It's a buyers' market at law school
Suddenly in demand, prospective students wonder, "How much money can I get?"http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNL ... law_school
It's anything but business as usual during this year's law school admissions cycle. That seemed obvious to the nearly 500 prelaw advisers and law school admissions officers who gathered in Washington in mid-June for a five-day conference of the Pre-Law Advisors National Council.
"It's quite competitive this year," said Heather Struck, assistant dean at Cornell University's College of Arts and Sciences and chairwoman of the organization. "I have seen, anecdotally, some very generous merit scholarship offers."
The University of Michigan Law School is ranked No. 10 by U.S. News & World Report, but a larger than normal number of its admittees are getting the nod from even higher ranked schools where they had been put on wait lists, said assistant dean for admissions Sarah Zearfoss. "Wait list activity is way up," she said.
Jessica Soban, assistant dean and chief admissions officer at Harvard Law School, declined to offer any admissions numbers until the fall, but expected "any trend to be consistent with what our peer schools report."
This admissions cycle hasn't been all that different from previous ones for top-ranked Yale Law School, said associate dean Asha Rangappa. Yale — which takes only about half as many students each year as Harvard's 400 — saw a 7 percent drop in applications. Still, Rangappa expected to enroll a typical first-year class of 205 students without relaxing its admissions standards.
Even Michigan admittees aren't immune to scholarship fever.
"Our second deposit deadline just passed, and a number of people came back to us and said, 'When I tried to withdraw from the other school, they said, 'We'll double your scholarship or give you a free ride.' " Zearfoss said. "It's frustrating for us because as a general policy we don't do a lot of negotiation. But it's also emotionally hard on the student. They just want things to be settled."
Even though Michigan increased its acceptance rate this year from the traditional one in five applicants to one in four, its incoming class still may end up slightly smaller than last year, she said.
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