Fee Waivers: What do they mean?

Boulanger07
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Fee Waivers: What do they mean?

Postby Boulanger07 » Mon Nov 01, 2010 5:27 pm

Well obviously I know they mean you don't have to pay for applying, but they've been rolling in to my email all day (unfortunately none for the schools that are my short list of ones i planned to apply to). So I was wondering, does it pretty much mean they're going to accept you if you do apply? and should I just apply to the schools just for the fact that its free?

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2014
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Re: Fee Waivers: What do they mean?

Postby 2014 » Mon Nov 01, 2010 5:34 pm

No it means nothing about your chances at acceptance. Many schools send waivers out to those who don't have a chance to get in because they can decline you and boost their selectivity ratings. If you would consider attending a school by all means pay the 12 bucks and see if they accept you. If you get a waiver and it is somewhere you absolutely wouldn't consider, I don't think it's worth your time or money.

emseeaych
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Re: Fee Waivers: What do they mean?

Postby emseeaych » Mon Nov 01, 2010 10:46 pm

2014 wrote:No it means nothing about your chances at acceptance. Many schools send waivers out to those who don't have a chance to get in because they can decline you and boost their selectivity ratings. If you would consider attending a school by all means pay the 12 bucks and see if they accept you. If you get a waiver and it is somewhere you absolutely wouldn't consider, I don't think it's worth your time or money.

I think it probably depends on the school. For example, I got a fee waiver email today that said "You have an impressive record and we'd like you to apply, so we've waived your $75 application fee." That's a direct quote. Obviously that doesn't mean I'm guaranteed admission, but it sure sounds like they're telling me I have a good shot.

So I guess to the OP I'd say that it probably depends on the school and where your LSAT and GPA place you relative to its usual applicant pool, as well as on what the letter actually says. I think I agree with 2014, though, that if you're not interested in the school anyway, it's probably not worth applying.

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plenipotentiary
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Re: Fee Waivers: What do they mean?

Postby plenipotentiary » Mon Nov 01, 2010 10:49 pm

Absolutely nothing! Say it again.

emseeaych
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Re: Fee Waivers: What do they mean?

Postby emseeaych » Mon Nov 01, 2010 10:55 pm

plenipotentiary wrote:Absolutely nothing! Say it again.

Why?

cowgirl_bebop
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Re: Fee Waivers: What do they mean?

Postby cowgirl_bebop » Mon Nov 01, 2010 10:55 pm

They all say "you have an impressive record" and waive the fee. They do it to gas you up into applying. What are they supposed to say? "Your score is pretty bad and your chances are slim, but we want you to apply anyway"?

Place NO STOCK in those things. Just use them to save you some money and roll the dice at the schools you want to attend.

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minnbills
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Re: Fee Waivers: What do they mean?

Postby minnbills » Mon Nov 01, 2010 11:02 pm

cowgirl_bebop wrote:They all say "you have an impressive record" and waive the fee. They do it to gas you up into applying. What are they supposed to say? "Your score is pretty bad and your chances are slim, but we want you to apply anyway"?

Place NO STOCK in those things. Just use them to save you some money and roll the dice at the schools you want to attend.


This.

I got some fee waivers to schools I would be unlikely (going off of LSN) to get into. They told me something like "the admittance committe was impressed by your LSAT score" and yet I'm below their median?

Getting the waiver doesn't mean you will get in, it just means you're within reach and they're trying to boost their applicant pool.

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plenipotentiary
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Re: Fee Waivers: What do they mean?

Postby plenipotentiary » Mon Nov 01, 2010 11:05 pm

cowgirl_bebop wrote:They all say "you have an impressive record" and waive the fee. They do it to gas you up into applying. What are they supposed to say? "Your score is pretty bad and your chances are slim, but we want you to apply anyway"?


Actually, that's pretty much what Columbia said to me, in a wordy and weirdly formatted email:

Dear Ms. Lastname,

We congratulate you and share your excitement that a major hurdle?the LSAT?in the law school application process has been completed. In that regard, your name was forwarded to us by the Candidate Referral Service of the Law School Data Assembly Service, in which you had earlier agreed to participate. On the basis of your performance on the LSAT only, you have been identified as a prospective law school applicant who, on that criterion alone, has demonstrated a capability to contribute to and benefit from a legal education of the first order.

