Trying for a free ride

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avatarz
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Trying for a free ride

Postby avatarz » Tue Jun 04, 2013 10:33 am

In June 2008, I took my LSAT and got a 167 - I have a 3.85 GPA from college and have worked in Congress since then.

I applied to law school in 2010. Got waitlisted at top 10 schools and a mostly free ride from a #30 school. My partner just graduated law school with no job - and I thought it was crazy to go, so I just kept on working and declined all the spots.

At this point, my partner is now a HS teacher (yay law school) and I have decided I do want to go to law school (and this is the last year my score is valid) but I'm not really interested in joining her in her $200k debt. I want to go to a school that will at least pay for my tuition cost based on merit, if not give me a living stipend too. I live in DC and ideally want to go to law school around the area because I want to continue to work in government but I'm also considering philly (not NYC because the cost of living in the urban core is too high).

In my head this gives me the option of GW's Early Decision program, American, Catholic, George Mason U, UMD in Baltimore. I am also considering Temple in Philly since the city is somewhat affordable. Does anyone have experience doing this kind of thing? Any thoughts on how to approach admissions offices? Should I apply and wait, should I be proactive and talk to them and tell them what I'm looking for? My numbers are good but I just don't know if its best to be direct or wait and counter offers?

Edit: for clarification this is for Fall 2014, not this coming fall ... it'd be too late for that.

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UnicornHunter
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Re: Trying for a free ride

Postby UnicornHunter » Tue Jun 04, 2013 10:46 am

IF you really want to stay in DC, don't go anywhere but Georgetown with that GPA. Use the TLS resources to help you study, retake and get a 170+. Apply to the entire t14, you'll get money and you'll get into some great schools. Use those offers to negotiate with GULC for a full ride. That's if you're set on staying in DC. Otherwise retake, score over a 170 and take your pick. You're in a good position and you're smart to learn from your partner's mistakes.

ETA: you'll probably find that even without a retake, you have better results next cycle than you had in 2008 given your WE and the decline in LS applications. That being said, retake is the move here due to your great GPA.

20141023
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Re: Trying for a free ride

Postby 20141023 » Tue Jun 04, 2013 11:10 am

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Last edited by 20141023 on Sun Feb 15, 2015 10:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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jetsfan1
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Re: Trying for a free ride

Postby jetsfan1 » Tue Jun 04, 2013 11:22 am

I wouldn't say that the OP has learned from his partner's mistakes because he is considering GW's early decision program (which will limit the OP's ability to negotiate scholarship if it's binding),


Yeah its binding, but GW ED is a full tuition scholarship, its not like other EDs. Don't need to negotiate if its already all paid for! Haha http://www.law.gwu.edu/Admissions/apply ... early.aspx

But I do agree with the retake advice. Not sure you would get it with those numbers, but I'll do a bit more research and get back here.

avatarz
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Re: Trying for a free ride

Postby avatarz » Tue Jun 04, 2013 11:22 am

Are you both basically saying its worthless to go to Law school without going to a t14? I'm not interested in big law, and honestly - the main reason I'm going is to check the box. I've found its very difficult to get to the next tier in my profession without a law degree - but that based on employed friends, the law school doesn't seem to be a major concern within reason (lots of GW, America, UMD, and GM grads in those positions). I'd love to go to GU but last time I wasn't even wait listed (I understand its a different situation these days). Plus would retaking it and getting a 170 even be worthwhile given that they'll still consider my 167? I'd love to go for free to a t14, but how realistic is that - to me, not having debt is more important than a t14.

edit: Jets is right - I'm considering GW ED because its a free ride - I wouldn't otherwise. My only concern is that then I have no leverage to negotiate for living expenses (which is a lot since I live in foggy bottom now).

Edit 2: Also, can someone speak to the tactics of negotiation? Should I introduce myself to admissions and then negotiate upon acceptance. My concern is schools rejecting me because I'm over qualified and I wonder if being straight with them might be helpful for that issue.

20141023
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Re: Trying for a free ride

Postby 20141023 » Tue Jun 04, 2013 11:33 am

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jetsfan1
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Re: Trying for a free ride

Postby jetsfan1 » Tue Jun 04, 2013 11:39 am

Ok so after doing a bit more research here is my official take (note: There is no hard data to back this up, don't think GW releases it, this is just from reading through TLS).

So first off, I think your 3.85/167 is a little low to get the full tuition scholarship. From this thread: http://www.top-law-schools.com/archives ... =2&t=47012

They told me at a law school fair the average numbers last year were 3.89 and 169. I was going to apply for it but my 3.44 made me feel like it was too much of a reach so I used my ED at Georgetown since it's my dream school.


