For Students

Become a
Flywheel Fellow.

Led by alumni of Stanford and Harvard Law Schools, the Flywheel Fund is an innovative new non-profit organization designed to cover the upfront costs of a JD for every law student selected, with an affordable payment plan tied to income after graduation.

Where will your law degree take you?

According to the ABA, 1 in 3 new lawyers chose a career path different from what they initially expected because of loans—and 37% say they chose a job that pays more “instead of a job I really wanted.”

The Flywheel Fund gives students the power to choose a career path that inspires you, by easing the burden of debt repayment.

How it Works

Flywheel Fellows gain access to $170,000 in upfront funding to cover tuition and expenses over 3 years.

SLS will make payments due on your behalf at any point when you earn less than $100,000/year.

Your payments will be tied to personal (not family) income and capped at the cost of a Federal PLUS loan.

How to Apply

Stanford Law students interested in the pilot program can fill out the interest form linked below to request additional information and application materials. To be eligible, you must be a first- or second-year law student at Stanford Law School, a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident, and located in an eligible state.*

  1. Complete the interest form below.
  2. Complete and submit your formal application materials.
  3. If selected as a finalist, you’ll complete a funding application with a credit check as your final step.


What is the Flywheel Fund for Career Choice Fellowship Program?

Flywheel’s Fellowship Program was built by Stanford and Harvard Law School alumni seeking to empower law students to pursue diverse and high-impact careers by alleviating the burden of traditional installment education loan debt. Fellows gain access to the Flywheel Income Share Loan (FISL), powered by our partner, Stride Funding. The FISL is a contract where Fellows receive up to $170,000 in funds to support tuition / fees in exchange for a commitment to pay 10% of their income for 12 years following graduation. Stanford Law School has agreed to open this Fellowship to qualified 1L and 2L JD candidates as part of a pilot program to test this new model.

Students accepted into the Fellowship will be able to allocate up to $20,000 per term, and a life-of-degree total of $170,000 to certified fees and expenses as they complete their Juris Doctorate at Stanford Law School. Then, only after graduates begin employment will they begin making payments of 10% of their income over 144 months. Fellows who earn less than $100,000 in any year will have ALL payments due to the Flywheel Fund contributed by SLS, and students earning between $100,000 and $115,000 will have a portion of their payments subsidized by SLS..

What benefits does this program offer to students?

The FISL provides a new and more flexible  way for students to pay for their Stanford Law School education. As part of the program, when Fellows make more, they pay more, and if Fellows make less, they pay less (or nothing). Stanford has agreed to contribute ALL required payments for any Fellow who earns will less than $100k annualized in any given month and to subsidize a portion of the payments due from Fellows who earn between $100,000 and $115,000 annualized. 

The percentage of the income Fellows pay stays the same, but monthly payments may go up or down depending on salary. If Fellows earn a high income, a total payment cap will limit how much they are required to pay —Fellows will owe no additional payments when earning more than $225k annualized). The program also limits the total amount of payments due from any Fellow at to the lesser of what they would have paid with a GradPLUS loan or $270k.

*Who is eligible to apply for an ISL?

The Flywheel Fund’s FISL is available to:

  1. First and Second year students at Stanford Law School (Classes of 2024 and 2025). 
  2. Students with U.S. citizenship or permanent residency.
  3. Students 18 or older at the time of the contract execution.
  4. Students who have submitted their FAFSA for the current school year
  5. Students who have Earned Family Income <$750,000.
  6. Students who are not permanent residents of restricted states (Alabama, Iowa, South Carolina, Washington, Colorado).
  7. Students who complete the FISL application and credit check.

What is the application and approval process for a FISL?

Interested students can fill out the interest form linked here. The interest form is a simple online form that takes less than 5 minutes to complete. Students should have the following information available in order to finish their applications as quickly as possible:

  1. Your first and last name.
  2. Your Stanford email address.
  3. Your year in school.

After students submit the interest form, their information will be verified and students will be sent application directions. Once a candidate successfully completes this application, the Flywheel board will review submissions and will select finalists. If selected as a finalist, you’ll complete a FISL credit application as your final step. The entire process from start to finish takes no more than two weeks.

When do participants start making payments?

