When is it worth it re-take the LSAT if you're getting into T-14 schools with little to no $$?

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abg591

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When is it worth it re-take the LSAT if you're getting into T-14 schools with little to no $$?

Postby abg591 » Mon Jan 22, 2018 5:29 pm

I'm in a tough situation. I've gotten into some great schools with a GPA that is well above most of the T-14 medians and some work experience in a top big-law firm, but unfortunately that work experience came at the expense of my LSAT score, which is below all the medians in the T-14. Which means I have been getting little to no merit aid, and even with max need-based aid at the schools I've been getting into, I'd still be looking at 6 figure debt. Is it time to just bite the bullet, re-study and re-take the LSAT, and apply next cycle? And if so, is it possible to defer my current admissions and have them re-evaluate my scholarship award with an updated LSAT score? Or will I have to start from scratch next cycle admissions-wise too?

I really wanted to start law school this fall, but knowing that if I just gave myself more time to study for the LSAT without working 60-80 hour weeks and end up with substantially less debt, it'd be hard to accept those admissions.

Anon-e-miss

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Re: When is it worth it re-take the LSAT if you're getting into T-14 schools with little to no $$?

Postby Anon-e-miss » Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:26 pm

In order to receive the best feedback in this forum, please provide as much of the following information in your original post as possible:

-The schools you are considering
-The total Cost of Attendance (COA) of each. COA = cost of tuition + fees + books + cost of living (COL) + accumulated interest - scholarships. Here is a helpful calculator.
-How you will be financing your COA, i.e. loans, family, or savings
-Where you are from and where you want to work, and other places where you have significant ties (if any)
-Your general career goals
-Your LSAT/GPA numbers
-How many times you have taken the LSAT
Last edited by Anon-e-miss on Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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pancakes3

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Re: When is it worth it re-take the LSAT if you're getting into T-14 schools with little to no $$?

Postby pancakes3 » Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:34 pm

so long as you're below the 75th percentile, it'll be worth a retake.

if it helps, pretend that you're getting paid to study, by virtue of you getting that money in scholly,
if it helps, don't think of scholly as money the school is paying you, but rather it's the school being so gracious as to permit you to pay them a little less.
and if it further helps, the schools shouldn't be getting paid that much anyway. tuition prices are out of control, even T14s.

abg591

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Re: When is it worth it re-take the LSAT if you're getting into T-14 schools with little to no $$?

Postby abg591 » Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:11 pm

Anon-e-miss wrote:In order to receive the best feedback in this forum, please provide as much of the following information in your original post as possible:

-The schools you are considering
-The total Cost of Attendance (COA) of each. COA = cost of tuition + fees + books + cost of living (COL) + accumulated interest - scholarships. Here is a helpful calculator.
-How you will be financing your COA, i.e. loans, family, or savings
-Where you are from and where you want to work, and other places where you have significant ties (if any)
-Your general career goals
-Your LSAT/GPA numbers
-How many times you have taken the LSAT


For the T-14 schools I'm considering, cost of attendance I'm looking at is approx. $240,000 to $260,000 for all 3 years.

I did get a full ride to Iowa, but not sure how persuasive that merit aid package would be negotiating with T-14 schools.

I am a first generation student and my dad is the only source of income for my family and is a blue-collar worker, so I'll be financing my own education completely. I (nor my family) do not have nearly enough saved up to pay for it myself, so it'll be all through loans/aids plus whatever I can make working summers. I'd also apply for some 3rd party scholarships, but not sure how successful I will be with those.

I am from Chicago and want to ideally stay and work in Chicago if possible.

Career goals is big law.

LSAT is 165, GPA is 3.9 from a top 12 private undergrad school. I've only taken the LSAT 1 time after minimal studying given my work schedule at the time.

mcmand

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Re: When is it worth it re-take the LSAT if you're getting into T-14 schools with little to no $$?

Postby mcmand » Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:19 pm

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Last edited by mcmand on Thu Jan 25, 2018 10:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

abg591

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Re: When is it worth it re-take the LSAT if you're getting into T-14 schools with little to no $$?

Postby abg591 » Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:36 pm

mcmand wrote:You are leaving astonishing amounts of money on the table. If you got a 165 with not much studying, imagine where you'll be when you squeeze in some real effort on it. You're wasting your stellar GPA with a so so LSAT.

Just look at those COA numbers you gave us. $250,000 COA, + any income you aren't making because you won't be at your current job = something north of $400k.

Do you want to work in the Midwest? If not, Iowa isn't going to help you much, even if it's free.

Your headline answers your own question. If you're not getting much $$ at schools you want to attend, you should be retaking.


Thanks :( I guess I was just kind of in denial. Can I just take a moment to say that I hate that the LSAT makes or breaks law school applications? :(

Graybrow

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Re: When is it worth it re-take the LSAT if you're getting into T-14 schools with little to no $$?

Postby Graybrow » Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:39 pm

abg591 wrote:
mcmand wrote:You are leaving astonishing amounts of money on the table. If you got a 165 with not much studying, imagine where you'll be when you squeeze in some real effort on it. You're wasting your stellar GPA with a so so LSAT.

