Can you apply to law school while still owing money to your undergrad?

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qiranger

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Can you apply to law school while still owing money to your undergrad?

Postby qiranger » Wed Jun 29, 2016 5:18 pm

Ok quick question

i have about 10k in unpaid tuition to the university of michigan--ann arbor

i graduated in may of 2015, and i still owe the school about 10k from spring tuition and they will not release my transcripts or my diploma

i read somewhere on the LSAC website that there is a spot on the application to put down if you have owe your undergrad school and they wont release your transcripts that you can send like unoffical copies or something (i duno if this is true)

i am just looking for a yes or no answer, please dont respond and say well if you owe money still to your undergrad how can you afford law school

all i am wondering is can you apply to law school if you still owe money to your undergrad (in my case umich) and they will not release your official transcripts or dilpoma?

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kellyfrost

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Re: Can you apply to law school while still owing money to your undergrad?

Postby kellyfrost » Wed Jun 29, 2016 5:32 pm

I'm not sure what the LSAC rule is on unofficial transcripts are; however, I do foresee you having substantial problems on being admitted to law school while still owing an outstanding debt to your undergraduate institution. Your best course of action would be to get that debt paid, as soon as practical.
Last edited by kellyfrost on Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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MKC

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Re: Can you apply to law school while still owing money to your undergrad?

Postby MKC » Wed Jun 29, 2016 5:38 pm

What kf said. It's imperative that you work out some kind of payment plan and get on good terms with your undergrad institution. Even if you can work around them somehow to apply to law school, the character and fitness implications of that debt are going to bite you in the ass either when you apply for law school or apply to sit for the bar exam.
Last edited by MKC on Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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4LTsPointingNorth

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Re: Can you apply to law school while still owing money to your undergrad?

Postby 4LTsPointingNorth » Wed Jun 29, 2016 5:44 pm

In addition to what others have said, I would add that that while you may or may not need to provide LSAC with an official transcript for GPA calculation purposes before you can submit any applications, you will definitely need to provide your future law school with an official transcript prior to matriculating.

Money situations are tough. In general, it's good to settle one life-altering investment before committing to another. You know that.

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qiranger

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Re: Can you apply to law school while still owing money to your undergrad?

Postby qiranger » Wed Jun 29, 2016 5:52 pm

MarkinKansasCity wrote:What kf said. It's imperative that you work out some kind of payment plan and get on good terms with your undergrad institution. Even if you can work around them somehow to apply to law school, the character and fitness implications of that debt are going to bite you in the ass either when you apply for law school or apply to sit for the bar exam.



could you please explain the character and fitness implication, i dont know much about this

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MKC

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Re: Can you apply to law school while still owing money to your undergrad?

Postby MKC » Wed Jun 29, 2016 5:55 pm

qiranger wrote:
MarkinKansasCity wrote:What kf said. It's imperative that you work out some kind of payment plan and get on good terms with your undergrad institution. Even if you can work around them somehow to apply to law school, the character and fitness implications of that debt are going to bite you in the ass either when you apply for law school or apply to sit for the bar exam.



could you please explain the character and fitness implication, i dont know much about this


Most states have questions on their character and fitness applications that address financial responsibility. In my state, they specifically ask about any money owed to educational institutions and the status of that debt. You don't want to be sitting in front of a character and fitness board in three years explaining why you never settled up with your undergrad institution. You don't necessarily have to get the $10k paid off before applying, but you definitely should work out some kind of payment plan with them before applying.
Last edited by MKC on Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: Can you apply to law school while still owing money to your undergrad?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Jun 29, 2016 6:21 pm

Yeah, C&F gets particular itchy about debt because practice often entails handling client funds, and people with debt have a bigger motive to find ways to mishandle funds to their benefit (and there are lots of cases of this happening). You're fine if you have a payment plan arranged and are paying on the plan, you're probably not fine if you're ignoring the debt and collections agencies are involved (not saying that's your situation, just that the real problem isn't debt but is not addressing the issue).

And you will need to be able to provide an official transcript to matriculate, as someone has said.

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qiranger

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Re: Can you apply to law school while still owing money to your undergrad?

