Paying For Law School
Berkeley Law remains a good value in legal education. The law school and the campus provide scholarships, grants, fellowships, and loans to help students meet the cost of attendance. Although working will help to limit your student loan debt, we encourage you not to work during your first year of law school and to focus instead on academics. Each year, in addition to the gift aid that may be awarded to entering students, several scholarships and fellowships are made available from within and outside of Berkeley Law for continuing students. Also keep in mind that the law school provides a competitive Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) to help you repay your student loans if you enter low-paying public interest employment upon graduation. Although Berkeley Law and the campus provide scholarships, fellowships, grants, Federal Unsubsidized Loans, a growing number of students also obtain federal Graduate PLUS loans or private loans. Without additional loans, many students would not be able to attend Berkeley Law. Students eligible for Federal Student Aid based on the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) can expect to be offered federal student loans up to the Berkeley Law Cost of Attendance minus other gift aid. We encourage you to begin formulating a financial strategy now for your expenses before, during, and after law school. Entering law school with a financial plan will help you reduce your borrowing and make law school more affordable.
Annual fees and tuition are determined by your residency status. California residents comprise approximately 50 percent of the entering class. Residents are required to pay fees determined annually by the U.C. Board of Regents. Non-residents are responsible for paying both fees and non-resident tuition. Non-resident students may petition for California residency status upon completion of the first year of study, provided they meet university requirements. Information about establishing resident status can be found on our Legal Resident Information page. The nine-month Cost of Attendance (COA) for law students is standardized by the Financial Aid Office for the purpose of awarding grants, scholarships, federal and private loan eligibility, and work-study. The COA is designed to reflect the average costs for living in the Bay Area. Adjustments can be made to reflect actual costs if the COA does not fairly reflect what a student pays, such as uninsured medical expenses or child care. In most cases, adjustments are made to increase student loan eligibility. A Cost of Attendance Adjustment Request form is available for students who wish to increase their COA in September for the following academic year. The standard COA utilized by the Financial Aid Office includes an allowance for personal expenses. This allowance is meant to offset these and other miscellaneous expenses. We strongly encourage students to stay within these budgetary guidelines to ensure that their future debt will not grow larger than necessary. Back to top
While precise fee levels may change each year, Berkeley Law continues to be one of the best values in legal education. Components of the cost of attendance can be found on the Fees & Cost of Attendance page. Keep in mind that fees are subject to change without notice. Paying at least a portion of fees entitles students to use campus libraries, University Health Services, and recreational and other university facilities. Law students are also eligible to purchase student athletic privilege cards from the Athletic Ticket Office for admission to sports events. The Class Pass fee provides unlimited AC Transit bus transportation. The cost of living in the Bay Area is high. The student budget includes estimated average expenses for a nine-month academic year, based on current year costs, but students should take into account their own spending habits, summer expenses, and the possibility of unforeseen expenses. Updated fee and budget information is posted on our website as it becomes available. Back to top
Information on financial aid opportunities for J.D. students, including all gift aid, can be found on the Types of Aid page. All required applications and forms must be submitted in a timely fashion for consideration in these programs. In addition to taking advantage of the programs at Berkeley Law, students are encouraged to seek outside sources of scholarship funding. Back to top
Berkeley Law’s Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) provides financial assistance in student loan repayment for public interest-oriented graduates who work at nonprofit organizations and government agencies. Graduates who meet the income and employment requirements can receive financial assistance with their student loan payments under and income-drive repayment plant once they enter repayment. Visit our LRAP page for information on program eligibility, policies, and loan repayment strategies. Students interested in pursuing a public interest career after graduation are encouraged to schedule a counseling session with an LRAP advisor. A meeting with an LRAP advisor is required prior to graduation and prior to participation in LRAP. Back to top