Just look at those COA numbers you gave us. $250,000 COA, + any income you aren't making because you won't be at your current job = something north of $400k.

Do you want to work in the Midwest? If not, Iowa isn't going to help you much, even if it's free.

Your headline answers your own question. If you're not getting much $$ at schools you want to attend, you should be retaking.


Thanks :( I guess I was just kind of in denial. Can I just take a moment to say that I hate that the LSAT makes or breaks law school applications? :(


You'll hate it less after it gets you tens to hundreds of thousands in scholarship dollars.

mcmand

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Re: When is it worth it re-take the LSAT if you're getting into T-14 schools with little to no $$?

Postby mcmand » Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:53 pm

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Last edited by mcmand on Thu Jan 25, 2018 10:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

resiny

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Re: When is it worth it re-take the LSAT if you're getting into T-14 schools with little to no $$?

Postby resiny » Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:56 pm

Hate to say it but you could essentially make six figures for doing a couple weeks of dedicated LSAT study. Then spend a year doing something you enjoy while the offers roll in. That GPA and 170+ will likely net a ton of merit money.

abg591

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Re: When is it worth it re-take the LSAT if you're getting into T-14 schools with little to no $$?

Postby abg591 » Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:59 pm

mcmand wrote:Try to imagine servicing the kind of debt you're proposing. You'll make $180k. After taxes, depending on location, that can be anywhere from 8500-9500/month. (Those who want to spend time doing exact math feel free, just estimating based on my own.)

Your standard 10 year loan repayment plan will have you paying $2770+ per month, and that's me just lumping that sum together with one interest rate of 6%.

You won't be poor, assuming you have no other debt to speak of. And you have the advantage of aiming for Chicago, which has lower cost of living. But you will not reap the same rewards that you're imagining for you and your family being the first person in your family to make that kind of money. You will be watching thousands of dollars you could save or help your family with fly out of your bank account every month.

And then you will wonder what the fuck you were thinking when you went to Penn or something without retaking the LSAT to bring that cost down.

Pull yourself together and improve on what you have. Make the most of it.


Do you know what might happen with my current acceptances then? Would deferring be an option, and then just supplement my application with an updated LSAT score?

rachelac

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Re: When is it worth it re-take the LSAT if you're getting into T-14 schools with little to no $$?

Postby rachelac » Mon Jan 22, 2018 11:20 pm

abg591 wrote:
LSAT is 165, GPA is 3.9 from a top 12 private undergrad school. I've only taken the LSAT 1 time after minimal studying given my work schedule at the time.


FWIW, my diagnostic was around a 165 (maybe a 163?) and I got it up to a 173 by doing a logic games book through by myself and then doing a few practice tests a week for 3 months. It wasn't onerous; if you already understand the test well self-study isn't a bad option, and I've gotten some really generous financial aid offers from MVP.

~retake~

mcmand

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Re: When is it worth it re-take the LSAT if you're getting into T-14 schools with little to no $$?

Postby mcmand » Mon Jan 22, 2018 11:40 pm

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Last edited by mcmand on Thu Jan 25, 2018 10:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

Big Red

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Re: When is it worth it re-take the LSAT if you're getting into T-14 schools with little to no $$?

Postby Big Red » Tue Jan 23, 2018 1:36 pm

Hate to say it but this is a situation where retake is 100% what you should be doing

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daiff

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Re: When is it worth it re-take the LSAT if you're getting into T-14 schools with little to no $$?

Postby daiff » Thu Jan 25, 2018 6:06 am

I agree with Big Red. You are likely to have significant room for improvement since 165 was your 1st take and you didn't even spent all your time on it, plus you really need the money. The decision to retake is easy. But if I were you, and I don't know what's your last take, I might prepare for the Feb test as some schools might still consider Feb score for this cycle. But if you haven't now, it might be a little late for that.

But you should definitely contact schools and see if they can defer your offer and reconsider it in next cycle if you have another score, instead of filing a new application. I'd like to see what's their policy.

albanach

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Re: When is it worth it re-take the LSAT if you're getting into T-14 schools with little to no $$?

Postby albanach » Thu Jan 25, 2018 8:20 am

abg591 wrote:Thanks :( I guess I was just kind of in denial. Can I just take a moment to say that I hate that the LSAT makes or breaks law school applications? :(


You're in a much better situation than most splitters. They are stuck with their GPA and, if they're already in the 170s, there's nothing they can really do to significantly improve their stats.

You, on the other hand, already have a good GPA and only have to master a learnable test to be rewarded with tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. If you were to end up borrowing $260k, you're going to pay back well over $300k. Let's say you spend two hours a day for a year working on the LSAT to get a 99th percentile score and with it a free ride. You earned $400 for every one of those 700ish hours. And that doesn't even count a potential $30k from a big law summer associate position that will be much harder to come by at a lower ranked school.

tl;dr; retake.



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