Need based scholarships?

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arism87
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Need based scholarships?

Postby arism87 » Sat Sep 25, 2010 12:11 am

Is there a point to apply for need based scholarships? For example I've been out of school for a few (not many) years, and I'm financially independent, but I'm making a living wage for sure. Will I benefit from applying for the FAFSA/need based scholarships? I have no idea how this works after undergrad.. thanks for your input!

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vanwinkle
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Re: Need based scholarships?

Postby vanwinkle » Sat Sep 25, 2010 12:15 am

In order to qualify for any type of aid at most schools you'll be required to fill out a FAFSA. However, that'll mostly end up getting you loans, unless you have a GPA/LSAT above the median for the school you're applying to, in which case they may award you "merit" scholarships. But need-based aid is almost universally loans for law school, since it's a professional graduate program.

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kalvano
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Re: Need based scholarships?

Postby kalvano » Sat Sep 25, 2010 12:16 am

Also, pretty much everyone qualifies for loans.

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arism87
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Re: Need based scholarships?

Postby arism87 » Sat Sep 25, 2010 12:19 am

So I'll need to fill it out for merit scholarships, also? And generally, do I want these specific loans or are other private loans a better deal? I did my undergraduate on a full scholarship so I have no idea how this works, thanks for your help!
Last edited by arism87 on Sat Sep 25, 2010 12:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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jdhopeful11
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Re: Need based scholarships?

Postby jdhopeful11 » Sat Sep 25, 2010 12:20 am

Unless you have any open collections against u

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kalvano
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Re: Need based scholarships?

Postby kalvano » Sat Sep 25, 2010 12:22 am

Most merit scholarships will be awarded based purely on numbers and require no application. A very few do, but I don't know which schools offhand.

Loans will be almost certainly federal. You can borrow all the way up to the school's estimated cost of living.

I believe private loans are, these days, mainly for people with credit issues who don't qualify for government loans.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Need based scholarships?

Postby vanwinkle » Sat Sep 25, 2010 1:01 am

arism87 wrote:So I'll need to fill it out for merit scholarships, also? And generally, do I want these specific loans or are other private loans a better deal? I did my undergraduate on a full scholarship so I have no idea how this works, thanks for your help!

Merit scholarships should be awarded even without the FAFSA, but keep in mind that scholarships that cover full tuition are rare and only given to keep you from going to a much better school, which sometimes might be a better option for you even though it'll cost more. Not only that, but you'll still need loans even if you get a full-tuition scholarship. You'll need to borrow an additional amount for "cost-of-living" expenses such as housing and food, and that will almost universally be covered by loans even to people given "full-tuition" scholarships.

It's much, much better to get the federal loans the FAFSA makes you eligible for. The reason is that federal loans are eligible for Income-Based Repayment or IBR when you graduate; IBR is a program that bases how much you pay on your loans on your income and not your total loan amount, and will forgive the remaining balance after 25 years of consistent repayment (10 years for qualifying public interest work).

Under IBR, the less you make after you graduate, the less you repay.

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arism87
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Re: Need based scholarships?

Postby arism87 » Sat Sep 25, 2010 7:42 am

Thanks everyone! Very helpful!




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