Specific Groups > Minority and Non-Traditional Law Students

Time to End Merit Scholarships

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People complain about affirmative action but what about the merit scholarships the law schools are giving to students with advantages to boost their u.s. new rank.  Students with advantages get these scholarships while people of color pay for them with higher tuition.  I would call this racial exploitation. Law deans who claim to be in favor of social justice are making people of color pay more for law school than students with advantages. They know that people of color come into law school with lower gpas and lsats because of poverty and discrimination but they don't care.  U.S. news rank is what matters not social justice. Then people of color are getting the low paying jobs or no jobs at all. This puts people of color into high debt. This is racial exploitation. These merit scholarships must end.

Maintain FL 350:
URM applicants with even moderately impressive numbers are eligible for tons of financial aid, as well as admission to schools that non-URM applicants with similar numbers can only dream about. Most law schools will bend over backwards to attract qualified URM students with significant scholarship offers. Many of the people who receive those scholarships aren't exactly poor either, but qualify based purely on URM status.

Merit scholarships are different. They are available to anyone, regardless of race, as long as they have the numbers. I think you're probably right that many of the recipients of merit scholarships are from well-off backgrounds, but plenty of regular joes benefit from these scholarships too. And yes, attracting highly qualified students is a legitimate goal of any law school.

I was raised poor as hell by a single mother, and never had any educational advantages. I went to crummy, gang infested schools where nobody cared, and had to work at crappy jobs and go into debt to get through college. Because I'm white I couldn't qualify for AA or many scholarships even though I was poorer than many of the URM students at my college. (Poor white students get really screwed this way.)

The only way I was able to attend law school was because I scored well on the LSAT and obtained a merit scholarship. Even then, I had to attend a lower ranked school in order to maximize the scholarship opportunities.

My point is that it's not as simple as you'd like to believe, and it certainly isn't "racial exploitation". If you don't have the numbers to merit a scholarship and you're afraid of accruing debt, then drop out. No one forces you to go to law school.   

Maintain FL 350:
BTW, how do you suggest that lower ranked schools attract highly qualified applicants without merit scholarships? If it's going to cost the same to attend Columbia as it is to attend St. John's or CUNY, what high achiever will choose the lower ranked school?

Get your facts straight. Most law schools today do not offer minority scholarships. They have switched to merit scholarships to increase their rank in us news. They are using minorities to fund the merit scholarships. This is racial exploitation.

Maintain FL 350:

--- Quote from: lrt8000 on January 23, 2014, 06:53:41 PM ---Most law schools today do not offer minority scholarships.

--- End quote ---

Do you have any evidence to back that up? Or evidence that URM status is not considered when awarding merit scholarships? 

Take a look at the profiles on LSN. A URM applicant with a around a 3.5/165 can expect big $$$ at many T1 schools, and possibly even full rides at many others. Unless the people on LSN are lying, this seems to be the case. If students, URM or non-URM, lose their scholarships later that's their problem.

--- Quote from: lrt8000 on January 23, 2014, 06:53:41 PM ---They are using minorities to fund the merit scholarships. This is racial exploitation.

--- End quote ---

They are using anyone who doesn't earn the scholarship to fund it, minority or otherwise.

You're making three huge assumptions: 1) The people receiving merit scholarships don't need them,  2) URM applicants aren't getting them, and 3) tuition for minority students would be lower absent merit scholarships. 


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