After graduation, Fellows have a payment-free grace period of 3 months 

If Fellows don’t secure employment before their grace period expires, they must reach out to Flywheel’s servicing partner, Stride Funding, to request deferment. Fellows will not be personally liable for any payments in months where their monthly gross earned income is below the Minimum Income Threshold. Stanford Law School LRAP will fully subsidize all payments due for any employed Fellow earning below $8, 333.33 in any month ($100k/year)

If Fellows don’t secure employment before their grace period expires, they must reach out to Flywheel’s servicing partner, Stride Funding, to request deferment. Fellows will not be personally liable for any payments in months where their monthly gross earned income is below the Minimum Income Threshold. Stanford Law School LRAP will fully subsidize all payments due for any employed Fellow earning below $8, 333.33 in any month ($100k/year)

When does the FISL end?

The Flywheel Income Share Loan will end when one of the following occurs — whichever comes first:

  1. You and Stanford collectively make 144 payments.
  2. The maximum time frame for your agreement of 216 months — the maximum payment period — expires
  3. You hit the “Early Termination Amount” as defined in your FISL. NOTE THAT Regardless of the amount  you borrow, this will never be more than what you would have paid under a GradPLUS student loan issued today.
  4. You make payments equal to the “Multiple Payment Cap” as defined in your FISL. For students who borrow the full amount the cap is $270,000.

What is the difference between a traditional installment loan and FISL?

Unlike traditional installment loans, the FISL is designed to align repayment with Fellows’ ability to afford payments based on career outcomes.

Traditional installment loans for education generally include :

  1. Fixed payments, which means you have to pay regardless of what you may earn.
  2. Inflexible payment schedules, which require you to pay even if you don’t have a job
  3. Requirements of a co-signer or high current income for students
  4. Up to 20 or 25 year payment terms when in federal income driven repayment

FISL for Flywheel Fellows provide:

  1. That payments are tied to income, giving you confidence that payments remain affordable, no matter your earnings
  2. That SLS will fully subsidize any payments you may be required to make during months where you make less than the minimum income threshold
  3. A cap on the Monthly Payments you can be required to make – limited to the first $18,750 of Monthly Earned Income you receive (equivalent of $225,000 annualized)
  4. 12 year payment term (over a maximum of 18 years) for a the FISL Program

What income is included in the determination of individual vs family income? In the determination of assets vs income?

This program will only use personal income, not family income, when assessing the value of each monthly payment for the FISL. This is calculated for U.S. taxpayers this includes Line 1 (Wages, salaries, tips) of IRS Form 1040EZ OR the sum of the following lines from IRS Form 1040:

  1. Line 1 (Wages, salaries, tips, etc.)
  2. Line 8 (Business income or loss), and
  3. Line 13 (Other income)

Earned Income also includes:

  1. Non-cash consideration received by you or deemed earned by you, directly or indirectly, such as contributions made to a deferred or equity compensation plan on your behalf
  2. Income and distributions received by you from your participation in any entity
  3. Equity rights or deferred compensation received during the Payment Term
  4. Any amounts earned by or payable to you, directly or indirectly, as a result of your provision of services to a related party

What is the tax treatment for recipients of SLS support? for those not receiving SLS contributions?

Students who receive funds from SLS through the LRAP program may be liable for taxes on payments made on their behalf. Please review Stanfords LRAP materials and tax documents. Students who do not receive money from the Stanford LRAP program throughout the life of their contract should not have any additional tax liabilities, unless the full amount taken is not repaid.

How is the status of employment determined? How is income verified?

Fellows are required to submit income related documents to Stride Funding prior to the initiation of their first payment (3 months after graduation). If Fellows are unemployed they will need to reach out to the servicer to verify their employment status with documentation.

What are the consequences of non-payment of amounts due under the FISL?

Students who fail to make payments towards their FISL, including amounts contributed by SLS, may be liable for negative impacts on their credit score and can be submitted to collections.

Are there provisions for early repayment?

Students who would like to repay early will need to pay up to the “Early Termination Amount” outlined in the FISL contract.

Is there a “tolling period” where payments are not due if a Fellow accepts a clerkships, seeks unemployment, or pursues additional education, etc.?

