Veterans Thread

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
Grunt2Grad
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Grunt2Grad » Thu Feb 19, 2015 11:14 am

Well, I am done stressing this cycle. In at UCLA. Did my undergrad there so it will be nice to stay home and not have to move the family anywhere, and I would like to work in So. Cal..... So all things considered UCLA for free really feels like a win.
Last edited by Grunt2Grad on Thu Feb 19, 2015 2:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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usn26
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby usn26 » Thu Feb 19, 2015 12:59 pm

Grunt2Grad wrote:Well, I am done stressing this cycle. In at UCLA. Did my undergrad there so it will be nice to stay home and not have to move the family anywhere and I would like to work in So. Cal..... So all things considered UCLA for free really feels like a win.


Awesome, congrats! Sounds like a good deal.

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storpappa
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby storpappa » Thu Feb 19, 2015 1:06 pm

Grunt2Grad wrote:Well, I am done stressing this cycle. In at UCLA. Did my undergrad there so it will be nice to stay home and not have to move the family anywhere and I would like to work in So. Cal..... So all things considered UCLA for free really feels like a win.

BRAVO ZULU

SoCalBum
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby SoCalBum » Thu Feb 19, 2015 8:10 pm

About three weeks ago I was waitlisted at UCLA and accepted at USC. I'm stoked. Good luck to everyone else during this cycle

D

Grunt2Grad
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Grunt2Grad » Fri Feb 20, 2015 11:07 pm

UCLA just told me they would classify need based aid as a living stipend so it doesnt get eaten up by Voc Rehab. This has been a solid week of good news I hope the wave continues!

mike0331
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby mike0331 » Mon Feb 23, 2015 2:58 pm

I am still waiting to hear on scholarship info from my first choice. So far I have received money everywhere including some significant money from "higher ranked" schools so I hope it pans out. Not sure if they will let me take any of it as a stipend, but I am hoping I can convert some of it into a meal plan at the very least if I get an offer. A living stipend for the months not covered by BAH would be nice as well.

Mike

Wipfelder
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Wipfelder » Tue Feb 24, 2015 5:13 am

Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't one eligible for full GI Bill during the summer term if they take 2.5 credits? It seems plausible that one could still work in the summer, and then take something online or whatever, and still get full GI Bill the whole year minus the Winter Break.

Am I high?

mike0331
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby mike0331 » Tue Feb 24, 2015 12:43 pm

What, like take something pass/fail for BAH? Dunno, if the school would certify I don't see why not. You would be burning the time/money, which I'd rather use for flight school or something.

Mike

Grunt2Grad
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Grunt2Grad » Tue Feb 24, 2015 12:54 pm

There is a chart they use. Not sure if you can find it online but basically one axis is the number of weeks the course(s) is and then it correlates to a number of credit hours required to be considered full time.

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encore1101
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby encore1101 » Tue Feb 24, 2015 4:08 pm

Wipfelder wrote:Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't one eligible for full GI Bill during the summer term if they take 2.5 credits? It seems plausible that one could still work in the summer, and then take something online or whatever, and still get full GI Bill the whole year minus the Winter Break.

Am I high?



I think it depends on what your school considers "Full-time" status, since they have to certify it to the VA. My school didn't have a special "full-time" credit status for summer courses. Instead, they just used their school year formula, which was like 12 credits minimum for full-time status. So I was not eligible for Post-9/11 during those summer months, since the most credits I could enroll during summer was limited to 5 or 6 or something.

However, I was able to work something out with my liaison, where I took a 2 credit externship seminar course and logged my hours at the summer internship (which was 9-5). Based on that, the VA representative of my school certified me as full time to the VA, thus getting me the benefits.

Wipfelder
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Wipfelder » Thu Feb 26, 2015 5:37 am

encore1101 wrote:
Wipfelder wrote:Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't one eligible for full GI Bill during the summer term if they take 2.5 credits? It seems plausible that one could still work in the summer, and then take something online or whatever, and still get full GI Bill the whole year minus the Winter Break.

Am I high?



I think it depends on what your school considers "Full-time" status, since they have to certify it to the VA. My school didn't have a special "full-time" credit status for summer courses. Instead, they just used their school year formula, which was like 12 credits minimum for full-time status. So I was not eligible for Post-9/11 during those summer months, since the most credits I could enroll during summer was limited to 5 or 6 or something.

However, I was able to work something out with my liaison, where I took a 2 credit externship seminar course and logged my hours at the summer internship (which was 9-5). Based on that, the VA representative of my school certified me as full time to the VA, thus getting me the benefits.



