Low-Income Applicants

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LiveFreeOrLaw
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Low-Income Applicants

Postby LiveFreeOrLaw » Mon Mar 28, 2011 6:31 pm

Are there many low-income, poor applicants among us? Most law students come from middle class backgrounds and their parents usually own a home.

Anyone applying grew up genuinely poor?

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bk1
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Re: Low-Income Applicants

Postby bk1 » Mon Mar 28, 2011 6:32 pm

I would hazard that low SES applicants are among a small minority of law school applicants.

alicen
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Re: Low-Income Applicants

Postby alicen » Mon Mar 28, 2011 7:02 pm

yeah it doesn't seem to be that common. just out of curiosity, OP, how do you define low-income or what is your income like now so that you received absolutely no money from columbia? (relevant to my interests)

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hous
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Re: Low-Income Applicants

Postby hous » Mon Mar 28, 2011 7:56 pm

I grew up on food stamps.

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LiveFreeOrLaw
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Re: Low-Income Applicants

Postby LiveFreeOrLaw » Mon Mar 28, 2011 9:34 pm

alicen wrote:yeah it doesn't seem to be that common. just out of curiosity, OP, how do you define low-income or what is your income like now so that you received absolutely no money from columbia? (relevant to my interests)


Basically no parents and make barely enough for food. Below poverty line.

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Patriot1208
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Re: Low-Income Applicants

Postby Patriot1208 » Mon Mar 28, 2011 9:41 pm

LiveFreeOrLaw wrote:
alicen wrote:yeah it doesn't seem to be that common. just out of curiosity, OP, how do you define low-income or what is your income like now so that you received absolutely no money from columbia? (relevant to my interests)


Basically no parents and make barely enough for food. Below poverty line.

You have to be an orphan to be low-income?

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Fred_McGriff
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Re: Low-Income Applicants

Postby Fred_McGriff » Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:48 pm

Oliver Twist type orphan. Dancing, rags, like a chipper street urchin.

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tooswolle
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Re: Low-Income Applicants

Postby tooswolle » Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:54 pm

I'm curious to learn more about this as well. My guess would be not many giving the costs/ obstacles one has to go through to get here in the first place. But that's just a guess.

dreadlawks
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Re: Low-Income Applicants

Postby dreadlawks » Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:57 pm

LiveFreeOrLaw wrote:Are there many low-income, poor applicants among us? Most law students come from middle class backgrounds and their parents usually own a home.

Anyone applying grew up genuinely poor?


what's the age that law schools consider independence from parents? Because while this may be true, I know several folks who would fall into the low-income category based solely on their income (or lack thereof) who do not rely on parents to get by, nor do parents claim them on tax returns.

For financial need purposes, I feel like I read somewhere that its close to the 30 threshold, but if someone could confirm, this would be informative.

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Borhas
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Re: Low-Income Applicants

Postby Borhas » Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:01 pm

I have met maybe 2 or 3 people that I would qualify under OP's criteria (or else they never told me), and one of them might have been me... well maybe me up to age 15, after that I'd say "working class." Though all in all, I have to say I've been pretty damn lucky the whole way.

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sanjola
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Re: Low-Income Applicants

Postby sanjola » Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:34 pm

hous wrote:I grew up on food stamps.


I LOVE your avatar, house!

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Patriot1208
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Re: Low-Income Applicants

Postby Patriot1208 » Tue Mar 29, 2011 6:18 am

dreadlawks wrote:
LiveFreeOrLaw wrote:Are there many low-income, poor applicants among us? Most law students come from middle class backgrounds and their parents usually own a home.

Anyone applying grew up genuinely poor?


what's the age that law schools consider independence from parents? Because while this may be true, I know several folks who would fall into the low-income category based solely on their income (or lack thereof) who do not rely on parents to get by, nor do parents claim them on tax returns.

For financial need purposes, I feel like I read somewhere that its close to the 30 threshold, but if someone could confirm, this would be informative.

