Financial Aid Resources For J.D. Candidates

The Financial Aid Office is here to assist you with understanding and obtaining financial aid. Below, we have provided an explanation of each award, along with eligibility, application procedures and deadlines. Please contact the Financial Aid Office if you have any questions.

The types of financial aid available to students attending UCLA School of Law are:

  • Gift Aid: Financial aid that does not have to be repaid; (Includes the Dean's Scholarship, Donor-Funded Scholarships, and Fellowships)
  • Earned Aid: Job opportunities for students wishing to reduce loan indebtedness. (Includes UCLA Teaching and Research Assistantships, Summer Public Interest Fellowships)
  • Educational Loans: Aid that does have to be repaid. (Includes Federal, Private and Bar Loans)
  • Yellow Ribbon: A program focused on U.S. veterans.


Dean's Scholarship

Instructions for students entering their 1L year in the Fall 2020 (students currently enrolled at UCLA School of Law should visit MyLaw).

All admitted students are considered for a Dean’s Scholarship.  In determining the scholarship amount, both merit and financial need can be considered.  Any Dean’s scholarship you receive is for all three years and there is no need to reapply in future years.  No new applications will be accepted in the 2L and 3L years.

Merit Component
Before we can determine your eligibility for merit, all admitted students must complete the Dean’s Scholarship Consideration Form, provided to you by the Law School Admission’s Office.  No additional application is needed for merit consideration.

Need Component
UCLA School of Law has a generous need component providing significant assistance to domestic students with financial need.  Each case is individually considered, but a student who qualifies for a Dean’s scholarship based on both, merit and need, will generally receive a larger total gift award.  Thus, if you are unsure whether you will qualify for a need award, we strongly encourage you to apply, even if you believe you will also qualify for merit.

Our need awarding process takes into account both a student's and his or her parents' financial resources. In order to help the law school’s Financial Aid Office estimate the likely contribution from students and parents, students and parents complete the FAFSA and the Law School Financial Need application both of which collect data about the family profile.  Some of the variables utilized include, among other things, family size, assets, and income.

Application Instructions:

  1. Determine if you must provide your parents’ information on the FAFSA and the need application (see criteria below)
  2. Complete the FAFSA. Please visit for the application.  UCLA School Code is 001315.
  3. Complete the Law School Financial Need Application.   
  • As part of the need application admitted students and/or their parents are required to upload their 2018 Tax Return Transcripts (foreign transcripts/tax returns cannot be evaluated). In the rare case when a tax return transcript is not available, the school may accept a signed copy of the 2018 Federal Tax Return along with Schedules 1, 2 and 3, if applicable. Hard copies of tax documents will not be accepted.  Please note that all SSNs must be redacted and the student’s UCLA UID number should be included on each tax transcript/tax return submitted (UCLA UID number is provided at the time of admission). 
  • Admitted students and/or parents who had U.S. income in 2018 but did not file a U.S. federal tax return must note this on the FAFSA. In lieu of federal tax return transcripts parents must upload to the need application the IRS verification of non-filing. The verification documentation may be requested from the IRS by submitting form 4506-T. Upon review, additional documentation may be requested. Students who did not file a 2018 U.S. Federal Tax Return are able to attach a self-certified statement in lieu of verification of non-filing.

  • Even though your SSN is not required on the admission application, the school will not receive your FAFSA and thus will be unable to determine your need eligibility unless you provide us with your SSN.  If you have omitted the SSN from your admission application, please contact the Admission’s Office at (310) 825-2080 to add it to your application.

The determination of your financial need award will only be possible once you have been admitted, and both the FAFSA and the need application have been completed.

Criteria for determining submission of parent information:

Students must provide parents' information on the Law School Financial Need application and FAFSA unless they fall into one of the following categories:

  • is 29 years of age or older by December 31 of the academic year for which he/she is applying
  • can provide documentation that no one has claimed him/her on their tax returns for the last seven years
  • has a dependent other than a spouse (i.e., a child) and provides more than 50% to their support
  • is a veteran
  • was considered as an independent by his/her undergraduate institution through dependency override, and not based on age or marital status. Documentation required.

Students who do not fit the above criteria and do not provide parents' information on the need application/FAFSA or do not upload the required tax documents will not be considered for a need award.

The FAFSA and the Financial Need application should be submitted as early as possible after January 1.


UCLA Law Donor-Funded Scholarships

This donor-supported program consists of numerous endowments and scholarships funded by UCLA School of Law alumni and friends, as well as law firms in our community. The consideration for these scholarships will take place during your admission process.

