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Law Schools with the Best Financial Aid Options

August 25, 2023


Reviewed by:

Former Head of Pre-Law Office, Northeastern University, & Admissions Officer, Brown University

Reviewed: 04/23/23

Students are known to pay an arm and leg for law school- but that doesn’t mean you have to. Read on to learn more about law schools with the best financial aid in the nation.

Pre-law students dream of winning huge cases, representing major clients, and making six-figure salaries.

What they tend to leave out of this dream is the money that’ll go into obtaining a law degree and the copious amounts of debt they’ll graduate with. The average amount of indebtedness of new law grads is over $100,000

But, you shouldn’t let this intimidating figure squander your dreams of having a prosperous and happy legal career. There are several ways you can avoid drowning in debt when you graduate from law school. One way is choosing a law school with good financial assistance to support you.

This guide will go over the top 15 law schools with the best financial aid, so you can pursue a JD without the hefty price tag!

Top 15 Law Schools with the Best Financial Aid Options

Since there are almost 200 accredited law schools in the nation, figuring out which ones have the best financial aid may be difficult. To make this process easier for you, here are 15 excellent law schools with substantial financial aid:

1. St. John’s University

The top law school with the best financial aid is St. John’s University. While this university has high tuition costs, at $67,800 per year for full-time students and $50,850 a year for part-time students, it offers financial aid that can cover a large portion of these costs. 

Its median grant amount for full-time students is $63,290! In case you’re worried you may not be eligible for this aid, you can rest assured that over 70% of students qualify for at least some financial assistance!  

2. Pennsylvania State University – Carlisle Campus

Pennsylvania State is another excellent option for students who want to avoid breaking the bank to attend law school. This school offers almost all of its JD students some form of financial aid, with 99.2% receiving grants.

The average grant amount these students receive is $51,840. Students may receive this amount for the entirety of their JD or for each year, depending on their circumstances and level of need. 

Tuition and fees at this school cost $55,344 a year, so these grants can offer considerable assistance to students!

3. Pennsylvania State University – University Park Campus

Pennsylvania State’s University Park campus also makes the list of the top law schools with the best need-based financial aid. This school offers an average of $49,896 in grants to its students. While not all students qualify for this particular amount of assistance, 99.7% of all Pennsylvania State students receive financial aid. 

4. Chapman University

Chapman University is located in an ideal location in Orange County and can open up a world of opportunity for students. To prevent your finances from holding you back from accessing these opportunities, Chapman grants financial aid to over 64% of its students.

These students typically receive aid amounting to $45,300, which can make a big dent in their annual tuition costs of $59,000.

5. Washington University in St. Louis

Washington University is renowned for its diverse, inclusive, and collegial legal community. Part of ensuring all students feel included in this environment is providing them with equal opportunity. 

To do this, Washington University offers substantial needs-based financial assistance to its law students. Almost 95% of their students qualify for aid, and at least half of them receive aid amounting to $42,000. This aid plays a crucial role in making Washington’s tuition of over $59,000 a year more affordable!

6. Yeshiva University

Yeshiva University’s tuition costs $67,792 a year, which could deter students from joining this law school.

Fortunately, students won’t have to make the tough decision between joining this law school or drowning in debt post-graduation. About 95% of all Yeshiva students receive financial aid, and the average aid amount this percentage receives is $40,000.

7. New England Law Boston

New England Law Boston might be considered a low-ranking law school, but it still makes the list for many pre-law students, especially those with low LSAT scores, as their median accepted score is 154

Students with low LSAT scores often worry they’ll have a hard time getting into law school, so the added stress of also having a hard time paying for law school can make the start of their legal journey overwhelming. 

New England Law aims to eliminate any extra stress by offering its students considerable financial aid. The 87.4% of students that receive financial aid are generally granted around $40,000 to help pay for tuition! 

This law school’s annual tuition fees are $54,384

8. Loyola Marymount University

LA is known as the true land of opportunity and a place people go to reinvent themselves. Loyola Marymount offers students an extensive curriculum with the backdrop of LA and all its wonder as a law, business, and entertainment hub. 

But, this opportunity comes with a price tag of around $63,413 a year, which might have made you reconsider an LA reinvention if Loyola didn’t offer its students such great financial aid. Around 68% of students receive some form of financial assistance from Loyola, most commonly amounting to around $40,000!

9. Case Western Reserve University

Another affordable option for students is Case Western Reserve University. While this law school’s annual tuition and fees cost $62,114, over 98% of its students receive aid to cut down on these costs.

The average grant amount given to students is $36,016

10. Wake Forest University

Wake Forest University ranks sixth in the nation for legal writing, and is therefore an excellent option for students interested in research or pursuing appellate law, which heavily involves writing briefs.

To ensure students can achieve their career goals at Wake Forest, this school offers a large majority of its students $36,000 worth of aid.

