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Types of Aid

USC Gould Scholarships

The USC Gould School of Law Admission and Financial Aid Committee awards tuition scholarships to more than 90% of the students in each entering class. All scholarship offers are made in the incoming year and are guaranteed for all three years of law school. We do not reserve any funds for making new awards in the 2nd or 3rd year and so it is generally the case that the financial aid package will remain the same for all three years. Our three-year scholarships require only that a student must remain in good standing thus enabling our admitted applicants to have a clear understanding of the full cost of their USC legal education, rather than just having that information for the first year. We wish you to be fully informed prior to making the important decision about where you will spend the next three years investing time and money in your professional education.

Scholarships are awarded based on merit, or the overall strength of the applicant's admission application, along with consideration given for diversity characteristics. USC Gould seeks to enroll a diverse class of individuals, one which will broaden the scope of world views represented, and which consists of students we believe will thrive and excel, not just academically, but also personally and professionally. No single factor determines whether a scholarship award will be made. If you believe our scholarship offer is not competitive with another offer you have received from a similarly-ranked school and you are serious in your desire to enroll at USC Gould, please give us the opportunity to reconsider our offer. We will not enter into a bidding competition with another school but we are happy to take a second look and determine whether our initial offer will stand or whether we are able to revise our final offer.

Grants based solely on financial need are not awarded by the law school and federal grant programs are not available to graduate students. The Law School Financial Aid Office actively seeks out and publicizes scholarship opportunities from external sources which may become available throughout the year. You will be notified of any opportunities which come to our attention for incoming students. Applicants are also encouraged to seek out such opportunities on their own through organizations they or their family members may have affiliations with, through internet searches, or any other resources that can be found.

Additional USC Scholarship Opportunities

USC Gould has two special application-based scholarship opportunities available, each requires you to complete a separate statement responding to a prompt for application to each program. These scholarships are optional, but they do require that you submit the statement as an attachment to the JD application. Although each of these scholarships may have thematic elements, they both maintain the same stringent academic requirements as our general merit based scholarships. Applicants not meeting the general criteria for merit-based scholarships, will not be considered for these scholarship opportunities.

Frank Rothman Scholars Program

The program honors the late Frank Rothman '51, one of the nation's most respected sports and entertainment lawyers.

The benefits of being a Rothman Scholar are quite extraordinary:

  • Full-tuition scholarship guaranteed for 3 years (estimated at $180,000)
  • $2,000 stipend each year for 3 years
  • Paid 1L summer fellowship at one of the top law firms in the world - Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in Los Angeles

One Frank Rothman Scholar is selected each year. Selection criteria include strong academic indicators (LSAT and undergraduate cumulative gpa) combined with a specific interest in the areas of law to which Frank Rothman dedicated his life. Frank Rothman was known for his influence in the halls of corporate America as well as his spirit of always doing the very best he was capable of. Past recipients successfully conveyed the ideals of Frank Rothman via accomplishments such as running a successful business, inventing useful devices, engaging in cutting edge medical research, and publishing books and articles. Many have gone on to become successful corporate lawyers, business entrepreneurs, and judicial clerks. To learn more about the Rothman Scholars Program, please visit http://www.law.usc.edu/how/jd/rothman/.

Public Interest Scholars Program

Special merit awards are offered to admitted students dedicated to a career in public service. Beyond scholarship funding, public interest scholars receive guaranteed public interest summer employment and a grant to support that employment. Priority consideration is given to applicants with a history of full-time non-profit or public interest focused work.

The benefits of being a Public Interest Scholar include:

  • Special public interest merit based scholarship
  • Access to public interest certificate mentorship opportunities
  • Guaranteed public interest based summer employment after 1L summer
  • Guaranteed summer grant for 1L summer employment
  • Opportunity to service as a future mentor to subsequent groups of Public Interest Scholars

Public Interest Scholars are selected on the basis of merit and demonstrated commitment to public interest work. Selection criteria include strong academic indicators (LSAT score and undergraduate cumulative gpa) and significant achievements in the fields of public interest or government service. The committee will give priority to applicants with a history of full-time non-profit or public interest focused work.

Loan Programs

Loans are money you borrow that must be repaid with interest, and may involve extra fees. USC Gould participates in several federal low-interest loan programs for students. Some of these loans are need-based, while others are not. For details, see the description for each program.

  • Federal Stafford Loan: Graduate/professional students can borrow up to $20,500 per year in low-interest loans offered by the federal government through the Department of Education. Direct Stafford Loans have a fixed interest rate of 5.84% and repayment begins six months after graduation, or after enrollment drops to less than half-time. The student is responsible for the interest while enrolled. Students have the option of making interest payments or capitalizing it and having the interest added to the principal at repayment.
  • Federal Graduate PLUS Loan: One option for financing remaining costs is the Federal Graduate PLUS Loan. This loan enables law students to borrow up to the cost of attendance, less any other financial aid received. The interest rate is a fixed rate of 6.84% and approval of this loan does require a credit check to be completed. This is an unsubsidized loan, meaning interest will begin to accrue upon disbursement and is the borrower's responsibility. Payments of principal and interest can be deferred while the borrower is enrolled in school at least half-time. Repayment begins six months after graduation, or after enrollment drops to less than half-time.
  • Private Educational Loans: Another option for students who need to finance their remaining costs is private educational loans offered by lenders. Like the Federal PLUS Loan, these loans can also cover up to the cost of attendance, less any other financial aid received. One major difference is that they have a variable interest rate which is determined by the lender upon review of the student's credit history. There are other differences as well and students considering using a private loan program rather than a Federal Graduate PLUS Loan are encouraged to contact the Law School's Financial Aid Office to discuss the pros and cons.
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