Thinking about going back to school? There are many ways to pay for an online Master of Legal Studies degree, including scholarships, loans, and grants.
This guide will help you find and apply to Master of Legal Studies scholarships. Additionally, we’ll define the distinctions between scholarships, loans and grants, with a list of ongoing external scholarships.
Because legal studies is such a broad area of study with so many career outcomes, students who wish to pursue a master’s degree may be able to apply for variety of scholarships. For example, if you plan to put your degree to work in the field of environmental protection or conservation, you can apply for the Gloria Barron Wilderness Society Scholarship, awarded to graduate students concerned with the long-term protection of wilderness in the United States. Or if a Master of Legal Studies will help your career in the public policy advertising industry, you can apply for the Media Fellows Scholarship.
When it comes to scholarships, you have many options. A lot of students feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of scholarships available, and don’t know where to start. For those looking to make the first step, here are a few great resources for finding scholarships.
Resources for Finding MLS Scholarships
College Financial Aid Office
This may be the best resource for finding scholarships, but the financial aid office may be very competitive. Financial aid offices are staffed with professionals dedicated to connecting students with resources, and will likely have more scholarships than you can apply for.
Department of Labor’s Scholarship Search Tool
The Department of Labor has a dedicated directory of scholarships. Thousands of scholarships can be sorted by level of study, award type, geographic location and demographic data. With so many to choose from, there’s a good chance you’ll find the right scholarship for your interests and needs.
Organizations & Groups
You’d be amazed at how many groups offer scholarships. Religious organizations, work associations, foundations and organizations in your field of interest are among the groups looking to support students with scholarships.
In an increasingly digital world, we turn to increasingly digital resources. Websites like Fastweb, Niche, Scholarships.com, CollegeBoard.org and Scholarship Monkey are becoming more popular and user-friendly than ever. If you’re looking to find a scholarship in the most user-friendly way, popular scholarship websites are the way to go.
Applying to Legal Studies Scholarships
There is no one universal way to apply for scholarships, but there are several best practices to keep in mind. Most scholarships will have directions for application, be it a contact email address, an electronic PDF to fill out and submit or a mailing address. Follow the directions as closely as possible to maximize the odds of being selected.
Here are some best practices for applying to scholarships, no matter what the medium.
Follow the Directions
This may seem like a no brainer, but many applicants miss out on scholarships for simple oversights. Make sure to review each and every direction, and follow them as closely as possible.
Honesty is Impressive
Many applicants will show only the bright spots on their record. Some will lie, exaggerate or withhold key information to present their best selves. Present yourself well in your application, but your angle should be authenticity, rather than puffery.
Punctuality is Important
Meeting deadlines is a very important life skill, and it will serve applicants well to be proactive about scholarship deadlines. Procrastination could mean a thrown-together application, and you could be out of luck if you’re late. Get started early, finish early and apply early for your best shot at scholarship money.
A simple typo or grammatical mistake could have major consequences when applying for competitive scholarships. These mistakes, though understandable, make a huge impact on how your application is received. If spelling and grammar aren’t your forte, don’t panic! Call on the wordsmith in your life to do a thorough readthrough, or use a free proofreading plugin like Grammarly.
Quality and Quantity
For the best odds of being awarded a scholarship, you should apply to as many as possible. That said, don’t apply to every scholarship, and make sure the quality of your applications never suffers. Apply to scholarships that suit your skills and interests, make them high-quality applications and apply to as many as you can without making sacrifices.
A lot of confusion occurs with the distinction between scholarship, loan and grant. Some think these are the same thing, and others think these terms have nothing in common. Here are the definitions of these terms, and how they interact with one another.
What is a Scholarship?
A scholarship is a financial award for students pursuing higher education. Instead of a student loan, which has interest attached, or need-dependent financial aid from the university, scholarships don’t need to be paid back.
Scholarships are awarded by philanthropists, employers, associations or other organizations, in the interest of furthering the education in a student. The financial award has terms, like an investment. Scholarships almost always have some requirements, like grade-point average thresholds or fields of study designated for the major. Other scholarships have action-based requirements, like mentorship or community service.
Types of Scholarships
These scholarships are largely dependent on academic ranking factors. These scholarships consider GPA, ACT and/or SAT scores.
Some scholarships are related to demographic information of the student. A student’s ethnicity, religion, gender or other information may determine a student’s eligibility for scholastic reward.
