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Financial Aid

Evaluating one’s current and long-term financial objectives is an essential part of the admission process. Although it is the applicant’s responsibility to gather this information, St. Mary’s can help students to become educated consumers. The Office of Financial Assistance is available to assist with questions about financial aid types and processes. Additional information and resources are included in the sections below.

 St. Mary’s strongly encourages applicants to assess their borrowing needs and to learn about the types of loans and scholarships available to them. The best time to begin to gather financial information is now.

Types of Financial Aid

There are various types of assistance available to law students. It is common that students pursuing a degree in law will utilize a combination of scholarships, loans and other special programs.


Direct Loans


Alternative Loan Options

Applying for Financial Aid

The Law School’s Office of Financial Assistance awards federal financial aid based on completing the FAFSA. Students are encouraged to submit their FAFSA by the priority deadline of March 15 to ensure the timeliness of awarding. When filling out the FAFSA form, add St. Mary’s University. Our school code is 003623.

Applicants are advised to submit their FAFSA as early as possible. Applicants should not wait for notification of admission to St. Mary’s University School of Law to begin the financial aid process.

 Students are encouraged to apply for all the financial assistance that is available to them since the American Bar Association rules prohibit law students from working more than 20 hours per week in outside employment.

In order to be considered for federal financial assistance, an applicant must:

Financial Aid Checklist:

Use the checklist below to apply for financial aid. Then follow the steps once you have been awarded to review, budget, and ensure your aid will disburse by the start of the semester.

  • Submit your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) on the Federal Student Aid webpage
  • Review your financial aid status by checking your Gateway student portal
  • You can then expect an Unsubsidized Stafford Loan award offer for the aid year (Fall and Spring)
To Review/Accept your loan offer, you can follow the steps below:
  • Log into Gateway -> Click on Student ->Click on Award -> Click on View Award Offer -> Select the Appropriate Aid Year -> Select Accept Award offer
Then complete the Unsubsidized Federal loan requirements via
  • Entrance Counseling
  • Master Promissory Note for Graduate/Professional Students
Optional: If you need help finding credit-based loan options to assist beyond the Unsubsidized Stafford loan amount, the following are available:

Cost of Attendance

This Cost of Attendance budget is used for financial aid purposes and may not reflect the actual tuition, fee, or book costs. Please refer to the St. Mary’s University Business Office for precise information on law school tuition.

2024-2025 Cost Of Attendance Budget


2023-2024 Cost Of Attendance Budget

Note: Federal regulations will not permit you to borrow funds in excess of the total Cost of Attendance budget less any scholarships or grants.

Possible reasons for COA increase:
Housing costs not already included in COA Childcare for children 12 years of age and under One-time cost of a laptop computer Commuting outside of Bexar County Bar review course Cost associated with first professional licensure or certification
COA cannot be adjusted for:
Spousal/dependent maintenance expenses
Costs for owning, insuring, and maintaining a car
Credit card and consumer debt payments

Personal Finance Resources

Find additional free financial planning resources through AccessLex©.

Ask EDNA! – the Education Network at AccessLex is a personal finance program for law students. Register for your free account at now to enter MAX by AccessLex® and sign up for live events, one-on-one financing coaching with Accredited Financial Counselors®, and more.

Student Loan Simulator – The Loan Simulator helps you calculate student loan payments and choose a loan repayment option that best meets your needs and goals. You can also use it to decide whether to consolidate your student loans.

Academic Requirements to Maintain Financial Aid Eligibility

The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended by Congress, requires that institutions of higher education establish and monitor the academic progress of students who receive federal financial aid. Our institution has established the following minimum standard and practices for Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), allowing students to continue receiving financial aid.
At the end of each semester, the Office of Financial Assistance reviews each student’s progress based on the completion of a Qualitative Standard and a Quantitative Standard which is defined below:
  • The Qualitative Standard for SAP requires after the first academic year of attendance at St. Mary’s, a graduate student must have a cumulative C (2.0 or better) average or its equivalent or have academic standing at that point in the program that is consistent with the university’s requirement for graduation.
  • The Quantitative Standard for SAP, also referred as the Pace of Progression, considers the number of credit hours a student successfully completes, in comparison to the number of credit hours attempted. A full-time graduate students at St. Mary’s is expected to complete 67 percent of all hours attempted with a minimum 9 hours completed each semester (see chart below). Remember, repeat courses or those a student receives a grade of incomplete (I) will not count against a student’s GPA, but will be factored into his/her completion rate.
Required Hour Law Students Cumulative GPA
Year 1 (18 hours) 2.0
Year 2 (36 hours) 2.0
Year 3 (54 hours) 2.0
Year 4 (72 hours) 2.0
Year 5 (90 hours) 2.0
  • In addition to the Qualitative and Quantitative Standards, to be eligible for financial aid, a student must not exceed 150% of the required program hours to graduate from any one degree program. A student who exceeds the maximum hours is ineligible for financial aid. For example, a student enrolled in a program requiring 36 hours to graduate may not attempt more than 54 hours and still receive financial aid.
The university awards federal funds annually to eligible students and at the completion of each semester, the Office of Financial Assistance reviews each student’s academic progress according to the following policy. A student meeting ALL the above standards, receives a SAP status of Good Standing Graduate and will continue financial aid eligibility.

