Grants and Scholarships

Professor Amy Gaudion in class

At Dickinson Law, not only are we producing profession-ready lawyers, but we’re also rescaling the cost of legal education to make law school accessible to you. A variety of financial aid sources are available to help make a Dickinson Law education well within your reach.

Dickinson Law’s scholarships are made possible through the generosity of individuals who have established endowments, such as our Educational Equity Scholarship Fund, or have donated funds to the Law School. Upon matriculation, you may be asked to provide a thank you letter to donors matched to your scholarship.

Commonwealth Scholars Grant

Applicants are eligible to participate in Dickinson Law's Commonwealth Scholars Grant Program. Here’s how it works:

  • All Pennsylvania residents admitted to Dickinson Law before April 15 will automatically receive a free $20,000 tuition grant renewed each year for a total tuition savings of $60,000. Eligible applicants admitted after April 15 will receive the Commonwealth Scholars Grant as funds remain available.
  • The grant will be applied toward J.D. tuition at Dickinson Law only.
  • Consistent with President Eric Barron’s commitment to making higher education more affordable and accessible, we have waived our application fee.
  • All Pennsylvania residents who apply will be considered for additional scholarship aid based on other performance criteria as well as need.

Please review the Commonwealth Scholars Grant Frequently Asked Questions and Commonwealth Scholars Grant Residency Eligibility pages for additional information.

Public Interest Scholars Grant

Recognizing a long history of public interest service by Dickinson Law students and alumni, the Public Interest Scholars program identifies select students in each incoming class as Public Interest Scholars. The Scholars serve as leaders in public interest activities at Dickinson Law and in the community. Program benefits, expectations, and qualifications are listed below.

Program Benefits

  • A $1,000 scholarship each academic year (which may be received in addition to other scholarship and grant support offered by Admissions and Financial Aid)
  • Recognition as Public Interest Scholar on Dickinson Law website and marketing materials
  • Guaranteed offer for the Summer IOLTA Fellows Program, which places students at organizations throughout the state which provide direct legal services to vulnerable populations (stipend provided)
  • Individualized public interest career coaching, including introductions to alumni working in public interest, fellowship coaching, résumé review, and mock interviews
  • Special opportunities to meet speakers and experts on campus
  • Financial support available to attend public interest-related conferences and events
  • Preferential consideration for annually-awarded post-graduate IOLTA Fellowship
  • Preferential consideration for post-graduate Bridge Fellowships

Scholar Expectations

  • Attend group gatherings once per semester for reflection, discussion, and peer mentoring
  • Complete 10 hours per semester of public interest-related leadership activities, such as:
    • mentoring incoming/first-year students interested in pursuing public interest law
    • speaking on student panels for career events or admitted student open houses
    • representing Dickinson Law at external events such as local pro bono receptions
    • serving as pro bono project coordinator
    • other activities per approval of Assistant Director of the Center for Public Interest Law and Advocacy

Qualifications

  • High academic achievement
  • Demonstrated record of commitment to a long-term career in public interest
  • Past participation in activities contributing to the promotion of public interest at Dickinson Law (current students only)

To Be Considered

  • Submit your Public Interest Scholars program application now.
  • It is strongly recommended candidates submit the optional supplemental statement specifically highlighting the following:
    • past leadership in community or public service
    • sincerely-held long term career goals related to public interest
    • current public interest programs or opportunities at Dickinson Law of interest to the candidate
  • Public Interest Scholars will be notified of their selection in the spring, prior to the first seat deposit deadline.
Need-based Grants

Through the generosity of alumni and other donors, need-based grant funds are available to students who demonstrate significant financial need. Admitted students will receive instructions on how to apply once the application opens in late fall of each year. The priority deadline is March 1. For continuing students, the priority deadline for financial aid applications is April 15. While we will accept applications after the priority deadline, submitting your application by the priority deadline will yield you your best opportunity to be awarded a need-based grant.

Although the federal government considers all graduate and professional students to be independent, students who wish to be considered for need-based grants from Dickinson Law must report parent information on the FAFSA, despite the FAFSA instructions. A parent contribution is factored into all need-based grant aid evaluations if the analysis indicates that a student’s parents have the ability to contribute. This policy applies to applicants who are younger than thirty years of age who are not supporting a dependent other than a spouse.

Merit-based Scholarships

Well-qualified applicants may be awarded significant merit scholarships. Merit awards may reduce tuition partially or entirely, and could be applied to other expenses included within a student's Cost of Attendance. Awards are based on the strength of the admissions application and do not require a separate application. Students are notified of any merit-based scholarships at the time of admission. These awards are renewable for the second and third years of study provided the student remains in good standing under the academic rules and does not violate the Honor Code. Full tuition scholarships will be renewed to cover the full cost of tuition in subsequent years—even if tuition increases.

External Scholarship Sources

To expand on the financial resources available through institutional and federal financial aid, students are encouraged to pursue external scholarships. When Dickinson Law learns of valid and relevant external scholarship opportunities, we add them to our External Scholarship Sources list. Admitted students who cannot access our resource list may contact us directly.

We recommend utilizing scholarship search engines to explore other available resources. You might find it helpful to complete searches tailored to your background and career goals. The AccessLex Law School Scholarship Databank empowers students to search nearly 800 carefully curated and vetted scholarship opportunities and writing competitions—totaling over $3 million in aid.

 

Military-Connected Students

The Post-9/11 GI Bill® — Educational benefits are available to many veterans who served on or after September 11, 2001. Eligibility is based on your cumulative service and includes allocations for tuition, books, and living expenses. Students who are 100% eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill® will receive full tuition and fees coverage at Penn State Dickinson Law. Those less than 100% eligible will receive a prorated amount based on their service percentage. Interested students must submit a Certificate of Eligibility to Dickinson Law. Please contact our office for full instructions.

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.