Paying for Law School

<p>One of my friend's kids has a full ride to a decent law school, merit based. I know this isn't terribly common, but it's not unheard of, either. Do any of you have experience with great merit packages, or even decent finaid from your law school? Do any of the top schools give merit aid? What does it take to get one of these scholarships? How generous are the need-based financial aid packages from the top schools? I haven't seen too much on CC about paying for law school, and any information anyone would be willing to share would be helpful.</p>

<p>It's not really that uncommon; at some schools more than 10% of the students there have a full ride (sometimes with a stipend as well). Having a GPA and LSAT score that are well above average for the entering class at a school will generally be enough to get significant merit money. There is virtually no need-based aid.</p>

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There is virtually no need-based aid.

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<p>I didn't realize this. So a person has be fairly well off, or take out loans, to go to law school? Seems odd.</p>

<p>Or do very well on the tests and have a high gpa. Will this get you merit money at the top schools, though, or only the next tier?</p>

<p>If my son has the scores and grades to get into a school like Stanford, is there any chance at all that he could get financial help from the school?</p>

<p>If your son has great stats(LSAT included) he'll get a good package.... He'll probably get a better package from a lower ranked school though. Its going to be very hard to get a good financial aid package from an Ivy league school.</p>

<p>Yes, because top schools can always find 250 students per year who can easily pay their tuition fees.It is financially more beneficial for top unis to accept someone with 172;3.90 who can pay instead of someone with 176;3.95 who needs a full package.
You would have better chances for lower ranked schools.For example, if you apply with the above stats to a school which requires about 155;3.70, you will probably get a full scholarship.</p>

<p>wait, so law school admissions aren't need-blind?</p>

<p>Some are, some arent.</p>

<p>if you apply with those stats to a school that requires like a 160-165 you'll probably get a good package.... So the school doesnt have to be a 155Lsat school. Go to LSN and check out a few profiles.....</p>

<p>Some are, some arent.</p>

<p>if you apply with those stats to a school that requires like a 160-165 you'll probably get a good package.... So the school doesnt have to be a 155Lsat school. Go to LSN and check out a few profiles.....</p>

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I didn't realize this. So a person has be fairly well off, or take out loans, to go to law school? Seems odd.

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<p>Basically, yes. HYS give some need-based aid, but that's about it.</p>

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It is financially more beneficial for top unis to accept someone with 172;3.90 who can pay instead of someone with 176;3.95 who needs a full package.

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</p>

<p>Schools care a lot more about their rankings than saving a few thousand dollars, and there really aren't that many applicants with HYS-level stats. And again, they don't guarantee any need-based aid.</p>

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Or do very well on the tests and have a high gpa. Will this get you merit money at the top schools, though, or only the next tier?

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</p>

<p>You can get money or even a full ride from the top schools. The Darrow at Michigan, Levy at Penn or Hamilton at Columbia, for example.</p>

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wait, so law school admissions aren't need-blind?

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<p>Of course they are. If they're not giving need-based aid, why wouldn't they be?</p>

<p>Remember, Law School, like Medical and Business Schools, are PROFESSIONAL graduate degrees. These aren't research/academic programs like MA/MS/Ph.D.</p>

<p>People matriculate into professional programs under the assumptions that the marginal cost of education is worth the compensatory benefits in salary in the future. Don't go into a program blindly in the hopes of being a lawyer, just to find yourself in $100k+ in debt in the future, still not having found a job outside of public service.</p>

<p>Law school is a professional INVESTMENT and isn't a government-backed institution for social mobility like undergraduate education is.</p>

<p>Though some schools do offer need-based financial aid, it usually isn't a considerably generous amount (Most medians hover around the $10k range whereas a few others here and there offer $15k-20k), most aid you see given out to students are all merit-based.</p>

<p>If your son scores well enough to get into stanford, he'll get a full ride offer from a school ranked around 20, maybe even lower t-14. But I wouldn't bank on that.</p>

<p>Looking at Law School Numbers, per your suggestion, I am struck by how many applicants have GPAs over 4.0. How do you do that in college? It's not like you have AP courses in college which will push you into that range like you do in high school. At least not at my kids' colleges.<br>
How are students coming up with GPAa of 4.2 or 4.3???</p>

<p>some students go to schools where the highest grade given is an A+, which comes out to a 4.33</p>

<p>merit based is available- but usually the greater the amount of money offered- it usually means going to a school which is "ranked" below your potential. So one needs to decide how far down in rankings one want to go-</p>

<p>of course if you are HYS calibar and decide to take full ride at columbia or U mich- that would be a nice thing. But not too many are HYS calibar and have that wonderful decision to make.
schools that have been known to be generous with merit money to the right candidate may include GW, Emory, Wustl- but who knows what will be in future years.</p>

<p>Using my own d as example (which I often do). She was T-14 cusp- but got some money from T-20 schools(10,00-20,000/ year) and a full ride from a T-50.<br>
It was a harder decision to make than she thought, as a full ride to a local T-50 was extremely enticing. In the end she decided to go with the T-14 school and is taking out loans.
Time will tell whether this was a wise move or not- but she is happy with her decision.</p>

<p>@sybbie719,
So, are students who only can get A (4.0) and their school doesnt offer any A+ at a disadvantaged position ?</p>

<p>overachiever, from the standpoint of admissions committees trying to improve their magazine rankings, yes. I would hope that aside from that, schools are smart enough to realize that someone with a 4.0/4.0 is probably better than someone with a 4.01/4.33....but who knows.</p>

<p>Yes, but wait a minute.Are law schools aware that students with 4.00/4.00 achieved the maximum ?Because if LSAC doesnt report whether the max is 4.0 or 4.33 and someone gets 4.0/4.0 , schools may think he/she could have achieved more.Especially if the person comes from a lower ranked college !</p>

<p>And THAT is why law school admissions use the LSAT so much.</p>

<p>According to LSAC, ''we may expect a drop in the GPA after being converted'' , so actually, if we have 4.0/4.0, we can still expect the drop because it will be 4.0/4.33 and won`t be the max ;[</p>

<p>Overachiever, everyone deals with it, generally its not a problem.</p>