« on: April 10, 2008, 12:42:45 AM »
PollyMagoo: Numbers are genuine, though I took the LSAT twice (got a 161 the first time), and I was fortunate that Cornell appears to have taken the second score. I did have some "soft factors" that might have helped... my first published novel was compared to The Great Gatsby, I've done some legal research which will be turned into a publishable article later this summer, etc. Also, and probably more importantly, both myself and my parents are dead broke.
Though I've been advised elsewhere on the board that grants are likely to be higher at schools where the odds of acceptance are higher, financial aid as far as I can determine appears to be less of a numbers game and more of a crapshoot: I got far less aid at W & M, UC-H and BU, even adjusting for lower tuition costs, than I did at Cornell.
They seem pretty firm on their aid deadlines (I think they say to submit your paperwork by March 15th even if you haven't gotten accepted), which probably owes to the fact that they make aid awards for 3 years. I had all the info to them by mid-February. That said, they definitely allow some leeway on the 2007 tax returns provided you have all of your other documentation in place (after all, they were probably accepting ED folks, and proffering tentative aid packages, before filing 2007 returns was possible).
You should probably call Cornell's finaid office and explain your difficulties in obtaining that required info. The staff have been very helpful when I've spoken to them in the past.