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Financial Aid

Funding Your Education

Making the decision to go to college can raise some financial questions. Will you be able to afford your education? Can you make payments while you attend? What if it costs more than you think you can afford? How do you know if you are eligible for financial aid?  What kind of financial aid can you receive? How can you minimize your debt at the completion of your program? At Center for Advanced Legal Studies, we are committed to helping each student understand college financing and how to best get all the funding they are eligible to receive. 


Your first step to apply for financial aid is to complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).  The key word here is FREE.  It can be intimidating at first glance, but if you go in prepared to research and spend a little time, you will realize how easy it can be.  Don’t ever pay anyone to complete the FAFSA for you.

The process has gotten simpler over the past couple of years because you can now retrieve your and your spouse’s and/or parent’s income information directly from the IRS.  In other words, you don’t have to struggle anymore trying to find your adjusted gross income, taxes paid, and income earned from work, etc.  Now you can retrieve all this information with just the click of a mouse.  Not only does this streamline the process of the application, it also cuts down on human error.

Dependent Students

For the FAFSA, you’ll need to determine your dependency status.  Why?  Because it determines whose information you must put on the FAFSA.  If you are considered a dependent student, you will need your information and your parents’ or guardian’s information on the FAFSA.  “Oh,” you say, “I have a job and my own apartment, and I pay my own bills.”  This alone does not make you an independent student for financial aid eligibility.  If you are classified as a dependent student, you must report both your and your parents’ or guardian’s information. 

Independent Student

If you are classified as an independent student, you will only report your information (and your spouse’s information if you are married).

When to Apply?

You can complete the FAFSA as early as October 1st for the upcoming award year.  For example, if you are planning to attend college in 2024, you can complete the 2024/2025 FAFSA as early as October 1, 2023.  You will be required to use your 2021 income tax information for the 2023/2024 and 2022 income tax information for 2024/2025 FAFSAs.  It can get a little confusing because most colleges and universities have their own deadline for awarding certain funding, so check with your school.  Because we are a continuously enrolling college, Center for Advanced Legal Studies does not have a deadline.  You just complete the appropriate FAFSA before enrolling. 

Where to Apply?

You can complete your FAFSA at StudentAid.gov

Haven’t decided where to go to school yet?  No problem, you can list several options you are considering, and each school will receive a copy of your FAFSA.  You can always add another institution if needed.  (If you wish to add Center for Advanced Legal Studies to you list of college options, our school code is 026047.)

Finally, once you complete entrance counseling, stay signed in and complete the Loan Agreement for Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan (MPN).

Bottom line, do your research and apply as early as you can.  The 2023/2024 FAFSA is available now and the 2024/2025 FAFSA will be available soon.

Financial Aid Quick Links


Lori Baggett has been the Financial Aid Director at Center for Advanced Legal Studies for 30 years and has helped thousands of students receive funding and finance their paralegal education. She is an expert on Financial Aid and is committed to assisting our students.

If you are interested in paralegal education and the personalized financing options available to you, contact us at 1.800.446.6931 or info@paralegal.edu.  

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