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Grant Eligibility Threshold

Grant Eligibility Threshold

HLS grant funding can be significant for students with high financial need, but no student receives a “full ride” grant award. All grant assistance awarded by the school also includes a substantial student loan component to meet the full amount of demonstrated financial need. Approximately 50% of J.D. student aid applicants (and over 40% of J.D students overall) qualify for Law School grant assistance, and all JD students can receive support in the form of student loans.

Although financial aid packages vary in composition from one year to the next, some basic guidelines are followed each year. Demonstrated financial need is calculated by subtracting the available resources from a standard budget, which is set at $99,200 for 2019-20. Grant assistance is awarded to all students whose demonstrated exceeds the grant eligibility threshold of $49,000 for 2019-20.

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If Your Financial Need Exceeds the Grant Eligibility Threshold

If demonstrated need exceeds the $49,000, the student is eligible for grant aid to meet the need in excess of the threshold, and may obtain student loans to meet the first $49,000 of need. Grant recipients will be offered a Harvard Law School loan as available funding permits, and may obtain additional loans through the lender of their choice. More information on loan options is available on the HLS Preferred Lender Lists.

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If Your Financial Need Is Less than the Grant Eligibility Threshold

If a student’s demonstrated need is less than $49,000, the student is not eligible for HLS grant aid. Instead, the student can apply for student loans, and may obtain outside aid or part-time employment for additional funding. More information on loan options is available on the HLS Preferred Lender Lists.

The HLS grant eligibility threshold changes each academic year in response to the availability of grant funding, and usually rises in relation to annual increases in education costs.

Grant eligibility for any given year is always capped at the rate of tuition for that year. Students with dependent children (who often have high dependent care expenses) will receive a subsidized HLS loan to meet any demonstrated grant eligibility that exceeds the amount of tuition.

Hypothetical Aid Packaging Scenarios

Here are two hypothetical packaging examples to further illustrate how we package financial assistance at Harvard Law School.

Typical Loan Recipient

Financial need is less than grant eligibility threshold of $49,000 for 2019-20 (about 50% of students on aid received only loans).

Determination of Need

Student Budget $99,200
minus Student Contribution $10,000 *
minus Parent Resource Assessment $45,000 *
_________
equals Financial Need $44,200

Financial Aid Offer

  • HLS Grant: $0
  • Funding options: can borrow through student loan programs and obtain part-time employment and/or outside resources
  • Total funding from all sources must not exceed the student budget of $99,200

Typical Grant Recipient

Financial need is greater than grant eligibility threshold of $49,000 for 2019-20.

Determination of Need

Student Budget $99,200
minus Student Contribution $5,000 *
minus Parent Resource Assessment $16,000 *
_________
equals Financial Need: $78,200

Financial Aid Offer

  • HLS Grant: $29,200
  • Harvard Law School Loan funding may be awarded, depending on availability
  • Additional funding options: can borrow through student loan programs and obtain part-time employment and/or outside resources
  • Total funding from all sources must not exceed the student budget of $99,200

* To replace student contribution or assessed parent resources, students may borrow student loans, seek outside scholarships, and/or seek part-time employment. All student loan borrowing to cover a parent resource assessment is eligible for loan repayment assistance under the Low Income Protection Plan. However, student loan borrowing to cover an expected student contribution, while permissible, is not eligible for loan repayment assistance under the Low Income Protection Plan.