Pneumonia wrote:I have been wondering something lately that, although I think it has been at least visited in this thread, I'm not sure has been directly asked or answered.
Why do schools offer so much money to people so far above their 75th's? Say for example that Princeton's 75th is a 165. Why would they give a full ride +stipend to someone with a 177 rather than two half scholarships to two applicants who have 166's, ? Assuming comparable GPA's?
I guess another way of asking this is: why do schools seem to be willing to offer more $$$$'s to an applicant who is at their 95th percentile LSAT than one who is at their 80th? Obviously this is less relevant at the very top where schools are fighting for any 170+ that they can get, but it is a phenomenon I have noticed in the T30-100.
Maybe the answer lies in the notion of holistic review, because it seems to me that if Princeton's 75th is a 165 then from from a numerical perspective they would rather have 10 people matriculate in the 165-167 range than 5 people in the 175-177 range. Any thoughts?
Each school has different policies, budgets, and goals for their scholarship money, but they are all using that money to help their overall profile in the end. Some schools may have a designated scholarship for a particular amount (given my a donor for that specific amount) so it may not be up to the office to split it into two awards.
When the applicant pool is as thin as it is, the schools are trying to get students with the best numbers that they can. And a full award is more likely to be successful in winning over someone with those high numbers since they will likely receive several similar awards from peer schools. This may not be the "best" way to distribute money, but since every school is doing pretty much the same thing, the price is determined by the market. In some cases, it might even be a bit of a competition for these students and every student they take with a higher LSAT is one less student for their peer schools.
And back to Mike's point a few posts above that the LSAT does correlate with things that schools like to see (first year performance, bar passage). The goal isn't always just to maintain medians or percentiles, but in the grand scheme of things, the law school wants to see their students do well and, in the end, raise the profile of the school.
Hope that is helpful!