Financial Aid Overview
Columbia Law School awards grant assistance primarily on the basis of demonstrated financial need. However, there are a limited number of fellowships that are not based on financial need; these are awarded by the Office of Admissions at the time an applicant is admitted to the Law School. In general, there is no separate application for these fellowships.
If you are interested in grant assistance, please be assured that Columbia Law School annually provides need-based funds toward reducing tuition costs for students. Each year a portion of the entering class receives a Law School grant, which is in the form of a partial tuition waiver. Eligible students may also borrow from a variety of loan programs to finance a part, or all, of their educational expenses. This will be an investment in your future, clearly one of the most important investments you can make.
We urge you to be as prudent as possible in the amount of debt you assume. Some students are able to limit their annual borrowing to the $20,500 that the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan Program currently makes available to eligible U.S. citizens and eligible noncitizens. However, increasingly more individuals also need to borrow from credit-based loan programs to meet the student budget. Therefore, it is important to keep in mind that loan providers require borrowers to be credit-worthy before approving a loan.
For loan borrowing, we advise all students to review carefully the “Loans and Credit” section on the Financial Aid website and to obtain a copy of your credit report. Please keep in mind that Law School funds will not be available to replace unavailable credit-based loans.
If you need further information after you review this section, please do not hesitate to contact the Financial Aid Office. Major responsibilities of the Financial Aid Office include evaluating applications for financial aid, processing loan applications, administering the Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP), and counseling students on how to manage the costs of a legal education.
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.