An LL.M. degree is a substantial investment in time, effort and money, and while it should pay off well over time, financing the degree can be a challenge. It may be helpful to keep the following facts and resources in mind:
1. Student Loans. LL.M. students may be eligible for Federal Stafford Loans, Federal Graduate PLUS Loans, and/or private loans. Under the Stafford program, students may borrow up to a maximum of $20,500 per academic year; up to $8,500 of that amount per year may be subsidized based on financial need. Total Stafford loans may not exceed $138,500. Also, if you are currently in repayment of past Stafford loans, repayment will stop as long as you are enrolled at least half-time in the LL.M. program. Graduate PLUS loans may cover the difference between the cost of attendance and the Stafford loan proceeds. For more information, visit http://www.nyls.edu/prospective_students/tuition_and_financial_aid/financial_aid_resources.
2. Scholarships, Grants and Fellowships. Scholarships and grants for LL.M. studies are not common, but they do exist. While there is generally little grant money available directly from schools for LL.M. programs, some merit scholarships may be available. Morever, numerous private organizations provide scholarships, fellowships, grants and awards for which LL.M. students may apply. Each organization has its own application process and criteria, and starting early can be important in securing support. We are happy to provide guidance on possible funding sources to students who have been accepted and paid their deposits.
3. Tax Deductions. LL.M. tuition is often deductible on federal and state income taxes. While college and J.D. tuition are not tax deductible, tuition in an LL.M. program often is deductible as an educational expense needed to maintain or improve skills needed in your current work, or as a business expense if you are self-employed. For details, see IRS Publication 970: Tax Benefits for Education at www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p970.pdf .
4. Employer Tuition
Benefits. Many employers, such as law firms, financial
institutions and government agencies, have tuition reimbursement or
scholarship programs for their employees. For example, New York City has a
scholarship program for its employees in which NYLS participates, called
the Mayor’s Graduate Scholarship Program, which can provide
substantial support for city employees enrolled in a NYLS LL.M.