Scholarships are funds that are awarded to a student and are generally based on merit, talent or service rather than on financial need. Scholarships may be available both from University and outside sources.
Scholarships must be considered part of a student's total financial aid package as they are resources to be used for the student's educational costs. Students are responsible to notify the Financial Aid Office of any outside scholarships or other resources they receive so that their awards can be adjusted to accommodate the outside funding.
Law School Scholarships
The Law School awards a variety of scholarships to students each year. Some of these are based on academic excellence, others on service in leadership roles in certain student organizations. In addition, there may be competitions for scholarship funds from endowed scholarship programs which have specific qualifications for an award.
First-year (Law Dean's) scholarships are generally based upon a student's application data, including grade point average from the student's transcripts, LSAT scores and more. These may be for a specific amount or a percentage of tuition up to a cumulative maximum, and may or may not be renewable. Renewable scholarships generally require a student to earn a competitive grade point average for renewal.
Upper-class scholarships are non-renewable and are based either upon academic excellence, leadership or service. A student may earn a Law Dean's academic scholarship for the second year based upon first-year grades, or for the third year based upon second-year grades. Receipt of a second-year academic scholarship is not a guarantee of a third-year scholarship. Each year is considered separately.
Students in the extended programs may not be eligible for consideration for a second-year scholarship until after they have completed their first-year coursework.
Awards based upon leadership or service (Presidential Grant) are made to students serving in leadership roles in certain organizations, such as the Student Bar Association, BLSA, the Moot Court board, In Brief, and others as are designated from time to time. These scholarships current have values ranging from $1000 to full tuition (SBA President). Law Review scholarships are awarded to certain editors of the Law Review. These may range from a three-credit hour scholarship for a Title Editor to full tuition for the Editor-In-Chief.
From time to time, the Law School may have competitions for funds from Law School Endowments. These are announced by the Assistant Dean/Registrar via e-mail and require that students apply by a given deadline.
Private scholarships are external to the University and require a student to apply directly to the scholarship organization. When a scholarship announcement is received via e-mail, it is forwarded to the UDM e-mail address to the law student body. It is also added to the list below. Many of the scholarship competitions are annual events, so if a student misses the current year's deadline, s/he should make a copy of the scholarship listing to remember to apply on time during the subsequent year. Closed scholarship competition information is periodically removed from the website for clarity.
Students seeking scholarship funds should also contact employers or unions, religious groups, ethnic-based cultural and educational organizations; fraternities, sororities and community organizations; professional associations in the student's area of interest, etc. There are also several excellent scholarship search services available online, such as www.fastweb.com. Many students find scholarship awards for which they may qualify, but relatively few actually apply. Taking the extra time to complete a scholarship application or tweak a paper to fit a writing competition may well be worth it!