Transfer Student Merit Scholarship

Transfer Student Merit Scholarship--Frequently Asked Questions

Effective Fall 2015 Entering Students

Do I need to apply for a Transfer Student Merit Scholarship?

No. The scholarship is based on the information contained in your application and no separate application is required.

How does the school determine the amount of the scholarship I receive?

The matrix listed below will be your scholarship upon transferring to TJSL. This is based on your class rank at end of your first year at the law school from which you are transferring.

Transfer Scholarship Amount
Rank Full-Time   Part-Time
Top 20% $20,000   $15,000

How long do I get to keep my scholarship?

Transfer Student Merit Scholarships are initially awarded for the academic year, Fall and Spring terms (or in the Spring and Fall terms if the recipient first enrolls in January). Transfer Student Merit Scholarships are guaranteed to be renewed for your third year provided you remain eligible to enroll at the law school and don’t take a leave of absence. A full time student will receive his or her scholarship each semester for a maximum of four semesters.  A part-time student will receive his or her scholarship each semester for a maximum six semesters.

What do I need to do to retain my scholarship?

There are no conditions or stipulations on your scholarship other than being eligible to continue enrollment and being enrolled at the law school.

When does the school make a decision that I am eligible to continue and renew my scholarship?

Determinations of eligibility to continue to enroll at the law school for scholarship renewal purposes are made for both full-time and part-time students at the end of the transfer student’s second semester at the law school and at the end of each subsequent Fall and Spring semester.

How will I actually receive the scholarship money?

Scholarships are credited directly to your student account, and applied to your tuition in the Fall and Spring terms in two equal amounts.

If I take a leave of absence for a semester, does that affect my scholarship?

If you fail to enroll in any of the terms covered by the scholarship, the amount designated for that term is forfeited and will not be carried forward into a future term. For example, if you enroll in the Fall and take a leave of absence in the Spring, the Spring portion of the scholarship is forfeited.

If I’m in a joint JD/MBA degree program, can I use my law school scholarship for classes that count toward my MBA degree?

No, TJSL scholarship funds may only be used to offset TJSL tuition.

Can my scholarship be used for Summer or intersession tuition?

Transfer Student Merit Scholarships may not be used to cover Summer or intersession tuition. 

What is the difference between a full-time scholarship and a part-time scholarship?

Full-time awards are given to students who enroll for twelve or more units. Part-time awards are given for enrollments of seven to eleven units. Part-time student awards, therefore, are three-quarters of the comparable full-time award.  For example, a full-time award of $10,000 would be $7500 as a part-time award.

If I switch from the full-time to the part-time program, will it affect my scholarship?

A full-time student who switches to part-time will see the scholarship reduced by one-quarter. For example, if you are awarded a full-time merit scholarship for $10,000 a year ($5,000 per semester) and later switch to part-time, the scholarship will decrease to $7,500 ($3,750 per semester), but the total award will not decrease. Assuming you remain eligible to continue enrollment and don’t take a leave of absence, you will receive your total award of $30,000, but in smaller increments over a longer period of time and in no event will the total amount exceed the $30,000 awarded on admission.

If I switch from the part-time to the full-time program, will it affect my scholarship?

A part-time student who switches to full-time will see an increase in their semester award by one-quarter, but the total award will not increase. For example, assume you are awarded a part-time merit scholarship for $10,000 a year ($5,000 per semester) and later switch to full-time status.  Your scholarship will increase to $13,334 ($6,667 per semester), but the cumulative amount awarded if you remain eligible to continue enrollment and don’t take a leave of absence will not exceed the $40,000 award granted upon admission.  

If I am a part-time student and enroll in six or fewer units, will it affect my scholarship?

Yes. When you enroll in six or fewer units, tuition is charged on a per credit basis.  Your scholarship will be calculated by looking at your last regular semester to determine the percentage scholarship you received.  That same scholarship percentage will be applied when you take 6 or fewer credits. For example, if your base scholarship is $8,000 per term and the tuition charged is $16,000; then your base scholarship percentage is 50%.  If you then take 5 credits (assuming tuition is $1600/credit), your tuition will be $8000 per semester and your semester scholarship will be $4,000 (50% of your tuition).  

