Harvard Class of 2017

(housing, friendships, future exams, all things 2017)

State your section!

Section 1
6
8%
Section 2
12
16%
Section 3
8
11%
Section 4
7
10%
Section 5
19
26%
Section 6
8
11%
Section 7
13
18%
 
Total votes: 73

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Pneumonia
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Re: Harvard Class of 2017

Postby Pneumonia » Tue Apr 08, 2014 6:35 pm

Question: is that average for all students or average for students that have loans?

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lastsamurai
Posts: 978
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Re: Harvard Class of 2017

Postby lastsamurai » Tue Apr 08, 2014 6:40 pm

Pneumonia wrote:Question: is that average for all students or average for students that have loans?


The wording was "The average HLS debt at graduation for members of the Class of 2013 was about $140,000"

I take that to mean all students.

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sjgonzalez3
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Re: Harvard Class of 2017

Postby sjgonzalez3 » Tue Apr 08, 2014 6:55 pm

politics89 wrote:
Pneumonia wrote:is it pretty much 10 days on the dot for Financial aid or can it be earlier/later? My 10 days is early next week, but I'd really really love to hear before ASW.


Mine came after 8 from the email.


Yeah mine was 8 days from email (6 business days)

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Pneumonia
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Re: Harvard Class of 2017

Postby Pneumonia » Tue Apr 08, 2014 7:08 pm

lastsamurai wrote:
Pneumonia wrote:Question: is that average for all students or average for students that have loans?


The wording was "The average HLS debt at graduation for members of the Class of 2013 was about $140,000"

I take that to mean all students.


So the latter average would be higher than that since some people have parent's paying. Makes sense.

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Nonconsecutive
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Re: Harvard Class of 2017

Postby Nonconsecutive » Tue Apr 08, 2014 7:39 pm

politics89 wrote:
Pneumonia wrote:is it pretty much 10 days on the dot for Financial aid or can it be earlier/later? My 10 days is early next week, but I'd really really love to hear before ASW.


Mine came after 8 from the email.


I think mine was right around 8 days from the email as well.

baloneydanza
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Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2014 1:44 am

Re: Harvard Class of 2017

Postby baloneydanza » Tue Apr 08, 2014 7:43 pm

Mine came roughly 3 weeks after the email

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malleus discentium
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Re: Harvard Class of 2017

Postby malleus discentium » Tue Apr 08, 2014 8:36 pm

Pneumonia wrote:is it pretty much 10 days on the dot for Financial aid or can it be earlier/later? My 10 days is early next week, but I'd really really love to hear before ASW.

I got mine today after getting the complete email on the first. So I guess it varies.

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Pneumonia
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Re: Harvard Class of 2017

Postby Pneumonia » Tue Apr 08, 2014 9:23 pm

malleus discentium wrote:
Pneumonia wrote:is it pretty much 10 days on the dot for Financial aid or can it be earlier/later? My 10 days is early next week, but I'd really really love to hear before ASW.

I got mine today after getting the complete email on the first. So I guess it varies.


Dang! I got my email then too, but nothing yet.

cway
Posts: 114
Joined: Fri Aug 09, 2013 9:42 pm

Re: Harvard Class of 2017

Postby cway » Wed Apr 09, 2014 9:32 am

Pneumonia wrote:
lastsamurai wrote:
Pneumonia wrote:Question: is that average for all students or average for students that have loans?


The wording was "The average HLS debt at graduation for members of the Class of 2013 was about $140,000"

I take that to mean all students.


So the latter average would be higher than that since some people have parent's paying. Makes sense.


But also for 2L and 3L, if you SA, you could probably get by without taking out all of the available money for living expenses.

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lastsamurai
Posts: 978
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Re: Harvard Class of 2017

Postby lastsamurai » Wed Apr 09, 2014 9:58 am

cway wrote:
Pneumonia wrote:
lastsamurai wrote:
Pneumonia wrote:Question: is that average for all students or average for students that have loans?


The wording was "The average HLS debt at graduation for members of the Class of 2013 was about $140,000"

I take that to mean all students.


So the latter average would be higher than that since some people have parent's paying. Makes sense.


But also for 2L and 3L, if you SA, you could probably get by without taking out all of the available money for living expenses.


Hmm...except that they decrease your grant amount by 90% of your post-tax, post-living expense earnings for each summer....

cway
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Joined: Fri Aug 09, 2013 9:42 pm

Re: Harvard Class of 2017

Postby cway » Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:24 am

lastsamurai wrote:
cway wrote:
But also for 2L and 3L, if you SA, you could probably get by without taking out all of the available money for living expenses.


Hmm...except that they decrease your grant amount by 90% of your post-tax, post-living expense earnings for each summer....


True, but that's only if you have grants in the first place. Thought you guys were referring to the debt burden if you're paying sticker in loans.

