Funding Your LLM
One of the biggest challenges facing many prospective LL.M. students is finding a way to afford the high costs of studying on a postgraduate law course for one or two years. There are, however, many sources of funding that are worth exploring. Some students combine their own financial means (savings, family assistance, etc.) with outside sources of funding. Others have to rely entirely on a combination of grants, loans, and employment.
Grants & Scholarships
A good way to begin searching for financial support is by investigating what grants and scholarships are available from governments and private foundations. Grants and scholarships are awards that do not have to be repaid. Merit-based scholarships for LL.M. programs are prestigious and substantial awards given to applicants who can demonstrate an exceptional academic and professional record, and show potential for future success. Some scholarships, such as those offered by the US-based Fulbright Commission, are highly competitive.
There are also many other grants that are offered to a limited range of students - to students of a certain religion, ethnicity, nationality, or academic interest, for example. To see which scholarships you might be eligible for, please consult one of the many publications that provide extensive lists of scholarships and educational grants.
Search our scholarship directory for scholarship opportunities for LL.M. students.
Law School Resources
Law schools also frequently offer merit-based scholarships and grants to some of their top LL.M. applicants. It is always a good idea to establish contact with the financial aid offices of law schools (if available). These offices can be valuable resources in the hunt for sources of financing, and they may be able to tell you about some of the more obscure grant and scholarship opportunities out there. Sometimes even a quick browse around a law school website can raise awareness about funding possibilities.
Even after securing some assistance through scholarships and grants, many LL.M. students will still find it necessary to take out a loan to finance their studies and living expenses. There are several banks, private institutions, and online lenders that offer student loans. Some also offer loans to international students. It is important to recognize that the terms, conditions, and rates that apply to these loans will vary. Some loans, such as Stafford Loans in the United States or Career Development Loans in the United Kingdom, can be subsidized by the government if one can demonstrate financial need or eligibility for government assistance.
We have provided a list of links to English-language websites that might be of use to prospective LL.M. students. Please understand that this list is for reference purposes only. LLM GUIDE does not officially endorse any of these institutions or creditors, nor can we vouch for the accuracy or quality of the information and/or services they provide.
Grants & Scholarships:
- Fulbright Commission
- British Council
- British Foreign and Commonwealth Office
- DAAD - German Academic Exchange Service
- Nuffic (Netherlands)
- Erasmus Mundus
- educationUSA - United States State Department Guide for International Students
- Institute of International Education (IIE)
- Ford Foundation International Fellowship Program
- Going to Uni - Website of Australian Department of Education Science & Training
- American Association of University Women International Fellowships
- Duke Law Funding Resources for International Students
- Georgetown University Law Center Resource List for International Students (pdf-file: requires Adobe Reader)
- The American-Scandinavian Foundation
- Chase Student Loans
- Citibank Student Loans
- Sallie Mae Student Loans
- National Education