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Huaagh

Stats required for generous scholarships when you have weak ECs?

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Hi everybody, I just got my first LSAT score back and I don't believe my GPA will change too much in the final semesters I have left, so I'm looking at which schools are the most generous with scholarship money based on stats. My extracurriculars are a little subpar, so nothing primarily based on ECs. My stats are 177 LSAT, 3.99/4.33 CGPA, approx 85% without drops when converted to the UBC scale, and approx high 3.8x on the OLSAS scale (haven't converted the individual grades for either UBC or OLSAS yet). Haven't done a B2/L2 calculation but my grades have been pretty consistent so I don't imagine it would be too different from my CGPA. 

Finances are my biggest concern when it comes to law school, while I'm lucky that I'll have little to no undergraduate debt at the end of my degree, I'll also have absolutely no savings and I come from a low income family that won't be able to help me out with law school so I'm starting off with a grand sum of zero. Which schools in Canada have the most generous stats based scholarships, as opposed to more ECs based? I've taken a look at a few schools already but many seem to be ECs based, or they're not clear on what kind of stats are scholarship worthy. I'm pretty debt averse so I'd honestly consider going wherever I would have to pay the least in tuition. 

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Law schools generally don't give out large entrance scholarships. If finances are your biggest concern it would be better to pick the school that will be cheapest to go to.

UVIC is the cheapest out west last time I checked, but UBC isn't horrendous.

The good news is with stats like that you pretty much have your pick of any law school.

Also don't worry too much about finances, the major banks all offer lines of credit with super low interest rates and flexible repayment schedules. The vast majority of law students take out these loans to pay for school.

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What city are you from? Your best bet would be to attend a school as close to home as possible because a significant portion of law school debt is living expenses. UBC is among the least expensive law schools for tuition, but is located in one of the most expensive cities in the country to live. UVic is slightly cheaper, as is living in Victoria compared to Vancouver. McGill has the lowest tuition of any law school in Canada, but I'm not sure what the living expenses are like in Montreal.

Some schools list their available scholarships. For example, TRU lists theirs here: https://www.tru.ca/law/students/awards.html.

TRU's largest stats-based entrance scholarship is $5,000, which isn't much in light of their $20,000/year tuition. There are bursaries for those with financial need that range from $500 - $5,000. There are also course prizes awarded to students who achieve the highest mark in specific law school classes, ranging from $1250 - $10,000.

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41 minutes ago, lawstudent20202020 said:

Law schools generally don't give out large entrance scholarships. If finances are your biggest concern it would be better to pick the school that will be cheapest to go to.

UVIC is the cheapest out west last time I checked, but UBC isn't horrendous.

The good news is with stats like that you pretty much have your pick of any law school.

Also don't worry too much about finances, the major banks all offer lines of credit with super low interest rates and flexible repayment schedules. The vast majority of law students take out these loans to pay for school.

 

Thank you! It's unfortunate that they don't give out large entrance scholarships at all, but I certainly am grateful about not having to worry too much about admission. 

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1 minute ago, Huaagh said:

Thank you! It's unfortunate that they don't give out large entrance scholarships at all, but I certainly am grateful about not having to worry too much about admission. 

They may not give out many large, stats based entrance scholarships, but I think most schools have significant needs-based scholarships and bursaries. It might make more sense for you to look into those.

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3 minutes ago, canuckfanatic said:

What city are you from? Your best bet would be to attend a school as close to home as possible because a significant portion of law school debt is living expenses. UBC is among the least expensive law schools for tuition, but is located in one of the most expensive cities in the country to live. UVic is slightly cheaper, as is living in Victoria compared to Vancouver. McGill has the lowest tuition of any law school in Canada, but I'm not sure what the living expenses are like in Montreal.

Some schools list their available scholarships. For example, TRU lists theirs here: https://www.tru.ca/law/students/awards.html.

TRU's largest stats-based entrance scholarship is $5,000, which isn't much in light of their $20,000/year tuition. There are bursaries for those with financial need that range from $500 - $5,000. There are also course prizes awarded to students who achieve the highest mark in specific law school classes, ranging from $1250 - $10,000.

