Grants for LLM Degrees
An Master of Laws, or LLM, is an academic degree you can pursue if you are a foreign legal professional or if you want advanced education in a certain specialization, such as tax law or intellectual property. To help students cover the costs of this type of degree, financial aid is available. LLM students can most common find grants, which allow you to earn your degree with few out of pocket costs.
Grants versus Other Types of Financial Aid
The main advantage to a grant is that you don’t have to repay the money, like you’d have to do with a student loan. Grants are similar to scholarships, a term that you’re likely familiar with, but the major difference is that scholarships are usually merit-based and grants are usually not. While some grants do require you to maintain a high GPA or write an essay, the underlying qualifier for grants is financial need – you have to show that you need the money in order to earn the award. Grants often require financial information, and some ask applicants to submit a structured plan for the money, should they receive it. For this reason, grant applications are sometimes much longer than traditional scholarship applications.
Specific Grants for LLM Students
As an undergrad, you may have received the Federal Pell Grant, but this source of money is only available to students working toward a bachelor’s degree. Instead, you can find grants through your college or through outside organizations. Grant availability changes from year to year, depending on the funds available, but some that have offered financial aid for LLM students in the past (and so are good places to start your search) include the Clearing Corporation Charitable Foundation and Project Reach.
International Grants and Grants from Colleges
Because of the nature of this degree, many students in LLM programs are international students. The government, both from the United States and from home countries often provides grants directly to students to help defray the costs of attending school in the United States. In addition, many colleges offer their own grants to students, based on financial need as well as other factors like minority status and specialty. Check with your school’s financial aid department to find out more.