So you are a little low. That doesn't mean don't apply with your numbers, because of course you never know, but it's unlikely. This is why I would recommend a retake. Now, that being said, if you were to achieve those numbers, you would be very competitive at a T14.

http://www.mylsn.info/dffgr4

Given normal circumstances, I would say go T14 here. But it sounds like you are ridiculously debt averse given what you have seen your partner go through. That is completely understandable. Also, you claim a law degree is nothing more than a check mark to make it to the next level at your current job. I'm a bit dubious about that, but I am not informed enough in that regard to really question that, so I'll give you the benefit of the doubt there. (kappycaft1 would know more). If that is the case, you don't plan to practice as a lawyer, and you already have a job lined up, my advice would be to study your ass off, retake in October, and ED to GW this coming cycle. Of course, this is assuming you don't pop a 173 (which is entirely possible if you work hard enough), bc then you will most likely have a lot of $$$ offers at the T14, especially Georgetown. Also, GW on a full ride is not a terrible option, especially given your circumstances, but I wouldn't really consider those other schools at all. Best of luck!

avatarz
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Re: Trying for a free ride

Postby avatarz » Tue Jun 04, 2013 11:44 am

jetsfan1 wrote:
They told me at a law school fair the average numbers last year were 3.89 and 169. I was going to apply for it but my 3.44 made me feel like it was too much of a reach so I used my ED at Georgetown since it's my dream school.



Thanks - though those numbers are from 2008. Given the drop in applications since 2008 (and GW's slightly reduced ranking), I wonder if its a bit lower. I'm strongly considering retaking the LSAT though I'm not sure. Right now I actually am between jobs (My Member of Congress lost his reelection, and as such, I lost my job) and job hunting is taking most of my time.

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jetsfan1
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Re: Trying for a free ride

Postby jetsfan1 » Tue Jun 04, 2013 11:51 am

Oh shit didn't even notice the date there haha. I think a safe estimate would be right around their 75% for both, which is 168/3.87, putting you right there. I'm not saying you wouldn't get it, and its worth a shot with your numbers, but if I had a gun to my head I would say you needed another point or two on your LSAT. How much prep did you put in the first time? Do you feel you can do better? I ask because you have a very good GPA and look at your options with a 173.

http://www.mylsn.info/9zsvn9

A lot of $$$ there, maybe not full ride, but still worth looking at.

avatarz
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Re: Trying for a free ride

Postby avatarz » Thu Jun 06, 2013 9:22 am

So I went to chat with the Dean at GW yesterday and basically she said if I applied today I would be accepted to start in the fall - perhaps with a fairly high scholarship though not higher than 35000 per year (tuition is 45,000). She said they are about to start pulling from the waitlist ... On one hand I'm not in a strong negotiation position because I'd be basically only applying there - on the other hand starting this year vs. next sounds appeal. Thoughts?

-Gil

20141023
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Re: Trying for a free ride

Postby 20141023 » Thu Jun 06, 2013 9:39 am

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Last edited by 20141023 on Sun Feb 15, 2015 10:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

avatarz
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Re: Trying for a free ride

Postby avatarz » Thu Jun 06, 2013 9:41 am

The ED program doesn't come with any living stipend - so yes, at minimum 30k more in debt. Are there any programs that have a living stipend because that would be ideal.

20141023
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Re: Trying for a free ride

Postby 20141023 » Thu Jun 06, 2013 9:56 am

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jetsfan1
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Re: Trying for a free ride

Postby jetsfan1 » Thu Jun 06, 2013 10:00 am

The Ruby at Chicago had a $10,000 a year living stipend in addition to $50,000 a year in tuition, but this was the last year it was offered. :|


Wait seriously??? Is there going to be anything that replaces it?

20141023
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Re: Trying for a free ride

Postby 20141023 » Thu Jun 06, 2013 10:21 am

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Br3v
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Re: Trying for a free ride

Postby Br3v » Thu Jun 06, 2013 10:21 am

GW full tuition ED seems like a good choice for OP here

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jetsfan1
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Re: Trying for a free ride

Postby jetsfan1 » Thu Jun 06, 2013 10:37 am

kappycaft1 wrote:
jetsfan1 wrote:
The Ruby at Chicago had a $10,000 a year living stipend in addition to $50,000 a year in tuition, but this was the last year it was offered. :|


Wait seriously??? Is there going to be anything that replaces it?

Not that I am aware of. There was this and this, but they are not going towards large merit-based scholarships. (There have also been a couple of threads (1, 2) about the Rubenstein going away.)

Here is a thread about more schools that offer stipends in addition to full-ride scholarships.


Thanks Reg, this is why you da best.

GW full tuition ED seems like a good choice for OP here


Agreed, I just think he/she needs a couple more LSAT points to get it.

avatarz
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Re: Trying for a free ride

Postby avatarz » Fri Jun 07, 2013 1:02 pm

I also just learned that American has fellowship that gives a free ride - which you can get up to 20k in merit grants on top of that.




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