Does a deferral lock you in?

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stuckinthemiddle
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Does a deferral lock you in?

Postby stuckinthemiddle » Sun Apr 28, 2013 4:55 am

Hello.

I've been accepted into a few T14's this cycle, but I'm seriously considering waiting another year to work/retake. I was just wondering if anyone could offer advice.

If I'm going to take a year off, I'd like to at least know that I have the same aid/acceptance options that I do this year. For that reason, I'm thinking of deferring (aka paying the full deposit for a slot the next year). This would remove the risk of me scoring worse on the LSAT and then not getting into the school's I've already gotten into (my numbers now were already a stretch, I feel).

However, I am wondering what happens if I score significantly higher on the LSAT or realize that I want to practice somewhere else or realize that I'd rather go to a school that lowers my debt despite its lower ranking. Does my deferring lock me out of exploring these other options. Am I legally bound to attend whatever school I've deferred at?

Thanks in advance to any helpful TLSers who can shed light on this.

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Winston1984
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Re: Does a deferral lock you in?

Postby Winston1984 » Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:25 pm

I am doing this right now and it totally depends on the school. Most schools seem to have a non-binding deferral policy, so you are free to apply to other schools once the fall rolls around. Others are binding and you must attend if you decide to attend law school the next year. You need to call the office of admissions and ask all these questions. I wouldn't deposit at too many btw. I deposited at a public school where I was right below median. Chances are if you got in once, you will get in again. Also, they probably won't guarantee your scholarship. Almost every school I talked to told me they must reconsider the scholarship because their pool changes.

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stuckinthemiddle
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Re: Does a deferral lock you in?

Postby stuckinthemiddle » Sun Apr 28, 2013 9:21 pm

It doesn't look like the schools I'm looking at require you to refrain from all changes (while putting it in writing) but that's a shame about financial aid. :( Darn.

Anyone else with any thoughts/experience with this?

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TripTrip
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Re: Does a deferral lock you in?

Postby TripTrip » Sun Apr 28, 2013 9:52 pm

That's as far as the answers are really going to get you. It entirely depends on the school.

However, if you tell a school you want to retake and reapply but keep them as a safety, they probably won't be too keen on letting you hold over a scholarship. :roll:

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stuckinthemiddle
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Re: Does a deferral lock you in?

Postby stuckinthemiddle » Sun Apr 28, 2013 9:55 pm

Yeah that totally wouldn't be fair.

Don't think I'm going to go through with this in the end. Just seems unnecessarily bridge-burny.

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Clearly
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Re: Does a deferral lock you in?

Postby Clearly » Sun Apr 28, 2013 10:04 pm

Check the wording of the deferral. But as mentioned, I've never heard of a school offering a guarantee of financial aid the following year. I would consider it ethically unsound to back out of a binding deferral, but I doubt they would pursue any legal consequence if you did. I've heard from a friend in admissions that the deferral conversion rate is somewhere in the 20% range, so that should give you an idea that your not the only one thinking defer and play the field.

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BarcaCrossesTheAlps
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Re: Does a deferral lock you in?

Postby BarcaCrossesTheAlps » Sun Apr 28, 2013 10:15 pm

I took a year off. I'll start at Minnesota in August. They guaranteed my scholly. Both Wash U and Minny said they would honor their initial offers.

I chose Minny because Minneapolis is awesome and where I want to live. But reading this thread is the first indication I ever had that schools would not honor their initial scholly package in cases of deferral. Like I said, both my final choice schools told me they wouldn't (or rarely) change the conditions of the initial offer. Of course I had to pay down my seat deposit for final "confirmation." I paid my deposit for Minny and they sent me a letter stating they honored my initial package.

Lots of redundancy up there....but I hope it helps...

Oh! And you pretty much always end up paying TWO seat deposits; one for the original acceptance year and the other for the deferral year.

M458
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Re: Does a deferral lock you in?

Postby M458 » Sun Apr 28, 2013 10:21 pm

Clearlynotstefan wrote:Check the wording of the deferral. But as mentioned, I've never heard of a school offering a guarantee of financial aid the following year. I would consider it ethically unsound to back out of a binding deferral, but I doubt they would pursue any legal consequence if you did. I've heard from a friend in admissions that the deferral conversion rate is somewhere in the 20% range, so that should give you an idea that your not the only one thinking defer and play the field.


They're not going to pursue legal consequences, but they can file a misconduct report with LSAC and then you're screwed (if the wording on the contract is binding). Think of it like applying to a school ED, getting in, and then not withdrawing from other schools.

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TripTrip
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Re: Does a deferral lock you in?

Postby TripTrip » Sun Apr 28, 2013 10:33 pm

BarcaCrossesTheAlps wrote:I took a year off. I'll start at Minnesota in August. They guaranteed my scholly. Both Wash U and Minny said they would honor their initial offers.

I chose Minny because Minneapolis is awesome and where I want to live. But reading this thread is the first indication I ever had that schools would not honor their initial scholly package in cases of deferral. Like I said, both my final choice schools told me they wouldn't (or rarely) change the conditions of the initial offer. Of course I had to pay down my seat deposit for final "confirmation." I paid my deposit for Minny and they sent me a letter stating they honored my initial package.

Lots of redundancy up there....but I hope it helps...

Oh! And you pretty much always end up paying TWO seat deposits; one for the original acceptance year and the other for the deferral year.

Yes, if you tell them you just want to take a year off. They are notified if you start applying to other schools in the meantime though.

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stuckinthemiddle
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Re: Does a deferral lock you in?

Postby stuckinthemiddle » Sun Apr 28, 2013 10:50 pm

To be fair though, I would really like to attend and at this point, I have every intention of going once I feel I'm completely ready (which, for me, would be after another year of feeling out the profession).

But things change in a year and IDK how I will feel then. I have a sick grandfather across the country from where I want to study, for example. So If I feel like a school nearer to him would be better for me, personally, wouldn't it be better to pull out?

If I score significantly higher on an LSAT retake and the school refuses to give me more money, wouldn't it be a smarter decision for my future to try to lower my debt elsewhere.

IDK this stuff is really tricky business and deferring is really much more complicated than I thought it would be.




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