Awesome! Great info man, I appreciate it.

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storpappa
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby storpappa » Thu Feb 26, 2015 6:18 pm

I am doing my school short lists and one of my big questions during ASW trips is housing. I know what the zip code tool shows, and am doing my budget, and for some it looks very nice and in other locations it looks very tight.

Does the E-5 Dependents BAH cover your living expenses if in school or complete? Or if planning, have you done a budget yet to see how much it will cover?

And it is only during the school year, 7 or 8 months? How do you or how are you planning to cover the other months?

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UnicornHunter
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby UnicornHunter » Thu Feb 26, 2015 6:53 pm

storpappa wrote:I am doing my school short lists and one of my big questions during ASW trips is housing. I know what the zip code tool shows, and am doing my budget, and for some it looks very nice and in other locations it looks very tight.

Does the E-5 Dependents BAH cover your living expenses if in school or complete? Or if planning, have you done a budget yet to see how much it will cover?

And it is only during the school year, 7 or 8 months? How do you or how are you planning to cover the other months?


I think you would have to be really thrifty to get BAH to cover all of your living expenses. Completely depends on your habits and your school's location though. As for how to cover the difference: a) deployment savings b) student loans and c) summer employment.

mike0331
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby mike0331 » Thu Feb 26, 2015 11:11 pm

Depends how you play it. I am probably going to end up at BC, so that's 2600/month for about 7 months out of the year. I expect my expenses to be 1600 a month give or take, depending how lavishly I feel like living (how many new guns I buy). I figure my wife and I will split the rent on a townhouse for about 2/month, and then car insurance and food should be 300-500. That gives me another 7K to live off of the other 5 months assuming I find no employment. I also do have savings just in case, it would be tight without it. My wife also has an income so that's another stress reliever. You could probably sublet a room somewhere for cheap.

I'm hoping I get some money at BC and they can convert it to a stipend, or the very least cover a meal plan for me. I know that's rare but the VA said it's a go if the school will do it (on voc rehab).

I had no issue living off 1600 with my wife and another roommate at my undergrad. I paid about 550 a month for rent and was fine over the summers, though I did work for ammo/drinking money.

Mike

Pacman
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Pacman » Fri Feb 27, 2015 11:08 am

Hello fellow vets of TLS!

I've been lurking around these forums for quite some time now but now that I'm getting out and getting serious about applying to law school I thought I'd finally get more involved. I really like that there seems to be strong veteran community here that is far better than any others I've found while researching law schools.

I am a Staff Sergeant in the US Army, about to hit my six year mark in March and starting terminal leave in May, out for good in August. I'm a cook and have worked in the 82nd and for USASOC during my time in with deployments to Afghanistan and Africa. I am super excited because I just got my VA eligibility letter back stating I'm 100% eligible for the GI Bill so I'm looking to pursue a JD/MBA for free at the best possible program.

I have my BA in Film from Notre Dame (2.8 GPA)
I'm finishing up my MS in International Relations with Troy University (4.0 GPA)
Planning to take the LSAT in December (Currently using 7Sage and got a 162 on my first preptest before starting the program)

Basically I partied a lot in college and never went to class which is why my GPA is so low, so I'll definitely have to overcome that, but I think a 170 will open enough doors for me to get in somewhere decent. I know it's premature to talk about the LSAT until I take it but I'm confident that I'll be able to increase my score to this point the first time around and if not I'll just retake it. I'm looking to apply for the fall of 2016 and then apply to business school during my first year of law school so I don't have to deal with two simultaneous application cycles. I plan to blanket all the free T14 (why not?) and then have some decent public and private (free) schools that would be good safeties for me. I'd like to end up in California if I had to go to a lower ranked school so I've focused most of my research on schools out west that are outside the T14.

Looking to see if anyone has any experience with applying to law school with a graduate degree and how much of a boost, if any, that can give you. Also, if anyone is pursuing a dual degree, I'd love to hear how the GI Bill/YRP has funded it because I've seen a lot of schools that are free for law and expensive for business and I wasn't sure how the mixed tuitions work.

Thanks for any help I'm sure I'll receive here, I look forward to getting to know everyone and thanks for all your service.

~Pacman

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storpappa
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby storpappa » Fri Feb 27, 2015 11:36 am

Pacman wrote:Hello fellow vets of TLS!