This grant amount helps ease the financial burden of Wake Forest’s high annual tuition costs of $52,028. Since more than 95% of Wake Forest law students receive financial assistance, it’s very likely you will too!

11. Stanford University

Stanford is one of the most revered T14 law schools in the nation. Students dream of attending Stanford and reaping all the benefits this prestigious law school offers, such as its high employment rates and premier experiential learning opportunities. 

Of course, as such a high-ranking school, its tuition reflects its status. Students can expect to pay $66,924 a year for tuition to attend this law school.

However, despite being such an elite school, Stanford also offers some of the best financial assistance in the country. About 75% of its law students qualify for aid, and the average amount they receive is over $35,000!

12. The University of Miami 

Attending the University of Miami Law School costs over $58,000 a year for tuition alone. To decrease the amount of debt students have post graduation, this law school offers various financial aid packages to over 66% of its students. 

The average amount of these packages is $35,248, which can make this otherwise unaffordable law school within your budget!

13. Belmont University

Belmont University has ranked as the top law school with the highest bar passage rate two times in a row now and has an impressive employment rate of 94%. Considering these facts, it’s obvious Belmont offers its students a rigorous curriculum that prepares them well for their legal careers.

Accordingly, it comes as no surprise that Belmont is expensive to attend, with tuition costs of $52,440 a year. While these costs may not be a surprise, they can still be discouraging!

Luckily, however, Belmont offers its students significant financial assistance to encourage them to attend their law school. The average grant amount given to students is $35,160, and around 55% of students qualify for aid. 

14. The University of Minnesota 

The University of Minnesota is just shy of ranking amongst the top 20 law schools in the nation. Reflecting this ranking, this law school offers a vibrant city full of legal opportunity, a supportive community of accomplished faculty, and one of the nation’s largest clinical education programs.

Bearing in mind all of these resources, the cost to attend this law school is $47,754 a year for residents and $56,946 a year for non-residents. Over 87% of students receive financial grants to reduce these costs, and the average grant amount they’re given is $35,000

15. The University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign

The last law school with the best financial aid is the University of Illinois. Saving the best for last, this law school offers 100% of its students financial assistance! The average amount of aid Illinois provides its students is $35,000.

Adding onto this aid, Illinois also promises its students a tuition freeze. Tuition rates typically increase each year because of inflation, rising costs of living, and other factors.

Regardless of these typical fluctuations, residents can expect to pay $41,657 each year of their JD, and non-residents can expect to pay $51,657.

FAQs: Law Schools with the Best Financial Aid Options

In this guide, we’ve gone over the top 15 law schools with the best financial aid. 

For any remaining questions, read on to find your answers. 

1. Which Law School Gives the Most Financial Aid? 

St. John’s University gives its students the most financial aid. The average grant amount they offer is $63,290.

However, the University of Illinois is the only law school that offers 100% of its students some form of aid! Regardless of their level of need, every student at Illinois is guaranteed financial assistance. 

2. Can You Negotiate Financial Aid for Law School?

Your ability to negotiate your financial aid depends on the type of assistance it is and the school. For instance, while merit-based scholarships and grants can typically be negotiated, needs-based ones cannot. Needs-based financial aid is based solely on students’ ability to pay for law school.

Financial documents are taken into consideration to provide the most accurate financial package to ensure students can attend law school.

Additionally, some schools have strict policies against negotiation for financial aid.

3. What GPA Takes Away Financial Aid?

Only merit-based aid will take your GPA into account. Typically, only students with high GPAs are given scholarships or grants. The exact GPA required to qualify for significant aid will depend on your law school and the scholarships they offer. In general, however, you’ll need to be at the top of your entering JD class to receive significant aid. 

Your LSAT score can also help you receive scholarships. Many students with high LSAT scores and GPAs are offered partial or full-ride scholarships.

4. Do Any T14 Schools Offer Good Financial Assistance?

Stanford University is one of the top law schools offering the best financial aid to its students. Approximately 75% of its students receive some form of aid, typically amounting to over $35,000.

5. What Is the Most Expensive Law School?

Columbia Law School currently has the most expensive tuition and fees, at $82,467 a year.

6. How Do I Know If I'm Eligible for Needs-Based Financial Aid?

The exact criteria you have to meet to receive aid depends on your law school, so it’s important you do your research and reach out to your financial aid counselors.

But, in general, if you can demonstrate you do not have enough income to afford attending your desired law school, individually and/or through your family, you will likely receive some aid. 

The total cost of attendance will include more than just tuition. Aid officers will also consider personal, housing, textbook, transportation, and other fees involved in attending law school.

Final Thoughts

While it’s commonly understood that law school is a huge investment, students don’t have to begin their legal careers with enormous amounts of debt. By attending any one of the schools on this list, you can begin your career with less debt, less stress, and more financial freedom!

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