How to Negotiate Scholarship Offers

Optimus_Prime“Money, money, money, money…mohhh-nnney!”

Whenever spring rolls around, I can’t help but hear the song, “For the Love of Money,” by The O’Jays playing in my head.

Why do I hear it?

Because springtime signals the offering of scholarships (aka. mean green, dollar bills, yo) to law school applicants all over the nation. Like the cherry blossoms showering the Quad at the University of Washington, it is a beautiful time.

Not only can you get free money to attend law school, you can also negotiate how much you receive and up the offer.

Yes, you can.

How do you do this?

First, you need to know which schools admitted you and how much money, if any, they are offering you. You never know–sometimes the last school you’re admitted to is the one that will offer up the most dough. So, make sure you’ve heard from all of your schools before you start negotiations.

Second, you need to know your top choice school and second choice school. Take time to figure this out. Visit each school, sit in on classes, talk to as many law students, staff and faculty at the school as you can, and make an informed decision.

Third, of the schools that have admitted you, compare them by rank.

For example, let’s say you’ve been admitted to the following law schools (ranking noted) with these scholarships.

Your top choice is UCLA. But you’re worried about all the debt you’ll accrue by the time you graduate–more than $120,000 in tuition alone–and you want to try to negotiate for a higher scholarship.

Let’s say also that if you can’t get more money from UCLA, you’re going to attend your second choice school, USC–still a great law school and with your $30K/year scholarship, you will owe about $71,000 in tuition by the time you graduate (still considerable but a lot less than what you would owe at UCLA).

Because UCLA and USC are closely ranked, they are considered “peer schools.” (If you know anything about colleges and football teams, you will know that the Bruins and Trojans are not just peers but lifelong rivals!)

Scholarship offers between peer schools should be negotiated.

What doesn’t work as well is negotiating offers between schools that aren’t ranked near each other at all.

For example, if you contact USC and let them know that San Diego offered you $45,000 a year and could they (USC) do better than that, they are probably going to come back with “Sorry, we can’t. Our original offer stands.”

You can understand this, right? When compared with a law school that is far below it in rank, most law schools will not feel compelled to offer you more moula to attend their school. But, you can still try. I’m all for trying, especially in this day and age of decreasing application numbers.

However, in the case of peer institutions, you absolutely should negotiate!

Negotiations can be conducted over the phone or via email.

Contact the admissions officer at your top school and let them know that you really want to go to their school and why that school is a great fit for you. Then let them know that you’ve received a scholarship offer from a peer institution. Name the school and how much they’ve offered you. Thank the admissions officer for the scholarship they’ve offered you so far but ask if they can do better.

“Is there more you can do? I really want to go to your school.”

They will likely need to talk to the financial aid officer and do some calculations. They will get back to you.

And during that time, you wait.

Usually a school will get back to you within a few days, at the most a week. Good things come to those that wait…and negotiate.

So, try it.

You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.

This post is dedicated to a savvy prelaw student that I’ve known for several years. Let’s call him Optimus Prime.

Optimus was admitted to both UCLA and USC. Like the example above, he received a $30,000/year scholarship offer from USC. But unlike the example, he received no money from UCLA. That’s right. Zero. Zip.

What did he do? Like the brave and wise robot that is his namesake, Optimus emailed UCLA a heartfelt letter on why UCLA was the right law school for him. He let them know of USC’s offer. He also let them know that without a scholarship from UCLA, he would have to attend USC.

Guess what? UCLA came back with an offer of $20,000/year.

BOOM.

From zero to $60,000.

As the saying goes, “You don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate.”

Have questions about law school scholarships or negotiating scholarship offers? I’d love to hear from you! I’m here to help. Post your questions below and I’ll respond.

Optimus Prime photo by Joey Cortez.

!!! NOTE: Q&As on this post are now CLOSED !!!

Thanks to everyone for writing in. I really appreciated hearing from all of you and helping you with your specific scholarship negotiation situation. You all ROCK!

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: you must advocate for yourself before you advocate for others. If you’re going to go to law school, start acting like a lawyer NOW. Advocate for the best situation for yourself.

If you read through all the Q&As that have been posted, you’ll find many good tips and advice for your scholarship negotiation situation. In fact, I repeated the same advice several times. I think we’ve covered all the bases for now. Stay tuned for a Part 2 scholarship negotiation post very soon.

UPDATE: Read How to Negotiate Scholarship Offers (Part 2)!

107 thoughts on “How to Negotiate Scholarship Offers

  1. What about negotiating with an untangled school? I’m a mom so can’t take on debt and need part time. I work near a law school so I hoped to work part time and go to school part time. I’ve gotten a few full or close to full rides from ranked school les but the part time day time program at the Unranked school near me offered me barely anything!!! Are Unranked schools just stingy because they have less money? How would you go about negotiations?

  2. Thanks for writing in, Missy. That’s great that you’ve received full or close-to-full ride scholarships at several ranked law schools. Congratulations!

    I don’t know why the unranked law school that admitted you did not give you a scholarship. That’s a shame. Still, you can do something about it. I would call them and let them know about the scholarships you’ve received at your other schools. See my article above for tips on this.

    If the unranked school doesn’t offer you a good scholarship, I would consider the law school where you can attend and graduate with the LEAST amount of debt (for example, sometimes the biggest scholarship isn’t the best buy if it’s going to cost more to live in that city/area).

    Feel free to write in again if you have more questions. Good luck, Missy!

  3. I am glad you figured out I meant unranked not untangled! Haha but yes I don’t want to take on anymore debt I am still paying off undergrad….I scheduled a meeting to meet with someone at the financial aid department of the school I am hoping to go to…would you suggest I bring proof of the other scholarships? Or wait until asked for it? Thanks for the quick response!

    • Yes, I figured your phone was probably spelling your words a little too quick. 🙂

      I’m glad you’re set on not taking on more debt, Missy. I wish more people had your mindset. Debt makes things very difficult–especially when you’re trying to find a job during your 3rd year. When you’re saddled with debt, you don’t always make the best career choices.

      That’s great you’re meeting with a financial aid officer at the law school you want to attend. Sure, bring proof of your other scholarships. You don’t need to show them to the officer, just mention them during your conversation. If he/she asks for them, then pull them out of your bag. Good luck with your meeting! Please let me know how it goes.

    • Please do, Missy! I’d love to hear how your meeting goes. Also, your experiences with scholarship negotiations could help other blog readers.

  4. I just received an email telling me I’ve been accepted to a T3 school, and it didn’t mention anything about scholarships. I’m hoping for a scholarship based on my LSAT score. Does this information come later? In the mail? Should I call and ask? Thanks.

