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Any Tips for Navigating Scholarships?

mikalyn.greenzweigmikalyn.greenzweig Monthly Member

I wasn't sure how to title this discussion post, but hopefully someone reading can give me some advice.

I am looking to apply for law school in the next upcoming cycle (applying as early in the cycle as possible) and I plan on taking the LSAT in January (and another exam if needed). One of my biggest concerns with going to law school is making sure 1. I can afford it, and 2. Hopefully receiving enough scholarships to make that possible. I know that your LSAT is probably one of the biggest factors that the admissions office look at when considering how much scholarship money you will be awarded (I am aware that they look each individuals application holistically and there are other factors they take into consideration, but I'm sure most of us are aware that LSAT and GPA are undeniably important).

So my question is, does anyone have any insight/advice on where I should be scoring on a schools percentiles to receive, lets say a full ride to their school? I'm aware that scoring within a schools median is a good place to be, but if that's the case, does this mean I will for sure be receiving aid from that school if I'm hitting those numbers, or should I look to be score higher than the schools median? Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated! I'm more just confused on how a school decides on how will receive scholarships/aid.


  • Matt SorrMatt Sorr Monthly Member
    edited December 2022 1943 karma

    This is a super wise question to be asking and, quite frankly, I don't think enough applicants seriously consider it. There are a lot of law schools that simply don't provide a reasonable ROI for the price they're asking, and even if you're attending a top law school, going 200-300k in debt is often the wrong choice (and, sadly, I don't think a lot of people realize that until it's too late). So kudos to you for thinking about this early.

    I'll attempt to answer your question, but my opinion is by no means authoritative. I've done a fair amount of research on this topic, but there are numerous tutors and former admissions counselors on this forum that can probably provide you an even better response. With that said, here goes:

    As for where you "should be scoring on a schools percentiles" if you'd like a full ride, the answer is above the 75th percentile (and preferably well above it). The fact of the matter is, for obvious reasons, schools don't particularly want to give out full rides. They only have a limited amount of scholarship money to give out, so they'd like to give as little as possible to get you to attend. If you score between a school's median and its 75th, there's a great chance you'll get some scholarship money, but full rides are typically reserved for applicants who really help to raise a school's LSAT (and GPA is strongly preferred but it's not as important). Scoring around a school's median will certainly give you a good shot at getting into the school, but it's extremely unlikely it will land you a 50% of tuition - 100% of tuition scholarship. If you've got some extremely impressive soft factors it's totally possible but it's exceedingly unlikely. I think it's also worth noting that particularly at the top schools, like the T14, your GPA factors in a good amount as well. So if your GPA is below a school's median, you really want to make sure your LSAT is at least 75th percentile.

    As for whether or not you'll "for sure" receive scholarships from a school if you get a certain score, the answer is no. There is no particular GPA + LSAT combination that will get you a certain scholarship to any school (that I'm aware of). There may be some schools outside of the first tier that guarantee a certain sized scholarship if you hit a certain GPA and/or LSAT requirement, and if so that's great, but there are no magic numbers at any schools in the top tier or two. However. there are stats that have been accumulated over many years showing that you're more and more likely to receive significant scholarship aid from schools as your GPA and LSAT go up. There are databases you can look up that show this. Some prep companies even have calculators that utilize these stats to predict the likeliness of you receiving scholarships of different sizes from different schools based on your numbers. I'm not sure whether or not I'm allowed to post links to other prep companies here, but if you simply Google "law school scholarship estimator," you'll find some stuff. Additionally, 7Sage has a feature that predicts you're likelihood of being admitted into a school based on your numbers:

    The last thing I'll say is that with a bunch of schools dropping out of the USNWR rankings recently, it's unclear how merit-based scholarship aid will be affected. It's possible schools will stop relying as heavily on numbers to give out aid but that's totally speculative. We won't know until at least a cycle or two have passed. I'd be willing to bet numbers will still play a large role in scholarship size (and they may even continue playing the same size role) going forward, though. Regardless of how large or small a role your GPA and LSAT play going forward, though, your goal should stay the same if you want a full ride: score as high as possible on the LSAT.

    I hope this helps!

  • mikalyn.greenzweigmikalyn.greenzweig Monthly Member
    281 karma

    @"Matt Sorr"
    Thank you so much for the response!! This was extremely helpful, and I appreciate you taking the time out to provide such a thorough response. I've seen the 509 reports and other scholarship calculators as well to kind of help me navigate the process, it's just so nerve wrecking not knowing! But thank you so much for your help!

  • C_S_D 01C_S_D 01 Alum Member
    247 karma

    Are you planning to apply for 2023?
    If so, another main consideration is time. Scholarships at this point will depend on submitting application materials ASAP.

  • mikalyn.greenzweigmikalyn.greenzweig Monthly Member
    281 karma

    @"C_S_D 01" I planned on applying for the 2023 cycle, and as soon as applications open!

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