For first-year students, qualification for a merit scholarship is based on undergraduate academic records, Law School Admission Test scores, probability of superior scholarship in the School of Law and potential for leadership in the legal profession. Scholarship assistance in a student's second and third year will continue in the amount originally awarded, contingent upon satisfactory academic performance. We expect to make our first round of merit scholarship awards by mid-January. Thereafter, awards are made periodically throughout the remainder of the admissions cycle.
We typically make our first round of scholarship awards in mid-January, and applicants whose files are completed by December 31 will receive full consideration for merit-based scholarships. Application files completed after December 31 will be considered for merit-based scholarship assistance to the extent funds remain available. After the first round of scholarship awards, which occurs around mid-January, scholarship notification can be expected two to three weeks after admission.
While we do encourage applicants to complete their applications by December 31 in order to be eligible for merit scholarship consideration, this is not a hard deadline. We make scholarship awards throughout the entire admissions cycle, but have less money with which to work with each successive month. Consequently, though the chances of you receiving a scholarship award are much better the earlier you complete your application, it is nevertheless possible to receive a scholarship even if you do not complete your application until after December 31st. As with many other aspects of the law school application process, the sooner you can complete your application the better.
For a comprehensive analysis of our scholarship practices, please see our Scholarship Data Analysis webpage.
As the below table demonstrates, over the past six years, on average, approximately 60-70% of the members of our incoming law classes received some form of merit scholarship.
||Class Size at Enrollment
||Total Number of Scholarships Awarded (at Enrollment)
Scholarship awards range from $5,000 to full tuition. As to how many students in our law school typically receive scholarship awards as well as the nature of those awards, consider the following table.
|Total Number of Students
|Total # Receiving Scholarships
|Less Than Half Tuition
|Half to Full Tuition
|Median Scholarship Award
Loan Repayment Assistance Programs
Graduates of the School of Law working in the public interest may qualify for financial assistance from the Shepherd Loan Assistance Program. A summary of the Program is available here.
Priority is given to those graduates working in Public Defender's Offices and Legal Aid, but, as the above linked summary indicates, the range of careers covered is quite broad. We try to assist as many graduates as possible with an eye towards helping recent graduates meet their post-graduation debt obligations. The number of graduates our Loan Repayment Assistance Program is able to support largely depends upon the amount of money in the fund. As the numbers below demonstrate, the economic downturn has affected the amount of assistance we have been able to provide in recent years.
In 2011, 15 graduates received assistance through our LRAP. The range of these awards was $1,000 to $4,500 with an average award of $3,266.67.
In 2010, 13 graduates received assistance through our LRAP. The range of these awards was $1,300 to $6,300 with an average award of $3,846.15.
In 2009, 15 graduates received assistance through our LRAP. The range of these awards was $1,500 to $12,000 with an average award of $7,886.67.
For students interested in working in the public interest, you should also be aware of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act. Passed in 2007, it allows for Income Based Repayment of federal loans for those students who choose to work in the public interest, as well as loan forgiveness (again, of federal loans) for those students who work in the public interest after 10 years of public interest work and 120 monthly payments. For additional information about these programs, please feel free to consult the following resources:
The American Bar Association summarizes other sources of loan repayment assistance (states, the federal government, employers) here.