Conditional Scholarship, Do or Don't?

Discuss various money matters here. Loans (federal and private), scholarships, lottery winnings, or other school finance related information and queries.
Gumbotron360

New
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2019 7:42 pm

Conditional Scholarship, Do or Don't?

Postby Gumbotron360 » Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:12 pm

So I had a surprise scholarship package greet me today from Mizzou Law, a waive of out-of-state fees and 18G a year leaving only 2G a year for tuition. Given that I'm somewhat interested in practicing in Missouri, this is a pretty great offer to hear and one that I was not expecting to receive!

However, reading down the letter I realized this was not guaranteed and requires me to stay within the top 50% of my class. Oof.

I'm an ambitious sort and was striving to be in at least the top quarter of my class, but the lack of security is admittedly a little unsettling. I have similar scholarships to some regional T3 schools that don't have that shabby condition attached, and I'm admittedly considering that.

Obviously Law School is all about risk in the first place, and I'm leaning towards taking the conditional offer, but am I dumb to do so? How hard is it really to get in the top 50% at a school like this? The letter indicates that the scholarship could be simply declined or outright pulled away, how many times is the scholarship taken away altogether?

If it's any help, I got a 159 on the lsat and have a 3.8 GPA at a regional selective school, and I aim to take law school seriously (if anyone doesn't).

Any advice would much appreciated!

QContinuum

Moderator
Posts: 2355
Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:52 am

Re: Conditional Scholarship, Do or Don't?

Postby QContinuum » Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:24 am

It rarely makes sense to attend a T3, much less to do so on a conditional scholarship. It may be harder than you think to stay in the top 50%, as there are unscrupulous law schools who "section stack" scholarship students (i.e., cram all of the scholarship students into their own special section, and then apply the forced curve to the section, guaranteeing that many will lose their scholarships after 1L). You could very easily end up staring down two years of Mizzou at full tuition.

With a 3.8 GPA (I assume this is your LSAC GPA as well), there is absolutely no reason you should be looking to attend a T3 law school no matter what your goals are. You should be retaking the LSAT instead. Even a few extra points would get you into a T20 or strong T1 at a reasonable price, and I refuse to believe anyone capable of getting a 3.8 GPA is incapable of getting five or six more questions correct on the LSAT.

cavalier1138

Platinum
Posts: 6267
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:01 pm

Re: Conditional Scholarship, Do or Don't?

Postby cavalier1138 » Wed Mar 06, 2019 7:05 am

Gumbotron360 wrote:Obviously Law School is all about risk in the first place


It doesn't have to be. Don't accept any conditional scholarships. Negotiate the stipulation away and/or retake the LSAT for better options.

LSlyfe

Bronze
Posts: 197
Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2017 12:36 pm

Re: Conditional Scholarship, Do or Don't?

Postby LSlyfe » Wed Mar 06, 2019 5:35 pm

Don’t - it’s not worth the risk and some schools are known for stacking all the students with conditional scholarships in the same sectioncto guarantee that 1/2 of them will lose their $$$ after the first year. It’s a T3 and not worth the risk. Negotiate it away or go elsewhere law school may be about risk but not this kind.

objctnyrhnr

Moderator
Posts: 999
Joined: Sat Apr 13, 2013 2:44 am

Re: Conditional Scholarship, Do or Don't?

Postby objctnyrhnr » Wed Mar 06, 2019 5:54 pm

Gumbotron360 wrote:So I had a surprise scholarship package greet me today from Mizzou Law, a waive of out-of-state fees and 18G a year leaving only 2G a year for tuition. Given that I'm somewhat interested in practicing in Missouri, this is a pretty great offer to hear and one that I was not expecting to receive!

However, reading down the letter I realized this was not guaranteed and requires me to stay within the top 50% of my class. Oof.

I'm an ambitious sort and was striving to be in at least the top quarter of my class, but the lack of security is admittedly a little unsettling. I have similar scholarships to some regional T3 schools that don't have that shabby condition attached, and I'm admittedly considering that.

Obviously Law School is all about risk in the first place, and I'm leaning towards taking the conditional offer, but am I dumb to do so? How hard is it really to get in the top 50% at a school like this? The letter indicates that the scholarship could be simply declined or outright pulled away, how many times is the scholarship taken away altogether?

If it's any help, I got a 159 on the lsat and have a 3.8 GPA at a regional selective school, and I aim to take law school seriously (if anyone doesn't).

Any advice would much appreciated!


I advise you apply that ambition to actually learning how to take one of the most learnable tests in existence (much more learnable than law school exams).

Don’t waste that 3.8. If I tell you that to accomplish your dreams, the prequisite is that you need to play a perfect flight of the bumblebee on the flute in a specific performance that will occur when you’re ready, what are you gonna do? You’re gonna spend a ton of hours mastering the flute. And then only try to perform flight of the bumblebee after you’ve played it well 100 times. Practice makes perfect. You have a lot of tests ahead of you in your life if you go the law school route, so don’t get in the habit of 80-20ing your test prep at the very beginning.

User avatar
LSATWiz.com

Partner
Posts: 557
Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:37 pm

Re: Conditional Scholarship, Do or Don't?

Postby LSATWiz.com » Wed Mar 06, 2019 6:21 pm

I think you're equating degrees of risk to rationalize a decision you've already made. For example, if your friend was in a relationship and his/her partner was messier than they were, you would say relationships require compromise. If their partner wanted them to lose contact with a family member, cut off their friends and move, you could still say that relationships require compromise. However, the level of compromise in situation 2 is far more robust than in situation 1.

In principle, the scholarship is low risk because if you weren't in the top 50% at a T3, you should probably drop out regardless because the job prospects won't be there and the odds of a given student in the bottom 50% passing the bar exam are well below 50%. However, many schools that offer conditional scholarships also "section stack". This refers to a practice in which schools will put scholarship students in the same section to ensure a certain percentage lose their scholarships. Because of the sunk cost principle, schools know that most who lose their scholarship will opt to finish law school to complete what they started.

It's also psychologically difficult to abandon a major life decision like attending law school. In addition, to the awkwardness of telling friends and family, you will also lose the friends you've made during your first year. The downside of section stacking is not only that it diminishes your odds of keeping the scholarship, but also that unless you're #1 in every class, it will very likely harm your class rank because you'd be competing against students with numerical profiles that would ordinarily put them at a higher ranked school at a school where you need to be top 5-10% to have decent post-grad options.

With your #'s, you can have entirely better options with 4 or 5 points more on the LSAT - I'm speaking about near full rides at much better schools. Ideally, you'd break a 170 but if we're speaking about mitigating risk, the outlook with a 3.8 and 164 would be vastly different than the outlook with your current numbers. You're so close but are throwing that potential away.

At the very least, confirm the school does not section stack.

objctnyrhnr

Moderator
Posts: 999
Joined: Sat Apr 13, 2013 2:44 am

Re: Conditional Scholarship, Do or Don't?

Postby objctnyrhnr » Wed Mar 06, 2019 6:48 pm

LSATWiz.com wrote:I think you're equating degrees of risk to rationalize a decision you've already made. For example, if your friend was in a relationship and his/her partner was messier than they were, you would say relationships require compromise. If their partner wanted them to lose contact with a family member, cut off their friends and move, you could still say that relationships require compromise. However, the level of compromise in situation 2 is far more robust than in situation 1.

In principle, the scholarship is low risk because if you weren't in the top 50% at a T3, you should probably drop out regardless because the job prospects won't be there and the odds of a given student in the bottom 50% passing the bar exam are well below 50%. However, many schools that offer conditional scholarships also "section stack". This refers to a practice in which schools will put scholarship students in the same section to ensure a certain percentage lose their scholarships. Because of the sunk cost principle, schools know that most who lose their scholarship will opt to finish law school to complete what they started.

