Denied an LSAC fee waiver? Don't give up

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Lear22
Posts: 275
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2011 10:17 am

Denied an LSAC fee waiver? Don't give up

Postby Lear22 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:55 pm

to all who got denied an LSAC fee waiver when first applying for one: don't take it.

got denied a fee waiver based on 2011 taxes. appealed with a long letter explaining my situation and some needed documents (was laid off had proof of reduced income) and a week later LSAC approved me. The 2-3 hours I spent crafting the letter and getting all the docs ready will now save me hundreds of dollars (that I honestly did not know where I was going to get...)

I would really encourage those who got denied and have the ability to show why the decision was wrong to appeal.

Just wanted to give some hope to others who are dreading the massive cost of the application process.
Last edited by Lear22 on Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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ben4847
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Re: Denoed an LSAC fee waiver? Don't give up

Postby ben4847 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:02 pm

I was denied because I had "too much interest income".

I had about 1000 dollars in interest income during that year, because I used to sign up for bank accounts to get the 100 dollar bonus--that's how poor I was. That is reported on a 1099-Int form, so I listed it as interest.

Presumably, they are assuming that if you have 1000 in interest, you must have large assets. So I appealed and explained.

Denied.

So I asked my grandfather for a few hundred dollars to use for applications.

Lear22
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Re: Denoed an LSAC fee waiver? Don't give up

Postby Lear22 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:18 pm

Sorry to hear.

I think the main thing in the appeal is to show why the tax forms that they are basing their initial decision on are not a valid reflection of your current overall financial stage. In my case I explained in detail (I think this is also key) why the taxes of 2011 means nothing right now (partly because it's from 12/11 and many things changes since then) and I also added supporting docs that gave proof that what I am saying is true and not made up. Also, and I think this is another key factor here, I was not shy about getting into specific details about my personal life that had impact on why I think I need the appeal. I figured that discretion is a given here, and that if this will save me so much money, why should I not show a complete picture. I also grounded it around the overall crisis that so many people are having. In sum I treated it as if I am writing a short thesis paper, arguing why I need to get the fee waiver.

I hope this helps others who are in a similar situation.

nrp08
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Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:44 am

Re: Denied an LSAC fee waiver? Don't give up

Postby nrp08 » Tue Oct 09, 2012 9:30 am

I am currently writing my appeals letter, any advice?? I am having a hard time drafting the letter.

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WhiteyCakes
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Re: Denied an LSAC fee waiver? Don't give up

Postby WhiteyCakes » Tue Oct 09, 2012 9:35 am

nrp08 wrote:I am currently writing my appeals letter, any advice?? I am having a hard time drafting the letter.


Make sure it is evidence-based. Provide as much documentation as possible. If that doens't work than apply for individual school fee waivers. I received 3 or so need-based fee waivers from the T-14. Combined with merit-based waivers, I only paid full application price at 2-3 schools.

nrp08
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Re: Denied an LSAC fee waiver? Don't give up

Postby nrp08 » Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:17 am

I have all the documentation, the format of the letter is what I'm having trouble with...

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WhiteyCakes
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Re: Denied an LSAC fee waiver? Don't give up

Postby WhiteyCakes » Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:23 am

nrp08 wrote:I have all the documentation, the format of the letter is what I'm having trouble with...


Use a business letter template from Word.

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cahwc12
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Re: Denied an LSAC fee waiver? Don't give up

Postby cahwc12 » Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:24 am

I don't know what documentation I could provide. I've been working overseas for the past two years making less than $30k/yr, and I came back with money saved to live on for 6 months while I studied for the LSAT.

I was denied a fee waiver because I had too much in my bank account. Is there a way I can successfully appeal this? I assume that they think 100% of my savings was intended for law school application purposes, of which 0% actually was intended.

And especially as a splitter casting a wide net, this would save me hundreds of dollars.

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WhiteyCakes
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Re: Denied an LSAC fee waiver? Don't give up

Postby WhiteyCakes » Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:29 am

cahwc12 wrote:I don't know what documentation I could provide. I've been working overseas for the past two years making less than $30k/yr, and I came back with money saved to live on for 6 months while I studied for the LSAT.

I was denied a fee waiver because I had too much in my bank account. Is there a way I can successfully appeal this? I assume that they think 100% of my savings was intended for law school application purposes, of which 0% actually was intended.

And especially as a splitter casting a wide net, this would save me hundreds of dollars.


I have a daughter and was denied for the same reason. Appealed saying that the money was going to childcare costs and student loan payments and stiill dinged. This is probably a tough one to overcome.

