Investing in a legal education is a major financial decision, and we know that the cost often affects choices. When budgeting for your education, keep in mind that there are two types of costs associated with cost of attendance. Direct costs such as tuition (and housing if you live on campus) are expenses charged to you by and payable to Santa Clara University. Indirect costs such as room and board (if you live off campus), books, transportation, and personal expenses are costs associated with being a student, but are expenses not charged to you by the University. Much as in non-student life, these costs are associated with day-to-day living.

Direct Costs

JD Tuition: Tuition for the 2024-2025 academic year is $2,172 per unit.

First Year Full-Time $60,816 28 unit enrollment
Part-Time $47,784 22 unit enrollment

Continuing Students: $2,172 per unit.

LLM Tuition: $2,432 per unit.

International Student Fee: All degree-seeking international students are charged a $125 International Student Fee. The fee is assessed to everyone with an SCU-issued I-20 (F-1 status).

Student Success and Wellness Fee: All degree-seeking students are charged this mandatory fee. $395/semester; $790/annual.

Indirect Costs

Living Expenses and Books

Living expenses and books are not actually expenses charged by Santa Clara University. Rather, the amounts are an estimate of other indirect educational costs. The amount you spend depends upon your personal situation and choices.

2024-2025 Living Expenses and Books
Housing and Food $24,822
Books $1,684
Transportation $3,988
Personal Expense $3,448
TOTAL $33,942

NOTE: For students borrowing federal student loans, average student loan fees will automatically be added to the cost of attendance. Based upon an assessment of student borrowing for 2024-2025, average loan fees were $1676.

For specific information on Santa Clara University tuition, fees, housing, meal plans and other related charges, please refer to the University’s Tuition and Fees.

Budgeting for your education

The key to solid financial health and to spending more time studying and less time worrying about paying the bills is budgeting. By taking the time to determine your expenses and actual needs you can borrow only what you need and lessen the financial burden when you are beginning your law career. The Basic Student Budget Worksheet will help you with your planning and better prepare you for a successful educational journey!

Federal Loan Origination Fees

Most federal student loans have loan fees that are a percentage of the total loan amount. The loan fee is deducted proportionately from each loan disbursement you receive while enrolled in school. This means the money you receive will be less than the amount you actually borrow. You’re responsible for repaying the entire amount you borrowed and not just the amount you received. Origination fees are different for Unsubsidized and Grad PLUS loans and change annually. For more information on interest rates and origination fees, visit

Increase to Costs

Living expenses and books includes average amounts for standard educational expenses incurred by all law students.

To request an increase to your costs for one of the following reasons, you will need to submit the Adjustment to Cost of Attendance Request form to the Law Admissions and Financial Aid Office.

  • additional course-related expenses
  • child care expenses
  • bar exam registration costs (one time) – see Themis FAQ’s for more information 
  • medical expenses not covered by insurance
  • computer purchase (one time allowance, maximum $2,500)

If a budget increase is approved, it will not be covered with additional scholarship funding. You will need to apply for the appropriate loan program – typically Federal Direct PLUS Loan or student private financing – depending on your circumstances.

NOTE: All cost of attendance adjustments fall under professional judgment and are conducted by the Law Admissions and Financial Aid Office.

As you review the costs, you may want to learn how to apply for financial aid, types of financial aid, repayment, contact information and other terms and conditions related to financial aid.

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FAFSA School Code: 001326