Stanford Law offers financial aid to assist students who would otherwise be unable to pursue a legal education at SLS. Approximately 75-80 percent of the student body receives a tuition fellowship or loan assistance, with the average fellowship portion per recipient totaling $25,000 to $28,000 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.
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 $7,500; 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 two 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.
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 2020-21 academic year, the base benefit for tuition and fees is capped at $25,162.
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 2020-21 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.
Stanford’s Graduate Family Grant program has been extended for 2020-2021. The maximum award will be $15,000; eligibility is based on your family income and number of dependent children as well as their ages. The Family Grant is available to all graduate students. Funds may be used flexibly to cover expenses such as childcare, healthcare, insurance and rent. Please review the program guidelines before completing the application.
Receipt of this funding will not affect your need-based scholarship at the law school and instead will reduce your loan eligibility.
As part of its comprehensive financial aid strategy, Stanford Law School is piloting a new model for financing legal education, the Flywheel Fund. The Flywheel Fund’s pilot program is a new 501(c)(3) nonprofit that will use philanthropic contributions to provide current Stanford Law students who need to take out loans with an alternate way to finance their legal education through an Income Share Loan (ISL).
Under the terms of the pilot, Flywheel Fellows will be eligible for ISLs of up to $170,000 from Flywheel for their law school tuition and fees. Flywheel Fellows will enter into a “Flywheel Income Share Loan”, administered by Stride Funding. The program will award up to 20 Fellowships commencing in Fall 2022 to applicants who have not committed to specific employment following graduation.
Repayment under the program is designed to provide Flywheel Fellows a more flexible way to pay law school tuition and expenses and open up career options and possibilities that might otherwise not be available to them. Repayments to the Flywheel Fund are contingent upon the Fellows’ income, with payments that will not exceed the current federal Grad PLUS loan interest rates.
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 and the Anonymous Public Service Loan Repayment Assistance Program — the most generous loan relief programs 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.
Note to applicants: 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.
Applications for the Knight-Hennessy Scholars are due in early Autumn one year prior to enrollment. View dates and deadlines. You can also sign up for Knight-Hennessy Scholars email alerts to stay up to date on the availability of their online application.
The law school has three options for student employment: 1)hourly positions, 2)legal assistantships and 3)teaching assistantships.
Hourly positions are usually for smaller projects and typically will be for specific tasks that have a clear start and finish timeline. The hourly rate is set by the law school.
Legal assistantships are usually research-based and involve helping faculty members on individual projects that are longer in duration than hourly appointments. Two levels of legal assistantships are available – either 6 hours per week for a total of 72 hours for the duration of a quarter or 8 hours per week for a total of 96 hours for the duration of a quarter. In addition to earning a salary, tuition assistance is also provided. This tuition allowance is only available if the hourly commitment over the course of the quarter is met. That is, if you are hired at the 6-hour level and do not meet the 72-hour total requirement, tuition assistance cannot be provided. Legal assistantships are unique to the law school and similar appointments are not found elsewhere in the University. Consequently, salary levels and tuition allowance levels are set by the law school.
Teaching assistantships help faculty with course-related work and must involve teaching students. In addition to earning a salary, this position also provides tuition assistance. As this is an appointment that is used across all schools and departments at the University, we follow the guidelines set forth in the University’s Administrative Guide when determining job responsibilities, salary, and tuition allowances. As noted on the University website, TAs have the following responsibilities:
- Preparing for class sections and/or laboratories where new material may be presented.
- Presenting material in classroom or lab setting.
- Marking and/or grading some portion or all of the exams or papers (but not independently assigning the final grade).
- Holding regular office hours.
It is also important to note that the law school has only two levels of teaching assistantships available – either at 6 hours per week for a total of 72 hours for the duration of a quarter or 8 hours per week for a total of 96 hours for the duration of a quarter. These parameters correspond to the 15% and 20% TA descriptions available in the Administrative Guide.
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 are likely to reduce your loan eligibility.