It's pretty old, I believe. Most of us will be applying to law school completely independent from our parents income but law schools still take into account your parents income for need based well into adulthood.

aliarrow
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Re: Low-Income Applicants

Postby aliarrow » Tue Mar 29, 2011 7:44 am

I think I qualify... I grew up on food stamps, I got the food drive food/toy drive toys in elementary school (even though I didnt realize what was going on, I just thought they were giving me free stuff because I was cool), grew up in a trailer park, my high school was across from the projects (and it wasn't a magnet program). I must admit, I get pretty bitter with most other law students I meet, especially when parents help out significantly with law school. As an added bonus, I grew up as an only child with a single mother who went to school full time and worked full time, so not only do I get the low-income, fish out of water experience, I also get to be socially awkward.
At least everything is a pretty big motivator to know that whatever happens I'm doing much better than whats expected of me - I'll be at a T30 in fall, most people from my HS either didn't go to college or went to community college.

The worst part is that I'm a white male (in case the trailer park thing didn't give that away). No diversity honors programs, no special scholarships, no URM boost. Most of the AAs I've seen participate in this kind of stuff come from middle class suburban backgrounds, and yes, it does make me a little bitter. But I don't want this to turn into any sort of AA debate.

adevotchka
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Re: Low-Income Applicants

Postby adevotchka » Tue Mar 29, 2011 12:09 pm

I grew up pretty poor (food stamps, single parent) and think it helped my cycle a bit. Out of my circle of friends here in the city, probably 8 or so are in law school or have graduated and most of their parents are lawyers as well. It's annoying to see them not sweat the debt too badly even at a T-2 school because they have a security net, connections, etc.

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kapital98
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Re: Low-Income Applicants

Postby kapital98 » Tue Mar 29, 2011 12:32 pm

I grew up poor. I lived in a trailer and lived with my father. He's a truck driver who makes ~$13,000 a year (~$8,500 last year due to the economy.) Almost all of my family receives some sort of gov't transfer payments (SSI, WIC, free heating oil, etc). I come from a rural high school with 63 graduates in my class. Almost all of them did not go to college. I'm the first member of my extended family to go to college or law school.

If it wasn't for maximum state and federal need based grants I would not have been able to go to college.

The biggest problem with going to college and being poor is liquidity. It doesn't exist and money is ALWAYS tight -- even if you work during school. Your options of where to go and what to do are somewhat limited. The Federal and State governments have a lot of programs to help the poor go to school but it's simply not enough. Your FAFSA EFC can equal 0 and your still expected to come up with $$$$ per year for law school :cry:

All of my Undergrad loans are subsidized but taking out unsubsidized loans (public+private) for law school is a scary thought :|

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kapital98
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Re: Low-Income Applicants

Postby kapital98 » Tue Mar 29, 2011 12:34 pm

P.S. It doesn't help that most middle/upper class students are oblivious to the degree financial circumstances hinder low-income students.

The worst part is that I'm a white male (in case the trailer park thing didn't give that away). No diversity honors programs, no special scholarships, no URM boost. Most of the AAs I've seen participate in this kind of stuff come from middle class suburban backgrounds, and yes, it does make me a little bitter. But I don't want this to turn into any sort of AA debate.

aliarrow
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Re: Low-Income Applicants

Postby aliarrow » Tue Mar 29, 2011 1:52 pm

kapital98 wrote:I grew up poor. I lived in a trailer and lived with my father. He's a truck driver who makes ~$13,000 a year (~$8,500 last year due to the economy.) Almost all of my family receives some sort of gov't transfer payments (SSI, WIC, free heating oil, etc). I come from a rural high school with 63 graduates in my class. Almost all of them did not go to college. I'm the first member of my extended family to go to college or law school.

If it wasn't for maximum state and federal need based grants I would not have been able to go to college.

