Grants and Scholarships
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.
- 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
- 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
- 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.
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.
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
In addition to federal and institutional financial aid, students are encouraged to pursue outside scholarship sources. As we learn of external aid opportunities, we consider the validity and relevance to our current and prospective students and provide the information below. Scholarship sources may change details without notifying schools, so be sure to check their linked websites for the most up-to-date and thorough information.
Student Scholarship Search
The AccessLex Law School Scholarship Databank — NEW from AccessLex. Search nearly 800 carefully curated and vetted scholarship opportunities and writing competitions — totaling over $3 million in aid.
Arnold & Itkin LLP will award $5,000 to two current law students who share our passion for assisting the underprivileged and the victims of tragedy. Regardless of the area of law, the scholarship recipients should be focused on utilizing the legal system to support those less fortunate. All applicants should demonstrate both past and current dedication to victim advocacy and/or community service.
Baumgartner Law Student Scholarship
The Baumgartner Law Firm offers a scholarship for current or incoming law students based on need and commitment to helping others. Applicants must be attending an accredited law school in the U.S. by the fall semester of the application year.
Deadline: August 31
The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Scholarship
This scholarship is available to students who have battled any type of cancer during their lives or have had an immediate family member or close friend that has battled or is currently fighting cancer. Requires an essay or video, academic transcript, proof of enrollment, and letters of recommendation.
Deadline: March 31 for Fall semester award, December 1 for Spring semester award.
In the right hands, a law degree can be a powerful tool. History is filled with great accounts of leaders who made it their life’s work to embody the law and serve as agents of change. Each year BARBRI honors ten future change agents who are heading to law school. All ten finalists will be rewarded with scholarships to help pay for the first year of law school. This scholarship application is open to incoming 1L students.
Amount: First Prize — $10,000 Scholarship
Second Prize — $5,000 Scholarship
Eight Runners-Up — $1,000 Scholarship each
Deadline: June 1, 2021
ABA Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund
The purpose of the ABA Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund is to encourage racial and ethnic minority students to apply and attend law school and to provide financial assistance to ensure that these students have the opportunity to attend law school for three years.
The fund grants 20 incoming diverse law students financial assistance over the course of their three years in law school.
Amount: $5,000 per year, renewable with satisfactory performance.
Deadline: February 1
The American Bar Association Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity provides financial support to a first, second, or third year law student, or recent law graduate, to enable the scholarship winner(s) to work in the LGBT public interest arena. See the scholarship website for full eligibility criteria and to apply.
Amount: $5,000 (one or more scholarships)
Deadline: April 30
American Indian Graduate Center Scholarships
The AIGC provides multiple fellowships to American Indian and Alaska Native graduate students throughout the United States.
Horace Mann Bond — Leslie Pinckney Hill Scholarship Program
The Horace Mann Bond - Leslie Pinckney Hill Scholarship Program (formerly the Equal Opportunity Professional Education Program) is designed to provide financial assistance to highly-qualified Pennsylvania students from Cheyney University of Pennsylvania and Lincoln University who pursue pre-professional programs in law, medicine, podiatry, and dentistry at Pennsylvania State University, University of Pittsburgh, and Temple University.
Amount: Tuition, fees, and books, renewable each year
Deadline: July 1
Korean American Scholarship Foundation
Korean American students with a 3.0 GPA or higher can apply for this scholarship that looks at financial need, merit, recommendations, and essays.
Deadline: Application opens in April each year and is due in Mid-July
MALDEF Law School Scholarships
Open to current law school students with a record of advancing Latino civil rights and with plans to pursue careers to advance Latino civil rights.
Deadline: Late January
Over the next five years, the MMSP will afford 50 aspiring civil rights lawyers a full law school scholarship for tuition, room, board, and incidentals to alleviate the debt burden that can prevent future lawyers from pursuing a career in racial justice; summer internships at LDF and other national civil rights organizations with offices in the South to begin their training as civil rights lawyers early in their law school careers; a two-year postgraduate fellowship at a national, regional, or local civil rights organization with a racial justice law practice in the South; and access to special trainings sponsored by the LDF and the National Academy of Sciences. In return, the Scholars will commit to serving as civil rights lawyers based in the South, engaged in a law practice focused on achieving racial justice for 8 years following the conclusion of their fellowship.
Amount: Full tuition, room, board, and incidentals at an ABA-accredited law school of the student’s choice
Deadline: February 16, 2021
Pennsylvania Bar Foundation James W. Stoudt Memorial Scholarship Program
Named after one of the Foundation's most devoted supporters, the James Stoudt Memorial Scholarship Program provides three scholarships each year, two specifically designated for minority students of African American, Hispanic American, or Native American descent.
Amount: $3,000 each.
Deadline: December 1
The Point Foundation
The Point Foundation is the nation’s largest scholarship-granting organization for LGBTQ+ students of merit. This scholarship provides financial support, mentoring, and hope to meritorious students who are marginalized because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The Point Foundation attempts to identify students who are physically, intellectually, and morally capable of leadership to play an influential part in the betterment of society.
Amount: Varies. The average scholarship award per scholar is $13,600.
Deadlines: Multiple. Carefully read the website. Initial application opens November 1.
