Michigan 2012

(housing, friendships, future exams, all things 2012)
awesomepossum
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby awesomepossum » Sun Mar 22, 2009 12:20 pm

lilybbloom wrote:Well, I'm straight from undergrad but don't mind socializing with slightly older people... I enjoy going out to (chill) bars, and I really don't want to feel out of the loop- I don't know anyone at Michigan, law student or not. Now I'm just stressing out because I would actually love to live in the law quad, but I have 2 cats and I hate cafeteria food anyway. Is it really very cliquey there- do LC people mainly hang out with their own? I'm just terrified that this will be like the beginning of undergrad where everyone is rushing to make BFFs and because I live farther away I'll sort of be sad and lonely :-( clearly I'm being melodramatic but I am a bit concerned about it- also because one poster said the atmosphere was like high school (I hated high school and am looking for a more inclusive, laid-back environment where people don't just cling to one group of friends).


you will be fine. one suggestion is to do MAP which is like a pre-orientation. Some of my closest friends until now are people I met at MAP

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lilybbloom
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby lilybbloom » Sun Mar 22, 2009 12:30 pm

great suggestion, thanks! do spots fill up for MAP quickly, or is it open to anyone who wants to go?

awesomepossum
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby awesomepossum » Sun Mar 22, 2009 12:39 pm

lilybbloom wrote:great suggestion, thanks! do spots fill up for MAP quickly, or is it open to anyone who wants to go?



the spots don't fill up immediately. However, it does fill up. I know people who sent in their stuff in the last two-three weeks and were told it was full.

matt.l.b
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby matt.l.b » Sun Mar 22, 2009 3:15 pm

i probably would have liked to see a younger crowd, too.


The prospectives were definitely skewed toward older people, but not that old. I only met two other students that were still in undergrad, but there were only two or three non-trads that I noticed too. I think the first preview weekend skewed toward older students because summer starters were over-represented, and a lot of older students had preferences for summer start. Overall, most of the actual students looked young and sporty.

As for the laptop Q, that professor banned laptops in class, but I did get the impression that michigan isn't the most wired campus (something I thought about when trying to make a list of things I didn't like about Mich). I'm used to seeing smartboard in every classroom from undergrad, which didn't exist in the LQ. I don't know if that's just typical for law schools but I liked seeing that professors had to use chalk and slates.

The Dean's comments didn't bother me at all. All of the faculty took jabs at one another but seemed to be enthusiastic and friendly toward each other. Among the hard factors I liked, besides awesome clinics and a good LRAP, was that michigan provided a transparent image of its faculty--twenty or thirty professors spoke at length to students either through panels or at meet and greets and all were great. Also, every 1L I talked to already had awesome plans for the summer.


Other things that I noticed, Michigan constantly compared itself to its peer schools and tried to make cases where it was better. It claimed to be the most national school, the best LRAP, the best public school, third best in academia, pretty awesome at clerkships too. A lot of this was a bit slanted, but I didn't mind the subtle comparisons. For ex. Michigan's LRAP isn't limited to PI, but that doesn't make it the best LRAP by default. Also, they were straightforward about clerking prospects (competitive but not the best), which is why they claimed to dedicate special resources to clerkship advising-- but a lot of schools do that too.

Overall, I loved Michigan and Ann Arbor, and ASW has made a big impact on my decision.

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Jeff Mangum
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby Jeff Mangum » Sun Mar 22, 2009 4:38 pm

Is Kerrytown a good idea for older students?

snotrocket
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby snotrocket » Sun Mar 22, 2009 5:46 pm

lilybbloom wrote:Well, I'm straight from undergrad but don't mind socializing with slightly older people... I enjoy going out to (chill) bars, and I really don't want to feel out of the loop- I don't know anyone at Michigan, law student or not. Now I'm just stressing out because I would actually love to live in the law quad, but I have 2 cats and I hate cafeteria food anyway. Is it really very cliquey there- do LC people mainly hang out with their own? I'm just terrified that this will be like the beginning of undergrad where everyone is rushing to make BFFs and because I live farther away I'll sort of be sad and lonely :-( clearly I'm being melodramatic but I am a bit concerned about it- also because one poster said the atmosphere was like high school (I hated high school and am looking for a more inclusive, laid-back environment where people don't just cling to one group of friends).

