Trying to guesstimate scholarship aid.

Discuss various money matters here. Loans (federal and private), scholarships, lottery winnings, or other school finance related information and queries.
User avatar
Comma.Split
Posts: 154
Joined: Sun Jan 25, 2015 10:22 pm

Trying to guesstimate scholarship aid.

Postby Comma.Split » Sun Mar 08, 2015 5:24 pm

Hey everyone. I am going over some of the ABA 509s to approximate how much financial aid law schools typically give. I would greatly appreciate if you could clarify a few things for me:

1) The form gives you the percentage of students who receive scholarships and grants. For example, for NYU the number is 36%. Does this mean that 64% of the NYU students get a big fat zero (i.e. pay out of pocket/loans)? Am I missing something here? This implies that a bunch of people at/above the medians get nothing.

2) The form also gives you the percentiles for scholarship awards. I am not an expert, but don’t the numbers seem a bit too low? NYU’s 75th percentile is 90K for 3 years. So, essentially 36% of students get aid and out of the 36% only a quarter (9% of the total class) gets 90K+ to attend. Or let’s take Michigan: 73% get aid, and the 75th percentile is 60K (i.e they give around 60K to people above their medians). Long story short, I am being dreamy about a 40%-50% discount at medians? I am pulling these numbers out of my behind, but it seems like a fair deal.

P.S. I do understand that a lot of candidates are splitters and reverse splitters, which could account for the seemingly low offers, but still 60K as the 75th percentile seems a bit too low, doesn’t it?

P.P.S. Full disclosure: I am not a spoiled brat who thinks he deserves to attend a T14 with a full scholarship while at/below the medians. I don’t currently have any scholarship offers -- just trying to kill some time marginally productively. So please don’t hate. Love and peace to everyone.

thatsnotmyname
Posts: 256
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 1:31 am

Re: Trying to guesstimate scholarship aid.

Postby thatsnotmyname » Sun Mar 08, 2015 5:41 pm

You are interpreting the numbers correctly, there are a lot of people attending law schools without any scholarships at all and paying the full sticker price. How you cut the data to try and understand why so many people are getting scholarships when the medians are where they are is a different matter. Generally if you are over both school's 75th percentiles or medians and get in you can expect pretty good aid. I think if you're over a median and below a median it becomes a bit more variable and can become very variable if you are over a 75th and below a median particularly at certain schools. For instance, I feel that UVA this cycle has been really unpredictable with how much money they are giving applicants with similar numbers or if they are even giving money at all to applicants with the same numbers. I think there was a poster in the UVA c/o 2018 thread who had a 169 and a 3.7 but didn't get any aid when there were some people this cycle with 168s and 3.8+'s that received full tuition scholarships. It leads me to believe that UVA is being more holistic with its scholarship approach this year. I think UVA's scholarship process this year was 100% merit-based as it seems that people who got scholarships heard back before submitting Need Access for the most part. Berkeley is another school that seems to be very unpredictable with money. Georgetown is also the same way, it's tough to tell who will receive money based on their numbers.

Some schools seem more predictable than others, like Michigan and Duke seem to be relatively straightforward with their doling out of scholarships and I would bet that they use some sort of formula to calculate what amount an applicant will receive based on their numbers with some exceptions for students who have very exceptional need.

Anyways, the point is, it's not easy to tell who will get aid and who won't at all schools, especially if the candidate has one number below a median. But overall it seems like some schools are more holistic with their approach to determining scholarship money and I don't think it's necessarily easy to predict at all schools who will get money and what amount they will receive.

User avatar
Comma.Split
Posts: 154
Joined: Sun Jan 25, 2015 10:22 pm

Re: Trying to guesstimate scholarship aid.

Postby Comma.Split » Sun Mar 08, 2015 6:56 pm

thatsnotmyname wrote:You are interpreting the numbers correctly, there are a lot of people attending law schools without any scholarships at all and paying the full sticker price. How you cut the data to try and understand why so many people are getting scholarships when the medians are where they are is a different matter. Generally if you are over both school's 75th percentiles or medians and get in you can expect pretty good aid. I think if you're over a median and below a median it becomes a bit more variable and can become very variable if you are over a 75th and below a median particularly at certain schools. For instance, I feel that UVA this cycle has been really unpredictable with how much money they are giving applicants with similar numbers or if they are even giving money at all to applicants with the same numbers. I think there was a poster in the UVA c/o 2018 thread who had a 169 and a 3.7 but didn't get any aid when there were some people this cycle with 168s and 3.8+'s that received full tuition scholarships. It leads me to believe that UVA is being more holistic with its scholarship approach this year. I think UVA's scholarship process this year was 100% merit-based as it seems that people who got scholarships heard back before submitting Need Access for the most part. Berkeley is another school that seems to be very unpredictable with money. Georgetown is also the same way, it's tough to tell who will receive money based on their numbers.

Some schools seem more predictable than others, like Michigan and Duke seem to be relatively straightforward with their doling out of scholarships and I would bet that they use some sort of formula to calculate what amount an applicant will receive based on their numbers with some exceptions for students who have very exceptional need.

