Financial Aid

At least 98 percent of Mercer Law students receive some amount of financial assistance. We make every effort to assist students with obtaining the aid they need to attend law school. The aid may be in the form of merit scholarships, Direct Stafford loans, Direct Graduate PLUS loans, alternative private loans, work-study assignments, vocational-rehabilitation benefits, and other programs.

Financial Aid Resources

For information on the types of financial aid available, eligibility for financial aid, student loans, federal work-study, and student loan repayment, please see the Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Financial Aid.

See the Money Saving Tips for quick and easy ways to reduce student loan debt.

For more financial literacy and student loan information, please see the Loan Repayment Strategies presentation and materials by Economist Jeffrey Hanson, Ph.D.: Loan Repayment Strategies slides, Smart Borrowing Strategies slides, Loan Repayment Worksheet, Public Service Loan Forgiveness Fact Sheet, and Student Loan History Instructions

For calculators on all loan repayment plans, see https://finaid.org/.

To determine if you are eligible for Veteran’s Benefits, see https://benefits.va.gov/gibill/.

Scholarships

Mercer Law School offers merit scholarships each year to applicants whose academic records, LSAT scores, and personal achievements demonstrate the potential for outstanding performance in the study of law. Subject to availability of funding, the Law School also provides some limited additional scholarship awards to students who are ranked in the top segment of their class after the first year and who received little or no other Mercer scholarship awards when they entered. Submitting the admissions application early is crucial as the priority deadline for scholarship consideration is January 1. Every accepted student is automatically considered for a merit scholarship with the exception of the George W. Woodruff Scholarship. Mercer Law does not award scholarships that are conditional on law school academic performance other than remaining in good academic standing. In order to remain in good academic standing, all students beginning with the entering class of 2017, must have a 78 average or above at the end of each academic year. The deadline to accept your scholarship is the same as your seat deposit deadline.

We also encourage students to seek and apply for outside scholarships and awards. Opportunities for scholarships and awards from sources other than Mercer are posted in SharePoint, which requires accepted and current students’ login credentials.

External / Outside Scholarships

External scholarships are awarded through various outside (non-Mercer) organizations such as churches, employers, professional or private foundations, civic organizations, etc. The total financial aid that a student can receive annually, including external awards, cannot exceed the estimated cost of attendance at Mercer Law.

If you are awarded a scholarship(s) from a source other than Mercer, you must notify the Office of Financial Aid on your Mercer Financial Aid Application each year. If you receive an external scholarship after you have completed your Mercer Financial Aid Application, please email Admissions. If you fail to report an external scholarship, you may be required to repay Mercer University or the government all or part of your financial aid package.

We are required to make adjustments for external scholarships if a student's demonstrated eligibility (or total cost of attendance) has already been met. To the extent possible, Mercer Law’s policy is to adjust loans and work study awards before reducing students’ Mercer Law merit scholarships. You should inform Mercer Law’s Office of Financial Aid of any special instructions regarding external scholarships.

All checks for external scholarships should be made payable to MERCER UNIVERSITY and sent to:

Mercer Law – Office of Financial Aid
1021 Georgia Avenue
Macon, Georgia 31207

External scholarships will be posted as a payment to your student account. Mercer Law’s policy is to divide external scholarships equally between fall and spring semesters unless otherwise specified by the donor.

Applying for Financial Aid

To apply for federal student loans and/or federal work-study, you must complete the following two items EACH YEAR. The deadline for the 2020-2021 academic year is May 11.

•    Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Mercer’s school code is 001580. Use “Mercer”—not “Mercer Law.” Do not include your parents’ information.
•    Complete the Mercer Application for Financial Aid, which will be emailed to incoming first-year law students after your seat deposit deadline and will be emailed to returning students during the mandatory fall registration meeting in late April.

You may not borrow money to cover non-educational expenses such as credit card debt and vehicle loans.

The Cost of Attendance is updated each year after the Board of Trustees meets to reflect the upcoming academic year's tuition and fees.

Direct Graduate PLUS Loans and alternative (private) loans are based on credit worthiness. Please unlock or unfreeze your credit because we cannot process Grad PLUS or private student loans if your credit is locked or frozen. We strongly recommend that you obtain a copy of your credit report and verify all items are correct. You can obtain a FREE copy of your credit report once every 12 months from each of the three national consumer-reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) at www.AnnualCreditReport.com because of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions (FACT) Act of 2003.

