There are many financial aid options to help you afford your USF legal education, and our Office of Financial Aid will support you in exploring all the options available to you.

Scholarships

There are many financial aid options to help you afford your USF legal education, and our Office of Financial Aid will support you in exploring all avenues.

  • The USF School of Law awards merit scholarships to selected students entering their first year of study based on their pre-law school academic achievement and demonstrated potential for success in legal studies. No application is required.

    All applicants are considered for merit scholarships, which are granted after a review of the application materials. No additional financial aid or other forms are required. Students selected to receive these merit scholarships are notified of any scholarship award with their offer of admission. Merit-based scholarships are funded in part, by our generous donors. In addition, many of our scholarships, such as the Provost’s, Dean’s, Merit Plus, and Kenneth Lloyd Scholarships, which fund up to at least 50% of tuition, are renewable for your second and third year (and fourth year for part time students) when you meet scholarship renewal requirements, such as minimum GPA. Students who receive scholarships for the first year only may apply for additional scholarship support for their subsequent second, third, or fourth year through our Continuing Students Scholarship Program.

  • Honors Leadership Program

    The Honors Leadership Program recognizes first-year students with exemplary academic, creative, and leadership records and offers some unique opportunities within our USF Law community, including a tuition supplement.

    In addition, we offer specialized programs for students interested in the following areas of the law: Animal Law Scholars Program, Criminal Law Scholars Program, Blockchain Law Scholars Program, and Immigration Law Scholars Program.

    Each program provides a tuition supplement, invitations to special events, opportunities to engage and collaborate with faculty experts, priority application for clinics and research assistant positions, and transcript designation. Admitted students will be invited to apply typically in early February. For more information, please contact lawadmissions@usfca.edu.

    USF Women Lawyers Committee’s Scholarship for Transitional Students

    The USF Women Lawyers Committee awards this scholarship to an entering first-year transitional student who has been out of school for a five-year period either between a) high school and college or b) college or graduate school and law school, demonstrates financial need and academic excellence, is currently involved with the community and has concrete plans for utilizing a law degree in the community. Award amount is $15,000. Admitted applicants will be invited to apply typically in May. For more information, please contact lawadmissions@usfca.edu.

  • Continuing law students may apply for scholarships funded by gifts from generous USF alumni and friends. Applications are reviewed by alumni/donor or a law school committee and students are selected based on criteria specific to each scholarship. Students may apply each year for a number of these scholarships.

    Scholarship awards are designated for the fall and spring semesters only and are evenly disbursed between both semesters. Scholarship awards are not applicable toward any summer session enrollment.

    The total amount in scholarships (e.g., university, law school, outside agency, or any combination of the three) cannot exceed tuition charges. If a law student is awarded scholarship aid from a private agency, the total amount of combined aid cannot exceed their tuition charges unless the private agency specifically states that its scholarship funds can be used for living expenses.

  • There are a variety of scholarships awarded by outside agencies, which have their own applications procedures, criteria, and deadlines. We regularly post updated lists of scholarships and deadlines on myUSF.

Summer Financial Aid

Financial aid in the form of private loans, Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan or the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loan is available to continuing USF law students who decide to enroll in USF's Summer programs.

These programs include the Intensive Advocacy Program (IAP), International Summer Externships, and regular Summer Session and domestic Summer Externships for unit credit at the USF School of Law.

In order to be eligible for Summer financial aid, USF law students are required to complete the following:

  1. Register for a Summer class. A registration email notification will be sent by the Law Registrar’s Office in mid to late March.
  2. Submit a FAFSA application for the current academic year (for example, students needing financial assistance for Summer 2022 are required to complete the 2021-22 FAFSA application and should do so no later than April 1, 2022).
  3. Submit the Summer 2022 Financial Aid Intent to Enroll Online Form (ITE)* to the law school financial aid administrator by April 15 for all USF School of Law Summer programs. Failure to submit the online ITE form by the above deadline may result in a delay in receiving Summer aid. Summer 2022 ITE online forms will be available by March 22, 2022.
  4. Be offered and accept either a Summer Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan and/or a Summer Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans for all registered Summer programs at your myUSF student portal. Before accepting any Summer Federal Loans, law students must have already completed a FAFSA and received a Financial Aid Award Notice for the 2021-22 academic year; OR apply for a Summer private loan directly with a private loan lender beginning March 15. All Summer program participants should apply no later than April 15 in order to meet the May 1 Summer tuition deadline. A list of lenders USF Law School has worked with in the past is available in the Loan Programs section.