    • Congrats, Yoya! Just to clarify, did you get admitted to a Top 3 school or a Tier 3 school? Also, where does your LSAT fall on their scale–as in, how many points above their median is your LSAT score?

      • I got most of my scholarship offers separate either in an email immediately after or in the mail a few days later but if you call they might tell you on the phone– I just did that with a school yesterday haha

        • That’s great to hear you got an offer over the phone, Missy! Congrats! I’ve been wondering how your negotiation went. Did the unranked school that’s closer to you match the scholarships you received at the ranked schools?

      • Tier 3. My LSAT score is 15 points above their median, but my undergrad GPA is below their median. I am a non traditional student with 7 years of work experience. Thanks for replying so quickly! 🙂

        • No prob, Yoya. I try to respond within 24 hours to blog posts, Mon-Fri. 🙂

          Your LSAT score is 15 points above their median?! That’s awesome! They should offer you a scholarship, even with your GPA below their median.

          As Missy pointed out, a school often will accept you and then send you an official letter or email with a scholarship offer a few days or 1-2 weeks later. Sometimes, they will call you and give you an offer over the phone.

          If you don’t receive an offer after a week, I’d call the admissions office and see if they give you more information about your “financial aid package.” They may transfer you to their financial aid officer or they will speak with your directly about it. Good luck, Yoya, and please let me know how it turns out for you!

          • By the way thank you for all your tips, after meeting with the school I just got word that they are granting me a full ride! I can’t express how grateful I am to have found this post!

            And yoya I have a 2.5 undergrad and got into T14 schools with scholarship because of my LSAT so don’t worry I’m sure you will get one and if you don’t seriously consider the pointers in this post because you really can negotiate a scholarship! The law school I just negotiated with actually told me they appreciate seeing someone willing to negotiate and are more willing to offer extra scholarship money because it shows your commitment to the school

          • You’re very welcome for the tips, Missy. Whoooohooo! Congrats on negotiating a full ride scholarship! That’s what I love to hear.

            As I’ve said before, “You don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate.” I am so happy for you, Missy! 😀

  5. Hi,

    Your article is really helpful!
    I received a full ride to a #107 ranked school and 20,000 to a #64 school. I really want to go to the #64 school but worry about debt. How should I go about negotiating?

    Also wanted to ask do you think going to a Tier 3 school where you received a lot of money is better than going to a Tier 1 school you were accepted with no money in the long run? In other words, in your experience do you think the name of the school means more and will do more for you in terms of your career?

    • Thanks, Nicole! I’m so glad you found it helpful.

      Congrats on receiving a full ride scholarship and a $20K scholarship. That’s fantastic! Do you mind naming the schools? I might be able to give you more pointed advice if I know which schools you’re trying to choose between. But if you’d rather they stay anon, that’s fine.

      As I mentioned in my blog post, it will be hard to negotiate the #64 school to match the #107 school. It’s easier to negotiate when you have scholarships from peer institutions or from ones that are ranked higher than the one you want more money from.

      The name of the school is important. But what I think is more important is the reputation of that school for helping their grads find jobs. A school may not be well ranked but it could be looked upon favorably in that particular city or county.

      FYI, my attorney earned his JD from a school that is currently ranked at #121. But he is a kick ass attorney and has been gainfully employed since graduation.

  6. Hi Peg, thanks for the great post. I am debating between BU (ranked #27) vs. UC Davis (ranked #36). BU gave me $15k and Davis gave me $35k. Would you say that these two schools are close enough in ranking to be considered “peers”?

    Also would you have any advice on which would be better to go to if I am deciding between going to a school that offers a diversity of classes in an area of law that I want to study (i.e. BU) vs. a school in the state I eventually want to practice law in (i.e. Davis)?

    Thanks so much!

    • You’re welcome for the post, Stacey! Thanks for writing in.

      CONGRATS on being admitted to both BU and UC Davis! They’re both great schools and the fact that you received substantial scholarships from each school is terrific. Great work!

      If you want to practice in California and you received $35K from a great law school in CA, I think you should go to UC Davis. The California bar is one of the hardest (if not THE hardest) bars in the nation. I generally recommend to anyone who wants to practice law in CA that they should attend law school in CA. (The only exception is if you’re admitted into Yale or Harvard and for some odd reason do not get into Stanford–in which case, I would go to Yale or Harvard but then do my two summer internships in CA.)

      The thing about choosing an area of law to study is that SO many people change their mind about their area of interest after their first or second year of law school. Also, even if UC Davis doesn’t have classes in your area of interest, you can try to get an internship or externship in that area–even better than studying it in class is to actually work on it in a job.

      • Hi Peg, thanks so much for your quick response! Just as a follow up, do you think it’s worthwhile to even try and negotiate a larger scholarship from BU by leveraging the UC Davis scholarship offer? Or since I plan on working in CA, I should just stick with the CA school?

        Would you say that the rankings are close enough that in terms of getting a job in the future (not necessarily in CA but most likely), the school’s prestige, or lack thereof, won’t be a factor? I’m afraid that UC Davis students will have to compete against Stanford, Boalt, USC and UCLA and might be at a disadvantage. Several people have told me to go to the highest ranked school I get into for better job prospects after graduation, but I’m not sure if that’s sound advice if a “peer” school gave me more money. Thanks again!

        • No prob, Stacey. I try to answer questions on my blog within 24 hours Mon-Fri.

          I think you’re going to be in a much better situation attending UC Davis with the $35K scholarship. Remember, LAW IS LOCAL. It will be a huge advantage to you to network with other legal professionals and get good legal internships in the state in which you want to practice.

          I understand what people are saying about going to the highest ranked school you can get into. But higher rankings don’t always mean better job prospects. Sometimes it’s true and sometimes it isn’t. For more on this, read my blog post on Choosing a Law School Using ABA Data & Stats.

          Do I think BU Law has a better rep in CA than UC Davis? No.

          Do I think BU will give you more of a scholarship if they hear about UC Davis’s scholarship? Perhaps. I would only negotiate with them if BU truly is your top choice.

  7. What about going back for multiple rounds of negotiation? In my situation, I have roughly equal offers from USC, Texas and UCLA that are about half tuition, and one huge offer from UC Davis that would make tuition $7k per year. Texas says they only reconsider once, so I have to play that right. UCLA is my top choice, so I need to negotiate this right to get as much from them as I can. UCLA is the only school that has seen the other offers, so I have a lot of potential strategies here.
    What would you recommend?

    • Thanks for writing in, Will! It’s so great that so many people are negotiating scholarships. I love it.

