Bar Loans

Creditworthy third-year JD students may be eligible for federal student loans or private bar study loans to cover certain costs related to registering and taking the bar exam. Creditworthy graduating LLM students may be eligible for private bar study loans to cover certain costs related to registering or taking the bar exam.

Federal Bar Loans

A 3L student’s cost of attendance may be increased to cover fees relating to the registration and administration of a single bar exam (but not fees relating to bar preparation classes). Please note that the fees pertain only to the cost of the Illinois bar exam. Should you have bar examination fees in another state that exceed this amount, please contact the Chicago Office of Financial Aid to discuss your options.

  • To receive a federal bar loan, the student must already be eligible for federal student loans.
  • It is likely that the student will receive a federal Graduate PLUS loan.
  • The student may only request a loan for the cost of the bar exam registration and administration of one state. If you will be taking the bar exam in more than one state, you can request a loan for the exam with the highest cost. 
  • Federal bar loans are disbursed electronically to the school directly and then applied to the student's account. Students can then request the funds through CAESAR.

Private Bar Loans

Private bar loans help graduating students cover the costs of their bar preparation and exam expenses. Various lenders offer bar loans. The typical borrowing limit is $15,000. Private bar loans are sent via paper check to the borrower directly, not the Law School. Many lenders have an online application; however, you should speak with the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid if you are considering a private bar loan.

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

  • Some lenders require students to have a previous borrowing relationship.
  • Variable interest rate through the life of the loan.
  • Disbursements can be determined by the borrower.