Continuing Student Merit Scholarship

2L Continuing Student Merit Scholarship--Frequently Asked Questions

Effective Fall 2019


Do I need to apply for a 2L Continuing Student Merit Scholarship?

No. The law school reviews each cohort of rising 2L students as they become eligible for 2L Continuing Student Merit Scholarships, and notifies each student who qualifies.  Full-time students become eligible at the end of their first year.  Part-time students become eligible at the end of their third semester.  There is no need to apply for the scholarship. 


How is my rank for the 2L Continuing Student Merit Scholarship determined?

Full-time students who have completed their first two semesters, and who rank in the top 20% of their full-time cohort, will be considered for a 2L Continuing Student Merit Scholarship.  If there are twenty or more eligible part-time students, part-time students who have completed their third semester, and who rank in the top 20% of their part-time cohort, will be considered for a 2L Continuing Student Merit Scholarship. If there are fewer than twenty eligible part-time students, scholarship awards will be made consistent with the most recent full-time cohort’s 2L Continuing Student Merit Scholarship awards.  (See below.) 

Your rank is determined by comparing your cumulative GPA in courses graded on the first-year curve to those of all the other students in your cohort.  Thus, if you are a full-time student, your rank will be determined by comparing your GPA to the GPAs of all the other students in your full-time cohort.  This comparison is made at the time your cohort completes its second semester. 

If you are a part-time student in a cohort of twenty or more part-time students, your rank will be determined by comparing your GPA to the GPAs of all the other students in your part-time cohort.  This comparison is made at the time your cohort completes its third semester.

Please note that your cohort rank for scholarship purposes may be different than the academic class rank that you receive from the Registrar’s Office.


Which group am I ranked with if I switch between full-time and part-time status?

Students who switch from full-time to part–time or part-time to full-time during their first two semesters are evaluated after three semesters as part of the part-time cohort (see below). Students who attend part-time for the first two semesters and switch to full-time during their third semester are evaluated after the third semester as part of the part-time cohort. 


Why doesn’t the law school use cohort rank to determine scholarships for part-time cohorts with fewer than twenty students? 

The law school does not use cohort rank for part-time cohorts with fewer than twenty students because the law school believes that students should be able to qualify for 2L Continuing Student Merit Scholarships even if they are in a small cohort of students.  If the law school used cohort rank for small cohorts, students in those cohorts would not be able to qualify for certain scholarships.  For example: 

If the law school used cohort rank for groups smaller than twenty, no student would qualify for the full-tuition scholarship because no student would rank in the top 5% of the cohort.  (In a cohort of 19 students, the top student’s percentile rank is 5.3%, meaning no student is in the top 5%.)

If the law school used cohort rank for groups smaller than ten, no student would qualify for either the full tuition scholarship or the $25,000 scholarship because no student would rank in the top 10% of the cohort.  (In a cohort of 9 students, the top student’s percentile rank is 11.1%.)

If the law school used cohort rank for groups smaller than 5, no student would qualify for any 2L Continuing Student Merit Scholarship because no student would rank in the top 20% of the cohort.  (In a cohort of 4 students, the top student’s percentile rank is 25%.)   

To avoid such results with small cohorts, the law school looks to most recent large cohort of students to determine the GPAs required to qualify for each level of 2L Continuing Student Merit Scholarship.  This alternative approach, using the scholarship GPA criteria established by the most recent full-time cohort, makes it possible for students in a small part-time cohort to qualify for each level of the scholarship matrix.  


How long do I get to keep my scholarship?

2L Continuing Student Merit Scholarships are initially awarded for the academic year, including the Fall and Spring terms. If the recipient first enrolls in January, the Scholarship is initially awarded for the Spring and Fall terms. 2L Continuing Student Merit Scholarships are guaranteed to be renewed for your third year provided you remain eligible to continue enrollment at the law school. 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 of 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 each subsequent Fall and Spring semester.


Will my 2L Continuing Student Merit Scholarship award replace my Admissions scholarship?

The Financial Aid Office will use the higher scholarship award between your Continuing 2L Merit Scholarship and your Admissions Scholarship award. Under no circumstances will a maximum scholarship award exceed the tuition charged for the semester.


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

No. If you are on an approved leave of absence, the amount designated for that semester will be carried forward into the next semester you are enrolled.


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 visiting at other schools during the Fall or Spring semester, if such a visit is approved in extraordinary circumstances?

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


Can my scholarship be used for Summer or Intersession tuition?

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. Scholarship awards will be adjusted to correspond to the 2L Continuing Student Merit Scholarship matrix, based on your current enrollment status. Your enrollment status will be determined each semester.


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

Full-time students who switch to part-time receive their full awards, but in smaller amounts over a longer period of time. In each part-time semester, the scholarship amount for that semester will be 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). However, because part-time students are enrolled for more semesters than full-time students, the total amount awarded will not decrease. In no event will the total amount exceed the $30,000 awarded.


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 will not exceed the $40,000 award.


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 $1850/credit), your tuition will be $9250 per semester and your semester scholarship will be $4,625 (50% of your tuition).


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

You should contact our Director of Financial Aid, Marc Berman, at financialaid@tjsl.edu.