      First, CONGRATS on being admitted to USC, Texas, UCLA, and UC Davis with substantial scholarships. That’s awesome!

      Before I give you my recommendation, I need more info. What city and state do you most want to practice the law in? Also, what is it about UCLA that makes it your top choice?

  8. Hi Peg, thanks for your effort on your blog. It is very helpful. My current situation is driving me nuts and I could use a little help. I applied to 22 schools, probably way too many. Regardless, I have some full scholarship offers as well nice offers to a lot of schools ranging from GW and Minnesota to Rutgers and Brooklyn. My issue is that most schools are asking me to commit and confirm their offers by April 1st or April 15. The problem is that I still haven’t heard back from 10 schools, many of which tend to be the higher ranked schools. And since you’ve said don’t negotiate until you’ve heard back from all of your schools, I’m a little lost at what my next move should be.

    • Thanks for posting your question, Ronnie. CONGRATS on being admitted to a bunch of law schools with scholarships! That’s terrific!

      I agree with you. You applied to too many schools. 10 I can understand. Even 12. But 22?! Whoa, Ronnie! :-O

      So, here’s what you need to do. Go through the schools that HAVE admitted you and pick your TOP choice. If you didn’t get any more admittances, which law school would you want to go to today? You should then put a deposit down on that school by their deadline. However, prior to that, you absolutely can try to negotiate a better scholarship offer from that school, using the info you have now from your other admitted schools.

      Hope that helps!

      • Should I use Richmond’s Full Scholarship offer or Wake Forest’s Full Scholarship offer to negotiate with Maryland? Or is it beneficial for me to use both? Thank you.

        • Thanks for writing in again, Ronnie. Congrats on receiving a full ride scholarship from both Richmond and Wake Forest. That’s fantastic! Since Richmond is #52 and Wake Forest is #47, I would use both to negotiate a scholarship offer from Maryland (#47).

          Good luck, Ronnie, and please write in again and let me know how things went for you!

          • Thanks! You are so helpful. One last question. What ranks are close enough to be considered peer schools? Does something like #47 to #34 fall under that “peer” designation? Especially since there are about six schools ranked #34.

          • You’re so welcome, Ronnie! Glad to be of help. Good question. It’s hard with so many schools tying. I wish U.S. News wouldn’t use ties. If you’re going to RANK, really rank them. Sheesh.

            If you count from the first #34 spot, Boston College, to the first #47 spot, University of Florida (Levin), they are 12 schools apart. That’s quite a ways apart but I’d consider them peers and give negotiation a try.

            Thing is, there’s not a hard science to it. Is there a big difference between #7 Penn and 12 points down the line, #19 Emory? Yes, there is. I would not consider them peers. But, once you get into the 30s and 40s and further on down the line, schools can be 10-12 spots apart and still be considered “peers.”

  9. Hi Peg,

    Thank you for writing this informative post! I am currently trying to figure out how I can negotiate scholarships from 2 schools (American U #71 & CUNY #113). My LSAT score was 151 but my GPA was 3.63 so I’m not sure if I will receive any scholarship offers from the schools. I was admitted to NYLS #127 and offered $25K but I’m worried the ranking means I can’t pull off the “peer school” negotiation tactic. Any advice on how to negotiate scholarships from both schools?

    Thanks,

    Ann

    • You’re very welcome for the post, Ann. Glad you wrote in!

      Congratulations on being admitted to NYLS, CUNY, and American! You’re right. It will be difficult to negotiate a scholarship from CUNY and American since NYLS is ranked lower than them. You can try but the answer will likely be “no.”

      If you decide that NYC is where you want to practice law, I would give CUNY some serious consideration, especially if you are interested at all in public interest law–their specialty. Their in-state tuition is only $15,193/year. That is an incredible buy!

  10. Hi Peg,
    I’m wondering if you could offer some advice on negotiating. I’m currently deciding between Georgetown (#14) and Vanderbilt (#17). Both schools gave me $35K a year, with an extra one-time 5K from Vandy. Although they are vastly different schools, I’m wondering if they would be considered peers? Also, what is the success rate of simply asking if there’s any more that can be done, without a significantly larger offer from a peer school?

    I ultimately want to end up at GULC. If my LSAT and GPA are higher than their 75% percentile for the 2014 entering class, do you think I have a shot at getting more?

    • Congratulations, Nico, on getting into GULC and Vandy with substantial scholarships! Great job!!!

      You’re higher than GULC’s 75th percentile for GPA AND LSAT? Absolutely you should negotiate. You can let GULC know that Vandy offered you $35K plus an extra $5K. See if they can do a bit more than the $35K that they already offered you. They might just come back and offer you the extra $5K. FYI, they may ask you to send them a scan of the letter that Vandy sent you and/or to forward the email with the scholarship offer.

      I visited GULC in 2013. It’s a great law school in a prime location. Awesome amenities. Good luck and let me know how the negotiations go for you!

  11. Hi Peg,

    I have an interesting spin on this question for you. I applied to six schools and was admitted to all of them. For various reasons, I am now only considering two of them: my first choice, Emory (#19) and my state school, the University of Louisville (#94). It’s a big gap, I know. Both schools have their own draws for me, and I know I’d be happy at either school and practicing in either market.

    Emory offered me $63K, so I’d be responsible for $84K in debt. Louisville offered me $12.5K, so I’d be responsible for $21K in debt. The prospect of crippling debt at Emory scares me very much, and while the Louisville debt would be reasonable, let’s just say I’d rather pay less to go to a lower-ranked school. So, my question is this: do you think I should approach Louisville for more money with the Emory offer as a backup? Since I’m pleading with a second choice to make me a better offer instead of my first, what kind of persuasive tactics can I use for this meeting without coming off as insulting?

    • Congrats, Alex, on getting into your top choice school and your state law school with scholarships! Excellent work!

      Thanks for letting me know that you’d be happy at either school and practicing in either market. I looked up Emory and Louisville’s 2013 employment stats on the ABA site. For more info about comparing schools using ABA stats, see this blog post: http://prelaw-guru.com/blog/choose-law-school-using-aba-data-stats/.

      Emory’s 2013 bar-passage required employment rate was 86% but 67 (yes, 67!) of their 2013 grads were employed by either the university or the law school. In my opinion, that’s some major padding to get their employment rates higher. Louisville, on the other hand, had a 2013 bar-passage required employment rate of 65% but had zero 2013 grads working at their school.

