Law School Discussion

Institutional Need-Based Aid


  • ****
  • 119
    • View Profile
Institutional Need-Based Aid
« on: February 01, 2006, 08:36:42 AM »
Question: when do you generally find out about need-based institutional aid?  Also, do top schools actually give out a significant amount to poor folks?

I am wondering whether or not I will have to make a decision to go somewhere before I hear about need-based aid.  And as for the amount, to explain my question, I propose a hypothetical: let's say I get in to Duke (which is a big maybe).  I doubt that I will get any merit aid.  I have no money of my own, but no debt either (I had a full ride in UG).  Though I will be considered a dependent for 2005, my parents gave me and will be giving me no money.  The total cost of a year at Duke is about $49,000.  Federal aid will cover $18,500.  So my total need after federal will be about $31,000.  Most places expect you to cover about $2,000 to $4,000 with personal savings, summer employment, or term-time work.  I can't imagine that they would give me much more than their median grant amount ($8,000), considering they only give more than half tuition to about 8% of the student body, and I bet those are merit-based scholarships to draw hotshots away from higher ranked schools.  So does that mean that I will have to cover about $20,000 with private loans if I want to go there?  Am I doing this math right?

Slow Blues

Re: Institutional Need-Based Aid
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2006, 10:11:53 AM »
From what I've read, you find out in the summer sometime.

As for whether top schools give out a lot: they say they do, but I wonder really how much it is, and how poor you need to be to get a grant of some kind. If you do reasonably well at a top school, whether you're Little Orphan Annie or a Walton scion, you can get a good job that can fairly easily pay off a big loan.

I do know though, if you want to do public interest, most schools have nice loan forgiveness programs.