Scholarship chances with January apps?

Discuss various money matters here. Loans (federal and private), scholarships, lottery winnings, or other school finance related information and queries.
theycallmefoes
Posts: 329
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2012 11:13 pm

Scholarship chances with January apps?

Postby theycallmefoes » Tue Dec 04, 2012 5:31 pm

I'd like to be able to start a general discussion about how the timing of applications is related to scholarship and financial aid awards, but I'll share a bit about my particular situation as well:

3.76 GPA currently - expecting slight bump from fall semester grades. 164 on October LSAT. Studied constantly for the entire month of November to the point that I was consistently -0 to -2 on LG (more frequently the former), -2 to -5 on LR, and -0 to -4 on RC. Re-took in December and am hoping for 170+ but am feeling quite uneasy about it - I felt very confident in my answers while taking it and actually felt like it was a pretty easy exam, but I also had a really nasty cold and felt very tired, so I was moving sluggishly (e.g., first LG took me about 6 1/2 minutes when it generally would have taken ~5) and felt more pressed for time than usual.

But let's say I do get a 170+ and submit my apps at the beginning of January. Am I pretty much screwed for scholarships at the lower T14? What about other tier 1 schools (e.g., BU, WUSTL, UIUC, OSU, et al.)? Or full-rides at tier 2 schools?

Financing law school and living expenses is going to be a significant problem for me. That being said, my parents are adamantly opposed to the idea of taking a year off and applying next cycle.

But if I do get a 170+, would applying very early next cycle have a significant impact on my scholarship offers? (Also, my GPA would probably be ~3.8 at that point.) What if I re-take again in October and submit at the beginning of November?

Any insight would be greatly appreciated!
Last edited by theycallmefoes on Tue Dec 04, 2012 6:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Icculus
Posts: 1421
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:02 am

Re: Scholarship chances with January apps?

Postby Icculus » Tue Dec 04, 2012 5:35 pm

theycallmefoes wrote:A bit about me: 3.76 GPA currently - expecting slight bump from fall semester grades. 164 on October LSAT. Studied constantly for the entire month of November to the point that I was consistently -0 to -2 on LG (more frequently the former), -2 to -5 on LR, and -0 to -4 on RC. Re-took in December and am hoping for 170+ but am feeling quite uneasy about it - I felt very confident in my answers while taking it and actually felt like it was a pretty easy exam, but I also had a really nasty cold and felt very tired, so I was moving sluggishly (e.g., first LG took me about 6 1/2 minutes when it generally would have taken ~5) and felt more pressed for time than usual.

But let's say I do get a 170+ and submit my apps at the beginning of January. Am I pretty much screwed for scholarships at the lower T14? What about other tier 1 schools (e.g., BU, WUSTL, UIUC, OSU, et al.)? Or full-rides at tier 2 schools?

Financing law school and living expenses is going to be a significant problem for me. That being said, my parents are adamantly opposed to the idea of taking a year off and applying next cycle.

But if I do get a 170+, would applying very early next cycle have a significant impact on my scholarship offers? (Also, my GPA would probably be ~3.8 at that point.) What if I re-take again in October and submit at the beginning of November?

Any insight would be greatly appreciated!


Are your parents paying? If they are then their opinion matters. if you're paying the whole thing and will need loans you need to get the highest LSAT possible (even if it means another retake) and apply early in the cycle. You could be talking adifference of tens of thousands of dollars if not more.

theycallmefoes
Posts: 329
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2012 11:13 pm

Re: Scholarship chances with January apps?

Postby theycallmefoes » Tue Dec 04, 2012 5:53 pm

Icculus wrote:Are your parents paying? If they are then their opinion matters. if you're paying the whole thing and will need loans you need to get the highest LSAT possible (even if it means another retake) and apply early in the cycle. You could be talking adifference of tens of thousands of dollars if not more.


Ah. Well. My parents just went through bankruptcy, so most of the tuition is going to come from loans, but they'll do whatever they can to help me pay the interest while in school. Also, I should probably mention that I plan on doing public interest law, which would hopefully open the door for some loan forgiveness.