      Research has shown that people are more successful being the big fish in a small pond rather than the other way around. Knowing that you were admitted into Emory, I think you’d be a big fish at Louisville. If you work hard and study smart, you will probably be in the top 20% of your class. I think you should follow your gut (and fears of crippling debt) and go with Louisville. Contact them and forward them the scholarship email or scan of the scholarship letter you received from Emory. Let Louisville know you really want to go to your state school and you’re wondering if they’d be able to offer you more than $12,500/year. Also let them know you’d be happy to discuss this further over the phone.

      You won’t come off as insulting if you state the facts and are diplomatic in your email. Keep it concise and polite and you’ll do fine. I think they will offer you more. In fact, I’m hoping they will give you grant you a full tuition scholarship. Good luck and let me know how the negotiations go!

      • Peg, thank you so much for writing this post! First, you helped me make up my mind about where to go to law school (Louisville) by presenting very convincing specific stats in your reply. Then, you helped me to negotiate a 90% tuition award with this post! I can’t thank you enough!

        • You’re so welcome, Alex. Happy to help. Wow! You negotiated a 90% tuition award at your state law school??!! That’s awesome! Congratulations, Alex!!! You did it! 😀

  12. Or take a page from Missy’s book (see top comments on this post) and make an appointment to meet with the admissions officers at Louisville. It might just work out the same as it did for her. The school she negotiated with was impressed that she came to meet with them to negotiate and show her commitment to their school. Shows initiative and proactivness. Good luck!

  13. Hi Peg, thanks for all of your information and help with our situations. I have been accepted to the University of Denver (67) with a 22.5k scholarship. I anticipate getting accepted to the University of New Mexico (71) as well and even possibly Colorado (43).

    1) If I get essentially all of my tuition paid for at UNM, in your opinion, would that be a situation I could leverage to get more $ out of Denver? UNM = 71, and Denver = 67.

    2) If I get admitted to Colorado with no scholarship, would it be possibly to leverage my DU scholarship of 22.5k to possibly get $ out of Colorado?

    Thanks a log, Peg!

    • No problem, Kevin. I’m glad I can be of assistance. 🙂

      Thanks for writing in about your situation. Congrats on being accepted to Denver with a $22.5K scholarship! I hope you’re accepted to New Mexico and Colorado too.

      1) Yes, you could try to negotiate more of a scholarship from Denver if you receive a full tuition from NM.

      2) You could try to negotiate some kind of scholarship with Colorado but they are likely to give you only a small amount or nothing at all since the two schools you’re leveraging with them are ranked so much lower than them.

      Good luck, Kevin, and please write in again and let me know how things turn out!

      • Peg,

        Quick follow-up question for you: between scholarships, tuition rate, and possible grants, New Mexico may end up costing me nothing. However, the scholarship they offer may only total, say, 5-10K. Can I leverage my position with them to try and up Denver’s offer?

        While the scholarship itself will be much less (again, 5-10K), in your experiences, will Denver understand the situation and up their offer, knowing that New Mexico will cost me very little (or nothing).

        Does this make sense?

        Thanks again,
        Kevin

        • Yes, that makes sense. You can email/show Denver the NM scholarship email/letter and make it clear to Denver that it will cost you zero dollars to attend NM. If you want to attend Denver over NM at that point, then let them know that you’d much rather attend Denver. Ask if there’s any way the $22.5K scholarship can be increased.

          Where do you eventually want to practice, Kevin? New Mexico or Colorado?

          • Peg,

            That makes total sense, and thanks again. I am pursuing a career as a sports attorney (agent, general counsel, etc), so location of practice is somewhat up in the air in that realm. Denver is more attractive to me than ABQ, but again, I could very well end up anywhere from LA to DC in the sports world.

            Thanks again for your assistance. You really have clarified this for me.

            Kevin

  14. Was offered 30k at Cardozo, full ride at St John’s, 15k at wake, 15k at ohio state- would any of these be good barganing chips to help get any money from Boston College? Thanks!

  15. Hi,

    I emailed a school a week ago asking for more scholarship money using all your helpful tips. They have not gotten back to me and it is almost the deadline for other schools securing my scholarships. How long would you wait before emailing them again or another person?

    Thanks!

    • That’s great that you emailed the school, Nicole. Sorry to hear they haven’t responded yet.

      At this point, I would call the admissions office rather than send another email. They might need more info from you before making a decision. I think they will appreciate the fact that you’re following up with them. Good luck and please let me know how it goes!

  16. Hi Peg,

    Is it possible to leverage admission and a scholarship offer toward another school who was not rendered a decision?

    I have a 23K scholarship to mid-tier school (60s), but I am waiting on decisions from some top-40 schools. Can I tell them of my scholarship now to aid in the possibility of being admitted?

    Thanks,
    Victor

    • Thanks for writing in, Victor. That’s great that you received a $23K scholarship to a school ranked in the 60s. Congrats! Can you use that to leverage admission toward a school that hasn’t rendered a decision? No.

      DO NOT contact the schools that haven’t admitted you yet to try to negotiate. Wait and see if you get in with a scholarship first. If you do, then you can contact them about negotiations.

  17. Hello,

    You’ve heard this a lot from everyone else obviously, but thank you so much for writing this, it is VERY helpful!

    I’m in a strange predicament and I’m looking for some advice. I’ve been admitted to a few schools in the top 30, offered a full ride at two of them, and a little over 2/3 of tuition at the highest ranked school I’ve been admitted to thus far. I would like to negotiate more money from the higher ranked school, who have already verbally told me that they really want me, so I don’t think negotiating will be the problem. My biggest issue is that they want a commitment decision next week, and I’m still waiting to hear back from two schools. I am also on wait lists at two other top 15 schools. I’m overwhelmed and I don’t know what my options are, or how long I should wait. Is it appropriate to negotiate for more money, just to back out later if I get in off a wait list at a school I would rather go to?

    Thank you so much for any help!
    Abbey

    • You’re so welcome, Abbey! I like to help pre-lawyers out as much as I can. Thanks for writing in.

      It’d help me out if you could name the schools that you were admitted to and include the actual scholarship amounts from each school. Also, it would help if I knew your GPA and LSAT score. If you don’t want to give that much info, then leave your #s out but please do give me the names of the schools and the $ amounts. I can give you better advice if I know the specifics. Hope to hear back from you soon!

      • Hi Peg,

        Thanks for your quick reply! I’ll try to be as specific as possible. My LSAT score was 164, GPA 3.73. I applied to way too many schools (12! Yikes!) but I’ll try to condense it to just the relevant ones. And it appears I was mistaken about a couple of rankings because I forgot they list schools as being tied, but I listed the correct numbers below. I apologize.

