Weird line in Cornell scholarship letter

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askhos
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Re: Weird line in Cornell scholarship letter

Postby askhos » Mon May 10, 2010 3:28 pm

Duragon wrote:What significance are you attaching to the non-profit designation? I'm not sure why you would not still think of law schools as businesses, with many of the same demands and motives as a traditional for-profit business. In my mind, law schools are service providers. A scholarship is a discount on that service, from which the law school and the law student benefit.

How does a law school's non-profit designation legitimize an expectation that a mutually beneficial purchase discount will be reimbursed by the customer?


As a first pass, I would say because of the type of service law schools (and universities in general) provide. Just because a service is provided doesn't mean it has to follow the market like other goods and services private businesses offer.

A legal education is still an education, and I think that is something one should not have deprived of them simply because they can't afford it. But by saying that there seems to be an implicit assumption that there is a socialist aspect to how we view a university's place in society (since an educated populous is for the betterment of society in general, etc.), and if that's true then we do have an obligation to pay back the school that provided us with the opportunities we were given.

Still trying to formulate a coherent response while at work, but I think that's what I'll go with for now.

tamlyric
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Re: Weird line in Cornell scholarship letter

Postby tamlyric » Mon May 10, 2010 3:37 pm

ITT: Two entirely distinct questions get conflated.

1. Whether alumni, especially those who receive scholarships, have an obligation to make donations to their alma mater?

2. Whether it is appropriate for schools to note the future obligations of their prospective students in acceptance (or scholarship) letters?

You can deny (2) without denying (1). Hth.

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askhos
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Re: Weird line in Cornell scholarship letter

Postby askhos » Mon May 10, 2010 3:39 pm

tamlyric wrote:ITT: Two entirely distinct questions get conflated.

1. Whether alumni, especially those who receive scholarships, have an obligation to make donations to their alma mater?

2. Whether it is appropriate for schools to note the future obligations of their prospective students in acceptance (or scholarship) letters?

You can deny (2) without denying (1). Hth.


+1

Duragon
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Re: Weird line in Cornell scholarship letter

Postby Duragon » Mon May 10, 2010 3:40 pm

I hear what you're saying, particularly in regard to the fact that scholarships provide educational opportunities for those who would otherwise not attend. This just isn't how I think of law school scholarships. Instead, I see them as more of a business expense by which law schools maintain their position or advance among their competitors. There are of course exceptions to this characterization, but I'm not confident that many scholarships, relative to a given school's total, are used for the purposes you have described.

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askhos
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Re: Weird line in Cornell scholarship letter

Postby askhos » Mon May 10, 2010 3:43 pm

Duragon wrote:I hear what you're saying, particularly in regard to the fact that scholarships provide educational opportunities for those who would otherwise not attend. This just isn't how I think of law school scholarships. Instead, I see them as more of a business expense by which law schools maintain their position or advance among their competitors. There are of course exceptions to this characterization, but I'm not confident that many scholarships, relative to a given school's total, are used for the purposes you have described.


I can agree with that. Schools probably use scholarship as leverage all the time against other schools, but in the end it's still schools competing with schools. They may use a lot of market-like ploys to convince you to attend their institution, but ultimately it's still going to come down to the purpose of of a legal education in society.

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SaintClarence27
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Re: Weird line in Cornell scholarship letter

Postby SaintClarence27 » Mon May 10, 2010 3:44 pm

askhos wrote:
SaintClarence27 wrote:Fine, pretend that the lease was underwritten by HUD. It matters not - law schools, despite their designation, are for profit in a lot of ways.


If it was HUD, you're already giving back via taxes. I would think there's a moral argument to pay taxes too, not just legal ones.

I think the disagreement we're having is that you believe that in the end, there is a transaction of money taking place and someone or some institution is getting richer from it, so it doesn't matter whether we characterize it as "for-profit" or "non-profit" or whatever else. I think the difference does matter.

I don't want to misstate your position though, so don't let me put words in your mouth.


Well, WRT HUD, the same tax argument would apply to public schools, correct?

My argument is that there's definitely a contract. There's consideration flowing back and forth between the two parties. I receive the consideration of admission to the law school, and, assuming that I fulfill the requirements, a J.D. from that school. They receive the consideration of my tuition payments and my numbers to submit to USNWR(theoretically - I'm not good enough to get $$ to Cornell). The added 'clause' claiming a moral obligation for me to later donate money is presumptuous and ridiculous. If they want me to have an obligation in return for the scholarship, make it a real one. Otherwise, clam it and play nice until it's time to hit me up for money down the road. Then it would be fine for the school to say, "Hey, remember when you got that money allowing you to attend at a cheaper price? Wouldn't it be nice to do that for another student?" To try and influence you with guilt before you've even received the scholarship is nefarious and tacky.

