May 15 2010
The Art of Negotiating Your Law School Scholarship
Congratulations! The wait is over. You’ve just received an acceptance letter from one or more of the law schools you applied to. Now you have to figure out how you are going to pay for the rising cost of law school tuition. Graduate students have a few options to choose from when deciding how to finance their education, including grants, scholarships, and loans. When you factor in the cost of tuition, fees, books, and living expenses, law school can cost well over $100,000. One direct way to cut down on the cost of your legal education is to receive a scholarship from the law school you will be attending.
If you did not receive an initial scholarship with your acceptance don’t be afraid to ask for some money or if you received a partial scholarship, don’t be afraid to ask for an increase in aid. I don’t think many students believe they can ask for money or they might worry about coming off as “cheap” or greedy, but lets face it, it could be the difference between $5,000-$10,000 per year, which isn’t chump change.
There is definitely a right and wrong way to go about asking for financial aid from law schools.
First, make sure to be humble and polite. You aren’t negotiating a price for a used car. Contact the financial aid office directly; email is probably the best communication method, because they probably won’t be able to make a decision quickly over the phone.
Second, it is okay to make the school aware of other offers you might have, but also mention why you want to attend their school over others, if that is the case.
Third, mention any awards you've received or extracurricular activities you've been involved in since applying.
Lastly, don’t over do it. If you were turned down after asking for a scholarship or received only a slight increase in money and you still aren’t satisfied, turn to other options for financial aid. Don’t keep hounding the financial aid office if you don’t get a favorable result, because they probably won’t change their minds and you don’t want to form a bad relationship with your future law school.
REMEMBER: all they can is say no, so why not try.
Check out this article
at ulinks.com for more information on law school financial aid.