Students should apply for financial aid even if they have not yet been admitted. In order to apply for financial aid, a student must first request a PIN on line. Once you have your PIN, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is the only application the University of Houston requires for need based financial aid. You will need your tax information available when you complete the FAFSA. The entire application must be complete. As a graduate student, you are automatically considered independent for financial aid purposes. Parental information is not required, but if married, the spouse's information is required. Be sure to indicate the University of Houston's school code 003652. Tips to avoid errors when filing your FAFSA.

The priority deadline for the University of Houston is March 15, 2013. Priority deadline means the university must receive an accepted student's FAFSA and any required documents by Friday, March 15th at 5pm to be considered for priority awarding of need based aid, which includes Perkins loans and law grants, which are given on a first come first serve basis. The university only receives your FAFSA after accepted to the Law Center. The SFA office will continue awarding on a rolling basis as financial aid files are completed and students are accepted.

How to Avoid Delays:

  • Utilize the DATA RETRIEVAL TOOL (DRT):
    Beginning February 3, 2013, filers will be able to use the DRT. The DRT allows the applicant to view and transfer IRS tax return data directly from the IRS website into the appropriate fields on the FAFSA. This means the FAFSA application process is faster and easier than ever!
  • PROVIDE CONSISTENT INFORMATION - A computer process scans your FAFSA and tax return to ensure all information matches. Please take great consideration in providing consistent information to avoid being flagged for verification. For example, listing "123 Main St." on your tax return and "123 Main Street" on the FAFSA could cause delays. It is recommended that you have your tax return in front of you as you fill out the FAFSA to ensure consistency.
  • Students should file tax returns as soon as possible as it takes several weeks for the FAFSA IRS Data Retrieval Process to become available once the tax return has been filed:
      • Electronic tax returns—allow 2 weeks for FAFSA IRS Data Retrieval to become available
      • Paper tax returns—allow 8 weeks for FAFSA IRS Data Retrieval to become available
  • Once your FAFSA has been processed by the Central Processor at the Department of Education (ED), you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR). Review the SAR carefully for accuracy. Based on the information that you provided on the FAFSA, the Central Processor will determine an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and indicate this figure on the SAR.
  • Once you are accepted to the Law Center, the SFA Office will receive the same information electronically from the ED. The school will determine your financial aid eligibility. The Cost of Education (COE) is determined by the SFA office each spring. This budget is developed based on the cost of living in this geographic area. The COE is based on:
      • Tuition & Fees
      • Books
      • Room and Board
      • Personal Costs
      • Transportation
  • The COE minus the EFC equals your need based eligibility such as grants, Federal Perkins Loans and/or Federal Direct unsubsidized loans. Your total financial aid package can equal, but not exceed the COE. All need based aid is awarded on a first come-first served basis to accepted applicants beginning the first of April 1st. Once your award is processed, any unmet need will have to be through personal resources, a federal Grad Plus loan or private loan, both of which are credit based.
  • The SFA office will begin notifying accepted students of their financial aid award package by e-mail sometime in April. The award notification will be sent to you with instructions on how to accept your award(s) on line. Financial aid funds will be applied to your student account no sooner than the first day of class. Financial aid will pay your tuition and fee bill and the difference will be refunded to you for your living expenses.


University of Houston Law Center
Financial Aid & Scholarship Office
100 Law Center
Houston, Texas 77204-6060
(713) 743-2269
School Code 003652