Maximizing Need Based Aid / FAFSA for 2012

Discuss various money matters here. Loans (federal and private), scholarships, lottery winnings, or other school finance related information and queries.
ND'10
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Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2010 10:46 am

Maximizing Need Based Aid / FAFSA for 2012

Postby ND'10 » Sun Jan 30, 2011 8:24 pm

First, I'd like to say that I understand that need based aid seems to be pretty rare at law schools- my understanding is I'm going to be taking out quite a few loans to go to law school.

With that said, I was just wondering if any TLSers had any comments/insights into how I can maximize my need based aid qualifications for when I plan to enroll into law school in the Fall of 2012 based on my current situation. I graduated in May with about 42K in UG debt and minimal savings or assets from a top 20 UG, which will be down to about 35K after I pay off my high interest rate loan in full this week.

I make about 50K a year and save almost all my money since I live with my parents. My questions come in the form of wondering what I should do with the money I make over the next 18 months to give me the best chance at qualifying for need based aid. Would I be more "needy" if I pay off the loans and so I would have practically no savings and no debt in 2012, or more "needy" if I still have a lot of debt outstanding but a good amount in savings too?

Most of my savings will also go into a brokerage account and my 401k account. What percentage of my brokerage account will schools expect me to contribute to law school? Are assets in 401ks un-reportable on the FAFSA since I can't reach that money until I'm 59 1/2 (and therefore give me more incentive to invest more in my 401k because it gives me a better chance to qualify for aid)?

Just wondering what the best way to handle this situation is because I already have 35K in debt, so if there's any way I could make law school more affordable via need based aid or investing/paying down debt with the money I've made over the last 6 months and will make over the next 18, I'd like to do so.

I also have a 3.85 from a top 20 UG and a 168 on the LSAT (with a possible re-take to try to score 170+ in June) and two year's work experience in consulting at enrollment time, so if anyone has any information on whether I would realistically qualify for any merit scholarships, that would also be much appreciated.

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gdane
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Re: Maximizing Need Based Aid / FAFSA for 2012

Postby gdane » Sun Jan 30, 2011 10:56 pm

Theres no way for you to maximize anything. Youre not needy.

Good luck!

ptblazer
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Re: Maximizing Need Based Aid / FAFSA for 2012

Postby ptblazer » Sun Jan 30, 2011 11:04 pm

gdane wrote:Theres no way for you to maximize anything. Youre not needy.

Good luck!


Agreed, you're not needy. Nothing you can do, sorry.

Edit: However, with that GPA and LSAT score and depending where you end up going, you should be in line for some merit based aid.
Last edited by ptblazer on Sun Jan 30, 2011 11:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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AreJay711
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Re: Maximizing Need Based Aid / FAFSA for 2012

Postby AreJay711 » Sun Jan 30, 2011 11:05 pm

Give me all your money and report having 0 assets. It's foolproof.

ND'10
Posts: 63
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2010 10:46 am

Re: Maximizing Need Based Aid / FAFSA for 2012

Postby ND'10 » Sun Jan 30, 2011 11:14 pm

gdane wrote:Theres no way for you to maximize anything. Youre not needy.

Good luck!


I'm not needy in the sense that I'm not homeless and I have a job, but I have just about zero dollars to pay for law school tuition and fees considering that the small amount of money that I will have saved by my 1L year will be used on a one year apartment rental, living expenses, and debt payments for that year- that's about all I have. I thought that's what financial assistance was there to help for.

ND'10
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Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2010 10:46 am

Re: Maximizing Need Based Aid / FAFSA for 2012

Postby ND'10 » Sun Jan 30, 2011 11:25 pm

Oh well, guess the focus is going to shift to what schools I can get merit scholarships from instead of if I can somehow get into a T14

Thanks

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swc65
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Re: Maximizing Need Based Aid / FAFSA for 2012

Postby swc65 » Sun Jan 30, 2011 11:27 pm

ND'10 wrote:
gdane wrote:Theres no way for you to maximize anything. Youre not needy.

Good luck!


I'm not needy in the sense that I'm not homeless and I have a job, but I have just about zero dollars to pay for law school tuition and fees considering that the small amount of money that I will have saved by my 1L year will be used on a one year apartment rental, living expenses, and debt payments for that year- that's about all I have. I thought that's what financial assistance was there to help for.


LOANS FTW

You will get loans to cover all of that except the debt payments. You should be able to defer your UG student loans once you enroll in law schools too.

ptblazer
Posts: 376
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Re: Maximizing Need Based Aid / FAFSA for 2012

Postby ptblazer » Sun Jan 30, 2011 11:28 pm

ND'10 wrote:
gdane wrote:Theres no way for you to maximize anything. Youre not needy.

Good luck!


I'm not needy in the sense that I'm not homeless and I have a job, but I have just about zero dollars to pay for law school tuition and fees considering that the small amount of money that I will have saved by my 1L year will be used on a one year apartment rental, living expenses, and debt payments for that year- that's about all I have. I thought that's what financial assistance was there to help for.


What you just described is 90+% of people entering law school. Law school is expensive, very few have that kind of money so soon after UG. You have a 50k job, which is something most people do not have. You'll have access to private loans to help pay for school.

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swc65
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Re: Maximizing Need Based Aid / FAFSA for 2012

Postby swc65 » Sun Jan 30, 2011 11:56 pm

ptblazer wrote:
ND'10 wrote:
gdane wrote:Theres no way for you to maximize anything. Youre not needy.

Good luck!


I'm not needy in the sense that I'm not homeless and I have a job, but I have just about zero dollars to pay for law school tuition and fees considering that the small amount of money that I will have saved by my 1L year will be used on a one year apartment rental, living expenses, and debt payments for that year- that's about all I have. I thought that's what financial assistance was there to help for.


What you just described is 90+% of people entering law school. Law school is expensive, very few have that kind of money so soon after UG. You have a 50k job, which is something most people do not have. You'll have access to private loans to help pay for school.



Not to mention the much more popular government loans, especially since every school has to do the direct lending. You also do not need to show need for any of the government loans (need can affect the interest rates though).




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