Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
tomwatts
Posts: 1551
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:01 am

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Mon Feb 03, 2014 11:32 pm

TripTrip wrote:
MissouriMisery wrote:Hello! I have a couple of questions about realistic expectations for my need-based aid.

I have been working for 6 years since undergrad making about 30k per year, almost done paying off UG debt and my cheap car. I have about 5K in the bank. My parents both make decent money (combined just over 6 figures). They won't be contributing any money. I have no other assets Approximately how much need-based aid should I be expecting?

Also, are need-based grants reassessed each year or all at once? I am getting married in the middle of 1L year and am concerned that might throw things off. My spouse will have considerably more assets than I.

Thanks in advance for your responses :)

To answer your qualitative questions: actual parental contribution is irrelevant, it's potential that counts. Need based grants are reassessed each year (that way those of us with firm aspirations aren't living on $40k and still getting the same grants as the public interest fellows living on $4k).

Also, if you've been out of school for that long, your parent contributions are going to be reduced according to some percentage (probably a large percentage). See here for details, but if you're 28 when you start, parent contribution is dropped by 75% for the first year (and eliminated thereafter), and if you're 29 or older when you start, there's no parent contribution at all.

If I had to guess, I'd guess that, by yourself, you'd be looking at pretty near max aid. That still means a lot in loans, because the base loans are high (over 40K), but you're not paying sticker. That's just a guess from what you describe, though. And I have no idea how getting married is involved, but HLS's SFS pages (like the one linked above) will tell you more.

EDIT: Also see acrossthelake's suggestion below.
Last edited by tomwatts on Tue Feb 04, 2014 12:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
ph14
Posts: 3225
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:15 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Mon Feb 03, 2014 11:34 pm

I feel like this thread has turned into the HLS financial aid information thread.

User avatar
MyNameIsFlynn!
Posts: 785
Joined: Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:29 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby MyNameIsFlynn! » Tue Feb 04, 2014 12:00 am

ph14 wrote:I feel like this thread has turned into the HLS financial aid information thread.


just that time of the year. Soon it will be the HLS housing thread, then grades, then summer jerbs, etc. circle of lyfe.

acrossthelake
Posts: 4431
Joined: Sat May 16, 2009 5:27 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Tue Feb 04, 2014 12:42 am

Harvard financial aid is really one of those areas where I think a TLS students answering questions thread is one of your weaker sources of information and where you're better off just contacting financial aid. People tend to be fairly tight-lipped about their financial aid packages; though I know very detailed sets of grades & job outcomes for my peers, I know absolutely nothing about anybody's financial aid packages. I'm not even aware of which friends receive aid. The only insight you might gain here is to ask for anecdotes ("has anyone ever done X, what happened"), but questions like how do they take X into account are best just asked directly.

User avatar
ph14
Posts: 3225
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:15 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Tue Feb 04, 2014 12:54 am

acrossthelake wrote:Harvard financial aid is really one of those areas where I think a TLS students answering questions thread is one of your weaker sources of information and where you're better off just contacting financial aid. People tend to be fairly tight-lipped about their financial aid packages; though I know very detailed sets of grades & job outcomes for my peers, I know absolutely nothing about anybody's financial aid packages. I'm not even aware of which friends receive aid. The only insight you might gain here is to ask for anecdotes ("has anyone ever done X, what happened"), but questions like how do they take X into account are best just asked directly.


Pretty much everything you say is credited.

User avatar
wert3813
Posts: 1408
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 6:29 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby wert3813 » Tue Feb 04, 2014 12:55 am

acrossthelake wrote:Harvard financial aid is really one of those areas where I think a TLS students answering questions thread is one of your weaker sources of information and where you're better off just contacting financial aid. People tend to be fairly tight-lipped about their financial aid packages; though I know very detailed sets of grades & job outcomes for my peers, I know absolutely nothing about anybody's financial aid packages. I'm not even aware of which friends receive aid. The only insight you might gain here is to ask for anecdotes ("has anyone ever done X, what happened"), but questions like how do they take X into account are best just asked directly.

Yup. Not a clue.

AllTheLawz
Posts: 369
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2012 11:20 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby AllTheLawz » Tue Feb 04, 2014 1:01 am

ph14 wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:Harvard financial aid is really one of those areas where I think a TLS students answering questions thread is one of your weaker sources of information and where you're better off just contacting financial aid. People tend to be fairly tight-lipped about their financial aid packages; though I know very detailed sets of grades & job outcomes for my peers, I know absolutely nothing about anybody's financial aid packages. I'm not even aware of which friends receive aid. The only insight you might gain here is to ask for anecdotes ("has anyone ever done X, what happened"), but questions like how do they take X into account are best just asked directly.


Pretty much everything you say is credited.


Yup. Also, if you don't want to contact a finaid person (who will literally just copy and paste a section from the fin aid website to answer your question) the fin aid website is pretty robust with a ton of examples for basic situations. I've only ever used the website and I get within a few hundred dollars of my award amount.

