Financing Law School

Compiled from the Law School Admission Council website (


Attending law school is an investment toward your future, but it can also be a considerable financial burden.  Law school tuition can reach upwards of $50,000 each year.  This amount does not include other costs, such as housing, school fees, food, books, transportation and other personal expenses. After everything is added together, the total cost of a law school education can easily exceed $150,000.  Learning more about how to finance your legal education will help you to make smart decisions now!  Below are explanations of the different types of aid available for students.


 Financing your way to Law School!


Here are some ways to save on the LSAT, LSAT prep classes, and your application.


Pre-Law Tips:

  • Check out all of your schools!  Research your schools for important information, such as:

    • Cost of Attendance,

    • Deadlines to applying for aid,

    • Percentage of students receiving financial aid, and

    • Job placement rates after law school.

  • Create a plan for managing your finances during law school!  Many students use budgets during school to stay on top of their finances.

  • Check out our Financing Law School workshop!  We host this workshop every Spring.  Sign up for our Pre-Law Newsletter to get up-to-date information for the next one! (

  • Visit Access Group is a non-profit organization that serves students and alumni of ABA-approved, non-profit law schools.



Financing your Legal Education:



This type of aid generally does not need to be repaid!  However, because of this fact, this aid is often limited.  There are different types of scholarships and grants based on need, merit, or both.

Scholarship Tips:

  • Turn in your law school applications early!  Institutional aid, or money available directly from your institution, is often limited.  By preparing your applications early, you will not only be ahead of the curve, but also may have a greater chance of receiving internal scholarships and grants.

  • Keep a lookout for external scholarships!  Many churches, clubs, and other community organizations that you may already be a part of offer scholarships to students.  Make sure to check and apply, if you qualify!

  • Here are a couple of websites to help you to search for scholarships!


Law students frequently utilize loans in order to finance their education.  Loans are a type of financial aid that must be paid back with interest.  Therefore, it is important to be mindful of how many loans you choose to take.  Below are a general listing of types of loans available for law students.

Federal Loans:
  • Unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loans: This loan has the lowest interest rate and loan fees compared to other types of federal loans.  Since it is unsubsidized, the interest will start to accrue once the loan is disbursed.  There is a limit of $20,500 per year.

  • Graduate PLUS Loans: This loan will cover the cost of attendance minus any other financial aid.  The interest rate and loan fees are higher than the Unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loans.  The interest will also start to accrue once this loan is disbursed.

  • Federal Perkins Loans: This loan may be available for students with high financial need.  There is a limit of $8,000 per year.

Private Loans:
  • Private loans may be available for students, who may be ineligible for federal loans.  Before taking out private loans, be careful to check the interest rates and repayment plans.  Often, these types of loans will carry higher interest rates.


Other types of Aid:

Federal Work Study:
  • This type of aid is not available at all law schools and is specifically for full-time students.  Federal work study is a way to work part-time in a position on campus for pay.



General Tips:


  • Submit your FAFSA as soon as possible!  You will need to complete this step to be eligible for federal loans.  The FAFSA opens on December 31st at 7:00pm HST!

  • Check your credit score!  If there are any discrepancies affecting your credit history, make sure take care of them as soon as possible.

  • If possible, make payments to your loan fees during your time in school.  Loan fees will be added on to your loan total once repayment begins.

  • Check out the Access Group’s website ( for free resources and tools to help with loans and law school planning.

  • Start saving now!  It is never too early to start saving your money for law school.



Helpful Contact Information:

WSRSL Financial Aid website:

WSRSL Financial Aid Manager: Heather Smith-Lee (

UHM Financial Literacy Program:

National Student Loan Data System website:

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) website:

Free Annual Credit Report:

The Access Group: 





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