  1. If Fellows are earning below the income threshold (e.g. during their Clerkship) or because of other employment, then Stanford will make payments on students behalf.
  2. Fellows who are unemployed must communicate that information to Stride and their servicing partner Knowledge Finance and will need to provide documentation proving their employment status and documentation showing they are actively searching for employment.
  3. Fellows who pursue additional education may be eligible for deferment if they have no earned income while in school. Fellows who have any earned income while in school will still be eligible for payments, however if Fellows earn less than $100k Stanford will make payments on their behalf through the LRAP program.

What happens to my ISL in the event of a personal bankruptcy?

We may seek the payment of any amounts that were due and unpaid as of the date of your bankruptcy filing. Flywheel will not enforce its rights under the United States Bankruptcy Code for potential future payments and shall at no time assert that this Agreement is non-dischargeable as a qualified student loan as set forth in 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(8) or such other law that may, in the future, limit the dischargeability of income share agreements where such limitation on dischargeability is based upon the use of the income share agreement for educational expenses.

What happens if I have a change in family status during my ISL repayment? (ex. marriage/divorce/children)

This has no effect on the FISL as repayment is only tied to personal income. However, the change in family status may impact the amount that Stanford’s LRAP pays on your behalf if you earn between $100-115k during the Payment Term. For more information, check out the LRAP calculator here.

What happens if I have an emergency financial need? (ex. family illness/disability)

Fellows may be eligible for up to a total of six (6) months of Forbearance during the term of the FISL, though no Forbearance period can be longer than three (3) continuous months at a time.

What is Flywheel’s selection criteria and process?

Fellows will be selected by the Flywheel Fund leadership in line with the stated mission-driven and research goals detailed at Applicants will thereafter complete the formal credit application and be approved based on the credit criteria of the program.

How are my payments calculated during periods of uneven income? (ex. six months employed, six months unemployed, annual bonus, etc.)

If a student becomes unemployed they must communicate with and provide documentation to Stride Funding’s servicing partner, Knowledge Finance, within 30 days. Calculations are based solely on monthly income, if your monthly income changes significantly, Fellows should notify Stride Fundings servicing partner, Knowledge Finance.

How does a FISL interact with other debt instruments?

Prior borrowing and other obligations may impact your eligibility for the FISL if it is determined that your aggregate level of indebtedness, inclusive of the FISL, is likely to be unaffordable in light of expected earnings for SLS graduates. It will not, however, have any impact on the terms of any FISL you may be offered.

Where can I send additional questions or who can I reach out to?

  1. If you have any additional questions regarding the Fellowship, please reach out to us at!
  2. If you have any questions related to the FISL application or the servicing, please reach out to Stride Funding by calling (214) 775-9960 or via email at!

How are stock grants, stock options or other forms of equity treated under the FISL calculations of income?

“Earned Income” means your total wages, compensation and gross income from self-employment reported or required to be reported on an income tax return. On an annual basis, for U.S. taxpayers, this includes: (a) the sum of Line 1 (Wages, salaries, tips, etc.), Line 8 (Other Income), and Line 13 (Qualified business income) of IRS Form 1040; or (b) Line 1 (Wages, salaries, tips) of IRS Form 1040EZ, as reported or required to be reported on U.S. federal income tax returns. Earned Income also includes any non-cash consideration received or deemed earned by you, directly or indirectly, including, but not limited to, contributions to qualified and non-qualified deferred and/or equity compensation plans, income and distributions from your active participation in any entity, and equity rights or deferred compensation generated or attributable to the current period of your employment. If you file tax returns jointly with your spouse, your Earned Income shall not include any income earned solely by your spouse, as demonstrated by you to Flywheel’s satisfaction.

For any non-U.S. taxpayers, Earned Income shall substantively mean the equivalent of the amount that would be calculated based on this definition if the taxpayer were a U.S. filer. 

At its discretion, Flywheel may estimate your Earned Income using documentation or sources other than your U.S. federal income tax return, provided that the documentation is another verifiable source acceptable to Flywheel. Flywheel will specifically be permitted to, amongst other sources, use third party income verification and employment verification services to estimate your Earned Income.

**Stanford does not endorse the Flywheel Income Share Loan. The Flywheel Fund is not affiliated with Stanford University nor Stanford Law School.**