It's also psychologically difficult to abandon a major life decision like attending law school. In addition, to the awkwardness of telling friends and family, you will also lose the friends you've made during your first year. The downside of section stacking is not only that it diminishes your odds of keeping the scholarship, but also that unless you're #1 in every class, it will very likely harm your class rank because you'd be competing against students with numerical profiles that would ordinarily put them at a higher ranked school at a school where you need to be top 5-10% to have decent post-grad options.

With your #'s, you can have entirely better options with 4 or 5 points more on the LSAT - I'm speaking about near full rides at much better schools. Ideally, you'd break a 170 but if we're speaking about mitigating risk, the outlook with a 3.8 and 164 would be vastly different than the outlook with your current numbers. You're so close but are throwing that potential away.

At the very least, confirm the school does not section stack.


These are all valid points and I second them.

I do want to inquire about one thing: does anybody have any evidence (anecdotal or otherwise) about somebody literally discovering a section-stack? I always assumed section-stacking was one of these things that everybody probably correctly assumed occurred but that nobody really could definitively determine that it did. Am I wrong on that?

Wubbles

Bronze
Posts: 223
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2018 5:55 pm

Re: Conditional Scholarship, Do or Don't?

Postby Wubbles » Wed Mar 06, 2019 7:50 pm

objctnyrhnr wrote:
LSATWiz.com wrote:I think you're equating degrees of risk to rationalize a decision you've already made. For example, if your friend was in a relationship and his/her partner was messier than they were, you would say relationships require compromise. If their partner wanted them to lose contact with a family member, cut off their friends and move, you could still say that relationships require compromise. However, the level of compromise in situation 2 is far more robust than in situation 1.

In principle, the scholarship is low risk because if you weren't in the top 50% at a T3, you should probably drop out regardless because the job prospects won't be there and the odds of a given student in the bottom 50% passing the bar exam are well below 50%. However, many schools that offer conditional scholarships also "section stack". This refers to a practice in which schools will put scholarship students in the same section to ensure a certain percentage lose their scholarships. Because of the sunk cost principle, schools know that most who lose their scholarship will opt to finish law school to complete what they started.

It's also psychologically difficult to abandon a major life decision like attending law school. In addition, to the awkwardness of telling friends and family, you will also lose the friends you've made during your first year. The downside of section stacking is not only that it diminishes your odds of keeping the scholarship, but also that unless you're #1 in every class, it will very likely harm your class rank because you'd be competing against students with numerical profiles that would ordinarily put them at a higher ranked school at a school where you need to be top 5-10% to have decent post-grad options.

With your #'s, you can have entirely better options with 4 or 5 points more on the LSAT - I'm speaking about near full rides at much better schools. Ideally, you'd break a 170 but if we're speaking about mitigating risk, the outlook with a 3.8 and 164 would be vastly different than the outlook with your current numbers. You're so close but are throwing that potential away.

At the very least, confirm the school does not section stack.


These are all valid points and I second them.

I do want to inquire about one thing: does anybody have any evidence (anecdotal or otherwise) about somebody literally discovering a section-stack? I always assumed section-stacking was one of these things that everybody probably correctly assumed occurred but that nobody really could definitively determine that it did. Am I wrong on that?


I'm not sure they actually did it, but St. John's used to come up in every section stacking conversation

cavalier1138

Platinum
Posts: 6267
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:01 pm

Re: Conditional Scholarship, Do or Don't?

Postby cavalier1138 » Wed Mar 06, 2019 8:18 pm

objctnyrhnr wrote:I do want to inquire about one thing: does anybody have any evidence (anecdotal or otherwise) about somebody literally discovering a section-stack? I always assumed section-stacking was one of these things that everybody probably correctly assumed occurred but that nobody really could definitively determine that it did. Am I wrong on that?


I don't know that it's conclusive, but if I know a school's conditions (and they seem to usually set the same conditions for all conditional scholarships), I compare it to the 509 data for conditional scholarships. This isn't an exact method, and I'm sure someone could make it more precise. But the general rule is that you expect students who are offered scholarships to be at the upper end of the applicant pool for a school (at least the top half). So if the standard is that these students--who are generally expected to do well--are supposed to stay in the top half of the class to keep their scholarship, then we shouldn't expect to see 50% or more of them losing it.

So for Missouri, it looks like somewhere between 15% and 25% of students who enter with conditional scholarships lose them. And it looks like roughly 75% of students with scholarships are on a conditional scholarship. I'm sure someone could try and sort out the statistics better than I can, but that doesn't look like section stacking, especially compared to a school like St. John's (which is notorious for this practice).

At SJU, it looks like almost all of their scholarships are conditional, but well over 50% of students entering with a scholarship lose it. And if I recall correctly, SJU has an even looser condition than top-50%, so it's a much clearer indicator that they have to be manipulating the sections to get that kind of outcome. Hofstra is another one where I remember someone saying that it seemed easy to keep your scholarship because you just needed to be in the top 60% or 70% of the class, but if you look at the 509, way more than 30% of conditional scholarship recipients lose it.

User avatar
LSATWiz.com

Partner
Posts: 557
Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:37 pm

Re: Conditional Scholarship, Do or Don't?

Postby LSATWiz.com » Fri Mar 08, 2019 12:12 pm

Wubbles wrote:
objctnyrhnr wrote:
LSATWiz.com wrote:I think you're equating degrees of risk to rationalize a decision you've already made. For example, if your friend was in a relationship and his/her partner was messier than they were, you would say relationships require compromise. If their partner wanted them to lose contact with a family member, cut off their friends and move, you could still say that relationships require compromise. However, the level of compromise in situation 2 is far more robust than in situation 1.

In principle, the scholarship is low risk because if you weren't in the top 50% at a T3, you should probably drop out regardless because the job prospects won't be there and the odds of a given student in the bottom 50% passing the bar exam are well below 50%. However, many schools that offer conditional scholarships also "section stack". This refers to a practice in which schools will put scholarship students in the same section to ensure a certain percentage lose their scholarships. Because of the sunk cost principle, schools know that most who lose their scholarship will opt to finish law school to complete what they started.

It's also psychologically difficult to abandon a major life decision like attending law school. In addition, to the awkwardness of telling friends and family, you will also lose the friends you've made during your first year. The downside of section stacking is not only that it diminishes your odds of keeping the scholarship, but also that unless you're #1 in every class, it will very likely harm your class rank because you'd be competing against students with numerical profiles that would ordinarily put them at a higher ranked school at a school where you need to be top 5-10% to have decent post-grad options.

With your #'s, you can have entirely better options with 4 or 5 points more on the LSAT - I'm speaking about near full rides at much better schools. Ideally, you'd break a 170 but if we're speaking about mitigating risk, the outlook with a 3.8 and 164 would be vastly different than the outlook with your current numbers. You're so close but are throwing that potential away.

At the very least, confirm the school does not section stack.


These are all valid points and I second them.

I do want to inquire about one thing: does anybody have any evidence (anecdotal or otherwise) about somebody literally discovering a section-stack? I always assumed section-stacking was one of these things that everybody probably correctly assumed occurred but that nobody really could definitively determine that it did. Am I wrong on that?


I'm not sure they actually did it, but St. John's used to come up in every section stacking conversation

No hard evidence but it's been spoken about too much to merely be an urban legend. The financial incentive would also be there because schools know 8-9 out of 10 students who lose their scholarship will say so it allows them to market something they know will cost $150,000 as though it would cost $90,000. Section stacking just seems like good business sense.

I remember when I was applying, the University of Alabama offered me a scholarship and in that letter said 95% employment figure. When I asked if working the register at McDonalds would count as employment for this survey, I was put on hold for 10 minutes and eventually told rather coldly, "Yes, it would but our graduates don't work at McDonalds" before being hung up on. Clearly, the 95% figure was given so as to imply it was legal employment or something comparable. If reputable schools could do something so sketchy in writing, it's not unreasonable to think less reputable schools would do something similarly sketchy behind closed doors.

Qtc

New
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2018 12:35 pm

Re: Conditional Scholarship, Do or Don't?

Postby Qtc » Sun Mar 31, 2019 8:22 pm

I had very similar numbers to you. I did very well at my lower ranked school but if I had to do it again I would simply devote time to the LSAT. I was lazy and wasted a good GPA. It is conceivable if you got a 159 that you could hit 170, but at least break 165. Had I done that I may have gone to a T10 school. For me, it worked out because I did well at my school. But had I gone to Harvard the opportunities would have been immeasurable.

jfadamson

New
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:39 pm

Re: Conditional Scholarship, Do or Don't?

Postby jfadamson » Tue Jun 18, 2019 12:18 pm

Did you take the offer? I'll be attending Mizzou this fall on a conditional scholarships. During admitted students day, it was discussed that virtually all incoming students who receive a scholarship offer, receive a conditional offer.

cavalier1138

Platinum
Posts: 6267
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:01 pm

Re: Conditional Scholarship, Do or Don't?

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue Jun 18, 2019 1:35 pm

jfadamson wrote:Did you take the offer? I'll be attending Mizzou this fall on a conditional scholarships. During admitted students day, it was discussed that virtually all incoming students who receive a scholarship offer, receive a conditional offer.


That doesn't make it ok. I'd strongly urge you to reconsider your decision, because this is a reasonable possibility.

jfadamson

New
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:39 pm

Re: Conditional Scholarship, Do or Don't?

Postby jfadamson » Tue Jun 18, 2019 2:22 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
jfadamson wrote:Did you take the offer? I'll be attending Mizzou this fall on a conditional scholarships. During admitted students day, it was discussed that virtually all incoming students who receive a scholarship offer, receive a conditional offer.


That doesn't make it ok. I'd strongly urge you to reconsider your decision, because this is a reasonable possibility.



I'm fully aware of the potential downsides to a conditional scholarship. I had other offers from school that were non-conditional, but Mizzou was ultimately my top choice of school. There feels like a consensus here on TLS that if you're not attending a T1 school, and you're not planning on working in big law, then you shouldn't even attend law school.

Sure, there is always the possibility of unforeseen issues hindering your ability to maintain the grades to retain a scholarship. But with such a high percentage of students retaining their conditional scholarship, and Mizzou having good employment prospects for those wishing to remain in state, then Mizzou on a conditional scholarship is a perfectly reasonable choice. Especially when compared to other in-state options such as UMKC or SLU. Unless you're smart enough for WashU, then Mizzou is cream of the crop for in-state students.

cavalier1138

Platinum
Posts: 6267
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:01 pm

Re: Conditional Scholarship, Do or Don't?

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue Jun 18, 2019 3:10 pm

jfadamson wrote:There feels like a consensus here on TLS that if you're not attending a T1 school, and you're not planning on working in big law, then you shouldn't even attend law school.


That's not remotely true.

jfadamson wrote:But with such a high percentage of students retaining their conditional scholarship, and Mizzou having good employment prospects for those wishing to remain in state, then Mizzou on a conditional scholarship is a perfectly reasonable choice. Especially when compared to other in-state options such as UMKC or SLU.


Roughly 25% of students with a conditional scholarship to Mizzou lose it after the first year. And according to their 509, it's not "virtually all" scholarships that are conditional. It looks like a majority of their scholarships are conditional, but a substantial portion are not. It still doesn't make the practice any less shady.

I'm also not sure why you're saying SLU doesn't offer comparable results. It has roughly the same placement power (actually marginally better when you start to look at the state clerkship and school-funded positions used to pad Mizzou's numbers a bit). More importantly, SLU doesn't do conditional scholarships. It's not WashU (nor is this an issue of being "smart enough for WashU"), but I'd definitely rate SLU ahead of Mizzou for in-state students, especially if it's a choice between a conditional and unconditional scholarship.

Ethical schools don't use conditional scholarships. It's a bad practice, and you're not just at risk for "unforeseen issues" like sickness or family trouble. You might just not be as good at taking law school exams as your classmates are. Based on the numbers, there's a one-in-four chance that you'll have that problem.

Obviously, it's your decision. But I think you've developed an overly rosy view of your own ability to perform in law school and would be making a big mistake if you turned down SLU at a comparable cost.

Wubbles

Bronze
Posts: 223
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2018 5:55 pm

Re: Conditional Scholarship, Do or Don't?

Postby Wubbles » Tue Jun 18, 2019 3:56 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
jfadamson wrote:There feels like a consensus here on TLS that if you're not attending a T1 school, and you're not planning on working in big law, then you shouldn't even attend law school.


That's not remotely true.

jfadamson wrote:But with such a high percentage of students retaining their conditional scholarship, and Mizzou having good employment prospects for those wishing to remain in state, then Mizzou on a conditional scholarship is a perfectly reasonable choice. Especially when compared to other in-state options such as UMKC or SLU.


Roughly 25% of students with a conditional scholarship to Mizzou lose it after the first year. And according to their 509, it's not "virtually all" scholarships that are conditional. It looks like a majority of their scholarships are conditional, but a substantial portion are not. It still doesn't make the practice any less shady.

I'm also not sure why you're saying SLU doesn't offer comparable results. It has roughly the same placement power (actually marginally better when you start to look at the state clerkship and school-funded positions used to pad Mizzou's numbers a bit). More importantly, SLU doesn't do conditional scholarships. It's not WashU (nor is this an issue of being "smart enough for WashU"), but I'd definitely rate SLU ahead of Mizzou for in-state students, especially if it's a choice between a conditional and unconditional scholarship.

Ethical schools don't use conditional scholarships. It's a bad practice, and you're not just at risk for "unforeseen issues" like sickness or family trouble. You might just not be as good at taking law school exams as your classmates are. Based on the numbers, there's a one-in-four chance that you'll have that problem.

Obviously, it's your decision. But I think you've developed an overly rosy view of your own ability to perform in law school and would be making a big mistake if you turned down SLU at a comparable cost.

Seconding. SLU is at least on par with Mizzou and isn't trying to essentially scam a quarter of their scholarship recipients into being stuck there paying full freight. And if you lose your scholarship, you don't have the grades to transfer. Then you're stuck at a school that just screwed you over feeling salty for 2 years hustling to get a job because of your grades and saddled with more debt than you were expecting.

Caveat, SLU at sticker costs more so it comes down to what the cost of attendance is after scholarships. Also, WashU will take someone with ANY gpa so it's not really ever off the table with a good enough LSAT. Heck, I'm just ballpark guessing you have a sub 160 LSAT? I was there once. It's not your ceiling.

QContinuum

Moderator
Posts: 2355
Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:52 am

Re: Conditional Scholarship, Do or Don't?

Postby QContinuum » Tue Jun 18, 2019 10:40 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
jfadamson wrote:There feels like a consensus here on TLS that if you're not attending a T1 school, and you're not planning on working in big law, then you shouldn't even attend law school.


That's not remotely true.

I really don't know why this strawman keeps getting raised again and again. The TLS consensus view has never been "BigLaw or bust." We are perfectly happy advising 0Ls with non-BigLaw/elite PI career goals to attend suitable T1/T2 schools at a reasonable cost. We often give this advice. (Notably, we gave this exact advice to Rose not too long ago.) To the extent we advise 0Ls to try for the T13/T20, that's only because those 0Ls state that their goal is BigLaw or DoJ or ACLU (or the like), or a $190k starting salary (which means BigLaw), or an in-house gig at Google or similar (which typically requires BigLaw as a prerequisite).

Now, it's generally true that we advise folks to stay away from T3/T4 law schools. This is because these schools generally have bad placement into the practice of law period (regardless of salary). We feel it's a bad idea to forego 3 years of income and go into debt for a degree that will likely end up being nothing more than a scarlet letter and a six-figure debt load.

cavalier1138

Platinum
Posts: 6267
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:01 pm

Re: Conditional Scholarship, Do or Don't?

Postby cavalier1138 » Wed Jun 26, 2019 6:01 am

jfadamson wrote:I'm fully aware of the potential downsides to a conditional scholarship.


In case you're still around: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=301825

User avatar
totesTheGoat

Moderator
Posts: 907
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2014 1:32 pm

Re: Conditional Scholarship, Do or Don't?

Postby totesTheGoat » Wed Jun 26, 2019 10:04 am

QContinuum wrote:We feel it's a bad idea to forego 3 years of income and go into debt for a degree that will likely end up being nothing more than a scarlet letter and a six-figure debt load.


Agreed. If law school was $50k and 1.5 years, T3 and T4 schools wouldn't be such a no-no. The fact that you can walk out of schools with good sounding names with $200k in debt and a less than 30% chance of getting a job that will allow you to pay your loans off in time is what makes it so darn risky to go T3 and T4.

Added into the analysis is the rampant misconception that lawyers make bank. So many 0Ls come in thinking that their $175k loan to (insert T3 here) is NBD because they're gonna be making $180k in a short three years. They completely miss the reality that the most likely outcome from their position is a $55k salary working 60 hours a week.

User avatar
LSATWiz.com

Partner
Posts: 557
Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:37 pm

Re: Conditional Scholarship, Do or Don't?

Postby LSATWiz.com » Thu Jun 27, 2019 7:02 am

I'd also add that it has to be psychologically taxing to exert significant time and effort over a long period only to be back where you are originally with considerably more debt. There is also a change to one's self concept. While we are more than our jobs, you go from seeing yourself as a lawyer to not seeing yourself as one. These are things that could be difficult for people in their 20s so there are psychological costs too.

Personally, I'm not as adverse to conditional scholarships as others because the reality is that if you can't do well enough to keep the scholarship, you're going to struggle to find jobs with those grades anyway, and you should probably drop out regardless. However, there are many schools that don't put any strings on scholarships. The get in and transfer plan rarely works, and I am always amazed at how many people have this plan given they have no basis upon which to conclude they'll be particularly good at law school exams.

QContinuum

Moderator
Posts: 2355
Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:52 am

Re: Conditional Scholarship, Do or Don't?

Postby QContinuum » Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:53 am

LSATWiz.com wrote:The get in and transfer plan rarely works, and I am always amazed at how many people have this plan given they have no basis upon which to conclude they'll be particularly good at law school exams.

I kinda get it. Most people who get into law school did well or very well in college - they outperformed the majority of their college classmates. Or, failing that, they did well or very well on the LSAT - they outperformed the majority of their fellow LSAT takers. They probably also outperformed the majority of their high school classmates, etc. So they're accustomed to being top students, and naturally assume that that means they'll also be top law students.

The problem, of course, is that all of their law school classmates also outperformed the majority of their high school classmates, college classmates, fellow LSAT takers. Further, the law school curve makes grades entirely relative, unlike in college where you might have an easy class that gives 50% As. But emotionally it's hard to grasp this.

User avatar
LSATWiz.com

Partner
Posts: 557
Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:37 pm

Re: Conditional Scholarship, Do or Don't?

Postby LSATWiz.com » Thu Jun 27, 2019 12:38 pm

QContinuum wrote:
LSATWiz.com wrote:The get in and transfer plan rarely works, and I am always amazed at how many people have this plan given they have no basis upon which to conclude they'll be particularly good at law school exams.

