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Types of Aid for Law Students

Most types of financial aid awards fall within one of two categories: gift aid and self-help.

Gift aid refers to awards that do not have to be repaid. Examples include scholarships and grants.

Self-help, which includes loans and student employment, refers to awards that require something from the student in order to receive the funds. Loans require repayment; student employment requires the student to secure and work a part-time position on campus to receive a paycheck.


The University of Dayton School of Law provides significant scholarship support to our students. All applicants to the School of Law will be considered for scholarships and, therefore, need not submit a separate application for scholarship support.

Scholarship renewal and eligibility are reviewed each academic year at the end of the Spring semester (Fall semester for Summer starters in the 2-year J.D. program). President’s and Dean’s Merit Scholarships are renewed for the next academic year as long as the recipient has at least a 2.3 cumulative grade point average at the completion of the 1L year. Legal Opportunity Scholarships and the Law@Dayton Awards are unconditional and will be renewed so long as students remain in good standing at the School of Law. Specific award parameters are explained in the recipient's acceptance and scholarship award letter.

The academic year is defined as Fall and Spring semesters combined. While upper-level courses are available during the Summer, scholarships do not apply to courses taken during the Summer term (Fall start students in the traditional 3-year J.D. program). In addition, if at any time full-time residential students drop below 12 credits in a Fall or Spring semester (less than full-time) your scholarship may be adjusted accordingly. When tuition costs are already covered by other funding sources, the scholarships can be used for housing or other educational costs. Students who lose their conditional scholarship after the 1L year can submit an appeal to the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid. Appeals are reviewed and considered based on funding available for the next academic year.

Outside scholarships 
Outside scholarships are highly competitive and often have early application deadlines. Examples include awards by county bar associations and various local, regional and national philanthropic organizations. UDSL notifies law students via their e-newsletter of upcoming opportunities.

The federal direct unsubsidized loan is a low-interest loan option you can use to help cover the cost of education. To be considered for this loan, you must file a FAFSA annually. Eligible students borrow directly from the U.S. Department of Education.

The Office of Financial Aid will review the results of your FAFSA to determine the amount of direct loan you can borrow based on your enrollment status. For more information, download the direct loan handout (.pdf).

For students who have exhausted their direct loan eligibility for the year, or have reached the aggregate borrowing limit for that program, there may be opportunity to borrow additional federal funds via the Graduate PLUS Loan program. We will notify you of your eligibility for this loan on your annual award notification.

For more information about this loan program and learn how to apply, download the Graduate PLUS Loan handout (.pdf).

Eligibility for most of these programs is based on the creditworthiness of the borrower, and we recommend students apply with a creditworthy cosigner in order to receive the most favorable loan terms. Some private lenders also offer a parent loan option, which allows parents, family members or friends to help students cover education-related expenses so they can focus on their studies without having to worry about financing their education. As with any loan, be sure to review all information carefully and contact the lender directly with any questions related to specific terms and conditions. Before pursuing a private loan, you are encouraged to explore all options available to you by filing the FAFSA. Federal student loans available to you may be more favorable than those of private education loans.

To assist you in the search for additional financial resources, we provide you with a private loan comparison tool, FAST Choice. FAST Choice provides a historical list of lenders our students have used over the last three academic years. This information is updated on an annual basis. Additionally, FAST Choice can help you understand how to plan for successful repayment of your private loan.

The private loan process has many steps and it is important that you allow up to four weeks from the time of your application until the loan disbursement is sent to UD.  This can impact the status of your student account, so be sure to plan ahead. During the application process, the lender will send you three separate disclosure statements, as well as a 'self-certification form'. The Cost of Attendance information you need to complete this form can be found on your award notification letter or via the 'Award Overview' tab of your financial aid information on Porches. Please review the information provided by the lender carefully and contact the lender directly with any questions related to a loan program's specific terms and conditions and how they apply to you.

Please contact a financial aid counselor if you would like help determining the amount needed to cover your expenses.

FAST Choice provides a historical list of lenders used by students and other borrowers at University of Dayton within the last three academic years. The university does not endorse any lender, nor do any of the lenders compensate University of Dayton to be on this list.

Bar study loans are available to help finance bar exam costs, such as bar review course fees, bar exam deposits and fees, as well as living expenses during bar exam study periods.

The University of Dayton does not endorse any particular private educational loan program or lender. To assist you in the search for additional financial resources, we provide you, below, with the names of some of the programs/lenders our students are currently using.

Please be aware that the processing timeline from application to disbursement can take up to four weeks, so plan accordingly. Please review the information provided by the lender carefully and contact the lender directly with any questions related to a loan program's specific terms and conditions and how they apply to you.

In an effort to encourage you to devote your full attention to the rigors of the first year of law school, Dayton Law policy prohibits employment during the first year (with the exception of holiday and summer breaks).

After your first year, you may decide to pursue part-time employment to help with tuition and other costs. However, during the periods you are enrolled at least 12 hours, you may not work more than 20 per week.


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