Jun 13, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Dedman School of Law: Tuition, Fees and Financial Aid

Tuition, Fees and Living Expenses

The Financial Information Bulletin  is issued each academic year. It provides the general authority and reference for SMU financial regulations and obligations, as well as detailed information concerning tuition, fees and living expenses.

Students must ensure that payment for the full amount of charges is posted to their account by the payment due date showing on their bill. The due dates are also published on the Bursar website.

Prior to enrolling each semester, students are required to review and agree to a statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities that is comprised of three parts: Financial Rights and Responsibilities, Honor Code and Student Code of Conduct, and Appeals and Complaints. The Student Rights and Responsibilities statement for a term will be available approximately one month before enrollment opens for the term. A printable PDF version of the statement may be found at the Student Rights and Responsibilities website.

Students must ensure that payment for the full amount of charges is posted to their account by the payment due date showing on their bill. The due dates are also published on the Bursar website.

Billing notifications are sent to the student’s SMU email address and to the designated authorized payer(s) email address when a bill is generated. The billing notification will provide instructions on how to view the bill online through SMUpay. If notification is not received two weeks prior to the due date, the student and/or designated authorized payer(s) should contact the Office of the University Bursar.

Payments made in person or mailed must be received by the Office of the University Bursar, located on the first floor of the Laura Lee Blanton Student Services Building, no later than 4 p.m. Central Time on the payment due date. Payments made online via electronic check or credit card must be posted no later than 11:59 p.m. Central Time on the payment due date. Students and/or those paying on behalf of students who pay online automatically receive an electronic confirmation of payment; students and/or designated authorized payer(s) paying through other methods can also verify receipt of payment online.

Students enrolling after the payment due date must pay at the time of enrollment. Students whose accounts are not cleared by the payment due date will become delinquent and financial holds placed, preventing from registering for future terms, obtaining official transcripts or receiving a diploma. Also, after the monthly payment due date has passed, a 1.5 percent past due fee will be assessed on the unpaid student and/or miscellaneous account each month until the balance is paid. The enrollment of students whose accounts remain unpaid after the payment due date may be canceled at the discretion of the University. Students are individually responsible for their financial obligations to the University.

All refunds except federal parent PLUS loans, prepayment accounts, the SMU Monthly Payment Plan and international wires will be made payable to the student. A credit card payment will only be refunded to the student if the other refundable credits or loans applied to the account. International wires will be refunded by wire to the originating wire account less a $35 wire-processing fee. The parent PLUS loan borrower can request the refund to be processed to the student by submitting a UG Parent PLUS Loan Refund Release form, located on the Bursar website. If the refund is issued by check, the student may request, in writing, that the refund be sent to another party.

Any outstanding debts to the University that include Title IV funds must have an Authorization to Credit Account (ACA) form and/or an Authorization to Credit Account Parent (ACAP) form on file in order to transfer funds to cover current award year debts. Students need to sign the ACA form electronically; both the federal parent PLUS borrower and the student need to sign the ACAP form electronically.

Any outstanding debts to the University that do not include Title IV funds will be deducted from the credit balance prior to issuing a refund. All other debts should be paid directly by the student.

A student whose University account is overdue or who in any other manner has an unpaid financial obligation to the University may be denied the recording and certification services of the Office of the Registrar, including the issuance of a transcript or diploma, and may be denied readmission until all obligations are fulfilled. The Division of Enrollment Services may stop the registration, or may cancel the completed registration, of a student who has a delinquent account or debt. The University will charge a $50 collection processing fee (identified as “Recovery Select Fee” on the account), in addition to any other past due fees, to the account at the end of the term for unpaid balances. The unpaid account may be sent to a third party, collection company or an attorney, for collection. The student will be responsible for any costs (including but not limited to collection fees) associated with attempting to collect the monies due and owing. If a lawsuit is filed to recover an outstanding balance, student will be responsible for any costs associated with the lawsuit such as court costs or other applicable costs. A collection fee will be assessed and will be due and owing in full at the time of the referral to the third party. The collection fee may be calculated at the maximum amount permitted by applicable law but not to exceed 50 percent of the amount outstanding. The delinquent account may be reported to one or more of the national credit bureaus. Matriculation in the University constitutes an agreement by the student to comply with all University rules, regulations and policies.

