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Types of Assistance

Merit-Based Gift Aid (Scholarships)

Law scholarships for prospective and current students are awarded on a competitive basis for academic achievement and, in some cases, financial need. Scholarship criteria may also include participation in extracurricular activities; specific major; career interests; geographic origin; high school or community college attended; parentage; perseverance; and many other personal characteristics. UC Davis offers both renewable and one-time scholarships. None of our renewable scholarships are contingent upon maintaining a particular cumulative GPA or class rank -- students need only stay in good academic standing (defined as cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher) to retain their awards.

Need-Based Gift Aid (Grants)

Grant funds available at UC Davis include Law School Grant and State UC Grant. Grants do not need to be repaid as long as the student remains eligible. Full-time enrollment for grant funding is 10 units per semester. Students taking less than 10 units may be billed for aid received.

Federal Work Study

Federal Work-study funding is awarded based on need, which is determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Federal Work-study provides an opportunity to earn financial aid through employment with public interest and non-profit organizations. Instead of a financial aid check, a Work-study award is paid in the form of a payroll check for time/hours worked. Only second and third year law students will be eligible to apply for federal work-study.

Student Loans

Loans are financial aid awards that require repayment with interest under varying terms and conditions. The loans must be repaid after you graduate, withdraw from college, or drop below half-time enrollment status (fewer than five units per semester). Note that the loan amount you request in addition to all awards received cannot exceed the cost of attendance.

Admitted and continuing students must log in to MyAwards to view their aid package and requirements. The package may include federal loan offers from funds mentioned below.

Federal Loans

To be considered for a federal student loan, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • They must be enrolled in a degree-seeking program.
  • They must be enrolled five or more units per quarter.
  • They must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen.
  • They must be making the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office satisfactory academic progress for maintaining financial aid.
  • They must not be in default on a prior federal student loan or exceed lifetime borrowing limits.

Types of Federal Loans

Loan Type Highlights

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan

  • Available to students regardless of financial need
  • Unsubsidized loan, the borrower is responsible for paying interest while enrolled in school
  • $20,500 annual maximum for graduate and professional students
  • Interest rate and loan fees for the year are determined annually on July 1
  • Loan servicer will be assigned by the U.S. Department of Education
  • does not require a credit check
  • Processing fee deducted from each disbursement

Graduate PLUS Loan

  • Unsubsidized loan, the borrower is responsible for paying interest while enrolled in school
  • May borrow up to the cost of attendance minus financial aid and outside resources.
  • Interest rate and loan fees for the year are determined annually on July 1
  • Credit check required
  • Processing fee deducted from each disbursement
  • You may defer repayment while you are in school at least half time and for an additional six months after you graduate, withdraw, or drop below half time enrollment.

Federal Perkins Loan

  • Available to students who demonstrate financial need on the FAFSA; however, funds are limited
  • Loan is subsidized
  • Fund amounts vary from year to year
  • 5% annual interest rate
  • 9 month grace period
  • No processing fees

Note: The Budget Control Act of 2011 eliminated subsidized loan eligibility for graduate and professional students for loan periods of enrollment beginning on or after July 1, 2012

Alternative Loans

Federal student loans are available to most students regardless of income and provide a range of repayment options including income-based repayment plans and loan forgiveness benefits, which other education loans are not required to provide.

Alternative education loans (also known as private loans) are an option for financing your education. Federal, state and university policy requires that student borrowers maximize Federal student loans before the alternative/private loan request is processed. provides a federal and alternative/private loan comparison. Here are some things to consider:

  • Alternative loan eligibility requirements vary from lender to lender.
  • Alternative loan lenders can offer variable interest rates that can increase or decrease over time, depending on market conditions.
  • Students may also be required to meet citizenship requirements or provide a co-signer who meets citizenship requirements.
  • The interest rate on a private loan may depend on the borrower’s and/or co-signer’s credit rating.
  • Other eligibility requirements may apply depending on the lender.
  • Review the interest rate and processing fees prior to borrowing.

UC Davis is not involved in the alternative loan credit decision. All credit decision questions should be directed to the loan lender. Financial aid eligibility applies to all certifications of loan amounts.

School Certification Process

Financial aid staff will post an alternative loan place holder on MyAwards after a record has been certified. Please note all financial aid holds and requirements that prevent disbursement must be satisfied before the alternative/private loan can be certified. Contact the lender to confirm disbursement status. Contact the Cashier & Payment Solutions Office to confirm the funds have been received.

Preferred Alternative/Private Lender List

The lenders on the preferred alternative/private lender list follow the University of California Code of Conduct in regard to preferred lender arrangements :