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Financial Aid Resources - Juris Doctor (JD)

USC Gould School of Law

USC Gould Scholarships

All incoming first-year students are automatically considered for merit scholarships, with more than 95 percent receiving some form of support. The average scholarship award is $41,000, with a range of awards between $10,000 and full tuition.

All scholarship offers are made before you enter USC Gould and are guaranteed for all three years of law school as long as you maintain full-time enrollment. Our scholarships ensure you have a clear understanding of the entire cost of your USC Gould legal education before you take your first class.

Scholarship awards are based on merit and the overall strength of the application. We are committed to a student body that reflects a wide range of backgrounds and experiences as the resulting broadened scope of views benefits all. We want to support students who will thrive and excel, not just academically but also personally and professionally.

USC Gould Need-Based Grants

USC Gould School of Law, along with the generous assistance of its alumni, has established a Need-based Grant program for incoming JD students. This grant program is intended for incoming students who have no options, outside of their USC Gould Scholarship and student loans, for financing their legal education at Gould. It is our goal to award grants which will result in a direct reduction to the student loans these students would otherwise be borrowing to finance law school. Students who fit this description are strongly encouraged to apply. A separate application is usually made available in March, and only after having been admitted for the upcoming academic year.

Veterans Education Benefits/Yellow Ribbon Program

USC Gould is proud to participate in the Yellow Ribbon  Program. If you meet the specified criteria and your enrollment is confirmed by the USC Veterans Certification Office, you may be able to earn up to a full-tuition award via a combination of veterans benefits and USC Gould assistance.

Student Loans

The following student loan programs are available to USC Gould JD students:

  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan: Graduate/professional students can borrow up to $20,500 per year in through this loan offered by the U.S. Department of Education. The Direct Unsubsidized Loan has a fixed interest rate. Interest begins to accrue upon disbursement. You have the option of making interest payments or having the interest added to the principal at repayment. Repayment begins six months after graduation.
  • Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan: 
  • This program enables you to borrow up to the cost of attendance, less any other financial aid received. Federal Graduate PLUS Loans have a fixed interest rate, and a credit check is required for approval.  Interest begins to accrue upon disbursement. Payments of principal and interest can be deferred while you are enrolled at least half-time. Repayment begins six months after graduation.
  • Private Educational Loans: Like the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan, these private educational loans can also cover up to the cost of attendance, less other financial aid received. One major difference is that they have a variable interest rate determined by the lender upon review of your credit history. We encourage you to contact the USC Gould Financial Aid Office to help you weigh the pros and cons of these loans.

Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP)

USC Gould offers a Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) to assist graduates pursuing careers in public service and public interest law. You may be eligible to receive an LRAP loan or loan forgiveness, depending on your circumstances.

DACA Resources

The following resources are available for students with an undocumented status:

MAX by AccessLex

USC Gould has partnered with AccessLex Institute®, the largest nonprofit organization in the country focusing on access, affordability and the value of legal education, to bring you MAX by AccessLex®, an innovative personal finance program created exclusively for law students. Available at no cost to you or our law school, MAX drives the knowledge gain and behavior change essential to improving your financial well-being. Our goal is to help you gain the knowledge, skills, and habits to support your financial and overall well-being.

  • Check out the Scholarship Databank. It is never too early to begin looking for “free money” for next year.
  • Once admitted, register for your free account at AskEDNA.AccessLex.org,
  • During law school, utilize a financial coach with MAX Coaching to discuss your personal financial goals.

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