Some info for people negotiating $$$

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Paul Campos
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Some info for people negotiating $$$

Postby Paul Campos » Sun May 06, 2012 1:58 pm

I've been following the admissions process for law schools this cycle pretty closely in conjunction with a research project I'm doing, and here are a couple of bits of information people might find helpful:

(1) A lot of schools, and especially a lot of Tier One schools outside the T-14, have gotten significantly fewer seat deposits than they normally have at this point in the cycle. One school in the middle of the top tier has less than half its normal seat deposits as of early May. That's an extreme case but a bunch of schools are down 20%-30% from historical yields.

(2) Because of (1) schools are pulling way more people off wait lists than normal, and offering much more money than they normally would to WL admits.

In general, anybody who has just been admitted to any school outside the T-14 -- and maybe even to a couple within it -- is in a position to drive a hard bargain.

Remember that the key to negotiating is that you have to be willing to walk away. Only then will you find out what the other party's real bottom line is.

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Wily
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Re: Some info for people negotiating $$$

Postby Wily » Sun May 06, 2012 2:12 pm

Paul Campos wrote:I've been following the admissions process for law schools this cycle pretty closely in conjunction with a research project I'm doing, and here are a couple of bits of information people might find helpful:

(1) A lot of schools, and especially a lot of Tier One schools outside the T-14, have gotten significantly fewer seat deposits than they normally have at this point in the cycle. One school in the middle of the top tier has less than half its normal seat deposits as of early May. That's an extreme case but a bunch of schools are down 20%-30% from historical yields.

(2) Because of (1) schools are pulling way more people off wait lists than normal, and offering much more money than they normally would to WL admits.

In general, anybody who has just been admitted to any school outside the T-14 -- and maybe even to a couple within it -- is in a position to drive a hard bargain.

Remember that the key to negotiating is that you have to be willing to walk away. Only then will you find out what the other party's real bottom line is.


I completely agree with this, based on my cycle so far. 2.7/168, just in the last two weeks, got taken off the waitlist at GW and offered $75k, off the waitlist at W&M and offered $30k, and off the waitlist at WUSTL and offered $60k. Also managed to negotiate a normal acceptance at Cardozo from $8k/year to $42k/year. I can't say I'm unhappy at the situation T1 law schools are faced with, given that it has benefited me financially.

Mind naming which T1 school has less than 50% yield as of May? That might help for others trying to get scholarship increases from that school.

Law schools are so overpriced now that they should be giving discounts to admitted students, so I'm fully behind helping others negotiate higher scholarships.

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AntipodeanPhil
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Re: Some info for people negotiating $$$

Postby AntipodeanPhil » Sun May 06, 2012 2:38 pm

Thanks Dr. Campos - this is certainly helpful information. I hope people act on this!

I have noticed a lot of "I was planning to attend school X, but just got accepted off the waitlist to school Y" threads in this forum over the past week or two - more than I recall at this point last year. This data would explain that.

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hung jury
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Re: Some info for people negotiating $$$

Postby hung jury » Mon May 07, 2012 1:34 am

Great news.

Given that the problem will be carrying into next cycle, it is probably worth it for a lot of students to forgo attending in the fall (if they committed to tier 1s for sticker, for instance) and shoot for scholarships next year. Doubt it happens as much as it should, but a lot of Deans are probably worrying about their job security right now. Hopefully we also see a sizeable contraction in the graduating class of 2015.

Repartee16
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Re: Some info for people negotiating $$$

Postby Repartee16 » Mon May 07, 2012 7:50 am

I'm pretty excited that I'm applying right after a decrease in enrollment. As a hopeful splitte, it'll be nice to have a little cushion with gaining admission or negotiating a scholarship. Any more info you have on the impact would be appreciated!

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Mr. Somebody
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Re: Some info for people negotiating $$$

Postby Mr. Somebody » Mon May 07, 2012 11:50 am

Thanks for the post Professor Campos. Do you think we'll see this effect at T14's as well?

NU just admitted a bunch of people off the hold list and isn't offering any money. Conversely I've heard other T14's are offering money off the waitlist.

I Guess part of it will depend on whether schools decide to preserve medians rather than reduce class size

Paul Campos
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Re: Some info for people negotiating $$$

Postby Paul Campos » Mon May 07, 2012 12:30 pm

Mr. Somebody wrote:Thanks for the post Professor Campos. Do you think we'll see this effect at T14's as well?

NU just admitted a bunch of people off the hold list and isn't offering any money. Conversely I've heard other T14's are offering money off the waitlist.

I Guess part of it will depend on whether schools decide to preserve medians rather than reduce class size


Yes I do think you'll see this effect at T-14s, although it won't be as pronounced. When top 20 schools are not only admitting large numbers of people off their wait lists but offering 50% discounts off sticker to people admitted in May (as GW and Minnesota are doing) that tells you these schools are in a real hole. Otherwise they'd try to fill the class with sticker-price or near sticker-price admits off the WL rather than resorting to immediately giving deep discounts to people who have been riding their WLs for months. That's a sign they're seriously concerned about falling far short of getting a full class.

Repartee16
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Re: Some info for people negotiating $$$

Postby Repartee16 » Mon May 07, 2012 12:39 pm

Professor Campos, how many cycles do you think this behavior will continue for? I'm sure as soon as a plummet in law school admissions becomes a recurring theme, it will only be a matter of time before we see a sudden surge in applicants as was witnessed when the economy tanked. Do you think this effect will continue for a few years? I know this would all be speculation, but I'm curious to hear your opinion.

Thank you

Paul Campos
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Re: Some info for people negotiating $$$

Postby Paul Campos » Mon May 07, 2012 2:04 pm

Repartee16 wrote:Professor Campos, how many cycles do you think this behavior will continue for? I'm sure as soon as a plummet in law school admissions becomes a recurring theme, it will only be a matter of time before we see a sudden surge in applicants as was witnessed when the economy tanked. Do you think this effect will continue for a few years? I know this would all be speculation, but I'm curious to hear your opinion.

Thank you


One of the first signs that the law school business model was breaking down was that total applicant numbers did not go up during the great recession, which was an unprecedented development during an economic downturn, and especially striking given that the 2007-2009 downturn was the worst since the 1930s.

What I think we'll see in the next few years are serious tuition reductions in real terms at many schools. The sticker price may not go down, but there will be a lot of schools where literally no one will be paying sticker (I understand this was already the case for the current 1L class at UIUC). We'll also see quite a few schools follow the Hastings route and seriously reduce class size. And at least a few schools are going to close down altogether.

The big shakeout is just beginning. If I were applying to law school next cycle, my strategy would be to not commit anywhere until as late in the process as possible. I might not even apply until very late. Under these conditions, the notion that "scholarship" money will be gone no longer holds. It will be more like price-lining an airline ticket or hotel room at the last minute.

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R86
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Re: Some info for people negotiating $$$

Postby R86 » Mon May 07, 2012 2:44 pm

:D
Last edited by R86 on Wed May 09, 2012 1:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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flem
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Re: Some info for people negotiating $$$

Postby flem » Mon May 07, 2012 2:49 pm

Paul Campos wrote: We'll also see quite a few schools follow the Hastings route and seriously reduce class size. And at least a few schools are going to close down altogether.



Even with the federal government still in the student loan business? Since the reduction in LSAT takers who SHOULD NOT (140ish scorers) be going to law school isn't down, by this logic it seems like the wrong schools would also be closing.

Paul Campos
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Re: Some info for people negotiating $$$

Postby Paul Campos » Mon May 07, 2012 3:11 pm

flem wrote:
Paul Campos wrote: We'll also see quite a few schools follow the Hastings route and seriously reduce class size. And at least a few schools are going to close down altogether.



Even with the federal government still in the student loan business? Since the reduction in LSAT takers who SHOULD NOT (140ish scorers) be going to law school isn't down, by this logic it seems like the wrong schools would also be closing.


Unfortunately the process is unlikely to lead to anything like a 1:1 relationship between the schools that ought to be shut down being the schools that will go out of business. Cooley just announced that it got more matriculants than expected for its first class at its new Florida campus. Now that just might be puffery but the fact that they got 100+ people to sign up is pretty breathtaking.

poe
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Re: Some info for people negotiating $$$

Postby poe » Mon May 07, 2012 3:38 pm

If only this applied to Berkeley...

GSCgold
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Re: Some info for people negotiating $$$

Postby GSCgold » Mon May 07, 2012 3:52 pm

While it does seem like most of the schools I applied to are kind of scrambling to fill their seats (I've gotten scholarships upped from 4 schools after I withdrew), one of the schools I applied to said they've had a 20% increase in applications. They also mentioned that only 2 other schools have experienced this much of an increase- out of pure curiousity any idea which schools they are?

CanadianWolf
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Re: Some info for people negotiating $$$

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon May 07, 2012 4:06 pm

Are you willing to name the schools ? Especially interested in the school with a 20% increase in applications. (So far, Loyola-LA & Kansas have reported increases.)

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BmoreOrLess
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Re: Some info for people negotiating $$$

Postby BmoreOrLess » Mon May 07, 2012 4:13 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Are you willing to name the schools ? Especially interested in the school with a 20% increase in applications. (So far, Loyola-LA & Kansas have reported increases.)


I know Wake Forest was saying they had huge increases in applications for this cycle back in January/February. They are now sending money to waitlisted applicants though.

http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=168683&p=5164385#p5164385

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Some info for people negotiating $$$

Postby Tiago Splitter » Mon May 07, 2012 4:27 pm

R86 wrote:
Paul Campos wrote:I might not even apply until very late. Under these conditions, the notion that "scholarship" money will be gone no longer holds. It will be more like price-lining an airline ticket or hotel room at the last minute.


Wow. Crazy advice to think about, but I understand what you're saying here. Still, law school is a little different than an airline ticket or a hotel room. If I've got my heart set on a certain school and I take this kind of approach and it doesn't pan out (say I don't get as good of a scholarship offer as someone with my exact numbers who applied in October), it wouldn't be as easy to switch to another airline or pull up a different travel site.

I like the analogy, and it definitely works for a student who is willing to go wherever the best deal takes them. Maybe I'm shooting myself in the foot for having too narrow an idea of where I want to go next year.


That's exactly his point. Don't get too wed to the idea of any one school and you're likely to be happy with the results.

GSCgold
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Re: Some info for people negotiating $$$

Postby GSCgold » Mon May 07, 2012 4:33 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Are you willing to name the schools ? Especially interested in the school with a 20% increase in applications. (So far, Loyola-LA & Kansas have reported increases.)


The school with a 20%+ increase in applications that I know of is Richmond. Chicago Kent, L&C, Brooklyn, and Dozo all upped their scholarship offers after I withdrew.

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R86
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Re: Some info for people negotiating $$$

Postby R86 » Mon May 07, 2012 4:34 pm

:D
Last edited by R86 on Wed May 09, 2012 1:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Mr. Somebody
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Re: Some info for people negotiating $$$

Postby Mr. Somebody » Mon May 07, 2012 4:51 pm

R86 wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:
R86 wrote:
Paul Campos wrote:I might not even apply until very late. Under these conditions, the notion that "scholarship" money will be gone no longer holds. It will be more like price-lining an airline ticket or hotel room at the last minute.


Wow. Crazy advice to think about, but I understand what you're saying here. Still, law school is a little different than an airline ticket or a hotel room. If I've got my heart set on a certain school and I take this kind of approach and it doesn't pan out (say I don't get as good of a scholarship offer as someone with my exact numbers who applied in October), it wouldn't be as easy to switch to another airline or pull up a different travel site.

I like the analogy, and it definitely works for a student who is willing to go wherever the best deal takes them. Maybe I'm shooting myself in the foot for having too narrow an idea of where I want to go next year.


That's exactly his point. Don't get too wed to the idea of any one school and you're likely to be happy with the results.


Right. That's just not me.

Could just be a matter of personal preference. Half the time I use Priceline, Shatner sticks me with a shit hotel I wouldn't have otherwise chosen... I mean, it's a deal, but if it's not where you want to be...

No matter how much you put down as a deposit you can always go somewhere else if you're pulled off a waitlist. Its win win in that sense since you reserve a seat at a school you'd like to attend but also have a chance at an upgrade. The thing to avoid is signing leases.

Paul Campos
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Re: Some info for people negotiating $$$

Postby Paul Campos » Mon May 07, 2012 4:53 pm

R86 wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:
R86 wrote:
Paul Campos wrote:I might not even apply until very late. Under these conditions, the notion that "scholarship" money will be gone no longer holds. It will be more like price-lining an airline ticket or hotel room at the last minute.


Wow. Crazy advice to think about, but I understand what you're saying here. Still, law school is a little different than an airline ticket or a hotel room. If I've got my heart set on a certain school and I take this kind of approach and it doesn't pan out (say I don't get as good of a scholarship offer as someone with my exact numbers who applied in October), it wouldn't be as easy to switch to another airline or pull up a different travel site.

I like the analogy, and it definitely works for a student who is willing to go wherever the best deal takes them. Maybe I'm shooting myself in the foot for having too narrow an idea of where I want to go next year.


That's exactly his point. Don't get too wed to the idea of any one school and you're likely to be happy with the results.


Right. That's just not me.

Could just be a matter of personal preference. Half the time I use Priceline, Shatner sticks me with a shit hotel I wouldn't have otherwise chosen... I mean, it's a deal, but if it's not where you want to be...


OK I'm going to get all grouchy and avuncular for a second here: Law school is not a week-long vacation at a Sandals resort. Do not think of it as a consumption activity. Think of it as an investment. The only thing that matters is cost/benefit ratio. If you think you're going to be miserable in Durham but happy in Ann Arbor or vice versa because of the vibe you got at the respective ASWs think again. You're going to be miserable in either place if you're going to law school.*

But seriously the idea of spending tens of thousands of extra dollars (which could add up well into six figures when you're paying the difference at 7.9% over 25 years) because of essentially cosmetic considerations is a big mistake. Making law school pay off right now is hard enough if you do everything right. Don't make it harder than it needs to be.



*J/K!#



#Sort of

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Mr. Somebody
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Re: Some info for people negotiating $$$

Postby Mr. Somebody » Mon May 07, 2012 5:03 pm

I'm also wondering if there will be more incentive to award money to boost their expenditures per student and game the rankings to help further offset any impact falling medians might have. In that sense scholarships can be a efficient two pronged strategy to preserve usnwr position

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flem
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Re: Some info for people negotiating $$$

Postby flem » Mon May 07, 2012 5:09 pm

So, this is probably stupid - but has anyone actually verified that this is actually Paul Campos?

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R86
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Re: Some info for people negotiating $$$

Postby R86 » Mon May 07, 2012 5:39 pm

:D
Last edited by R86 on Wed May 09, 2012 1:26 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Mr. Somebody
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Re: Some info for people negotiating $$$

Postby Mr. Somebody » Mon May 07, 2012 5:50 pm

R86 wrote:
Paul Campos wrote:OK I'm going to get all grouchy and avuncular for a second here: Law school is not a week-long vacation at a Sandals resort. Do not think of it as a consumption activity. Think of it as an investment. The only thing that matters is cost/benefit ratio. If you think you're going to be miserable in Durham but happy in Ann Arbor or vice versa because of the vibe you got at the respective ASWs think again. You're going to be miserable in either place if you're going to law school.*

But seriously the idea of spending tens of thousands of extra dollars (which could add up well into six figures when you're paying the difference at 7.9% over 25 years) because of essentially cosmetic considerations is a big mistake. Making law school pay off right now is hard enough if you do everything right. Don't make it harder than it needs to be.


The thing is, the school I'm considering going to is ranked significantly lower than the schools I could get into, but I expect a significant scholarship if not a full ride based on my numbers.

Effectively, I'm considering choosing CU Boulder, free of cost, over potentially going to CCN B MVP at sticker price (or close to it).

How do you apply the cost/benefit ratio ("the only thing that matters") to this situation, where the costs are fucking whacko and the benefit is impossible to really predict/quantify?


why not just deposit at CU Boulder and keep trying to hustle your way off the waitlists at the T10's? And if you get in, make a decision then.




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