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Cost and Financial Assistance


Overview  |  Cost  |  Scholarships  |  Loans



At Vanderbilt, we are committed to controlling tuition costs, providing substantial scholarship assistance, and offering strategies and tools for students managing expenses, debt, and personal finances.

  • VLS merit scholarships and need-based grants awarded in the admission process automatically renew each semester the recipient is enrolled in the Law School.
  • Through the generosity of Vanderbilt Law alumni, VLS provides innovative Access2VLS need-based grants to entering J.D. students with the greatest financial need for tuition funding.  
  • VLS does not award conditional scholarships. Students must remain in good academic standing to retain their Law School scholarships or grants. Good academic standing requirements can be found in the Academic Regulations section of the Law School Catalog
  • Federal Direct Loans are available for tuition costs not covered by scholarships / grants as well as for living expenses.
  • MAX, a comprehensive personal finance program created exclusively for law students by AccessLex, is available to our J.D. students free of charge throughout their time at VLS.
  • First-year orientation includes a "Strategies for Smart Borrowers" session with Dr. Jeffrey Hanson of Jeffrey Hanson Education Services.

Admitted Applicants

  • During the  JD 1L admission process, all admitted applicants are automatically considered for Law School merit scholarships that are awarded in varying amounts based on an individuals' full application for admission in the context of the admitted pool, and in a separate, subsequent process, admitted students may request consideration for Access2VLS need-based grants which are allocated to those with the greatest need for funds to pay tuition costs not covered by their VLS merit scholarships.
  • Admitted applicants who submit Law Scholars Merit Award applications by January 10 will be considered for those awards
  • Admitted applicants who submit applications for the Raymonde Paul Scholarship in International Legal Studies will be considered for that award
  • Admitted applicants who submit the FAFSA to Vanderbilt University will receive a Financial Aid Award Notice showing federal or other student loans available and any scholarships received. Please note that admitted students requesting Access2VLS grants must include parental information on their FAFSAs, but do not need to provide parental information to use the FAFSA for loans only.

Enrolled students

Current first-year students may apply for the following awards during the second semester:

Enrolled students may receive stipend and fellowship funding for summer pro bono work through a number of sources within the law school. 



The Barrett Social Justice Fellowship honors the legacy of renowned Nashville civil rights attorney George Barrett ’57 by enabling a Vanderbilt Law graduate to carry out a one-year public interest project under the supervision and sponsorship of a host organization. The Law School will provide funding to enable the Fellow to receive a $40,000 salary and health insurance from the host organization.


Designed for new lawyers pursuing public interest employment, Public Service Pathways enables new VLS graduates to gain valuable public-sector work experience as they continue to pursue permanent employment in a location of their choice. Graduating students secure volunteer legal internships with government agencies, in judicial chambers, with public defenders’ or prosecutors’ offices, or with nonprofit advocacy organizations, which are funded by VLS stipends after graduation. While some graduates have garnered permanent positions at the organizations they originally joined as interns, others have secured full-time legal employment elsewhere. The PSP is reviewed and funded annually and currently provides financial assistance for bar preparation in addition to stipend support for up to six months.


Vanderbilt Law Loan Repayment Assistance Program pays from 20 to 50 percent of annual loan repayment obligations for up to 10 years for graduates in qualifying public service positions.



Questions? Contact the Admissions Office

615-322-6452 |