Non-University Scholarships

A number of students each year receive non-university scholarships from a variety of organizations, agencies, companies and private individuals; these are not administered by UCLA School of Law. Criteria may include academic achievement, special talent, leadership ability, and group affiliation. UCLA School of Law makes information available to students concerning outside scholarship opportunities as it becomes available.

You can also visit the useful links page to gain access to outside scholarship search engines.


Teaching Assistantships

Through UCLA’s Graduate Division, advanced graduate and professional students have an excellent opportunity to gain practical teaching and tutoring experience in departments outside of the law school while earning an income to offset the cost of their tuition and fees. In-state students who are employed 45 percent or more are entitled to a fee remission of 75 percent of the Education Fee, a fee remission of 75 percent of the Registration Fee, and a fee remission of 100 percent of the Graduate Student Health Insurance Plan. These fee remissions significantly reduce the student’s out-of-pocket expenses for the academic year. This reduction may, in turn, affect a student’s total loan eligibility.

For more information and to obtain an application, please visit the Graduate Division website.

Summer Public Interest Fellowships

UCLA School of Law, through an array of sources, provides summer grants to first-and second-year students who engage in otherwise unpaid internships with nonprofit organizations or public sector agencies and offices. The student-run Public Interest Law Fund (PILF) specifically raises money to provide summer fellowships to students engaged in internships with nonprofit organizations. The school, through other funding sources, supplements the money annually raised by PILF. To be eligible for the Summer Public Service Fellowship, students must have an offer of summer employment from a nonprofit organization or government agency or office before the fellowship application deadline. Last year, UCLA School of Law funded approximately 250 students who applied for summer grants.


FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a government form which enables the school to determine students' eligibility for federal loans (Direct Unsubsidized and Graduate PLUS). The FAFSA must be completed each year by all who wish to be considered for federal financial aid at UCLA.

Completing the FAFSA online reduces errors and improves turnaround time. You can do this by going to Request that a copy of the FAFSA be released to UCLA by indicating our school code: 001315.

The FAFSA should be submitted as early as possible after January 1. Newly admitted students who are applying for the need-based component of the Dean's Scholarship should provide both the student's and parents' information on the FAFSA. Admitted students who file a FAFSA will receive an electronic Provisional Award Letter (ePAL) in late March. Students filing applications after late March will receive an ePAL on a rolling basis.

William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan

The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan program enables qualified graduate and professional students to receive up to $20,500 in a federally guaranteed loan. For the 2020-21 academic year, the Direct Unsubsidized Loan has an interest rate of 4.30 percent and a loan fee of 1.059 percent for loans disbursed before October 1, 2020. The federal government will automatically deducted the loan fee from each disbursement; therefore, your original (gross) amount requested and the disbursed (net) amount will differ.

The student is responsible for the interest, which accrues immediately upon disbursement. Repayment begins six months after graduation or upon dropping below half-time enrollment.

All applicants must submit a FAFSA in order to be considered. Once the FAFSA has been processed and the data has been received by UCLA, the borrower will receive an electronic Financial Aid Notification (eFAN) indicating the types and the amounts of financial aid offered.

The U.S. Department of Education allows all eligible recipients to receive a lifetime amount of $138,500, including Undergraduate and Graduate Federal Loans. However, no more than $65,500 can come from the Federal Subsidized Loan.

Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

Graduate and professional students are allowed to borrow through a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS (GPLUS) Loan. For the 2020-21 academic year; the GPLUS loan has an interest rate of 5.30 percent and a loan fee of 4.236 percent for loans disbursed before October 1, 2020. The federal government will automatically deduct the loan fee from each disbursement; therefore, your original (gross) amount requested and the disbursed (net) amount will differ.

The GPLUS Loan does not have annual or aggregate loan limits (other than the cost of attendance less other financial aid) but requires a credit review. Just as with the Direct Unsubsidized Loan, GPLUS borrowers are eligible for an in-school deferment if they are enrolled at least half-time. The GPLUS has the same payment options, the same deferments and forbearances, and the same cancellation provisions as a Direct Unsubsidized Loan. The student is responsible for the interest, which accrues immediately upon disbursement. Repayment begins six months after graduation or upon dropping below half-time enrollment.

All applicants must submit a FAFSA in order to be considered. Once the FAFSA has been processed and the data has been received by UCLA, the borrower will receive an electronic Financial Aid Notification (eFAN) indicating the types and the amounts of financial aid offered.

How is APR different than an interest rate?

