How common is it to pay for all of law school with loans?

Discuss various money matters here. Loans (federal and private), scholarships, lottery winnings, or other school finance related information and queries.
cornelldude12
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How common is it to pay for all of law school with loans?

Postby cornelldude12 » Tue Aug 03, 2010 1:56 am

Basically the topic, but my parents, despite clearly being able to pay for law school, will pay zero dollars or extremely close to that number if I choose to go to law school. Now, I already am going to have close to 30k debt from my damn expensive undergrad, so how realistic is it for me to pay for all of law school with just loans? If I go to law school, it will likely be one of the top 6, or top 10 with scholarship. I plan to go into biglaw, and obviously if I go, I will not be turning back on it. Thanks.

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Knock
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Re: How common is it to pay for all of law school with loans?

Postby Knock » Tue Aug 03, 2010 1:58 am

cornelldude12 wrote:Basically the topic, but my parents, despite clearly being able to pay for law school, will pay zero dollars or extremely close to that number if I choose to go to law school. Now, I already am going to have close to 30k debt from my damn expensive undergrad, so how realistic is it for me to pay for all of law school with just loans? If I go to law school, it will likely be one of the top 6, or top 10 with scholarship. I plan to go into biglaw, and obviously if I go, I will not be turning back on it. Thanks.


Most people pay for LS through some degree of loans. Since you're looking at a T6, you are in a better position than most of those people.

It's not an unusual situation. If you're debt-averse, you may consider attending a T10 with decent scholarship money, depending on your stats. Maybe a Darrow from Michigan would be a great scenario, if you have the numbers for it. Especially since you already have 30k of debt, going to a school where you get a partial or full ride may be the way to go, although it depends on where you get accepted and how your cycle goes.

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esq
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Re: How common is it to pay for all of law school with loans?

Postby esq » Tue Aug 03, 2010 2:02 am

It might be quite difficult depending on your age because you may need a co-signer to help you get the loans. I think that this would be a great thread, though, for some of the younger single people that have attended law school to comment on. Being married, I have been curious about how younger people get their loans.

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emorystud2010
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Re: How common is it to pay for all of law school with loans?

Postby emorystud2010 » Tue Aug 03, 2010 2:05 am

Wow.
Last edited by emorystud2010 on Sat Dec 31, 2011 6:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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vanwinkle
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Re: How common is it to pay for all of law school with loans?

Postby vanwinkle » Tue Aug 03, 2010 2:06 am

Many, many, people pay it entirely in loans.

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weaselology
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Re: How common is it to pay for all of law school with loans?

Postby weaselology » Tue Aug 03, 2010 2:07 am

There is a good TLS thread covering the basics on student loans: http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=124530

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esq
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Re: How common is it to pay for all of law school with loans?

Postby esq » Tue Aug 03, 2010 2:12 am

I think it depends on whether you are over the age of 24 or not. For instance, say you are 22 and ready for law school, wouldn't you still need to apply for a Parent Plus loan? I would say that depending on the OP's age, if loans are an issue it might even be better to apply to a lower ranked school and take the scholarship, but I'm still curious to see if law school loans are the same as undergrad for young people.

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weaselology
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Re: How common is it to pay for all of law school with loans?

Postby weaselology » Tue Aug 03, 2010 2:20 am

esq wrote:I think it depends on whether you are over the age of 24 or not. For instance, say you are 22 and ready for law school, wouldn't you still need to apply for a Parent Plus loan? I would say that depending on the OP's age, if loans are an issue it might even be better to apply to a lower ranked school and take the scholarship, but I'm still curious to see if law school loans are the same as undergrad for young people.

JD Students (and those pursuing other grad degrees) are automatically considered independent students by the GOV. See http://studentaid.ed.gov/students/attachments/siteresources/DependentorIndependent10-11.pdf. Because of this, Parent Plus Loans do not apply, but rather Grad Plus Loans do. Grad Plus loans will cover everything not otherwise covered up to the cost of attendance. If you are awarded a Grad Plus loan, you still need to pass a credit check, however. I can't personally speak to what typical students do if they are not approved for Grad Plus Loans.

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weaselology
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Re: How common is it to pay for all of law school with loans?

Postby weaselology » Tue Aug 03, 2010 2:28 am

Probably should have also provided a link to federal student aid site: http://studentaid.ed.gov/PORTALSWebApp/students/english/PlusLoansGradProfstudents.jsp

cornelldude12
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Re: How common is it to pay for all of law school with loans?

