Types of Aid
St Thomas Law School is pleased to offer a variety of merit scholarships to incoming and continuing students.
Scholarships for incoming first year students with substantial promise are automatically awarded by the Law School’s Office of Admissions based on LSAT, prior academic record, and past service and experience. All applicants are considered for merit scholarships and no additional application is necessary. Transfer students are considered after completing a full year at St. Thomas Law. For additional information on specific award criteria, contact the Office of Admissions.
Some incoming scholarships may be renewed for the second and third years based on academic performance in the first year. All awards are made on a yearly basis for the Fall and Spring semesters only. Scholarship recipients are notified of the retention policy applying to their scholarships at the time of award. For retention data, click here.
Students ranking in the top 25 percent of their class at the end of their first academic year of full-time study, whether or not they had incoming merit scholarships, can receive awards under the Upper Level Academic Scholarship Program. Awards range from $7,500 to $30,000 depending on academic performance. Students with incoming scholarships who qualify for a larger award under the Program will receive the greater of the two awards. All awards are made on a yearly basis for the Fall and Spring semesters only.
Students enrolling in the Law School’s FLEX schedule program who are eligible for a Merit Scholarship will receive a pro-rated/per credit equivalent award. For example, a student with a Merit Scholarship of $10,000 for the Fall semester (based on full-time enrollment) enrolled in 9 credits will receive an award in the amount of $7,500.00 ($10,000/12 x 9). All awards are made on a yearly basis for the Fall and Spring semesters only.
Through the generosity of donors, St Thomas Law also offers several scholarships of varying amounts to continuing students. Criteria vary and can include need, leadership and service activities.
Other Scholarship Opportunities
From time to time St. Thomas Law receives information from sources outside the University regarding scholarship opportunities which become available. These opportunities are shared with our students via email or in our weekly newsletter as it becomes available. In addition to searching for scholarships online, students are encouraged to seek their own scholarship opportunities by inquiring with family and friends, employers, and any other businesses or organizations with whom the student may have affiliations.
If your personal financial resources fall short of your expected costs of attending law school, you may need to borrow student loans. Before you borrow, remember loans need to be repaid, and you should borrow only what you need to assist you with your educational expenses. The two primary federal loan programs available to law students are the Federal Direct Stafford Loans, and the Federal Direct PLUS Loan for Graduate/Professional Students.
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans
As a law student you may be eligible to borrow up to $20,500 per academic year (Fall-Spring) through the Stafford Loan program, if you are a U.S. citizen, or eligible non-citizen, and meet all other eligibility requirements for Federal Student Aid. These loans have a fixed interest rate of 6.60%* and interest will begin accruing at disbursement. This loan is also subject to a 1.062%* federal loan fee deducted at the time of disbursement. There is no credit check required and you will not be required to make payments on this loan while you are in school at least half-time. For additional information on the Federal Direct Stafford Loan please visit the U.S. Department of Education’s website here.
As part of the Budget Control Act of 2011, beginning with the 2012-2013 academic year, Federal Direct Stafford Loans borrowed by graduate/professional students will no longer be subsidized. While the total amount graduate/professional students may be eligible to borrow remains $20,500 per academic year, the full amount will be unsubsidized and interest will begin to accrue on the date of disbursement.
Federal Direct Plus Loan for Graduate and Professional Students
In addition to the Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, law students needing to borrow more than $20,500 per academic year (Fall-Spring) may be eligible to borrow additional funds through the Federal Direct PLUS Loan program for Graduate and Professional students. The Direct PLUS Loan may allow you to borrow up to your Cost of Attendance minus all other forms of financial aid you are receiving. This loan is subject to credit approval based on criteria established by the U.S. Department of Education. If your application is declined due to adverse credit, you may be given the option to appeal the credit decision or apply with an endorser. Should your loan be approved, with a successful appeal or obtaining a credit-worthy endorser, you will be required to complete a PLUS Loan Counseling session at www.studentloans.gov prior to your loan being disbursed. Interest on this loan is set at a fixed rate of 7.60%* and will begin accruing at the time the loan is disbursed. In addition, a 4.248%* federal loan fee will also be deducted at disbursement. Although the Direct PLUS Loan enters repayment immediately after the loan is fully disbursed, you are not required to make payments while you are in school at least half-time. For additional information on the Federal Direct Grad Plus Loan Program please visit the U.S. Department of Education’s website here.
*Rates and fees subject to change
Private or Alternative Loans are non-federal student loans typically borrowed by students who are not eligible for Federal student loans.Private loans are subject to credit approval by your lender of choice. In some cases, you may be required to apply with a credit-worthy cosigner. Although the private loan may allow you to borrow up to your total Cost of Attendance (COA), you should borrow only what you need. In most cases, these loans have variable interest rates and repayment terms may vary between lenders. International students may be required to apply with a credit-worthy United States citizen as a co-signer/borrower. In some cases, the lender may require that you submit additional information along with your application such as, proof of U.S. citizenship or proof of income. It is strongly suggested that students consider borrowing through the U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Direct Student Loan Programs before pursuing any private or alternative loan programs. If your total COA has been met by other forms of assistance (scholarships, grants, federal loans, etc.) you will not be eligible for a private/alternative loan. Additional information on Private Loans is available here.
Bar Study Loans
Bar Study Loans are credit-based private loans (not a federal loan) which may be borrowed to assist law school graduates with costs related to the Bar Exam. Students may apply for a Bar Study Loan in their last year of law school. The funds from the Bar Study Loan are disbursed directly to you from your lender of choice. Most Bar Study Loans have variable interest rates and the borrower benefits may vary between lenders. Because Bar Study Loans are private loans they cannot be consolidated with your federal loans, and repayment options and incentives may vary from those offered by the US Department of Education. In most cases, lenders will require the school to certify your graduation date before funds can be disbursed. Additional information on Bar Study Loans is available here.
St. Thomas University is approved for undergraduate, graduate, and law school educational benefits for veterans and eligible dependents under current public law. Students who may be eligible for educational benefits under any Veterans Administration program should contact:
Veterans Administration Regional Office
PO Box 100022
Decatur, GA 30031-7022
Chapter 33 Yellow Ribbon
St. Thomas University School of Law is proud to participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program established by the Post-9/11 Veterans Education Assistance Act of 2008. Beginning with the 2018-2019 academic year, students who are eligible for Chapter 33 benefits at the 100% rate will receive up to $23,671.94 and up to an additional $10,000 in Yellow Ribbon Match per academic year (August 1-July 31) in education benefits to cover tuition and fees. Depending on your years of service, you may also be eligible for housing and book allowances payable by VA. Your veteran’s educational benefit is determined by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.
For more information, or to apply for Veteran’s Educational Benefits, eligible students MUST contact the VA Regional Office at least one semester in advance of the date of their intended enrollment in the law school and submit all required documents.
Before St. Thomas University School of Law can submit your enrollment certification to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs you will be required to provide the following documents to the School’s Certifying Official for VA Benefits.
- Copy of your Application For VA Education Benefits (VA 22-1990)
- Copy of your DD214
- Copy of your Certificate of Eligibility Letter
Segal Americorps Education Award
St. Thomas University School of Law will match a student’s Segal AmeriCorps Education Award (up to $5,550) per academic year for up to 2 years for students enrolled in the School’s Juris Doctorate (J.D.) program. This award will be applied to the Fall and Spring semesters and will be used to defray tuition costs. Click here for information on the Segal Americorps Education Award.
The School of Law complies with Standard 305 of the American Bar Association and prohibits full-time law students from maintaining employment in excess of 20 hours per week.
Legal Research Assistants
Students who have completed the first year of law school may be eligible for positions as research assistants. Research assistants are selected by faculty members and are generally students who have demonstrated strong research and scholastic abilities. Research assistants may work up to a maximum of 20 hours per week.
Work Study Program
This need-based program provides on-campus jobs for second- and third-year students. The application process is similar to that for federal financial aid. An average “work study” award is $2,000 per semester.
For more information on our Employment Opportunities contact the Law School’s Career Services Office.