For the people who think law school is just like high school -- it probably is. For everyone else, it's what you make of it.

neverborn
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby neverborn » Sun Mar 22, 2009 5:47 pm

hdg315 wrote:
Jeff Mangum wrote:Not to get too off topic--I really want to hear about other impressions of the law school--but what do you think of the macbook air for ls? I have an older mac now, so I def plan to stay with that system.


No cd/dvd drive is a deal breaker for me. Plus you need some add-on or something to use a jump/flash drive on it (either that or its some complicated procedure to do it)


this is just an outright lie. please don't do this. the Air has a USB port just like every other laptop. and just like every other USB port, jump/flash drives work.

Objection wrote:-I met quite a few douchebags, particularly at game night. People who insisted on talking about the law to us 0Ls and, when subtly hinted at to shut up, came back with "Well, that's all I really care to talk about."


there are always these D-bags in every section. you quickly learn who to ignore.

-It felt really high school. I don't know if this is ultimately a big thing or not, but this whole feeling got started when one of the student panel members was explaining how "yeah, there's your jocks, your nerds, your partiers, [etc]." I'm sure it's this way at other schools, but it almost seemed celebrated at UMich.


there's always people who celebrate it, and it certainly seems to be the majority at any law school. it doesn't HAVE to be that way though. i can tell you horror stories about how HS it is, but i can also tell you how i avoid all that shit. don't live in the LC if you don't want it to be super high school though. if i lived in the LC i'd have already killed self.

-The campus felt like it never ended. Even when you aren't technically on campus you're surrounded by students. It felt kind of smothering. I guess I'm a bit burnt out of that after spending 4 years at an undergrad with 40,000 people.


welcome to ann arbor

-I met a LOT more people here who had taken time off before school than I did at the other ASW I attended. I felt very out-of-place in that sense. Not one of the group of people I hung out with throughout the weekend was going straight through, and I can probably count on one hand the people I met who were.


i always hear this and it mystifies me

feel free to PM me any questions. i'll answer 100% honestly, i went straight through, and i hate law school drama/high school shit more than anyone here.

snotrocket
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby snotrocket » Sun Mar 22, 2009 5:55 pm

matt.l.b wrote:For ex. Michigan's LRAP isn't limited to PI, but that doesn't make it the best LRAP by default. Also, they were straightforward about clerking prospects (competitive but not the best), which is why they claimed to dedicate special resources to clerkship advising-- but a lot of schools do that too.

Be careful that you understand exactly how the LRAP would work for your particular situation. One thing people often don't realize about the school based programs is that some of them -- and Michigan's is one -- only cover loans that the school defines as "need-based." In other words, if they did not assess you as having a need for those loans while in school, then they won't cover them once you're out. Specifically, they subtract your annual "expected student contribution" for each year from the total amount you actually borrowed, and the LRAP only covers borrowing used to make up that difference.

This is a pretty common restriction (Stanford, Harvard, and I think Yale do this, among many others), but one that is not immediately obvious from most descriptions of LRAP plans. Berkeley and Georgetown's LRAPs are the only two I researched that actually (appear) to apply to ALL loans, without need-based exclusions. I did my research a year or two ago now, and a lot of LRAPs have changed significantly since then (mainly in scaling back or eliminating benefits, due to the introduction of federal benefits with the CCRAA in 2007). So the lesson here is that you need to read in detail every scrap of information about these programs, and ask hard, detailed questions of the people who administer them, before you make a six-figure decision to rely on any of them.

Having said that, the truth is that these days nobody should have to make a go or no go decision on any school on concerns of cost vs. salary after graduation. The new federal Income Based Repayment and Public Service Loan Forgiveness programs enacted in 2007 apply to the full amount of ALL Stafford and PLUS loans, and they give generous, substantial repayment benefits to ALL borrowers, for ALL federally guaranteed debt, including for undergrad. These programs also have no "need" or asset related components at all, and use only your actual debt level and income after graduation to compute their benefits. With the federal benefits, if you are a U.S. citizen and you are committed to a long term career in public service (i.e. 10+ years), there is no reason for you to turn down any school on the basis of cost alone.

