- How to Fund Law School
- A Rock and a Hard Place
Overview and Objective
We are committed to promoting the financial accessibility of law school. In furtherance of this commitment, we have designed an innovative income contingent loan program. Each year selected students pursue the JD program fully funded by a combination of bursary and loan funding. These students are required to repay the loan portion of their funding during the 10 years following graduation, only if their income is sufficient. If their income falls below a predetermined threshold in a particular year, the loan repayment for that year may be forgiven in whole or in part.
The primary objective of the ICLP is accessibility through opportunity. The ICLP will achieve its mission if it encourages and enables highly talented and qualified potential law students to apply for admission to Osgoode when they otherwise would not have done so due to the “sticker shock” of tuition and other barriers involved for students financing their legal education. In addition, the ICLP is meant to enable participants to pursue careers of their choice after law school, without the burden of significant debt and overwhelming loan repayment obligations impacting their choices.
The ICLP bursary is generously supported by Forum Equity Partners
For complete details, including information on the ICLP application and selection process, please see the ICLP Guide for Students.
- Review ICLP information in the OLSAS Information Booklet
- Complete the online Financial Statement, including the supplemental ICLP portion, when you complete your application for admission to Osgoode through OLSAS. Your application must be submitted by the application deadline of November 1. To be eligible for the ICLP you must have written the LSAT by November 2021. January 2022 test scores will not be considered for ICLP applicants.
- Upon receipt of an offer of acceptance to Osgoode, you will be notified that you have two weeks to submit supporting documentation to complete your ICLP application. Required documentation is specified in the supplemental ICLP portion of the online Financial Statement.
- Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed in early March
- Recipients will be selected by the end of March
Eligibility and Selection
Eligibility criteria for the ICLP will include (1) high financial need and (2) aptitude for legal studies. Selection criteria will mirror the eligibility criteria: selection will be based on the most compelling circumstances. In other words, recipients will be highly talented potential law students who have high financial need due to financial or other barriers they may face in accessing legal education.
Financial need: At a minimum, to be eligible, you must meet the criteria for receiving a high level bursary from Osgoode. This means having a resource-expense shortfall of greater than $20,000 for the upcoming academic year, plus several other indicators of high financial need, which may include:
- A low-income background;
- Extraordinary expenses, such as medical or caregiving expenses;
- A very high debt load;
- Minimal assets; and
- Other barriers in obtaining equal access to education.
Aptitude for legal studies: The holistic admissions criteria will be reapplied with a view to selecting the most highly talented and qualified law students.
Participants will be required to provide documentation demonstrating their continued eligibility for the ICLP in their second and third years of the program.
Repayment Plan and Loan Forgiveness
The expectation is that participants will begin to repay their loans approximately two years following graduation from the JD program.
Participants will have up to 10 years following their articling year to repay their loan.
Each year during the repayment period, participants will be expected to pay back one tenth (1/10) of their loan and an annual administrative fee of $750.
Students must apply to have a loan installment considered for loan forgiveness. Along with their application, students will be expected to supply Osgoode’s Office of the Executive Officer with proof of individual/household gross income (i.e., notice of assessment(s)) from the previous tax year. All or a portion of a student’s loan and annual administrative fee could be forgiven. If income is below a minimum threshold, the entire year’s repayment amount (loan + program fee) is forgiven. If income is above an upper threshold, there is no loan forgiveness. In between these income thresholds, a certain portion of the loan is forgiven, along a sliding scale.