Applications for financial assistance should be submitted well in advance of registration in accordance with recommended filing dates set forth by the Division of Enrollment Services, Office of Financial Aid. Applications received after the recommended deadline can expect a delay in application processing time due to the increased volume. This will ultimately delay disbursement of financial aid to the student account. Students and families are expected to clear all billed charged by the published billing due dates regardless of the status of their financial aid application. Any funds that disburse to the student account after the payment due date has passed, will be applied to any outstanding charges first. Remaining financial aid funds will be refunded to the student. 

During the registration process, students will be prompted to read and agree to the Student Rights and Responsibilities, which provides information regarding financial rights and obligations, SMU’s Honor Code, the Code of Conduct, and the student appeals and complaints process.

Students who elect to register for courses outside of their school of record will pay the tuition rate of their school of record.

Tuition Refunds for Withdrawal from the University

No refunds of tuition or fees will be considered without an official withdrawal. Policies for official withdrawal, including medical and mandatory administrative withdrawal, are found under Withdrawal From the University  in the Enrollment and Academic Records section of this catalog.

Medical withdrawals and mandatory administrative withdrawals allow a prorated refund of tuition and fees and must be initiated through the Office of Student Success and Retention for undergraduate students; graduate students go through the academic adviser or academic Dean’s office.

Reduction of tuition and fees, when applicable, is determined by the effective date of the withdrawal and is based on the schedule listed in the Financial Information Bulletin  and the SMU Bursar website.

Financial aid implications of withdrawing from the University

Federal regulations require schools to adjust financial aid when a student officially withdraws from the University before completing 60% of the term. Financial aid is reduced to a pro-rated amount based on the amount of time the student was enrolled in classes in that specific term, thus “earning” financial aid proportionate to the amount of time enrolled. The “unearned” portion of aid will be returned to the funding source. Students completing 60% or more of a term are considered to have earned 100% of their financial aid for that term. This federally mandated calculation is completely independent of university’s refund policies for withdrawals and may require a reduction in financial aid even if there is no reduction in tuition charges. The end result could create a substantial student account balance after the withdrawal is processed. For this reason, students are strongly encouraged to contact their financial aid adviser, before initiating a withdrawal, to discuss the financial implications of withdrawing. For additional information on the University’s tuition refund policies, see the SMU Financial Information Bulletin  or the University Bursar’s website. Information on the implications of withdrawing on your financial aid can be found on the Office of Financial Aid website. Due to the assessment of student accounts by multiple offices, cancellations and withdrawals can take up to 45 days to be processed.

Payment Plan Options

SMU Monthly Payment Plan

SMU offers several payment plan options to assist students and families. Refer to the Bursar’s website for detailed payment plan information: www.smu.edu/EnrollmentServices/bursar/Payments/PaymentPlanOptions.

Fall and Spring Term payment plans are available in 6-month and 5-month formats. The summer payment plan is three months. Payment plan options are not available for short terms including JanTerm, May Term, and August Term.

SMU Prepayment Plan

The SMU Prepayment Plan (a single payment up front for all terms) allows families to avoid the effects of tuition and fee increases by paying for two, three or four years in one single payment at the current rate of tuition and fees for an undergraduate full-time (12-18 credit hours) student. It covers Fall and Spring terms only. Questions should be addressed to Nohely Chavez at 214-768-4758 or nohelyc@smu.edu.

Graduate and Professional Student Aid

University grants, scholarships, fellowships and assistantships are awarded by the school or academic department in which the graduate student will enroll. Schools and academic departments offering master’s or Ph.D. degrees award several tuition scholarships and teaching or research assistantships each year. For more information, students should contact the appropriate school or department.

State funded loans and grants, private and federal loans, and employment programs may be available by filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The FAFSA can be completed online at www.studentaid.gov. The SMU Title IV school code number is 003613.