Another big problem for me is where I'm going to live. My parents want me to apply this cycle to a nearby law school (which would allow me to continue living at home) ranked in the low 100s, where I'd be a strong candidate for the full-tuition scholarship. I, on the other hand, would rather apply next cycle, probably after retaking the LSAT in October. Ideally, I'd be able to get a job and hopefully save up at least a little money (not to mention strengthen my credit score, which is currently at the lower end of acceptable/ok/average) during my time off.

So, I take it you think that decent tier 1 scholarships are unlikely if I apply in January?

User avatar
Icculus
Posts: 1421
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:02 am

Re: Scholarship chances with January apps?

Postby Icculus » Tue Dec 04, 2012 9:03 pm

My point is merely that this is your decision and your parents should not be making it for you, especially since you'll be footing the bill yourself. Not to mention, you want to give yourself the best possible options for when you graduate, especially since PI jobs are probably harder to get than BigLaw at this point. My advice would be to apply with the December score and see what happens but not rule out a retake in October and putting off your applications for a year. Even with full scholly and living at home you will still probably need some loans, plus that scholarship at the local school probably has insanely tough stips to meet.

User avatar
scottyc66
Posts: 719
Joined: Mon Oct 22, 2012 4:19 pm

Re: Scholarship chances with January apps?

Postby scottyc66 » Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:39 am

theycallmefoes wrote:
Icculus wrote:Are your parents paying? If they are then their opinion matters. if you're paying the whole thing and will need loans you need to get the highest LSAT possible (even if it means another retake) and apply early in the cycle. You could be talking adifference of tens of thousands of dollars if not more.


Ah. Well. My parents just went through bankruptcy, so most of the tuition is going to come from loans, but they'll do whatever they can to help me pay the interest while in school. Also, I should probably mention that I plan on doing public interest law, which would hopefully open the door for some loan forgiveness.

Another big problem for me is where I'm going to live. My parents want me to apply this cycle to a nearby law school (which would allow me to continue living at home) ranked in the low 100s, where I'd be a strong candidate for the full-tuition scholarship. I, on the other hand, would rather apply next cycle, probably after retaking the LSAT in October. Ideally, I'd be able to get a job and hopefully save up at least a little money (not to mention strengthen my credit score, which is currently at the lower end of acceptable/ok/average) during my time off.

So, I take it you think that decent tier 1 scholarships are unlikely if I apply in January?

You're essentially forgoing a year of "lawyer-pay" if you wait for another year. A lot of people are speculating that in this year's cycle applying late won't hurt you as much as it would have in the past. Most people who go through T-14 have to pay the full (or close to full) burden in loans so I'm sure you'd be just fine. Basic cost-benefit shenanigans, really only you can answer it.

User avatar
twinkletoes16
Posts: 1317
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:14 pm

Re: Scholarship chances with January apps?

Postby twinkletoes16 » Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:54 am

scottyc66 wrote:You're essentially forgoing a year of "lawyer-pay" if you wait for another year. A lot of people are speculating that in this year's cycle applying late won't hurt you as much as it would have in the past. Most people who go through T-14 have to pay the full (or close to full) burden in loans so I'm sure you'd be just fine. Basic cost-benefit shenanigans, really only you can answer it.



That's a good point. Especially if your income during a gap year would be small/not enough to make decent savings FOR law school, might as well go for apps and see what happens. I'm in an hourly, basically minimum wage gig so I have everything to gain by going this year.

User avatar
Icculus
Posts: 1421
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:02 am

Re: Scholarship chances with January apps?

Postby Icculus » Wed Dec 05, 2012 3:40 pm

twinkletoes16 wrote:
scottyc66 wrote:You're essentially forgoing a year of "lawyer-pay" if you wait for another year. A lot of people are speculating that in this year's cycle applying late won't hurt you as much as it would have in the past. Most people who go through T-14 have to pay the full (or close to full) burden in loans so I'm sure you'd be just fine. Basic cost-benefit shenanigans, really only you can answer it.



