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Thursday, February 16, 2023
Yale Law School Expands Full-Tuition Scholarships for Students
The Hurst Horizon Scholarship Program Will Cover Full Tuition for More Students in 2023
Yale Law School announced today that it will expand its groundbreaking Hurst Horizon Scholarship Program, ensuring that more students with significant financial need will be able to attend the law school tuition free. The need-based aid program covers the cost of tuition, fees, and health insurance for students who qualify — a scholarship of more than $70,000 per year.
Beginning in fall 2023, students from families with incomes up to 200% of the federal poverty line will receive the scholarship. With this increase, the program is expected to cover between 80 to 90 J.D. students next year in the classes of 2024, 2025, and 2026, up from 51 students during the 2022–2023 academic year.
The expansion comes less than one year after Yale Law School launched the scholarship program, a first of its kind in legal education. The program is designed to remove cost as a barrier so that students from all backgrounds can receive a legal education.
“The Hurst Horizon Scholarship Program opens a world of possibility for our students, freeing them of financial concern so they can tackle the problems of tomorrow,” said Yale Law School Dean Heather K. Gerken. “I’ve been deeply moved to see how this scholarship changes lives, and I am thrilled that we can now support many more students in need.”
“This is an important moment in legal education, one that calls us to do everything we can to support students with significant financial need. During my deanship, it will remain a priority to grow this program and encourage other educational leaders to do the same.”
—Dean Heather K. Gerken
The Hurst Horizon Scholarship Program is part of Yale Law School’s efforts to redefine the future of legal education, including expanding who sees themselves as a potential law student, building the infrastructure to support students throughout their time in New Haven, and launching them into fulfilling and impactful careers. Under Dean Gerken’s tenure, the Law School has admitted the six most diverse classes in its history and significantly increased the number of students who are the first in their families to attend college and professional school. In the class of 2025, more than a quarter of the student body is the first in their family to attend graduate or professional school and approximately one in six is the first in their family to graduate from college.
Through the generosity of alumni donors, Yale Law School has endowed the Hurst Horizon Scholarship Program, ensuring that future YLS students will benefit from this life-changing initiative for generations to come. The founding donors include Soledad ’92 and Robert Hurst, David ’78 and Patricia Nierenberg, and Gene ’73 and Carol Ludwig. Read more about the founders of the scholarship program.
Yale Law School is one of only two law schools in the country to provide exclusively need-based financial aid. The scholarship expansion comes several months after Yale Law School announced that it would no longer participate in the U.S. News & World Report law school rankings, citing flawed methodology that disincentivizes support for low-income students and need-based aid, among other concerns.
“This is an important moment in legal education, one that calls us to do everything we can to support students with significant financial need,” said Gerken. “During my deanship, it will remain a priority to grow this program and encourage other educational leaders to do the same. Since we first launched this scholarship program, Stanford Law School, Harvard Business School, and Washington University School of Law School have joined us. It is my hope that schools around the country will take up the call and make these life-changing scholarships available to students without means. This is our opportunity to open the doors of our profession to all.”
Senior Associate Director
Office of Public Affairs
Yale Law School