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Information for JD Students

How do I reach the Tulane Law School Financial Aid Office?

Our office phone number is 504.865.5931, and our e-mail address is finaid@law.tulane.edu . Email is preferred.

What kinds of financial aid are available?

There are three general categories of aid: gift, loan, and employment.

  • Gift aid includes tuition waivers, scholarships, and grants, none of which require repayment.
  • Loans from a variety of federal programs and from outside lending agencies must be repaid with interest.
  • Employment is available to students on a part-time basis.

"Financial aid" is the sum of scholarship (from any source), educational loans (both federal and private), federal work-study eligibility and other miscellaneous funding sources (vocational rehabilitation benefits, veteran educational benefits, and Americorps benefits, to name a few).

Financial aid at Tulane is defined as any combination of educational loans, scholarship, and/or Federal Work-Study eligibility.  Financial aid offers may include loans of various kinds, work-study funding, and -- when possible -- scholarships.

What criteria determine my financial aid offer?

Scholarships awarded by the law school are most often granted on the basis of academic merit.  Merit-based scholarships are made on the basis of the admission application.  No other form or application is required.

On the other hand, certain federal funds (Federal Work-Study) administered by Tulane's Financial Aid Office are offered on the basis of need.  Financial need is the difference between the cost of attendance (tuition, fees, books, and standard living budget) and what a need analysis determines that you should be able to contribute based on your available resources.

Other federal funds (Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan and Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan) are offered regardless of the need level demonstrated.

All graduate students are considered "independent" for federal aid, and therefore, parental information is not required as a prerequisite to federal aid. 

How do I apply for financial aid?

You apply for each form of financial aid in a different way (see below), but in general, you should apply for admission and fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

How do I apply for a scholarship award from Tulane Law School?

Merit scholarship determinations are made in conjunction with the admission decision, on the basis of the contents of the application file.  No other form is required to apply for merit-based scholarship.  In general, merit-based scholarships are included in the acceptance packet or shortly thereafter.  A merit-based scholarship constitutes the entire scholarship portion of a financial aid package.  Additional scholarship funds will not be offered.

Most scholarships and tuition waivers at Tulane are awarded to JD and LLM candidates on the basis of the information presented in the admission file.  These offerings are generally described as "merit-based," although most of the recipients also demonstrate financial need.  At Tulane, the terms "scholarship," "tuition waiver", and "grant" are synonymous.

About 60 percent of the members of each class receive a scholarship of some size.

How do I apply for a scholarship awarded by an entity other than Tulane?

Scholarships or grants (and sometimes low-interest loans) may also be available from some state governments, community agencies, private foundations, corporations, religious organizations, and civic and cultural groups. 

We recommend that students use a variety of online search engines to obtain the most current information on scholarships, and in order to get the most accurate descriptions of scholarships.

To make sure a web search service is reputable, call the National Fraud Information Center (800.876.7060).

Some examples of outside sources of scholarship funds include:

  • Earl Warren Legal Training Program (99 Hudson Street, Suite 1600, New York, NY 10013; 212.965.2200; http://www.naacpldf.org), deadlines: February 15 to request application and March 15th for submission;
  • Hispanic Scholarship Fund (877.473.4636, http://www.hsf.net), applications accepted between August and mid-October;
  • Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (213.629.2512, http://www.maldef.org), June 30th deadline.
  • and many state and local bar associations.

Another list of outside scholarship opportunities appears on our web site under Outside Scholarships.

How do I apply for federal educational loans?

To apply for federal aid (federal educational loans or federal work-study), complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at studentaid.gov.   When completing the FAFSA, be sure to list Tulane's school code: 002029.

A new FAFSA is available each year and is required for each year of aid, so be careful to file the correct FAFSA.  The dates of the FAFSA should correspond to the dates of your first year of law school.  For example, a 2024-2025 FAFSA should be filed if you anticipate attending law school as a first-year student during 2024-2025. The 2024-2025 FAFSA is available online at studentaid.gov. Due to the FAFSA Simplification Act, FAFSAs will not be sent to schools until mid-March 2024.  Parental information is not required on the FAFSA for law students, even if the parents claim the student as a dependent for tax purposes.

After an applicant has been offered admission and Tulane has received the prospective student's FAFSA data, income tax return, if required, and any other required information, we will calculate eligibility for the federal loan programs.  Federal student aid is determined according to mandatory federal guidelines and the University's student budgets.

To be eligible for a Federal Direct Loans, you must be enrolled in a normal degree program -- in good standing and maintaining satisfactory and measurable progress according to the standards set by your division -- or have been accepted for admission to a normal degree program.  By the end of your second academic year, you must maintain an academic standing consistent with your division's requirement for graduation.  Recipients must be United States citizens or permanent residents.  They must not owe a refund on a grant previously received from any institution, or be in default (i.e., failed to make an installment payment when due) on a loan made to attend any institution.