        Duke University (#8)- wait listed
        University of Michigan (#11)- wait listed
        University of Alabama (#22)- admitted, offered $25,000/year
        Indiana University (#34)- Admitted, offered full tuition
        University of Illinois (#41)- admitted, offered full tuition

        I am still waiting on decisions from USC and Northwestern. I am also on the wait list at UCLA, whose campus I visited and loved, but will never be able to afford to attend without financial assistance. I am visiting Alabama this coming Monday, and the due date listed for their deposit is April 1st.

        Thank you again!

        • Thanks for all the details, Abbey. Now that I can see your list of top schools, I’m wondering, of the schools that you were admitted to, which one would you attend if you had to choose today?

          Whichever school that is, you will likely need to place a deposit down for it by their deadline. This happens to a lot of applicants–you haven’t heard from all your schools by the time the first deposit is due. Thus, in these tough cases, you have to pick one school, put down the deposit and then wait to see if you get into your other schools.

          In the meantime, do what you need to do regarding your wait lists. You might find this blog post helpful: http://prelaw-guru.com/blog/category/law-school-wait-list-tips/.

          You can only negotiate with schools that have admitted you already. So, visit Alabama on Monday and see if you really like the school and want to go there. If you do, you could talk with admissions or the law school financial aid officer after your visit and email them your offers from Indiana and Illinois and ask them if there’s any way they can up the $25K scholarship offer. If you get a feeling while you’re there that this is indeed the law school for you, then you could talk to them about it in-person. Good luck and let me know how it goes!

  18. Hey Peg, I have a little more specific of a question.

    I was admitted into Ole miss with a full ride, as long as I establish Mississippi residency going into 2L. I am very happy to know that I do not have to worry about accruing any debt and more than grateful. Though, with all the research I’ve been doing, I’m considering negotiating for more funds to alleviate the costs of relocating from Texas. I have been accepted my Texas A&M with a full ride and Missouri, with a scholarship offer pending. What advice do you have for negotiating more scholarship money that exceeds full tuition, and how would someone come off negotiating such a deal without seeming greedy or ungrateful for the initial offer.

    • Congrats on being admitted to two schools with full rides! Wow! That’s awesome!

      It’ll be hard to negotiate more than a full ride at Ole Miss unless you’ve been offered a bigger scholarship at a peer law school or one that is ranked higher.

      You might try calling Ole Miss’s admissions office and ask whether they assist incoming students with finding housing in the area. Also, ask if they have a travel stipend for incoming students. Some law schools will pay for your air fare and will then set you up to stay with one of their law students while you visit the town/city and find a place to live prior to moving to the state. This usually happens during the decision stage. It wouldn’t hurt to ask.

      What I’m wondering is, where do you most want to practice law? Mississippi? Texas? Or Missouri?

      • Thanks for the quick response, Peg!

        Where I want to practice law is also a significant motivating factor in my decision on where i should matriculate. I have always had a mindset that I would eventually end up practicing law in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Though, after receiving a scholarship from Mississippi, they quickly became my top choice. The affordability of the school and its ranking sitting much higher than Texas A&M’s has me leaning towards Ole Miss. From the research I have done, I’ve come to learn that apart from T14 schools, law schools are predominately regional, at least when considering employment placement. My question is, am I really limiting myself if I attend a higher ranked school, albeit in a different part of the country than I’d like to practice? I’ve already made some inroads with employment opportunities here in the DFW. What are you thoughts? and I apologize for digressing!

        • You’re welcome for the quick response. Thanks for answering my question about where you want to practice. You’re not digressing at all. Where you want to practice and choosing the right law school for that is extremely important to your future legal career.

          Now that I’ve read your response, my advice has changed. No need to call Ole Miss about getting a travel stipend. I really think you should accept the full ride at Texas A&M.

          Your research is right. Apart from the T14, law schools ARE predominately regional. “Law is local,” as the saying goes. If you want to practice in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, you should go to law school IN that area. Your network is there. You will build it even more in law school. That will be hard to do going to school in Mississippi.

          It makes complete sense to attend Texas A&M! And on a full tuition ride! Absolutely!

  19. Hi Peg,

    I was reading this blog and found it very helpful. I was wondering if you could give me some advice on my situation. I got accepted at USD part time program with a 9k scholarship per year and a one time 5k. I got into Cardozo with a one time 5k and a 15k per year. Cardozo would be a 3 year law school and USD would be 4 years, so the scholarship numbers appear to be somewhat equivalent. Do you think I could use the Cardozo scholarship to negotiate with USD even though one is part time and the other is full time program? My work will probably pay for the remaining balance at USD but I wanted to negotiate more money in case they don’t end up paying. Also, should I try negotiating in person if I live near the school? I am afraid I will not find the correct words in person and might end up making the situation uncomfortable. I would feel better if I could write an email instead. What are your thoughts? Thank you so much

    • I’m glad you found my blog helpful. Thanks for writing in. CONGRATS on being admitted to Cardozo and USD with scholarships! And your workplace will likely pay for the rest of your tuition minus the $9K/year scholarship (and the one time $5K)? That’s awesome!

      It would be good to sit down with your boss and found out how much your employer is willing to pay for your tuition. You say they might not end up paying. That sounds rickety to me. Can you get it on paper? As all lawyers know, it’s always good to get any agreements in writing.

      Later, once you know the funding offer from your boss, you can always try to negotiate up with Cardozo, especially since USD and Cardozo are ranked very closely. Yes, one is PT and one is FT but they’re both expensive. It’s fine to send an email rather than visit in person. Good luck and let me know how it goes!

  20. Hi,

    This post is quite helpful. I am dealing with a dilemma of my own, though not for law school. I am international applicant to grad journalism programs and have been accepted at 4-5 top schools, of which Columbia is also a part. However, Columbia hasn’t offered any aid. I have received partial tuition waivers from other universities (Medill Northwestern) and a full ride from USC. Can I negotiate in this scenario?

    • You’re my first non-law-school commenter! Congrats! 🙂

      That’s wonderful that you’ve been accepted to 4-5 top journalism graduate schools. That’s terrific news. Congratulations!

      Both Columbia and Northwestern are top grad schools for journalism and going to either one would help you secure a good job after graduation. Since you received a partial tuition scholarship from NW, it’s fine to use that to try to leverage a scholarship from Columbia. I think it’s fine to also mention your full ride offer from USC.

      What country are you from? And where do you eventually want to work? Where you choose to go to school can be a big factor in employment prospects. Columbia, Northwestern, and USC are all “good name” schools that, in my opinion, would be recognized throughout the U.S. and the world.

