THE UNIVERSITY OF AKRON SCHOOL OF LAW
We award several million dollars in scholarships each year — and, unlike some law schools, our scholarships are guaranteed for three years in our full-time program or four years in our part-time program, as long as you remain in good standing. Equally important, our graduates’ law school debt continues to rank among the lowest in Ohio.
There are many financial aid options available. Most law students use some combination of financial aid shown below to finance their legal education.
The Office of Student Financial Aid at The University of Akron sets a fixed amount that students at the School of Law may receive in all forms of financial aid (including scholarships and loans) for each academic year. This amount is called the financial aid budget. The budget incorporates the following items:
- Room and Board/Living Expenses
- Books and Supplies
- Personal Expenses
The financial aid budget is revised each year to account for inflation and increases in tuition and fees. The budget may be increased for the following reasons:
- On a routine basis: If you enroll in an authorized heavier credit hour load for the fall/spring semesters resulting in an increase of your tuition/fees charged on your bill from the UA Cashier’s Office. So, if your tuition/fees exceed the line item of “Tuition/Fees” on the maximum budget chart for the year, the loan limit can be increased to cover the higher tuition/fee cost.
- On a limited, individual basis: If you need funds for laptop purchases, childcare expenses, and other non-standard expenses.
- The budget may not be adjusted to accommodate a car loan or an expensive mortgage – law students are expected to live as conservatively as possible while in law school to minimize debt upon graduation. For some people, this may mean significant lifestyle changes.
Law students are eligible to borrow a maximum of $20,500 in Federal Stafford Loan funds per academic year, depending on the student's Expected Family Contribution (EFC) number. Keep in mind that, if necessary, students may borrow beyond the $20,500 Stafford Loan up to the maximum amount allowed under the financial aid budget. Those funds would be secured through the federal Graduate PLUS program and/or Alternative (private) loans. More information about loans for law students.
Note that law students do not have to borrow everything for which they are eligible – law students may (and often do) borrow less than the amount allowable under the financial aid budget.
Scholarship recipients who plan to borrow the maximum amount allowed under the financial aid budget should remember that in accordance with federal financial aid guidelines that the scholarship value will be deducted from the maximum loan amount in order to avoid "double dipping" in loans and scholarships. Students may receive up to the maximum budgeted financial aid amount through a combination of loans and scholarships. More information about scholarships for law students.
Please note that the summer term is treated separately from the fall and spring semesters for financial aid purposes. Students requiring financial aid for the summer term are required to fill out a separate application. More information about summer financial aid.
Questions regarding the status of your financial aid loans should be directed to Cora Moretta at 330-972-5374 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may also contact the Office of Student Financial Aid at 330-972-7032 or 800-621-3847.
Tools and tips: Important information about financial planning and loans
The faculty believes that the study of law is a full-time pursuit for full-time students. Consequently, the School of Law discourages first-year, full-time students from working. Students who nonetheless choose to work are prohibited from working more than 20 hours per week while classes are in session during the first year. For upper division full-time students, it is our recommendation that students refrain from working more than 20 hours per week in any semester. Part-time students typically will work full-time while taking classes at night.
The Law Career Services Office, faculty, and administrators assist law students in finding part-time positions as law clerks with local law firms, corporate legal departments, public sector legal departments, government agencies, accounting firms, judges and legal professional associations.
For more information on these and other outside employment opportunities for law students, contact Alisa N. Benedict O'Brien, Esq., assistant dean of career services and strategic intiatives, at email@example.com or 330-972-5321.
Akron Law offers a number of research assistantships to upper-division law students. Research assistants generally assist faculty members with any projects that they are working on at the time, and some research assistants are hired to work in the law library.
There is typically an average of about one research assistant position per full-time faculty member. Research assistants are paid $8 per hour for their first semester of work. If they continue to work for the second semester, they will receive a raise of $1 per hour.
A law student wishing to pursue a research assistantship for a fall or spring semester should be enrolled in at least 6 hours during that semester. A law student wishing to pursue a research assistantship for a summer term should be enrolled in at least 5 hours during that term.
The application process is an informal one. Professors interested in hiring research assistants generally seek out students of interest to them. Faculty members are likely to seek new research assistants from among their students near the end of or just after the end of the academic year. Students may also approach faculty with whom they might like to work just before or just after the end of the academic year.
There are no graduate assistantships available to law students. However, the law library and some of our law professors employ a limited number of upper-division students as part-time research assistants.
If you are a student in a joint degree program, you are eligible to apply for a graduate assistantship in the department in which you are enrolled for Master’s degree work. Graduate assistantships are only available to law students who have finished their first year of law school. They typically range in value from a few thousand dollars to full tuition for graduate and law tuition, plus a living stipend.
