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- by Charlotte King
- In Funding, Study Advice
Posted July 7, 2017
How can you fund your LLM program?
Finding and securing funding for your LLM is as important as getting accepted in the first place, and there is a bewildering array of options available. Take time to think about any repayment costs that may be involved, as you don't want your studies to cost you any more than they need to.
Depending on which country you are planning on studying in will make a difference to your financing plans. Postgraduate loans are a common way of financing some or all of your studies in the United States and the United Kingdom, and there are plenty of companies that specialise in loans specifically for postgraduate law students, like Prodigy Finance. This can be a great option if you don't have the savings available as, via a unique credit assessment model, Prodigy Finance offers collateral-free, no-cosigner education loans to lawyers attending the world’s best LLM programs. Borrowing money this way can help to keep your future options free from restrictions, as an employer who has funded your studies will want you to work for them after graduation.
Bursaries and scholarships
Applying for bursaries and scholarships can be tricky, but are worth looking into. Bursaries are usually awarded on the basis of financial need, whereas scholarships tend to be academically competitive in nature. Most institutions will have a range of bursaries and scholarships available to LLM students, for example, the University of Edinburgh has a great range, so check with your institution first. Don't forget to go back to any law school or institution that you have studied with in the past, as you will often find that there are bursaries and scholarships available to former students. In the US and the UK many organisations, community groups and charities will offer bursaries or scholarships to current and former members. There are other possibilities, for example our Global LLM Study Bursaries, offer competitive bursaries and scholarships to help fund your studies. Securing these funding sources is half about the application itself and half about finding them in the first place!
Working while you study
If you have undertaken an LLM on a full-time basis, then avoiding working is the best way to ensure you have the most time available to devote to your studies and achieve academic success. But this is in an ideal world. In reality, many students have to study full time and work at the weekend and/or in the evenings. Make sure that you don't overextend yourself, even if you are studying part-time, and most importantly if you are an international student make sure that your visa covers part-time work.
You might be in the lucky position of already working in the area that you want to specialise in and depending on the size of the organisation there might be a system in place to fund your postgraduate study. If it's a smaller company, then it's a great idea to ask your employer if they are interested in funding your studies. Remember that it's an investment for them in your future, so there might be a requirement to work for them for a certain length of time after graduation or you will have to pay them back.
Ideally, you won't need to borrow a penny and will be able to fund yourself entirely on all those savings you have built up. Of course, this is not the situation for many students as you are probably taking time away from paid employment along with paying for tuition fees and books. But every penny that you don't borrow now will be a penny that won't need to be paid back in the future!
Please note that the information here does not constitute financial advice. Prodigy Finance is one of many potential funding options for international LLM students. Other student funding options are available and LLMstudy.com advises you to research all your options thoroughly before making such a commitment. LLMstudy.com accepts no responsibility for your choice of loan and does not endorse or support Prodigy Finance. Prodigy Finance Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, and entered on the Financial Services Register under firm registration number 612713.
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