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Messages - ndun

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If anyone is familiar with the process, please let me know if my analysis is correct.

I've done some research since I first posted, and my understanding
is as follows ...

1) The Feds will loan you money according to rules very similar to undergrad, except that graduate students are assumed independent.

Subsidized Federal loans are limited to your expected need, or the subsidized loan cap ($8500/yr), whichever is lower. Expected need is (TCA - EFC), where TCA is the total cost of attendance (tuition + living exp) and EFC is your expected contribution (50% of previous year's after-tax income plus 20% of current assets). [N.B. 50% of NET income, not GROSS as previously suggested.]

Even if your EFC is 100% of the TCA, you can still get unsubsidized Federal loans up to the combined Federal cap (total subsidized+unsubsidized limited to $20500/yr).

2) Law schools may have their own "institutional methodology" which they use to determine if they will loan/grant you additional money. They may inquire about your parents' income/assets even if you can prove you are independent.

3) You can borrow the difference up to the TCA using Grad PLUS and/or private loans, assuming you are creditworthy.


Say tuition is $30k and the law school officially estimates living expenses at $20k, for a TCA of $50k/yr. If you made $70k after taxes the year before, and you have $50k in assets, then your EFC is

($70k * 50%) + ($50k * 20%) = $35k + $10k = $45k

Your expected need is $5k, which you can borrow subsidized. You can also take another $15.5k in unsubsidized loans to bring your total Federal loans to $20.5k.

If you need more money (and you will), you can borrow up to $29.5k from a private lender to bring your total up to the school's $50k official TCA estimate. Private lenders may or may not be allowed to lend you more than that, so hopefully the school's $50k total (based on $20k living expenses) is realistic, or you'll be dipping into your savings.

If Fordham continues to place really well in Biglaw NYC, who cares if it rises higher in the rankings?  It's been shown that some schools "ranked" lower place better in Biglaw than some ranked higher anyway.  If Fordham isn't higher ranked, it is because nationally it isn't as good.  Is it really true that bottom 50% at Fordham are screwed though?  Maybe then if you're below the median LSAT, you should look into being smarter than average at St. John's or Brooklyn.

While LSAT correlates with law school GPA more strongly than any other factor, it's not THAT strong of a correlation.

Do you really think that getting a 164 will crush your chances at Fordham but guarantee you'll be on top at Brooklyn?

Or that it makes you smarter than most of the students at BLS?

As a splitter, I'm thankful that my performance on the LSAT has helped compensate for my lackluster GPA ... but I don't have any illusions about its significance beyond admissions.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Why are schools lsat medians increasing?
« on: December 26, 2007, 12:42:12 PM »
I think the new ABA rule about taking the highest score rather than the averaged school has a big part in the rising of the medians as well!


While smaller class sizes definitely contribute,
I'm sure the reporting change from "average score"
to "highest score" has been the most significant factor.

Didn't this change go into effect last cycle?

Meta Discussion / Re: FREE PENNYLANE!!!
« on: December 26, 2007, 10:25:01 AM »
I think Penny is really sweet.

Put my name on the petition to unban PennyLane.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Why are schools lsat medians increasing?
« on: December 26, 2007, 10:21:07 AM »
As I posted in another thread, this appears to be the case for Fordham PT.

In my acceptance letter, they said there would be 120 students
entering the PT program this coming fall. Historically, Fordham
has had 160 students enter the PT program each year.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Trickiest LR Question I've Ever Seen
« on: December 22, 2007, 09:59:42 AM »
I really should pack my suitcase now.

I have to get to Newark airport by 3.


Studying for the LSAT / Re: Trickiest LR Question I've Ever Seen
« on: December 22, 2007, 09:57:56 AM »
I concur. Answer is 'D'.

The key here is "known" vs "ever."

That is, known now versus what might happen in the future.

What about the "only frogs" versus "frogs are the only animals" distinction?

The problem is still rough, IMO.

Not at all.

The use of  "animals" versus "frogs" in the conclusion for (D)
parallels the use of "a stone" versus "tanzanite stones" in
the prompt's conclusion.

All frogs are animals, and all tanzanite stones are stones,
so it doesn't materially change the conclusion anyway
since they're negative statements.

Well, I think it is universally acknowledged that the facilities are
a little weak, and that's what has held Fordham back in the rankings.

The students and the program are rock-solid.

The facilities may not get better in the short term (they're working
on the new building), but I suspect Fordham is trying to ratchet
their LSAT/GPA numbers even higher.

Bearly, I don't know if you noticed this in your acceptance letter,
but it said that we would be joining a class of "120 students"
entering the part-time program.

My understanding is that, up until this year, Fordham had
160 students enter the part-time program each year.

So next fall, in terms of Fordham's 40-person sections,
they're looking to have 3 sections instead of 4.

They'll end up being more selective with the smaller class size.

Think it will substantially raise their LSAT/GPA numbers for PT?

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Trickiest LR Question I've Ever Seen
« on: December 22, 2007, 09:38:14 AM »
A. Home to "many" frogs? Pretty vague.

B. Frogs are eaten only by the owls?
   We need the owls to only eat the frogs.

C. Frogs are the only animals that live in the lagoon?
   Says nothing about whether there are frogs on the
   island outside the lagoon.

D. Correct answer.

E. Makes a universal statement about where the frogs live,
   but a weaker "what we know so far" statement about what
   the owls eat. We need a weak "what we know so far"
   statement about where the frogs live, and a universal
   statement about what the owls eat.

Tanzanite <=> Frogs on the Island
Tanzania <=> The Lagoon
Ashley <=> The Owls
Collecting <=> Eating

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