be considered as a whole when you decide how to allocate funds each month.

Student Health Insurance Expenses

The total cost-of-attendance (COA) budget established by the Office of Financial Aid will include health insurance costs through the school-offered plan unless you waive this insurance on the Financial Aid E-App. You also will need to complete a waiver for the Student Accounts Office to have the charge removed from your student account.

More information on the waiver process for Student Accounts, as well as details on the school's health insurance plan, are available here.

Adjustments to the Student Cost of Attendance (COA) Budget

The majority of the student COA budget is financed through federal loans, and it is important that you live within the established budget guidelines.

If your spending is elevated in one area, you should cut expenses in other areas to compensate. Any adjustments that the Office of Financial Aid makes to the budget are subject to the same guidelines as your original budget and therefore can only cover educational expenses.

Under federal law, the Office of Financial Aid cannot provide information to a student or certification to a lender that qualifies the student for any loan or loans in excess of the amount that the student is eligible to borrow. In addition, if a loan is considered an educational loan that requires that you be student to qualify, it will count as estimated financial assistance. If the Office of Financial Aid learns that you have taken an education loan outside of the maximum allowable budget, the loan will be calculated as part of your budget, which will reduce your ability to borrow through school-certified educational loans.

Changes in Personal Circumstances

You must notify the Office of Financial Aid immediately of any changes in personal circumstances (e.g. income, scholarships, benefits, additions to assets, marital status, number of dependents, or enrollment status) that were not originally reported on FAFSA or the Financial Aid E-App. Failure to update this information could result in a request for immediate repayment of any financial aid funds received.

There are several items (listed below) that are allowable increases to the COA budget and will be granted once the Office of Financial Aid receives the appropriate documentation. 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

Your COA budget 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 the budget increase request for all items is submitted at the same time. This increase of up to $2,000—available one time during your attendance at New England Law—will 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 2016–May 2017) 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

Day-Care Costs

Upon request, the Office of Financial Aid may increase your budget to allow for the cost of day care for dependent children while you are in class and during study times.  You must provide documentation for the Office of Financial Aid to create an estimate of expected costs. Day-care costs will only be considered if they are incurred between August and May of the current academic year (ex. August 2016–May 2017). Costs that you incur during summer months can only be considered if you are enrolled in summer classes at least half-time. If you are married, you may be eligible for an increase of up to half the cost of day care.

Health-Care Costs

Unusual and excessive medical expenses that you incur during the academic year that are not otherwise reimbursed by insurance and that are medically necessary (not elective) may be considered. You must provide documentation (billings and payments) for the Office of Financial Aid to create an estimate of expected costs. Medical expenses will only be considered if they are incurred between August and May of the current academic year (ex. August 2016–May 2017). Costs that you incur 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

Your budget will not be increased for a monthly credit card payment. You are advised to refrain from credit card use while in school, and we strongly encourage you to consider clearing any 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 owning 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 for a monthly housing cost during the nine-month academic year. 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 your specific mortgage costs.

Wardrobe Expenses

The costs associated with assembling and maintaining a professional wardrobe are not eligible for a budget adjustment.

Bar exam Expenses

Only by request during your final year can the COA budget be increased to cover the cost of one bar exam fee. You will need to complete a request form indicating the state in which you intend to sit for the bar. Beyond this cost, students are able to borrow through a private lender to cover the cost of any bar preparation course and/or living expenses while studying for the bar. A bar study loan is considered separately and is not considered be part of the COA budget.