Law students must be enrolled in a minimum of three (3) units for their Summer program in order to receive federal financial aid. If a law student drops below three units during the course of their respective Summer program, the federal financial aid will be canceled and funds returned to the lender. Any Summer billing charges become the sole responsibility of the student, including housing if the student is participating in a Summer abroad program. The USF Student Accounts Office will send the student an updated Summer bill. If a student decides to enroll in less than three units for the Summer, the only alternative to federal financial aid is a private loan. Contact the Law School Financial Aid Office for more information at lawfinaid@usfca.edu. The tuition payment deadline for all USF Summer programs is May 1 (including Regular Summer Session and externships as well as International Summer Externships).

Information for Private Loans Only: Once a Summer private loan is approved by the lender, the student must submit a promissory note to the lender. USF will be notified electronically once the promissory note has been received by the lender. The university main office of financial aid administrator will then certify the Summer loan and verify that the loan amount approved is the appropriate amount for that particular Summer program budget.

Master Promissory Note: If you have already submitted a Federal Direct Unsubsidized or Graduate PLUS loan promissory note for the previous or current academic year, there is no need to submit another promissory note as the original notes serve as a master promissory notes for all future Federal Direct Loans at USF.

New Federal Direct loan borrowers must complete a master promissory note online at Federal Student Aid before any Summer Federal Direct loan funds are disbursed to the student. New loan borrowers must also complete an online debt management counseling session at Federal Student Aid.

Upon registration for Summer classes, USF law students are required to submit an online ITE form in order for the law financial aid office to monitor the status of the student’s Summer financial aid application. If a student applies for a Summer private loan, student must notify the law financial aid office so we may be able to monitor the status of your private loan. The private loan will need to be certified in order for that type of aid to apply towards any summer tuition bill. Private loan certification typically begins in early April after registration is confirmed. Once the Summer PLUS loan is awarded and accepted, or a private Summer loan is certified, the funds will appear as 'Authorized Financial Aid' on your USF student account if you are registered for summer units and the aid will be applied towards your summer tuition bill.

Disbursement and Refund: Funds are disbursed (sent electronically) to the USF by lenders. Loan funds are used to pay tuition first. Any excess loan funds are refunded to the law student and can be used for living and other expenses. Summer Loan disbursement dates are noted on the ITE form You may also contact the Law Financial Aid Office for the most up to date disbursement dates for Summer.

Law students who are enrolled in the direct deposit refund process should expect a loan refund two to five business days AFTER the loan disbursement date. Law students who are not utilizing direct deposit should expect a paper check refund ten to fifteen business days after the loan disbursement date. The earliest scheduled Summer loan disbursement dates are typically one week before your Summer program begins.

Students planning on participating in an International Summer Externship program and who plan on applying for summer Federal Direct loan funds will not have access to these loan funds early enough to assist with anticipated travel expenses such as a plane ticket.


Please note the following important information regarding summer financial aid eligibility:

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP): Law students who are on academic probation during the spring semester (based on fall semester grades) are not eligible to receive financial aid for the following summer. You may apply for summer financial aid AFTER all spring grades are posted and you have returned to good academic standing. Law students registered for summer programs who become academically disqualified from law school after the spring semester are no longer eligible to receive financial aid for the summer. Any summer aid is canceled and is returned to the lender. Any summer billing charges become the sole responsibility of the student, including housing if you are participating in a summer abroad program and if the law student chooses to remain in the summer program. The USF Student Accounts Office will send the student an updated summer bill. Law students who graduate in the spring semester prior to summer session are not eligible for summer financial aid. USF Law scholarships and/or grants are NOT applicable towards any summer session programs.

Student Employment

The university participates in the Federal Work Study Program funded in part by the U.S. Department of Education. The university also offers regular non-work study employment funded directly from the department for which students are employed. There is no differential of pay rate, hours, or benefits between work study and non-work study.

All full-time law students must complete a work statement declaration indicating their understanding that they cannot work more than 20 hours per week as directed by the American Bar Association. Declaration forms are available through the law school's registrar office and are sent to all law students beginning their second year.

Federal Work Study is a federally funded need-based program. Federal Work Study funds are not available to first-year law students. Due to limited Federal Work Study funds, continuing law students who wish to be considered for Federal Work Study funds must submit a FAFSA application by March 1 and indicate interest in such funds on the FAFSA application. Law students who submit a FAFSA application after this date will not be considered for any Federal Work Study funds. The maximum amount of work study awarded each academic year is $5,000.

Federal Work Study funds can be used in either on-campus employment or off-campus employment. Off-campus employers must be a public agency or private nonprofit agency approved by the university and must have a work study contract with the university. A list of university approved agencies is available through the law school's Office of Financial Aid or the USF Student Employment Office at Lone Mountain campus, room 202.

Law students can also submit a request to have an off-campus public agency or private nonprofit agency approved for the Federal Work Study program if they are not currently on the university approved list. Please contact the law school's financial aid office or the USF Student Employment Office for more information.

The Federal Work Study funds for on-campus and off-campus employment pay 70 percent of the student salary and the employer pays the remaining 30 percent. However, a FWS award represents a student’s gross earnings limit over the course of the award year in an approved FWS position. The first day of the fall or spring academic term is the first day students in an authorized work-study employment position can expect to be paid using Federal Work Study award.

Federal Work Study is available only for the fall and spring semesters.

IMPORTANT: Continuing law students who are offered this aid and do not "accept" this aid by the first day of fall semester classes will have this aid automatically cancelled by the USF Financial Aid Office.

Summer Federal Work Study funding is determined annually by the university in early April prior to the summer session and is not guaranteed. If Summer Federal Work Study funding is available, employment is available only through university approved off-campus agencies and is typically available beginning July 1. Law students should be aware that Federal Work Study funds will not pay for any summer hours worked prior to July 1 even if it is at an approved agency.

Information on Federal Work Study and employment requirements can be found at the USF Student Employment website.

Loan Programs

For most law students, federal government and private educational loans are the bulk of their financial aid.

  • Federal loan programs are available to all citizens or permanent residents of the United States who are in good academic standing. The awards go to the applicants who show the greatest need. Foreign students are not eligible for federal loan programs.

    William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program

    USF makes available federal loans to its law students through the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. All first time William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan borrowers at USF must submit a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and complete an online Debt Management Counseling Session. You only need to submit a MPN and complete the Debt Management Counseling Session once during your attendance at the USF School of Law.

    Graduate aid applicants may be eligible to apply for an Unsubsidized direct loan. Terms and conditions include a current interest rate of 5.28% which begins to accrue at time of disbursement. Payments of this loan is deferred while a student is in school enrolled at least half-time. This loan has a repayment grace period of 6 months that begins after a student graduates, leaves school, or drops below half-time enrollment. Payment of interest may be deferred until repayment begins. Unpaid interest will be added to the principle borrowed and increase the amount on which future interest is calculated when repayment begins.

    The annual loan limit for graduate student borrowers for the Unsubsidized William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program is $20,500. The Department of Education charges the borrower a loan origination fee of 1.057% of the principal amount of the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan. If you accept the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan and you have not previously signed a Direct Loan master promissory note, you will need to complete an online Master Promissory Note (MPN) at the Direct Loans website Federal Student Aid. Your online MPN will be available beginning early June and only if you have accepted the Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan at USF. Note: Master Promissory notes are only valid for up to 10 years since your first Direct Loan. New loan borrowers must also complete an on-line Debt Management Counseling session at Federal Student Aid. You only need to complete these requirements once while in law school.

    Federal Direct Graduate Plus

    Graduate and professional students will also be able to borrow from the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan Program. The loan limit for Federal Direct Graduate PLUS is the borrower's cost of education less any other aid the borrower has accepted for the loan period. To be eligible, a student must be enrolled at least half-time, must apply first and receive the Federal Direct Unsubsidized loan by filing a current FAFSA application.

    The Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan features a fixed 5.28% interest rate, fixed monthly payments, a variety of payment plans beginning with a standard 10 year repayment, and the ability to consolidate PLUS with other federal student loans. The Department of Education charges the borrower a loan fee of 4.228% of the principal amount of each Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan. The loans offered by Federal Direct Graduate PLUS are eligible for an automatic in-school deferment. This allows a borrower who is enrolled at least half-time to postpone payments until after the borrower graduates or drops below half-time status. PLUS Loans disbursed after July 1, 2008, have an automatic deferral of repayment for an additional 6 months after the borrower ceases to be enrolled at least half-time.

    Approval of a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan is based on credit worthiness, and requires a separate promissory note than used for the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, as well as completion of a Graduate PLUS online entrance counseling session. Once approved for a PLUS Loan, new PLUS loan borrowers must complete a separate Master Promissory Note for the PLUS loan and complete an online Debt Management Counseling Session.

    Students should accept this aid online via their myUSF student account no later than July 15 for the upcoming fall and spring semesters. Accepting after this date may cause you to miss the August 1 fall tuition deadline and delay receiving funds for living expenses as well as possible cancelation of your class registration if tuition is not paid in full on August 1 by personal funds and/or anticipated approved financial aid funds.

  • A student with additional or unmet financial need who does not intend to borrow from the Direct Graduate PLUS Loan program may want to consider applying for a private loan. These credit-based loans are funded through private companies and are available to law students who are enrolled on at least a half-time basis. The maximum loan amount cannot exceed the total "cost of education" minus other financial aid offered and accepted. A brief summary on some of the lenders our students have used in the past is provided below, however, we recommend students read their applications in their entirety before choosing/accepting a private loan. Students may select from any private lender and are not limited to the lenders listed below.

    Please note that private loans are not eligible for the any of the federal loan repayment programs nor would they be eligible for USF’s Loan Repayment Assistance Program.

    When requesting your loan amount, please indicate the amount you need for the entire school year. Your total loan proceeds will be divided into two equal disbursements and will be available to you at the beginning of each semester. If applying only for the fall and spring terms, students should apply for a private loan after June 1 and not earlier. To apply for one of the following loans, contact the lender directly by phone or online. You will usually know if your loan is approved within a few minutes. After completion and approval of a private loan, sign and return the promissory note to the lender. Lenders will then notify the Law School Financial Aid Office of your approved loan and request USF to certify your loan. In order to assure your compliance with tuition deadlines and to have loan funds available to you once school starts in the fall semester, please have your private loan completed with your lender no later than July 15. Applying after this date may cause you to miss the August 1 fall tuition deadline and delay receiving funds for living expenses as well as possible cancelation of your class registration if tuition is not paid in full on August 1 by personal funds and/or anticipated approved financial aid funds.

    PRIVATE LOANS

  • There are several private lenders who offer credit-based Bar Examination loans to help cover living expenses during the bar exam study period immediately after graduation. Depending on the loan program and your total debt, you may apply for up to $15,000. Depending on the lender, graduating law students can apply as early as one year before their graduation date and as late as one year after their graduation date. Once you have been approved for a bar loan and have accepted the loan, USF will be notified electronically of your approved loan. All approved Bar Exam loan applications must be certified by the Law School Financial Aid Administrator before the funds are made available to you. Bar loan funds are mailed directly to the graduating student by the loan vendor. International students may be eligible to apply, depending on the lender. Please contact the private educational loan vendors for applications and for more information, or go to our ELMSelect web page and select Law Student. Or drop by the Law School Financial Aid Office to get the Bar Examination Loan Publication.

    Bar Examination Loans help finance bar exam costs as well as living expenses. Interest and eligibility for these loans vary and are subject to credit approval. In some cases, lenders may require the borrower to have an eligible co-signer.

    In choosing a lender, you should compare interest rates, the benefits offered, repayment options and restrictions. To determine the best deal for you, make certain you understand the terms of each loan product and if they are subject to change. You should also be aware that the application process may impact your credit.

    Federal loans cannot be awarded for bar study because bar study costs are incurred post-enrollment. Private bar examination loans differ from federal loans in several ways:

    • Private loans may not be consolidated with federal loans
    • Private loans are not eligible for federal loan repayment options (such as IBR)
    • Private loans are not eligible for federal loan forgiveness (such as PSLF)
    • Private loan interest rates are generally tied to credit-worthiness
    • Private loans require school certification of enrollment dates
    • These loans are disbursed directly to the borrower (not the school)

    USF does not recommend or promote any of these lenders. The list simply represents lenders who provided the bar examination loan to students attending the University of San Francisco School of Law. It is up to you to decide which lender to use to obtain your bar examination loan. See lender websites for complete, and up-to-date details.

    Private Bar Loan Options*
      DISCOVER SALLIE MAE CITIZENS BANK PNC
    BAR LOAN MAXIMUM $16,000 $15,000 $16,000 $15,000
    APPLICATION DEADLINE 6 Months after graduation 12 Months after graduation 6 Months after graduation 6 Months after graduation
    CUMULATIVE DEBT LIMIT** No known debt limit No known debt limit $225,000 No known debt limit
    ORIGINATION FEE No fees No fees No fees No fees
    BAR LOAN APR INTEREST RATE

    Variable
    3.87% -10.87%

    Fixed
    5.49% - 11.99%

    Variable
    2.90%-11.56%

    Fixed
    5.75%-12.68%

    Variable
    4.44% - 9.52%

    Fixed
    7.39%- 12.94%

    Variable
    1.96% - 8.96%

    Fixed
    3.49% - 10.49%

    GRACE PERIOD Not Applicable/Deferment available 9 Months 6 Months 6 Months
    REPAYMENT PERIOD Up to 20 years Up to 15 years 5 or 10 years 5, 10, or 15 years

     * This is not an exhaustive list. Additional commercial loan options may be available. Please visit lender websites for the most up-to-date rates and terms.

    ** Co-signers with good credit are highly recommended to help you secure a lower interest rate, and overcome the lender’s cumulative debt limit. Many of these lenders offer ‘Co-Signer Release Programs’ after borrowers make a set number of on-time payments.

Aid for Visiting Students

USF Students Who Are Visiting Another Law School

USF law students who plan on visiting for a semester, a full year, or a summer program at another ABA-accredited law school are eligible to receive financial aid through USF as long as the host school agrees to enter into a consortium agreement with the USF School of Law. Financial aid will consist of federal and private loans for the fall and spring semesters. Only private loans and Graduate PLUS loans are available during the summer unless the USF law student is graduating the following fall semester.

USF students awarded any USF scholarship and/or grant are not allowed to use such funds while attending another ABA-accredited law school as a visiting student during the normal academic year or during the summer.

In order to be eligible for financial aid as a visiting student, USF law students are required to complete the following:

  1. Receive permission from the USF School of Law associate dean of academic affairs granting approval to visit another ABA-accredited law school.
  2. Receive official letter of admission as a visiting student at another ABA-accredited law school.
  3. Submit a FAFSA application for the appropriate academic year (for example, students needing financial assistance for the 2018/2019 academic year, including summer 2019 are required to complete the 2018/2019 FAFSA application and should do so as soon as possible).
  4. Inform the USF Law School financial Aid Office of your intention to visit at another ABA-accredited law school via email (lawfinaid@usfca.edu) or hard copy letter. Notification must include a copy of the Dean’s permission letter as well as the admission letter from the host school for the visiting term(s). If visiting during the summer, USF students must submit an Intent to Enroll for Summer (ITE) Form 2019 to the law school financial aid office along with the documents noted above. The financial aid office will forward a USF School of Law consortium agreement to the host school's financial aid office requesting enrollment and cost of attendance information. This form must be returned to the USF financial aid administrator in order for USF to process your financial aid. Law students should inform the law school financial aid administrator of their intention to visit at another ABA-accredited law school as soon they are offered admission to the host school.

Once a consortium agreement is received and processed by the law school financial aid administrator, the law student will be notified in writing. Federal and private loan funds are disbursed directly to USF on behalf of the student once each semester for the appropriate visiting term or in two equal installments, once each semester, if visiting for a full year. The earliest scheduled disbursement date is typically the week before the USF School of Law classes begin. The USF Student Accounts Office will issue a tuition payment check to the host school once the loan funds are received by the University. Any excess loan funds are then refunded to the student.  If the host school does not require a direct payment from USF, the entire financial aid disbursement will be refunded to the USF student.

USF law students are responsible for forwarding official enrollment and tuition payment verification to the law school financial aid administrator in order for a check to be issued to the host school and for any excess loan funds to be refunded to the law student. The USF student must have a completed an Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) authorization form on file with the USF Student Accounts Office to receive funds electronically. Otherwise, a paper check refund will be issued to the law student for any excess loan refunds.

Law students visiting at another ABA-accredited law school are responsible for submitting verification of enrollment at the host school to all of their lenders, federal and private. Failure to do so will result in an early repayment schedule of both federal and private loans.

Visiting Students Attending USF

Law students from other ABA-accredited law schools who plan on visiting USF, including the Summer Abroad programs, Intensive Advocacy Program (IAP), and regular summer session may be eligible for financial aid assistance through their home school if their home school enters into a consortium agreement with the USF School of Law.

Visiting law students should contact their home school's financial aid office and request that a consortium agreement be sent to the USF School of Law financial aid administrator. Once the consortium agreement is received, the law school financial aid administrator will certify the amount of funding needed for the designated USF program. It is the visiting student's home school who will determine exactly what type of aid and how much aid will be available to their respective student. If financial aid is available, it is the visiting student's responsibility to insure that their home school submits the appropriate tuition billing payment to the USF Student Accounts Office by the appropriate deadline.

Visiting students are solely responsible for all tuition billing charges. Late charges may be assessed to those visiting students who do not pay their summer tuition bill by the appropriate due date. In order to meet the appropriate tuition deadline, consortium agreements should be sent to the USF School of Law Office of Financial Aid as soon as possible.