Living below poverty line and DENIED LSAC fee waiver!?!?

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webbylu87
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Living below poverty line and DENIED LSAC fee waiver!?!?

Postby webbylu87 » Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:09 am

This just happened to me and I'm wondering if anyone else is in the same boat.

I applied for an LSAC fee waiver and was denied. I appealed the decision and my denial was upheld. I am currently serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA and am therefore living below the poverty line. I'm also on food stamps. I don't understand why I was denied. The reason I was denied was because my 'income exceed the eligibility critieria.' I make $9,996 a year before taxes! That's $4.80/hour. I called to ask what their cut off line was and was told they don't give that information out. Is it just me (and it may just be me) or is this totally insane?

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Tanicius
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Re: Living below poverty line and DENIED LSAC fee waiver!?!?

Postby Tanicius » Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:24 am

Are you under 24? Did they have access to the incomes of your parents?

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webbylu87
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Re: Living below poverty line and DENIED LSAC fee waiver!?!?

Postby webbylu87 » Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:26 am

I am under 24 and yes they did. But it was made clear in my accompanying letter that my parents are NOT offering me financial assistance and that I am living entirely on my financial assistance and food stamps. I also provided documentation that my mother was currently laid off and on unemployment benefits. Seriously though, not everyone's parents can and will help them out.

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Tanicius
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Re: Living below poverty line and DENIED LSAC fee waiver!?!?

Postby Tanicius » Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:40 am

webbylu87 wrote:I am under 24 and yes they did. But it was made clear in my accompanying letter that my parents are NOT offering me financial assistance and that I am living entirely on my financial assistance and food stamps. I also provided documentation that my mother was currently laid off and on unemployment benefits. Seriously though, not everyone's parents can and will help them out.


The problem would seem to be this. Even though your parents might not end up giving you any money, under federal law I'm pretty sure that you qualify as a dependent until you're 24 barring some unusual circumstances, and that binds you to your parents' income levels.

Oblomov
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Re: Living below poverty line and DENIED LSAC fee waiver!?!?

Postby Oblomov » Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:44 am

While it's not as simple, apply directly to the schools you are interested in.

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webbylu87
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Re: Living below poverty line and DENIED LSAC fee waiver!?!?

Postby webbylu87 » Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:46 am

i did notify them that i would be filing independently this year. this is ridiculous. can you appeal an appeal?!? just cause my parents have money doesn't mean i do. booo. (sorry, at this point i feel like having a bit of a pity party.)


Oblomov wrote:While it's not as simple, apply directly to the schools you are interested in.


this is the avenue i'm pursuing at this point.

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Tanicius
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Re: Living below poverty line and DENIED LSAC fee waiver!?!?

Postby Tanicius » Thu Sep 24, 2009 1:53 pm

webbylu87 wrote:i did notify them that i would be filing independently this year. this is ridiculous. can you appeal an appeal?!? just cause my parents have money doesn't mean i do. booo. (sorry, at this point i feel like having a bit of a pity party.)


I'm not an expert, so I can't say. But I do have several friends who are in essentially the same position. Their parents don't pay for shit, but they're under 24 and their parents make a certain income, so they're denied badly needed aid. One of my friends actually waited until he was 24 so he could file as an independent before starting college.

As sad as it is, I can understand the logic behind this policy. If parents were allowed to refuse to pay for their kids' college and still be assured that their kid would receive money from the government, more of them would do it -- probably to such an extent that there would hardly ever be any aid money to give out.

the lantern
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Re: Living below poverty line and DENIED LSAC fee waiver!?!?

Postby the lantern » Thu Sep 24, 2009 2:00 pm

This does not surprise me at all. Simply put, I don't make much money (though I do work full time while attending university). LSAC denied me a waiver and I'm over 25, live on my own, etc. I can barely pay my bills each month and work 35-40 hours a week in addition to going to school, yet LSAC thinks I'm just rolling in cash apparently.

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hypermeganet
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Re: Living below poverty line and DENIED LSAC fee waiver!?!?