More information is available online at www.smu.edu/enrollmentservices/financialaid.


A limited number of awards of full and partial tuition and fees are made annually to entering first-year students. The Law School endeavors to use the available funds to attract students who will enhance the Dedman School of Law with their academic achievement and potential (relying primarily on undergraduate grade point averages and Law School Admission Test or Graduate Record Exam scores) and life experiences. Unless otherwise specified in the award notification, these grants are renewed for subsequent years provided the student remains in good standing. Scholarships are applied to courses taken during fall and spring terms at Dedman School of Law.

The Dedman School of Law Impact Scholarship

Established by multiple donors, the Impact scholarship funds a full-tuition, three-year scholarship for an incoming law student with demonstrated leadership abilities from an economically or educationally underserved community with a preference for a first-generation college student. Selected students will also have the opportunity to mentor one on one with prominent attorneys to provide them with advice and guidance during their law school experience.

James Elliot Bower Memorial Scholarship

Selection of James Elliot Bower Memorial scholars is made on the basis of academic proficiency, extracurricular achievement and financial need.

The Charles and Peggy Galvin Endowment Fund

This fund was established in 1979 by multiple donors in honor of Charles and Peggy Galvin. The endowment provides support for a full-tuition scholarship based on merit.

The Sarah T. Hughes Diversity Law Fellowship

The Dallas Bar Foundation funds one or more full-tuition scholarships annually to enable men and women from minority groups to obtain a legal education at Dedman School of Law and subsequently enter the legal profession. The fellowship is awarded initially to entering full-time students for one year and is renewable for the second and third years of study as long as the student remains in good standing. Applicants must complete a separate scholarship application and be accepted for admission to Dedman School of Law by the regular decision deadline.

The Hutchison Endowed Scholarship Program Fund

In 1984, Mr. and Mrs. William L. Hutchison, Sr., created this endowment to fund full-tuition scholarships with the following objectives: 1) to foster and encourage excellence in legal study so that students selected by the school for an award from the endowment income may become competent, able and respected members of the legal profession and/or the business community and 2) to develop in such students the highest sense of duty to community and nation in accordance with the Constitution of the United States. To accomplish these objectives, the school shall employ the following criteria in making scholarship awards: 1) Entering students selected as Hutchison Scholars shall have a superior undergraduate academic record and shall have a high sense of duty and commitment to the community and the nation. 2) A Hutchison Scholar must be a full-time student of the Dedman School of Law each term and must maintain a cumulative average in the top half of their Dedman School of Law class. 3) A Hutchison Scholar shall attend classes regularly, abide by the rules and procedures of the school and maintain a cooperative, friendly attitude and relationship with school administrators, professors and other students.

The Thomas W. Luce, III Centennial Dedman Law Scholars Program Fund

Thomas W. Luce, III Centennial Dedman Law Scholars was established in 2015 by Sarah and Ross Perot, Jr. Recipients of this full-tuition scholarship will be selected based upon academic excellence, demonstrated leadership ability and financial need.

Cary Maguire Ethics Scholarship

Cary M. Maguire created this endowment in 2001 for entering first-year law students who have demonstrated concern and interest in ethical behavior in law. The Cary Maguire Ethics Scholar selection process is based on the law school application and the recipient must write a paper on a topic related to ethical issues in the legal profession during their second year.

Rupert and Lillian Radford Scholarship Fund

The Rupert Radford Estate endowed this scholarship fund to aid worthy full-time students at the Dedman School of Law who have high financial need.

The Robert Hickman Smellage, Sr. Memorial Fund

In 1984, the estate of Oda Elizabeth Smellage created this endowment for worthy students at the Dedman School of Law.

The Sohmen Endowed Scholarship Fund and The Sohmen Chinese Scholars Program Endowment

These scholarships were endowed by the Sohmen Foundation and Dr. Helmut Sohmen to provide awards for not fewer than four students from mainland China or Hong Kong who are in the one-year LL.M. program and have demonstrated high academic achievement. The scholarships include full tuition, fees and a supplemental living stipend. Students must evidence their commitment to return to China immediately (within seven months) following graduation from the program.

