Funding Options

Funding Your Law Degree

Just as each law student is unique with a unique budget, there is a variety of ways that students can fund their law degree. Most Detroit Mercy Law students finance their education through a combination of graduate student loans (including both federal and private loan programs), scholarships (both Detroit Mercy Law Scholarships and external scholarships), and income from employment or savings.

Loans

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    Federal Loans

    Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan

    Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans are long-term, low-interest education loans. This is the most common federal loan. 

    Interest Rate:  This loan is an unsubsidized loan meaning that the loan will begin accruing interest as soon as it disburses to your Detroit Mercy account.

    • The interest rate for loans disbursing between July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020, is 6.08% fixed for the life of the loan.

    Maximum Annual Amount: The maximum annual amount for the Direct Unsubsidized Loan is $20,500 during the academic year. Students enrolling in summer course work may qualify for additional Direct Unsubsidized funds.

    Origination Fee: Federal student loans have a loan fee that is a percentage of the total loan amount. The loan fee is deducted proportionally from each loan disbursement you receive. Therefore, the net result disbursed is less than the loan amount approved.

    • For a loan with a first disbursement on or after October 1, 2019, and before October 1, 2020, an origination fee of 1.059% is deducted automatically from amounts borrowed on these loans.

    Repayment start date: Repayment beings 6 months after you graduate or you cease to be enrolled at least half-time.

    Graduate PLUS Loan

    Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans are long-term, low-interest education loans. The PLUS loan is a credit-based loan, but students with adverse credit may still be eligible if they appeal their credit and/or have an endorser. 

    Interest Rate:  This loan is an unsubsidized loan meaning that the loan will begin accruing interest as soon as it disburses to your Detroit Mercy account.

    • The interest rate for loans disbursing between July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020, is 7.08% fixed for the life of the loan.

    Maximum Annual Amount: The PLUS does not have any annual borrowing maximums, so this loan may be used to bridge the gap between all other forms of funding and aid, and your total cost of attendance.

    Origination Fee: A loan origination fee is an upfront fee charged by a lender for processing the loan. The loan origination fee is deducted automatically from amounts borrowed from these loans prior to the fund disbursing to your Detroit Mercy student account. Therefore, the net result disbursed is less than the loan amount approved.

    • For PLUS loans disbursed on or after October 1, 2019, and before October 1, 2020, the loan origination fee is 4.236%. This amount will automatically be deducted from your loan prior to the funds being received at Detroit Mercy.

    Repayment start date: PLUS graduate loans enter repayment once the loan is fully disbursed. However, as a graduate student, your loan will be placed into deferment while you are enrolled at least half-time and for an additional six months after you cease to be enrolled at least half-time.

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    Private Loans

    Students can also apply for private, credit-based loans to cover all or a portion of their cost-of-attendance. Comparing the various loans can seem overwhelming, therefore the University has an excellent tool called ELMSelect that helps students compare a few private lenders who have been reviewed by a University-wide committee. This comparison tool assists students in the information gathering process. 

    This list is not exhaustive. You are not required to borrow from one of the lenders listed here. We acknowledge that you may be offered more favorable terms from lenders you find elsewhere. You may choose to borrow from any lender without penalty.

Scholarships

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    1L Detroit Mercy Law Scholarships

    For details regarding Detroit Mercy Law Scholarships for incoming students, please refer to the scholarship section of our page. These scholarships are all made at the time of admission.
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    1L External Scholarships

    There are external scholarships specifically for first-year law students. We will update this page as more scholarships are brought to our attention. In order to be eligible for most scholarships, applicants are required to submit an offer of admission. The scholarship funds are typically sent directly to the University to be applied to a student's tuition and fees unless otherwise indicated on the scholarship.

    Scholarships are listed by the application deadline.

    March Deadline

    • ABA Legal Opportunity Scholarship - The American Bar Association awards an annual Legal Opportunity Scholarship to first-year law students. The mission of the program is to encourage racial and ethnic minority students to apply to law school and to provide financial assistance to attend and completing law school. The ABA Legal Opportunity Scholarship grants 10 - 20 incoming diverse law students with $15,000 of financial aid over their three years in law school. Deadline March 2

    April Deadline

    • The Law Offices of Jon Friedman will be awarding a $500 scholarship to a student pursuing an undergraduate degree in pre-law studies, or a student entering law school in the Fall semester. This scholarship is to be used exclusively for tuition or other related expenses. Students must be accepted into a program at any U.S. school for Fall 2020 and have a GPA of 3.0 or above.