In most cases, you have seen APR (Annual Percentage Rate) related to private loans, car loans and your credit card. What you are being charged for your loan isn’t actually just an interest rate; it’s really the APR. So, what is the APR?

The APR is the annual cost of your loan. It includes the interest rate and certain fees. In order to accurately compare the cost of loans, you should always compare the APRs rather than just the interest rates.

Entrance Counseling

Important! All first-time federal loan borrowers at UCLA need to be informed about borrowers’ rights and responsibilities. Law students will satisfy this requirement by completing an online Entrance Counseling Session. This can be accomplished by reviewing the counseling session materials and taking an online quiz. All quiz results are transmitted electronically to the UCLA Student Loan Services and Collections Office.

Please be sure to indicate "UCLA, University of California, Los Angeles" as your institution when registering your account to ensure that you are directed to the entrance exam.

Failure to follow through with this requirement will delay disbursement of your eligible Federal Direct Loan proceeds.

Credit-Based Private Loans

Federal student loans are available to most students regardless of income and provide a range of repayment options, including income-based repayment plans and loan forgiveness benefits, which other education loans are not required to provide.

Some students find it necessary to finance a portion of their education through private loan sources. These lenders offer loans to offset the cost of attending law school. The loan terms are printed directly on the application and also are governed by federal and state lending regulations. The choice of lender rests solely with the student, but he/she will need to meet the lender’s credit requirements. Please see UCLA's Preferred Lender List and Code of Conduct – Preferred Lenders.

Bar Loans

Law students may apply for Bar Loans for the period after graduation when they are studying for the bar. A Bar loan is an unsecured consumer loan offered to graduating law school students to assist with expenses related to the bar process. These related expenses may include the following: bar examination fees, bar review courses, and living expenses during the period after graduation and prior to being notified of the exam results.

Bar Loan interest rates are generally higher than those of federal and private loans. Students should review the product guidelines and repayment options before applying. See UCLA’s Preferred Lenders List for a list of Bar Loan lenders.

Please note: For graduates needing to obtain a Bar Loan after graduation, when using UCLA’s Preferred Lender List (ELM Select), please indicate that your graduation date will be in the future in order to obtain a potential list of lenders that offer this product.


UCLA School of Law participation in the Post-9/11 GI Bill® Yellow Ribbon Program

The Yellow Ribbon Program is a provision of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008. This program allows degree-granting institutions of higher learning in the U.S. to voluntarily enter into an agreement with the VA to fund eligible veterans' tuition expenses that exceed the in-state tuition and fees at public institutions. Details and eligibility guidelines for Post-9/11 benefits, including the Yellow Ribbon Program, can be found at under Education Benefits. Alternatively, you may inquire with the VA at 1-888-GIBILL1 (442-4551).

How Yellow Ribbon Works at UCLA School of Law:

  • The Post-9/11 GI Bill® will pay 100 percent of in-state tuition and fees for eligible individuals attending a public institution. This payment will be sent directly to the school.
  • Under the Yellow Ribbon Program, UCLA School of Law will cover 50 percent of the difference between resident and non-resident tuition and fees, with the other 50 percent to be matched by the VA.
  • UCLA School of Law has established a limit of 10 veterans to receive this benefit in each academic year.
  • Federal law states that Yellow Ribbon awards must be made on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • In order to apply for Yellow Ribbon benefits at UCLA School of Law, an applicant must: 1) be admitted to UCLA School of Law, 2) have 100 percent of the benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill® Program, and 3) submit a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) to the Law School Financial Aid Office. An applicant must first be admitted to the law school before submitting his/her COE.
  • Admitted applicants will be placed in the queue based on the date their COE is received by the Law School Financial Aid Office. (Phone calls and email inquiries will not hold a place in the queue).
  • UCLA must reapply every year to participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program.
  • A student who receives a Yellow Ribbon grant from UCLA School of Law will continue to receive it as long as the following conditions exist:
The student reapplies each year with the Law School Financial Aid Office by submitting the COE letter;
The student remains continuously enrolled in the program for which he/she initially received the benefit; and
The student complies with all VA and UCLA School of Law deadlines and procedures.

***Students in joint-degree programs must consult
with both programs regarding Yellow Ribbon participation***

You may email, mail, or hand deliver your Certificate of Eligibility to the Law School Financial Aid Office. 

UCLA School of Law
Office of Financial Aid
385 Charles E. Young Drive East
1242 Law Building
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1476
Tel: (310) 825-2260

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website at