(That's what I'm doing, and I can tell you the difference in the $165k with just tuition or $230k with tuition and living expenses makes a huge difference in the monthly payment... I'm counting all of my predicted summer dollars! 8) )

sasquatchsam
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Re: Harvard Class of 2017

Postby sasquatchsam » Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:52 am

I saw this the other day while looking at the financial aid website and thought I should share. If you are eligible for grant aid you must take out at least the base loan amount (I believe it is $44,300 this year) in order to keep your aid from being reduced. You can go through an appeals process to reduce the amount of loans you have to take out by $4,000 but it sounds like a pain.

The base loan package is typically made up of a combination of the most favorable loan funds we have available in a given year to offer to students. If you have the base loan package as part your preliminary award, we will notify you of the specific composition of that loan package in June or July. Generally, we require students to borrow the full base loan amount as a condition for receiving any grant assistance. However, in cases when a student documents that s/he can live more frugally than the standard student budget typically allows for, we will allow a small (usually no more than $4000) reduction in base loan borrowing without any change in grant eligibility. Such reductions are granted by going through our appeal process described below which requires the submission of a detailed budget showing how the student intends to live on less than the standard living expense allowance. These appeals will not be considered until after fall registration once students have returned or arrived on campus.

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HorseThief
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Re: Harvard Class of 2017

Postby HorseThief » Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:55 am

sasquatchsam wrote:I saw this the other day while looking at the financial aid website and thought I should share. If you are eligible for grant aid you must take out at least the base loan amount (I believe it is $44,300 this year) in order to keep your aid from being reduced. You can go through an appeals process to reduce the amount of loans you have to take out by $4,000 but it sounds like a pain.

The base loan package is typically made up of a combination of the most favorable loan funds we have available in a given year to offer to students. If you have the base loan package as part your preliminary award, we will notify you of the specific composition of that loan package in June or July. Generally, we require students to borrow the full base loan amount as a condition for receiving any grant assistance. However, in cases when a student documents that s/he can live more frugally than the standard student budget typically allows for, we will allow a small (usually no more than $4000) reduction in base loan borrowing without any change in grant eligibility. Such reductions are granted by going through our appeal process described below which requires the submission of a detailed budget showing how the student intends to live on less than the standard living expense allowance. These appeals will not be considered until after fall registration once students have returned or arrived on campus.


Would this really matter? Can't you start paying back your loan whenever you want?

sasquatchsam
Posts: 184
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Re: Harvard Class of 2017

Postby sasquatchsam » Wed Apr 09, 2014 11:04 am

Someone more familiar with the process might be able to answer about when repayment can start. If nothing else the origination fees are going to suck :(

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TripTrip
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Re: Harvard Class of 2017

Postby TripTrip » Wed Apr 09, 2014 11:49 am

sasquatchsam wrote:I saw this the other day while looking at the financial aid website and thought I should share. If you are eligible for grant aid you must take out at least the base loan amount (I believe it is $44,300 this year) in order to keep your aid from being reduced. You can go through an appeals process to reduce the amount of loans you have to take out by $4,000 but it sounds like a pain.

The base loan package is typically made up of a combination of the most favorable loan funds we have available in a given year to offer to students. If you have the base loan package as part your preliminary award, we will notify you of the specific composition of that loan package in June or July. Generally, we require students to borrow the full base loan amount as a condition for receiving any grant assistance. However, in cases when a student documents that s/he can live more frugally than the standard student budget typically allows for, we will allow a small (usually no more than $4000) reduction in base loan borrowing without any change in grant eligibility. Such reductions are granted by going through our appeal process described below which requires the submission of a detailed budget showing how the student intends to live on less than the standard living expense allowance. These appeals will not be considered until after fall registration once students have returned or arrived on campus.

They don't say it explicitly, but I like to imagine that part of the reason they require you to take out the rest of the base loan is that it proves that you really do need the grant aid.

sasquatchsam
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Re: Harvard Class of 2017

Postby sasquatchsam » Wed Apr 09, 2014 12:13 pm

Yeah that actually makes a lot of sense (and I would imagine that is why they do it). My main problem is that I was going to use my retirement assets and my wife's income to cover living expenses and part of tuition. HLS caps spousal income at around $35k before reducing grant aid. My spouse's income + grant aid + base loan = over $100k/year. Perhaps they make exceptions for students that have these kinds of situations but it is a little frustrating if I have to take out loans that I don't need.

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lawschool22
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Re: Harvard Class of 2017

Postby lawschool22 » Wed Apr 09, 2014 12:54 pm

sasquatchsam wrote:Yeah that actually makes a lot of sense (and I would imagine that is why they do it). My main problem is that I was going to use my retirement assets and my wife's income to cover living expenses and part of tuition. HLS caps spousal income at around $35k before reducing grant aid. My spouse's income + grant aid + base loan = over $100k/year. Perhaps they make exceptions for students that have these kinds of situations but it is a little frustrating if I have to take out loans that I don't need.


