J.D. Program Financial Aid and Scholarships


Federal Loans

Eligible students may submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to apply for federal student aid. There are two basic loan options for graduate and professional students:

  1. Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
  2. Federal Direct Graduate Plus Loan

The Direct Unsubsidized Loan is capped annually at $20,500 and the remaining cost of attendance may be covered by the Grad Plus Loan. To receive federal student aid, students must be enrolled each quarter for at least half-time enrollment (6 credits if you are in the J.D. program).

We strongly encourage students to submit a FAFSA by Feb. 28, the University's priority deadline and list our federal school code 003798 to receive the best financial aid package available. We also encourage students to submit a FAFSA regardless of whether they intend to borrow any federal aid so that the University may assess them for need-based funding. Students are able to submit a FAFSA after this date; however, they will not be given priority consideration for aid.

Please note that students working towards a master's or doctorate degree (e.g., J.D., Ph.D., etc.) are considered independent for purposes of federal student aid.

Private Loans

For students who are ineligible to apply for federal student aid or wish to explore other loan alternatives, private loans may be an option. In general, private loans are loans through commercial lenders that depend on credit worthiness. Please know that borrowing private loans for your education bears a significant risk including the inability to take advantage of any federal loan repayment options, including the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. We encourage students to read the terms and conditions for private loans.

To cover costs associated to preparing for the bar exam, graduating students may consider bar loans, which are primarily offered through commercial lenders, e.g., Sallie Mae, Discover etc.

Federal Work-Study

Eligible students who submitted a FAFSA may request the Office of Student Financial Aid to evaluate them for work-study eligible positions. Work-study eligibility depends on both need and availability. Please contact workstdy@uw.edu with any questions about eligibility and the process for evaluation.


Foreign Language Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships support undergraduate, graduate and professional students in acquiring modern foreign languages and area or international studies competencies. Students from all UW departments and schools are encouraged to apply. For more information, visit the Jackson School of International Studies site for details and the application process.

Washington State Need-Based Grants

The University has a limited amount of funding for Washington residents and is always subject to availability. These need-based grants are made annually and require the student to be a Washington state resident and submit their FAFSA by the Feb. 28 priority deadline and list our federal school code 003798 each year. The student's Expected Family Contribution (EFC) must also meet the University's need eligibility criteria. The Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) notifies students of this grant eligibility through their financial aid award.

UW Law Scholarships

UW Law offers scholarships to incoming first-year students based on merit, need and other factors. Admitted students are required to submit a scholarship application available through the Admitted Students Portal by March 15 to be considered for scholarships. The scholarship committee reviews scholarship applications and issues awards the week after the deadline.

There are additional scholarship opportunities once students begin the law program. These scholarships may be based on student leadership, academic performance and areas of interest, e.g., family law, corporate law, intellectual property, public service and diversity.

William H. Gates Public Service Law Scholarship Program

Separate from the process described above, the Gates Public Service Law (PSL) Scholarship offers five scholarships to students who have demonstrated a strong commitment to public service and intend to use their J.D. degree in a public service career. Acceptance of a Gates PSL scholarship represents a commitment on the part of each recipient to work in public service for five years following graduation.

Each Gates PSL scholarship award will cover tuition and fees, books, living expenses and additional financial support.

Application for the Gates PSL scholarship is separate from the scholarship application procedures described above. Students who intend to apply for the Gates PSL Scholarship must submit their J.D. application and their Gates PSL Scholarship application by Jan. 15. Visit the Gates PSL Program website for more information.