We are writing to encourage you carefully to consider applying to Columbia Law School for admission to our 2011 entering class. Since we have invited you to apply for admission to Columbia, we are waiving the usually required application fee of $80. In order to take advantage of this opportunity, kindly apply through the LSAC online application at http://www.lsac.org, where the fee will be automatically waived.

This letter of encouragement applies only to those who have not yet submitted an application to our Law School. We also should emphasize that this letter does not imply that our Admissions Committee would necessarily take favorable action on your candidacy if you apply, as many factors other than an applicant?s LSAT score are evaluated by Columbia in reaching a decision. For more information about Columbia Law School, our admissions philosophy, and application, please visit our website at http://www.law.columbia.edu/admissions.

Best wishes for success with all your law school applications. We look forward to reviewing your candidacy for admission to Columbia Law School.

Warm wishes,

Nkonye Iwerebon
Dean of Admissions

Incidentally, this email was a huge turn-off, and I did not apply to Columbia. Which is why most schools kiss your ass instead.

Aggiegrad2011
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Re: Fee Waivers: What do they mean?

Postby Aggiegrad2011 » Mon Nov 01, 2010 11:07 pm

Wow, that is a very awkwardly worded e-mail and that surprises the heck out of me!

The UVA one was my absolute favorite so far. WOW they laid it on *thick*.

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plenipotentiary
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Re: Fee Waivers: What do they mean?

Postby plenipotentiary » Mon Nov 01, 2010 11:08 pm

Aggiegrad2011 wrote:Wow, that is a very awkwardly worded e-mail and that surprises the heck out of me!

The UVA one was my absolute favorite so far. WOW they laid it on *thick*.


Mine, too! Incidentally, I applied ED to UVA. ;)

I have loved every communication I've had with their admissions office. They are amazing.

Aggiegrad2011
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Re: Fee Waivers: What do they mean?

Postby Aggiegrad2011 » Mon Nov 01, 2010 11:15 pm

plenipotentiary wrote:
Aggiegrad2011 wrote:Wow, that is a very awkwardly worded e-mail and that surprises the heck out of me!

The UVA one was my absolute favorite so far. WOW they laid it on *thick*.


Mine, too! Incidentally, I applied ED to UVA. ;)

I have loved every communication I've had with their admissions office. They are amazing.


I ED'd to UCLA, but I am wishing I ED'd to UVA after reading more about the school. To be honest, I didn't even think about applying to UVA because I more or less dislike the east coast, but with a fee waiver, why not.

One school that I am also very impressed with that I didn't know I'd be impressed with is Northwestern. I love their focus on work experience and age/maturity.

It almost seems like California schools in comparison to other states' schools try way less hard to entice applicants =-/

I hope you get into UVA!

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plenipotentiary
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Re: Fee Waivers: What do they mean?

Postby plenipotentiary » Mon Nov 01, 2010 11:18 pm

Aggiegrad2011 wrote:I hope you get into UVA!


I did! Thanks. :)

Regretting an ED is a pretty bad place to be. I'm sorry. If they haven't rendered a decision, maybe you could withdraw? Though I think that would mean burning your bridges with UCLA.

Aggiegrad2011
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Re: Fee Waivers: What do they mean?

Postby Aggiegrad2011 » Mon Nov 01, 2010 11:31 pm

plenipotentiary wrote:
Aggiegrad2011 wrote:I hope you get into UVA!


I did! Thanks. :)

Regretting an ED is a pretty bad place to be. I'm sorry. If they haven't rendered a decision, maybe you could withdraw? Though I think that would mean burning your bridges with UCLA.


I love UCLA and the Epstein Center program don't get me wrong, but UVA does sound like a fantastic place. I will let the chips fall where they may. I mean, it's not like I can go wrong at either school, were I fortunate enough to have the opportunity to actually choose.

Congratulations, it must feel exceptional to be done with your cycle so swiftly.

modmx
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Re: Fee Waivers: What do they mean?

Postby modmx » Tue Nov 02, 2010 12:01 am

can someone help me with this too? I haven't seen my score yet because of a hold but got a ucla fee waiver for "my performance on the lsat"

What could this mean about my score

Aggiegrad2011
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Re: Fee Waivers: What do they mean?