The biggest problem with going to college and being poor is liquidity. It doesn't exist and money is ALWAYS tight -- even if you work during school. Your options of where to go and what to do are somewhat limited. The Federal and State governments have a lot of programs to help the poor go to school but it's simply not enough. Your FAFSA EFC can equal 0 and your still expected to come up with $$$$ per year for law school :cry:

All of my Undergrad loans are subsidized but taking out unsubsidized loans (public+private) for law school is a scary thought :|


This. In my situation, I couldn't even really look out of state for schools, my mom really didn't want me to for financial reasons since I had a full scholarship for any in-state public school. The thing is, the best school in my state is mediocre at the national level, and its discouraging to compete with Top Lib Arts/Top Private grads in this sector. So I only applied to two schools, got into both, went with the flagship.
I couldn't even qualify for any sort of federal aid since my mom became a nurse and started technically making too much to help, but she couldn't actually give me anything since shes recovering from a bankruptcy, shes gotten married and divorced while I was in HS/College, foreclosure, credit cards, etc...

(not a foreclosure on the trailer, we moved to a house later on around high school, but she couldn't really afford it)

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kapital98
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Re: Low-Income Applicants

Postby kapital98 » Tue Mar 29, 2011 4:03 pm

aliarrow wrote:This. In my situation, I couldn't even really look out of state for schools, my mom really didn't want me to for financial reasons since I had a full scholarship for any in-state public school. The thing is, the best school in my state is mediocre at the national level, and its discouraging to compete with Top Lib Arts/Top Private grads in this sector. So I only applied to two schools, got into both, went with the flagship.

I couldn't even qualify for any sort of federal aid since my mom became a nurse and started technically making too much to help, but she couldn't actually give me anything since shes recovering from a bankruptcy, shes gotten married and divorced while I was in HS/College, foreclosure, credit cards, etc...

(not a foreclosure on the trailer, we moved to a house later on around high school, but she couldn't really afford it)



That's terrible. It's too bad the FAFSA isn't more accommodative.

I go to a public college in NY and was forced with almost the same situation. The local community college or the most selective 4-year college in the state (SUNY has ~50 colleges/universities.) I went to the most selective school but had a shot at ivy league universities. However, if accepted I could have never afforded them.

If I may ask, What state do you live in?

aliarrow
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Re: Low-Income Applicants

Postby aliarrow » Tue Mar 29, 2011 4:10 pm

kapital98 wrote:
aliarrow wrote:This. In my situation, I couldn't even really look out of state for schools, my mom really didn't want me to for financial reasons since I had a full scholarship for any in-state public school. The thing is, the best school in my state is mediocre at the national level, and its discouraging to compete with Top Lib Arts/Top Private grads in this sector. So I only applied to two schools, got into both, went with the flagship.

I couldn't even qualify for any sort of federal aid since my mom became a nurse and started technically making too much to help, but she couldn't actually give me anything since shes recovering from a bankruptcy, shes gotten married and divorced while I was in HS/College, foreclosure, credit cards, etc...

(not a foreclosure on the trailer, we moved to a house later on around high school, but she couldn't really afford it)



That's terrible. It's too bad the FAFSA isn't more accommodative.

I go to a public college in NY and was forced with almost the same situation. The local community college or the most selective 4-year college in the state (SUNY has ~50 colleges/universities.) I went to the most selective school but had a shot at ivy league universities. However, if accepted I could have never afforded them.

If I may ask, What state do you live in?


Florida. Went to UF, kinda wish I went to USF because I got into the Honors College which would have meant an extra $12.5k in scholarship money total, which would have been excess, but I did the ED contract at UF.

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yngblkgifted
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Re: Low-Income Applicants

Postby yngblkgifted » Tue Mar 29, 2011 4:16 pm

aliarrow wrote:I think I qualify... I grew up on food stamps, I got the food drive food/toy drive toys in elementary school (even though I didnt realize what was going on, I just thought they were giving me free stuff because I was cool), grew up in a trailer park, my high school was across from the projects (and it wasn't a magnet program). I must admit, I get pretty bitter with most other law students I meet, especially when parents help out significantly with law school. As an added bonus, I grew up as an only child with a single mother who went to school full time and worked full time, so not only do I get the low-income, fish out of water experience, I also get to be socially awkward.
At least everything is a pretty big motivator to know that whatever happens I'm doing much better than whats expected of me - I'll be at a T30 in fall, most people from my HS either didn't go to college or went to community college.