Postby hypermeganet » Thu Sep 24, 2009 2:05 pm

Being under 25, not married, not a ward of the courts, and not a military vet = you are dependent. Regardless of whether you file your taxes on your own, your parents' incomes will be considered.

the lantern
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Re: Living below poverty line and DENIED LSAC fee waiver!?!?

Postby the lantern » Thu Sep 24, 2009 2:09 pm

hypermeganet wrote:Being under 25, not married, not a ward of the courts, and not a military vet = you are dependent. Regardless of whether you file your taxes on your own, your parents' incomes will be considered.


Pretty much being not married is the kiss of death. I'm a vet, over 25, and still got denied. The shitty thing is (and this applies to federal grant money too) is that if I quit my job and lived off of grant money, I'd get grants out the wazoo. People who work for a living get screwed while fat stay at home moms who go to college for hair designing get all the grant money (and I assume that it is only 25+ unemployed people getting fee waivers). I understand people who are legitimately unemployed, but people who are over 25 and are just full time students are a bunch of freeloaders. No offence to any freeloading over 25 non veteran full time college students.

coherentowst
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Re: Living below poverty line and DENIED LSAC fee waiver!?!?

Postby coherentowst » Thu Sep 24, 2009 2:15 pm

I'm working and I got a waiver. I just started working late last year, though, so last year's tax return makes me look like a pauper. Definitely a slightly screwy system.

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thalassocrat
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Re: Living below poverty line and DENIED LSAC fee waiver!?!?

Postby thalassocrat » Sun Sep 27, 2009 1:08 pm

the lantern wrote:(and I assume that it is only 25+ unemployed people getting fee waivers).


Do you mean only people over 25 who are unemployed will receive one, or if you're over 25 you need to be unemployed to receive one? The former isn't true, though then it depends on your parents' status/income. I'm under 25, have work study, and received one. My parents' combined income is less than $40k, though, with two dependents (including me) in school.

For the latter, LSAC just looks at your income and (I assume) number of dependents/exceptions claimed. So if you're working full time and single, yep, you're screwed. The individual schools might be more willing, especially if you're a strong candidate for their program anyway.

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worldtraveler
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Re: Living below poverty line and DENIED LSAC fee waiver!?!?

Postby worldtraveler » Mon Sep 28, 2009 8:12 pm

How much do you have in your actual bank account? If you have any sort of savings at all, you can't get it. The age deal is not the reason. I got one at 24 and my income was about 19,000 per year.

If you tell each school you are in Americorps, they would likely give you the fee waiver anyway. Just ask each one. It's a pain but it will get the job done.

Also, I seem to remember that you applied last year too, right? That might be the reason. They may only grant one for first time applicants or something of the sort.

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webbylu87
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Re: Living below poverty line and DENIED LSAC fee waiver!?!?

Postby webbylu87 » Tue Sep 29, 2009 4:18 pm

worldtraveler wrote:How much do you have in your actual bank account? If you have any sort of savings at all, you can't get it. The age deal is not the reason. I got one at 24 and my income was about 19,000 per year.


I have very little savings so that really can't be the reason. And I only make $10k/year so I really don't know what the deal with that is. Ah well.


worldtraveler wrote:If you tell each school you are in Americorps, they would likely give you the fee waiver anyway. Just ask each one. It's a pain but it will get the job done.


Yeah, that's what I'm doing now. So far Iowa, BU, and Vandy have given me one but I'm waiting on a couple more. The score reports and LSAT fee for December are going to be tough though. I'm really happy schools seem to be understanding the predicament unlike LSAC. I'm tempted to try one final appeal letter just to see if it would do anything.

worldtraveler wrote:Also, I seem to remember that you applied last year too, right? That might be the reason. They may only grant one for first time applicants or something of the sort.


So far the only one which I have come across that has said that is BC, other than that I'm applying to very few repeats but no one else has mentioned it.

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kcg171
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Re: Living below poverty line and DENIED LSAC fee waiver!?!?