Postby cornelldude12 » Tue Aug 03, 2010 2:41 am

Okay, thanks for the help so far! Another dumb question, so since some top schools give aid based off of need...what is the need determined by? Is it still based off of parents' income/assets if I chose to go to college straight from undergrad, or something else? What if I chose to go a couple years later?

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weaselology
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Re: How common is it to pay for all of law school with loans?

Postby weaselology » Tue Aug 03, 2010 2:50 am

cornelldude12 wrote:Okay, thanks for the help so far! Another dumb question, so since some top schools give aid based off of need...what is the need determined by? Is it still based off of parents' income/assets if I chose to go to college straight from undergrad, or something else? What if I chose to go a couple years later?

When you fill out your FAFSA you will receive a report that shows your EFC, or Expected Family Contribution. This is essentially how much the government has determined you can afford to pay through some formula that I don't remember. I do know it takes into account your income and assets. Some schools have more comprehensive forms that you must fill out in addition to the FAFSA and then calculate your need based on those. Read through the federal finaid site I referenced before. It can be tedious, but it has a lot of useful info.

cornelldude12
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Re: How common is it to pay for all of law school with loans?

Postby cornelldude12 » Tue Aug 03, 2010 3:12 am

Okay thanks, but basically what I was asking was whether our EFC for law school is based off of my family's income, or simply my own. Like, when a school/government is calculating how much need-based money I will get for law school (when I will be 22 or older), will my aid be affected by my parents' income?

km23
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Re: How common is it to pay for all of law school with loans?

Postby km23 » Tue Aug 03, 2010 3:26 am

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ogurty
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Re: How common is it to pay for all of law school with loans?

Postby ogurty » Tue Aug 03, 2010 4:09 am

At UCLA and many other schools, you need to fill out a Need Access form (google it) to qualify for any need-based grants, and this requires that you include your parents' information if you're under 30. So even though the FAFSA bases your EFC on your income only, you may not qualify for need-based grants.

Remember though that you're in the same boat as many thousands of students who are going into law school without having ever had a career or decent income. Not many people have parents who foot the bill, either. That's not saying that the cost of law school is trivial - you shouldn't take on the debt lightly - but having affluent parents who don't throw tens of thousands of dollars at you is not a unique problem.

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Aeroplane
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Re: How common is it to pay for all of law school with loans?

Postby Aeroplane » Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:04 am

OP - I believe people on here tend to overestimate how common it is for law students to pay for a private school entirely with loans. In the entire population of law students, I believe a significant majority benefit from one or more of the following:
- in-state tuition
- school grants*
- parental cash assistance
- parental non-cash assistance (health insurance, school year housing, summer housing, food, clothes, furniture, etc)
- personal savings & assets (stocks, etc), 401(k)/Roth/other retirement
- spouse/SO cash assistance and/or non-cash assistance (similar to parental)

If you take $225K in loan principal and live entirely off loans, you will probably be in a minority that is nowhere near as big as some people on TLS seem to think.


("Among all law schools, the percentage of students receiving scholarship money hovers in the vicinity of 50 percent.")
http://www.law.com/jsp/law/careercenter/lawArticleCareerCenter.jsp?id=1208256428026

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chicagolaw2013
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Re: How common is it to pay for all of law school with loans?

Postby chicagolaw2013 » Tue Aug 03, 2010 9:16 am

cornelldude12 wrote:Basically the topic, but my parents, despite clearly being able to pay for law school, will pay zero dollars or extremely close to that number if I choose to go to law school. Now, I already am going to have close to 30k debt from my damn expensive undergrad, so how realistic is it for me to pay for all of law school with just loans? If I go to law school, it will likely be one of the top 6, or top 10 with scholarship. I plan to go into biglaw, and obviously if I go, I will not be turning back on it. Thanks.


Welcome to real life, where mommy and daddy don't pay for everything. :lol: :lol: :lol: Chances are, if you are as brilliant as you say you are, you will get some kind of scholarship, but join the loan club, dood.

Everything is based off of YOU for grad school...you are an independent (or, at least the government expects you to be weaned off the teat by now since, ya know, you're going for a professional degree and all) so, since I'm guessing you aren't independently wealthy since it sounds like you are still in UG, the government (stafford and grad plus) will be your best friend.

cornelldude12
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Re: How common is it to pay for all of law school with loans?