The worst part is that I'm a white male (in case the trailer park thing didn't give that away). No diversity honors programs, no special scholarships, no URM boost. Most of the AAs I've seen participate in this kind of stuff come from middle class suburban backgrounds, and yes, it does make me a little bitter. But I don't want this to turn into any sort of AA debate.


Highly doubt it with that last statement.

alexanderhamilton
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Re: Low-Income Applicants

Postby alexanderhamilton » Tue Mar 29, 2011 4:16 pm

I got the LSAC fee waiver which I'm told is usually hard to get and I qualify currently for large amounts of need based aid, but my situation is kind of weird since I grew up in the middle/upper-middle class and then ended up somewhere along or below the poverty line. So much for upward social mobility right?

aliarrow
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Re: Low-Income Applicants

Postby aliarrow » Tue Mar 29, 2011 4:20 pm

yngblkgifted wrote:
aliarrow wrote:I think I qualify... I grew up on food stamps, I got the food drive food/toy drive toys in elementary school (even though I didnt realize what was going on, I just thought they were giving me free stuff because I was cool), grew up in a trailer park, my high school was across from the projects (and it wasn't a magnet program). I must admit, I get pretty bitter with most other law students I meet, especially when parents help out significantly with law school. As an added bonus, I grew up as an only child with a single mother who went to school full time and worked full time, so not only do I get the low-income, fish out of water experience, I also get to be socially awkward.
At least everything is a pretty big motivator to know that whatever happens I'm doing much better than whats expected of me - I'll be at a T30 in fall, most people from my HS either didn't go to college or went to community college.

The worst part is that I'm a white male (in case the trailer park thing didn't give that away). No diversity honors programs, no special scholarships, no URM boost. Most of the AAs I've seen participate in this kind of stuff come from middle class suburban backgrounds, and yes, it does make me a little bitter. But I don't want this to turn into any sort of AA debate.


Highly doubt it with that last statement.


Its just anecdotal, I'm sure there have been many disadvantaged African Americans from a lower SES whom these programs have helped monumentally and have given them an opportunity they wouldn't have otherwise had. I just feel a little left behind as a low SES white male. Many of the challenges are just as difficult (since it seems the primary obstacles are financial, not so much racial at the present time), and yet there's less assistance out there.

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yngblkgifted
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Re: Low-Income Applicants

Postby yngblkgifted » Tue Mar 29, 2011 4:28 pm

aliarrow wrote:
yngblkgifted wrote:
aliarrow wrote:I think I qualify... I grew up on food stamps, I got the food drive food/toy drive toys in elementary school (even though I didnt realize what was going on, I just thought they were giving me free stuff because I was cool), grew up in a trailer park, my high school was across from the projects (and it wasn't a magnet program). I must admit, I get pretty bitter with most other law students I meet, especially when parents help out significantly with law school. As an added bonus, I grew up as an only child with a single mother who went to school full time and worked full time, so not only do I get the low-income, fish out of water experience, I also get to be socially awkward.
At least everything is a pretty big motivator to know that whatever happens I'm doing much better than whats expected of me - I'll be at a T30 in fall, most people from my HS either didn't go to college or went to community college.

The worst part is that I'm a white male (in case the trailer park thing didn't give that away). No diversity honors programs, no special scholarships, no URM boost. Most of the AAs I've seen participate in this kind of stuff come from middle class suburban backgrounds, and yes, it does make me a little bitter. But I don't want this to turn into any sort of AA debate.


Highly doubt it with that last statement.


Its just anecdotal, I'm sure there have been many disadvantaged African Americans from a lower SES whom these programs have helped monumentally and have given them an opportunity they wouldn't have otherwise had. I just feel a little left behind as a low SES white male. Many of the challenges are just as difficult (since it seems the primary obstacles are financial, not so much racial at the present time), and yet there's less assistance out there.


