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Funding from outside Harvard Law School is an excellent way to finance your education while reducing total borrowing. We consider “outside resources” to be assistance awarded from outside HLS Student Financial Services, such as private grants and scholarships, fellowships, veterans benefits or other military education benefits, AmeriCorps benefits, etc.

There is typically a high correlation between the amount of effort spent seeking outside funding and the likelihood of securing it. We recommend that you start by looking closely at organizations with which you and your family are already connected. This may include religious or civic organizations, local law firms, parents’ employers, unions, secondary schools, or the U.S. Military. Many organizations award merit or need-based scholarships to affiliated students. Current students can also log into the HLS Office of Career Services job database to find law firm scholarship opportunities for students.

Additionally, HLS’s partner institute AccessLex offers programs, grant applications, and lotteries through which scholarships can be won. AccessLex offers an extensive database online that tracks hundreds of scholarships for law school students. This and other scholarship search engines can be found below. Please note, the postings contained in outside databases and websites have not been vetted by Harvard Law School for assurances of non-discrimination or compliance with Harvard policies.

Outside Scholarships Effect on Need-Based Grant and Borrowing Allocations

HLS students receiving outside scholarships typically do not see an impact to the amount of need-based grant aid they receive. Rather, outside scholarships only impact the amount a student is eligible to borrow in student loans for the academic year in question. For example, a student receiving an outside scholarship for $5,000 would not see a change to their HLS Grant, but that $5,000 would reduce the student’s borrowing eligibility by the same amount. In the rare occurrence that a student’s budget had an excess of grant resources, the HLS Grant would then have to be reduced in order to comply with federal regulations, to maintain that all aid remains within the student’s cost of attendance.

Note that employer scholarships, stipends, and fellowships that are tied to students’ earned income and disbursed via paystubs are considered as income and not as outside scholarships.

Harvard University Restricted Scholarships

Harvard University (not Harvard Law School) has a pool of University-wide restricted scholarships that are awarded each year to current students from around the University by a nomination process. The nominations for HLS students are coordinated by SFS and usually begin in February of each academic year for awards to be disbursed in the following academic year. Students will receive notification via email when the process begins, and are invited to look over the various restricted scholarships available to determine if they might meet the qualifications of any of these funds.

Detailed information about these University Restricted Scholarships is available on the Committee on General Scholarships Web Site. With respect to HLS financial aid policy, Harvard University Restricted Scholarship Funds are considered to be outside resources, meaning they do not impact need-based grant eligibility.