That's a good point. Especially if your income during a gap year would be small/not enough to make decent savings FOR law school, might as well go for apps and see what happens. I'm in an hourly, basically minimum wage gig so I have everything to gain by going this year.


This assumes the OP will get "lawyer pay" (from which I assume you mean market). This ignores the fact that (1) most lawyers (like 80%-90%) don't get market, (2) the OP said he wants PI which does not pay even close to market, and (3) the OP could benefit not just from schoalrship money but also a better school that could help him get that PI job or market job.

OP, I think you should apply this cycle and see what happens, but again, if you think you can increase your score after you get December results back I would wait. There is no indication that next cycle will be much different than this one, and there is a good chance it could be even easier as test takers and apps continue to drop. While you may think getting started is the most important thing ask yourself, ten years form now would you rather have started right out of college or rather waited and given yourself the best opportunity to succeed?

Edit: Also, if OP is basing this major life altering decsion on his parents wishes rather than what is best for him it indicates to me that maybe he should take a year off and mature a bit.

tl;dr - apply this cycle but be ready to retake if you think you can move your score up.

User avatar
Icculus
Posts: 1421
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:02 am

Re: Scholarship chances with January apps?

Postby Icculus » Wed Dec 05, 2012 3:47 pm

twinkletoes16 wrote:
scottyc66 wrote:You're essentially forgoing a year of "lawyer-pay" if you wait for another year. A lot of people are speculating that in this year's cycle applying late won't hurt you as much as it would have in the past. Most people who go through T-14 have to pay the full (or close to full) burden in loans so I'm sure you'd be just fine. Basic cost-benefit shenanigans, really only you can answer it.



That's a good point. Especially if your income during a gap year would be small/not enough to make decent savings FOR law school, might as well go for apps and see what happens. I'm in an hourly, basically minimum wage gig so I have everything to gain by going this year.


Also, looking at your LSN page, your numbers are going to get you much further than OP's will unless he hits the high 160s-170+ mark.

User avatar
spleenworship
Posts: 4421
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:08 pm

Re: Scholarship chances with January apps?

Postby spleenworship » Wed Dec 05, 2012 3:50 pm

scottyc66 wrote:You're essentially forgoing a year of "lawyer-pay" if you wait for another year.


notsureifsrs.jpg

By "lawyer-pay" do you mean:

1) unpaid internship?
2) "shitlaw" starting pay of $30-50K?
3) barista pay?
4) PI pay of $40-50K a year?

70% of graduates will fall into one of those 4 categories.


ETA: OP, retake and reapply.

ETAx2: or, OP, just reapply. Why risk it?

theycallmefoes
Posts: 329
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2012 11:13 pm

Re: Scholarship chances with January apps?

Postby theycallmefoes » Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:07 pm

(Side note: Just so you know, OP is a she.)

scottyc66 wrote:You're essentially forgoing a year of "lawyer-pay" if you wait for another year. A lot of people are speculating that in this year's cycle applying late won't hurt you as much as it would have in the past. Most people who go through T-14 have to pay the full (or close to full) burden in loans so I'm sure you'd be just fine. Basic cost-benefit shenanigans, really only you can answer it.

I know that applying late this cycle is not expected to be as detrimental as it has been in previous cycles, but I've been under the impression that such speculation pertains primarily to admissions. What I'm wondering is whether this prediction holds for scholarships as well - whether, all things being equal, applying to a tier 1 (not just T14) school in October could significantly improve scholarship chances over applying in January.

If I understand you correctly, you think the difference would be insignificant (at least, for the T14). If you (or others) don't mind humoring me, I just wanted to give 2 possible scenarios to make sure what I'm asking is clear (because I think I may have failed to explain myself well in my original post). For the sake of argument, let's say I decide not to retake after December:
1. December score is 165+ (but not 170). Will sitting on that score until next cycle and applying early help scholarship chances, or is that score lackluster enough that the scholarship award would pretty much remain the same?
2. December score is 170+. Again, is it worth it to sit on the score until next cycle, or is it an impressive enough score that it will fetch the same scholarship offers in January?
I'm also interested in whether any of you think the answers to those questions will be different depending on the school's ranking (i.e., scholarship offers are more generous to early applicants at tier 1 schools but are fairly uniform at tier 2 and lower schools - or vice versa).

