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Annual Survey Results Archive

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The latest LSSSE annual report, Law School Scholarship Policies: Engines of Inequity, provides a compelling view of how law school scholarships flow most generously to students with the least financial need and least generously to those with the most need. The report illustrates how these trends contribute to higher debt and stress among students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

According to Aaron N. Taylor, director of LSSSE and associate professor at Saint Louis University School of Law:

 “While law schools have become more generous in awarding scholarships to students, this bounty has not been spread evenly or equitably.  Narrow conceptions of merit ensure that scholarship funds flow more generously to students most likely to come from privileged backgrounds – leaving students from disadvantaged backgrounds bearing more of the risks associated with attending law school. The end-result is a cascade of negative outcomes, including a perverse cost-shifting strategy through which disadvantaged students subsidize the attendance of their privileged peers.  This is the hallmark of an inequitable system.” 

 

NOTEWORTHY FINDINGS FROM THE REPORT INCLUDE:

  • Seventy-one percent (71%) of LSSSE respondents received scholarships during the 2015-2016 school year. (Page 6)
  • More than two-thirds of white LSSSE respondents received merit scholarships, compared to less than half of black respondents. (Page 9)
  • Respondents with higher LSAT scores were more likely to have received merit scholarships. Ninety percent (90%) of respondents with LSAT scores above 165 received merit scholarships, compared to 57% of respondents with scores of 151-155 and just 16% of respondents with scores of 140 or below. (Page 9)
  • Seventy-nine percent (79%) of scholarships awarded to LSSSE respondents were merit-based. (Page 8)
  • LSSSE respondents who were “first-generation” college graduates (and more likely to come from lower socioeconomic backgrounds) were less likely to receive merit scholarships than students with college-educated parents. (Page 10)
  • LSSSE respondents expecting the most student loan debt were less likely to have received merit scholarships. Respondents expecting no debt were twice as likely to have received merit scholarships than respondents expecting more than $200,000 in debt. (Page 12)
  • LSSSE respondents who received merit scholarships were more likely to report favorable perceptions of their law school experiences and less likely to report high levels of stress. (Page 13)

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