I've been lurking around these forums for quite some time now but now that I'm getting out and getting serious about applying to law school I thought I'd finally get more involved. I really like that there seems to be strong veteran community here that is far better than any others I've found while researching law schools.

I am a Staff Sergeant in the US Army, about to hit my six year mark in March and starting terminal leave in May, out for good in August. I'm a cook and have worked in the 82nd and for USASOC during my time in with deployments to Afghanistan and Africa. I am super excited because I just got my VA eligibility letter back stating I'm 100% eligible for the GI Bill so I'm looking to pursue a JD/MBA for free at the best possible program.

I have my BA in Film from Notre Dame (2.8 GPA)
I'm finishing up my MS in International Relations with Troy University (4.0 GPA)
Planning to take the LSAT in December (Currently using 7Sage and got a 162 on my first preptest before starting the program)

Basically I partied a lot in college and never went to class which is why my GPA is so low, so I'll definitely have to overcome that, but I think a 170 will open enough doors for me to get in somewhere decent. I know it's premature to talk about the LSAT until I take it but I'm confident that I'll be able to increase my score to this point the first time around and if not I'll just retake it. I'm looking to apply for the fall of 2016 and then apply to business school during my first year of law school so I don't have to deal with two simultaneous application cycles. I plan to blanket all the free T14 (why not?) and then have some decent public and private (free) schools that would be good safeties for me. I'd like to end up in California if I had to go to a lower ranked school so I've focused most of my research on schools out west that are outside the T14.

Looking to see if anyone has any experience with applying to law school with a graduate degree and how much of a boost, if any, that can give you. Also, if anyone is pursuing a dual degree, I'd love to hear how the GI Bill/YRP has funded it because I've seen a lot of schools that are free for law and expensive for business and I wasn't sure how the mixed tuitions work.

Thanks for any help I'm sure I'll receive here, I look forward to getting to know everyone and thanks for all your service.

~Pacman


Best of luck. That undergrad GPA will impact your options. Sadly, the grad GPA will look nice in an essay but doesn't boost your "real world GPA". The LSAC calculations just look at you as a K-JD. Courses at sea, while deployed, dual degrees, graduate courses. If you do a lot before your first Bachelor, it drags your GPA down. After your first degree, it doesn't bring it up.

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encore1101
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby encore1101 » Fri Feb 27, 2015 11:43 am

storpappa wrote:I am doing my school short lists and one of my big questions during ASW trips is housing. I know what the zip code tool shows, and am doing my budget, and for some it looks very nice and in other locations it looks very tight.

Does the E-5 Dependents BAH cover your living expenses if in school or complete? Or if planning, have you done a budget yet to see how much it will cover?

And it is only during the school year, 7 or 8 months? How do you or how are you planning to cover the other months?



You only get the E-5 BAH during the school year, and it's prorated how many days you're actually in school. For example, if you're semester ends December 15, you'll only get half the BAH for that month. You won't get BAH during the summer, unless, as discussed above, you're able to work something out with your school's VA liaison to get full-time student verification. Correct me if I'm wrong, but they'll charge you that entire month anyway. Kind of a shitty deal, but can't complain too much.

Unfortunately, I didn't realize that I could do that until my 2L-->3L summer. For 1L-->2L summer, I just took out a small amount in loans at the beginning of Spring semester, and saved a little BAH every month. It was rough, and the last few weeks were a little sketch, but it worked.

mike0331
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby mike0331 » Fri Feb 27, 2015 11:51 am

It has been my experience that the vet boost is real. I had a 3.2 in a STEM major, but I got money at schools that a lot of the threads here pegged other people with similar numbers as being unlikely to get in at. I really think you need to pull for the LSAT though. If you get your LSAT high enough that they don't just toss your app, and you have a GPA addendum you will be doing yourself some huge favors, especially with the MS with a 4.0. As I understand it schools don't report means they report medians... so in theory a 3.2 vs a 2.8 wouldn't drag their median down like it would a mean. I got into some schools with my GPA well below the 25th percentile and LSAT at the median with a previous much lower LSAT grade, with money, very soon after applying later in the game.

You may have shot yourself in the foot for the top few schools so to speak, but I can't imagine you'll have an issue getting into top regional schools and possibly a couple T14s if you really pull off the high LSAT.

Don't let some of the threads here get you down, there is a lot of arrogance and ignorance on this board.

ETA: I have 34 months of benefits left and only need 21-22 for LS. I wonder if I can spin flight school over the summers to my VA rep as wanting to aviation law?

Best of luck,

Mike

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bjsesq
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby bjsesq » Fri Feb 27, 2015 12:12 pm

I didn't get a vet boost for acceptances, but did on scholarships. As you can see, it's not necessarily consistent, and ymmv.

mike0331
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby mike0331 » Fri Feb 27, 2015 12:18 pm

I mean its hard to say definitively without talking to the admissions office, but if I was in the "30th" percentile or "weak consider" for a bunch of schools according to websites linked on this site, and I got into ALL of them, that would make me inclined to think that it had something to do with it. Like everything ymmv. My military service is rather unimpressive as a reservist with 1 deployment, so I'd like to think my other soft factors contributed, but who knows. Also every school happily waived my application fee, which was nice.

Mike

Grunt2Grad
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Grunt2Grad » Fri Feb 27, 2015 12:46 pm

The vet boos is real. To what extent probably varies from school to school and adcom to adcom. I was told the vet boost is not strong enough to get you in under both 25ths but I am living proof that it certainly helps. I am not sure exactly what other factors played into my admissions decision (non-URM if you were wondering) but I strongly encourage you to apply to the schools you want to go to and not listen to the "retake, reapply, you have no chance mentality" (especially if you are lucky enough to have Voc Rehab and $$$ is not a consideration in deciding your school). Apply and force them to make the decision do not make it for them, if after the cycle you are not happy then explore the other options.

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bjsesq
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby bjsesq » Fri Feb 27, 2015 1:04 pm

I may be different because I applied during the busiest application cycle ever. I was 3.75/170 and got waitlisted at U of C, in everywhere else. This was consistent with my numbers.

mike0331
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby mike0331 » Fri Feb 27, 2015 1:32 pm

But since your GPA is low, and you have not taken the LSAT yet, blow it out of the water. I was very discouraged as I plateaued in my practice tests in the low 160s with Kaplan. After being disappointed with my actual score (158), I spent 2 months going through practice tests on my own, using some of Kaplans method, but mainly my own, and dissecting everything I got wrong with a fine tooth comb. I did this all under testing time constants. I still was disappointed with my second grade (165) as I was PTing about 5-6 points higher, but it has been good enough to get me in places with money. If it didn't I'd retake and reapply next year. UVA is the only school I'm waiting on and I'd be pretty surprised if I got in, but BC, BU, Emory, WLU all got back to me very quickly with money after I applied around Christmas time. I'm still waiting on money from BC, but I was told the next 2 weeks is when they are offering their scholarships.

Now is a good time to apply to law school as well as admissions are down.

Mike

BNA
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby BNA » Tue Mar 03, 2015 8:15 pm

All,

Interesting news regarding scholarship reclassification. The school I'll be attending offered me $15k, but said that I needed to find out how to have it paid on top of the GIB. I called the VA, and after a long discussion, found out that the VA pays exactly what the school submits. In other words, EVERY school can convert scholarships. All they have to do is apply it after information has been sent to the VA and it will go into your account as an excess. There really is no need to reclassify it as "cost of living," or otherwise, for VA purposes. A simple annotation on your student account naming it something other than a tuition scholarship would be preferable. Any university that says they can't probably just isn't aware of the procedure, or doesn't want to deal with it. Keep this in mind when negotiating.

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Ex Cearulo
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Ex Cearulo » Tue Mar 03, 2015 8:28 pm

BNA wrote:All,

Interesting news regarding scholarship reclassification. The school I'll be attending offered me $15k, but said that I needed to find out how to have it paid on top of the GIB. I called the VA, and after a long discussion, found out that the VA pays exactly what the school submits. In other words, EVERY school can convert scholarships. All they have to do is apply it after information has been sent to the VA and it will go into your account as an excess. There really is no need to reclassify it as "cost of living," or otherwise, for VA purposes. A simple annotation on your student account naming it something other than a tuition scholarship would be preferable. Any university that says they can't probably just isn't aware of the procedure, or doesn't want to deal with it. Keep this in mind when negotiating.


So if I understand what you're saying, according to the VA it's simply a matter of having the school submit the bill to the VA and then, after that's paid, apply whatever school scholarship money is available? I'd think the VA's policy of being the last payer would cause them to frown on that. But unless the school is required by law to let the VA know what scholarships it has awarded (are they?), I guess there's no way for them to keep track. And if the school automatically deposits any overages into your bank account on file then you'd be good to go. Does anyone else have any experience with getting scholarship money applied after the VA has paid? Thanks for sharing this, BNA.




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