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How to Renew Financial Aid for the 2020-2021 Academic Year

Need-based Grants and Scholarships


Merit Scholarship recipients do not have to complete any additional paperwork to receive their awards for 2020-2021. Need Based Grant recipients are required to file a 2020-2021 FAFSA – see instructions below.

Your original award letter from the Law School included a detailed breakdown of your funding for all three years of study at Penn. Please refer to your award letter for the specific amount that you will be receiving for 2020-2021.

Applying for Loans

Federal Direct Loan Program

To receive a Direct Loan next year, you will need to file a FAFSA for 2020-2021.

  • Students who filed a 2019-2020 FAFSA should have received an FSA ID (Federal Student Aid Identification) from the Department of Education. This ID is used to file a renewal FAFSA on-line. If you have not received an FSA ID, please contact FAFSA at 1-800-433-3243.
  • Penn’s school code is 003378.
  • The 2020-2021 FAFSA will ask for 2018 tax information.
  • Submit your FAFSA as soon as possible. Note that parental information is not required.
  • By using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to file your FAFSA, you can avoid being selected for “Verification” by the Department of Education.
  • Please go to FAFSA’s website to get started.

If you are applying for a Direct Loan for the first time, complete the 2020-2021 FAFSA. (See instructions above). The FAFSA form will trigger certification of your loan by Penn. Our Student Loan Office will notify you with instructions for completing a Master Promissory Note and Loan Entrance Counseling in May to complete the process.

Please go to Penn’s Student Loan website for more information.

Loan Limits: $20,500 total per year

Institutional Loans - McKean Loan

Students who qualified for a McKean Loan must complete the 2020-2021 FAFSA and E-Sign their 2020-2021 Promissory Loan Note. You will receive instructions from Student Registration and Financial Services (SRFS) in June to E-Sign your McKean Promissory Note. Please note that the McKean Loan is not eligible for the Toll Loan Repayment Assistance Program(TolLRAP) or the government’s Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program(PSLF) upon graduation. Students interested in a public service career should review our TolLRAP guidelines before accepting this award.

McKean Loan Limits: Based on need - $4,300 limit

Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan or Alternative Private Student Loan

Applications for the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loan and private student loans must be completed each year.

Graduate students can choose between the Direct Graduate PLUS Loan and an alternative private student loan program. These programs should be compared and researched thoroughly before deciding on the type of loan that is best for you. It is important that borrowers fully understand the benefits and protections included in government loans before opting to borrow through private student loan programs. SRFS has put together a comprehensive Comparison Chart to help you make this decision.

How to Apply for the Direct Graduate PLUS Loan:

  • Step 1 – File a 2020-2021 FAFSA with the U.S. Department of Education (include Penn’s federal school code: 003378)
  • Step 2 – Complete a Grad PLUS application at after May 1, 2020 (but before June 1, 2020).

Please go to Penn’s Student Loan webpage for more information.

How to Apply for an Alternative Loan

Please go to Penn’s Student Loan webpage for instructions.

PLUS and private student loan programs require a credit evaluation. If you do not meet the minimum credit criteria, you can borrow through one of the alternative private student loan programs with a co-signer or appeal your PLUS Loan decision with a co-signer.

Loan Limits: Students can borrow up to the student budget minus any other financial aid awarded

Loan Fees

If you are borrowing through the Direct Loan or Grad PLUS Loan programs a mandatory origination fee of 1.059% and 4.236% (respectively) will be taken out of your requested loan amount automatically. For planning purposes, please account for this reduction in your disbursement. If you need the full disbursement you can add this amount back to your total amount requested or you can simply request “maximum eligibility” when requesting your Grad PLUS Loan. These two options will get you closer to your desired disbursement.

It is recommended that you complete all of your loan applications by June 1, 2020.

International Students

International Students will not be able to borrow through traditional government loans; however, there are alternative student loan programs that lend to international students with a U.S. co-signer. Please refer to Student Financial Services’ Alternative Loan webpage for more information on alternative student loans and our lender list.

If you do not have a US co-signer you can research your eligibility through Prodigy Loans or MPower Financing.

Academic Year Budget

The 2020-2021 academic year budget is posted on the Admissions and Financial Aid webpage.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Admissions and Financial Aid Office.