As a graduate student, you are automatically considered "independent" for financial aid purposes. That means parental income and assets are not counted in determining your financial aid eligibility.
When you complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) (see
"How to Apply for Financial Aid"), the federal formula is used to calculate your ability to contribute toward your educational costs, which is called the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Your EFC is subtracted from the Cost of Attendance (COA) to calculate your demonstrated need: COA - EFC = Need.
Financial Aid Office personnel will determine your eligibility for funds up to the total COA, as some loan programs are not "need-based."
Albany Law School offers an extensive scholarship program to Juris Doctor candidates. More than 40 percent of the Class of 2015 received a scholarship, averaging $18,000 per year. Scholarships are offered by the Admissions Committee at the time of, or shortly following, the offer for admission (there is no separate scholarship application).
Presidents', Deans', Founders' and Trustees' Scholarship awards are based on the strength of the admissions application. The Admissions Scholarship is awarded to applicants with unique backgrounds including members of minority groups historically under-represented in the legal profession. Class rank, as specified in the scholarship offer, is required for annual renewal.
Scholarship amounts are pro-rated for those who elect the four-year program. Half of the annual award is credited toward the tuition bill each semester for up to six full-time (or eight part-time) semesters.
ABA Standard 509(e) requires law schools to post the chart below, showing the retention rate for conditional scholarships.
The ABA defines a conditional scholarship as: ". . . any financial aid award, the retention of which is dependent upon the student maintaining a minimum grade point average or class standing, other than that ordinarily required to remain in good academic standing."
Class rank, as specified in the scholarship offer, is required for annual renewal.
The Financial Aid Office frequently receives information from various outside organizations that offer scholarships. This information is distributed to Albany Law School students and/or applicants for admission, usually via email, depending on the scholarship criteria. For more information, visit
External Scholarship Opportunities.
ABA Legal Opportunity Scholarship grants 20 incoming diverse law students with $15,000 of financial assistance over the course of their three years in law school. During his term as ABA President, William G. Paul initiated the scholarship to encourage racially and ethnically diverse students to apply to and attend law school.
Since its inception, 200 students from across the country have received the ABA Legal Opportunity Scholarship. These exceptional recipients have overcome adversity, proven themselves through academic success and public service, and demonstrated the tenacity to excel within the profession." (via
Federal Work Study (FWS) is a valuable resource-not only because it can help to offset student loan debt, but also because it can enhance your résumé. Positions are available both on and off campus with various agencies that have contracts with the school. Please visit the CSM for job listings.
FWS students are paid at a competitive rate. Second- and third-year students can work up to 20 hours per week while school is in session. First-year students who attain a minimum 2.5 GPA their first semester can work up to 10 hours per week their second semester. Students can work up to 40 hours per week during summer and breaks. Prior to working, students must complete a work study packet and get approval from the Financial Aid Office.
Federal Stafford Loan Program
Federal Grad PLUS Loan Program