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U of Toledo / I wouldn't choose Toledo again
« on: November 20, 2009, 08:17:32 AM »
I found a blog that pretty succinctly states my feelings about choosing Toledo. The blog applies to scholarship students, but I think it is applicable to anyone who attends UT and is not a part-time/transitional students. The following is the blog posted in full without modifications:
"THIS POST IS PURELY BASED UPON MY OPINION AND IS NOT INTENDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES

So, you received your acceptance from the University of Toledo College of Law. Maybe you were thinking of holding out for a law school with a higher ranking, but you also received a SCHOLARSHIP with the acceptance letter. That's very tempting. Imagine going to a school that has more opportunities, but will leave you burdened with debt or going to a school that has a sliding reputation but will be free. Sometimes people will do a cost/benefit analysis and believe that Toledo is a better choice. In this job market, is it worthwhile to assume a huge debt without knowing what future career opportunities may arise?

The short answer is yes -- you should avoid Toledo College of Law.

Now to the lengthy answer: That tempting Toledo College of Law scholarship is a fraud, in my opinion. The scholarship is appealing to prospective students who may not want to leave law school with a debt load. Thus, a person could easily be swayed from attending a top 50 law school in favor of Toledo because the offer. However, there is a lot that Toledo is not stating when they offer merit scholarships.

First, Toledo Law allows what they call "transitional students." Transitional students are offered the ability to become full time students after successful completion of one academic year. In the first semester, these students will take 3 courses, and then a normal course load in the second semester. Transitional students take summer courses that allow them to enter their second year with the same credit hours as full-time students.

From my understanding, Toledo does this in an effort to avoid plummeting even further in the rankings. Transitional students are not counted in the LSAT/GPA scores, thus the law school rankings that place such an emphasis on these factors are being duped.

However, the reason transitional students are important to a person who may have been offered a scholarship is the first semester course load. Transitional students will be in the same classes as full-time students, thus their grades are counted into the class curve as though they were full-time students. There is no separation of full-time classes and transitional classes. While full-time students are dealing with a full course load during the first semester, the transitional students are given the benefit of taking two fewer classes. The amount of additional study time that transitional students have at their disposal and the fact that transitional students have to memorize far less information will become very obvious when exams are graded. Transitional students have traditionally done very well from what I have witnessed from my first year at Toledo.

Aside from the lessened course load and skirting the law rankings, traditional students will play a huge role in whether you are able to keep a scholarship. The transitional students will likely doom your first semester grades since transitional students account for probably a third to half of the first year students. However, Toledo has been silent in creating a grading scheme that separates transitional and full-time students. Instead, the grades of transitional students are compiled with full-time students in creating a curve for the class. In a law school setting, where grades are competitive, this means that many full-time students who would have gotten high marks on first semester exams are given lower, if not mediocre, grades.

When a student on merit-scholarship must attain a 3.3 cumulative GPA to continue on scholarship, this means that Toledo is hedging against that result. A very manipulative scheme, in my opinion. The results are that maybe half of the merit scholarship students will continue into the second year with their scholarship intact. Suddenly, students that were looking to graduate with no debt are burdened with debt they would have acquired at a much higher ranked school. While Toledo has around 20 firms represented at the on-campus interviews, many school will have 100+ firms at their on-campus interviews. The difference that those numbers alone will make in future earning power is astonishing. Most upper-level students I know at Toledo will be entering careers that pay equivalent to jobs attainable with a bachelors degree.

Now, a person could easily say that I am just a scorned student who lost his scholarship. The fact is that I have maintained a ranking in the top 5% of my class, I have my scholarship and a position with a great firm when I graduate. What I do despise is the number of people I know who should still be on scholarship, but were slighted by first semester grades and now have little or no hope in future employment. These are brilliant students who studied hard for LSATs and law school, but they barely missed the 3.3 cut-off because of the policies in place at Toledo to allow transitional students in the same classes as full-time students. An unfair policy that is only in place to prop up the ranking numbers while still allowing Toledo to collect a substantial sum of tuition dollars."
 

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