Bar Study

Bar Information

Students are encouraged to set aside earnings throughout law school for their bar study expenses. Earn while you learn opportunities offered at AUWCL, in addition to external employment, may provide some or all of the savings needed to help off-set the additional expenses that cannot be covered by financial aid.

Saving throughout law school to minimize additional borrowing is an investment in your own future success. For those students who need additional financial resources, a limited number of private lenders offer bar study loans designed to assist graduating law students with financing expenses such exam fees, bar application fees and living expenses. While these loans are not part of your academic year financial aid, they must to be certified by AUWCL Financial Aid Office in order to verify your expected graduation date. Most bar study loans are capped at $15,000 and this figure may also be utilized by those planning to save for related expenses with an understanding that factors such as the location of the exam and where one lives may impact the funding needed.

Please note: Enrolled students should confirm that they have exhausted their financial aid eligibility for the current academic year prior to pursuing a private bar study loan. Bar study expenses cannot be added to the AUWCL cost of attendance. Only JD students/graduates of AUWCL can be certified by the Financial Aid Office; LL.M students must go through their JD institution.

What is the approval process for bar study loans?

Bar study loan approval is credit-based and at the discretion of each private lender’s criteria. General criteria include:

  • The borrower must be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident.

  • Borrowers must be enrolled in a law school program or have recently graduated.

  • The borrower must satisfy credit criteria. If the borrower does not have satisfactory credit, a creditworthy co-signer may be required.

  • Total indebtedness, including the bar loan, does not exceed the lender specified cap, if any.

How much am I eligible to borrow?

Bar study loan caps vary by lender generally ranging from $12,000 - $15,000. Many students find that borrowing $10,000 or less is sufficient to meet their expenses. Borrowing as little as possible in bar study loans is recommended as they are not eligible for loan forgiveness or consolidation, income-driven repayment, and the AUWCL Public Interest Loan Repayment Assistance Program (PILRAP).  

Students are encouraged to set aside earnings throughout law school for their bar study expenses. Earn while you learn opportunities offered at AUWCL, in addition to external employment, may provide some or all of the savings needed to help off-set bar exam related expenses. Saving throughout law school to minimize additional borrowing is an investment in your own future success.

Will I need a co-signer?

If you do not meet the lender established credit criteria, you may be asked to add a co-signer to gain approval. Additionally, the lender may suggest adding a credit worthy co-signer to lower the interest rate on the loan.

When should I apply for a bar study loan?

Students typically apply for the bar study loan during their final year of the JD program. Since the loan is disbursed directly to the borrower, the borrower is able to set up the disbursement dates and number of disbursements for the loan. Borrowers are encouraged to take advantage of the multiple disbursements to assist with budgeting and reduce interest accrual.

What is the interest rate?

Since this is a private loan, the lender will set the interest rate. Interest rates may be fixed or variable.

How do I determine which lender is best?

The AUWCL Financial Aid Office does not recommend lenders. You are encouraged to review each lender’s website and determine which lender is best for you based on the terms of the loans and your personal financial information, including indebtedness and credit history.

I have completed the application and was approved. What do I do next?

Send an email to the AUWCL Financial Aid Office to notify of your approval. Please include your name, AU ID number and the lender.

When will the loan disburse?

Disbursement of bar study loans is based on the disbursement date(s) you select when applying for the loan. The borrower chooses the disbursement date(s) for the loan on the application and the loan check(s) will be mailed directly to the address you provide. In general, the process will take a minimum of two to four weeks from the time that you submit your application and are approved until the receipt of your (first) disbursement.

The AUWCL Financial Aid Office does not provide a preferred lender list for bar study loans. The list provided below in alphabetical order assists students in finding a lender and represents lenders from which AUWCL JD graduates have borrowed in the past. Loan criteria are subject to change without notice; therefore, it is important to contact the lender directly for the most accurate and up to date information. Follow the links below to view interest rates, borrowing limits, fees, and repayment terms.

Discover Bar Study Loan 

PNC Solution Loan for Bar Study 

Sallie Mae Bar Study Loan

Wells Fargo Bar Exam Loan    

Many state or local bar associations offer awards to assist in defraying the cost of the bar exam or living expenses incurred during the study period. You are encouraged to research and/or contact organizations in the state in which you plan to take the exam, in addition to your state of residence, to determine if funding may be available.

Below is a list of bar study awards offered by external organizations to assist in off-setting bar-related expenses. The awards are subject to change at any time by the organization(s). The list is not exhaustive, and will be maintained and updated as needed. Please note that the application deadlines vary and some may not be available until next academic year.

BARBRI 2018 Public Interest Scholarship
Qualifying and approved students will receive a tuition rate of $1,995 for their 2018 BARBRI Bar Review Course.

Center for Legal Inclusiveness Colorado Bar Exam Scholarship
The Center for Legal Inclusiveness, Colorado Pledge to Diversity Legal Group and Association of Corporate Counsel-Colorado Chapter partner with Bar Review providers for scholarships for the Colorado Bar Exam. The scholarship helps to offset the cost of a Bar Review Prep course and the application fee for the Colorado Bar Examination.