I'm from Vancouver, but I'm willing to relocate anywhere within Canada. McGill seems quite nice but my French is almost nonexistent. 

 

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2 minutes ago, BringBackCrunchBerries said:

They may not give out many large, stats based entrance scholarships, but I think most schools have significant needs-based scholarships and bursaries. It might make more sense for you to look into those.

I've heard that most schools have needs based bursaries and scholarships, but those seem to be pretty consistent between schools when it comes to what percentage of base tuition they cover. I'm also uncertain of if I'll actually qualify for needs based scholarships/bursaries because of my low debt load from undergrad compared to others. 

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2 minutes ago, BringBackCrunchBerries said:

They may not give out many large, stats based entrance scholarships, but I think most schools have significant needs-based scholarships and bursaries. It might make more sense for you to look into those.

Those can be a bit of a crapshoot though, there's more needs based students then there are bursaries. Generally the criteria for needs based is have you taken out a loan. Lower tuition is a guaranteed thing.

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https://www.osgoode.yorku.ca/programs/juris-doctor/financial-services/fund-law-school/bursary-program/

 

  • Bursaries are non-repayable financial assistance
  • Approximately 60% of students apply to Osgoode’s bursary program annually
  • Approximately 90% of those who apply and are eligible receive funding
  • Bursary award levels:
    • Level 1: $1,500
    • Level 2: $3,000
    • Level 3: $5,000
    • Level 4: $7,500
    • Level 5: $11,500
    • Level 6: $15,000
  • The three main sources of bursary funding are:
    • government tuition set aside funding (TSA)
    • Osgoode unrestricted funding
    • donor designated bursary funds

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3.8x and a 177? I'm going to a mid-T14 US school on a full ride - maybe even one of Yale / Stanford or Cambridge / Oxford if I got in! The doors you've opened up by virtue of your LSAT and grades are virtually limitless at this point. If you really want to stay in Canada though (and it seems that you do) I'd imagine that you'll want to apply all over, submit all the financial aid / scholarship forms that schools require, and then take your pick of whichever offers you the best financial aid package (taking into consideration tuition, COL, books, etc.) in the area you could see yourself practicing in for the foreseeable future. Scholarships certainly do seem to be a bit more of a black box here compared to down south though. 

It's a shame you don't speak French (a shame shared by you and I both, though my numbers are nowhere near yours!) as McGill offers the best balance of opportunity and cost in Canada IMO. To be quite honest I'd almost consider spending a year learning French with those stats just to get in.

Congrats on the outstanding marks and LSAT, I am sure you earned it! 

Edited by MountainMon
McGill comment
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11 minutes ago, Huaagh said:

I'm also uncertain of if I'll actually qualify for needs based scholarships/bursaries because of my low debt load from undergrad compared to others. 

UVic's law bursary application takes into account how much savings you have, and your monthly expenses. You'll pass the first hurdle if you don't have prior savings/assets to draw on, and the second hurdle determines your eligibility based on your monthly budget - basically, how short you'll be each term after exhausting your student loans and grants. So you should be in good shape to get some money from UVic and, in any case, definitely need to be factoring in the fact that we have the lowest tuition to begin with. If you have a 177, I assume you are able to do that math better than I can. ;)

I know you were asking about merit-based awards, and not need-based... I just think it may be beneficial to look at the whole picture and not force that distinction if it doesn't actually help you in the end. 

-GM

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35 minutes ago, Huaagh said:

I've heard that most schools have needs based bursaries and scholarships, but those seem to be pretty consistent between schools when it comes to what percentage of base tuition they cover. I'm also uncertain of if I'll actually qualify for needs based scholarships/bursaries because of my low debt load from undergrad compared to others. 

I know for at least some schools, if you're not carrying over any government debt from undergrad, than you won't qualify for entrance bursaries, regardless if you have zero savings as a result of paying it off. That was the exact case for me. I would just suggest that you inquire about whether you actually qualify for scholarships and bursaries when you consider where to attend, so you don't get hung up on something like having to have OSAP debt vs. LOC debt.