      • I’m from India. I’d like to work in the US for a couple of years before returning to my home country. I’ve sort of ruled out Northwestern due to its location. I’ve also received a partial tuition waiver from NYU.

        • Thanks for the extra info.

          Wow, NYU too? That’s awesome!

          Where do you most want to work in the U.S. for a few years? West coast or east coast? Do you have a weather preference? Why rule out NW? Is it because you don’t want to be in Chicago?

          • East coast, preferably New York, as there are more media outlets there. Medill is in Evanston so it’s not even Chicago. Not much of a weather preference but Medill is also expensive

          • I can understand not wanting to be in Evanston. Hear you on that. But Columbia’s tuition and living expenses are higher than Northwestern’s. Still, since you prefer NY and the east coast, I’d shoot for Columbia or NYU. Just as an aside, I love Columbia’s campus and the Upper West Side.

          • Yes, you can try to negotiate with NYU if NW gave you more money. And also add in the full ride offer from USC.

            When you negotiate with Columbia, name all the offers you’ve received from NYU, NW, and USC. Good luck and let me know how it goes!

          • Thanks a lot for your replies! One last thing. I had already written to Columbia asking if they could increase the funding, but didn’t mention my other offers. I had only mentioned lack of funds. In fact, the mail even trickled down the chain of command (director to assistant director) of financial aid. Should I write them again? If yes, then to whom? The person on my admit letter or to the person who last wrote to me?

          • Yes, I would write to Columbia again. Write to the person who last wrote to you. Include a brief summary of all your offers. And you’re very welcome for all the tips. Good luck and let me know how you do! 🙂

          • Hi,

            So the negotiation with Columbia didn’t work out. Can I try USC with Stanford instead?

          • Sorry to hear that Columbia did not work out.

            Are you saying that you got into Stanford too? If yes, congrats!

            At this point, you should really take some time to consider what school and city is the absolute right fit for you. You had written before that you preferred NYC and the east coast. It’s not always about who gives you the most money. Best fit and future job prospects can definitely trump the amount of money.

  21. Hi,

    This post is really helpful. I have applied to only part time programs around New York area. So far I have been offered full ride+$4000 book grant to NYLS (part time rank 33), full ride at Pace (part time ranking 58), $10,000/yr from Rutgers Newark (part time ranking 19) and $10,000 one time grant from Cardozo (part time rank 44). I’m still waiting to hear back from Fordham (part time rank 3) which is my top choice. So for negotiating, do schools consider part time ranking as that’s the only type of program I’m applying to. In case Fordham rejects me, I would like to go to Cardozo but I can’t without a better scholarship offer. Although the scholarship offers from Newark and Cardozo are similar, if you consider the tuition fee, in Newark I have to pay $21,000/yr and in Cardozo it’ll be nearly $150K.

    • I’m glad you found my post helpful! Thanks for writing in. Congrats on all your admittances and scholarship offers! Great job!

      In your case, yes, you are comparing rankings for part-time programs. Try to negotiate with Cardozo and let them know of your $10K/yr offer from Rutgers-Newark and (heck, why not?) let them also know of your full ride offers from NYLS and Pace. There aren’t that many PR programs in your area so you might as well let them know the full picture. Good luck and let me know how it goes!

      • Part time ranking wise nyls ranks higher than Cardozo ( 33 vs 44). Do you think I should mention that? Also should I wait to hear back from Fordham? I applied rather late, so I’m not expecting to hear back from them before end of April.

        • You don’t need to mention ranking for any of your schools. The schools know where each of them stands in relation to one another. I would negotiate now and see what you happens. Hopefully, Fordham will get back to you by the end of April and you can make your decision then. Good luck!

  22. I was accepted at Berkeley, Cornell, and UCLA and my first choice, so far, is Berkeley, but they offered me no scholarship (my LSAT is low and GPA is above their 75%). I wanted to see if Cornell offers me something, but they did not and UCLA gave me $7,000. Berkeley does not have a matching scholarship for UCLA offers and they are not closely ranked, so should I still try to negotiate? Or maybe I should negotiate with Cornell and see if Berkely can match it? I am also awaiting answers from NYU and Columbia, so if I get accepted there, but not get any money, should I still mention it to Berkeley and say that I will have to go to one of those schools (living expenses would be cheaper for me in NY), unless Berkeley can offer me some money?

    • Congrats on all your acceptances! These are awesome schools you’re getting into. 🙂

      Before I answer your questions, my question to you is: where do you most want to practice law?

      You say that Berkeley is your first choice. Is that because you want to practice in CA, preferably Northern CA?

  23. Hi Peg,

    Thank you for such a helpful post. I’ve been offered 30k/year at both Richmond (52) and Washington and Lee (42). I really want to go to Richmond. Do you think they would give any consideration to Washington and Lee’s offer since they are very close in the rankings and they are offering the same amount? Basically, do I have any negotiating power when the amounts are equal even though the ranks are slightly different? Thank you!

    • You’re welcome for the post, Julie! Glad you found it helpful. Congrats on being admitted to Richmond and W&L with $30K each! Wow! That’s great!

      Yes, it’s good to try to negotiate more money from the lower-ranked school when you have a higher ranked school for leverage. However, since both schools are offering you the same amount, it’s going to be hard to negotiate for more. Richmond might just come back with, “But we’re giving you the same as W&L.” What’s the difference in tuition? Does Richmond charge more than W&L? If yes, then try to negotiate a higher amount from W&L to make up for the fact that you will be paying more to attend Richmond unless they up your scholarship.

  24. Hi Peg,

    I received my J.D. degree in May 2014 and applied LL.M. program for Fall 2015. I’ve been admitted in Fordham but still waiting for NYU and Cornell. Fordham did not offer me a scholarship but they agreed to extend my deposit deadline until I could make my decision. Also, Fordham gave me the offer in December 2014 which is sooooo early. I was wondering if it is possible for me to negotiate with them again? How may I negotiate with them in this situation? I think I don’t have any leverage since I don’t have NYU/Cornell’s offer. Do you suggest to wait for NYU/Cornell’s offer? Thank you for your help!

    • Congrats on graduating with your JD last year! That’s great that you’ve been admitted to Fordham’s LLM program.

      I suggest you contact NYU and Cornell and see what your application status is. See if you can find out when they’ll make a decision on your app. Hopefully then you can get back to Fordham before their deposit deadline is up. It will be hard to negotiate a scholarship with Fordham without any other offers on the table.

  25. Hi Peg,

    I had a question about negotiating if you are admitted off the wait list. Currently, I am planning on attending UC Hastings a renewable 25K scholarship. However, I am on the wait list for UC Davis which is where I would love to go. But the 75K from Hastings is a lot to pass on. If I end up getting off the wait list at Davis do you have any tips for negotiating with them? Thank you for your assistance!

    • Hmm, you got into UC Hastings but are on the WL for UC Davis? If you would love to go to UC Davis, you should visit the school and talk to one of the admissions officers. It can’t hurt. It would be good to explain to them why UC Davis is the absolute right fit for you. Shows motivation and initiative.

      If you do get off the WL, let Davis know about your $25K scholarship to Hastings and ask them what they can do. They might not match but they may give you some money. Good luck and let me know how it goes!

  26. Hi Peg,

    Thanks so much for writing this article! I currently have a $30K/year scholarship from UVA (plus in-state tuition and cheaper living expenses) and a $25K/year scholarship from U of M. I prefer U of M over UVA, but financial assistance is so important to me. U of M’s scholarship letter said that their scholarship is non-negotiable. How should I approach this situation, particularly because it seems like $5K a year is small (though, over three years, it’s $15K!).

    • You’re very welcome for the article. UVA and U of M are both fantastic law schools! Congrats!

      Why UVA over U of M? With a fantastic rep, great employment stats, in-state tuition, and cheaper living expenses, choosing UVA seems like a no-brainer.

      If U of M says their scholarship is non-negotiable, I would listen to them.

  27. Hello Peg!

    I am attempting to negotiate a scholarship with UNL (#54). Currently, they have extended me an offer of $26,000.00 a year- I am looking for a bit more.

    I called their office on the 1st of April and informed them of the other offers I am considering:

    University of Minnesota-Twin Cities (#20) $20,000.00 a year plus in-state tuition
    University of Wyoming (#119) $11,000.00 a year plus in-state tuition

    I haven’t heard back yet so I was curious what your opinion on my situation is. I realize that Minnesota’s offer isn’t as lucrative; will this hurt me?

    Do you think it is possible to get more money at Nebraska based off my offers?

    Lexi

    • Congrats on all your acceptances and scholarships! Great job!

      You did the right thing by calling UNL and informing them of the other scholarship offers you received. The ball is now in their court. I would give them two weeks (so, until April 14). If you haven’t heard from them, call or email them back and ask about the status of your scholarship and see if there’s any movement.

      The thing is, the $26,000K off tuition at UNL is a way better deal than the $20K off in-state tuition at U of MN. At UNL, you would only be paying about $8000 per year! U of MN would be a bit above $20,000 per year! Simple math points to UNL being a much better buy. That is if you’re cool with going to school in Nebraska and practicing there after or in a nearby state.

  28. I need to tell you thank u one more time for this awesome blog! I had one more school I was considering but that only offered me a small scholarship. I took your advice and tried to negotiate.

    First I initiated an email explaining that I was extremely interested in their school but due to financial circumstances there was no way I could go there unless I reviewed a larger offer. I asked if there was anything they could do and they immediately added an extra scholarship of 5k. I decided to push it a little further and explained that would still leave me with a lot of loans and asked if I forwarded proof of larger scholarship offers if they could match it…this is where your awesome advice really came in…they told me to forward acceptance letters with scholarship offers.

    Although I had some full ride offers I remembered what u said about peer institutions so rather than sending them the unranked schools full rides I sent over the schools of equal or better ranking (I only chose 3 that I was SERIOUSLY considering)…this was 3 weeks ago…the lady who had been helping me told me she would forward it to the scholarship committee.

    Well yesterday I got contacted from this same lady who had been helping me to let me know she just processed a scholarship increase…they increased it to a 90% scholarship! I can’t thank u enough! Your advice has earned me hundreds of thousands of dollars! I hope everyone who needs help finds this blog.

    • You are SERIOUSLY rocking it, Missy!!! Dang, girl! I couldn’t be more proud or happy for you! Congrats on negotiating a 90% scholarship with another school! Wow!

      So, which law school have you decided to attend?

      I want to ask you a favor. Can I quote your comments for a future blog post on negotiating scholarships? I want to write a Part 2 to this post and highlight best practices, which is exactly what you’ve done. Your experiences could help a lot of pre-lawyers.

      • I have not decided yet I need to decide by this week…but I am debating between 3…all Los Angeles schools…southwestern law school with a part time program for parents (I’m the mom of a toddler) or Loyola law school or Pepperdine….I’m 99% positive I will go to southwestern because no loans are very important to me but now that I have the large scholarship to Loyola I want to sit in on a class first

        And of course you can quote my comment, I hope u do a part 2 because this has been the most useful thing I’ve stumbled across throughout my application process…with a high LSAT but a low GPA I thought that getting any money was lucky and I had to take what I could get…I hope anyone applying to law school gets lucky enough to read your advice…so go right ahead and quote whatever u want and THANK YOU AGAIN

        • Thanks so much, Missy! Once the blog post is up, I’ll email it to you.

          I’m thrilled that your negotiations have gone so well and that I was able to give you some helpful tips. That’s what it’s all about–advocating for yourself. Before you advocate for others, you have to advocate for yourself. You’ve done an EXCELLENT job doing that and I couldn’t be happier for you. I think you’re going to do GREAT in law school. Good luck with your decision and I wish you all the best!

  29. Hi Peg!

    Thanks for this blog.

    I am currently in the process of picking between two schools, while simultaneously waiting on some waitlists. One of the two schools is one which was absolutely a back-up/last option; however, it has offered $30,000/year, which is pretty substantial. This school is ranked around 50 by US News. But the second school is Northwestern, which has a great national reputation. However, Northwestern offered much less-$30,000 over three years.

    I’m a bit conflicted given that I want to practice public interest law, and know that I won’t be in the business of money-making. So money (and debt) are quite important to me. For this reason, Northwestern’s a bit of a stretch given the finances. Both schools are tier 1, but I wouldn’t consider them “peer schools” at all. Can I negotiate to get more from Northwestern? If so, how should I go about doing this? Any tips on what to say/how to approach this?

    I also think that I want to eventually practice in D.C. and the lower ranked school is close to DC with faculty members who have quite strong networks with groups and NGOs in the region. I know that so much of law comes down to networking and location, and I just don’t see myself staying in Chicago to practice. But the name of a school follows you! Yet another conflict! What are your thoughts on this?

    • Congrats on being admitted to Northwestern with a $10K/year scholarship and to another law school with a $30K scholarship! That’s great!