Center for Legal Inclusiveness Living Expenses Scholarship
The Center for Legal Inclusiveness recognizes the challenges facing law students as they prepare to take the Colorado Bar Examination, particularly those who do not have the economic resources necessary to focus solely on test preparation. The goal of this scholarship is to allow selected recipients to, rather than worry about living expenses, focus on succeeding on the bar exam.

Central Florida Association for Women Lawyers
Awarded to a deserving full-time or part-time law student who will take the Florida Bar Exam for the first time in July 2018 and who has promoted the CFAWL mission through CFAWL membership and/or volunteer work. This student will have demonstrated leadership and involvement on his or her campus and in the general community.

FMCBA Bar Study Scholarship
F. Malcolm Cunningham, Sr. Bar Association (“FMCBA”) awards scholarships to well-deserving third-year African American law students. The Association provides scholarships to offset bar examination preparation expenses, for economically disadvantaged students who demonstrate a commitment to excellence.

Latina Lawyers Bar Association Stipend
The Latina Lawyers Bar Association announces a scholarship and bar stipend program for law students enrolled at a law school in California. The scholarship program will award scholarships and bar stipends to outstanding law students. The scholarship and bar stipend funds may be used towards expenses related to a student’s attendance at a California law school or towards the expenses related to preparation for the California Bar Examination. Preference will be given to Latina law students.

National Business Law Scholarship
The award will be paid directly to the student, and can be used for any expenses related to legal education, including but not limited to tuition, room, board, books, bar review courses, or commuting expenses.

National Tax Law Scholarship
The award will be paid directly to the student, and can be used for any expenses related to legal education, including but not limited to tuition, room, board, books, bar review courses, or commuting expenses.

Northwest Indian Bar Association
NIBA offers bar stipends to Native law students who are: (1) set to graduate, or have graduated, from an accredited law school, (2) registered for the Winter or Summer Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, or Washington State bar exams, and (3) intend to work in the field of American Indian law or policy in the Northwest.  

Orange County Women Lawyers Association
OCWLA Foundation is pleased to provide the Bar Stipend Award to worthy law students about to take the bar exam.  Offered twice a year, the award is given to the student(s) that best exemplifies the mission of OCWLA, and a commitment to scholarship, community service, advancement of women or women’s issues, financial need, and to Orange County.

Orange County Women Lawyers Association Diversity Stipend
The Diversity Bar Stipend Award is given to a recent law school graduate with a minority ethnic background and achievements and contributions in scholarship, community service, and advancement of diversity or diversity issues. Financial need and connection to Orange County are also considered.

Oregon Diversity Bar Examination Grant Application
The grant is subject to qualifying for and taking the Oregon State Bar Examination. Applicants must possess a combination of the following: alignment with the Diversity and Inclusion Department Mission, academic achievement, and financial need.

SOAR for Justice Scholarship
In furtherance of the goal of supporting survivors of abuse with the costs of obtaining a legal education and increasing the number of future lawyers committed to careers in domestic violence advocacy and law reform, the inaugural SOAR for Justice Scholarship awards $500 - $1000 to qualified law students with proven track records in social justice. Additionally, SOAR is proud to confer a $1,000 - $1,500 Bar Exam Award to help defray the costs of taking the bar exam for eligible survivors of economic abuse. 

Vernellia R. Randall Bar Exam Grant
The Vernellia R. Randall Grant (also known as the Bar Exam Grant) is available to parents with children under the age of 18. Recipients must be in their last year of law school. The grant honors Vernellia R. Randall, who made a lasting contribution to the Oregon Women Lawyers Foundation and has played a significant role in the effort to give women and minorities greater access to the justice system.

WOW Bar Prep Scholarship Application
In 1993, the Women of WSAJ (WOW) section was established to encourage female-identifying members to exchange ideas and create mentorship relationships with other female attorneys to further the mission of WSAJ. To support aspiring female-identifying plantiff's attorneys, WOW provides women law school graduates and APR 6 law clerk graduates with scholarships to help defray the costs of bar review courses.

WSAJ Diversity Bar Prep Scholarship
WSAJ is committed to implementing strategies that will result in significant and measurable progress towards increasing diversity in the plaintiff's bar. To help achieve this endeavor, WSAJ has pledged scholarship monies to assist diverse individuals in covering the tuition cost of a Themis bar preparation course. Diversity refers to individuals who self-identify with those groups historically discriminated against and/or those groups that are historically under-represented in the legal profession based on disability, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.

WSAJ LGBTQ Bar Prep Scholarship
In December of 2016, WSAJ created its LGBTQ section, a group open to all WSAJ members to focus on LGBTQ issues in the law, as well as to provide a safe, open and honest environment for LGBTQ members to discuss and confront issues that arise in their day-to-day practices and legal communities. To support aspiring plaintiff’s attorneys from the LGBTQ community, the section raises funds from its membership to provide scholarships to help defray the costs of a Themis bar review course to law school graduates and APR 6 law clerk graduates who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or otherwise self-identify as a part of the queer community.

The AUWCL Financial Aid Office can assist with questions about bar study loans and budgeting. For questions about bar preparation, the exam and associated fees, please contact the AUWCL Office of Academic Excellence.