User avatar
ph14
Posts: 3225
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:15 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Tue Feb 04, 2014 1:13 am

AllTheLawz wrote:
ph14 wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:Harvard financial aid is really one of those areas where I think a TLS students answering questions thread is one of your weaker sources of information and where you're better off just contacting financial aid. People tend to be fairly tight-lipped about their financial aid packages; though I know very detailed sets of grades & job outcomes for my peers, I know absolutely nothing about anybody's financial aid packages. I'm not even aware of which friends receive aid. The only insight you might gain here is to ask for anecdotes ("has anyone ever done X, what happened"), but questions like how do they take X into account are best just asked directly.


Pretty much everything you say is credited.


Yup. Also, if you don't want to contact a finaid person (who will literally just copy and paste a section from the fin aid website to answer your question) the fin aid website is pretty robust with a ton of examples for basic situations. I've only ever used the website and I get within a few hundred dollars of my award amount.


Yep. It's pretty incredibly unhelpful. And it doesn't get better when you're a student. You can ask some pretty important questions and just get copy pasted responses off the website (and no responses to your follow up).

User avatar
ph14
Posts: 3225
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:15 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Tue Feb 04, 2014 1:13 am

AllTheLawz wrote:
ph14 wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:Harvard financial aid is really one of those areas where I think a TLS students answering questions thread is one of your weaker sources of information and where you're better off just contacting financial aid. People tend to be fairly tight-lipped about their financial aid packages; though I know very detailed sets of grades & job outcomes for my peers, I know absolutely nothing about anybody's financial aid packages. I'm not even aware of which friends receive aid. The only insight you might gain here is to ask for anecdotes ("has anyone ever done X, what happened"), but questions like how do they take X into account are best just asked directly.


Pretty much everything you say is credited.


Yup. Also, if you don't want to contact a finaid person (who will literally just copy and paste a section from the fin aid website to answer your question) the fin aid website is pretty robust with a ton of examples for basic situations. I've only ever used the website and I get within a few hundred dollars of my award amount.


Yep. It's pretty incredibly unhelpful. And it doesn't get better when you're a student. You can ask some pretty important questions and just get copy pasted responses off the website (and no responses to your follow up).

delusional
Posts: 1190
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2010 7:57 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby delusional » Tue Feb 04, 2014 10:52 am

TripTrip wrote:
MissouriMisery wrote:Hello! I have a couple of questions about realistic expectations for my need-based aid.

I have been working for 6 years since undergrad making about 30k per year, almost done paying off UG debt and my cheap car. I have about 5K in the bank. My parents both make decent money (combined just over 6 figures). They won't be contributing any money. I have no other assets Approximately how much need-based aid should I be expecting?

Also, are need-based grants reassessed each year or all at once? I am getting married in the middle of 1L year and am concerned that might throw things off. My spouse will have considerably more assets than I.

Thanks in advance for your responses :)

To answer your qualitative questions: actual parental contribution is irrelevant, it's potential that counts. Need based grants are reassessed each year (that way those of us with firm aspirations aren't living on $40k and still getting the same grants as the public interest fellows living on $4k).
Right, it's not actual contribution that matters. Also, depending on how old you are, your parents' income might not count. I think they start phasing out the expected parent contribution beginning at 28.

MissouriMisery
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Feb 03, 2014 3:49 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby MissouriMisery » Tue Feb 04, 2014 12:21 pm

Thanks for all of your responses. I guess I will be calling financial aid!

User avatar
paglababa
Posts: 888
Joined: Tue Jun 18, 2013 11:34 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby paglababa » Tue Feb 04, 2014 12:30 pm

Summer employment income for incoming 1Ls count too right? It seems like they are going to finalize/reassess primary fin aid awards before we start in the fall.

delilah88
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:55 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby delilah88 » Tue Feb 04, 2014 2:13 pm

.
Last edited by delilah88 on Tue Feb 04, 2014 2:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
patogordo
Posts: 4827
Joined: Tue Jan 14, 2014 3:33 am

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby patogordo » Tue Feb 04, 2014 2:16 pm

...

User avatar
ph14
Posts: 3225
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:15 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Tue Feb 04, 2014 2:20 pm

Someone just make a HLS financial aid thread and leave this one for substantive questions.

User avatar
patogordo
Posts: 4827
Joined: Tue Jan 14, 2014 3:33 am

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby patogordo » Tue Feb 04, 2014 2:21 pm

ph14 wrote:Someone just make a HLS financial aid thread and leave this one for substantive questions.

Speaking of financial aid, does anyone know if my limited edition autographed copy of Face/Off counts as an asset?

User avatar
Mr. Elshal
Posts: 611
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2012 11:30 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Mr. Elshal » Tue Feb 04, 2014 4:35 pm

patogordo wrote:
ph14 wrote:Someone just make a HLS financial aid thread and leave this one for substantive questions.

Speaking of financial aid, does anyone know if my limited edition autographed copy of Face/Off counts as an asset?


