Books and supplies
Cost of attendance appeals
The Cost of Attendance (COA) is an estimate of the expenses that a student may incur during the nine-month academic year. The COA, after subtracting aid already received, also functions as a cap on the amount of loans that a student can borrow. To view the Maurer School of Law's official cost of attendance, please visit our tuition and fees page.
There are three major components to the cost of attendance: tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses. Living expenses can be further broken into room and board, transportation, and miscellaneous and personal expenses. Sometimes students may need to borrow more than the COA permits. In those instances, students can submit an appeal (see below) to try to increase the amount that they are permitted to borrow. The COA might not account for all expenses that a student incurs; it only accounts for the allowable expenses as determined by the school.
Tuition at the Law School is frozen for a student’s three years of law school. Students can review their cohort’s tuition rate, as well as the cost of the mandatory fee on the IU's Student Central website. Unlike tuition, the mandatory fee, which is assessed by the university, may increase during law school.
The books and supplies portion of the COA totals $1,928 for the academic year. Because this is only an estimate, students may end up spending more or less than this amount. Students can purchase their textbooks from the IU Bookstore, TIS, or from other online sources. When possible, students should shop around to find the best price.
Currently, IU budgets a maximum of $21,940 for academic year living expenses. This works out to a maximum of $2,437 per month for the nine-month academic year. If a student develops a 12-month budget, they should plan to spend no more than $1,828 on monthly expenses. Ultimately, each student should determine for themselves how much they will spend each month, rather than relying on the maximum limit as a guide. Students who are able to budget for less than the maximum will graduate with a lower debt and less outstanding interest.
The Law School recommends that students limit their monthly budget to $1,200 per month. In order to achieve this, they must find an affordable place to live. There are several apartment complexes located within walking distance to Baier Hall with reasonable monthly rates. Students who want to split the cost of their rent with roommates can also find homes for lease near the Law School.
Some students may find that they are in need of additional funds, even after having borrowed the maximum amount allowed. In such instances, they can appeal to have their COA increased so that they can borrow additional funds beyond the standard limit. Allowable appeal categories include the cost of purchasing a computer, uninsured medical/dental expenses, health insurance premiums, daycare expenses, and the cost of the bar application fee. Students who have unusually high room and board expenses may also appeal for an increase to their COA. Few room and board appeals are approved, however, because the standard amount allotted is quite generous. Credit card payments, vehicle payments and repairs, and other personal debt obligations are not considered eligible appeal categories. For more information about how to submit a Cost of Attendance appeal, please contact to the Law School’s financial aid office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Upon entering law school, students should establish an emergency fund of at least $1,000 to help manage unexpected expenses. Costs of car repairs, dental bills, etc. can really break a budget. Students who rely on student loans for their living expenses should set aside a portion of their financial aid refund to build their emergency fund.
Students who do not have health insurance should also include the cost of health insurance premiums in their monthly budget. Many students find that Indiana’s HIP program is very affordable and that it provides good health insurance coverage. Students who do not qualify for HIP may need to purchase their health insurance through the federal healthcare exchange, as Indiana University does not offer an insurance plan directly to students.
Of course, finding a job is an important aspect of going to law school. That said, the costs of searching for a job, such as travel, hotel, and conference registration fees cannot be included in the COA. Students should try to include these expenses in their monthly budget, especially if they anticipate traveling out of state to interview. The Career Services Office does offer some limited financial support for some of these expenses.
Law students should try to plan ahead financially for their post-graduation expenses well before they graduate. These expenses can include costs such as ongoing rent and utilities, state bar application fees, bar prep course fees, travel expenses to the bar exam testing site, and possible relocation expenses. Ideally, students should set aside a minimum of $3,000–$4,000 for this purpose. The cost of a bar preparation course will likely be their largest post-graduation/pre-employment expense. Students who wish to defray this cost should consider becoming a bar prep course representative. To learn more about becoming a representative, students can visit with current reps, who usually table each week in the law school lobby.
Despite their best efforts, not all students will be able to set aside all of the funds they need for their post-grad expenses. In such an event, several lenders offer bar study loans, which are not limited by the university cost of attendance. Third-year students can apply for bar study loans directly on the lender’s website.
For more information about the bar exam and related costs, please visit the National Conference of Bar Examiners website.