US Scholarships for LLM programs
In most instances, a scholarship is awarded to a student based on their financial need, academic success, personal statement and response to a set task, or questions. The ways in which you may be eligible for such an award and the method of selection will be detailed in the notes about each specific scholarship. Some people are offered a partial scholarship, which covers a percentage of their fees, whilst others are able to study for free with a more generous package. A scholarship award does not have to be paid back as it is not a loan, it is a gift. However, in some cases the money is not intended to cover your living expenses, books or travel costs. Therefore, it might not be paid direct to you, instead certain funds will give the award to the university direct and it is then offset against your course fees.
The best ways to find out about LLM scholarships
To get the most accurate and up to date information on any scholarship, it’s worth contacting the finance office of a university direct. They will know which funds can be used for an LLM qualification and give advice on deadlines, as well as how to apply. There are many helpful sources of information online, although these tend to be more general. At an early stage you will need to establish your eligibility for a scholarship and whether it relates to an LLM program, as many have very specific acceptance standards. So once you have identified a potential fund, email them with details of your circumstances and study plans.
What information will I need to support my scholarship application?
Providing you meet the selection criteria, at this academic level many scholarship programs are most interested in a candidate’s academic and intellectual potential. Aside from this you may need to have a demonstrated financial need, the school can ask about the savings you have, your potential earnings whilst taking the course and the resources your family could provide. However, it is becoming increasingly common for scholarships to set potential beneficiaries a task, like writing a report or essay giving their view on a particular issue or problem. Their performance in this is crucial, is it will dictate whether they are deemed worthy of an award or not.
US scholarships that are the most popular
The most popular US scholarships tend to be those which cover a student’s entire LLM fees for the year; these are quite rare but can be found at a few institutions. They include; Tulane University, which awards most of its LLM scholarships or tuition waivers to international students, the SMU Dedman School of Law which automatically considers each applicant for a scholarship, and the University of Arkansas, which generally favours very talented international students.
Find out what kind of financial aid your university may have available.
Many of the top US law schools have created a system whereby any promising applicant can afford to study, regardless of their financial situation or their family’s wealth. The financial packages they offer can fall into two categories, general university scholarships which vary from $200 to $50,000 per year and are needs-based, or merit-based awards which are linked to an individual’s past performance or achievement on the course.
The Washington College of Law has a number of grants, awards and scholarships which are available to anyone who enrols on an LLM course with them. They are given to students on the basis of their financial need, their commitment to academic study or their potential for leadership. The Summer Program Scholarship is reserved for students who have undertaken a summer program at the university. At Harvard they have a scholarship in place just for LLM students who are specialising in taxation, these Graduate Tax Program Scholarships are available to all domestic students and the Wallace Scholarship also considers international graduates.
Fulbright Scholarships are ideal for UK citizens
The Fulbright Award is available to UK citizens who intend to study in the US. Even if you have previously studied in the USA or are living abroad, you can still be eligible. They will accept applicants from any UK accredited university, not just Oxford or Cambridge as some people have been led to believe, but the minimum requirement is a 2.1. Fulbright offers a range of awards, from the British Heart Foundation Award, to the Fight for Sight Award and the Leon Jaworski International Law Award; each has a different set of criteria for applications. To find out more and enquire about receiving a Fulbright award, visit their web page.