Postby qiranger » Wed Jun 29, 2016 7:02 pm

MarkinKansasCity wrote:
qiranger wrote:
MarkinKansasCity wrote:What kf said. It's imperative that you work out some kind of payment plan and get on good terms with your undergrad institution. Even if you can work around them somehow to apply to law school, the character and fitness implications of that debt are going to bite you in the ass either when you apply for law school or apply to sit for the bar exam.



could you please explain the character and fitness implication, i dont know much about this


Most states have questions on their character and fitness applications that address financial responsibility. In my state, they specifically ask about any money owed to educational institutions and the status of that debt. You don't want to be sitting in front of a character and fitness board in three years explaining why you never settled up with your undergrad institution. You don't necessarily have to get the $10k paid off before applying, but you definitely should work out some kind of payment plan with them before applying.



just to let you know the financial responsibility aspect of the character and fitness application is a questionable part of the application that is being considered to be discriminatory, especially towards people from low income families.

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qiranger

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Re: Can you apply to law school while still owing money to your undergrad?

Postby qiranger » Wed Jun 29, 2016 7:05 pm

thanks for all the help!


do yall know by chance if it IS possible to negotiate with my school about payment plans, and if they will agree to a payment plan if they will agree to release my transcripts?

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: Can you apply to law school while still owing money to your undergrad?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Jun 29, 2016 7:08 pm

qiranger wrote:
MarkinKansasCity wrote:
qiranger wrote:
MarkinKansasCity wrote:What kf said. It's imperative that you work out some kind of payment plan and get on good terms with your undergrad institution. Even if you can work around them somehow to apply to law school, the character and fitness implications of that debt are going to bite you in the ass either when you apply for law school or apply to sit for the bar exam.



could you please explain the character and fitness implication, i dont know much about this


Most states have questions on their character and fitness applications that address financial responsibility. In my state, they specifically ask about any money owed to educational institutions and the status of that debt. You don't want to be sitting in front of a character and fitness board in three years explaining why you never settled up with your undergrad institution. You don't necessarily have to get the $10k paid off before applying, but you definitely should work out some kind of payment plan with them before applying.


just to let you know the financial responsibility aspect of the character and fitness application is a questionable part of the application that is being considered to be discriminatory, especially towards people from low income families.

Sure (the whole bar admission process is discriminatory), but that that doesn't mean they're going to change anything about it before you're going through that process.

And yes, I would bet your school will work out a payment plan, but you'll need to talk to them about the details.

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qiranger

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Re: Can you apply to law school while still owing money to your undergrad?

Postby qiranger » Thu Dec 08, 2016 10:02 am

I just wanted to update this post

when you apply to law school do you have to send official transcripts of every college you attended? like community colleges etc and credits that you transferred in?

so i ended up going to grad school this year in a one year MSc polysci program at one of the best universities in the UK

i only sent them an unofficial transcript from my university and a certificate of graduation from the registrars office stating the dates i attended and that i graduated including my degree


i was able to get into grad school in the UK as i only sent in unofficial transcripts + a certificate of graduation

will i have any trouble when i apply for law school for sept 2018? i still have not paid the outstanding debt from my undergrad and they still will not give me my official transcript

no haters or trolls please, and please dont say if i have outstanding debt at my undergrad how can i afford law school, as that is not what i am asking about.

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: Can you apply to law school while still owing money to your undergrad?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Dec 08, 2016 10:05 am

I'm pretty sure law schools will want to see your official transcript before you can matriculate, but you'd be best off asking schools directly.

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Re: Can you apply to law school while still owing money to your undergrad?

Postby echonov » Thu Dec 08, 2016 10:32 am

qiranger wrote:will i have any trouble when i apply for law school for sept 2018? i still have not paid the outstanding debt from my undergrad and they still will not give me my official transcript


You haven't mentioned it specifically, but have they even officially conferred your degree? I know people who have had similar issues, and the university has not only declined to release their official transcript, but has refused to confer their degree. This would be, to my mind, an even bigger issue.

Not trying to be a "hater," but seriously, you should talk to your school and try to work out a payment plan. As other people in this thread have noted, yes, this will be an issue, one way or another.

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qiranger

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Re: Can you apply to law school while still owing money to your undergrad?

Postby qiranger » Thu Dec 08, 2016 11:06 am

echonov wrote:
qiranger wrote:will i have any trouble when i apply for law school for sept 2018? i still have not paid the outstanding debt from my undergrad and they still will not give me my official transcript


You haven't mentioned it specifically, but have they even officially conferred your degree? I know people who have had similar issues, and the university has not only declined to release their official transcript, but has refused to confer their degree. This would be, to my mind, an even bigger issue.