If I get a larger scholarship from another law school, will you match it?

A scholarship offer is not negotiable. We want to be fair and transparent, treating each person receiving a Transfer Student Merit Scholarship, at each scholarship level, equally.  The Law School prides itself on fair and equitable treatment of every student enrolled and considers it important that students know they can rely on that fairness.

Why might my scholarship offer from Thomas Jefferson be less than that from another law school?

Another school may offer you more money, but you should carefully read the fine print. Consider whether you are being offered a guaranteed renewable scholarship dependent solely on being eligible to enroll and being enrolled as we are offering you, or whether you are  really being offered a one-year scholarship and a “lottery ticket.” If you need to achieve a stipulated GPA or rank in class to keep your scholarship, then what you have actually been offered is a one-year scholarship with a chance at having the scholarship renewed.  By contrast, our scholarship is guaranteed, so long as you remain eligible to enroll and are enrolled at the law school.

Do you offer housing grants?

The Law School does not award separate housing grants. A housing grant is simply another name for a scholarship. Money is fungible (a word you are probably already familiar with from law school). In other words, money is money. The total amount of money that the school awards you would be same, whether it is labeled a scholarship or a housing grant.  A scholarship is better for you, however, because a housing grant is of no value to you unless you choose to live in the designated housing.  By giving you a larger scholarship instead of a smaller scholarship coupled with a housing grant, we let you decide how you will use the money that you save on tuition, rather than steering you toward a particular housing choice.  We do, by the way, have great student housing in Entrada. It is close to school and rents at fair market prices with students having first priority for housing.

I am eligible for military benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. What does the award cover?

The Post-9/11 GI Bill provides financial support for education and housing to individuals with at least 90 days of aggregate service after September 10, 2001, or individuals discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days. You must have received an honorable discharge to be eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill.  This benefit provides up to 36 months of education benefits. Generally, benefits are payable for 15 years following your release from active duty. Payments include a tuition allowance for 2014/2015 up to $20,235 per year (as determined by VA), monthly housing allowance based on the zip code of the school (as determined by VA), and book stipend up to $1000/year. The percentage of maximum benefit payment is based on the length of military service time after September 10, 2001.

I am a military veteran. Does Thomas Jefferson participate in the VA Yellow Ribbon Program?

Yes. The Law School prides itself on its generous participation in this important program. This program allows institutions of higher learning (degree granting institutions) in the United States to voluntarily enter into an agreement with VA to fund tuition expenses that exceed the highest public in-state undergraduate tuition rate. The institution can contribute up to 50% of those expenses and VA will match the same amount as the institution. Unlike most law schools, Thomas Jefferson School of Law agrees to fund the maximum 50% of the tuition cost, with a corresponding match from VA.

For more information on the Yellow Ribbon Program go to the Law School’s website at and the VA’s website at

I am a military veteran. How does that affect my scholarship?

Military veterans who are eligible for the Veterans Affairs’ Yellow Ribbon program will receive scholarship funding from both the VA and the Law School, not to exceed full tuition. Due to this share arrangement, once the Law School receives the appropriate documentation, your scholarship amount might change. In no event, however, will you receive less financial assistance than you were offered on admission.

I am a military spouse. How do I qualify for educational benefits?

The Department of Defense (DOD) determines whether or not an active-duty service member can transfer benefits to family members. Upon approval by DOD, a spouse may apply to use transferred benefits with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) by completing VA Form 22-1990e ( An eligible service member may transfer up to the total months of unused Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits, or the entire 36 months if the member has used none.  Once approved by DOD and VA, a spouse may start to use the benefit immediately. Spouses are not eligible for the monthly housing allowance while the member is serving on active duty.

Whom should I contact if I have any other questions about financial aid?

You should contact our Director of Financial Aid, Marc Berman, at