Any offer of federal funds made through the Tulane Law School is contingent upon the student's prior satisfactory repayment of federal loans and meeting other federal requirements (see http://studentaid.ed.gov/guide).

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans and Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans are offered to U.S. citizens or permanent residents who have completed the FAFSA and who have been offered admission.  If the proceeds of Federal Direct Loans are needed in order to cover fall expenses, the FAFSA should be filed by June 30, allowing eight weeks for FAFSA and subsequent loan application processing.

In late June/early July, Federal Direct Loan instructions will be sent to candidates who have already been offered admission and who have submitted the FAFSA.  These federal loans will be made to Tulane students directly from the Department of Education.

Loan recipients may not be in default -- that is, they cannot have failed to make an installment payment when due -- on any federal educational loans made to attend any institution, nor may they owe a refund on a grant received to attend any institution.

Students may borrow Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans.  "Unsubsidized" means that the student pays the interest on the loan while in school (or agrees to capitalize the interest and add it to the principal upon repayment).  Graduate and professional students may borrow a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan up to the annual limit of $20,500.  The aggregate borrowing limit for all undergraduate and graduate education is $138,500 in subsidized and unsubsidized combined with no more than $65,500 being subsidized. Please visit  https://financialaid.tulane.edu/types-of-aid/loans/federal-direct-subsidized-and-unsubsidized for information on interest rates and origination fees.

The Federal Graduate PLUS Loan is an unsubsidized credit-based loan in the amount of up to Cost of Attendance less other financial aid. Please visit  https://financialaid.tulane.edu/types-of-aid/loans/federal-direct-graduate-plus for information on interest rates and origination fees.

How do I apply for non-federal educational loans?

Some lenders offer a privately funded non-federal loan program. Either the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan or the privately funded loan programs enable law students to borrow up to the cost of attendance (tuition and fees, plus allowable living expenses) less other financial aid. A private credit-based loan may be sought by students who do not qualify for federal loans (for example, while enrolled less than half-time or if not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident). However, annual and aggregate educational borrowing maximums can limit the size of the private loan.

We send information about non-federal loans (as well as federal loans) in late June/early July to those applicants who have been offered admission and who have established eligibility for Federal Direct Loans by filling out a FAFSA.  We remind applicants that we will process applications for any lender they choose for a non-federal private loan (applicants are not limited to the lenders on our lists), but encourage students to consider federal aid first. We process loans throughout the summer.  Loan disbursements are available to students as early as the first day of classes if applications have been completed by June 30.  Loan proceeds are never disbursed prior to the first day of class.

Please visit  https://financialaid.tulane.edu/types-of-aid/loans/private-alternative for a list of private alternative non-federal lenders.

Some lenders offer a cosigner option to augment the student's credit history (if the student's credit information is not stellar), and some have a cosigner option which lowers the cost of the loan but does not augment the credit history of a student applicant.  The majority of Tulane Law student borrowers of non-federal loans borrow without a cosigner.  In these cases, the students' credit information is acceptable to the lenders.

In cases where a student's credit information is unacceptable to lenders, Tulane Law School is unfortunately unable to fill the funding shortfall.  Students in this situation must have access to their own credit-worthy co-borrowers.

How do I apply for federal work-study?

Federal Work-Study (FWS) is a federally sponsored part-time employment program.  Positions are usually on campus in one of the university's many departments, but may also be in the nearby community.  Most students work about 10 to 15 hours a week.  Students are paid by check biweekly and are paid for the number of hours worked.  Your work schedule can vary from free periods during the day to night or weekend work.  While job placement is likely, FWS certification does not guarantee a job or total earnings.

Tulane Law School does not process Federal Work Study eligibility to first-semester first-year law students because working during that very important semester may interfere with academic success.  In rare cases, with permission from the Vice Dean, we will process Work Study for second-semester first-year law students who request eligibility.

Federal Work Study eligibility for second and third-year law students is determined upon student request and is usually $2,000 for the year (but can be more or less, depending on the hours the student plans to work).

Many second and third-year law students work in jobs not requiring Federal Work Study eligibility (such as private law firm clerking jobs).

What is the Cost of Attendance?

Please follow this link for information about the cost of attendance.

Can I borrow more than the Cost of Attendance through a private educational loan?

The short answer is "no."  The standard budget of $100,014 (2024-25) is detailed through the link above. Any expenses beyond those in the cost of attendance budget must be paid with funds outside of your financial aid package.  The sum of financial aid is limited to the total Cost of Attendance.

