Pre-Law Advising

Financing Your Education

Law school can be expensive. A good estimate is $250,000 to $300,000 for three years including tuition, supplies and living expenses. For most students, this will involve some combination of loans and scholarships.

Most law schools offer financial support to students in the form of need based aid, merit-based aid, scholarships, loans and loan reduction programs (mainly for public interest work). Need-based financial aid is intended to make it possible for you to attend; merit-based financial aid is intended to convince you to attend.

Most law schools have some form of need-based grant aid, either in the form of grants or in the form of loans. If you expect to need financial aid, be sure to complete FAFSA paperwork as part of the application process. Loans tend to be a larger part of school-sponsored financial aid in law school than for undergraduate education.

Law schools understand that finances affect your choice, and accordingly they offer merit-based aid in an attempt to make it more attractive to you to choose them over other schools to which you’ve been accepted. “Merit” in this context is not academic qualification alone, it represents a combination of factors that make you attractive to that school for the incoming class. For a number of years the University of Chicago Law School has enticed students away from other top schools with a limited number of Rubinstein Fellowships, which pay not just tuition, but room, board and a living stipend. However, not all schools offer merit-based aid, for example, Harvard and Yale offer only need-based financial aid. 

Many law schools have specific scholarships for which you must apply. Read the websites carefully to identify these opportunities. This LSAC website has a list of a number of scholarships offered by other organizations.

There are a number of governmental (e.g., Federal Direct Loans, or Federal Perkins Loans), Work-Study programs and private loan sources. Many law schools offer loan reduction programs specifically to students who go into public interest work. There are also income-based repayment plans for which you may qualify.

Brown University's Curricular & Co-curricular Funding is available to assist undergraduate students in supplementing expenses for standardized test preparation costs, including the LSAT. To apply, log into UFunds, search for the "Emergency Funds, Curricular & Co-curricular Gap (E-Gap) Funds" grant, then apply through the "Professional Development, Curricular, and Co-curricular Assistance Grant" section. Please note that it is not necessary to list a recommender for this application.