    May Deadline

    June Deadline

    • One Lawyer Can Change the World Scholarship -  Every year, Law Preview awards one hard-working incoming 1L $10,000 towards their first year. Deadline June 1
    • The Lloyd M. Johnson, Jr. Scholarship - The LMJ Scholarship is a diversity pipeline program that seeks to nurture the academic and professional careers of outstanding law students. The scholarship is open to women and diverse students who have: been accepted to an ABA-accredited law school on a full-time basis; an outstanding or promising academic record; an interest in corporate law; demonstrated community service and leadership qualities; a financial need; and a commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equity. The LMJ Scholarship grants scholarships of $10,000 to students for their first year of law school. Deadline June 13

    July Deadline

    • Dwyer Williams Cherkoss Attorneys, PC is pleased to announce a scholarship available to students anticipating law school in the Fall of 2019. The $1,000 scholarship is intended to help defray first-year expenses. Deadline July 1
    • Michal P. Fleming & Associates is proud to offer the Fleming Law Scholarship of $1,000 scholarship for first-year law students in the United States. Applicants must submit an essay (minimum 500 words) on an area of personal injury or civil litigation law. Deadline July 1
    • Bey & Associates, LLC is offering a $1,000 scholarship to students who are planning to attend their first year of graduate school in the upcoming fall semester. To apply, you must submit a 500+ word essay in response to this topic: What does leadership mean to you and what are your personal goals regarding being a leader within your community? Deadline July 17
    • Corban Gunn, Attorney at Law is offering a $1,000 scholarship to students who are planning to attend their first year of graduate school in the upcoming fall semester. To apply, you must submit a 500+ word essay in response to this topic: How do you define success? Is this definition different for your own success versus the success of others? Deadline July 17
    • Thomas Law Offices is offering a $1,000 scholarship to students who are planning to attend their first year of graduate school in the upcoming fall semester. To apply, you must submit a 500+ word essay in response to this quote by Arthur C. Clarke, "Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying."  Deadline July 17

    Please note that these sites are not affiliated with Detroit Mercy Law and therefore Detroit Mercy Law cannot verify the accuracy of their content.

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    Detroit Mercy Upper Level Scholarships

    Detroit Mercy Law awards a variety of institutional scholarships to upper-level students each year, including Dean's Scholarships for academic excellence, leadership scholarships, and endowed scholarships.

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    External Scholarships for Current Students

    The financial aid staff members work closely with the Career Services & Outreach team and the Academic Success and Bar Preparation Department to assist current students in applying for external scholarship funding. There are various external scholarships available for students once they have begun their first year of law school.
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    External Scholarship Databases

    The following databases may be helpful to you in locating resources outside of Detroit Mercy that match your interests and background. Please note that these sites are not affiliated with Detroit Mercy Law and therefore Detroit Mercy Law cannot verify the accuracy of their content.

Student Employment Programs

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    Federal Work-Study Program

    Students who demonstrate financial need may be employed at Detroit Mercy Law through the Federal Work-Study program for a maximum of 20 hours per week during the regular academic year. Students desiring a work-study award are encouraged to submit their FAFSA before March 1 each year as funds are limited. Law students who qualify for work-study funds may find positions at the School of Law or in law-related jobs with nonprofit agencies.

    The standard work-study award is $3,000 for the academic year or $1,500 per term.

Payment Plans

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    Monthly Payment Option (Tuition Management Systems)

    Detroit Mercy offers this payment option to help you afford your education expenses. You may enroll in the Interest-Free Monthly Payment Option, which allows you to maximize your savings and income by spreading your education expenses over interest-free monthly payments.

    The Interest-Free Monthly Payment Option allows you to choose 10 or nine monthly payments if enrolling for the academic year, or five or four monthly payments if enrolling in a semester plan. These convenient options eliminate larger annual or semester payments. Your only cost is a $70 enrollment fee for the full year or a $50 fee for each semester. You will have toll-free access to knowledgeable and friendly education payment counselors six days a week and automated account access every hour of every day. 

    Please note that credit/debit payments to TMS will be charged a 2.99 percent convenience fee.

    Detroit Mercy offers these services in partnership with Tuition Management Systems.

    The payment plan can be accessed through their website UDMercy.afford.com. Visit the Tuition Management Systems web site for more information on payment options, free education payment counseling and the many ways they can help you afford education.  

    Tuition Management Systems’ Education Payment Counselors are available Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. (EST) at 800-722-4867. From outside of the U.S. dial, 401-921-3999. Or you can email tmsservice@afford.com.