Anyways, the point is, it's not easy to tell who will get aid and who won't at all schools, especially if the candidate has one number below a median. But overall it seems like some schools are more holistic with their approach to determining scholarship money and I don't think it's necessarily easy to predict at all schools who will get money and what amount they will receive.


Thanks for your detailed response. Now, I am completely clear on the second question. But how would you explain that NYU gives aid to only 36% of their students and less than 9% get 90k+!? If you think about it, besides the prestige (you can argue long and hard whether NYU has a better overall prestige than let's say Duke/Virginia/Berkeley, but let's assume it does), how does going to NYU make sense for the 64% of people who get no aid? What is the reasoning behind going to NYU with $0 money (64% of people) vs let's say Duke where the median scholly is 60K and 84% get aid. With accumulated interest, you are looking at a $80,000+ in savings. Where does NYU get so much leverage to flat out give nothing to 2/3 of the class (the placement rates are comparable)? I am not trashing any school or NYU specifically, just trying to understand the reasoning. Thanks!

thatsnotmyname
Posts: 256
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 1:31 am

Re: Trying to guesstimate scholarship aid.

Postby thatsnotmyname » Sun Mar 08, 2015 7:33 pm

Comma.Split wrote:
thatsnotmyname wrote:You are interpreting the numbers correctly, there are a lot of people attending law schools without any scholarships at all and paying the full sticker price. How you cut the data to try and understand why so many people are getting scholarships when the medians are where they are is a different matter. Generally if you are over both school's 75th percentiles or medians and get in you can expect pretty good aid. I think if you're over a median and below a median it becomes a bit more variable and can become very variable if you are over a 75th and below a median particularly at certain schools. For instance, I feel that UVA this cycle has been really unpredictable with how much money they are giving applicants with similar numbers or if they are even giving money at all to applicants with the same numbers. I think there was a poster in the UVA c/o 2018 thread who had a 169 and a 3.7 but didn't get any aid when there were some people this cycle with 168s and 3.8+'s that received full tuition scholarships. It leads me to believe that UVA is being more holistic with its scholarship approach this year. I think UVA's scholarship process this year was 100% merit-based as it seems that people who got scholarships heard back before submitting Need Access for the most part. Berkeley is another school that seems to be very unpredictable with money. Georgetown is also the same way, it's tough to tell who will receive money based on their numbers.

Some schools seem more predictable than others, like Michigan and Duke seem to be relatively straightforward with their doling out of scholarships and I would bet that they use some sort of formula to calculate what amount an applicant will receive based on their numbers with some exceptions for students who have very exceptional need.

Anyways, the point is, it's not easy to tell who will get aid and who won't at all schools, especially if the candidate has one number below a median. But overall it seems like some schools are more holistic with their approach to determining scholarship money and I don't think it's necessarily easy to predict at all schools who will get money and what amount they will receive.


Thanks for your detailed response. Now, I am completely clear on the second question. But how would you explain that NYU gives aid to only 36% of their students and less than 9% get 90k+!? If you think about it, besides the prestige (you can argue long and hard whether NYU has a better overall prestige than let's say Duke/Virginia/Berkeley, but let's assume it does), how does going to NYU make sense for the 64% of people who get no aid? What is the reasoning behind going to NYU with $0 money (64% of people) vs let's say Duke where the median scholly is 60K and 84% get aid. With accumulated interest, you are looking at a $80,000+ in savings. Where does NYU get so much leverage to flat out give nothing to 2/3 of the class (the placement rates are comparable)? I am not trashing any school or NYU specifically, just trying to understand the reasoning. Thanks!


Firstly, NYU Law is generally acknowledged as having stronger placement power into BigLaw than Duke/Virginia/Berkeley. Secondly, NYU is also generally regarded as being the best school (besides YHS) to go to if your primary focus is public interest law. Part of the reason is for many years they have had what is considered the strongest Loan Repayment Assistance Programs (LRAP) among law schools. I think that a lot of other law schools have improved their LRAP options to bring it closer to what NYU offers but I don't know too much about LRAPs, I just know that NYU has had what is considered the best one for a really long time now. So, ultimately, a lot of those people may be people with very strong public interest focuses who never intend on having to actually fully pay back what they borrowed given NYU's excellent LRAP program. A substantial percentage of them also likely come from upper-middle class or upper-class backgrounds and the sticker price does not intimidate them or their families. A very small percentage of them may also be veterans eligible for GI Bill benefits and receive tuition assistance that way. I can't breakdown what percentage of the school that is paying sticker is from upper class backgrounds, public interest focus, or just people who are "gambling" and taking out a lot of loans but feel very confident that it will be worth it for them. But anyways, like I mentioned people may be willing to pay sticker at NYU over a scholarship from Duke/Berkeley/Virginia as NYU is generally acknowledged as having better placement power into BigLaw and public interest position than those schools. They may feel that the added cost of what NYU offers is worth it to them or they may just have a really strong personal preference to be in NYC.




Return to “Financial Aid”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests