shredderrrrrr wrote: sebastian0622 wrote:
shredderrrrrr wrote:Yeah both scholarships have a top third stipulation. My Drake offer, however, has an interesting setup as far as stipulations go (my Iowa one may as well, but I have yet to receive the full information). In order to retain the Drake scholarship and stipend, I only need to be in the top third for one of the two semesters my first year. If I fail to do this, I can still receive the full scholarship minus the stipend if I was top 35% one of the two semesters. If I fail to do this, I get a 50% scholarship so long as I was top half in one of the two semesters.
All in all, you have a MUCH lower chance of losing the Drake scholarship. It's tempting if you want to stay in Des Moines.
I am 100% set on staying in Iowa. I really have no intention of working outside of the state, and think Des Moines is a great place. While the better prestige and better portability of Iowa make it tempting, the huge stipend and networking opportunities from the Opperman Scholarship make Drake a pretty good choice.
It sure seems from Iowa OCI that Drake places just as well in Des Moines, probably better. And it places similarly all around Iowa based on my summer working at a firm in NE Iowa, where most of the grads were Drake grads. At Drake, you're missing out the national reputation of Iowa, and that's about it.
Top 37.5% at Iowa is far from a guarantee for anyone. Add in one significant life event (say, your parent gets hospitalized or you get sick) and the scholarship is toast. Or if nothing bad happens and you just struggle to adjust to law school, which happens to a lot of really smart people, you're still screwed. Of course, you're also competing against more qualified students, which won't have a huge effect but will probably have some.
And no, they won't make an exception for you if something terrible or time-consuming happens in your life. They don't care about you. My wife and I had a kid during Fall semester, then my dad spent the three weeks before and during Spring finals in the ICU, where he was in an induced coma and nearly died a couple times. He was in emergency surgery at midnight the night before my first Spring exam. Still, I finished in the top half for the year overall (including top 1/3rd the second semester), discussed the things that went on in my life with the administration, and they still summarily rescinded my scholarship with what sure seemed like no consideration at all for my circumstances.
Make no mistake: at Iowa (and probably elsewhere in law school), you are a number. You're not an individual, they don't care at all about you, and the system is designed to recoup some scholarship funds by rescinding the awards. This means it is up to you to seriously and carefully weigh the financial aid packages offered and treat this as a business decision, because that's how you will be treated.
If you are 100% sure you want to stay in Iowa, I'd take the money at Drake due to the likelihood of retaining significant scholarship money and the strong Iowa placement. Besides, Des Moines is a better (and even less expensive) place to live than Iowa City for people older than 24, and being at Drake would give you three years to network with Des Moines area employers.