Not trying to be a "hater," but seriously, you should talk to your school and try to work out a payment plan. As other people in this thread have noted, yes, this will be an issue, one way or another.


ya my school has confirmed the dates of attendance, my degree, and graduation date stating that my degree was received and issued me an official degree certificate (i needed this when I matriculated to grad school i the UK)

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Re: Can you apply to law school while still owing money to your undergrad?

Postby BobBoblaw » Thu Dec 08, 2016 11:16 am

As was the case when you asked this question 6 months ago, you will still need to pay U of M your outstanding balance in order to not torpedo your chances in the legal field. The fact that you are now in a grad program in the UK does not substantially change your situation WRT law school, it just means you have one MORE transcript to send to LSAC.

I sure hope that accelerated Masters is free or nearly so. Otherwise, paying down your U of M debt would probably have been more of a priority if you are serious about going to law school.

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qiranger

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Re: Can you apply to law school while still owing money to your undergrad?

Postby qiranger » Thu Dec 08, 2016 12:45 pm

BobBoblaw wrote:As was the case when you asked this question 6 months ago, you will still need to pay U of M your outstanding balance in order to not torpedo your chances in the legal field. The fact that you are now in a grad program in the UK does not substantially change your situation WRT law school, it just means you have one MORE transcript to send to LSAC.

I sure hope that accelerated Masters is free or nearly so. Otherwise, paying down your U of M debt would probably have been more of a priority if you are serious about going to law school.


first off it's not an accelerated Masters program

and no it was not free or nearly so. it costs more than 30k including rent

i am not serious about law school yet and if i was i would have paid u of m

i just happen to have a very high GPA and LSAT score, so the likelihood of me being accepted into a good law school is pretty good. I have a lot of options and flexibility in what i can do, which most people unfortunately do not

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Re: Can you apply to law school while still owing money to your undergrad?

Postby blueapple » Thu Dec 08, 2016 1:25 pm

From what I can tell, nothing has changed since you last asked this question. I don't see how getting your masters degree would have any effect on this. I'd take Nony's advice and call up a law school you'd in theory like to attend and ask if they require an official transcript prior to matriculation.

And just to reiterate, even *if* for some reason an official transcript isn't required and you can attend law school without paying Michigan the money you owe, you will almost certainly have trouble when it comes to being admitted to the bar:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:Yeah, C&F gets particular itchy about debt because practice often entails handling client funds, and people with debt have a bigger motive to find ways to mishandle funds to their benefit (and there are lots of cases of this happening). You're fine if you have a payment plan arranged and are paying on the plan, you're probably not fine if you're ignoring the debt and collections agencies are involved (not saying that's your situation, just that the real problem isn't debt but is not addressing the issue).

And you will need to be able to provide an official transcript to matriculate, as someone has said.

So you should try to sort out a payment plan either way.
Last edited by blueapple on Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Can you apply to law school while still owing money to your undergrad?

Postby Nebby » Thu Dec 08, 2016 1:30 pm

You have to send official transcripts to apply to law school, which requires you to pay your bill.

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Re: Can you apply to law school while still owing money to your undergrad?

Postby echonov » Thu Dec 08, 2016 6:56 pm

qiranger wrote:first off it's not an accelerated Masters program

and no it was not free or nearly so. it costs more than 30k including rent

i am not serious about law school yet and if i was i would have paid u of m

i just happen to have a very high GPA and LSAT score, so the likelihood of me being accepted into a good law school is pretty good. I have a lot of options and flexibility in what i can do, which most people unfortunately do not


If you have the means to pay off UM, why not figure out a payment plan? Again, the answer to your question is that this will be a problem for law schools. First, a good GPA on paper means nothing until an official transcript has been received and turned into a report by LSAC. Second, a good GPA & LSAT can still be torpedoed by other serious concerns. You do not have a lot of flexibility or options right now, because you do not have a reportable GPA. There are lots of people with stellar GPAs and LSATs -- some even this board -- who will also be applying to the same schools, but without your limitations.

A direct quote from LSAC: "If you attended an institution within the United States, its territories/associated states, or Canada and are unable to obtain transcripts from that institution due to a financial obligation, you must indicate this when registering for CAS. If the institution is the only undergraduate institution you attended, or if you have attended multiple undergraduate institutions and have outstanding financial obligations with all of them, LSAC cannot produce your Law School Reports." (Emphasis added.)



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