Sidney B. Williams Scholarship
This fund offers scholarships to underrepresented minorities who demonstrate a commitment to the pursuit of a career in intellectual property law and have financial need.
Amount: $10,000, renewable for each year of study
Pat Tillman Foundation
Open to Veteran and active-duty military service members and their spouses. All branches of the military, including the National Guard and Reserve are eligible to apply.
Amount: Full tuition, books, and living expenses
Deadline: Annually on the last day of February
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.
Amount: Students who are 100% eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill® will receive full tuition and fees at Penn State’s Dickinson Law. The current living allowance is $1,416 a month and an additional $1,000 is granted for books and supplies. Those less than 100% eligible will receive a prorated amount based on their service percentage.
Deadline: No strict deadline, but as soon as possible to ensure you receive your living expense amount promptly at the beginning of the term. 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.
Veterans United Foundation, formed and fully funded by Veterans United Home Loans and its employees, strives to enhance lives by recognizing the selfless contributions of service members and their families through support of such individuals in need. The program’s primary goal is to assist military service members and their families. Eligibility for this scholarship requires recipients to be surviving spouses or children of a deceased Veteran of the US military.
Deadline: Multiple. Fall: Late-October, Spring: TBD
Faerie L. Angle Memorial Scholarship Fund
The scholarship supports young persons from Franklin County, Pennsylvania, studying to be lawyers. Awards will be made to students entering the first, second, and third year of a J.D. Program in Pennsylvania. Multiple winners will be selected.
Deadline: Extended to July 1
Wayne R. Donahue Memorial Scholarship
The Wayne R. Donahue Memorial Scholarship, named for Westmoreland Bar Association member Wayne Donahue, will be given to a Westmoreland County, PA resident enrolled in a Pennsylvania law school. Applicant may be first, second or third year and must be enrolled for the following fall semester.
Deadline: Third Wednesday in June, annually
Samuel J. Goldstein, Esquire, Scholarship Fund
For Law students who are Pennsylvania residents of Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Washington, or Westmoreland counties. Recipients must demonstrate financial need, complete an application, submit an essay, and maintain a GPA of 2.0 to renew the scholarship. Preference is given to applicants of the Jewish faith.
Amount: Varies. Renewable
Donald Laird Hankey Memorial Scholarship
The Donald Laird Hankey Memorial Scholarship, named for Westmoreland Bar Association member Donald Hankey, will be given to a Westmoreland County, PA resident enrolled in any law school. Applicant may be first, second or third year and must be enrolled for the following fall semester.
Deadline: Third Wednesday in June, annually
The Louise Hoffmeyer-Overmiller Memorial Scholarship
The Louise Hoffmeyer-Overmiller Memorial Scholarship Program, provides a $6,000 scholarship to a fulltime Pennsylvania resident attending Penn State Dickinson Law in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The winner is selected in their 2L year and their funds are awarded in the 3L year.
Deadline: February 15
The PBA Environmental & Energy Law Section Minority Scholarship Fund
The Fund solicits applications from law students enrolled in any Pennsylvania accredited law school. The applicants’ academics, volunteer experience and interests and a commitment to working as an Environmental & Energy Law attorney lawyer in Pennsylvania are carefully weighed and considered by the Foundation’s Scholarship Committee.
Amount: $1,000 to $2,500
Deadline: April 1
Pennsylvania Bar Foundation Patty Rose Scheimer Bednarik Memorial Scholarship
Law students or lawyers who have been admitted to practice for less than 3 years may be eligible to apply. You must be a PA resident and actively volunteer service to an animal welfare organization or engage in scholarship in the field of animal welfare.
Amount: up to $5,400
Pennsylvania Bar Foundation Joseph T. McDonald Memorial Scholarship Program
This scholarship is given to current, full-time, third year students at Penn State Dickinson Law who are involved in the trial advocacy program and are Pennsylvania residents.
Deadline: December 1
Current or former Berks County residents who are attending (or will attend) Penn State Dickinson Law may apply for this award in their 1L or 2L year, or prior to the start of their 1L year if they have made a commitment to attend Dickinson Law by the application deadline. Applicants must have lived in Berks County for at least two consecutive years during their secondary school years. Scholarships are awarded based on all-around candidate qualifications and not on grades alone. This scholarship is open to Penn State Dickinson Law students and Gettysburg College pre-law students, with preference given to applicants attending Dickinson Law.
Amount: Varies, but past amounts have been approximately $8,000, renewable for each year of study.
Deadline: Applications are accepted between January 1 and March 15 each year. Winners are notified in June.
Dr. W.R. Walter Trust Scholarship
The scholarship is intended to assist Harrisburg area students financially in their pursuit of a graduate degree in Dentistry, Medicine, Ministry, Law, or other scientific fields. Recipients will be selected on the basis of academic achievement, financial need and potential to succeed in the student's chosen educational field. Applicants must be high school graduates of one of the public high schools located in Dauphin County or Cumberland County, and must have obtained a Bachelor's degree and be enrolling in graduate school in the fall of the year the award is made.
Amount: Varies, but renewable up to 3 years.
In addition to the scholarships listed here, you may find it helpful to complete an additional search tailored to your specific background and career goals. Scholarship search engines include:
- The College Board
- Minority Scholarship Guide
- Student Scholarship Search
- The AccessLex Law School Scholarship Databank