I'm not an admitted student but I just saw this and had to jump in. Please don't use your retirement assets for this.

sasquatchsam
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Re: Harvard Class of 2017

Postby sasquatchsam » Wed Apr 09, 2014 1:46 pm

lawschool22 wrote:
I'm not an admitted student but I just saw this and had to jump in. Please don't use your retirement assets for this.


Any particular reason not to? It is in a 457(b) so there no withdrawal penalty and my income tax should be less this year than at any point in my life so the tax deferred aspect seems to be to my advantage but I might be missing something...also it is only about $6,000 so I was mainly going to use it to help us move and pay the first few couple months rent.

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lawschool22
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Re: Harvard Class of 2017

Postby lawschool22 » Wed Apr 09, 2014 1:52 pm

sasquatchsam wrote:
lawschool22 wrote:
I'm not an admitted student but I just saw this and had to jump in. Please don't use your retirement assets for this.


Any particular reason not to? It is in a 457(b) so there no withdrawal penalty and my income tax should be less this year than at any point in my life so the tax deferred aspect seems to be to my advantage but I might be missing something...also it is only about $6,000 so I was mainly going to use it to help us move and pay the first few couple months rent.


Because you lose out on many years of tax-free growth, the fact that in 30 years it will turn into approximately $70,000, and the general principal in personal finance that it is a bad habit to touch your retirement funds. You do it here, it becomes easier to do in the future, and before you know it you have no retirement savings. I'm not saying it will be you, but studies are pretty clear that if you do it once you are significantly more likely to do it again.

From a purely mathematical side, the rate you can earn by leaving it invested is likely higher than the after-tax GradPLUS rate, so you earn more than you save in interest.

I could see accessing retirement funds if it was *truly* an emergency, but this is not it. Saving yourself $6k at the expense of robbing yourself of all that future growth is simply not worth it imho.

sasquatchsam
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Re: Harvard Class of 2017

Postby sasquatchsam » Wed Apr 09, 2014 2:15 pm

Yeah, I think it would be best if I didn't need to use it but at the moment I don't have any other liquid assets so it causes some pretty serious cash flow problems. I would rather take it out then have to use credit cards and right now I think those are my only two viable options. My goal is to only take as much as I need and then throw the rest in a ROTH since I own't have to pay any income taxes this year.

Sorry to derail the thread.

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lastsamurai
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Re: Harvard Class of 2017

Postby lastsamurai » Wed Apr 09, 2014 4:08 pm

Well folks - it's been real. I went ahead and sent in my withdrawal, but it was about the hardest thing I've had to do in a very long time. I'm sure you will all have an amazing experience wherever you end up!

Also...changed my vote in the poll. You might want to change the name of the 4th option!

Lastsamurai checking out

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sjgonzalez3
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Re: Harvard Class of 2017

Postby sjgonzalez3 » Wed Apr 09, 2014 4:46 pm

lastsamurai wrote:Well folks - it's been real. I went ahead and sent in my withdrawal, but it was about the hardest thing I've had to do in a very long time. I'm sure you will all have an amazing experience wherever you end up!

Also...changed my vote in the poll. You might want to change the name of the 4th option!

Lastsamurai checking out


God speed and good luck.

Congrats on Penn! A beautiful campus in an incredible town.

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thewaves
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Re: Harvard Class of 2017

Postby thewaves » Wed Apr 09, 2014 7:45 pm

lastsamurai wrote:Well folks - it's been real. I went ahead and sent in my withdrawal, but it was about the hardest thing I've had to do in a very long time. I'm sure you will all have an amazing experience wherever you end up!

Also...changed my vote in the poll. You might want to change the name of the 4th option!

Lastsamurai checking out


Congrats :) there's no "wrong answer" here, that's the secret!

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Jatt
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Re: Harvard Class of 2017

Postby Jatt » Thu Apr 10, 2014 3:36 am

Sooo, I'm a long-time lurker and post pretty sparingly on TLS. I've tried to keep updated with talk on this thread concerning financial aid, but haven't been able to recently. But, I just got my financial aid award and SFS said I didn't qualify for need-based grant assistance. Instead, I just have been offered ~$20K in Stafford loans and ~$60K in optional loans (I imagine these are pretty standard numbers). The website/email says though that if another law school assesses my financial situation differently and offers me more need-based financial aid, HLS will reconsider. My question is this: Has this been successful for anyone? Has anyone been able to increase their need-based grant award at all upon appeal?

It's quite likely that someone has already posted this/others have already answered. Unfortunately, I'm like 25 pages behind on this thread and can't seem to find the answer through my skimming. Anything in response would be helpful, especially before I invest significant time in applying for financial aid at other law schools with the sole purpose of hoping for more money and trying to leverage it with HLS. Thanks!

06162014123
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Postby 06162014123 » Thu Apr 10, 2014 7:18 am

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Last edited by 06162014123 on Mon Jun 09, 2014 12:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.




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