The other nice thing about the federal plan is that the reduced payments are available for anyone, and the scope of jobs eligible for 10-year forgiveness is very broad. Anyone working for the federal, state, or local government; the military; or any organization classified as a 501(c)(3) (non-profit) is eligible for the 10-year forgiveness, as well as people working in certain other designated "public service" jobs. Judicial clerkships, for instance, should count under this category, as long as you draw a government paycheck, but they are almost universally excluded under most school based plans, no matter how little you make. Even if you work entirely in the private sector, you can still get the reduced payments if you have a low salary, and you can even get forgiveness at 25 years, if you somehow wind up staying poor for that long.

http://finaid.org/calculators/ibr.phtml
http://ibrinfo.org/

The salary level for benefits is also pretty generous. At $36k per year, you pay nothing, and even at $100k, you still get a big chunk knocked off your payments if you have $150-200k in debt. You don't completely cap out until around $120-160k, and pre-tax deductions like contributions to your 401(k) and IRA accounts should be excluded in most cases (since the income level is based on your reported AGI, not total gross wages).
Last edited by snotrocket on Sun Mar 22, 2009 6:23 pm, edited 10 times in total.

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Skadden Stairs
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby Skadden Stairs » Sun Mar 22, 2009 6:00 pm

snotrocket wrote:
lilybbloom wrote:Well, I'm straight from undergrad but don't mind socializing with slightly older people... I enjoy going out to (chill) bars, and I really don't want to feel out of the loop- I don't know anyone at Michigan, law student or not. Now I'm just stressing out because I would actually love to live in the law quad, but I have 2 cats and I hate cafeteria food anyway. Is it really very cliquey there- do LC people mainly hang out with their own? I'm just terrified that this will be like the beginning of undergrad where everyone is rushing to make BFFs and because I live farther away I'll sort of be sad and lonely :-( clearly I'm being melodramatic but I am a bit concerned about it- also because one poster said the atmosphere was like high school (I hated high school and am looking for a more inclusive, laid-back environment where people don't just cling to one group of friends).

For the people who think law school is just like high school -- it probably is. For everyone else, it's what you make of it.

I must be the only person on TLS who actually really liked high school...

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tl
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby tl » Sun Mar 22, 2009 6:45 pm

Objection wrote:Sorry I didn't get to meet some of the TLSers at UM. Or maybe I did? I was at the game night from 8-10. Dark gray button down and blue jeans. Played pool for a little while and then had an awesome (and intense) foosball game with 3 current students.

I had a lot of fun. It was a fantastic weekend. Dean Z is awesome. The campus is gorgeous. I wasn't as thrilled with the mock class as some here seem to have been - I actually wanted it to be run like a real class. He tended to talk about what he would do instead of showing us. There were a lot of avenues that were left unexplored that could have made for an even more interesting class. He was still awesome though.

I'm not going to do a full writeup right now because I have to pack up and watch the tournie.

But...

+Faculty was outstanding. Both brilliant and friendly

+Dean Z was fantastic

+Students seemed happy to be here

+Law quad is gorgeous

+A2 is a nice little town; lots to do even though it may not seem like much at first

+Connected with a solid group of people fairly quickly.

+The woman "manning" the Native American Law Students Table was hot.

+The BLSA was absolutely fantastic from the moment I arrived at UMich until the end. Great group of people.

+I much prefer UMich's clinical offerings to the other school I'm considering.



-The whole thing could have been organized a little better

-The alumni who was so nervous she sounded like she was ready to cry throughout her entire talk made me (and my table for that matter) kind of awkwardly uncomfortable

-I met quite a few douchebags, particularly at game night. People who insisted on talking about the law to us 0Ls and, when subtly hinted at to shut up, came back with "Well, that's all I really care to talk about."

-The tone, particularly from Dean Caminker, came across as very defensive and unnecessarily comparative. Rather than attempting to sell UMich on its own merits, he took lots of subtle (and not-so-subtle) jabs at other schools. Kind of turned me off. He also came off as arrogant.

-It felt really high school. I don't know if this is ultimately a big thing or not, but this whole feeling got started when one of the student panel members was explaining how "yeah, there's your jocks, your nerds, your partiers, [etc]." I'm sure it's this way at other schools, but it almost seemed celebrated at UMich.

-The campus felt like it never ended. Even when you aren't technically on campus you're surrounded by students. It felt kind of smothering. I guess I'm a bit burnt out of that after spending 4 years at an undergrad with 40,000 people.

-I met a LOT more people here who had taken time off before school than I did at the other ASW I attended. I felt very out-of-place in that sense. Not one of the group of people I hung out with throughout the weekend was going straight through, and I can probably count on one hand the people I met who were.


