lavaina wrote:I really love Columbia, and I am interested in scholarship money as well. Are Columbia's scholarships purely based on numbers, or, like NYU, do they give anything out based on public interest work/ demonstrated commitment? I intend to do public interest work when I graduate, so anything that would help avert crippling debt is of great interest to me.
I know for public interest everyone says you should go to NYU, but I have heard that Columbia's Labor Law and Gender & Law programs are unparalleled. Not to mention all the cool human rights work they seem to have going on there (UN externship program, opportunities to intern at Amnesty International, etc.). Obviously either school would be amazing; I was just wondering if the Columbia folks had any comments on the rather opaque Columbia scholarship system.
Columbia has two main types of scholarships (in addition to an interest-free loan system which I have no information on):
Merit Scholarships - You apply for these, like the Hamilton. I'm pretty sure there is one specifically directed at public interest, where you would HAVE to have relavent experiance to qualify. But, I'm also sure grades and LSAT will be taken into account there as well. I'm 100% sure NYU Law has one for public interest. Also, consider that you may be able to get independent scholarships for this kind of stuff too.
"Need-Based" Scholarship - If you're poor, you WILL get $$$. I'm lower-middle class, mayyyyybe. Maybe even middle-middle class. In greater society, I would not consider myself or my family "poor" by any stretch of the imagination. I'm getting 15k per year, and I ED-ed, which means they didn't have to throw any $$$ at me to convince me to come and this is purely based on my family's "need". After doing some math, I also realize 15k per year puts me somewhere in the poorest 10% of the incoming class. BUT, Columbia has also been known to tweak thier "Need-Based" Scholarship to partially match, fully match, or sometimes even exceed offers you get from Penn/NYU/Chicago. On the other hand, there's an equally large number of stories where Columbia has not raised their grant award in consideration. It all comes down to how much Fin-Aid likes you I guess.
But, if you're REALLY going to do public interest for your life, LRAP programs at both Columbia and NYU (and probably most other good schools) will basically make going to law school FREE for you, as in, they PAY ALL YOUR LOANS. You just have to stay below a certain salary for the first ~20 years of your career, or whatever extra salary you earn will first have a huge % deducted to go towards paying those loans . Check out this: http://www.law.columbia.edu/current_stu ... l_aid/LRAP