Financing the Cost of Applying to Practice Law

Law Financial Aid
Suite 103, Wolf Law Building
Financial Aid Office Hours

Estimated Budget : Costs included in applying to practice law and summer living expenses

 The breakdown below is an estimated budget of expenses associated with applying to practice law. This also includes an estimated cost for summer living expense, which should be included in your budget when preparing to finance the costs associated with applying to practice law.



Bar Exam Review Course

$1500-4,000 (significant discounts are often available with some negotiation. For example, when a few students get together and bargain with the carious course providers.)

Bar Exam Application Filing Fee


Practicing with Professionalism Course


Bar Admission License Fee


Living expenses during the summer while studying for the bar exam

$4731 (living expenses vary with personal circumstances; this estimate is based on the Office of Financial Aid’s estimate of $1577 per month for room and board and personal expenses, multiplied by three for the months of May, June, and July)

The decision whether to work while you study for the bar exam is a complicated and personal one; we encourage you to consult a counselor in the Career Development Office about this important decision.

Borrowing Options  

Some students are able to utilize savings to finance the cost associate with applying to practice law. However, many plan to borrow to cover the expense of both applying to practice law, and living expenses while studying for the bar exam. We hope that the two borrowing options below, Federal Bar Loans and Private Bar Loans, will help you make an informed decision.

Federal Loans for Bar Exam

Students may work with our Financial Aid Counselor to include the cost of the bar exam in their cost of attendance and to increase their federal student loans to cover the actual cost, which is estimated below. Students will need to provide documentation showing payment for the exam during the last semester they are enrolled in law school. Students must have a FAFSA for the current aid year (school code 001370) completed prior to requesting additional or new Federal Loans. Federal loans for bar exam costs tend to have better interest rates, repayment periods, etc.

The breakdown below is an estimated budget of expenses associated with applying for admission to practice law (approximate amounts):

Private Bar Loans

Private loans are another option to assist in covering bar related expenses, but should be considered carefully. As you apply for a loan, make sure you are applying for an exam loan, not a private alternative law loan as most lenders have both loan programs. Private loans must be repaid according to the terms set by the relevant lender. They cannot be consolidated with any existing federal loan. This means that if you have an existing federal loan you may have at least two monthly payments. If you already have a private loan it may be beneficial to borrow from the existing lender to avoid multiple monthly private loan payments. Private loans are also not eligible for any loan repayment or forgiveness programs. Lenders set their own differing regulations such as loan fees, interest formulas, grace period, repayment options, co-signer option, maximum repayment period, on time reward, etc. Examine these closely and compare each available loan.

School Certification: While private loans are handled exclusively between the borrower and lender, private bar loans are certified by the law school. You send the form to the Law Registrar ( for completion. Certifications are typically processed within 48 hours. Private loan checks are mailed directly to the borrower, not the law school.

We hope that the comparison chart below will help you focus on the terms of any loan program you consider regardless of which lender you choose and allow you to make an informed decision. All data is subject to change, please consult the lender for the most up to date information.


Discover Bar Exam Loan

Sallie Mae Bar Study Loan

Wells Fargo Bar Exam Loan

Borrowing Maximum




Borrowing Minimum




Origination Fee


0%-5% based on credit


Deferment Period

9 months after graduation

9 months after graduation

6 months after graduation

Length of Repayment

20 years after the deferment period ends

15 years

7 years

Interest Rates

  • Variable interest rates as low as 3-month LIBOR + 3.74% (currently 4.12% APR)
  • Fixed rate APRs from 6.49%
  • View APR examples

3.74% APR to 12.74% APR

  • Variable interest rates as low as 7.46% APR (with discount) to 7.69% APR (without discount).
  • Fixed interest rates as low as 9.30% APR (with discount) to 9.53% APR (without discount).
  • View APR examples

Repayment Incentives

.25% rate reduction for enrolling in automatic payments


.25% rate reduction for enrolling in automatic payments


  • .25% rate reduction for previous Wells Fargo student loan or other qualifying account
  • .25% rate reduction for enrolling in automatic payments



  • Enrolled at least half-time and making satisfactory academic progress
  • Have graduated within the past 6 months
  • US Citizen, permanent resident or international student. International students require a SSN and cosigner.
  • Pass a credit check
  • Enrolled at least half time in your final year of study, or have graduated within the last 12 months. You
  • Sitting for the bar exam no later than 12 months after graduation
  • US Citizen, US national of permanent resident alien without conditions and with proper evidence of eligibility
  • An international student borrowing with a credit worthy cosigner who is a US citizen of non-citizen permanent
  • Enrolled in the final year of a law program or have graduated within 30 days
  • Established, positive credit history
  • US citizen, US national, or permanent alien without conditions and with proper evidence of eligibility

How do I apply?

Online here

Online here

Online here

 Please contact your private educational loan lender for more information about the availability of Bar Examination loans.