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Pepperdine | Caruso School of Law

Financial Aid FAQ

What makes my financial aid file complete?

Your file is considered complete once the Office of Financial Assistance receives the following: confirmation that the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) has been electronically transmitted to us from the federal processor, and any other verification documents that may be required by our office.

How do I know if I am missing documents and my file is still incomplete?

Admitted students log on to WaveNet, view the self-service menu, and review the financial aid "To Do List". Missing information items will be listed here along with access links to the documents needed to complete your file.

What is the Expected Family Contribution (EFC)?

The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is the amount that the student is expected to contribute towards their educational costs. The EFC is a federal methodology that is established by assessing the income, asset and household information provided on the FAFSA. Therefore, it is important to be as accurate as possible when completing the FAFSA. All graduate and professional school students are considered independent for the purpose of financial aid need analysis; therefore, you are not required to report parental information on the FAFSA.

What if I do not have the financial means to cover my Expected Family Contribution amount?

The Office of Financial Assistance awards each student a financial aid package that will fund the full cost of attendance. Students have the option of borrowing the full amount to pay for their educational expenses or borrowing a partial amount and contributing what they can afford.

What is the Cost of Attendance?

The cost of attendance is determined by the Office of Financial Assistance and is defined as the total budget required by each student for the nine (9) month academic year.

If I anticipate my expenses to be more than the cost of attendance, am I able to borrow additional loan funds?

Students may not receive a financial aid amount that exceeds the cost of attendance. The Office of Financial Assistance stresses the importance of budgeting carefully while attending Pepperdine Caruso Law.

How is financial aid offered and disbursed to me?

Once your file is complete and an award determination has been made, you will receive an email advising you to view your Award Notification in WaveNet. You must "Accept" your financial aid in order for it to be disbursed to your student account. All financial aid is disbursed directly to your student account at the beginning of each semester.

How do I apply for Federal Stafford, Graduate PLUS and/or a private loan?

When you "Accept" your Federal Stafford and/or Graduate PLUS loan in WaveNet, the Federal Stafford and/or Graduate PLUS loan is automatically originated and begins processing. You will be instructed to complete an online Master Promissory Note, and our office will be notified as to where you are in the process. As a reminder, all first time Caruso School of Law Federal Stafford and/or Graduate PLUS loan borrowers must conduct an online Entrance Counseling session before federal loans can be disbursed to your student account. You can access the Entrance Counseling from our website.

If you are a Private/Alternative loan borrower, you will apply for the loan directly from your lender's website. Once you apply for a private loan and pass the credit check, our office will receive a certification request from your lender. Private loans are not originated through student self-service when you "Accept" the private loan, as with the Federal Stafford and Graduate PLUS loans. Our office will originate the private loan upon receipt of the lender certification request.

Do I have to accept all of the loans awarded to me?

No. In your Student Center in WaveNet, you will have the option to "Accept" "Reduce" or "Decline" your loans directly. It is highly recommended that you borrow only what you will need to finance your educational expenses, and to budget accordingly.

How do I check the status of my credit?

If you are unsure about your credit rating, you can request a copy of your credit report at one of the three major credit bureaus. Students can obtain an annual credit report free of charge. The credit bureaus are as follows:

Equifax | Experian | Transunion

When do I have access to my loan proceeds/refund check?

Refund checks are not available until the start of each semester. If a refund is due to the student, the Student Accounts Office recommends signing up for e-refund through your Student Center in WaveNet. E-refund will ensure timeliness of refunds, as they are directly deposited into the student's bank account, as specified when signing up for e-refund. Students are instructed to budget separately for expenses such as books, relocation costs, or securing off-campus housing prior to the start of classes.

I am no longer enrolled at the Caruso School of Law; is there anything I need to do if I am a Federal Stafford and/or Graduate PLUS loan borrower?

Federal Stafford and Graduate PLUS Loan Exit Counseling is a mandatory requirement for students who graduate, are enrolled less than half-time, or withdrew and borrowed a Federal Stafford and/or Graduate PLUS loan during the period of attendance at the Caruso School of Law. You can access the federal loan Exit Counseling from our website.