Question for Current Law Students - Student Budget

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theantiscalia
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Question for Current Law Students - Student Budget

Postby theantiscalia » Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:23 pm

Long-time reader, first-time poster.

I have a question for current law students (or any other TLS students who have been to graduate school). Do you find it difficult to live within the student budget at your school? I know it is difficult to borrow money above and beyond the budget, so I figured I'd ask just how limiting the student budget is. I ran my own numbers today, and it looks like it is going to be a spartan lifestyle, especially in some of the higher COL areas.

seamonkey
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Re: Question for Current Law Students - Student Budget

Postby seamonkey » Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:54 pm

theantiscalia wrote:Long-time reader, first-time poster.

I have a question for current law students (or any other TLS students who have been to graduate school). Do you find it difficult to live within the student budget at your school? I know it is difficult to borrow money above and beyond the budget, so I figured I'd ask just how limiting the student budget is. I ran my own numbers today, and it looks like it is going to be a spartan lifestyle, especially in some of the higher COL areas.


+1

I, also, am very interested in hearing more on this.

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Vegas_Rebel
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Re: Question for Current Law Students - Student Budget

Postby Vegas_Rebel » Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:58 pm

seamonkey wrote:+1

I, also, am very interested in hearing more on this.


+2

Any advice on encouraging finaid officers to adjust COL is also appreciated.

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: Question for Current Law Students - Student Budget

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Tue Mar 16, 2010 1:11 pm

1L here.

First and foremost, realize that your living budget should encompass the entire year (not just the 9 months that it is allocated for).

theantiscalia wrote:Long-time reader, first-time poster.

I have a question for current law students (or any other TLS students who have been to graduate school). Do you find it difficult to live within the student budget at your school? I know it is difficult to borrow money above and beyond the budget, so I figured I'd ask just how limiting the student budget is. I ran my own numbers today, and it looks like it is going to be a spartan lifestyle, especially in some of the higher COL areas.


No it is really not that difficult. If you feel as though you will have issues with it, allocate out a certain amount each month to spend (be smart and make sure december has a higher amount allocated). Well you should live like a student while you are in school (unless you are doing a loan/parent hybrid or an all parent contribution situation).

Well higher cost of living law schools generally have an additional $10,000 in their COA (NYC, DC, CA, etc.).

Vegas_Rebel wrote:
seamonkey wrote:+1

I, also, am very interested in hearing more on this.


+2

Any advice on encouraging finaid officers to adjust COL is also appreciated.


Adjust it for what? It can be adjusted for dependents, computers, and maybe a spouse (dependent). I'm not sure what you are looking for. They aren't going to increase you limit simply because you think that you are special and have special needs above and beyond which of the rest of the student body.

Regardless, most students in law school are from the upper middle class (which in exact dollars can vary dramatically across the US). But that is why when you see the average debt for graduates from law school X is far less than the total COA x 3. Essentially 80%+ students at any given law school either 1) had money saved or 2) has someone help them pay (not including a loan).

Hope that helped.

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danidancer
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Re: Question for Current Law Students - Student Budget

Postby danidancer » Tue Mar 16, 2010 1:13 pm

You can always get private loans above and beyond the COL. Sucks, but assuming you have decent credit, that option exists...

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Vegas_Rebel
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Re: Question for Current Law Students - Student Budget

Postby Vegas_Rebel » Tue Mar 16, 2010 1:21 pm

Aberzombie1892 wrote:Adjust it for what? It can be adjusted for dependents, computers, and maybe a spouse (dependent). I'm not sure what you are looking for. They aren't going to increase you limit simply because you think that you are special and have special needs above and beyond which of the rest of the student body.


I remembered someone asking for tips on living within COL, and someone else replying something to the extent of 'just have the finaid people adjust the budget. No one takes the stock COL' I figured some advice on how to do that might be forthcoming.

In UG, for instance, car payments aren't valid justification for COL increases. Because we're forbidden from working as 1L's (at my school, anyway), are those bills now valid for increasing COL?

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: Question for Current Law Students - Student Budget

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Tue Mar 16, 2010 1:25 pm

Vegas_Rebel wrote:
Aberzombie1892 wrote:Adjust it for what? It can be adjusted for dependents, computers, and maybe a spouse (dependent). I'm not sure what you are looking for. They aren't going to increase you limit simply because you think that you are special and have special needs above and beyond which of the rest of the student body.


I remembered someone asking for tips on living within COL, and someone else replying something to the extent of 'just have the finaid people adjust the budget. No one takes the stock COL' I figured some advice on how to do that might be forthcoming.

In UG, for instance, car payments aren't valid justification for COL increases. Because we're forbidden from working as 1L's (at my school, anyway), are those bills now valid for increasing COL?


Sorry if I came out douchey. I'm not aware of anyone expanding their budget, but if everyone did it, the average debt at graduation for law school students would be a hell of a lot larger.

I'm 90% sure that pre-existing engagements do not qualify for an increase in loans (i.e. credit card debt, loan payments, etc.), except for dependents, a spouse or a computer.

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Vegas_Rebel
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Re: Question for Current Law Students - Student Budget

Postby Vegas_Rebel » Tue Mar 16, 2010 1:28 pm

Aberzombie1892 wrote:Sorry if I came out douchey. I'm not aware of anyone expanding their budget, but if everyone did it, the average debt at graduation for law school students would be a hell of a lot larger.

I'm 90% sure that pre-existing engagements do not qualify for an increase in loans (i.e. credit card debt, loan payments, etc.), except for dependents, a spouse or a computer.


Not douchey at all, I was just a little surprised. Thanks for the heads up.

Wanpaku1
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Re: Question for Current Law Students - Student Budget

Postby Wanpaku1 » Tue Mar 16, 2010 3:30 pm

Most school financial aid sites say that preexisting debt (credit card, car, mortgage, etc) is not a reason for them to adjust COA. However, medical expenses (special circumstances) and child care costs may qualify you for an increase.

I talked to the financial aid officer at the law school that I am attending about a COA adustment (I have a spouse and 4 kids) and they told me to submit my monthly budget and they would determine if I qualified for an increase, but couldn't promise me anything.

I would talk to the financial aid office where you are going and submit a proposed budget to them if you think you can justify requiring more money than the other 98% of the attending students. The worst they can do is say no.

Hope that helps a little.




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