Icculus wrote:(3) the OP could benefit not just from schoalrship money but also a better school that could help him get that PI job or market job.

This is interesting. One of the things I've heard is that if I'm "just" going into PI, it's not worth it to go to a more competitive law school, especially if it would require substantial loans. That, for PI, it won't make a difference where I got my degree, so I should just choose the most affordable option.

Icculus wrote:Edit: Also, if OP is basing this major life altering decsion on his parents wishes rather than what is best for him it indicates to me that maybe he should take a year off and mature a bit.

Harsh, but valid. Although, I would point out that I have not yet made any life-altering decisions based on my parents' wishes. I do, however, feel that I owe it to them to consider all my options and to get some other opinions before I do make any choices. I realize this is my decision to make, but I'd be lying if I said that my parents' incredibly negative reaction to the suggestion that I apply next cycle isn't making me second-guess myself.

But then, there's this:
Icculus wrote:While you may think getting started is the most important thing ask yourself, ten years form now would you rather have started right out of college or rather waited and given yourself the best opportunity to succeed?

This gets to the crux of it. Honestly, I don't think getting started is the most important thing. While my parents seem to think there could be no legitimate reason for applying next cycle (and that if I don't apply now, I'll never do it), I think waiting will benefit me in terms of admissions and scholarship awards. (In part because I'd be very surprised if I scored above a 171 in October, and, although breaking the 170 barrier had been my initial goal, this last month of studying made me very confident that a 175 is definitely within reach.) I'm still trying to evaluate whether my rationale for waiting is as strong as I think it is.

User avatar
Icculus
Posts: 1421
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:02 am

Re: Scholarship chances with January apps?

Postby Icculus » Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:35 am

theycallmefoes wrote:
Icculus wrote:(3) the OP could benefit not just from schoalrship money but also a better school that could help him get that PI job or market job.

This is interesting. One of the things I've heard is that if I'm "just" going into PI, it's not worth it to go to a more competitive law school, especially if it would require substantial loans. That, for PI, it won't make a difference where I got my degree, so I should just choose the most affordable option.


This advice is incorrect. PI jobs are not easy to get, and in most cases are harder than biglaw. PI positions are poorly funded and are the first to face cuts in a bad economy, and there are even fewer of them than biglaw positions. Not to mention most PI places can't afford to train newly minted JDs like a big firm can. The idea that school doesn't matter for PI is incorrect. Plus, if you miss PI I would think you would want the best possible opportunity to get a job.

theycallmefoes wrote:
Icculus wrote:Edit: Also, if OP is basing this major life altering decsion on his parents wishes rather than what is best for him it indicates to me that maybe he should take a year off and mature a bit.

Harsh, but valid. Although, I would point out that I have not yet made any life-altering decisions based on my parents' wishes.


May be harsh, but I am a 32 y/o 2L who has seen people make very bad decisions because of what their parents thought they should do. I am a firm believer that once you're in college you need to make decisions for yourself since you're the one facing the consequences.

theycallmefoes wrote:(Side note: Just so you know, OP is a she.)


Sorry about that, but again, as an old bastard I tend to revert to the old school "he" when discussing an unkown person.

User avatar
Icculus
Posts: 1421
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:02 am

Re: Scholarship chances with January apps?

Postby Icculus » Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:40 am

theycallmefoes wrote:1. December score is 165+ (but not 170). Will sitting on that score until next cycle and applying early help scholarship chances, or is that score lackluster enough that the scholarship award would pretty much remain the same?
2. December score is 170+. Again, is it worth it to sit on the score until next cycle, or is it an impressive enough score that it will fetch the same scholarship offers in January?


I think if you hit 170+ you should apply broadly and see what happens. If you don't like the offers you can always reapply early next year.

If you hit 165 I think it may be worth retaking.




Return to “Financial Aid”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests