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Frequently Asked Questions

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Financial Aid & Scholarship Questions

Once admitted, applicants are considered for scholarships and are awarded them automatically based on their undergraduate GPA and the LSAT or GRE score. There is no separate application. If an admitted student is not awarded a scholarship their first year, they may be eligible for academic scholarships based on their law school GPA for their 2nd and 3rd year.

You can complete the FAFSA after January 1st. That gets the process started. STCLH will not make a decision on your financial aid until you have been admitted into the JD program. We will automatically mail you any additional information that you need to apply. You can complete the FAFSA online. You should not wait until you have been admitted to complete the FAFSA.

As a graduate student, financial aid consists of Federal Direct loans including Unsubsidized and Graduate PLUS loans and Federal Work-study. Institutional aid consists of scholarships. Residents of the State of Texas can apply for the Texas Equalization Grant (TEG).

A comprehensive webpage of all Federal Direct Student Loan information is located here.

Yes, anyone may complete the FAFSA before applying for admission or being accepted. The FAFSA application is located here.   South Texas College of Law Houston’s Federal School Code number is (004977).  Once you complete the FAFSA, the Financial Aid Office will receive your results electronically.

Students planning to borrow Federal Direct Student loans must complete both loan entrance counseling and Master Promissory Notes located here.

All entering students are considered for merit scholarships based on their undergraduate performance and LSAT score. Please contact the Admissions Office at 713-646-1810 for more information on scholarships.

Approximately 56 percent of South Texas College of Law Houston’s admitted students receive partial scholarships. The College also offers scholarships to continuing students.  These scholarship opportunities are announced during the academic year.

A combination of Federal Direct Unsubsidized and Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loans may be necessary to cover the full cost of attendance at South Texas College of Law Houston. Costs of attendance include tuition, fees, books, room, board, transportation, and miscellaneous.  The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan maximum amount per fall and spring semesters is $20,500.  This amount doesn’t cover the full amount of tuition and fees and therefore, students borrow the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loan to cover the remaining balance. A Graduate PLUS loan maximum amount per year is limited to the College’s Cost of Attendance.

After a student is admitted and submits a seat deposit, the Financial Aid Office will review a student’s FAFSA and institutional financial aid application for eligibility.  Based on a student’s eligibility, the Financial Aid Office will email a student a financial aid award letter which may consist of loans, scholarships and or grants.

After a student is admitted and submits a seat deposit, the Financial Aid Office will review a student’s FAFSA and institutional financial aid application for eligibility.  Based on a student’s eligibility, the Financial Aid Office will email a student a financial aid award letter which may consist of loans, scholarships and or grants.

A student should borrow only the amount needed. When you receive your financial award letter detailing how much you are eligible to borrow, you may reduce that amount simply by logging into your STANLEY web account.  Information and directions are provided along with the award letter.

Step 1: A student wishing to accept all of the loans offered to him/her will log into STANLEY and accept the awards.

Step 2: Navigate to here to complete entrance counseling and the Master Promissory Note.

Step 3: If the student chooses to borrow a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loan, he/she will apply here and a credit check will be completed as part of the application process.

Many students who attend South Texas College of Law Houston borrow Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loans in addition to the unsubsidized loan. To be eligible for the Graduate PLUS loan, a student must have non-delinquent credit.  Bad credit usually implies having made late payments (more than 30 days) on credit cards, medical bills, telephone bills, rent or other types of credit.  Defaults, collections actions, write-offs and bankruptcy also indicate bad credit.  Because mistakes often occur with credit reporting agencies, we strongly recommend that you contact one or all of the national credit agencies to receive a copy of your credit report in advance of applying for Graduate PLUS loans.  You may request your annual free credit report here.

If your credit rating is negative, you should remedy any deficiencies before applying for a loan.   Some students are required to have co-signers for Federal Graduate PLUS loans.  Negative credit may seriously affect your ability to finance your education through the Graduate PLUS loan program.  South Texas College of Law Houston does not have the resources to lend money to students who cannot obtain Federal Graduate PLUS loans or Private (Alternative) Loans.

Yes. A student can return Federal Direct Student loan funds to the U.S. Department of Education at any time. The return is done through the loan servicer that your loans have been assigned. If you do not know your servicer or do not have their information, do the following:

  1. Log onto to www.nslds.ed.gov (National Student Loan Data System) and select “Financial Aid Review” (FAFSA ID login information is required)
  2. Once in your account on NSLDS you will see:
    • Each student loan ever borrowed and the college attended
    • Each servicer assigned by the U.S. Department of Education to each
    • Contact information for each servicer
  3. Contact your servicer for all information regarding your loan including
    returning funds, repayment plans, etc.