I kinda get it. Most people who get into law school did well or very well in college - they outperformed the majority of their college classmates. Or, failing that, they did well or very well on the LSAT - they outperformed the majority of their fellow LSAT takers. They probably also outperformed the majority of their high school classmates, etc. So they're accustomed to being top students, and naturally assume that that means they'll also be top law students.

The problem, of course, is that all of their law school classmates also outperformed the majority of their high school classmates, college classmates, fellow LSAT takers. Further, the law school curve makes grades entirely relative, unlike in college where you might have an easy class that gives 50% As. But emotionally it's hard to grasp this.

The other thing is that a significant percent of college students don't really try. Unless you're in finance or certain fields, employers don't care a ton about UGPA, and if you're an art student who doesn't plan on going to law school, there's little incentive to care too much about grades.

I would say the aspect of TLS I disagree with is the idea that law school grades are random - they're random at the fringes, but some people are naturally better at that type of thinking (the ability to apply concepts to new situations in a strictly timed environment) than others.

To some degree, the logic games section of the LSAT and parallel reasoning questions test for this so if applicants struggle with this, there's at least one fact consistent with them struggling in law school. Truthfully, the E&E books would be a much better predictor of this skill. If a student said read the Tort E&E while applying and was able to hit say 80% of the model answers, I'd say there's a decently high likelihood they'd be in the top 10% at a third or fourth tier school. Of course, this would be a lot of work, could be counterproductive once in law school, and there's little chance someone who couldn't be motivated to study harder for the LSAT will work through an E&E in their free time.

User avatar
totesTheGoat

Moderator
Posts: 907
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2014 1:32 pm

Re: Conditional Scholarship, Do or Don't?

Postby totesTheGoat » Thu Jun 27, 2019 2:08 pm

LSATWiz.com wrote:
I would say the aspect of TLS I disagree with is the idea that law school grades are random - they're random at the fringes, but some people are naturally better at that type of thinking (the ability to apply concepts to new situations in a strictly timed environment) than others.


You're absolutely right about it not being random. However, I'd hesitate to go too far in the opposite direction. Your grades are not predictable based only on your performance pre-law. There are so many factors that come into play that impact GPA. For example, I was around top 10% in my class until a particular semester hit where I had a bunch of stuff due at work the same time I should have been studying for finals. There were finals that I walked into with less than an hour of studying. That semester alone took me from top 10% to top 33%. I eventually clawed back to top 25%, but my personal GPA goal was dead because I got slammed at work one semester. You can imagine any number of issues arising, both within and outside of a student's control, that would take a highly qualified student outside of the conditions of a scholarship, especially during 1L.

User avatar
LSATWiz.com

Partner
Posts: 557
Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:37 pm

Re: Conditional Scholarship, Do or Don't?

Postby LSATWiz.com » Thu Jun 27, 2019 3:39 pm

totesTheGoat wrote:
LSATWiz.com wrote:
I would say the aspect of TLS I disagree with is the idea that law school grades are random - they're random at the fringes, but some people are naturally better at that type of thinking (the ability to apply concepts to new situations in a strictly timed environment) than others.


You're absolutely right about it not being random. However, I'd hesitate to go too far in the opposite direction. Your grades are not predictable based only on your performance pre-law. There are so many factors that come into play that impact GPA. For example, I was around top 10% in my class until a particular semester hit where I had a bunch of stuff due at work the same time I should have been studying for finals. There were finals that I walked into with less than an hour of studying. That semester alone took me from top 10% to top 33%. I eventually clawed back to top 25%, but my personal GPA goal was dead because I got slammed at work one semester. You can imagine any number of issues arising, both within and outside of a student's control, that would take a highly qualified student outside of the conditions of a scholarship, especially during 1L.

Oh yeah, I'm not saying they are totally predictable based on pre-law school numbers. My point was only that if a pre-law student is pretty well at applying law to fact in something like an E&E, it's likely they'd do fairly well at these third and fourth tier schools where a significant percentage of the class isn't going to be able to apply law to fact.



Return to “Financial Aid?

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests