JD Aid & Scholarships
There is a general distinction between financial programs managed through the University’s Office of Student Financial Aid and through the College of Law.
University Office of Student Financial Aid
All loans are administered through the Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA). The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign participates in the Federal Direct Student Loan Program. Instead of borrowing from private lending institutions, students borrow through the University from the U.S. Department of Education (USDE). The University approves the loan, receives the funds from the USDE, and credits the loan proceeds directly to the student’s University account. Loan amounts cannot exceed the cost of attendance minus other financial aid the student may receive, such as scholarships. Federal Direct Loans include unsubsidized Stafford and GradPLUS loans.
If there is an excess of funds after University charges are paid in full for the semester, a refund will be issued to the student. All federal loans are administered through the OSFA.
For more information, refer to the USDE website. Borrowers are responsible for all interest charges, including those accruing while the student is in school.
Unsubsidized Stafford Loans
Most students qualify for unsubsidized Stafford Loans upon completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The total amount one can borrow under the Federal Direct Program is $20,500. Loan amounts cannot exceed the cost of attendance minus other financial aid the student may receive, such as scholarships.
GradPLUS Loans are federal loans that students in graduate and professional degree programs with good credit histories may obtain to help pay their educational expenses. The Grad PLUS loans will help meet the difference in the cost of attendance after the $20,500 federal loan amounts, scholarships, veterans benefits, and all other financial aid resources are considered.
Federal Loan Repayment and Forgiveness
The USDE offers several different repayment plans. The plans have 10-, 20- and 25- year repayment terms and vary regarding (a) the consideration of income in repayment; (b) terms of eligibility; and (c) terms of forgiveness. Students are encouraged to learn more about repaying their federal student loan debt here.
Because the study of law is so demanding of time and energy, students are strongly discouraged from seeking employment during the first year.
College of Law Financial Aid
Long-term Loan Program
Applications for these loans are available from the director of Admissions and Financial Aid. This loan program is designed for students who face an emergency situation while in law school. Students must exhaust all other loan resources before applying for a long-term loan.
Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP)
The University of Illinois College of Law is committed to encouraging its graduates to pursue public interest careers. The burden of law school debt can hinder students from choosing meaningful, low paying careers in public service, government, and nonprofit organizations, and LRAP gives graduates more flexibility in career selection by offering partial loan forgiveness to qualifying applicants. Learn more.
Consistent with its mission as a public, land-grant institution, the College of Law is committed to accessibility and affordability. The College offers an extensive number of scholarships – including full-tuition and half-tuition scholarships – for JD students who show particular promise for success in the study and practice of law.
In the 2016-17 academic year, 97% of the JD student body received scholarships to attend the College of Law at Illinois.
The College of Law has a variety of named scholarships available for incoming as well as current students. These represent just some of the scholarship support that is available for students. All students are automatically considered for College of Law scholarships. The College also provides assistance and information for students wishing to apply for outside scholarship support.
The Illinois Scholarship Guarantee
Heightened transparency concerning the terms of scholarship awards has become a significant focus of student and media attention.
To address these concerns, foster educational accessibility, reward individual merit, and permit students to concentrate on their legal studies without undue anxiety, the College will guarantee its scholarship to any student receiving one, so long as the recipient remains enrolled at the College.
Scholarship Retention Data
Per the Illinois Scholarship Guarantee, College of Law scholarships are not conditional upon maintaining a minimum grade point average or class standing and are guaranteed as long as the recipient remains enrolled. Therefore, we do not post the ABA Scholarship Retention Data Worksheet.
Established in 2018, the Dean’s Scholarship provides full tuition and additional benefits for students who have achieved an LSAT score and undergraduate GPA above the target medians for the incoming class. Students admitted as Dean’s Scholars must sign their scholarship agreement and pay a $500 seat deposit by April 1st. A second seat deposit will not be required.
In addition to a full tuition scholarship, Dean’s Scholars will also enjoy the following:
- Access to the Dean’s Library Fund to cover the cost of all first-year required course materials.
- Receipt of College of Law business cards upon matriculation at the College.
- Lunch with the Dean once a semester during enrollment at the College.
- Career counseling with the Executive Assistant Dean for Career Planning & Professional Development prior to classes starting 1L year.