JD Financial Support

Financial Aid

Stanford Law offers financial aid to assist students who would otherwise be unable to pursue a legal education at SLS. Approximately 78 percent of the student body receives a tuition fellowship or loan assistance, with the average fellowship portion per recipient totaling about $23,000 annually. Aid is awarded on the basis of demonstrated need and is provided through a combination of tuition fellowships, government guaranteed loans and private loans.

To apply for financial aid, please complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the CSS Profile application. The FAFSA should be completed as soon as possible after January 1.  A service of the U.S. Department of Education, FAFSA is free to all applicants.  Please note that the Title IV School Code for Stanford Law School is E00341 and our CSS Profile code is 7832 (last day to be considered for SLS need-based aid for the 2018-19 academic year is 2/15/19).

In general, the financial award system operates as follows:

  • Each year the school determines a standard budget to cover basic costs (tuition plus living expenses).
  • Each student’s need is calculated by subtracting reported resources from the standard budget. These resources include one–third of reported assets; 57% of summer gross earnings over $6,000; assumed earnings of spouse (if married); and an imputed parental contribution (based on the CSS Profile analysis) if the student is dependent.
  • Each student is then expected to borrow or otherwise raise a portion of this need, with the remainder being an outright grant, subject to a limit of full tuition.
  • Financial aid is evaluated annually. Therefore, one cannot be guaranteed the same level of aid over three years of attendance.

Stanford Law School uses an age-based test to determine the dependency percentage from your parent contribution.  Unless you are 29 years of age as of September 1, financial resource information from your parents must be submitted on the CSS Profile application.  Parental information is never required on the FAFSA for graduate students.

Under our policy guidelines, the following rules apply:

  • If you are 25 or younger as of September 1, we will take into consideration the full extent of our calculated parental contribution when determining your eligibility for our need-based scholarship assistance.
  • If you are 26 as of September 1, we will protect 25% of your calculated parental contribution and use only 75% of that contribution when determining your eligibility for our need-based scholarship assistance.
  • If you are 27 as of September 1, we will protect 50% of your calculated parental contribution and use only 50% of that contribution when determining your eligibility for our need-based scholarship assistance.
  • If you are 28 as of September 1, we will protect 75% of your calculated parental contribution and use only 25% of that contribution when determining your eligibility for our need-based scholarship assistance.
  • If you are 29 as of September 1, no parental resources are considered when determining your eligibility for our need-based scholarship assistance. Therefore, you need not submit any parental financial information to CSS Profile and can enter $0 into application in order to complete.

Loans available to law students come primarily from three governmental programs: Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans, and Federal Direct Graduate Plus Loans.  All graduate and professional students are independent for purposes of determining federal loan eligibility.

Additional financial aid information is provided in the School’s Financial Aid Handbook.

2018-19 Financial Aid Handbook 2017-18 Financial Aid Handbook
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) CSS Profile Application


The following forms will be provided by the Office of Financial Aid as necessary but are available here:

Due to the nature of federal, state, and institutional guidelines, this information is subject to change without notice.


For graduates who take low-paying public interest jobs and have substantial educational debt, Stanford Law School offers the Miles and Nancy Rubin Loan Repayment Assistance Program — the most generous loan relief program in the country — along with a variety of other fellowships.  Stanford Law was one of the first law schools in the country to launch such a program, setting the standard for schools that have followed our lead. Stanford Law makes loans to eligible applicants to help meet education loan payments. Loans made by Stanford through this program will be forgiven (up to 100 percent) depending on verification of participant income using federal tax returns.  Visit the LRAP section of this site for additional information.

Yellow Ribbon Program

The Post-9/11 GI Bill, also known as Chapter 33, is the most commonly used VA educational benefits program at Stanford.  This program provides funding for tuition, required fees, books, and housing.  The level of a qualifying veteran’s Chapter 33 benefits is determined by the length of military service since 9/11/2001.  For the 2017-18 academic year, the base benefit for tuition and fees is capped at $22,805.34.

If you qualify for Chapter 33 benefits at the 100% level, you will receive additional funding through the Yellow Ribbon Program.  Under this program, Stanford Law provides an annual contribution to supplement the Chapter 33 base tuition benefit.  The VA matches Stanford’s Yellow Ribbon contribution.  For the 2017-18 academic year, Stanford Law’s annual Yellow Ribbon contribution for students will be 50% of the remaining tuition and fees with the VA providing the other 50% — together covering the full costs of tuition and fees.

Most VA educational benefit programs pay benefits directly to students on a monthly basis.  However, under the Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33), the VA sends tuition and fees benefits to Stanford, where the Central Financial Aid Office is responsible for applying the funds to the student account (university bill).  Chapter 33 books and housing benefits are sent directly to students monthly.  You may need to apply your housing benefits to the university bill to pay for on-campus room and board.

Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program

The Knight-Hennessy Scholars program awards full funding to Stanford graduate students from all disciplines, with additional opportunities for leadership training and collaboration across fields.

The deadline to apply to the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program for enrollment in fall 2018 has passed. Sign up for Knight-Hennessy Scholars email alerts to stay up to date on the availability of their online application for enrollment in fall 2019. You may continue to apply to SLS until February 1, 2018.

Learn more about the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program


Two forms of paid assistantships area available to students: legal and teaching. Legal assistants help faculty members on individual projects. Teaching assistants help prepare course materials and teach discussion sections. Both are generally quarter-long appointments carrying both a salary and tuition allowance depending on the number of hours worked (either 6 or 8 per week).

These assistantships are limited in number and individual faculty members make all appointment/hiring decisions, often after an interview process. Appointments are usually offered at the beginning of each quarter.

Compensation (salary and tuition allowance) does not affect your need-based eligibility for tuition fellowship assistance unless the combination of tuition fellowship, any non-SLS funding, and tuition allowance exceeds the cost of attendance. However, be advised that these assistantships may reduce your loan eligibility.