Financial Aid Options
scholarships, grants, and loans
The law school is concerned with the problems of economically disadvantaged individuals and offers a need-based scholarship program for qualifying students. Application for this award is made through the financial aid process. Awards are renewable annually upon satisfactory completion of law school courses. The school also awards merit scholarships for which no financial aid application is required.
Law School Loan
The Law School Loan fund is a need-based, low-interest loan program administered by the university and awarded in conjunction with the law school Office of Admissions and Financial Aid. The fixed interest rate of 5% begins to accrue six months after you graduate or cease to be enrolled at least half-time. The maximum repayment period is 10 years.
Federal Perkins Loan
This need-based loan is provided from Boston College's federal funds. The fixed interest rate of 5% begins to accrue on the loan nine months after you graduate or cease to be enrolled at least half-time. The maximum repayment period is 10 years.
Federal Direct Stafford Loan
The Federal Stafford Loan is a program which allows students who are enrolled at least half time to borrow up to $20,500 per year. The interest rate is fixed at 6.8% and interest begins to accrue upon disbursement of the loan funds. Repayment begins six months after you graduate or cease to be enrolled at least half-time.
Previously, students enrolled in graduate programs--including law school--were eligible to have a portion of their Stafford loans subsidized (with no interest accruing) during the in-school period, but that interest subsidy was recently eliminated by the United States Congress.
Federal Grad PLUS Loans are education loans available to graduate/law students. The Grad Plus Loan is offered at a fixed interest rate of 7.9%. A 4% fee is deducted prior to disbursement. Many law students borrow a Grad Plus Loan in an amount that exceeds the tuition and fees billed by the school and use the remainder of the loan amount for living expenses.
The Public Service Scholarships provide full tuition annually to highly-qualified applicants who plan to practice law in service of the public. In keeping with Boston College Law School's mission of education for service to others, this program encourages students to seek careers in the public sector, notwithstanding the expense and associated debts of their legal education and the relatively low salaries associated with such careers.
The Scholarship Committee has established the following criteria for evaluating applicants:
- a demonstrated commitment to serve the public through employment, advocacy, and /or volunteer activities.
- a stated intent to pursue a career in public interest/public service law,
- evidence of leadership ability and
- past strong academic performance and outstanding academic promise.
Whenever feasible, finalist candidates will be required to interview with the law school.
Recipients must reapply each year for the award. The scholarship committee will request an updated resume and list of activities and summer work (paid and volunteer) that together demonstrate the recipient's continued commitment to public interest and public service law. Public Service Scholars will be required to provide new commitment letters before the beginning of each fall semester. For the scholarship to be renewed, Public Service Scholarship recipients must meet the following criteria:
- Public Service Scholars are expected to work both of their summers during law school for a public interest organization (exceptions to this policy will be considered in extraordinary circumstances and must be authorized by the Scholarship Committee). Three broad categories of employment meet this criterion; these are the same categories that qualify graduates of the law school for the Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP).
- organizations that provide direct legal services to clients who are indigent and/or members of traditionally underrepresented groups. These organizations may be private, non-profit entities or government entities. Examples of such organizations include, but are not limited to, legal services organizations and public defender's offices.
- private, non-profit employers (examples include organizations with a 501 (c)(3)" or "501 (c)(4)" tax-exempt status, such as the ACLU and the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund.)
- state, municipal or federal government agencies, examples include district attorney offices and attorney general offices.
- Public Service Scholars are expected to take a substantial leadership role in the public interest community at the law school. Examples of activities that would fulfill this expectation are:
-assist in running the annual Public Interest Law Retreat;
-organize the Law School's annual Diversity month;
-assume a leadership role in PILF or other public interest organizations;
-organize colloquia on public policy and law topics.
Public Service Scholars are expected to work for a public interest organization (as described above) after graduation. The Committee will conduct individual exit interviews with Public Service Scholars in March of their final year to discuss their career plans. Public Service Scholars are expected to work a minimum of 5 years in public service work after graduation. Scholars who decide not to pursue a career in the public sector are expected to repay the Public Service Scholarship. Public Service Scholars who work less than five years in public service are expected to repay the scholarship for whatever part of the five-year commitment that remains.
Through the gifts of alumni and benefactors, the law school offers a number of specialized scholarships to incoming and continuing students. In addition, many bar associations, corporations, fraternal and other organizations offer scholarships and loans to law students. We encourage you to contact all such organizations to which you or members of your family belong, and to research other opportunities on the Internet at websites such as www.fastweb.com and www.finaid.org.
Federal Work-Study Program
Boston College offers a broad variety of employment opportunities through the federally-funded College Work-Study Program. Academic-year and summer work-study opportunities may be on campus or at off-campus, non-profit agencies and often involve law-related work. Work-study is awarded through the financial aid office.
The university Student Employment Office is a clearinghouse for all positions on and off campus. Students may apply for positions during both the academic year and the summer. Summer positions in other cities and regions often are listed. Current listings may be viewed at www.bc.edu/studentemployment.
The Law School recognizes that employment during the academic year may be needed to finance a legal education. American Bar Association accreditation standards require full-time students to limit employment to a maximum of 20 hours per week. Substantial employment during the first year of law school is strongly discouraged.