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SPIF Eligibility

We define the program broadly to include as many opportunities as possible.  Work in federal, state, and local government and with not-for-profit organizations with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status qualifies for SPIF.  Please note that funds are not available for judicial clerkships since this opportunity is broadly available to Yale students after graduation without prior clerkship experience and because of the University’s 501(c)(3) status, SPIF funds are not available for work on political campaigns.  For positions outside the United States, it is impossible to define a precise eligibility standard, but in general, governmental entities and those entities that would be 501(c)(3) organizations if they were located in the United States will qualify.  Other work, such as legal work for unions, may qualify, but you should not assume that it does absent an affirmative ruling by the Financial Aid Office.  To guide your job search and selection process, you may request an advisory ruling on whether the organization qualifies by giving the Financial Aid Office a description of the organization.  Particular positions are eligible provided that the organization does not pay other similarly-situated summer interns. 

Example 1:  Research assistants generally are not eligible for SPIF because most universities pay other research assistants. 
Example 2:  If Government Agency XYZ has a policy that it will pay summer interns who are 2Ls, but not those who are 1Ls, 1L interns would be eligible for SPIF. 

Student Eligibility
Student eligibility for the program is based on financial need.  

Automatic Eligibility
— Students who are receiving financial aid grants from the Law School;
— Students who have completed the FAFSA and have demonstrated financial need.  The FAFSA will calculate the Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) and if this number is at or below the total cost-of-attendance, a student is eligible to receive SPIF funds (refer to the Student Aid Report (SAR)).

If a student does not qualify for summer grant assistance and if a student's budget allows, borrowing additional loans can be an option.  These loans are eligible to be covered by COAP, our loan forgiveness program, after graduation.  Students may receive SPIF funding for two summers.  Funding is not available for the summer after graduation.  Joint degree students must be enrolled in the Law School for either the semester before or the semester after the summer fellowship.