Community Service Scholarships
Colleges cultivate a sense of community, while nurturing an individual’s professional goals. Students with community service experience are apt to receive scholarships based on their involvement in the community, from park cleanups to mentor programs.
Area-of-study scholarships are rising in popularity, as modern careers grow more specialized. Students with a focused career path can apply for relevant scholarships in their future professions.
What is a Grant?
There tends to be confusion between grants and scholarships. Scholarships are generally based on merit, or a specific set of qualifications, with conditions of the award clearly set.
In contrast, grants are based on need. A grant may be awarded based on the finances of your family, medical costs, or other forms of hardship. Grants can be awarded by the government, a university or a private organization.
Like scholarships, special grants can be awarded for minorities, women, international students or other specializations.
What is a Loan?
Student loans are designed to aid with the cost of college, but with interest rates attached. Unlike grants and scholarships, students are expected to pay off their student loans after graduation. Compared to other loans, student loans generally have lower interest rates and a more lenient repayment schedule.
Since 2006, the amount of student has risen sharply with varying interest rates. As student loans have become extremely popular in the face of rising costs of higher education, some employers offer payment of student loans as a benefit. This may be an attractive offer, but it is relatively rare, with some conditions applied.
The following is not an exhaustive list of legal studies scholarships, but it does show some of the types of scholarships that you can apply for if you wish to pursue a Master of Legal Studies degree.
Washington University School of Law – Master of Legal Studies
Washington University School of Law’s online Master of Legal Studies (MLS) program is designed for non-lawyers who are interested in exploring the U.S. legal system as it relates to a wide array of disciplines. Delivered online through @WashULaw, this top-tier program features the same rigorous curriculum and is taught by the same faculty as the on-campus program at Washington University School of Law.
@WashULaw is pleased to offer a $5,000 scholarship to members of IEEE WIE. This scholarship will be divided throughout the length of the program.
|Contactfirstname.lastname@example.org, with subject line “2U Scholarship”|
AALL Educational Scholarships
|Description||Annually, the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) offers several Educational Scholarships for up to $5,000 apiece to financially assist students working towards a graduate degree in law or library science with the intent of becoming law librarians. Eligible candidates must be enrolled in an accredited U.S. graduate school, have no more than 36 semester credits remaining before graduation, have AALL membership, exhibit financial need, and possess meaningful law library work experience. Applications must include an official college transcript, three letters of recommendation, a current resume, and a personal statement discussing future career interests in law librarianship.|
AALL Educational Scholarships
105 West Adams Street Suite 3300
Chicago, IL 60603
Stephen K. Hall ACWA Water Law & Policy Scholarship
|Description||Each year through the Stephen K. Hall ACWA Water Law & Policy Scholarship Program, ACWA awards one scholarship to a qualified graduate student. Beginning with the 2019-’20 scholarship cycle, the annual scholarship amount was increased to $10,000.|
Media Fellows Program
|Description||The Media Plan Case Competition represents the cornerstone of the Washington Media Scholars Foundation. It challenges students to think strategically and dive into the deep-end of marketing impressions, numbers and budgets.|
Washington Media Scholars Foundation
Mark Beaumont Scholarship
The Mark Beaumont Scholarship was established by the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences in 2010 to honor the life of Mark Beaumont, former COO of Capcom North American and Europe.
The Mark Beaumont Scholarship is available to undergraduate and graduate students who are pursuing careers specializing in the business of interactive entertainment. Possible career paths include (but are not limited to) executive leadership, law, marketing, public relations, and business development in the video game industry.
Director, Marketing & Communications
Mercatus Frédéric Bastiat Fellowship
The Frédéric Bastiat Fellowship is a one-year, competitive fellowship program awarded to graduate students attending master’s, juris doctoral, and doctoral programs in a variety of fields including economics, law, political science, and public policy.
Recipients of the Frédéric Bastiat Fellowship will explore the Austrian, Virginia, and Bloomington schools of political economy and learn how these frameworks are utilized to analyze policy implications.
The Frédéric Bastiat Fellowship is offered by Mercatus Center at George Mason University but is available for graduate students from any university, in any discipline who are interested in public policy.
Gloria Barron Wilderness Society Scholarship
|Description||The Gloria Barron Wilderness Society Scholarship is awarded to graduate students who plan on making a significant positive difference in the long-term protection of wilderness in the United States. Graduate students in natural resources management, law, or policy programs are strongly encouraged to apply.|
Online MLS Degree Programs
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