Financial aid stuff: The Criteria
Admits- my guess is that most of you are waiting on pins and needles to hear from us regarding scholarships. Consider this post an introduction or preamble to the main event which will be rolled out the next few days.
At Northwestern Law, scholarships are determined based on three factors: a) strength of file; b) needs analysis; c) essay responses.
a) Strength of File- The same as the admissions criteria. However, you are now being compared against other admits (much tougher pool)
b) Needs Analysis- This was based on the Needs Access form using our own formula based on a traditional needs analysis. We did not count ANY parental information in the needs calculation (outside of what was known as an outside contribution). The vast majority of applicants had a high degree of need.
c) Essay Responses- This was the downfall for a lot of applicants. When you think of the word "essay" it conjures up an image of a multiple paragraph well-thought response, NOT what was turned in by a good number of you. I could do a very long post on the mistakes that applicants made. There were issues with both scope and substance. There were a few flip responses that made committee members quite angry. If you do not take the process seriously, well.... you know where this is going.
a) Great. The differences between admits is going to be very little since we're already a narrowed-down group.
b) So it substantively means very little since a "Vast majority" of us demonstrate need and, by definition, a "vast majority" of us can't receive merit aid.
c) I guess frustration with shitty essays is justified.
In sum, apparently whether or not we get merit aid to ease a massive loan burden is determined by how well we can re-phrase "I am broke and need money" into 500 words. But of course, we all know that it'll be determined by our numbers and our relative value to their medians. MOAR KOOL AID!