Paying for Law School: Financial Aid

The University of Washington School of Law’s Commitment to Institutional Aid

The UW School of Law is dedicated to helping students meet educational expenses through loans, grants, and scholarships. The law school and the University of Washington's Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) are committed to offering a comprehensive financial aid package to help students achieve their educational goals while minimizing student educational debt.

Types of Financial and Institutional Aid

Federal Student Loans

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan. The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan is a non-need-based loan for qualified students.  The interest rate for this loan is 5.84% and accrual begins when the funds are disbused to the school and continues to accrue while the borrower is enrolled in school.  Students may qualify for up to $20,500 and students have a 6-month grace period before repayment begins.

Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan (GPLUS). The Grad PLUS loan allows graduate and professional students to borrow funds to cover the difference between the cost of attendance and other assistance received. These loans are based on credit worthiness and are not need-based. Repayment on the GPLUS begins on the day after the final loan disbursement is made. However, repayment of the principal can be deferred when the student is enrolled at least half-time. Interest is currently set at 6.84% (see Student Loan Program Chart for details on rates and fees). Interest accrues on this loan during the time of enrollment and during periods of repayment or deferment and we recommend you pay the interest—even while you are in school. Loans borrowed through this loan program are borrowed directly from the federal government. The University will coordinate all paperwork for you (see Completing Paperwork for Loans). There is no grace period for GPLUS loans.

Federal Perkins Student Loan. The Federal Perkins Student Loan is a need-based, low-interest loan made available to students who demonstrate exceptional financial need through FAFSA analysis. No interest accrues while the student is enrolled in school and there is a nine month grace period before repayment begins. Perkins funds are limited.  

UW Law Scholarships

Scholarships offered through the law school consist of privately endowed funds and other sources.  Awards are issued based on merit, need, and other factors.  Incoming first-year students must submit a scholarship application available through the Admitted Students Portal by March 15 to be considered for scholarships.  The scholarship committee reviews scholarship applications and issues awards generally between February and April during the admissions cycle. 

For continuing law students, the scholarship application is due June 30 and awards are generally issued between August and the first day of classes.  Scholarships offered at entrance are in addition to other scholarship opportunities available to current students through the academic year.  These scholarships may be based on areas of interest, e.g., family law, corporate law, intellectual property, public service, and other factors.  Students are strongly encouraged to visit our listing of scholarships for the most up-to-date information on scholarship opportunities and deadlines.

William H. Gates Public Service Law Scholarship Program

Separate from the process described above, the Gates Public Service Law (PSL) Scholarship offers five (5) scholarships to students who have demonstrated a strong commitment to public service and intends to use their JD degree in a public service career.  Each Gates PSL scholarship award will cover tuition and fees, books, living expenses, and additional financial support. Acceptance of a Gates PSL scholarship represents a commitment on the part of each recipient to work in public service for five years following graduation. Application for the Gates PSL scholarship is separate from the scholarship application procedures described above.  Students who intend to apply for the Gates PSL Scholarship must submit their JD application and their Gates PSL Scholarship application by January 15. Visit the Gates PSL Program website for more information.

Other Institutional Awards/Grants

The University has a limited amount of funding, which is separate from the law school that they may award to law students.  These awards are based primarily on need and other factors as determined by the Office of Student Financial Aid.  Students must complete a FAFSA in order to be considered.  The University will notify students of these awards when their financial aid award has been issued.

Veterans Benefits

UW students may be eligible to receive a waiver of your tuition and fees (up to 50% of in-state rate) if you are a Washington domiciliary who was an active or reserve member of the United States military or naval forces, or a national guard member called to active duty, who served in active federal service, under either the Title 10 or Title 32 of the United States code, in a war or conflict fought on foreign soil or in international waters or in another location in support of those serving on foregin soil or in international waters, and if discharged from service, has received an honorable discharge.

The waiver is awarded to law students pursuing their first professional degree at UW. You are not eligible for this tuition waiver if you have previously received veteran's tuition waiver/reduction at the UW. Law students must be registered for a minimum of 12 credits to qualify. Waivers will not be awarded to students participating in fee-based courses or programs. For additional information, please refer to the Washington Administrative Code (WAC), section 478-160-163.

To apply, you will need to submit:

The Military Law Students' Association provides a summary and guide on military benefits for download. For additional information, please visit the Veterans Center.

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