Stanford Law School (SLS) will cover all tuition costs for JD students with family income below 150% of the poverty line starting in the fall, according to a Wednesday email sent to students from professor of law and SLS Dean Jenny Martinez.
The tuition coverage will apply to students with a family income of $41,625 for a family of four or $20,385 for an individual, Reuters reported.
SLS is the second law school in the country to eliminate tuition costs for low-income students, with tuition for the 2021-22 term standing at $64,350. The announcement comes after Yale Law School created a scholarship program that erases tuition for JD students with financial need in February.
Tuition coverage is one of many changes being made to increase financial support for students, according to Martinez. Though SLS has not specified the details of all of the changes, Martinez wrote that they represent a 10% increase in financial aid support and a 40% increase in funding for loan repayment assistance programs (LRAP) for the upcoming fiscal year. These increases will enhance scholarships for students with financial need, increase summer public interest funding and create “significant improvements” to the school’s LRAP, she added.
The changes are an effort to increase financial equity and access — missions that grew from the law school’s work focusing on diversity, equity and inclusion, according to Martinez. This work included the creation of an Ad Hoc Committee on Financial Access, which solicited student input on an ongoing basis through individual and group meetings, according to her.
The changes also resulted from targeted fundraising, resource reallocation, support from the University and “the deep commitment of this administration to address concerns raised by students to the Committee,” she added.
Martinez wrote that the expansion of financial aid for law students has been one of her top priorities since stepping into her role as dean. Even after these changes are enforced, she wrote that the law school will continue its journey to increase financial access and equity.
“We will continue to seek improvements and enhancements moving forward, but I wanted to share this good news with the community about what we have been able to achieve this year with the support of the University, very generous donors, and through the hard work of our staff and administrators,” she wrote.