University of Virginia
The Rotunda at U.Va.
School of Law
General Information  |  Admission Information  |  Financial Aid Information  |  Academic Regulations  |  Student Activities: A Partial List  |  Annual Law School Awards and Honors  |  Degree Programs  |  Course Descriptions  |  Faculty
Budgets  |  Standard Forms of Financial Aid  |  Employment Opportunities  |  Career Services

Financial Aid Information

Title IV Institutional Code = 003745
College Name = University of Virginia

Financial aid in the form of scholarships, federal loans, and federally supported work-study employment is available to students who demonstrate “need” according to the guidelines of the FAFSA form. Limited merit-based aid is also available. In addition to the scholarship, federal loan and employment programs, federal and non-federal loan assistance is available without regard to a family’s ability to contribute toward meeting educational costs. Although there are deadlines which, in the student’s self-interest, ought to be observed, the financial aid office recognizes that emergencies may arise and available financial resources may change unexpectedly. When unforeseen circumstances occur, or when questions arise about the nature of and/or responsibilities for the various forms of financial aid, inquiries should be addressed to, or an appointment made with, the director of financial aid. All citizens and permanent residents of the United States are eligible to apply for financial assistance. All financial aid data provided is kept confidential.

First-Year Students: How To Apply Applicants for federal and institutional financial aid must file the FAFSA form. This form may be obtained from the financial aid office at the institution the student is currently attending,from any school in the applicant’s area, from the Law School Financial Aid Office, or online at Due to changing federal regulations, it is best to verify with the Law School financial aid office the required forms needed before beginning the financial aid process. The applications should be filed no later than February 15, if at all possible, in order to ensure its receipt at the school by March 1. The FAFSA contains sections to be completed by the applicant, spouse, and the applicant’s parents. The Law School requires parent and stepparent information for all applicants under the age of 26, regardless of the FAFSA instructions. Turning age 26 by the time of matriculation does not exempt students from this requirement. An in-house financial aid application is required from admitted applicants only.

Second- and Third-Year Students Financial aid is not automatically renewed. Each second- and third-year law student who is currently on financial aid must re-apply yearly to continue receiving financial aid. Since a person’s financial circumstances can change significantly from one year to the next, new applications are necessary each year to reflect all such changes accurately. To renew financial assistance, each student must submit the FAFSA and an in-house application that serves the particular needs and programs available at this Law School. The Law School requires parent and stepparent information for all applicants under the age of 26, regardless of the FAFSA instructions. Turning age 26 by the time of matriculation does not exempt students from this requirement. Applications are available from the financial aid office.

Rising second- and third-year students should complete and submit the FAFSA form no later than April 15 of the year preceding the period for which aid is requested. The required in-house form should be submitted prior to the end of the spring semester. Since the amount of scholarship and federal financial aid is limited, these funds will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Scholarships are not automatically renewed. Tardy reapplications may diminish the extent of aid provided, or may exclude the late applicant altogether from either or both of these programs. The FAFSA is available online at



Students’ budgets are determined by the University Financial Aid Committee and are standardized for all graduate and professional schools at the University. Modifications are made to reflect the actual costs incurred by law students in general. Modifications are also made to reflect the particular circumstances of each applicant. Exceptions are kept at a minimum, however, due to the limited amount of scholarships and federal funds that are allocated to the Law School, and for the standardized distribution of financial assistance to all aid recipients. All expenses covered must be educationally related. Individual counseling may be appropriate, and the director of financial aid is available for such purposes.

Budgets for the 2003-2004 academic year are estimated as follows:

Tuition & Fees $23,798 $29,201
Room, Board, Misc. 13,147 13,147
Books 800 800
Loan Origination Fees 355 355
Total $38,100 $43,503

Allowances may be made to accommodate child care and other non-discretionary expenses, such as a computer, computer-related expenses, and medical expenses not covered by insurance. A written petition, with supporting documentation, is required. The Financial Aid Office may use its discretion in the amount of allowance permitted for each expense. Any adjustment made will be covered with additional loan funds. Computer and computer-related expenses have a $2,500 maximum allotment.

Standard Forms of Financial Aid


Scholarships The Financial Aid Office distributes a variety of scholarships that have been donated from individuals and groups. The director of financial aid distributes gift assistance in such a way as to maintain a reasonable ratio of gift to loan or work-study assistance. Financial need is the primary principle by which scholarships/grants are awarded and, to the extent it is possible, effort is made to distribute gift aid to all recipients proportionately. Limited merit-based aid is also available. In addition, effort is made to keep the financial aid package constant from year to year. This principle may be mitigated by the number of students seeking aid, the timeliness of the application, the demonstrated need level, and funding allocations that occur yearly.

Emergency Loans Emergency loans can be obtained to cover unforeseen, educationally-related expenses that may arise during the academic year. Emergency loans are obtained by written petition to the director of financial aid, stating the amount needed (not to exceed $400), the nature of the expense, and the source from which the repayment will come. Emergency funds are “revolving;” that is, they are available only to the extent they are repaid. These loans are interest free and are limited to one per academic year.

Federal Direct Student Loan Program The University of Virginia is a Federal Direct Loan lending institution. Separate bank loan applications are not required. The FAFSA form will determine eligibility for both the Stafford Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans. The federal government will be the lender, rather than a bank. Applicants may be deemed eligible to receive both programs; however, the combined loan total may not exceed $18,500 per year. Loan information will be sent as part of the financial aid package. Additional information on both loans is cited below.