Yes. There is an entire section of the financial aid site dedicated explicitly to limited edition autographed copies of Face/Off. It also includes a calculator to figure out, based on the quality, size, and color of the autograph, how much it will increase your assets. They may also count goodwill, which you'll have to amortize over the three years you are here. However, if you mark-to-market the value of the asset, you may be able to take losses on paper without actually taking them in real life. Caveat: You may become Enron if you try this.

o0o0o0o
Posts: 83
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2013 4:44 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby o0o0o0o » Tue Feb 04, 2014 5:23 pm

Does anyone know whether Research Assistants make $11.50/hr unless otherwise noted (I've seen that some professors pay more), or if some professors expect "volunteer" labor?

Frozen98
Posts: 47
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 4:37 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Frozen98 » Tue Feb 04, 2014 5:54 pm

...
Last edited by Frozen98 on Thu Feb 06, 2014 6:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

acrossthelake
Posts: 4431
Joined: Sat May 16, 2009 5:27 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Tue Feb 04, 2014 6:16 pm

Frozen98 wrote:on the same note as research assistants, what jobs can you get term-time? I know there's some rule barring 1Ls from working 20+hours/week but afterward can you be a legal assistant somewhere and just never go to class, study off outlines, etc?

I've heard people describe 2L and 3L years as vacations but is it really as easy as sipping pina coladas in Europe Sept-Dec and just flying back for the exam?


Some professors are more prickly about attendance than others. I do have friends who have disappeared mid-semester for over a month at a time, though I don't know anyone personally who left for the entirety of the semester to fly back for exams. I met an attorney during EIP who did this, but that was many years ago. Also, the ability to just read an outline at the end and be fine tends to vary by student.

User avatar
ph14
Posts: 3225
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:15 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Tue Feb 04, 2014 8:27 pm

acrossthelake wrote:
Frozen98 wrote:on the same note as research assistants, what jobs can you get term-time? I know there's some rule barring 1Ls from working 20+hours/week but afterward can you be a legal assistant somewhere and just never go to class, study off outlines, etc?

I've heard people describe 2L and 3L years as vacations but is it really as easy as sipping pina coladas in Europe Sept-Dec and just flying back for the exam?


Some professors are more prickly about attendance than others. I do have friends who have disappeared mid-semester for over a month at a time, though I don't know anyone personally who left for the entirety of the semester to fly back for exams. I met an attorney during EIP who did this, but that was many years ago. Also, the ability to just read an outline at the end and be fine tends to vary by student.


There is someone in one of my classes that i'm pretty sure just stopped showing up like 1/3 of the way through the semester. That's definitely an anomaly, though. Most people, even 3Ls, have reasonably good class attendance.

despina
Posts: 477
Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2013 10:09 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby despina » Tue Feb 04, 2014 9:22 pm

To each his/her own, I guess, but the choice to never go to class seems stupid to me, even if someone can hypothetically ace the exam.

My approach is to take a combination of classes that will be useful to my career and/or that have interesting topics and engaging professors. Since I'm going into horrific debt to spend 3 years at HLS I might as well take advantage of as many opportunities as I can here, including getting as much as I can out of the two years that I have free reign to design my own schedule. I'd say that if you're not engaged enough in the class to want to attend most of the time, you're picking the wrong classes. If you're bored out of your mind by classes you feel like you "should" take, keep in mind you'll probably study those topics for the bar anyway and can teach yourself whatever substantive law you need to know in your job.

acrossthelake
Posts: 4431
Joined: Sat May 16, 2009 5:27 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Tue Feb 04, 2014 9:57 pm

despina wrote:To each his/her own, I guess, but the choice to never go to class seems stupid to me, even if someone can hypothetically ace the exam.

My approach is to take a combination of classes that will be useful to my career and/or that have interesting topics and engaging professors. Since I'm going into horrific debt to spend 3 years at HLS I might as well take advantage of as many opportunities as I can here, including getting as much as I can out of the two years that I have free reign to design my own schedule. I'd say that if you're not engaged enough in the class to want to attend most of the time, you're picking the wrong classes. If you're bored out of your mind by classes you feel like you "should" take, keep in mind you'll probably study those topics for the bar anyway and can teach yourself whatever substantive law you need to know in your job.


Another viewpoint, though, is that you're going into horrific debt to receive a law degree from HLS and the job opportunities that go with it. Whether you actually find the other offerings(like class) enticing will probably vary dramatically depending on the individual and for those who don't find the way law classes are taught all that engaging, skipping is completely logical.

User avatar
wert3813
Posts: 1408
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 6:29 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby wert3813 » Wed Feb 05, 2014 12:09 am

o0o0o0o wrote:Does anyone know whether Research Assistants make $11.50/hr unless otherwise noted (I've seen that some professors pay more), or if some professors expect "volunteer" labor?

Hmm. I'm RAing and not getting paid anything. Also Hmmm.

User avatar
paglababa
Posts: 888
Joined: Tue Jun 18, 2013 11:34 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby paglababa » Wed Feb 05, 2014 12:16 am

Thinking more and more about the HBS MBA and how much more useful it would be than the JD for my current background. Anyone here doing a combined degree? I gather that I could get to LS and apply during my 1L year? I suppose I need to sit for the gmat and prep my apps before I attend as school will be very hectic / busy.




Return to “Ask a Law Student / Graduate”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Exabot [Bot] and 6 guests