As for the profit/nonprofit designation - I suppose that there could be some consideration that it matters. My thought is, though, that either way it's tacky and implies some moral obligation when there is a tenuous one at best.

I guess, rather than the business analogies that have been put forth, a better one might be this:

Grandma Smith gives you a birthday present. On the card is a note that says "Please note that presents are given with the understanding that there is a moral obligation to give me a nice birthday present in February if future financial circumstances permit."

Sure, she can *do* that. And an argument can be made for a moral obligation (though I think it's more societal norm and not a moral obligation in both cases). But it's tacky and cheapens the gift.

rundoxierun
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Re: Weird line in Cornell scholarship letter

Postby rundoxierun » Mon May 10, 2010 4:32 pm

TLS: The home of the ever changing point..

I just responded to: "I'll never donate to any school, ever. They are businesses. Each action they take will, ultimately, make them more money (or so they hope). The scholarships they give are to HELP THEM in the long run, not to help you."

I have no idea what you all are arguing about right now. Seems like some people believe that top schools have the same goals as Devry or Ivy Tech.

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dresden doll
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Re: Weird line in Cornell scholarship letter

Postby dresden doll » Tue May 11, 2010 11:57 pm

While I haven't read all the posts ITT, I am not really sure I can accept all the indignation that I have encountered. Perhaps Cornell might have worded their line differently, but the underlying point is hardly worth the annoyance.

Alumni donations help scholarship funds. Scholarship funds benefit us. We in turn contribute to the scholarship fund if/when we're able to. Seems fair enough to me.

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FlightoftheEarls
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Re: Weird line in Cornell scholarship letter

Postby FlightoftheEarls » Wed May 12, 2010 9:55 am

dresden doll wrote:While I haven't read all the posts ITT, I am not really sure I can accept all the indignation that I have encountered. Perhaps Cornell might have worded their line differently, but the underlying point is hardly worth the annoyance.

Alumni donations help scholarship funds. Scholarship funds benefit us. We in turn contribute to the scholarship fund if/when we're able to. Seems fair enough to me.

Nobody is debating the logic or fairness of it, Dres, simply the heinous level of tackiness sending such a letter exudes.

sharpnsmooth
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Re: Weird line in Cornell scholarship letter

Postby sharpnsmooth » Wed May 12, 2010 1:50 pm

goodolgil wrote:"Please note that scholarship awards are given with the understanding that there is a moral obligation to repay the Law School if future financial circumstances permit repayment."

Oh whatever.

Oh, and tuition is $51,150 for the coming year. Jesus.

its the price u pay 4 a sh0t t0 bring in 0ver 51,150 a yr

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dresden doll
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Re: Weird line in Cornell scholarship letter

Postby dresden doll » Thu May 13, 2010 2:06 am

FlightoftheEarls wrote:
dresden doll wrote:While I haven't read all the posts ITT, I am not really sure I can accept all the indignation that I have encountered. Perhaps Cornell might have worded their line differently, but the underlying point is hardly worth the annoyance.

Alumni donations help scholarship funds. Scholarship funds benefit us. We in turn contribute to the scholarship fund if/when we're able to. Seems fair enough to me.

Nobody is debating the logic or fairness of it, Dres, simply the heinous level of tackiness sending such a letter exudes.


I might have been careless in my reading of the thread, but it seemed to me that several posters took up issues with the notion of having to donate to their alma mater, should they become successful.

On a completely random note, I heinously hate you for being done with your 1L year. :evil:

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SaintClarence27
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Re: Weird line in Cornell scholarship letter

Postby SaintClarence27 » Thu May 13, 2010 8:12 am

dresden doll wrote:
FlightoftheEarls wrote:
dresden doll wrote:While I haven't read all the posts ITT, I am not really sure I can accept all the indignation that I have encountered. Perhaps Cornell might have worded their line differently, but the underlying point is hardly worth the annoyance.

Alumni donations help scholarship funds. Scholarship funds benefit us. We in turn contribute to the scholarship fund if/when we're able to. Seems fair enough to me.

Nobody is debating the logic or fairness of it, Dres, simply the heinous level of tackiness sending such a letter exudes.


I might have been careless in my reading of the thread, but it seemed to me that several posters took up issues with the notion of having to donate to their alma mater, should they become successful.

On a completely random note, I heinously hate you for being done with your 1L year. :evil:


For me, I just had issues with the tackiness, and the phrasing. There's no MORAL OBLIGATION. I may be splitting hairs, but to me there's a difference between MORAL OBLIGATION and "the right thing to do."




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