      You’re asking a great question. It’s hard to give up the $30K/year, but at the same time, it’s hard to give up a national reputation like Northwestern. Since you’re interested in public interest law, I think you should go to NW. Many law students don’t realize that it’s as hard to get a good public interest law job as it is to get a Big Law job. Both are extremely competitive. You need all the clout and good reputation you can get from your law school. If you’re truly committed to public interest, I would attend NW and make sure to work in the public interest field for 10 years. At the end of 10 years, as long as you’ve made 120 loan payments, the rest of your federal loans will be forgiven. Learn more here: https://studentaid.ed.gov/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/public-service

      NW’s reputation can take you anywhere you want to go in the U.S. Just make sure to contact NW alumni in D.C. when you’re looking for your internships after your first and second years of law school (those two summers are super important). Good luck and congrats again!

  30. Hi Peg,

    I just came across this post, thanks for the insight! I have a deadline of April 15 for two schools I applied to and am still waiting to hear back on a couple. I received scholarship money from UC Davis (#31) for about $130k over three years, which was great but wouldn’t cover all tuition. This was the best offer I’d received so far, but a couple of days ago I received an acceptance letter with full tuition to the University of Illinois Law School (#41). UC Davis is my top choice right now, but I was curious if I should try to negotiate with the full tuition offer. Also, I will have to put my deposit down in two days, so would there even be time to negotiate once my deposit is in? Lastly, I am still waiting to hear back from a couple of higher ranked schools, which could sway my decision in the end. Is it bad to try and negotiate now if UC Davis is my top choice now but may not be in the future?

    Thanks!

    • You’re welcome for the insight! Thanks for writing in. Congrats on being admitted to Davis and Illinois with huge scholarships! That’s excellent!

      You can email/show Davis the Illinois scholarship email/letter and make it clear to Davis that it will cost you zero dollars to attend Illinois. If you want to attend Davis over Illinois at that point, then let them know that. If there are particular reasons for why you want to attend Davis, let them know that too. Then ask if there’s any way their scholarship can be increased. Once you have your answer from Davis, you can weigh that with your other schools. Hopefully, you’ll hear from them soon. Also, you can place a deposit at Davis and Illinois if you’re really torn between them.

      It’s not too late to negotiate. Don’t wait–do it now! Good luck and let me know how it goes!

  31. !!! NOTE: I am now closing Q&As on this post !!!

    Thanks to everyone for writing in. I really appreciated hearing from all of you and helping you with your specific scholarship negotiation situation. You all ROCK!

    I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: you must advocate for yourself before you advocate for others. If you’re going to go to law school, start acting like a lawyer NOW. Advocate for the best situation for yourself.

    If you read through all the Q&As that have been posted, you’ll find many good tips and advice for your scholarship negotiation situation. In fact, I repeated the same advice several times. I think we’ve covered all the bases for now. Stay tuned for a Part 2 scholarship negotiation post very soon.

    UPDATE: Read Part 2 of how to negotiate scholarships!
    http://prelaw-guru.com/blog/how-to-negotiate-scholarships-2/

  32. So I just stumbled upon this post and I read most all of the comments and I think I may have a unique-ish situation. I’ve been admitted to UCI, UC Davis, Chapman, Hastings, Loyola and USD so far ( I’m still waiting on UCLA, USC and Georgetown). UCI offered me 75k over three years and it’s my top choice. However, my LSAT of 167 falls over their 75th percentile and my GPA of a 3.3 falls below their 25th percentile. Hastings, Loyola and USD have all offered me 100k+ in scholarships over three years but they’re ranked much lower. I know that I want to practice in CA and more specifically in Orange County. But I’m unsure of how to ask for more from UCI– whether to just ask for more or to see if they would be able to match the offers I have already. UC Davis requires me to fill out the FAFSA before they will give me an offer and I’m currently working on that so I don’t know what they will offer. UCI states that I have to respond to the scholarship offer by April 31st or I forfeit the scholarship in its entirety. The issue i’m having is with peer schools because UCI literally just got ranked this year so I don’t know if Loylola or Hastings would be “peers” even though the rankings are crazy different just from reputation. Any advice?

    • Congrats on all your admits and scholarships, Sam! Really fantastic! 😀

      If practicing in the OC is your preference, then I completely support and applaud you choosing UCI Law as your top choice. They are doing very well for such a young law school. Their offer of $75K over three years is fantastic. You can let them know about your offers from Hastings, Loyola, and USD, but I don’t consider those to be peer schools to UCI and they probably won’t either. $25K a year is a great offer for your splitter status so I’m not sure how much I’d push it.

      • Do you think it would hurt to ask if they can do any better? Even if I don’t ask for a matching scholarship

        • Maybe I wasn’t clear enough. When I wrote “I’m not sure how much I’d push it” in my reply, I meant no, I wouldn’t ask UCI for more money. This is my opinion. You have to do what feels right for you.

  33. Hello!

    I have been admitted to Seattle U Law (#111) and am beyond excited. I am wanting to go into the fun/exciting/low-paid area of Social Justice, and that is what the school is geared towards. I was accepted to the school last year, and was offered $10k, but wasn’t ready to make the financial commitment, so I went back to the books and retook the LSAT, bumping up my score by 4 points (from 152 to 156). I re-applied this year, but was offered the same scholarship amount. I have only applied to a handful of schools because of my almost-certainty of choosing Seattle U. Additionally, I have not heard back from most of those schools yet. Should I wait to hear back from them before I contact Seattle U about upping the scholarship (my goal is to get $20k/year). Or would it be okay to explain my situation about retaking the LSAT for the purposes of getting a higher scholarship offer? The schools I have applied to are around #60s/70s, and I expect to get acceptance, but don’t expect any scholarships. For ex. I got acceptance from U of Denver, but no scholarship. Not sure if that would be any good for negotiations.

    Would love some advice on this – as you wrote in the post, this subject is so foreign to most people (including me!).

    Thank you!!

    • Tamara, congrats on getting into your top choice school, Seattle U Law, with a $10K scholarship! That’s great!

      SU tends to give out a lot of small scholarships and not a lot of big ones. That’s what I’ve seen for the past 12 years. Even with a 156, I don’t know if you’re going to get much more from them.

      As I wrote about in my post, you can try to negotiate with your top choice school but only if you have peer institutions who have also accepted you AND given you a scholarship that’s higher than the school you’re negotiating with.

  34. As I posted earlier, this comments thread is now CLOSED and I won’t be approving any more comments that come through. PLEASE TAKE TIME TO READ my answers to the many questions posted above. If you read through all the Q&As that have been posted, you’ll find many good tips and advice for your scholarship negotiation situation. In fact, I repeated the same advice several times.

    Cheers,
    Peg

Comments are closed.