Financial Aid information

TUITION AND Cost of attendance

Find out about tuition, fees, cost of attendance, and financial aid by researching the information below. 

Juris Doctor


Master of Laws (LL.M.)


Merit Based Aid 

Click here to find out about Merit Based Aid. Eligibility and awarding information for each type of award can be found clicking here.

Credit Balances

Title IV credit balances will be refunded to students after all aid has disbursed to the student account and a $0.00 balance is owed to the school.


Disbursements of financial aid are typically made in two installments at the beginning of each semester. For second semester and students on academic probation, disbursements are held until grades are posted.

Cohort Default Rate

See table from the U.S. Department of Education below. Verification can be found on the Federal Student Aid website. You can find it by clicking here. Enter the following code in the OPE-ID field: 012627

Three-year Official Cohort Default Rates




300 S. Capitol Ave.
Lansing, MI 48933

Master's Degree or Doctor's Degree



Default Rate




No. in Default




No. in Repay




Enrollment figures

Percentage Calculation







ENROLLMENT: To provide context for the Cohort Default Rate (CDR) data we include enrollment data (students enrolled at any time during the year) and a corresponding percentage (borrowers entering repayment divided by that enrollment figure). While there is no direct relationship between the timing of when a borrower entered repayment (October 1 through September 30) and any particular enrollment year, for the purpose of these data, we have chosen to use the academic year ending on the June 30 prior to the beginning of the cohort year (e.g., FY 2015 CDR Year will use 2013-2014 enrollment). Current Date: 05/06/2019

Student Loan Default Rates

The U.S. Department of Education controls Federal student loan programs. As part of its oversight function, the DOE collects information on student loans and calculates and publishes colleges and university student loan default rates each year. Unfortunately, the published reports only include default rates for independent law schools, since rates for the college and university-related law schools are included in the overall university rate.  

A cohort default period is a three-year period beginning on October 1 of the fiscal year the borrower enters into repayment and ending on September 30 of the second fiscal year the borrower entered repayment. This period is when a borrower’s default affects a school’s cohort default rate. For example, when calculating the 2015 cohort default rate, the cohort fiscal year is October 1, 2014 to September 30, 2015.  The overall Department of Education default rate includes those who graduated and those who left for any reason, including those who transferred to another law school.

To remain in good standing, the Department of Education requires that a school have not a default rate of more than a 40% in any year or a default rate of not more than 30% for any three consecutive years. The American Bar Association has no maximum default rate for university-related law schools, but requires in Interpretation 507-2 that independent law schools have a rate not greater than 10% for any of the three most recent published annual cohort default rates. The ABA collects data only from the independent law schools, but does not publish that data.

Student Loan Default Rate Detail - 2012 to 2015 Cohorts

Year WMU-Cooley Gradutes Transferred Out of WMU-Cooley Other Non-Graduates of WMU-Cooley Overall DOE Default Rate
Preliminary Rate (2015 Cohort) 1.50% 1.10% 4.60% 2.60%
Final Rate (2014 Cohort) 1.80% 1.20% 3.30% 2.50%
Final Rate (2013 Cohort) 3.00% 1.30% 3.70% 3.50%
Final Rate (2012 Cohort) 2.20% 1.00% 3.50% 2.80%

Review of the Department of Education website reveals that the default rates for the independent law schools accredited by the ABA are similar to those of WMU-Cooley.  In our view, this data demonstrates that student loan default rates are far lower than those of colleges and universities in general and well below the default maximum requirements established by both the Department of Education and the ABA.

Financial Aid Code of Conduct

As active institutional members of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Professionals (NASFAA), the Financial Aid employees at The Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School (WMUTMCLS) have historically adhered to the NASFAA Code of Conduct. The Code is intended to help guide financial aid professionals in carrying out their duties, particularly with regard to ensuring transparency in the administration of the student financial aid programs, and to avoid the harm that may arise from actual, potential, or perceived conflicts of interest.  Click here for the Financial Aid Code of Conduct.  

Refund Policies

The institutional refund policy can be viewed clicking here.

Office of the Ombudsman

If you are unable to resolve any disputes you may have regarding your student loans or financial aid, the Department of Education has established the Office of Ombudsman to assist you in resolving your dispute. The Office of the Ombudsman can be contacted by clicking here or calling 877-557-2575.

Mailing address:
Office of the Ombudsman
Student Financial Assistance
U.S. Department of Education
Rm 3012, ROB #3
7th and D Streets, SW
Washington, DC 20202-5144


WMU-Cooley Law School
300 South Capitol Avenue
Lansing, Michigan 48933 
(517) 371-5140

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Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School is an independent, private, non-profit educational institution affiliated with Western Michigan University. As an independent institution, the Law School is solely responsible for its academic program. Accredited by the American Bar Association and the Higher Learning Commission. In corde hominem est anima legis.

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