SuaSponteB4 wrote:Been lurking for a bit but haven't followed most posts in this thread. I realized something yesterday that I consider good news, but I have a question.
I'm taking the LSAT this Saturday. It's my first attempt and I've been PTing in the low 170s. GPA is not great (will be in the low 3s) so if I do well enough, I'll be a splitter. I'm hoping for a T-14 but I'm pretty debt-averse, so I'll definitely retake and get some more WE before testing again.
So here's the question: I've used 27 months of my GI Bill on undergrad, so I should have one year of LS covered. If I somehow do well enough to get some sort of scholarship, how would that work? Would I use the scholarship for the first two years, and, assuming it's not 100% scholarship, use the GI Bill the third year? Or would the scholarship still stand if I use my GI Bill the first year?
I would work with the school to allocate your scholarship to years 2 & 3. If you're 100% G.I. Bill eligible, you are eligible for the YRP as well. If you end up at a private school, you'll need that YRP money. However, schools often consider that part of the scholarship they provide...even when they didn't know you were eligible at the time they extended the scholly offer. That can suck.
So, if you get, say $20k/year at Duke (for example), try to see if they'll provide you $30k in years 2 & 3. Then, make sure they're good with the YRP match (it'll be around $18-20k coming from the school) not affecting that amount. Once they've agreed to the year 2/3 scholly, I don't think they'll balk when you throw down your DD214 on the financial aid desk and tell them you're YRP eligible.
If you're at a public school, the new law will make it easier for you. You won't need YRP, so definitely have the school allocate the money to years 2 & 3 so it doesn't get "replaced" by G.I. Bill funds. Don't do that until you've negotiated their best amount...then drop it on them.
If you blow law school out of the water 1L year, I suppose there's a not-impossible shot at getting an increased scholly as well (perhaps if you start transfer talk). This is unlikely, but combined with accruing interest on loans, it makes using the G.I. Bill in year 1 likely the more prudent play.