Sumners Foundation Scholarship Program

Endowed in 1979 by the Sumners Foundation, the scholarships, which cover the cost of full tuition, fees, books and a living stipend, are awarded each year to qualified entering students who are residents of or who attended colleges or universities in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arkansas, Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri. Applicants must complete a separate scholarship application and be accepted for admission to the Dedman School of Law by February 12. An applicant must have a complete application on file no later than December 15.

The James Cleo Thompson, Sr. Endowed Scholarship Fund

Mr. and Mrs. James Cleo Thompson, Jr., and Mrs. James Cleo Thompson, Sr., created this endowment in 1984. James Cleo Thompson, Sr. Scholars are students who show high academic performance in their undergraduate education and demonstrate valuable traits as community citizens, including service in leadership positions, experience in the workplace, and volunteer commitment to the community.

Endowed Scholarships

The Dedman School of Law awards varying amounts of tuition and fee support from the following endowments that are established through gifts or bequests from graduates and other supporters.

  • The Nelda Sánchez Adamson Endowed Scholarship Fund
  • The Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld Council for Excellence Scholarship Endowment Fund
  • The Elizabeth and Louis Altman Endowed Scholarship Fund
  • Anonymous Law School Endowment
  • The Webster Atwell Scholarship Endowment Fund
  • Baker & Botts Council for Excellence Scholarship Endowment Fund
  • Dennis Barger Memorial Scholarship
  • The Michael C. Barrett Endowed Scholarship Fund
  • The Bennett Scholarship for International Studies
  • The Nancy L. Benoit Memorial Scholarship Endowment Fund
  • The William K. Berenson Endowed Scholarship
  • James Elliot Bower Memorial Scholarship
  • The James Bozzell Endowed Memorial Scholarship Fund
  • The Eugene and Juanita Brady Endowed Scholarship Fund
  • The Frank and Debbie Branson Trial Advocacy Scholarship
  • Dan Burney Law Students Scholarship
  • The R.W. Calloway Scholarship Endowment Fund
  • The Class of 1986 Teresa Jenkins Carson Memorial Scholarship Endowment
  • Clovis G. Chappell Endowment 
  • Citigroup Foundation Law Scholarship
  • The Tom C. Clark Scholarship Fund
  • The Frances Spears Cloyd Endowed Scholarship Fund
  • Rosser J. Coke Scholarship
  • Dallas Lawyers’ Auxiliary Endowed Scholarship Fund
  • The J. Carlisle DeHay, Jr. Endowed Scholarship in Law
  • Israel Dreeben Scholarship
  • The Easterwood Foundation
  • The Carole and Gene Francis Endowed Scholarship
  • The Ray and Kay Bailey Hutchison Scholarship Endowment Fund
  • The Hutchison Endowed Scholarship Program Fund
  • The Jackson Walker, L.L.P. Endowed Scholarship Fund
  • Jackson & Walker Council for Excellence Scholarship Endowment Fund 
  • Johnson & Swanson Council for Excellence Scholarship Endowment Fund
  • The Jones Day Endowed Scholarship Fund
  • Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue Council for Excellence Scholarship Endowment Fund
  • The John Leddy Jones Memorial Scholarships
  • Journal of Air Law and Commerce Fund
  • K&L Gates Council for Excellence Scholarship Endowment Fund
  • The K&L Gates Endowed Scholarship Fund
  • The Locke Liddell & Sapp Endowment Fund
  • The Thomas W. Luce, III Centennial Dedman Law Scholars Program Fund
  • Cary Maguire Ethics Scholarship
  • E. Eugene Mason Endowed Scholarship Fund
