General Scholarship Opportunities

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 Financial Aid page), 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."

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.

Students Matriculating in:
Number of Students with
Conditional Scholarships
Number Whose Conditional
Scholarships have been
Reduced or Eliminated
2020-21 Academic Year 73 16
2019-20 Academic Year 67 14
2018-19 Academic Year 90 27

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.

Writing Competitions (Portal Login Required)

Merit Scholarships (only for JD Students)

Albany Law School awards over $5 million in merit scholarships every year. More than 75% of 2020 first-year students received merit scholarships ranging from $5,000 to full tuition. 

  • Awarded by the Admissions Committee based on the strength of admissions application. (No separate scholarship application required.)
  • Award is prorated for those who elect the four-year program.
  • Class rank may be required for renewal.
  • Half of the annual amount is credited toward the tuition bill each semester for up to six full-time (or eight part-time) semesters.
  • Note: A third of the annual amount is credited toward the tuition bill each semester for students in the accelerated (two-year) J.D. program.

SUNY Legal Fellowship (Only for JD Students)

All SUNY graduates that enroll at Albany Law School are guaranteed a scholarship through our SUNY Legal Fellowship. For students entering in 2021, the guaranteed minimum scholarship award is $20,000 per academic year. This award is guaranteed for up to three years of study at Albany Law School and is automatically renewed as long as the student remains in good standing.

Every applicant is automatically considered for all available merit-based scholarship awards at the time of their acceptance. Any SUNY graduate that qualifies for a larger merit award will receive that award in place of the SUNY Legal Fellowship.

For applicants choosing the four-year program, pro rata adjustments will be made to the scholarship.

Fellowships (Only for JD Students)

There are numerous fellowships available to students with a variety of stipend levels and time commitments.

For example:

  • The President’s International Law Fellowship - stipend and an automatic international placement
  • The Edgar and Margaret Sandman Fellowship - awarded to a second-year student who, with a stipend, spends a full year at the Government Law Center conducting research which culminates in the authorship of a major study and development of a statewide forum.

The Helen T. Wilkinson Memorial Student Assistance Fund/Student Emergency Fund (For Any Student)

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.

Access the 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.

Learn More about External Scholarship Opportunities

Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund

The 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 www.americanbar.org)

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 provide you with income while you gain experience and enhance your résumé. Positions are available both on and off-campus with various agencies that have contracts with the school. Please visit AlbanyLaw Link for job listings. New students are provided access to job postings after your first meeting with your assigned Career Counselor (mid-October). Also, positions are communicated through the weekly Jobs & Ops email that is sent out by the Career and Professional Development Center.

FWS students are paid at a rate of $13 per hour. 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, however, we strongly recommend adjusting to the academic rigor of law school during your first semester. Consider commencing a work-study job during your second semester of 1L year. 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 exceeds the established thresholds under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

Veterans or dependents at the 100% benefit level qualify for the Yellow Ribbon Program covering all of their tuition and receive the military’s monthly housing allowance (BAH). This means eligible student-veterans may attend Albany Law School for free!*

How to Apply

Veteran Services at Albany Law School


Andrea Wedler
Director of Financial Aid