JD Admissions & Financial Aid
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Above all, Colorado Law values leadership, character, diversity, and commitment to service in its students. The small size of the Law School—about 170 in each entering class—and the large number of applicants require a very selective admissions process. Admissions decisions are based on many factors, including undergraduate grade point average (GPA) and the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) score, and take into account other indicators of ability, motivation, and achievement as well. In the faculty’s judgment, a diverse student body improves the educational experience of all students.
The Early Decision application process is for prospective law students who know that Colorado Law is the school they wish to attend. Candidates who apply under this option are expected to enroll at Colorado Law if offered admission. Early Decision applications are accepted starting October 1, and all materials must be received by November 15 for the application to be reviewed for early decision. Early Decision applicants will receive a decision in early January. Those students who are not admitted through this process will automatically be considered again as part of the regular admission process.
Regular admission applications with all required materials should be submitted starting October 1 and no later than March 15. Find complete application instructions at www.lsac.org and on the Colorado Law website. The Admissions Committee considers regular decision applications beginning in December. Applicants are notified by letter of decisions from mid-January until the class is filled in May. Admission from the waitlist, which is not ranked, can occur as late as July and the number of offers varies from year to year.
International applicants have additional requirements as explained on the school’s website, including transcripts showing completion of the equivalent of an American bachelor’s degree, foreign degree verification, and transcript translation, if applicable. The TOEFL is required of all students whose native language is not English, as a thorough and excellent command of written and spoken English is crucial to success in law school. After admissions, international students must submit a financial affidavit stating that they have the financial resources to support themselves while attending school in the United States, since the Colorado Law cannot offer loan assistance to international students.
Students who have completed at least one full year of study (approximately 30 semester credits) at a law school accredited by the American Bar Association may apply for fall transfer admission to Colorado Law. Applications for fall enrollment are accepted after May 1 and must be received by July 1. The number of transfer students admitted varies each year, and only those who have done very well in their law studies elsewhere have a substantial chance of admission.
Colorado Law admits some students who are receiving their law degree from another law school to study here for the fall or spring semester. Admission as a visiting student is available to applicants who have completed one or two years of high-quality work at another law school and have demonstrated a compelling need to attend Colorado Law. Financial aid for visiting students is usually handled by a consortium agreement between Colorado Law and the degree-granting institution.
All admission decisions are made without regard to students’ financial need. Every attempt is made to provide full financial assistance through federal and private educational loans, grants, work-study, and scholarships. Students applying for financial aid, private law scholarships, or grants based on financial need must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA, www.fafsa.ed.gov) and submit it to the processor as soon as possible after January 1. The priority FAFSA filing deadline is April 1. Eligible students are awarded Federal Direct Stafford/Ford Loans up to a maximum of $20,500 per year. Graduate PLUS loans are available to students when financial need exceeds Stafford loan limits. Graduate PLUS loans are federally guaranteed, but unlike Stafford loans, they have good credit requirements for borrowers. Private alternative law loan programs have interest rates and fees that vary according to the lender, the credit rating of the student, and whether there is a co-signer. Both loan fees and interest rates may be higher than those of the Stafford Direct loans and there is no cap in interest rates.
Scholarships, Fellowships, and Awards
A number of scholarships, fellowships, and awards are given annually on a competitive basis for academic and financial considerations. All admitted first-year students are considered for scholarships, as recipients are selected by the Admissions and Financial Aid Committee after an offer of admission has been made. It is possible for scholarships to be awarded through August. Colorado Law also offers scholarship money to second-year and third-year students each spring. These scholarships are awarded based on academic performance and other criteria, such as economic need and demonstration of assistance in advancing the diversity of the student body.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords certain rights with respect to a student’s education records. Copies of the policy are available in the Wise Law Library and the Rules of the Law School on the website.