MLS FAQ’s

What is the cost of attendance?

The cost of attendance is found online on the WCL MLS Financial Aid webpage.

How do I apply for federal student aid?

To apply for federal student aid, please complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online. American University Washington College of Law’s federal school code is 001434.

What is the timeline for being awarded?

Once you have been admitted, registered for classes, AND our office has received a completed FAFSA, a financial aid award letter will be available on the student portal within 7-10 business days. If requested, please submit any additional information needed to complete your aid application as it may cause delays in processing.

How will I receive my award letter?

Your award letter is accessed through the AU student portal and you will receive notification via email when it is available.

After I accept my federal financial aid, what are my next steps?

Please refer to the financial aid award notice for further instructions.

What if the initial federal financial aid offer does not cover expenses?

Eligible students may be offered up to $6,833 per term in a Direct Unsubsidized Loan. If additional funding is needed beyond this, you may apply for the Direct PLUS Loan for Graduate/Professional Students. The Direct PLUS Loan requires a separate credit application to determine approval. Please refer to the chart below regarding the award year. The maximum term award is the cost of attendance minus all other financial aid, including loans, scholarships, tuition benefits and/or veteran benefits. For more information on applying for the Direct PLUS loan, please visit studentaid.gov.

StartTermAward Year
April 2021
T2
2020-2021
July 2021
T3
2021-2022
October 2021
T4
2021-2022
January 2022
T1
2021-2022
April 2022
T2
2021-2022

What are the interest rates and other loan terms?

Interest rates are updated annually by the Department of Education. For the most current interest rates and other loan terms, please visit studentaid.gov.

What are the minimum number of credits required to receive federal student aid?

To receive federal student aid, you must be enrolled in at least 3 credits (half-time status) in a particular term.

How much is the enrollment, and when is it due?

There is a $500 non-refundable enrollment deposit due once admitted.

Can I use financial aid to cover the deposit?

No, federal student aid cannot be used to pay the deposit.

When should I complete the FAFSA?

The FAFSA is available every October 1 for the upcoming academic year. New students planning to use federal student aid should complete a FAFSA while applying for admission. Continuing students will need to submit a FAFSA each year they plan to receive federal student aid.  

What criteria is used to determine eligibility for federal student aid?

The Direct Unsubsidized Loan is not based on income. In order to apply for federal student aid (FSA), you must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen
  • Have a valid Social Security Number (SSN)
  • Be registered with Selective Service, if you are male (must register between the ages of 18 and 25)
  • Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment in an eligible degree program
  • Be enrolled at least half-time in an eligible program
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP)
  • Not currently be in default on previous federal student loans
  • Not have exceeded the maximum aggregate loan limit 

Learn more about federal student aid eligibility criteria on the Federal Student Aid website. 

What is the difference between a Direct Unsubsidized Loan and a Direct Subsidized Loan?

Direct Subsidized Loans are available to undergraduate students with financial need. The U.S. Department of Education pays the interest on subsidized loans while students are enrolled in their undergraduate program. The Direct Unsubsidized Loan is available to undergraduate and graduate students and does not require demonstration of financial need. The Unsubsidized Loan begins accruing interest as soon as funds are disbursed. Learn more about the difference between unsubsidized and subsidized loans

Who can I contact at AU for questions about using military education benefits?

For questions regarding the use of your military education benefits, contact the AU VA Certifying Official by email: Alicia Marsh amarsh@american.edu. You may also schedule an appointment to speak by phone or zoom at: https://veteranservices.youcanbook.me/.

What is Satisfactory Academic Progress?

To remain eligible for financial aid, students are required to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). For MLS students, this requires a minimum cumulative GPA of at least 2.0, a completion rate of at least two-thirds of all attempted credits, and to complete the program within the maximum time frame. The AUWCL Financial Aid Office will evaluate your SAP status each term after all grades have posted. The complete SAP policy is available on our website.

As a graduate student am I eligible for any grants or scholarships?

The federal government does not offer any grants or scholarships for graduate students. Qualifying applicants may be awarded a scholarship through the admissions process. Contact the MLS program for more information.

What happens if I drop a course or all my courses?

Before you make a decision to drop a course or courses, you must contact the AUWCL Financial Aid Office to determine how the enrollment changes affect your financial aid.

Every time a course is dropped, the AUWCL Financial Aid Office reviews financial aid eligibility based on the new enrollment status to determine if the previously offered financial aid needs to be reduced or cancelled.

What if I have additional financial aid questions?

Please email finaid@wcl.american.edu or call the AUWCL Financial Aid Office at 202-274-4040.

Billing and Payments – AU Office of Student Accounts/AU Central

If I am eligible to receive a refund for living expenses, what is the process?

The AU Office of Student Accounts/AU Central is responsible for processing all refunds. If you have any financial aid funds remaining after your charges have been paid, then this amount will be refunded to you. You may sign up for direct deposit (recommended) or a paper check will be mailed to the address you have on file. Additional information about direct deposit and the student refund policy and procedures is available online on the Student Accounts Refund Policy page.

My employer or other third-party is sponsoring my education. Whom should I notify?

Please contact the AU Office of Student Accounts at sponsoraccounts@american.edu.

Is there a payment plan available for tuition charges?

There is a payment plan offered through the AU Office of Student Accounts. More information is found online on the Student Accounts Payment Plan page.

What if I have additional questions regarding my bill or payments?

Please email aucentral@american.edu or call AU Office of Student Accounts/AU Central at 202-885-8000.

What if I have questions about Veteran Benefits?

If you are interested in reviewing additional information about Veteran’s benefits at AU, visit WCL’s Financial Aid website.

MLS Program Policy on Deposit Waivers

The program deposit for the MLS program is five hundred dollars ($500). Requests to waive the program deposit should be submitted to the Director of Online Learning; and, all requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Students who have significant outside funding, including, but not limited to, veteran/military benefits and employer benefits may be granted a deposit waiver. Deposit waivers may also be granted to students who are experiencing financial hardships or special circumstances impacting their ability to pay their tuition deposit.

The deposit is a demonstration of the student’s commitment to their education and their ability to finance that education. If a student receives a deposit waiver and does not attend during the allotted time when the deposit waiver is valid, the student cannot receive a new waiver. Each student is allowed only one waiver throughout the duration of the MLS program.