The key component of a URM is being underrepresented. There are so few AAs at top law schools that there is no need to really be bitter that they are there. Also, while AA tend to be lower SES, don't confuse being poor with being URM. But I also believe that financial situations should be taken into consideration in the law school process along with racial diversity.

TheStrand
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Re: Low-Income Applicants

Postby TheStrand » Tue Mar 29, 2011 4:39 pm

Patriot1208 wrote:It's pretty old, I believe. Most of us will be applying to law school completely independent from our parents income but law schools still take into account your parents income for need based well into adulthood.

It's 24. However if you are applying to a graduate program you are "independent" by FAFSA standards (though frankly I've met enough dependent 20 somethings whose parents are funding their law school education to think that this is not always the case). It depends law to to law school whether your parental income is looked at or accepted. I was fortunate enough to get into Michigan which did not take that into consideration and gave me need-based.

I'm surprised at the number of people who went to state schools because they could not afford other universities. My parents are traditional Asians who came to America a year after marrying with about $300 between them. They rented out rooms in strangers' homes for the first few years and worked in restaurants and such and worked their way up. When I was 16 they said I was on my own and that I owed them rent and health insurance money. I applied to colleges because I grew up going to school with a lot of very rich kids, and when it came time to decide which school I was going to, I picked NYU with very low scholly over full scholly at some UCs and took out private loans and worked 40 hours a week to pay for it. I don't think it ever occurred to me to pick a school strictly based on what I could afford until after I got there and realized I had to graduate in 3 years or come out with 150k before i even got into law school. In retrospect, as I think about slitting my wrists on the 15th of every month when loan payments are due, I probably should have just taken the scholly.

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kapital98
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Re: Low-Income Applicants

Postby kapital98 » Tue Mar 29, 2011 5:08 pm

yngblkgifted wrote:
aliarrow wrote:
yngblkgifted wrote:
aliarrow wrote:I think I qualify... I grew up on food stamps, I got the food drive food/toy drive toys in elementary school (even though I didnt realize what was going on, I just thought they were giving me free stuff because I was cool), grew up in a trailer park, my high school was across from the projects (and it wasn't a magnet program). I must admit, I get pretty bitter with most other law students I meet, especially when parents help out significantly with law school. As an added bonus, I grew up as an only child with a single mother who went to school full time and worked full time, so not only do I get the low-income, fish out of water experience, I also get to be socially awkward.
At least everything is a pretty big motivator to know that whatever happens I'm doing much better than whats expected of me - I'll be at a T30 in fall, most people from my HS either didn't go to college or went to community college.

The worst part is that I'm a white male (in case the trailer park thing didn't give that away). No diversity honors programs, no special scholarships, no URM boost. Most of the AAs I've seen participate in this kind of stuff come from middle class suburban backgrounds, and yes, it does make me a little bitter. But I don't want this to turn into any sort of AA debate.


Highly doubt it with that last statement.


Its just anecdotal, I'm sure there have been many disadvantaged African Americans from a lower SES whom these programs have helped monumentally and have given them an opportunity they wouldn't have otherwise had. I just feel a little left behind as a low SES white male. Many of the challenges are just as difficult (since it seems the primary obstacles are financial, not so much racial at the present time), and yet there's less assistance out there.


The key component of a URM is being underrepresented. There are so few AAs at top law schools that there is no need to really be bitter that they are there. Also, while AA tend to be lower SES, don't confuse being poor with being URM. But I also believe that financial situations should be taken into consideration in the law school process along with racial diversity.


I don't think aliarrow was implying he's bitter at minorities being in law school. It's just (maybe) socioeconomic status would be a more relevant indicator of diversity than ethnicity. People who grew up around/below the poverty line are clearly underrepresented minorities in law school (regardless of ethnicity.)

However, that's a debate for another forum topic. AA debates always get ugly...




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