  • Joseph P. McKnight Memorial Scholarship
  • The Alfred E. McLane Endowed Scholarship Fund
  • Tom and Rosemary Medders Law Scholarship Fund
  • Marvin and Mollyann R. Menaker Endowment Fund
  • The Britton D. Monts Endowed Scholarship Fund
  • Annie Morris Law Scholarship
  • Alfred P. Murrah Memorial Scholarship
  • The James L. Noel, Jr. Endowed Scholarship Fund
  • The Dean Charles Shirley Potts Scholarship Endowment Fund
  • Maurice E. Purnell Endowed Scholarship Fund
  • Rupert and Lillian Radford Scholarship Fund
  • The Rain, Harrell, Emery, Young & Doke Council for Excellence Scholarship Endowment Fund
  • Joy and Ralph Ellis Scholarship
  • The Bess and Ted Enloe Endowed Scholarship Fund
  • The Armine C. Ernst Endowed Scholarship Fund
  • The Favrot and Hartwell Endowed Scholarship Fund
  • The Henry R. and Rose S. Feld and Morton H. and Hortense Sanger Endowed Scholarship Fund
  • Donald C. Fitch, Jr. Endowed Scholarship
  • The Charles and Peggy Galvin Endowment Fund
  • The Judge Dean Gandy Endowed Scholarship Fund
  • Gardere & Wynne Council for Excellence Scholarship Endowment Fund
  • The Larry D. George Endowed Scholarship Fund
  • Gibbs Memorial Scholarship Fund
  • Arthur I. and Jeannette M. Ginsburg Scholarship
  • Hawkins Golden Law Scholarship
  • The J. Roscoe Golden Memorial Endowed Law Scholarship
  • The Hall Family Endowed Scholarship in Law
  • W. R. Harris, Sr. Memorial Scholarship
  • The Linda Wertheimer Hart and Milledge A. Hart III Endowment for the School of Law
  • James Hartnett Scholarship Endowment Fund
  • Haynes and Boone Council for Excellence Scholarship Endowment Fund
  • Will T. Henry Endowment
  • Wilson W. Herndon Memorial Fund
  • Justice John and Lena Hickman Scholarship Fund
  • The John Howie Family Scholarship Endowment Fund
  • The Richard M. Hull Endowed Service Scholarship
  • The Bill O’Brien and Doug Hammond Memorial Endowed Scholarship
  • The William A. Hunter Memorial Scholarship Fund
  • The Homer B. Reynolds III Endowed Scholarship Fund
  • The Dean John W. Riehm Endowed Memorial Scholarship Fund
  • William J. Rochelle, Jr. Scholarship Endowment Fund
  • Professor Roy R. Ray Scholarship
  • The C. Paul Rogers Endowed Scholarship Fund
  • The Martin Samuelsohn Endowed Scholarship
  • The Richard L. Scott Family Scholarship Endowment Fund
  • The John T. Sharpe Scholarship Endowment Fund
  • The Robert Hickman Smellage, Sr. Memorial Fund
  • The Edward R. & Jo Anne M. Smith Endowment Fund
  • Wm. Elliott and Mildred Smith Scholarship
  • The Sohmen Chinese Scholars Program Endowment
  • The Sohmen Endowed Scholarship Fund
  • Fred S. Stradley Memorial Scholarship
  • Strasburger & Price Council for Excellence Scholarship Endowment Fund
  • Carl W. Summers, Jr., Endowment Fund
  • The Hatton W. Sumners Foundation Scholarship Program
  • The Louis Szep Endowed Memorial Fund
  • Thompson & Knight Council for Excellence Scholarship Endowment Fund
  • The Thompson & Knight Endowed Scholarship Fund
  • The James Cleo Thompson, Sr. Endowed Scholarship Fund
  • The John J. Tigert VI Endowed Memorial Scholarship Fund
  • Vial, Hamilton, Koch & Knox Council for Excellence Scholarship Endowment Fund
  • The Vinson & Elkins Endowed Scholarship Fund
  • The Vinson & Elkins Endowed Scholarship Fund – 2002
  • W.A. Rhea Scholarship Fund
  • James L. and Catherine Nolan Walsh Scholarship Fund
  • James L. Walsh, Jr. for the Support of the Law School
  • Meade Whitaker Law Scholarship
  • Winstead PC Council for Excellence Scholarship Endowment Fund
  • The Robert A. Wooldridge Endowed Scholarship Fund