You may call or email the Financial Aid Office at South Texas College of Law Houston. The email address is faid@stcl.edu and the phone number is 713-646-1820.

Experian, 1-888-397-3742 or visit their website

Trans-Union, 1-800-888-4213 or visit their website

CBI/Equifax, 1-800-997-2493 or visit their website

General Admissions Questions

For Fall 2024, our Priority Deadline is on February 9th, and the final deadline is May 10th. As for Spring 2025, the priority deadline is set for September 23rd, with the final deadline being November 25th to qualify for our priority deadline, which includes a fee waiver, you must submit your application, resume, and personal statement. Test scores and CAS reports can be provided after the deadline.

In order to apply to our program you need a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university and a current LSAT or GRE score, an STCLH application, a personal statement, letters of recommendation, and a resume. All applicants must also register with CAS.

While we require an accredited bachelor’s degree it does not need to be in a specific area or focus.

Yes, our spring class starts in early January. See the above question for deadline information.

We recommend taking the LSAT or GRE when you feel most prepared however by taking it on the earlier side of the application cycle it will allow you extra time should you want/need to retake the exam. Results are sent timely after your exam is taken.

Yes, as long as your application is submitted by the application deadline your application will be considered. Once we receive your score and your file is complete, we will place your application in review.

LSAT/GRE scores are valid for five years. Your most recent score must still be valid at the start of the semester for which you are applying.

We will consider your highest LSAT score as we review your application. However, all LSAT scores will be reported to us by CAS. We will consider all reportable GRE scores and will evaluate each section of the GRE independently. We are required to report to the ABA the highest score achieved.

Yes. All applicants are required to register with the CAS; foreign educated applicants will submit their foreign transcripts to the LSAC JD Credential Evaluation Service for evaluation. For information on CAS go to https://www.lsac.org.

If you would like to take advantage of the application fee waiver you should apply by February 9th (for Fall) and September 23rd (for Spring). We have a rolling admissions process, and we review applications as they are completed.

We admit students who are below the median and review all applications on a holistic basis.  However if your scores or grades are on the lower side your personal statement, letters of recommendation, and resume will be very important.

We do not have a minimum LSAT/GRE score and all test scores will be considered. However, files are reviewed holistically.

We do not have a minimum GPA and like the LSAT/GRE, all files are reviewed holistically.

We will look at them however they are not weighed as heavily as undergraduate grades. Not all applicants earn graduate degrees, so it is better for us to use the undergraduate GPA. Also, we have no context for considering and comparing graduate grades.

Our admissions committee takes the personal statement very seriously. Since we do not offer Admissions interviews you should approach it as an opportunity to interview with the committee. You may write about your skills, strengths, advanced degrees, work experiences, personal struggles you have overcome, and professionally related extracurricular activities. Make sure that you do not restate your resume. In a separate statement of no more than 1 page, you may want to explain any mitigating circumstances in your record. Also, remember to proofread your information very carefully!

It should be 2-3 pages double-spaced.

No, we do not.

No. The Admissions Committee wants to have all kinds of people as part of its law school. As a non-traditional student, you can use your experience as a benefit in your application.

J.D. Part-Time / Online Questions

The J.D. Part-time / Online schedule is designed for motivated self-starters who wish to pursue a law degree through a more flexible delivery format that allows them to maintain their professional and personal responsibilities while obtaining their legal education. We expect students in the online schedule to be comfortable in an online learning environment and have access to reliable internet access for the virtual classroom and digital resources.

Yes. South Texas requires all students to meet exacting admissions criteria. Just like students in the traditional, on-campus programs, online students will be expected to meet rigorous academic and professional standards.

We anticipate our J.D. Part-time / Online students to continue working at their full- or part-time jobs during the day. Additionally, we expect they will commit the necessary time and effort during the evenings and weekends to complete classwork, including attending some regularly scheduled synchronous classes in the evening as well as participating in some daytime commitments, such as faculty office hours or school events.

As with any law school degree program, the J.D. Part-time / Online schedule will require significant dedication during and after class times, which will include readings, preparation, office hours, discussion board submissions and responses, and synchronous and asynchronous classes. Students should plan to commit approximately two to three hours per week outside of class for every credit hour.

Some students may periodically choose to take time off from work or daytime commitments to complete assignments or prepare for classes or exams.

Types of classes: Beginning in fall 2023, J.D. Part-time / Online students will take classes mostly online in​ a combination of synchronous classes (face-to-face virtual at set times) and asynchronous classes (no set class time, but with regularly assigned deadlines) each semester.

On-campus requirement: At the beginning of the fall semester each year, students will have a required in-person experience on campus in Houston (7-8 days). For the first year, this includes orientation with all students, opportunities to meet the professors teaching online courses that semester, connections with student organizations, and in-person class time. This “residency” experience will ensure that online students are familiar with and become a part of the South Texas community.

