PHOTO BY DHOUI CHANG

The Faculty of Law has launched a new $30-million fundraising campaign, announced on September 28.

The Campaign for Excellence without Barriers has raised over $24 million since January 1, 2015, when the faculty’s current dean, Professor Edward Iacobucci, began his tenure.

The campaign primarily funds student financial aid, but it also supports co-curricular programming at the faculty, such as legal clinics, mental health initiatives, and professional opportunities.

Although donors are ultimately in control of where their donations are allocated, the goal of the campaign is to raise $20 million for financial aid and $10 million for co-curricular programming, according to Lucianna Ciccocioppo, the faculty’s Director of External Relations. $14.8 million of the amount raised thus far is toward financial aid.

“It’s fundamental that we continue to get the very best students interested in studying law here no matter their backgrounds,” Iacobucci told U of T News. “I think a great deal would be lost if financial obstacles prevented a broad range of people from attending the Faculty of Law.”

The campaign is expected to conclude in December 2019. Funds raised as part of the campaign have already been dispersed, including to this year’s incoming class. Privately supported endowments account for approximately a third of the faculty’s annual financial aid budget.

Since the mid-1990s, tuition at Ontario law schools has risen steadily, alongside a decline in government funding. While every law school in Ontario has a tuition fee of at least $16,000, U of T’s JD program is the most expensive in Canada — the cost of domestic tuition for the 2018–2019 school year is $36,720.

“The University of Toronto Faculty of Law has by far the most robust student financial aid program in Ontario,” said Ciccocioppo. “We are the only law school in Ontario with a needs-based only financial aid program. That means the students with the most demonstrated need obtain the highest level of financial support.”

Also unique to U of T’s Faculty of Law is the Post-Graduate Debt Relief Program, a low-income protection program for graduates that helps them repay their student debt following graduation.

For the 2017–2018 year, the law school distributed approximately $4.3 million in bursaries and loan interest payments to about half of its students. The average effective tuition for domestic first-year students receiving financial aid, in addition to government student loan grants and tax credits, was $10,900.

Tuition for the full-time JD program for international students is $49,270 this year. International students are not eligible for the U of T Law JD Financial Aid Program.

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