Federal Direct Stafford Subsidized Loan A need-based loan program that allows eligible students, as deemed by the financial aid office, to borrow up to $8,500 per year to help offset the total cost of education. Borrowers’ loans will hold a variable rate capped at 8.25 percent interest. The interest rate for repeat borrowers with outstanding balances may vary depending upon prior loan terms and current Stafford regulations. The cumulative outstanding debt allowable from both undergraduate and graduate study is $65,500.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan This loan program allows graduate and professional students to borrow up to $18,500 a year. Unlike the Stafford Subsidized Loan program, interest begins accruing immediately. Payment of the interest must either be capitalized or made while enrolled. This loan program may be used to help offset a student’s expected family contribution. The interest rate is variable but will not exceed 8.25 percent.

Private-Sector Educational Loans Private loans are available to students who have unmet need, based on the determined cost of education less any other scholarship and/or financial assistance received. These loans are based on credit history and ability to repay as determined by the lender. Interest rates are based on market indicators and vary from lender to lender. Most lenders allow interest to be deferred until graduation or when enrollment ceases or drops below half-time. An eligible co-borrower/co-signor may be required. The Law School’s Financial Aid Office is not involved in the credit evaluation process. Private educational loan borrowing should be done conservatively and as a last resort. Our office is not in a position to provide substitute funding should a private-sector loan be denied.

Bar Examination Loans These loans are available through participating lenders during the final year of study and are based upon the student’s credit worthiness, as well as overall program restrictions. Repayment begins nine months after graduation.

Employment Opportunities


Students may apply for part-time work through either the Law School or the University’s Office of Student Financial Services. However, first-year students are discouraged from part-time work because of the extensive requirements of the first-year curriculum. In no event may any student engage in more than 20 hours of employment per week.

Students are employed in the Law School as research assistants to law professors and assistants in the Law Library. Only second- and third-year students are eligible for work-study employment within the University and Law School community.

Career Services


Over the years, students in the School of Law have consistently been able to obtain outstanding permanent and summer jobs. Most of these jobs are the result of contacts made during interviews with employers conducted at the Law School; the remainder are obtained by students on their own, often with the assistance of the Law School’s Career Services Office or Public Service Center. They are among the very busiest offices in the country in terms of the number of employers contacting them annually with job opportunities. In the fall of 2002, for example, nearly 900 public- and private-sector law offices from 42 states and the District of Columbia conducted more than 7,000 interviews at the Law School from mid-September to early November. An additional 450 employers solicited resumes from Virginia students without visiting the Law School.

This volume of recruiting activity is a measure of the esteem in which Virginia students are held by legal employers. It has, moreover, resulted in a geographical pattern of job placement that is as diverse as that of any law school in the country. Within a few months of graduation in 2002, 356 out of 365 graduates had informed the Career Services Office that they had obtained jobs: 255 with law firms, 72 as judicial clerks; 17 with federal, city or state government agencies or public interest groups; 2 with corporations; 3 in graduate study and 4 with the military.

The Career Services Office and the Public Service Center offer a wide range of services to students seeking permanent and summer employment. They maintain contact with students and employers through the CASE system, which links the offices with students and employers via the Internet. In addition to attending to the logistical demands of the fall interviewing season, both the Career Services Office and the Public Service Center provide individual counseling on subjects ranging from interviewing techniques to strategies for obtaining specific types of jobs to letter and resume writing. The offices also help students looking for jobs outside the formal interviewing process by corresponding with, and forwarding student resumes to, non-visiting employers posted on the CASE system and by assisting students in locating still other employers, often making use of the Internet and the comprehensive employer listings in the Career Services and Public Service Center libraries.

The Career Services Office and the Public Service Center have developed and maintain an extensive Law School Alumni Network, made up of nearly 2,000 of its graduates who have volunteered to provide advice and assistance to students and graduates in the job market. The network is accessible to students and graduates via the CASE system.

Other projects conducted by the Career Services Office and the Public Service Center include panel discussions on various kinds of legal opportunities, especially those not generally represented among visiting employers; online job listings for alumni in the job market; regional job fairs; an annual public interest job fair; symposia on job search techniques and strategies; a mock interview program for first-year students; and projects designed to promote careers in public service, such as Student Funded Fellowships, which provide stipends to students in summer public-service jobs, and the University of Virginia Public Service Loan Assistance Program, which provides loan assistance to graduates in public service positions.

For example, the most popular employment locales for graduates of the Class of 2002 included Washington, DC (76 graduates), New York City (53), Richmond (21), Atlanta (18), Northern Virginia (15), Chicago and San Francisco (10 each), Los Angeles (9), Baltimore and Boston (8 each), Charlottesville and San Diego (6 each), Charlotte, Dallas, Norfolk and Seattle (5 each) and Charleston, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Houston, Philadelphia and Portland (3 each).

The members of the Class of 2002 accepted positions in 31 states and the District of Columbia. Starting salaries varied considerably with location and type of work. For example, large New York firms offered 2001 graduates $125,000 per year, while similar jobs in large urban areas were generally more than $100,000, and in smaller urban areas they were typically around $65,000. Jobs with the federal government were, in most cases, at the $40,000 salary level. Although precise figures are not available, the average starting salary for graduates in the private sector was estimated by the Career Services Office to be more than $100,000.

Graduate Record Home  |  School of Law Home