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Access to our campus and services is currently modified due to the coronavirus public health crisis. For the latest updates on evolving COVID-19 policies and resources for our campus community, click here.

Before filling out any forms, please read the information in this section carefully, and take note of all applicable deadlines.

Remember, we are here to help you navigate through the financial aid process every step of the way. Please feel free to contact the Financial Aid staff at 619-525-7060 or 800-255-4252 if you have any questions.

By carefully reading the following instructions, you can ensure that your application is given the highest consideration in order to build a comprehensive financial aid package that is right for you.


Quick Steps to Apply for Financial Aid

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is available online at (the institution code for CWSL is G13103). A detailed Student Aid Report (SAR) will be mailed to you and transmitted to the schools indicated on your application. This is the only application you will need to file in order to begin the process of requesting federal student aid at CWSL.

California Western’s Online Aid System
Upon acceptance to California Western, you will need to set up an account on our Online Aid System. Login instructions will be emailed to you within a week of your admission.

Your Financial Aid Package
When your eligibility has been determined, you will be notified via email and given the option to accept, reduce, or decline the aid outlined in your award package. Once accepted, we will begin to process the loans you requested.

Promissory Note and Entrance Counseling
If this is your first time borrowing federal loans at California Western, you must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and federal Entrance Loan Counseling online at

Detailed Steps to Apply for Financial Aid

The following is a detailed list of steps that should be taken when applying for financial aid at California Western School of Law:
  1. Before completing any forms, read the Financial Aid section of this Web site. Be sure to take note of the applicable deadline dates: while you may apply for aid after these dates, the full array of aid sources may not still be available if you apply late.

  2. Complete the current Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

    • The California Western School of Law institution code is G13103.

    • You may complete your application electronically, via FAFSA On The Web, or you may complete the paper version of the application. It may take the processor four to six weeks to process a paper application.

    • Once processed, a Student Aid Report (SAR) will be mailed to you by the processor and an electronic version of the SAR will be transmitted to the schools you indicated on your FAFSA.

  3. Create your account on the California Western School of Law Online Aid System. Students must be accepted for admission before they can create an account; instructions on establishing a login will generally be emailed to you within a week of your admission.

  4. Once the Financial Aid Office has determined your aid eligibility, we will send you an email directing you return to the Online Aid System to accept, reduce, or decline the aid in your award package.

  5. Once you have accepted one or more loan awards, the Financial Aid Office will begin to process the loans you requested.

    • The Direct Loan Servicing Center will then process the loan, which, in the case of Graduate PLUS includes a credit check.

    • You must also complete a promissory note (usually a Master Promissory Note) for each loan type either electronically at or on paper; if you receive a promissory note in the mail, complete and return it to Direct Loan Servicing as soon as possible.

  6. All students must conduct entrance counseling prior to receiving federal student loan aid. Students who have not previously received aid as a graduate student should complete Graduate Student Entrance Counseling at

  7. Submit any additional documents that are listed on the Documents tab of the Online Aid System.  Federal Work-Study authorization forms will not be available (or needed) until after you begin attendance at California Western.

  8. You may defer payment of tuition and fees by filing a Tuition Deferment/Promissory Note with the Business Office.

    • You may only defer the amount of tuition and fees that will be covered by your financial aid.

    • Tuition deferments based on student loans are valid only after you submit your FAFSA or Renewal FAFSA to the federal processor and your California Western Financial Aid Application to the Financial Aid Office.

    • Be aware that if your lender denies your Graduate PLUS or private loan application, the portion of tuition deferred based on those loan funds becomes due and payable immediately

    • Applicants with derogatory credit should be prepared to secure another method of financing.

    • California Western School of Law will not provide funds to replace your Graduate PLUS or private loan if it is denied by your lender.

Once all of the necessary documents have been received and reviewed, your eligibility for financial aid will be determined and an Award Notification indicating the types and amounts of aid you have been awarded will become available on our Online Aid System.

Note: Graduate PLUS and private loans are subject to lender credit criteria. Your lender will decide whether to approve or deny your Graduate PLUS or private loan application. For these reasons, the appearance of an Graduate PLUS or private loan on your Award Notification does not guarantee lender approval.

Please feel free to contact the Financial Aid Office at (619) 525-7060 or 1-800-255-4252, if you have any questions.