Postby Aggiegrad2011 » Tue Nov 02, 2010 12:06 am

modmx wrote:can someone help me with this too? I haven't seen my score yet because of a hold but got a ucla fee waiver for "my performance on the lsat"

What could this mean about my score


That it's close enough to their "borderline" region that makes them want to entice you to apply so they can deny you and add oomph to their selectivity %. At least that's the general consensus.

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tooswolle
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Re: Fee Waivers: What do they mean?

Postby tooswolle » Tue Nov 02, 2010 12:28 am

I've heard that often, what about getting fee waivers from some good schools if you are a URM? Do you think they are being truthful with their fee waivers or just raising their selectivity rating?

JesusChrist
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Re: Fee Waivers: What do they mean?

Postby JesusChrist » Tue Nov 02, 2010 12:37 am

emseeaych wrote:
2014 wrote:No it means nothing about your chances at acceptance. Many schools send waivers out to those who don't have a chance to get in because they can decline you and boost their selectivity ratings. If you would consider attending a school by all means pay the 12 bucks and see if they accept you. If you get a waiver and it is somewhere you absolutely wouldn't consider, I don't think it's worth your time or money.

I think it probably depends on the school. For example, I got a fee waiver email today that said "You have an impressive record and we'd like you to apply, so we've waived your $75 application fee." That's a direct quote. Obviously that doesn't mean I'm guaranteed admission, but it sure sounds like they're telling me I have a good shot.

So I guess to the OP I'd say that it probably depends on the school and where your LSAT and GPA place you relative to its usual applicant pool, as well as on what the letter actually says. I think I agree with 2014, though, that if you're not interested in the school anyway, it's probably not worth applying.


Do you also think strippers like you?

Aggiegrad2011
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Re: Fee Waivers: What do they mean?

Postby Aggiegrad2011 » Tue Nov 02, 2010 12:58 am

JesusChrist wrote:
emseeaych wrote:
2014 wrote:No it means nothing about your chances at acceptance. Many schools send waivers out to those who don't have a chance to get in because they can decline you and boost their selectivity ratings. If you would consider attending a school by all means pay the 12 bucks and see if they accept you. If you get a waiver and it is somewhere you absolutely wouldn't consider, I don't think it's worth your time or money.

I think it probably depends on the school. For example, I got a fee waiver email today that said "You have an impressive record and we'd like you to apply, so we've waived your $75 application fee." That's a direct quote. Obviously that doesn't mean I'm guaranteed admission, but it sure sounds like they're telling me I have a good shot.

So I guess to the OP I'd say that it probably depends on the school and where your LSAT and GPA place you relative to its usual applicant pool, as well as on what the letter actually says. I think I agree with 2014, though, that if you're not interested in the school anyway, it's probably not worth applying.


Do you also think strippers like you?


That's not a 1:1 comparison. For instance, you don't see every 2.5 GPA, 145 LSAT score getting waivers to UVA, Cornell, etc. If the law school in this analogy was the stripper, then they'd never make any money, because they'd give 'em to every swinging Tom Dick and Harry.

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tooswolle
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Re: Fee Waivers: What do they mean?

Postby tooswolle » Tue Nov 02, 2010 1:04 am

I've got to say I agree with Aggiegrad2011 it doesn't make good business sense to give out free applications to all to raise selectivity ratings. I believe it has to do with you having something they want which comes down to a great lsat or URM Status with good lsat. I think the remarks regarding the fee waivers are just the cynicisim the posters on TLS have in general.

Aggiegrad2011
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Re: Fee Waivers: What do they mean?

Postby Aggiegrad2011 » Tue Nov 02, 2010 1:15 am

tooswolle wrote:I've got to say I agree with Aggiegrad2011 it doesn't make good business sense to give out free applications to all to raise selectivity ratings. I believe it has to do with you having something they want which comes down to a great lsat or URM Status with good lsat. I think the remarks regarding the fee waivers are just the cynicisim the posters on TLS have in general.


TLS, cynical? Nah!

Anyway, there probably IS a possibility that law schools are looking out for their selectivity % in sending fee waivers to borderline applicants, but not in all cases. A brief gander at the fee waiver thread and you can see plenty of 3.8/173 applicants who have more or less their pick of the litter getting fee waivers. To me, they seem to serve a variety of purposes:

1) To possibly raise their selectivity
2) To coax otherwise-geographically-limited people (Like me, for instance) into applying to their school. Perhaps they can see what other schools a given applicant has applied to?
3) To select one particular thing to "boost"? Maybe a school likes having their 25/median/75 GPA spread to be really high, so they select students who meet that criteria and then send waivers to them?

I mean, is it at all impossible to think that, to a LARGE extent, for the MAJORITY of people that get these waivers that they are actually for the merit that the e-mail suggests? I see the fee waiver as a way to fill in holes for schools that have tended to lack a given trait/type of person for a class. Truth be told, there's a REASON a site like Law School Transparency exists, right? To even pretend that we, as law school students, 0Ls, and even graduates know all there is to know about the entire process of the LSAT and selection is disingenuous. I love TLS and without TLS, I'd have had a lot harder of a cycle to be sure, but the cynicism, overcast elitism, and general crappy attitude is, well, crappy.

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Re: Fee Waivers: What do they mean?

Postby Bumi » Tue Nov 02, 2010 1:18 am

Aggiegrad2011 wrote:
JesusChrist wrote:
Do you also think strippers like you?


That's not a 1:1 comparison. For instance, you don't see every 2.5 GPA, 145 LSAT score getting waivers to UVA, Cornell, etc. If the law school in this analogy was the stripper, then they'd never make any money, because they'd give 'em to every swinging Tom Dick and Harry.


Do you think strippers don't prefer people who appear to have more money?

Aggiegrad2011
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Re: Fee Waivers: What do they mean?

Postby Aggiegrad2011 » Tue Nov 02, 2010 1:20 am

Bumi wrote:
Aggiegrad2011 wrote:
JesusChrist wrote:
Do you also think strippers like you?


That's not a 1:1 comparison. For instance, you don't see every 2.5 GPA, 145 LSAT score getting waivers to UVA, Cornell, etc. If the law school in this analogy was the stripper, then they'd never make any money, because they'd give 'em to every swinging Tom Dick and Harry.


Do you think strippers don't prefer people who appear to have more money?


Having spent way too much time in Vegas, it is pretty clear to me that strippers prefer anyone.

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KevinP
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Re: Fee Waivers: What do they mean?

Postby KevinP » Tue Nov 02, 2010 1:22 am

Aggiegrad2011 wrote:
Bumi wrote:
Aggiegrad2011 wrote:
JesusChrist wrote:
Do you also think strippers like you?


That's not a 1:1 comparison. For instance, you don't see every 2.5 GPA, 145 LSAT score getting waivers to UVA, Cornell, etc. If the law school in this analogy was the stripper, then they'd never make any money, because they'd give 'em to every swinging Tom Dick and Harry.


Do you think strippers don't prefer people who appear to have more money?


Having spent way too much time in Vegas, it is pretty clear to me that strippers prefer anyone with money.

Fixed.

casterfield
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Re: Fee Waivers: What do they mean?

Postby casterfield » Tue Nov 02, 2010 2:07 am

tooswolle wrote:I've heard that often, what about getting fee waivers from some good schools if you are a URM? Do you think they are being truthful with their fee waivers or just raising their selectivity rating?


As a URM candidate, I'm hoping they waived them because they think I can get in. I mean, it's not out of the realm of possibility that I can get into UCLA with a 171 LSAT score and URM status and they just waived my fee today. However, if Harvard waived my fee (do they even do that?) I certainly wouldn't think it was because they thought I was getting in.

I guess just use your head and think about your numbers and other aspects of your application are available to them and determine whether or not you're being used. And either way, if it's a school you're considering anyway, it's only 12 bucks to apply, so why not?

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tooswolle
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Re: Fee Waivers: What do they mean?

Postby tooswolle » Tue Nov 02, 2010 4:11 am

I agree with you completely man. Here on TLS we seem to be the high achievers, the people who breezed through school with ease. I think with that comes a sense of cynicism and most important really high standards. There are reasons we are in the top 25% of test takers (just speaking in general) and thats because we are good. I believe that the fee waivers are given to you with honest intentions because if they weren't how would law schools make money to fund the admissions process? Most importantly I've looked at some outliers on LSN graphs who got in to top schools who were urms. I think when it comes to us we are a wild card and doing well compared to others makes us look as the best there is. Just saying man. Anyways Congrats on UCLA I wish I got a fee waiver from them. I got Boston University and WUSTL today! hopefully they keep on coming@




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