Your financial aid offering (whether scholarships or loans) is not intended to cover such items as those listed below. You must have another source of funds to cover these items, which are not considered a part of the cost of attendance.

  • Moving costs
  • Furniture
  • Deposits for housing and utilities
  • Car loan payments
  • Payments on pre-existing debt (for example, credit cards)
  • Living expenses associated with days before or after an academic enrollment period

If actual living expenses exceed the amount budgeted by the office of financial aid for living expenses, the excess cannot be covered with additional educational borrowing or other types of financial aid. At Tulane Law School, during the 2024-2025 academic year, the maximum allotment for housing (rent and utilities) is about $1,278 per month (over nine months). A higher housing expense might be covered by economizing in other categories of living expenses (spending less than the total monthly allotment for food, transportation, health expenses and miscellaneous), but could not be covered through additional educational loans.

If I don't file for financial aid by February 15th, do I lose all financial aid?

No. This is simply a priority deadline, and has no effect on eligibility for Federal Direct Loans.  If Federal Direct Loans are needed in order to cover fall expenses, the FAFSA should be filed by June 30, allowing eight weeks for FAFSA and subsequent loan application processing.

I'm earning a decent salary now, but will quit work to attend law school. Does that mean that I won't be eligible for federal loans?

You can be eligible for up to $20,500 in Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan and Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loan up to the remaining Cost of Attendance; the same annual maximum for any law student.

My parents will be helping me pay for law school.  Will that reduce my eligibility for scholarship or other financial aid?

A parent's help is not considered “financial aid” and would not reduce eligibility for total financial aid.  Total financial aid is limited to the Cost of Attendance, whether or not one receives parental assistance.

Any cash support you receive from a friend or relative (including your parents, since law students are considered independent students) must be reported on the FAFSA as untaxed income.  Cash support includes payments made on your behalf.  For instance, if your aunt pays your rent or utility bill, you must report those payments on the FAFSA.  Information from the FAFSA is used to calculate Expected Family Contribution (EFC).  Untaxed income does not, however, increase EFC dollar for dollar, and even students with high EFC's are eligible for unsubsidized federal loans, as long as they meet federal eligibility requirements (such as Selective Service registration for men and a record without an outstanding defaulted federal loan).

Because the vast majority of our scholarship dollars are merit-based, the likelihood of parental support affecting scholarship from Tulane Law School is low.

When are tuition payments due?

Tuition and fees are billed by Tulane University by semester.  Students beginning enrollment at Tulane Law School have generally received the fall semester statement (or bill) in the middle of July.  The Tulane Accounts Receivable Office e-mails the statements to the student's Tulane e-mail address, and are accessible through Gibson Online on Student Accounts.  Payment is due in full within 30 days of receipt of the statement or e-mails.  It is important to read the Disclosure Statement on Accounts Receivable's site so that you have a full understanding of bill due dates, finance charges, and payment methods.   https://studentaccounts.tulane.edu/

I was selected for verification. Did I do something wrong?

The Department of Education randomly selects a portion of all Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) applicants for verification.  You did nothing wrong. Federal law requires that, before awarding federal aid to a student, we may ask you to confirm the information you provided on the FAFSA. To do this, we will compare your FAFSA with the information on the required documents. If there are differences, your FAFSA information may need to be corrected.

Do you have a loan forgiveness program?

The federal government offers loan forgiveness for federal loan borrowers employed in specified public service positions (please visit https://studentaid.gov/manage-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/public-service), and to many borrowers who do not work in public service positions (please visit https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/understand/plans/income-driven#... for more information).

Tulane Law School offers a Loan Repayment Assistance Program, or LRAP, which assists eligible graduates who engage in specified public interest employment and whose incomes fall below a specified level.  However, many students who participate in the federal loan forgiveness program are not eligible for the Tulane Loan Repayment Program. The amount of the required monthly loan payment for a student in one of the federal programs is less than that required for Tulane's Loan Repayment Assistance Program.

Tulane Law School's Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) assists qualifying Tulane JD graduates in repaying educational loans they borrowed while enrolled as law students.  A qualifying graduate must work as a full-time attorney in an eligible position earning a salary at or under a certain income level (and in addition, if married, the sum of the graduate and spouse income must be under another income level).  For the 2024 calendar year, the income cap for graduates is $59,966; the cap for the combined income of the graduate and his or her spouse is equal to the amount twice the graduate's individual cap.

Currently, Tulane Law School reimburses eligible graduates for loan payments exceeding a "graduate contribution" (figured as 12% of net income, or currently about $450 monthly) for up to 5 years. This figure may be higher if the graduate is employed in another locality pay area and is subject to subsequent updates and corrections found on the United States Office of Personnel Management website:



The cap coincides with the current federal salary scale, GS 9 Step 1 level, using the locality payment for the area in which employment is held.