Bar Loans

Creditworthy third year JD and LLM students are eligible for bar study loans either with federal loans or with private educational loans.


Federal Bar Loans

Certain fees related to bar study are allowed to be added to a 3L student’s cost of attendance. Students that are eligible for federal loans can receive additional funds in federal loans, most likely Federal Graduate PLUS loans, to offset these fees. Please note that the fees pertain only to the cost of the IL bar exam. Should you have bar examination fees in another state that exceed this amount, you will need to contact the Chicago Campus Office of Financial Aid to discuss your options. Federal regulations only allow the university to cover the cost of one state exam. If you will be taking the bar exam in more than one state, your request can be for the exam with the highest cost. Additional fees for late registration cannot be included in the request. Federal regulations also allow the university to increase your cost of attendance for fees relating only to the registration and administration of the bar exam, not for any bar preparation classes.

  • Borrower is already eligible for federal student loans
  • Borrow for the cost of the bar exam registration and administration only for one state
  • Most likely this will result in an increase in the federal Graduate PLUS loan
  • Disbursement is electronically sent to the school directly, applied to the student's account and can be requested through CAESAR

Private Bar Loans

Private educational loans can be used to help graduating students cover the costs of their bar preparation courses and bar exam expenses. Various lenders have bar loan options with varying amount of borrowing limits, generally up to $15,000. Please note that the bar study loan is not part of a financial aid package, meaning that this loan will not appear on CAESAR. These loans will be sent via paper check to the borrower directly, not the Law School. Many of these lenders have an online application; however, you should speak with the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid if you are considering a bar loan or have applied for a bar loan.

Individuals that are not creditworthy can qualify with a creditworthy co-signer. International students might also be more limited in their lender choice since some lenders will not allow international students participate in their bar study loan program.

  • Borrow up to $15,000, depending on the lender
  • Must be creditworthy to be eligible or have a creditworthy cosigner
  • Some lenders require that you must have previous borrowing relationship
  • Variable interest rate through the life of the loan
  • Disbursements can be determined by the borrower
  • Disbursements are sent directly to the borrower. It is important that the lender has the correct address information as paper checks will be mailed to the borrower directly