How to approach FA application if I wish to take a gap year?

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unpetitpacifiste
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How to approach FA application if I wish to take a gap year?

Postby unpetitpacifiste » Tue Feb 07, 2017 1:23 am

Hi all, I've got accepted by Columbia and NYU and I am wondering how I should approach FA application given that I am thinking about taking a gap year. Should I apply for FA now or should I just let the schools know my plan and apply for FA next year? I am worried that if I do the latter, I won't get as much bargaining power in FA negotiations. Has everyone been through this process before? Any advice?

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runinthefront
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Re: How to approach FA application if I wish to take a gap year?

Postby runinthefront » Tue Feb 07, 2017 1:28 am

I was under the impression that, generally, if you defer law-school enrollment by a year, you have to apply for financial aid all over again.

Then again, I am not familiar with the intricacies of NYU/Columbia's financial aid policies...so maybe that's not the case.

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Mullens
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Re: How to approach FA application if I wish to take a gap year?

Postby Mullens » Tue Feb 07, 2017 1:54 am

unpetitpacifiste wrote:Hi all, I've got accepted by Columbia and NYU and I am wondering how I should approach FA application given that I am thinking about taking a gap year. Should I apply for FA now or should I just let the schools know my plan and apply for FA next year? I am worried that if I do the latter, I won't get as much bargaining power in FA negotiations. Has everyone been through this process before? Any advice?


Why did you apply this year if you aren't intending to matriculate? The problem with deferring and taking a gap year is that you lose all your leverage in scholarship negotiation. You have to pick a school and then defer at that school. At that point you're committed so they have no incentive to give you any money. You're better off reapplying very early next cycle and negotiating scholarships than you are deferring at a single school (unless you defer at HYS where they have need-based aid).

cavalier1138
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Re: How to approach FA application if I wish to take a gap year?

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue Feb 07, 2017 5:56 am

You seem to be confused about how the deferral process works. You can't defer at both Columbia and NYU. You pick one, and then you commit to attend there next year. It kind of wrecks any bargaining position you may have had for scholarships. Getting a financial aid offer this year wouldn't help, because deferring acceptance means that you give up any scholarship offers from this cycle.

I'm also confused about why you applied this cycle if you never intended to go.

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unpetitpacifiste
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Re: How to approach FA application if I wish to take a gap year?

Postby unpetitpacifiste » Tue Feb 07, 2017 11:17 pm

Mullens wrote:
unpetitpacifiste wrote:Hi all, I've got accepted by Columbia and NYU and I am wondering how I should approach FA application given that I am thinking about taking a gap year. Should I apply for FA now or should I just let the schools know my plan and apply for FA next year? I am worried that if I do the latter, I won't get as much bargaining power in FA negotiations. Has everyone been through this process before? Any advice?


Why did you apply this year if you aren't intending to matriculate? The problem with deferring and taking a gap year is that you lose all your leverage in scholarship negotiation. You have to pick a school and then defer at that school. At that point you're committed so they have no incentive to give you any money. You're better off reapplying very early next cycle and negotiating scholarships than you are deferring at a single school (unless you defer at HYS where they have need-based aid).


Thanks for the clarifications! I was confused before about how the FA process works. I applied this cycle because I am not completely sure about taking a gap year and if I do, I will literally just take the year to relax and travel, which doesn't make it look particularly good to adcomm if I were to apply in the next cycle... anyways, in that case I guess deferring is out of question, unless I hear back from H or S, fingers crossed!

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lymenheimer
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Re: How to approach FA application if I wish to take a gap year?

Postby lymenheimer » Tue Feb 07, 2017 11:21 pm

unpetitpacifiste wrote:
Mullens wrote:
unpetitpacifiste wrote:Hi all, I've got accepted by Columbia and NYU and I am wondering how I should approach FA application given that I am thinking about taking a gap year. Should I apply for FA now or should I just let the schools know my plan and apply for FA next year? I am worried that if I do the latter, I won't get as much bargaining power in FA negotiations. Has everyone been through this process before? Any advice?


Why did you apply this year if you aren't intending to matriculate? The problem with deferring and taking a gap year is that you lose all your leverage in scholarship negotiation. You have to pick a school and then defer at that school. At that point you're committed so they have no incentive to give you any money. You're better off reapplying very early next cycle and negotiating scholarships than you are deferring at a single school (unless you defer at HYS where they have need-based aid).


Thanks for the clarifications! I was confused before about how the FA process works. I applied this cycle because I am not completely sure about taking a gap year and if I do, I will literally just take the year to relax and travel, which doesn't make it look particularly good to adcomm if I were to apply in the next cycle... anyways, in that case I guess deferring is out of question, unless I hear back from H or S, fingers crossed!


Considering you generally have to request a deferral, it looks better to say "i traveled and had great experiences" on your application to the school than "yea i applied and i want to take up a spot in your class, but next year because i want to travel for the year, so not for a legitimate purpose". Not saying it wouldnt work, but if you're concerned which sounds worse...

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unpetitpacifiste
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Re: How to approach FA application if I wish to take a gap year?

Postby unpetitpacifiste » Wed Feb 08, 2017 1:27 am

lymenheimer wrote:
unpetitpacifiste wrote:
Mullens wrote:
unpetitpacifiste wrote:Hi all, I've got accepted by Columbia and NYU and I am wondering how I should approach FA application given that I am thinking about taking a gap year. Should I apply for FA now or should I just let the schools know my plan and apply for FA next year? I am worried that if I do the latter, I won't get as much bargaining power in FA negotiations. Has everyone been through this process before? Any advice?


Why did you apply this year if you aren't intending to matriculate? The problem with deferring and taking a gap year is that you lose all your leverage in scholarship negotiation. You have to pick a school and then defer at that school. At that point you're committed so they have no incentive to give you any money. You're better off reapplying very early next cycle and negotiating scholarships than you are deferring at a single school (unless you defer at HYS where they have need-based aid).


Thanks for the clarifications! I was confused before about how the FA process works. I applied this cycle because I am not completely sure about taking a gap year and if I do, I will literally just take the year to relax and travel, which doesn't make it look particularly good to adcomm if I were to apply in the next cycle... anyways, in that case I guess deferring is out of question, unless I hear back from H or S, fingers crossed!


Considering you generally have to request a deferral, it looks better to say "i traveled and had great experiences" on your application to the school than "yea i applied and i want to take up a spot in your class, but next year because i want to travel for the year, so not for a legitimate purpose". Not saying it wouldnt work, but if you're concerned which sounds worse...


i think most schools actually have a pretty liberal deferring policy - when I went to an info session by Harvard, they said just tell them before mid-April and it will literally be a done deal just like that; besides, can anyone really relax and travel in a good mood when his future is hanging in the air?




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