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Losing on scholarship vs not getting in

LeoFiro8LeoFiro8 Alum Member
edited August 2014 in General 244 karma
Hey there,
As we're getting closer to the September test, I see a lot of posts regarding whether one should post-pone the test for December in hopes of studying more and and getting a higher score>More money and applying this school year or even waiting until February and applying next year (because law school isn't going anywhere and nobody would want to mess up this one time shot at scoring their best/readiest and getting into better school and owe less money at the end).
My concern is how much do you think the person that applies December Vs September could lose out as far getting the application in line first? Though it is true that the LSAT score is the most important part of the application, and every point literarily counts and could put you in a higher percentile> better school>More scholarship, when does the application being late vs having a few higher points start hurting the look of your application? for example would someone with a 160 taking September LSAT, applying before thanksgiving ( the appropriate time to have everything posted, with schools opening application Oct 1st) get into "better schools" ?than someone with a 164 applying almost late December ? I would appreciate anyone that has looked into this matter or has solid information that could help me out!


  • CFC152436CFC152436 Alum Member
    edited August 2014 284 karma
    "My concern is how much do you think the person that applies December Vs September could lose out as far getting the application in line first?"

    This is nearly impossible to quantify - the general advice is that applying before thanksgiving (preferably sometime in October / early November) gives you the best chance for admission and scholarship money. Are there exceptions? Sure. I know people who applied in December and performed as expected (i.e. they got into the schools that their numbers predicted they would). That said, if you can apply early, do so, because that gives you the best chance to have a positive admissions cycle.

    I would like to add, however, that I think it's always a better idea to retake and improve your score than to apply early. Like you said, law school isn't going anywhere, and considering how big of an investment this can be, it's important to be in the best situation possible. Don't let 5 multiple choice questions be the difference between $180,000 in debt and $60,000 in debt.

    I realize this probably isn't the answer you were looking for (I don't think I said anything that you don't already know), but I'm not sure anyone can really know how a December-164 will do compared to a September 160. As I said earlier, I think the best strategy is to get the highest score you can get and go from there (i.e. take the test when you are fully prepared, and no sooner)
  • RM112015RM112015 Member
    192 karma
    I have also found myself in the same dilemma having only started studying in late July and was planning on taking the September LSAT. However, I do not feel anywhere ready to take it and know for a fact that taking it in December will certainly result in a much better LSAT score. As the person stated above, ideally I would like to have all my materials in as early as possible as well as score as best as I can. If I were you, I would prioritize getting a better LSAT score and feeling much more confident in your application rather than submitting application materials early and wondering 'what if I had a higher LSAT score'. Like you said, law school is not going anywhere and law school applications have been dropping in recent years (I don't know what this admission cycle is looking like at the moment), so applying in December is highly unlikely to be completely detrimental.
  • James RayJames Ray Alum Member
    186 karma
    We all study logic so break it down logically. People are advised to apply before Thanksgiving because that is when there are the most spots and dollars available yes? Ok, but if you are not in a position to receive those spots and dollars, does it really matter? Its like telling an old man there is lots of youth in the world. It means nothing because its beyond his reach (unless he gets a young wife I suppose). So work on getting that higher score because even if there are more spots and dollars before thanksgiving, they may not be in your grasp until after. Also, keep in mind that schools know that people are waiting for the December test-date to apply and they know there are many promising candidates in that pool so they save spots and dollars for them as well.
  • cjonescjones Alum Member
    48 karma
    I agree with James Ray. Law schools these days are offering more scholarships and reducing the requirements to obtain those scholarships due to a dearth of law school applicants. Therefore, even if funds for scholarships hadn't increased substantially, there very possibly are still more vacancies for those scholarships than in years past. So, you should have a better chance at scholarships, even if you take a later LSAT.

    I suppose it could be argued that since scholarships are easier to obtain, more June LSAT students might qualify for them, but as James stated, schools don't want to limit their options to pick up high LSAT scoring students late in the game. Their school's reputation and rank are boosted by every point average increase of their L1 class. Later LSAT testing students, I would think, would be a rich bounty for many schools, as the more prestigious institutions may expect earlier applications. But that is a supposition for which I have little real evidence.
  • brainwvsbrainwvs Alum Member
    79 karma
    Check what the school that you are mainly interested in says about this. For example Harvard has clearly said that if you apply late you will get the decision later but your changes of getting in are the same.
  • psbrathwaitepsbrathwaite Legacy Member
    207 karma
    Someone take one for the 7sage team and email a generic message to all of the t14 schools and post results here??? lol
  • brainwvsbrainwvs Alum Member
    79 karma
    They actually express their take on this quite clearly on their blocks. ..
  • miriruchertmiriruchert Alum Member
    180 karma
    you can always wait a year to apply. The most important is that you take the test when ready, meaning you have your desired score in multiple PTs prior. The comment that law schools don't go anywhere is correct, and unless you are 50, waiting to apply might pay off.
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