I know I have quite a few negatives on there, and some of those were likely my fault (less patient, perhaps, since this is the 2nd of back to back school visits...and these things are draining), but most of them are minor in the grand scheme of things.

I won't be making any decisions for a couple of weeks. I need to remove myself from the process for awhile and let it all sink in.


You were on my law school tour, lol. At least I think.

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tl
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby tl » Sun Mar 22, 2009 6:53 pm

I am SO interested to find out who people thought were d-bags. I can't even really think of any that I feel would volunteer for Preview.

Alexandria
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby Alexandria » Sun Mar 22, 2009 7:24 pm

snotrocket wrote:
lilybbloom wrote:Well, I'm straight from undergrad but don't mind socializing with slightly older people... I enjoy going out to (chill) bars, and I really don't want to feel out of the loop- I don't know anyone at Michigan, law student or not. Now I'm just stressing out because I would actually love to live in the law quad, but I have 2 cats and I hate cafeteria food anyway. Is it really very cliquey there- do LC people mainly hang out with their own? I'm just terrified that this will be like the beginning of undergrad where everyone is rushing to make BFFs and because I live farther away I'll sort of be sad and lonely :-( clearly I'm being melodramatic but I am a bit concerned about it- also because one poster said the atmosphere was like high school (I hated high school and am looking for a more inclusive, laid-back environment where people don't just cling to one group of friends).

For the people who think law school is just like high school -- it probably is. For everyone else, it's what you make of it.


Yeah... law school is much, much, much better than high school to me. :) More interesting subject matter, more interesting classmates, more interesting profs. Plenty of socializing when you want it, but you can escape everything easily. People are pretty nice and accepting... obviously, not everyone is best friends with everyone... but that just seems to manifest itself in who you choose to spend time with, not that there is open enmity or anything between "types" of people.

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Objection
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby Objection » Sun Mar 22, 2009 7:41 pm

tl wrote:You were on my law school tour, lol. At least I think.


The only tour I went on was with B.K. If that was you (or you were there), then yep!

I am SO interested to find out who people thought were d-bags. I can't even really think of any that I feel would volunteer for Preview.


I'll PM you a name.

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USC2009
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby USC2009 » Mon Mar 23, 2009 12:14 am

Having read through many of your impressions, I'm very excited for my trip in two weeks and I'll also try and keep an eye out for things you mentioned.

TrojanBadger
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby TrojanBadger » Mon Mar 23, 2009 12:21 am

Glad to hear everyone enjoyed the ASW, made me mad I couldn't make it. I will be visiting this weekend though--sights/restaurants/etc I have to see?

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Cramble
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby Cramble » Mon Mar 23, 2009 1:20 am

Reaction after ASW: sold. Michigan it is.

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jacktripper
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby jacktripper » Mon Mar 23, 2009 9:01 am

I'm looking forward to checking out the campus in a couple of weeks. Excited to see the law quad in person.

LadyBroseph
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby LadyBroseph » Mon Mar 23, 2009 9:38 am

I was also there, and loved the campus/ASW events/faculty/pretty much everything! I am interested, though, that so many people on here felt like the admitted students were of the older sort (had worked a couple of years instead of going straight through). I had the opposite reaction: I felt like many people were younger than I'd expected. To be fair, though, I'll have worked 5 years when classes start, so I'm certainly one of the older old people : ) I was wondering if anyone else could share their thoughts on the age range, and if it matters at all socially...

Hitachi
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby Hitachi » Mon Mar 23, 2009 10:41 am

tl wrote:I am SO interested to find out who people thought were d-bags. I can't even really think of any that I feel would volunteer for Preview.

Really? I would think the d-bags would be the type of people who would love to be able to pontificate to a captive audience.

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dresden doll
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby dresden doll » Mon Mar 23, 2009 10:54 am

I just logged into my admitted students account and it seems I'll be getting a Dean's Scholarship, 67,750 over three years. Wow... I really hope the letter comes soon to corroborate this as it would definitely seal my decision. The site also indicates I should still submit my need info to be eligible for need-based grants. UCLA recently gave me close to 6k in need, so I wonder if I'd get a comparable amount from Michigan.

Anyhow, this could potentially be a really good deal for me. What with SO relocating with me and all, whatever loans I took out would only be applied towards tuition (he'd take care of COL). So I might be looking at somewhere around 60k in debt (without interest, though) over the span of three years, which seems a bargain for a JD from a top notch law school like Michigan.

