exo

Entrance Scholarship qualification question

5 posts in this topic

Hey guys,

 

I just have a quick question about entrance scholarships. I did e-mail admissions about this, but I've yet to hear back from them - probably because it's not a pressing matter and I'm sure they're pretty swamped. Anyway, what I'm wondering is whether there is any sort of disqualification for eligibility for entrance scholarships based on whether or not you are coming directly out of an undergrad or not. My plan is to take a year off after my undergrad and save some money up before moving away, but I'm worried about potentially being passed over for scholarships for that reason.

 

Thanks for any help!

 

 

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I cannot say for certain that there isn't  a disqualification, but I wouldn't think so. Relatively speaking, having taken a year off before an upcoming school year isn't enough time to have your academic skills deteriorate. However, you will have to explain what you've done in the year off with regard to employment, volunteer work, and community involvement. While earning money to make attending law school feasible is a smart choice, you'll want to express how you've been involved in something larger than yourself. For those who use the line 'I wasn't sure what I wanted to do...' you had damn well show the committee you were actively trying to answer that question. That line doesn't fly when you haven't worked or volunteered in the last year. 

 

Remember, too, that you will need academic references when applying. Being out of school only a year, you're likely to still have those connections where as a mature applicant would not. I understand this may not help, but it's my best shot at an answer. 

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No, there is no reason that taking a year off should disqualify you from scholarships. I'm taking a year off and they accepted all of my scholarship applications! Working for a year will certainly not save me enough to pay off my massive student loan AND pay tuition- so yep, I am applying for scholarships.

 

While CrimMajor's advice is helpful and relevant for students who have a good grasp of the employment and volunteer opportunities they will be pursuing during their year off, it is not very relevant for those of us who are still in the process of figuring out what we're going to be doing between now and September 2017 (if not in school). When I submitted my application, I had not yet found a job and had only just started volunteering (I'm from a very small town where employment/volunteer opportunities are scant), so I could not do much in the way of explaining what I was going to be doing in my year off besides "hoping to gain meaningful employment in the X sector". At the time of application, this was the only thing I knew for sure- I had no idea when I was going to get hired or what kind of job I was going to get, where I was going to live, what volunteer placements I would have time for, or if I would do some travelling... I mean, September 2017 is 9+ months away and I can't accurately predict what opportunities are going to be thrown at me in that time frame! I like to think that with the job market being what it is, and with 20-somethings being as 'impromptu' as we are, the admissions committee will not misinterpret my lack of predicting ability as lack of planning ability or lack of drive. I did write in one of my supplementary documents that I was actively looking for employment, which demonstrates that I'm at least trying to "be involved in something larger than myself", as CrimMajor wrote. My point is: it's not a big deal if you are unable to give a play-by-play of all the impressive things you're going to be doing during your year off if you genuinely don't know what you're going to be doing. As well, considering that the average age of Dal's entering class is 25, I am inclined to think that it is fairly common for students not to go to law school right after undergrad.

 

(A lengthy answer- but I hope it helps!)

Edited by natasharose

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I'll add some clarity to what I originally wrote. My thinking in my post above was that someone was applying after a year had already passed, as opposed to applying a cycle early. In the cycle earlier scenario, you should absolutely lay out your ambitions for the year and mention if/where you have submitted applications. Small volunteer work or community engagement can only help you in the absence of work-I was attempting to cover all the bases in one post. 

 

My point is this: As long as the committee sees you're not sitting your ass for a year, you'll be fine!  :)

 

I mean, September 2017 is 9+ months away and I can't accurately predict what opportunities are going to be thrown at me in that time frame! I like to think that with the job market being what it is, and with 20-somethings being as 'impromptu' as we are, the admissions committee will not misinterpret my lack of predicting ability as lack of planning ability or lack of drive. I did write in one of my supplementary documents that I was actively looking for employment, which demonstrates that I'm at least trying to "be involved in something larger than myself", as CrimMajor wrote.

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My point is this: As long as the committee sees you're not sitting your ass for a year, you'll be fine!  :)

 

Of course, and thank you for the clarification! Either way- OP, you're fine to apply for scholarships if you're going to be taking a year off. Just note that the application needs to be complete by Nov 30th if you wish to be considered for scholarships at all

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