After you receive your Financial Aid Notification email (usually in June), all first-time Direct Stafford Unsubsidized Loan and Direct Graduate PLUS Loan borrowers must complete the following at https://studentaid.gov/ before loan funds may be credited to your student account.

•    Master Promissory Notes (MPNs), and  
•    Entrance Loan Counseling

Tuition is due on the first day of class of each semester. Please contact the Bursar's Office at (478) 301-1001 if you need to make payment arrangements.

Please check with the Office of Financial Aid before withdrawing from a class.  If you enroll for fewer hours than indicated on your financial aid application, your financial aid may be affected.

Accepting Your Financial Aid Notification

Accept your Financial Aid Notification through your MyMercer portal.

For instructions on how to accept or reject your awards, click here.

Other Financial Aid Resources

Go to Federal Student Aid to
•    Access your account to review loans, select a repayment plan, apply for a deferment/forbearance or make a payment for Direct Loans.
•    Complete entrance counseling, determine your loan servicer, review all federal student loans, or to complete exit counseling.
•    Complete an Unsubsidized and/or Graduate PLUS Master Promissory Note (MPN).

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy

The Department of Education requires a school to establish minimum standards of academic progress that a student must meet to maintain general eligibility for financial aid.  Mercer Law School’s Satisfactory Academic Progress standard (SAP) is used to determine if an enrolled student is making satisfactory academic progress to remain eligible for federal aid. SAP standards are used solely to determine federal financial aid eligibility; they do not cancel, modify, or override Mercer Law School’s academic policies or requirements. This policy provides a consistent application of standards to all students, ensuring both the quality of academic work and the completion of a student’s program within the maximum time frame. Mercer Law School’s SAP policy provides that a student’s academic performance will be evaluated at the end of each semester.
The SAP policy will measure:
1.    Qualitative Standard - Cumulative GPA a student must achieve at each evaluation checkpoint to be eligible for federal financial aid and considered as having made SAP.
2.    Quantitative Standard - Pace of progression to ensure graduation within the maximum time frame.


Qualitative Standard
To be eligible for federal financial aid and considered as having made SAP, a student must maintain the minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) required by Mercer Law School’s policies relating to academic exclusion and readmission. At Mercer, a student must maintain a minimum 78.000 GPA and the GPA is evaluated at the end of each semester. If a student’s cumulative average falls below a 78.000 average at the end of the spring semester of the first or second year, the student shall be dismissed from the Law School. For more information regarding academic exclusion and readmission and financial aid SAP policies, please see the Student Handbook, which is also available online at http://law.mercer.edu/academics/registrar/.  


Quantitative Standard
Federal regulations allow us to award students up to 150% of their required hours. Our degree requires 89 credit hours to graduate, therefore Mercer may award a student up to 133 credit hours (89 X 150% = 133). A student must also complete at least 67% of attempted hours each semester. The maximum timeframes for students to finish their degree will be verified at the end of each semester or grading period to ensure compliance toward graduation and monitor the student’s SAP.


Transfer hours- Will count as both hours attempted and hours earned.
Incompletes- Will count as hours attempted until the course is completed. A passing grade will count as hours earned; a failing grade will remain as hours attempted only.
Repeat Courses- Both courses will count as attempted hours.
Withdrawal- Will count as hours attempted only.
Remedial course work- Not included in the GPA, but reviewed for progress.


Financial Aid Warning and Probation
Financial Aid Warning

A student who fails to maintain the qualitative or quantitative standards for SAP is automatically placed on Financial Aid Warning. The Director of Admissions & Financial Aid will notify the student when this occurs and will advise the student regarding the SAP standards that must be met by a specific term to retain eligibility for federal financial aid. The following apply to students on Financial Aid Warning:
1.    The student will continue to receive federal financial aid for one payment period or semester (referred to as the warning period). Aid for the subsequent period is placed on hold status until SAP can be reviewed following the warning period.
2.    If the student is still not making SAP after the warning period, the Director of Admissions & Financial Aid will notify the student that he or she is ineligible for federal financial aid until either all SAP standards are successfully met or the student has successfully appealed and been granted a period of financial aid probation, as detailed below.
3.    Financial aid warning status is not appealable.