This will be pretty great if does end up being the case. :)

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Skadden Stairs
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby Skadden Stairs » Mon Mar 23, 2009 10:56 am

dresden doll wrote:I just logged into my admitted students account and it seems I'll be getting a Dean's Scholarship, 67,750 over three years. Wow... I really hope the letter comes soon to corroborate this as it would definitely seal my decision. The site also indicates I should still submit my need info to be eligible for need-based grants. UCLA recently gave me close to 6k in need, so I wonder if I'd get a comparable amount from Michigan.

Anyhow, this could potentially be a really good deal for me. What with SO relocating with me and all, whatever loans I took out would only be applied towards tuition (he'd take care of COL). So I might be looking at somewhere around 60k in debt (without interest, though) over the span of three years, which seems a bargain for a JD from a top notch law school like Michigan.

This will be pretty great if does end up being the case. :)

You can't get need-based grants with Dean's. They really just want your info for loan purposes.

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dresden doll
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby dresden doll » Mon Mar 23, 2009 11:00 am

lex talionis wrote:
dresden doll wrote:I just logged into my admitted students account and it seems I'll be getting a Dean's Scholarship, 67,750 over three years. Wow... I really hope the letter comes soon to corroborate this as it would definitely seal my decision. The site also indicates I should still submit my need info to be eligible for need-based grants. UCLA recently gave me close to 6k in need, so I wonder if I'd get a comparable amount from Michigan.

Anyhow, this could potentially be a really good deal for me. What with SO relocating with me and all, whatever loans I took out would only be applied towards tuition (he'd take care of COL). So I might be looking at somewhere around 60k in debt (without interest, though) over the span of three years, which seems a bargain for a JD from a top notch law school like Michigan.

This will be pretty great if does end up being the case. :)

You can't get need-based grants with Dean's. They really just want your info for loan purposes.


Really? I assume you got a Dean's Scholarship as well. Do they explicitly let you know this in your award letter?

I'm okay with that, I mean. I expect 6k from UCLA is probably a good proxy for the sort of need grants I'd be looking at, and that sort of money doesn't make too great of a difference for me (though it would be nice, of course).

motownsaint
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby motownsaint » Mon Mar 23, 2009 11:05 am

I thought the ASW was excellent. Already sold on Michigan, of course, but I felt my expectations were both filled and surpassed. The APALSA members were especially friendly and ended up being my best access to current students' experiences. The faculty meet in the Reading Room was also incredible as I met several faculty who were not only teaching in the areas I'm already interested in studying, but who were also ridiculously friendly and enthusiastic about their field.

If anything was intimidating, it was the complex answers the students in Primus's class were giving to her questions. At this pre-L stage, it's hard to fathom understanding the material to the extent that some of those answers and paths of reasoning would even be available in my mental toolkit!

One thing I was disappointed with was that the "Closing Remarks" amounted to little more than "Thanks for coming!" I really expected Dean Z or Caminker to make one last inspirational pitch.

I'm tempted to write a more detailed review, but it seems like there are plenty of anecdotal tidbits to go around so far. FWIW, I definitely recommend Michigan's ASW. It seemed as though many people who had already attended UVA's ASD, GULC's Preview Weekend, or Northwestern's program felt that there were significant differences in the "feel" and personality of each school in comparison to Michigan.

Also, sorry I couldn't be at Dominick's. I was having coffee with the APALSA people and lost track of time. By the time I'd gone back to the hotel to change and drop off all the pamphlets I'd collected, I figured you folks might not even still be there so I went to the Blue Leprechaun. How late did you stay out?

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Anhimal
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby Anhimal » Mon Mar 23, 2009 11:18 am

How do we figure out how much financial aid we get from Michigan? Do they snail mail it to us? E-mail it to us? The only thing on the Admitted Student's Financial Aid link is scholarship info.

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dresden doll
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby dresden doll » Mon Mar 23, 2009 11:19 am

Anhimal wrote:How do we figure out how much financial aid we get from Michigan? Do they snail mail it to us? E-mail it to us? The only thing on the Admitted Student's Financial Aid link is scholarship info.


I'm pretty certain it would be snail mailed. When I spoke to Dean Z, she said that letters containing awards are sent out.




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