LSAC Financial Aid Options
The law education is very expensive. Most of the students take a loan or get scholarship to complete their studies. When a loan is taken the person starts to repay the loan after he/she finishes the studies and begins to work. There are a lot of scholarship options available.
Law education usually costs more than $150,000. Tuition fees alone would cost between a few thousand dollars and $50,000 depending on the law school. Apart from these, books cost, rental, food costs need to be added. Today government and private agencies help students to pursue their studies by giving loans. These loans have low to moderate interest rates. Loans are also available from the law school. Scholarships, grants and fellowship are offered to students by the schools. The scholarship money need not be repaid. During the second and third year of studies students are offered work-study options by offering part-time employment.
LSAT Scholarships Scores
Test scores are more important for entering reputed law schools. The financial aid one gets is mostly based on this score. Law schools do not reveal the criteria for awarding a scholarship. But it is well understood that score and financial aid have direct correlation. It is advised that students start applying for the scholarships before receiving the acceptance letter. The award of scholarship plays an important role in students' selection of a law school.
Free Application for Federal Student Aid-FAFSA
Most financial aid application process starts with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This form is available online, at fafsa.ed.gov, and at any college's financial aid office. Before starting to fill in the application for FAFSA, income tax return for the most recent year must be complete. Some law schools also require one to apply through the NGO Access Group (accessgroup.org) or the College Scholarship Service Financial Aid profile (collegeboard.com). These are need analysis services that collect information to determine the eligibility for the institutional financial aid.
Law School Scholarships
The scholarships vary from law school to law school. Some schools, after admission offer the scholarship money but some schools require one to apply for it separately. One may be eligible for more than one scholarship. The school financial aid office will calculate the student's financial aid eligibility and explain the financial aid ability of a student through mail. One can later avail one or more of the available aids.
One must know where to look for the scholarships. Plenty of options are available apart from those awarded by the law schools. One must search extensively to know of these. Students can also avail of more than one. Though many of those provide less money, one can avail of more than one scholarship and the money he/she will receive will be substantial.
One needs to write an application for receiving the scholarship. They are given to those with a strong academic background and to those who have financial hardships. One must convey all these in the essay that is written for availing the scholarship.
Need-Based and Merit-Based Scholarships
Both need based and merit based scholarships are awarded to students. Generally the need-based/ loans need to be repaid though the interest rate is low. The merit based amount need not be paid back as it is awarded as a prize for the excellent academic record.
A student with a good test score and a high GPA will generally have an edge for scholarship award. One must apply early for it; this will help him/her have an advantage in getting it. Though the number of scholarships is limited a strong academic record and an early application will help one in getting it for exam.