Financial Aid for International JD Students
The information on this webpage applies to international JD students only. The information does not apply to any LLM or JSD students. LLM/JSD students click here for financial aid information.
International JD students are eligible to apply for Berkeley Law’s need-based grant as well as Berkeley Law’s entering and continuing scholarships. Students who are not US Citizens or US Permanent Residents are not eligible for any federal aid such as federal educational loans, but they may be eligible for private educational loans if they have a co-signer who is a US Citizen (see Loans section).
To apply for any financial aid, you must first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Although international students are not eligible for federal aid, Berkeley Law uses this application to determine eligibility for institutional aid (grants and scholarships).
If you are in the US on an F1 or F2 student visa, a J1 or J2 exchange visitor visa, or a G series visa (pertaining to international organizations), select “No, I am not a citizen or eligible noncitizen” when completing the FAFSA. This should allow you to submit the application without providing a social security number.
The FAFSA and Supplemental Application are due the March 2 preceding each academic year.
- Please do NOT send us your income tax statement. We will contact you by e-mail if we need this information from you.
- Complete all sections of the FAFSA and Supplemental Application, including the parent section.
- The most common mistake is not including parent financial information on the FAFSA and/or Supplemental Application. Unless you turned in a Statement of Independence and it has been approved, parent information must be included.
- If believe you are an independent student based on Berkeley Law’s criteria and are under the age of 30, please contact us to request a Statement of Independence.
- Submit your applications by the March 2 deadline. Applications received after the deadline are considered on a first-come first-served basis only as long as funds remain available.
- Berkeley Law need-based grants are determined solely by financial need, and not by merit.
- Your eligibility for need-based grants is based on your FAFSA, Supplemental Application, and Confirmed Summer Earnings Statement.
- Grants are considered gift aid, therefore you do not need to repay them after graduation.
- More information can be found on our Need-Based Grants page.
- Most scholarships are awarded on the basis of both need and merit.
- All entering students are automatically considered for scholarships for their first year (i.e. no application is necessary for the 1L year).
- Applications for scholarships for continuing (2L and 3L) students are announced each spring by email and on the blog. The announcement contains details on how and when to apply.
- More information can be found on our Scholarships page.
Federal loans are NOT available for international students. However, international JD students may apply for private educational loans as long as they have a co-signer who is a US Citizen. There are no educational loans available to international students without a co-signer.
You can find additional information on Private Educational Loans on our Loans page. Apply directly with the lender of your choice. Once you apply, the lender contacts the Berkeley Law Financial Aid Office to certify the amount you are eligible to borrow.
The financial assistance our office is able to offer to international JD students is limited so we encourage you to seek as much outside aid as possible. You should conduct your own research as to which scholarships are available for international students who are studying in the US as well as any scholarships in your home country. The scholarships listed in our Outside Scholarships webpage may or may not be available to international students. To determine whether you would be eligible, please contact each scholarship organization directly. You may also find the scholarship listing on the LLM student financial aid website useful.
For financial aid information available for International LLM or JSD students, please see the LL.M./J.S.D. Costs & Financial Aid page for more information.