Edited by Honks202
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8 hours ago, Honks202 said:

I know for at least some schools, if you're not carrying over any government debt from undergrad, than you won't qualify for entrance bursaries, regardless if you have zero savings as a result of paying it off. That was the exact case for me. I would just suggest that you inquire about whether you actually qualify for scholarships and bursaries when you consider where to attend, so you don't get hung up on something like having to have OSAP debt vs. LOC debt.

Thanks for this, do you happen to know which schools off the top of your head? Cause yep, that's likely the situation I'll be in. I'll have paid off my government debt, but at the same time I'll have hit my lifetime limit for funding so I would have to go for LOC debt for law school. 

9 hours ago, GrumpyMountie said:

UVic's law bursary application takes into account how much savings you have, and your monthly expenses. You'll pass the first hurdle if you don't have prior savings/assets to draw on, and the second hurdle determines your eligibility based on your monthly budget - basically, how short you'll be each term after exhausting your student loans and grants. So you should be in good shape to get some money from UVic and, in any case, definitely need to be factoring in the fact that we have the lowest tuition to begin with. If you have a 177, I assume you are able to do that math better than I can. ;)

I know you were asking about merit-based awards, and not need-based... I just think it may be beneficial to look at the whole picture and not force that distinction if it doesn't actually help you in the end. 

-GM

Welp, you've successfully convinced me to apply to UVIC!

 

9 hours ago, MountainMon said:

3.8x and a 177? I'm going to a mid-T14 US school on a full ride - maybe even one of Yale / Stanford or Cambridge / Oxford if I got in! The doors you've opened up by virtue of your LSAT and grades are virtually limitless at this point. If you really want to stay in Canada though (and it seems that you do) I'd imagine that you'll want to apply all over, submit all the financial aid / scholarship forms that schools require, and then take your pick of whichever offers you the best financial aid package (taking into consideration tuition, COL, books, etc.) in the area you could see yourself practicing in for the foreseeable future. Scholarships certainly do seem to be a bit more of a black box here compared to down south though. 

It's a shame you don't speak French (a shame shared by you and I both, though my numbers are nowhere near yours!) as McGill offers the best balance of opportunity and cost in Canada IMO. To be quite honest I'd almost consider spending a year learning French with those stats just to get in.

Congrats on the outstanding marks and LSAT, I am sure you earned it! 

Thank you so much for your kind words!! It's true that I'm not particularly interested in US schools, despite their funding being far more generous. I'm pretty hesitant regarding whether or not applying broadly would be worth it in Canada, since most people in this forum seem to recommend against applying to more than a handful of schools, but I'll definitely be trying to get in touch with financial aid offices to scope out my chances for funding. 

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17 hours ago, Huaagh said:

I'm pretty debt averse so I'd honestly consider going wherever I would have to pay the least in tuition. 

Speaking from a mature student point of view, and now I consider myself financially ok. I still don't understand why students nowadays want to drag themselves in over $100,000 in debt especially in this downturn time. Around $100,000 can be a good down payment for a house. I was in less than 30,000 student loan when I finish my undergrad but it took me forever to pay that off.

I would think work 2 jobs a year or even 8-9 months to save up then head to law school in full speed. I heard the study load is heavy in law school so you probably can't work during the study semester. This way you can choose a school that you want and enjoy those years.

The one year experience will add to your resume and definitely open up your experience that probably help in different perspective in law school.

The only downside is some people after they start working they did not go back to school.

Thats just my 2 cents

Good luck but you can't stress over money. Either you have it or not.

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The problem with the whole "get a job and build up savings" approach is that few people will make enough to offset the lost income they would have gained by starting their professional careers a year earlier. The math doesn't work for everyone (some people have trouble finding decent jobs post-law school), but for professional careers I would suggest it's usually a bad idea to "work to save up money" unless interest rates are sky-high, or you have a fantastic pre-professional job. 

Let's do some simple math (using Vancouver because UVic). Let's assume living costs are constant for both scenarios to not make the math fuzzy and only focus on net (which will be inaccurate I understand since expenses do matter). 

Graduate with degree and get a job. The median BC Uni grad makes 50K two years out (probably less 1 year out, but we'll use 50K: https://bc.ctvnews.ca/university-grads-earn-50k-median-salary-2-years-out-of-school-study-1.2680816. So they enter at +50K, then they only need some loans, some would be government loans as well, so no interest while in-school, but let's keep this simple and assume it's all on a prime PSLOC, taken out at the beginning of the year (Again, many assumptions and shortcuts here). You start with a buffer and eat into it as school goes on, eventually going red. 

