Financing Your Legal Education
Admissions decisions at Columbia Law School are made without regard to an applicant’s financial need.
Therefore, grant applications are reviewed only after a student has been admitted. If you are interested in grant assistance, you must complete your application as early as possible so that it can be evaluated soon after you have been admitted. Students admitted under the Early Decision Plan are reminded that they should not expect to be notified of their financial aid package before the end of March, at the earliest.
We strongly recommend that all applicants file the required forms no later than February 15, even if they have not yet received an offer of admission.
The Law School awards grant assistance primarily on the basis of demonstrated financial need. However, there are a number of fellowships that are not based on need that are awarded at the time an applicant is admitted to the Law School. There is no separate application for these fellowships. Each year a substantial portion of the entering class receives a Law School grant in the form of a partial tuition waiver. However, the majority of law students utilize educational loans to finance their expenses in whole or in part.
Financial aid starts with the standard cost of attendance (COA) for a student.
The Loan Repayment Assistance Program
Columbia Law School’s Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) supports Columbia J.D. graduates
who pursue public interest and public service careers by providing them with financial assistance to service the educational debt they assumed while at the Law School.
In addition to the traditional LRAP, participants may elect to participate in both the Columbia Law School LRAP and the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.
All Columbia J.D. graduates in qualifying employment are entitled to its generous assistance, and there is no salary cap. In some cases, graduates who demonstrate exceptional dedication and potential for contribution to the public good are awarded public interest fellowships, which provide enhanced loan repayment assistance to the fellows.
We are committed to clarifying the process of applying for financial aid so that you may explore the options that may exist for funding your legal education.