Consideration of Parent Resources

In order to ensure that its available Grant aid resources are distributed according to financial need, Harvard Law School typically requires that students submit documentation of parental financial resources. However, students who do not expect to qualify for Grant assistance may apply under a simplified "loan only" status without submitting parents' financial information. 

Applicants for Grant aid

For the entering Class of 2017, Harvard Law School requires parent financial resource information from all applicants for HLS Grant assistance who have not reached the age of 29 by September 1, 2014. A parental resource contribution will be calculated using standard institutional need analysis policy, and then adjusted according to the following scale:

  • for students who are age 25 and below on September 1, 2014, the full calculated parental contribution will be used in determining eligibility for Grant assistance.
  • for students who reach the age of 26 before September 1, 2014, the calculated parent resource assessment* will be reduced by 25%.
  • for students who reach the age of 27 before September 1, 2014, the calculated parent resource assessment* will be reduced by 50%.
  • for students who reach the age of 28 before September 1, 2014, the calculated parent resource assessment* will be reduced by 75%.
  • for students who reach the age of 29 (or above) before September 1, 2014, no parent resource assessment is calculated, and the submission of parents’ financial data will not be required.

* Note: Depending on the amount of income and assets involved, the calculated assessed parent resource figure can exceed the total cost of attendance for a given academic year. For the purposes of determining an adjusted parent resource assessment as described above, the calculated assessed parent resources, even if it exceeds the cost of attendance, is always used.

In cases of parental divorce, it is HLS policy to require financial information from both biological parents in order to assess need. This documentation is required by HLS even in cases where court-ordered child support obligations have ended.

Appeals for Parental Information Waiver

In rare and exceptional cases, the Financial Aid Committee may waive the required submission of parental information for Grant consideration. These decisions are made on a case-by-case basis depending on the particular circumstances involved, and third-party verification of the circumstances is required. Information on this appeals process is available in the policy section of our website. 

Loan Only Applicants

Students who do not expect to qualify for Grant assistance may apply under a simplified "loan only" status and will not be required to submit parents’ financial information. Since students applying under "loan only" status are not eligible for HLS Grant assistance, a parental resource assessment will not be calculated or imputed. You can elect "loan only" status when completing your online HLS Institutional Aid Application, or by emailing us at sfs@law.harvard.edu. Our website offers more guidance in deciding whether to apply for Grant consideration.

Last modified: August 28, 2014

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