Time to completion: The part-time J.D. degree can be completed in four years.

Synchronous activities will typically be scheduled on weekday evenings and occasionally during the day on Saturdays.

STCL Houston Student Services will be available for virtual meetings and phone calls with online students, in addition to various online workshops and connection opportunities. Some of those include academic advising, financial aid and debt counseling, library services, and career services.

For all students, STCL Houston faculty are available during regular office hours, and phone or virtual conversations are quite common. Students and professors also engage through email and through the learning system messaging features. If online students sign up for co-curricular or extracurricular activities involving professors, they will have additional opportunities to make connections with faculty members.

Student organizations will offer virtual opportunities for online students to participate in various meetings and in academic, co-curricular, and extracurricular activities including law reviews, clinics, and advocacy. Students who are able are always welcome to come to campus for in-person participation, as well.

J.D. Part-time / Flex and J.D. Part-time / Online students may seek to transfer to the full-time, on-campus schedule after successfully completing the initial fall and spring semesters. Transfers are granted on a case-by-case basis.

Yes, J.D. Part-time / Online students are eligible to apply for the same financial aid and scholarship opportunities as all other South Texas students.

South Texas College of Law Houston offers one ABA-accredited J.D. degree, and each student’s diploma only notes that degree — regardless of whether the degree was achieved full-time or part-time, on campus or online.

Joint Degree Programs Questions

We offer a joint JD/MBA program with Texas A&M University and the University of St. Thomas.

For all of the joint degree program, you need to apply to both our program and theirs and be accepted by both. Admitted students will apply for the MBA program after their first year of Law School.

Letters of Recommendation Questions

Yes, at least two letters of recommendation are required, and you may submit up to three. It is more important what your recommenders say versus who they are. However academic or professional recommendations are preferred.

Letters of Recommendation may be addressed to the members of the Admissions Committee and  must be submitted using the CAS letter of recommendation service. Go to https://www.lsac.org for more information.

No. We require that you use the CAS recommendation service. If you are unable to submit them during CAS please contact admissions@stcl.edu.

Notification of Status Questions

No. We do not review files until a CAS report has been received.

Decisions are made on a rolling basis, and all decisions will be sent out via email. You will also receive an email once you apply with access to our online portal where you can check the status of your application.

The Admissions Committee will begin to review applicants on the waitlist throughout the admissions process. Please be advised that this review often continues throughout the summer and fall and we may not have a final decision until weeks before the term begins. Candidates on the waitlist will receive a second full-file review by the Committee, so candidates are encouraged to submit additional new information, such as updated resumes and statements of interest. No set number of seats in the entering class are reserved for candidates on the waitlist, and decisions to admit candidates from the waitlist are made on a space available basis.

Yes, while we would like to be notified as soon as possible we understand that circumstances change. The registrar will work with you to update your schedule and academic plan.

We do not offer deferments. If an applicant is interested in being considered for the following application year they will need to submit a new application, resume, and personal statement.

Transfer/Visiting/Foreign Students Questions

To be admitted with advanced standing, a transfer applicant must have earned credit for at least 24 semester hours at an ABA-accredited law school. The college will not award credit for more than 30 semester hours earned at another law school. Transfer applicants are required to submit the following:

  • A completed application for admission
  • The $55 non-refundable application fee
  • An official letter of good standing from the law school from which the applicant is attempting to transfer
  • Personal statement
  • Resume
  • An official transcript reflecting all law grades earned

If you are waiting for your final grades, we ask that you send your application, supporting documentation, and the official transcript before the deadline of June 15 for fall transfer applicants and November 15 for spring transfer applicants or as soon as documents are available. Decisions on transfer files cannot be made, however, until all the above items are received.

A student from another ABA-accredited law school may apply to South Texas College of Law Houston as a visiting student, subject to availability of space. Visiting students must submit the following:

  • An application for admission
  • The $55 non-refundable application fee
  • A letter of good standing from their law school indicating that transfer credit will be accepted towards the student’s degree program.
  • Visiting students will be required to pay registration fees and tuition in full at the time of registration. Visiting students are prohibited from applying as a transfer student once they have visited at South Texas College of Law Houston.

Only current STCL Houston students and in some cases, STCLH alumni, can audit classes.

If you are not licensed in your country, you must definitely get a J.D; however, after your first year of law school, you may be able to receive 30 hours of credit for your prior law school work.

If you have practiced in your country for 5 years of the last preceding 7 years; from a common law country; or have an LL.M., then you may be able to take the bar. Contact the Board of Law Examiners to confirm the rules (512) 463-1621 or https://www.ble.state.tx.us/

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