If a student fails to meet one or more of the above standards, he/she is placed on one of three financial aid SAP statues, as described below and receives a notification from the Office of Financial Assistance.

  • SAP Warning: A student not meeting SAP will be designated under a SAP Warning status for one semester, which means a student is being warned that he/she is not meeting the SAP eligibility and has one semester to meet the eligibility requirement before being placed on Probation Graduate. During this semester, a student will continue to receive financial aid. Warning status does not need to be appealed because a student is still eligible to receive financial assistance.
  • Probation Graduate: A student placed on financial aid Suspension, has the option of appealing the suspension through the SAP appeal process. If after the review process, an appeal is granted, a student will be placed on Probation Graduate for the next semester, and a student must bring his/her SAP eligibility to Good Standing Graduate status during the semester or be placed on Suspension Graduate. While on Probation Graduate, a student may continue to receive financial assistance as long as a student is otherwise eligible.
  • Suspension Graduate: A student with a previous SAP status of SAP Warning or Probation Graduate and fails to meet SAP eligibility during the next semester, will be assigned SAP status of Suspension Graduate and will not be eligible for financial assistance during the next semester he/she attends the university. A student under the Suspension Graduate may appeal this decision through the appeal process.
A student placed under the SAP statuses of suspension for not maintaining the required cumulative GPA, pace of progression, or having not met the program completion time period and reaches the maximum number of hours or time frame to complete his/her degree must complete courses at his/her own expense.
If you fail to meet the minimum Satisfactory Academic Progress standards (SAP), you will be placed on Suspension.
You can appeal this suspension by writing a letter to the Appeals Committee after receiving the official notification. Please include the reason why you did not meet the minimum academic standards and state why financial aid should not be terminated. You may also include supporting documentation regarding your plan of action. Appeals must be submitted prior to established deadlines.

The Appeals Committee will review your appeal and determine whether the suspension is justified. You will be notified in writing of the final decision. If your appeal is granted, the status will be updated to Probation and you will be eligible for financial aid for the next semester. If your appeal is not approved, you may become eligible again by meeting the standards for Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).

If you withdrew or have been out for a semester or more, please reapply for admission to the University.

Repeated Courses

The Department of Education has recently published new regulations which limiting the number of times a student may repeat a course and receive financial aid for that course. These regulations are part of a series called Program Integrity Rules and are effective July 1, 2011.
  • A student may receive financial aid when repeating a course that was previously failed (received a 0.0 or No Pass), regardless of the number of times the course was attempted and failed.
  • A student may receive financial aid to repeat a previously passed course one additional time.
  • Once a student has completed any course twice with a passing grade, no longer eligible to receive financial aid for that course.
  • If a student retakes a course that is not financial aid eligible, a recalculation of aid is done to exclude the credits for the repeated course.
  • This rule applies whether or not the student received financial aid for earlier enrollments in the course.
  • Students will receive notification if receiving financial aid and attempt to repeat coursework beyond the limits.
Note: Federal regulations specify that students may not receive financial aid for repeating courses previously passed if the student is required to retake those courses as part of a structured program.
For example, a student who fails a course in a semester and is required by the college or department to repeat all courses taken in that semester before moving on in the program; would not be eligible to receive financial aid for the passed courses, only for the failed one(s). This may mean that the student would not be eligible for financial aid for the semester, depending upon the number of previously passed courses being repeated.

Contact the Office of Financial Assistance

For information or questions about financial aid, please contact our office. 

The Office of Financial Assistance can help with questions about the following:

  • Understanding your financial aid package
  • FAFSA Completion
  • Applicable Deadlines
  • Financial aid for study abroad




Office hours
Monday – Thursday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Friday noon 5 p.m.



Office of Financial Assistance
Local: 210-436-3141
Toll-free: 1-800-367-7868
Fax: 210-431-2221
St. Louis Hall, Suite 301
St. Mary’s University
One Camino Santa Maria
San Antonio, Texas 78228