Taking on student loan debt is a serious matter. As a future attorney, you will be expected to demonstrate financial responsibility. That responsibility includes understanding your rights and responsibilities with respect to student loan repayment. While all borrowers are expected to meet their student loan obligations, law students and attorneys are under additional scrutiny from professional licensing agencies like the State Bar of California. Defaulting on a student loan can affect licensing and employment opportunities.

Prior to borrowing, you are encouraged to fully investigate the terms and conditions of federal student loans on StudentAid.gov. That website has comprehensive information about federal student loan programs. If you decide to borrow federal loans, you will be required to complete online Entrance Counseling prior to the disbursement of any federal student loan proceeds. 

If you intend to borrow a private loan, you should fully investigate the terms of your loans with your intended lender. Santa Clara University does not make recommendations about private loans. Prior to borrowing a private loan, we encourage you to explore the differences between federal and private loans.

You will be expected to complete Exit Counseling for your federal student loans when you graduate or if you take a leave of absence, withdraw, or drop below half-time status. You are also encouraged to meet with the financial aid staff in the Law Admissions and Financial Aid Office if you have any questions prior to leaving school.

Loan Servicer

If you borrow a federal student loan you will be contacted by a loan servicer who will handle repayment and other related matters. You may view the contact information for your loan servicer at  StudentAid.gov by logging into your account after your student loans are originated. Private lenders may also use a loan servicing company, but these will be separate from your federal loan servicer.

Law Admissions and Financial Aid Office

Prospective and current students will receive additional information from the Law Admissions and Financial Aid Office during the application process and while attending Santa Clara. We have two, dedicated financial aid professional staff with whom you can meet to discuss financial aid matters including student loans. You are encouraged to book appointments by emailing lawfinancialaid@scu.edu or calling 408-554-5048. We also welcome drop-in appointments.

Debt Management Resources

StudentAid.gov has the most comprehensive and up-to-date information about student loan repayment information, including information about:

Santa Clara University has partnered with AccessLex Institute to provide additional resources. AccessLex provides extensive Financial Education Resources and free counseling with Accredited Financial Counselors (AFC©) via their AccessConnex service. You may take advantage of these counseling services before, during, and after law school.

Santa Clara also contracts with Jeffrey Hanson, PhD, a nationally known debt management expert, to provide free one-on-one advising sessions to students early each Spring semester. We encourage all students, but especially graduating students, to take advantage of this opportunity to help plan for repayment and understand your options. Students are notified via email to sign up for these sessions.

Federal Student Aid Ombudsman Group

If you have a complaint about your federal student aid, contact the Federal Student Aid Ombudsman Group as a last resort. The Ombudsman Group is dedicated to helping resolve complaints related to the federal student aid programs, including Direct Loans, Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans, Perkins Loans, and grant programs.