Yale Law School announced on Feb. 21 that it will award annual tuition-free scholarships for its lowest-income students in an effort to “level the playing field for students with significant financial need.”
Dean Heather K. Gerken announced that the Law School is creating the Soledad ’92 and Robert Hurst Horizon Scholarship Program, which will erase tuition for JD students who come from economically disadvantaged families and have the greatest financial need.
Yale Law School is allocating “significant funding” to launch the program this fall, which will be eligible for students in the classes of 2023, 2024, and 2025.
The program will grant nearly 45–50 full-tuition scholarships to eligible JD students, the school said.
The plan will grant eligible students more than $70,000 per year to cover the cost of tuition, fees, and health insurance.
To be eligible for the program, students’ family income must be below the federal poverty guidelines, which currently stands at $13,590 for a one-person household, $18,310 for a two-person household, $23,030 for a three-person household, and $27,750 for a four-person household.
Families of students must also have assets below $150,000 in order for them to be eligible. Students who meet the financial requirements will automatically receive the scholarship.
“We are committed to opening our doors to the students who have the most to gain from this School and the most to give to the world, regardless of their means,” said Gerken. “I am thrilled that we are able to make this extraordinary addition to a financial aid system that is already best-in-class. The Hurst Horizon Scholarship Program will free students with the greatest need from financial worry during law school and open up a world of possibilities so that they can be a powerful force for change in society.”
The announcement comes after Yale University back in August 2020 was found to have illegally discriminated against Asian American and white applicants in its undergraduate admissions process.
The Department of Justice, following a two-year investigation, found that the Ivy League school violated the Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act—a civil-rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance.
In an emailed statement to The Epoch Times, the university categorically denied the allegation, saying that it is proud of its admissions practices and “will not change them on the basis of such a meritless, hasty accusation.”
The lawsuit was later dropped “in light of all available facts, circumstances, and legal developments,” a Justice Department spokesperson confirmed to NPR, although an underlying investigation to ensure Yale complies with Title VI is ongoing.
Mimi Nguyen Ly contributed to this report.