Future JD Students

Determining Eligibility

The law school's financial aid office will review your application and calculate your eligibility for the various forms of financial aid from all sources. It is important to carefully review your package and to understand the terms and conditions of all aid offered to you.

Your financial need is the difference between your resources and the total cost of attendance. Your unmet financial need is determined by subtracting the amount you are able to contribute toward your legal education, as well as any scholarships you receive, from the total cost of attendance. The budget used for determining need includes tuition, books and supplies, as well as living expenses, transportation, and personal expenses. The Student Expense Budget is set by the law school and will vary by school. Consumer debt is not included in your Student Expense Budget and should be paid before you attend law school.

If your circumstances change after you complete and file your financial aid forms, notify the financial aid office so that your need analysis may be revised.

Special Considerations

  • Independent/Dependent Status. All graduate and professional school students are considered independent for the purposes of determining federal aid eligibility. Law schools, however, may require parental income information for institutional grants, loans, and scholarships. You should be aware that the law schools have specific guidelines regarding independent status for the allocation of institutional funds. These guidelines will vary by school.
  • Veterans Educational Assistance. The Department of Veterans Affairs administers a number of educational benefit programs for veterans. This includes, but is not limited to, the Montgomery GI Bill and the Post-9/11 GI Bill. The Post-9/11 GI Bill is a new education benefit program with an effective date of August 1, 2009. This program is for honorably discharged individuals with at least 90 days aggregate service on or after September 11, 2001, or individuals discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days. This benefit provides up to 36 months of education benefits; generally, benefits are payable for 15 years following release from active duty. This program assists eligible individuals with tuition and fees, a monthly housing allowance, annual books and supplies stipend, and a one-time rural benefit payment for eligible individuals. Under a provision of the Post-9/11 GI Bill, there is the Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program. This program allows institutions of higher learning to voluntarily enter into an agreement with the VA to fund tuition expenses that exceed what is covered by the Post-9/11 GI Bill. The institution can waive up to 50 percent of those expenses and the VA will match the same amount as the institution. Only individuals entitled to the maximum benefit rate of the Post-9/11 GI Bill are eligible to receive funding from the Yellow Ribbon Program.

The law school financial aid office will send you a letter explaining your financial aid eligibility. You may be eligible for several different types of aid, some or all of which may be available in combination to bring the cost of attending law school within reach. The amount of aid you receive in each category will depend on your own resources and the financial aid policy and resources of each law school.

Some schools award merit money shortly after admission, while others require separate forms. Some schools award need-based institutional aid. Check with each school for required forms. Apply early for all aid from law schools.

Bookmark and Share