Financial Aid Probation
This status is assigned to a student who fails to make SAP, has appealed, and has had eligibility for aid reinstated. Once a student is notified that aid eligibility has been suspended for failing to make SAP, the student may appeal that determination using the process below. Financial Aid Probation allows a student to continue to receive aid under the terms specified by the Assistant Dean of Admissions & Financial Aid if the appeal is granted. No more than two appeals will be granted per year.


Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal

A student who fails to meet the SAP standard at the end of the spring semester of the first or second year shall be eligible to appeal this adverse determination to the Director of Admissions and Financial Aid by following the steps described below:
1.    Describe and submit documentation explaining the mitigating circumstances that led to the failure to make SAP. These circumstances shall be considered mitigating if they are of a severe and temporary personal, medical, or financial nature.
2.    Provide a detailed plan about how the student will handle or resolve the mitigating circumstances to allow the student to improve and ensure future academic success to make satisfactory progress at the next evaluation.

**If a student is petitioning for readmission, the petition and supporting documentation, which will be submitted to the Admissions Committee, will satisfy the requirements of items 1 and 2 above.

3.    The student must submit a proposed academic plan that would allow the student to meet the SAP standards within a set period of time. The student is required to meet with the Director of Academic Success and /or the Assistant Director of Academic Success in developing a proposed academic plan.
4.    Submit a SAP Appeal Form, which is available in the Financial Aid SAP Policy portion of Mercer Law’s website.


Appeal Process
The Assistant Dean of Admissions & Financial Aid and Director of Admissions & Financial Aid will review all SAP appeals. As noted above, an academic plan must detail what is necessary for the student to achieve SAP standards in a prescribed amount of time.
If Financial Aid Probation is granted through appeal and the student can meet SAP in one semester, aid may be received for that semester. A student will be required to fulfill specific terms, such as participating in an Academic Success Program while on Financial Aid Probation. If an academic plan is approved, eligibility for aid will be reinstated and can be received as long as all conditions of the plan are met. If the academic plan conditions are not met, then aid eligibility is lost until the student meets the SAP standards or appeals again by emailing the Director of Admissions & Financial Aid another SAP Appeal Form and an updated Academic Plan signed and dated by the student’s Academic Success Advisor.
If the appeal is denied or eligibility lost for failing to meet the terms of an approved academic plan, the student must immediately arrange to pay for his or her school expenses. Students who lose their federal financial aid eligibility may continue their studies using other aid sources or by funding their education themselves as long as they otherwise meet our academic standards.
The student will be notified of the outcome of his or her appeal in writing or via email to the student’s law school email address.


Delays in Aid Disbursement         
Because grades may not be available before the beginning of the next scheduled semester, the possibility exists that financial aid may be disbursed to a student before the review can be conducted. If a student is placed on Financial Aid Warning after grades are posted, the student remains eligible for the aid received. If the student is already on Financial Aid Warning, aid will not be disbursed until a determination is made that the student has met the requirement for SAP. If the student is on Financial Aid Probation, the student must meet the requirement of satisfactory academic progress or meet any academic plan conditions to receive aid. If a student is determined to be ineligible for the financial aid that has been disbursed due to failure to meet one or more qualitative or quantitative SAP standards or academic plan condition, the aid that was disbursed will be canceled and returned to the student’s loan servicer. The student is then responsible for making payment arrangements for any amounts owed to Mercer Law School.

 

For Alumni

  • Public Interest Loan Forgiveness—For a good resource on loan forgiveness for public interest work, see www.equaljusticeworks.com.
  • Decreasing your loan payments: If you need options or assistance with student loan repayment, see https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/index.action. Please sign into your account and search for Lower My Repayment Amount. Here, you will find information on income driven repayment options, loan payment deferments, and forbearances options for all Direct Loans regardless of servicer. If you would like further assistance, please contact Lindsey R. Stewart, Director of Admissions and Financial Aid.
  • Income Based Repayment Plan-- For information on the new income based repayment plan, including a payment calculator, see www.ibrinfo.org.

Contact

Lindsey R. Stewart
Director of Admissions and Financial Aid
(478) 301-5001
stewart_l@law.mercer.edu

Terry Trussell
Office Specialist for Admissions/Financial Aid
(478) 301-2147
trussell_td@law.mercer.edu