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 loan programs are not "need-based."
Albany Law School Scholarships
With more than $5 million awarded annually, Albany Law School offers a generous merit-based scholarship program for all Juris Doctor candidates. More than 75 percent of 2020 first-year students received merit-scholarship awards ranging from $5,000 to full tuition.
Scholarships are offered by the Admissions Committee at the time of acceptance, based upon the strength of the admissions application. All admitted students are automatically considered. No separate scholarship application is required. Class rank or good standing, as specified in the scholarship offer, may be required for annual renewal.
Half of the annual award is credited toward the tuition bill each semester for up to six full-time (or eight part-time) semesters. Scholarship amounts are pro-rated for those who elect the four-year program or are admitted into the 2-year accelerated program. Additional details regarding disbursement and retention criteria will be provided to all awardees.
Conditional Scholarship Retention Data
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 Helen T. Wilkinson Memorial Student Assistance Fund/Student Emergency Fund
Students who experience difficulties because of health concerns or family emergencies, for example, or who need special assistance to pay for emergency living expenses, or other special needs may apply for an emergency grant.
After the completed application is submitted, the request is reviewed by the Student Emergency Fund Committee, and contact will be made with the student for follow up or a decision.
Student Emergency Fund form.
External Scholarship Opportunities
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.
Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund
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 Program
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 can work up to 10 hours per week while school is in session. 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.
Yellow Ribbon Program's Tuition Assistance
The Yellow Ribbon Program provides financial support for student-veterans and their dependents to attend law school with partially or fully funded tuition that exceed the established thresholds under the
Post-9/11 GI Bill.
The Yellow Ribbon Program