Lear22
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Re: Denied an LSAC fee waiver? Don't give up

Postby Lear22 » Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:39 am

cahwc12 wrote:I don't know what documentation I could provide. I've been working overseas for the past two years making less than $30k/yr, and I came back with money saved to live on for 6 months while I studied for the LSAT.

I was denied a fee waiver because I had too much in my bank account. Is there a way I can successfully appeal this? I assume that they think 100% of my savings was intended for law school application purposes, of which 0% actually was intended.

And especially as a splitter casting a wide net, this would save me hundreds of dollars.


I think this will be hard. Since you practically have enough money not to work for six months their reasoning can be that you can work for the next six months and use your savings for the apps, since people work full and part time and study for the LSAT all the time.

In my case I actually showed them that if I don't get the waiver, I will have NO money for the apps at all, plus not having money right now, plus making much less than 30K, coupled with evidence that my 2011 tax return do not reflect my current financial situation. It worked.

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R86
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Re: Denied an LSAC fee waiver? Don't give up

Postby R86 » Tue Oct 09, 2012 11:51 am

I haven't been around for long, but I was granted an LSAC waiver upon appeal after sending additional tax documents and some loan statements that painted a better picture of my financial situation.

It seems that the most common reason for people being denied is the amount of money in their bank account. I've heard of people pulling cash out of their bank before filing their FAFSA back in undergrad and then depositing it after filing. The form/application is only asking for a snapshot of your balance on that day, so although it seems a bit sketchy and is certainly against the spirit of the form (and lshopes would certainly report you for it), people took it as 'okay' per the 'letter of the law', so to speak.

I've wondered if people might not do the same for the LSAC fee waiver application. Withdraw your balance on Monday, apply on Tuesday with a minimal balance, and redeposit your money on Wednesday? Per the instructions, it seems kosher.

27. Cash Balances (Exclude financial aid.)
27a. Do you (and/or your spouse, if applicable)
have a checking/money market account? Yes No
27b. If you answered “Yes” to question 27a, enter
the total amount of this account(s): $ ________________
27c. Do you (and/or your spouse, if applicable)
have a savings account? Yes No
27d. If you answered “Yes” to question 27c, enter
the total amount of this account(s): $ ________________

Opinions? Also, I have never done this personally for either the FAFSA or the LSAC App. I happen to just be advantageously poor. Nor am I advocating for anyone else doing this. Just throwing the thought out there.

Lear22
Posts: 275
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2011 10:17 am

Re: Denied an LSAC fee waiver? Don't give up

Postby Lear22 » Tue Oct 09, 2012 12:11 pm

R86 wrote:I haven't been around for long, but I was granted an LSAC waiver upon appeal after sending additional tax documents and some loan statements that painted a better picture of my financial situation.

It seems that the most common reason for people being denied is the amount of money in their bank account. I've heard of people pulling cash out of their bank before filing their FAFSA back in undergrad and then depositing it after filing. The form/application is only asking for a snapshot of your balance on that day, so although it seems a bit sketchy and is certainly against the spirit of the form (and lshopes would certainly report you for it), people took it as 'okay' per the 'letter of the law', so to speak.

I've wondered if people might not do the same for the LSAC fee waiver application. Withdraw your balance on Monday, apply on Tuesday with a minimal balance, and redeposit your money on Wednesday? Per the instructions, it seems kosher.

27. Cash Balances (Exclude financial aid.)
27a. Do you (and/or your spouse, if applicable)
have a checking/money market account? Yes No
27b. If you answered “Yes” to question 27a, enter
the total amount of this account(s): $ ________________
27c. Do you (and/or your spouse, if applicable)
have a savings account? Yes No
27d. If you answered “Yes” to question 27c, enter
the total amount of this account(s): $ ________________

Opinions? Also, I have never done this personally for either the FAFSA or the LSAC App. I happen to just be advantageously poor. Nor am I advocating for anyone else doing this. Just throwing the thought out there.


I think that when you appeal they look at the grand scheme of things and not just how much $ is in your bank account. They may look at that thoug and say (as in the case of the other poster here IMHO) that that money could serve them as apps and test fees, and they would be fine as long as they work. But if they are unemployed, or if their job is paying them hardly any money, plus they have hardly anything in their accounts than this can be grounds for an approval. You can't just tell them: Oh I have no money. They want to know why is that that you can't afford to pay, and moreover (again, IMHO) how this will affect your ability to apply to schools, since if you take the LSAT but can't afford to apply and by that go to law school, than there is no reason to even take the exam.
But yah I totaly agree that supported documentation has to be there in order for this to happen, they are very aware of how much money this fee waiver is going to save people, since the actual price of the exam is minimal to how much you'll save in app fees.




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