slack_academic wrote:So it's been touched on a little bit here, but do you guys think that huge anonymous donation (Details here) will impact scholarship awards this year? And if so, you guys think they could see a ranking bump in a couple years?
That's quite optimistic. Cornell law's operating budget is somewhere in the neighborhood of $40 million. If you assume that the $25 million gift can return 4 percent real (which is generous in this investment environment), then you assume an annual reduction in necessary income of 2.5 percent or $1 million today. That would allow the law school of offer about 6-7 full scholarships in each class (18-21 spread across 3 classes in attendance). This assumes all the money goes to financial aid, which clearly isn't the only target. With a class of 200 students, maybe it allows them to boost their 75th percentile LSAT by a point some years…
$25 million is a lot of money, but in the world of ivy-league endowments, it's a day's swing in the stock market.
Presumably the greatest return comes from marginal additions to numerous financial aid packages rather than a small number of full scholarships, but I think my arithmetic illustrates the point that this gift alone, while large, isn't about to propel Cornell into the top-10.