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Do I have to apply for financial aid?

Q: I don’t expect to qualify for any need-based scholarships.  Do I still need to fill out the financial aid applications?A: Yes.  It’s a pain, but unless you’ve got your full law school tuition squirreled away somewhere, you need to fill out the FAFSA and the law schools’ financial aid applications.  The financial aid applications are used to determine your eligibility for loans—the school you attend certifies you for a certain amount of borrowing.  If you don’t fill out and submit the forms, you aren’t certified and therefore cannot apply for educational loans.  In addition, many schools require financial aid applications and the FAFSA in order to be considered for merit-based scholarships as well.  Financial aid applications and the FAFSA are due by March 1, 2005.

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My applications are in, what do I do next?

Once your applications are in – including your letters of recommendation, Dean’s letters (if necessary) and transcripts, you get to relax a bit.  You will want to check in with each law school to make sure that they have your complete application, if you haven’t already heard from them to that effect. After January 1st, it’s time to apply for financial aid.  You will need your (and, in some cases, your parents’) tax forms completed in order to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  You should complete this as soon as possible after January 1st, in addition to any school-specific applications.

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October or December LSAT?!?

Q:  I’m signed up to take the October LSAT, but I’m not feeling ready.  I don’t think I would do as well as if I took it in December.  Will it really hurt my chances of getting into law school if I don’t take the test until December? A: It is definitely preferable that you take the test when you feel ready for it than that you take it at a specific time.  If you reasonably believe your score would be several points higher if you put the test off until December, you should put it off. That said, given the fact that the December test date is right before finals, I am concerned that even by December you will not have adequate time to prepare.  My recommendation would be that you put aside a chunk of time each week... read more »

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