Postby cornelldude12 » Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:10 pm

Okay, first off, I was not saying that my family is rich, because they are far from it. I am saying that they choose to spend and save their money in irrational ways and for silly reasons, which leads them to the fallacy that they cannot pay for law school, when in reality they could at least contribute something in order to get me through. I didn't mean I was smart enough to get into the top 6, I meant that I would probably only choose to go to law school if I got into the top 6. I do love law, but with the amount of time/money I would have to muster to go through law school, it would not be worth it to settle for anything less unless it was a major scholarship at a still high school.

But like, I think most people are missing the point I was trying to make. How do schools like Yale, Harvard, Columbia, Penn, etc allocate their need money for financial aid? As in, how would they choose which people will get need grants?

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chicagolaw2013
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Re: How common is it to pay for all of law school with loans?

Postby chicagolaw2013 » Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:18 pm

cornelldude12 wrote:Okay, first off, I was not saying that my family is rich, because they are far from it. I am saying that they choose to spend and save their money in irrational ways and for silly reasons, which leads them to the fallacy that they cannot pay for law school, when in reality they could at least contribute something in order to get me through. I didn't mean I was smart enough to get into the top 6, I meant that I would probably only choose to go to law school if I got into the top 6. I do love law, but with the amount of time/money I would have to muster to go through law school, it would not be worth it to settle for anything less unless it was a major scholarship at a still high school.

But like, I think most people are missing the point I was trying to make. How do schools like Yale, Harvard, Columbia, Penn, etc allocate their need money for financial aid? As in, how would they choose which people will get need grants?


It's kind of childish and selfish to think that because your parents decide to spend THEIR money in the way they choose, and not pay for a graduate degree for you, you think it's "irrational" and "silly". Again, welcome to the real world. :lol: :lol: :lol: Gotta love these self-entitled folks LOL.

EDIT: This just came to mind: OP totally reminds me of Veruca Salt. "Don't care how, I want it NOWWWWWWWWW!"
Last edited by chicagolaw2013 on Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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presh
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Re: How common is it to pay for all of law school with loans?

Postby presh » Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:19 pm

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Last edited by presh on Sun Dec 27, 2015 3:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

thegor1987
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Re: How common is it to pay for all of law school with loans?

Postby thegor1987 » Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:20 pm

I read a statistic once that said 33% of law students have their tuition paid for them either by their parents or scholarship

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chicagolaw2013
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Re: How common is it to pay for all of law school with loans?

Postby chicagolaw2013 » Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:21 pm

presh wrote:
cornelldude12 wrote:Okay, first off, I was not saying that my family is rich, because they are far from it. I am saying that they choose to spend and save their money in irrational ways and for silly reasons, which leads them to the fallacy that they cannot pay for law school, when in reality they could at least contribute something in order to get me through.


Wow. :shock:


Presh, I heart your 'tar. Just watched that movie again...sooooo bad ass.

EDIT: Or kick ass, to be correct. :mrgreen:

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presh
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Re: How common is it to pay for all of law school with loans?

Postby presh » Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:27 pm

.
Last edited by presh on Sun Dec 27, 2015 3:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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chicagolaw2013
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Re: How common is it to pay for all of law school with loans?

Postby chicagolaw2013 » Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:28 pm

presh wrote:
Looking at your tar - did you to to Mich for undergrad? Tar =/= username?


Michigan UG. Live in Chicago now.

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vanwinkle
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Re: How common is it to pay for all of law school with loans?

Postby vanwinkle » Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:48 pm

I think it's important to note at this point that except for HYS, practically all scholarship money is merit-based. This gives people at least some flexibility; most people apply to safety schools and get offers of $$$ from them, and also apply to reaches which they might get into but won't get much if any scholarship $$$ from. It's then the applicant's choice; go to the higher-ranked school for sticker, or the lower-ranked school for less.

Regarding this it's usually easy to predict $$$ since it's based largely on GPA and LSAT score. If you want more money, do better on the LSAT.

Many schools which use Need Access (including Harvard, for example) require full parental financial information before they consider you for need-based aid, if you are under the age of 29. This is true regardless of actual parental contribution. If you don't provide the info, you don't be offered any need-based scholarships. However, only HYS really give need-based aid in large volumes anyway, because only they have endowments large enough to do so.

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trialjunky
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Re: How common is it to pay for all of law school with loans?

Postby trialjunky » Tue Aug 03, 2010 9:27 pm

presh wrote:
cornelldude12 wrote:Okay, first off, I was not saying that my family is rich, because they are far from it. I am saying that they choose to spend and save their money in irrational ways and for silly reasons, which leads them to the fallacy that they cannot pay for law school, when in reality they could at least contribute something in order to get me through.


Wow. :shock:


wow indeed




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