 Get into law school, spend the same money on living expenses (so we'll ignore those to simplify things, so the numbers below will seem very large), use the PSLOC (for argument's sake). 

Assume no career progression at all, just the lowest value for a 1st year Vancouver small practice lawyer according to https://www.zsa.ca/salary-guide/ (which is unfair to the K-JD who would be moving up faster, theoretically). And we have:

In this scenario the "work pre-law for a year" person needs to make 74K to balance out the K-JD, and that's in one year out of uni. Unless you spend manage a great job out of uni (some do) the more years spent working pre-law the more years the K-JD has to find their groove and start moving up. 

Again, there are so many assumptions baked into this it's a fanciful scenario (down to the ages of the people!) but I think it's worth noting this. Obviously debt tolerance plays into this, I'm not looking forward to going into six-figure debt for my future career, but I know there's significantly more money than I would have otherwise made on the other side, making that debt a fantastic investment in the long-term. 

  Age Work Net Work Income Work School Costs Debt-Servicing Costs K-JD Net K-JD Income K-JD School Costs
Debt-Servicing Costs
Graduate Uni 20 $0.00 0 0   $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
  21 $50,000.00 $50,000.00 0   -$20,000.00 $0.00 -$20,000.00 -$490.00
  22 $30,000.00 0 -$20,000.00 $735.00 -$40,490.00 $0.00 -$20,000.00 -$992.01
  23 $10,000.00 0 -$20,000.00 -$245.00 -$61,482.01 $0.00 -$20,000.00 -$1,506.31
  24 -$10,000.00 $0.00 -$20,000.00 $245.00 -$22,988.31 $40,000.00 $0.00 -$563.21
  25 $30,000.00 $40,000.00 $0.00 -$735.00 $54,448.47 $78,000.00 $0.00  
  26 $108,000.00 $78,000.00 $0.00   $132,448.47 $78,000.00 $0.00  
  27 $186,000.00 $78,000.00 $0.00   $210,448.47 $78,000.00 $0.00  
  28 $264,000.00 $78,000.00 $0.00   $288,448.47 $78,000.00 $0.00  
  29 $342,000.00 $78,000.00 $0.00   $366,448.47 $78,000.00 $0.00  
  30 $420,000.00 $78,000.00 $0.00   $444,448.47 $78,000.00 $0.00  

 

EDIT. Since the ZSA numbers seemed optimistic here is a more pessimistic outlook, K-JD still ahead, but with less of a lead:

  Age Work Net Work Income Work School Costs Debt-Servicing Costs K-JD Net K-JD Income K-JD School Costs
Debt-Servicing Costs
Graduate Uni 20 $0.00 0 0   $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
  21 $50,000.00 $50,000.00 0   -$20,000.00 $0.00 -$20,000.00 -$490.00
  22 $30,000.00 0 -$20,000.00   -$40,490.00 $0.00 -$20,000.00 -$992.01
  23 $10,000.00 0 -$20,000.00   -$61,482.01 $0.00 -$20,000.00 -$1,506.31
  24 -$10,000.00 $0.00 -$20,000.00 -$245.00 -$22,988.31 $40,000.00 $0.00 -$563.21
  25 $29,755.00 $40,000.00 $0.00   $36,448.47 $60,000.00 $0.00  
  26 $89,755.00 $60,000.00 $0.00   $96,448.47 $60,000.00 $0.00  
  27 $149,755.00 $60,000.00 $0.00   $156,448.47 $60,000.00 $0.00  
  28 $209,755.00 $60,000.00 $0.00   $216,448.47 $60,000.00 $0.00  
  29 $269,755.00 $60,000.00 $0.00   $276,448.47 $60,000.00 $0.00  
  30 $329,755.00 $60,000.00 $0.00   $336,448.47 $60,000.00 $0.00  
Edited by LawCS
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To clarify, by "generous" I mean any amount that would cover 50% of tuition or more. Not necessarily a full ride. 

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