Law School for Free for Veterans
Understanding Military Benefits for Law Students
If you’ve ever served our country in the armed forces, you’ve earned not only our admiration and respect, but also the opportunity to attend the nation’s top law schools at a fraction of the cost.
I truly enjoy working with my military clients and seeing how the law schools appreciate their leadership and judgment. Recently one of my former clients at Georgetown Law forwarded me a link that breaks down the cost of every T50 law school for veterans. It factors in the GI Bill and Yellow Ribbon Program and shows available housing stipends. It even gets updated annually by a group of veterans! I am really excited about this resource and happy to share it with my blog readers.
Most people know the story of the original GI Bill. It was signed into law by President Roosevelt in 1944 to give returning veterans access to low-interest mortgages and tuition grants. It quickly led to a massive influx of veteran students, and in 1947 veterans accounted for nearly half of college admissions. The bill was most recently updated in 2008 to cover more educational expenses, provide a living allowance, and offer transferability to spouses and kids. But still, it covers only in-state tuition at public schools.
The Yellow Ribbon Program fills the void. It enables veterans to attend private schools and graduate programs—like law school—that cost more than the state-tuition cap. How? The VA agrees to match veterans-only scholarships at participating institutions dollar-for-dollar, up to the full cost of tuition. Some schools limit the number of students it will grant money, but many do not.
Between the benefits of the GI Bill and Yellow Ribbon Program, over 30 of the T50 law schools—including Stanford, Notre Dame, and Duke—are essentially tuition free. Numerous others have tuition under than $10,000 per year. This knowledge can be valuable even at schools without the biggest tuition breaks. The former client who sent me this link, for example, used the fact that most T14 schools are tuition-free for veterans to negotiate scholarship money from GULC, even though he was an ED acceptance and below their medians.