Click here to learn more about joint degree programs and graduate assistantships, or contact the following individuals:
MBA, MTax, and MSMHR Programs
Myra Weakland, Assistant Director of Graduate Business Advising
Dr. Raymond Cox, Professor of Public Administration and Urban Studies
Dr. Karl Kaltenthaler, Professor and Dir. of Graduate Studies of Political Science
Law students enrolled during the summer are eligible to receive federal work study funds for student employment. Work study money is not available to law students for the fall or spring semester.
Learn more about federal work study funding and student employment at The University of Akron.
To receive loans for law school, students must follow the application procedures and then decide how much loan money they wish to accept. The University of Akron Financial Aid Office includes on its site a step-by-step instructions of the loan-application process. To ensure that the financial aid process goes smoothly, it is suggested that law students follow our step-by-step outline closely.
Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans: Law students may borrow up to $20,500 per year through the federal Direct Loan program. In order to be considered for federal Direct Loans, students must complete the FAFSA.
Grad PLUS and Alternative Loans: Law students may borrow beyond the $20,500 Federal Stafford Loan limit up to the maximum annual loan amount (as noted on the financial aid budget). Those funds would be secured as a Direct Grad PLUS loan (through the federal government) or an Alternative Loan (through a private lender). See details about loan options.
Maximum financial aid budget: The amounts noted on the tuition and fees page reflect the maximum amount that a law student at The University of Akron School of Law may receive in all financial aid for the fall and spring semesters combined. Plan to borrow only what you need.
Debt management: As the old saying goes, "If you live like a lawyer while you are in law school, you will live like a law student when you are a lawyer." Be a responsible consumer. Do not borrow more money than is absolutely necessary to pay for tuition, fees, and books, and to maintain a healthy yet modest standard of living. Do not feel obligated to borrow up to the annual loan limit if you do not need the money - this will only lead to unnecessary debt and burdensome loan payments.
Questions about the status of your financial aid loans should be directed to Cora Moretta at 330-972-5374 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may also contact the Office of Student Financial Aid at 330-972-7032 or 800-621-3847.
Debt and credit
Some Alternative loans are granted based on levels of debt and credit rating. For information on debt and credit counseling, visit www.nfcc.org.
To find your FICO (Fair, Isaac & Co.) credit score, and for useful information about consumer credit, visit www.myfico.com.
A note regarding debt and Bar Exam clearance: The fiscal health of a law graduate as it relates to bar admission is a VERY REAL and VERY SERIOUS matter. Law students should take steps to clean up consumer debt before entering law school and to manage their consumer credit very conservatively and wisely during law school. It is fair to say that debt alone will not result in the Supreme Court denying permission to sit for the bar exam. However, debt coupled with poor decisions, or no plan to manage or eliminate the debt could create a question for the character and fitness committee of any given state bar admissions office and ultimately contribute to a decision to deny permission to sit for the bar exam.
Short-term emergency loan fund
The School of Law Dean's Office has an emergency loan fund to assist law students unexpectedly faced with pressing financial obligations. Interest-free loans of $25 to $250 are usually due to be repaid within four to eight weeks. To borrow, students must be in good academic standing and currently enrolled in the School of Law.
See the School of Law receptionist in Room 136 (the School of Law Dean's Office) for more information about Short-Term Emergency Loans.
Bar exam loans
Graduating law students often borrow money to finance bar exam registration costs, exam-related preparatory materials, and associated living expenses.
For more information on Bar Exam Loans, contact Student Financial Aid.
Scholarships for entering students
Students admitted to our juris doctor program are automatically considered for merit-based first-year scholarships, which are awarded on the basis of the contents of the admission application. All Board of Trustees scholarships awarded to incoming students are guaranteed for three years of full-time study or four years of part-time study as long as the student remains in good academic standing. Although subject to change, “good academic standing” is currently set at 2.3 grade point average. Please contact the Akron Law admissions office for complete details about our scholarships.
At this time, we do not offer scholarships to transfer, visiting, or LL.M. Students.
Scholarships for upper-division students
Upper division scholarships are established through the generosity of Akron Law alumni and friends. These donors have chosen to invest in the success of Akron Law students The upper-division scholarships may be awarded based on merit, need, or other special factors specified by the respective donors. Complete list of scholarships.
As they become available, external scholarship opportunities are posted on our announcements blog.
Bar review scholarships
Your success at Akron Law and as a future professional is our priority. We offer our students an exclusive BARBRI Partnership for Student Success that equips you to succeed in law school and pass the bar exam from your first day as a 1L. Through this partnership, all Akron Law JD students will have access to BARBRI’s extensive bar review content starting their first-year and will be able to take BARBRI’s renowned bar review course after graduation, in whatever state they choose, at no additional cost.
Other scholarship resources
On the web:
In addition to these resources, contact your local bar association for information on scholarships that they might offer for law students.
Please contact Emma K.F. Schulze, Director of Admissions, at email@example.com or 330-972-6364.