Requesting a Scholarship After First Year

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iChaseH

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Requesting a Scholarship After First Year

Postby iChaseH » Fri Jun 10, 2016 6:44 am

My question is this, how should I go about requesting a scholarship after my first-year? I attend a law school in the lower end of US News' 1-50 rankings. When I entered, my LSAT was at the low end (25th percentile) and obviously I received no scholarship. I've completed my first year and I've done rather well (top 10%). I would assume contacting financial aid is the obvious route (unless I would automatically be considered), but I'm curious if there are any tactics I should pursue etc. Generally, I'm just seeking advice on how to go about this. Thank you in advance!

lawadmin

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Re: Requesting a Scholarship After First Year

Postby lawadmin » Fri Jun 10, 2016 6:59 am

iChaseH wrote:My question is this, how should I go about requesting a scholarship after my first-year? I attend a law school in the lower end of US News' 1-50 rankings. When I entered, my LSAT was at the low end (25th percentile) and obviously I received no scholarship. I've completed my first year and I've done rather well (top 10%). I would assume contacting financial aid is the obvious route (unless I would automatically be considered), but I'm curious if there are any tactics I should pursue etc. Generally, I'm just seeking advice on how to go about this. Thank you in advance!


Overgeneralizing, but your best leverage is your potential job outcome (as opposed to your grades specifically). Your 1L means you are now set up to have an elite (relatively speaking for your school) outcome, as I don't know any 40-50 ranked schools where Top 10% (assuming you're not terrible at interviews) doesn't get something at least VERY good (BigLaw or midlaw/fed or state clerk/fed govt/etc.). The best way to get a scholarship is for the school to view losing you as losing a great OCI (or equivalent) candidate.

Because you have no scholarship, the calculation for whether to transfer is very different from other students, and schools know this. I think the best way to do that would be to have applications to other schools out, so that they know you mean business. Be respectful but firm. There's arguments to be made both ways, but I think approaching it as a business decision is more effective than an emotional appeal.

Not an admissions or financial aid officer, fwiw.

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rcharter1978

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Re: Requesting a Scholarship After First Year

Postby rcharter1978 » Fri Jun 10, 2016 7:10 am

Have you applied anywhere else? I would guess its all a game of leverage, as I think any negotiation is.

If your school doesn't think you're going to walk, they probably aren't going to offer you any money. They will use that scholarship money to get newer, shinier students. If you have any leverage, the threat of leaving is pretty much it.

Were it me, I would take a direct, but soft approach. Mention how much you love the school, but financially, its a burden...and you've been in contact with some other places. You don't want to leave, but you know...a better school may offer better job prospects, and that will be so important when you have to pay back all this money.....which is really....such a burden. And you knew that you had to take on such a burden just to get into law school, but now that you've done so well, the financial situation is really concerning to you...

Of course, the question is.....what do they lose if you walk? Well, they lose someone that is probably going to: a) pass the bar, b) get a great job and be able to hire other alums.....etc, etc.

I don't know if I would go straight to the financial aid department. Do you have a dean of students? Do they seem nice? If so, I would go to them first. A person in financial aid may be more of a cog in a machine than a big time decision maker. But a Dean of Students may be better able to see the big picture. And my DOS was a consummate problem solver, and intelligent enough to pick up whatever you were putting down. A dean of students is used to having to effectively deal with a variety of student issues and problems. I'm sure many of them thrive on being problem solvers. So you're less likely to get a "well, thats not the way we do it....so bye" type of answer.

Thats just my two cents. Good luck either way! Get that money!



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