Postby kcg171 » Tue Sep 29, 2009 4:25 pm

according to the LSAC website, appeal decisions are final.

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kcg171
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Re: Living below poverty line and DENIED LSAC fee waiver!?!?

Postby kcg171 » Tue Sep 29, 2009 4:26 pm

sorry about your situation, btw.

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MTal
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Re: Living below poverty line and DENIED LSAC fee waiver!?!?

Postby MTal » Tue Sep 29, 2009 4:34 pm

Dude, it's your own fault for being so poor.

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webbylu87
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Re: Living below poverty line and DENIED LSAC fee waiver!?!?

Postby webbylu87 » Tue Sep 29, 2009 4:35 pm

kcg171 wrote:according to the LSAC website, appeal decisions are final.


yeah i read that too. but when i called in and basically complained about the decision, the woman i spoke to said to try it anyways. worse thing that happens is that they turn me down again.

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kcg171
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Re: Living below poverty line and DENIED LSAC fee waiver!?!?

Postby kcg171 » Tue Sep 29, 2009 4:42 pm

that's good. I hope it works.

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dontworrybehappy
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Re: Living below poverty line and DENIED LSAC fee waiver!?!?

Postby dontworrybehappy » Wed Sep 30, 2009 2:38 am

webbylu87 wrote:I am under 24 and yes they did. But it was made clear in my accompanying letter that my parents are NOT offering me financial assistance and that I am living entirely on my financial assistance and food stamps. I also provided documentation that my mother was currently laid off and on unemployment benefits. Seriously though, not everyone's parents can and will help them out.


Word. I got denied too.

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laidoffjournalist
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Re: Living below poverty line and DENIED LSAC fee waiver!?!?

Postby laidoffjournalist » Thu Oct 01, 2009 12:34 pm

:)
Last edited by laidoffjournalist on Sat Nov 07, 2009 10:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

hank44
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Re: Living below poverty line and DENIED LSAC fee waiver!?!?

Postby hank44 » Thu Oct 01, 2009 12:44 pm

OP, which city are you working in with Vista that allows you to pay rent on this income with zero assistance from parents?

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worldtraveler
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Re: Living below poverty line and DENIED LSAC fee waiver!?!?

Postby worldtraveler » Thu Oct 01, 2009 8:05 pm

laidoffjournalist wrote:I was given preliminary approval when I applied online. Then I just had to send them a copy of my tax forms in the mail, which I did on Tuesday. Hopefully I will hear back soon if I have received final approval.

All you people that got denied, were you denied outright online or given pre-approval and later denied? I'm really banking on this fee waiver because I seriously can't afford to pay to apply to more than a couple schools on my own.


Unless you lied or miscalculated on the preliminary approval, you should be fine. They are just verifying that what you said is accurate.

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Borhas
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Re: Living below poverty line and DENIED LSAC fee waiver!?!?

Postby Borhas » Thu Oct 01, 2009 11:01 pm

email and call individual schools directly, and explain your situation... I doubt you can change the LSAC's mind.

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Drake014
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Re: Living below poverty line and DENIED LSAC fee waiver!?!?

Postby Drake014 » Thu Oct 01, 2009 11:06 pm

the lantern wrote:
hypermeganet wrote:Being under 25, not married, not a ward of the courts, and not a military vet = you are dependent. Regardless of whether you file your taxes on your own, your parents' incomes will be considered.


Pretty much being not married is the kiss of death. I'm a vet, over 25, and still got denied. The shitty thing is (and this applies to federal grant money too) is that if I quit my job and lived off of grant money, I'd get grants out the wazoo. People who work for a living get screwed while fat stay at home moms who go to college for hair designing get all the grant money (and I assume that it is only 25+ unemployed people getting fee waivers). I understand people who are legitimately unemployed, but people who are over 25 and are just full time students are a bunch of freeloaders. No offence to any freeloading over 25 non veteran full time college students.


Your disapproval pains me greatly.




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