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Check These 7 FAQs about the LSAT



Whether you’re planning to apply to law school this year or a few years down the road, it’s always a good idea to learn as much as you can about the LSAT, which is a critical component of your law school application. To get the answers to some of the most commonly-asked questions about the exam, College Confidential spoke with LSAT expert Mike Spivey, partner at The Spivey Consulting Group.

College Confidential: How much time does a student need for test prep before the LSAT?

Mike Spivey: This really depends on the individual. In general, it’s a good idea to start studying at least two to three months before the exam. Taking a diagnostic exam and comparing that to your goal score can help you narrow down the timeline. A diagnostic close to your goal score may mean a shorter time frame; conversely, a diagnostic far from your goal will likely mean you need more time to study. It can also depend on specific section performance. Many students find that Logic Games (Analytical Reasoning as the LSAT calls it) are an area where they can see quick improvement, while Reading Comprehension can take much longer to notice consistent gains. If English is your second language, it may also take a bit longer, as proper LSAT understanding depends on a very nuanced control of English.

CC: What’s the best way to study for the LSAT?

MS: Study within your limits. Don’t force yourself to be someone you aren’t. If you’re not naturally a “sit down and study three hours a day” type person, don’t try to be that for the LSAT. Mix up the sources of prep material you use. It’s often helpful to start out with one specific source for foundational methods, then mix in the other material once you have a firm grasp on the basics but may have one particularly troublesome area. Being exposed to multiple viewpoints and ways of doing things can be quite helpful. Also – review, review, review! Don’t just see what you got right and wrong and move on. In order to learn, you need to understand; not sure why the right answer was right, but why the wrong answers were wrong.

CC: How many practice tests should a student take?

MS: Don’t fall for the trap of thinking more material equals better prep. Time and again, we’ve seen students just take practice tests over a matter of several weeks. That isn’t efficient, and it wastes useful – and limited – material. Doing specific sections, and eventually doing them under timed conditions, gives you largely the same timing benefit, and lets you actually review your material. Try practicing under untimed conditions at first. Yes, the test is timed, but if you force yourself to adhere to those limits when you start out you probably won’t be applying the methods as consistently or well as you should. Get the technique down first, then add in the timing element. We’d also suggest easing into timing. Start with double the allowed time, then one and a half time, etc.

CC: What is a “good” score?

MS: This greatly depends on an individual’s target schools. There is no objective standard of what is ‘good.’ The average score among all test takers the last several years is around a 151 to 152. What’s “good” for each individual is the score that enables them to get into the schools they want to attend. Generally, aim to be at least at the school’s median (although applicants are certainly admitted below median all the time). A higher score can also make you an attractive candidate for merit-based scholarships. School medians can generally be located on each school’s website or on their annual ABA 509 disclosures.

CC: When would you recommend a student should retake the LSAT?

MS: If an applicant doesn’t reach the score they want, or were practicing at, then it’s completely reasonable to retake. In fact, during the 2018 to 2019 application cycle, almost half of all LSATs administered were to individuals who had previously taken the test at least once. Law schools will see all your scores, but your admissions decision will be overwhelmingly based on your highest LSAT score, even if you go down from your first score. The downside to retaking is minimal, and the upside is tremendous.

CC: How much of a factor is the LSAT in a student’s law school application?

MS: For better or worse, the LSAT is a tremendously important part of your application package. It’s also an opportunity. If you had poor undergraduate grades, haven’t had a chance to shine in extracurriculars or work experience, or otherwise have some kind of weakness in your application, the LSAT is something that’s completely in your control to make up the difference. It’s also a chance to save some money. Many schools will offer incredibly generous scholarships to high LSAT scorers. Your prep and studying could save you literally hundreds of thousands of dollars!

CC: In what situation would you recommend a private tutor or an LSAT prep course as opposed to self-study?

MS: Again, this really depends on the individual. There are several situations we can think of. First, if financial resources are not an issue, then a quality tutor is almost always going to be helpful. Second, if you’re someone who needs structure and accountability, a tutor can help you with that. Third, if you’ve been self-studying on your own for some time and aren’t seeing the results you want, a tutor can be helpful. And finally, if you’ve had prior standardized test tutors or courses and found the format especially helpful, this could be an option worth considering. Any reputable tutor will be happy to chat with you for a free initial consult to go over what the tutoring process would look like.


By: Suchi Rudra
Title: Check These 7 FAQs about the LSAT
Sourced From:
Published Date: Fri, 15 May 2020 13:33:25 +0000

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Apply Online For Student Loans



Apply Online For Student Loans

Applying online for student loans is a convenient and efficient way to secure funding for your education. Whether you are facing financial difficulties or simply want to keep your debts to a minimum, student loans can help alleviate the financial burden while you focus on your studies.

One of the main advantages of student loans is that they typically offer lower interest rates compared to other types of loans. Additionally, repayment is often deferred until after you graduate, giving you time to establish your career and increase your income potential.

By applying online, you have access to a wider range of lenders, allowing you to compare different loan offers and choose the one that best suits your needs. Look for lenders offering competitive interest rates, flexible repayment terms, and any additional incentives that may be available.

Student loans can be used to cover various expenses related to your education, including tuition fees, housing, course materials, and living expenses. While your personal bank may be willing to provide a student loan, applying online gives you more options and potentially better terms.

However, it’s important to remember that student loans are still loans, and you should borrow responsibly. It’s advisable to budget regularly and avoid unnecessary purchases or luxuries to ensure you can manage your loan repayments in the future.

Before applying for student loans, explore other options such as scholarships, grants, or parental funding. These resources can help reduce the amount you need to borrow and minimize your financial obligations.

Lastly, it’s crucial to have confidence in your ability to secure a salary that will enable you to meet your loan repayments after graduation. Work hard to achieve the grades and qualifications necessary for your desired career, as this will increase your chances of finding a well-paying job.

In conclusion, applying online for student loans can provide you with the financial support needed to pursue your education. However, it’s important to borrow responsibly, explore other funding options, and plan for a successful career to ensure you can manage your loan repayments effectively.

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Webinar Recap: How COVID-19 is Affecting Financial Aid



Many families are facing new financial challenges in light of the coronavirus emergency, and College Confidential has fielded dozens of questions on this topic recently. To address those queries, we hosted a webinar on April 9 entitled “Paying for College Amid Changes Due to the Impact of COVID-19.”

During the event, moderated by Aaron Murphy, manager of learning and development with Inside Track, the following panelists offered their perspectives on the issue:

  • Denise Trusty, director of financial aid with Morehead State University
  • Laura Reisert Kalinkewicz, associate vice president of college partnerships with RaiseMe
  • Amy Nelson, director of sales at International Scholarship and Tuition Services
  • Charlie Javice, founder and CEO of Frank.

Check out the following topics that the panelists discussed, along with their views of how things may unfold amid the financial challenges brought on by the coronavirus outbreak.

Family Finances Changed? Contact Your Schools

If you plan to start college in the fall as a freshman — or return to school as an existing student — and your financial situation has changed since you applied for financial aid, you should contact the colleges on your list immediately. Financial aid departments can consider appeals for more money, but must base these decisions on each individual student’s situation, Trusty said.

“I know with Morehead State, where I work, we will be doing professional judgement calls on all students who say they’ve been affected,” she noted. “We will reach out to those students to see what we can do to help them maybe obtain additional funding, additional grants, scholarships, whatever they would be eligible for. We do professional judgment all the time for our students, because things happen all the time. This year will be an especially large amount of those, I’m sure, but those are up to individual schools to make that call for their students.”

In addition, she added, the Department of Education has set aside over $6 billion for additional grants and scholarships that the universities will be able to use. “Currently, I don’t know how that’s all going to play into this,” Trusty said. “So that will be up to each individual university on how they lay those out. I know it will be beneficial, I just don’t know how available that will be to each student.”

Keep in mind that schools are accustomed to reviewing financial aid appeals, and they all have processes in place for to do so. “It is really, really important to know that schools typically leave a budget from 10 percent to 20 percent or so of their financial aid dollars for what would be called a professional judgment bucket,”Javice said. “Therefore, there is additional money to be had, and it’s up to you to request it. You should approach your school as soon as you know you might need more money, and be prepared to show supporting documentation demonstrating how your finances are different from when you filed your FAFSA initially. This might require proof of a job loss, medical bills, a cut in pay or another such issue, Javice said.

In addition, if another school gave you a better financial offer, you can petition the school that gave you the lower offer for more money, Javice noted. “This typically works better for private institutions versus public state schools, given the fact that they have a little bit more discrepancy and more dollars to put to work in terms of a tuition discount,” she added. “This is solely up to the school on a case by case basis.” In some cases, the money is distributed on a first come, first serve timeline, so don’t wait if you know you need more aid.

Although financial aid can be a stressful topic, try not to be emotional when you request more money, Javice added. You’ll get a lot further by having organized documentation to present than you would by getting angry or upset, she noted.

Consider Outside Scholarships

The coronavirus situation has changed plans not only for incoming freshmen, but also for current college students, Nelson said. “Organizations are stepping up and trying to find ways to provide additional scholarship opportunities this year,” she noted. Students should be proactive in seeking those options.

Raise Me is offering new micro-scholarships for students who are seeking additional funding sources, Kalinkewicz said. In addition, she encourages students to ask colleges for more time to make decisions, even if the school hasn’t extended its deposit process. You can always try and request additional time to get your financial aid package right, she noted.

Finding more money is not relegated to younger students, Javice added. “Adult learners comprise the biggest group of people actually going to college today,” she noted. It’s very common for people to be seeking new types of skills and going back to college to gain additional degrees. Financial aid is available to adult learners, and they may even get aid to pay such costs as rent, she added. In addition, they can seek outside scholarships or employer-matching funds to pay for their educations.

Not Necessarily Too Late to File FAFSA

Students who didn’t file a FAFSA already should do that as soon as possible so you can get access to financial aid funds, Javice said. Federal FAFSA deadlines are usually in June, but states make their own deadlines for state aid. Some states, such as New Jersey, have moved their deadlines back for this year, so check to make sure you stay on top of your deadlines.

And if you file for financial aid and you decide you don’t want it, you can always decline the financial offer or portions of that offer, Nelson said. Your best bet is to apply so you can take what you need and decline any amounts you don’t need. Even if you don’t think you qualify for financial aid, you should apply anyway because you could be surprised at what you’re offered. “You really need to complete that [FAFSA] process every year,” Nelson said. “The process is very easy, and jobs can come and go. It’s your safety net and you want to make sure you’ve completed it. It makes it a whole lot easier when situations like this arise.”

Some colleges also have supplemental applications to fill out for particular types of aid, so always reach out to your financial aid office for information on which documentation you should be completing, Kalinkewicz said.

Could Families — Not Schools — Be in the Driver’s Seat?

Because many merit scholarships are based on test scores and GPAs, some high school juniors are concerned that they won’t have access to those in the coming year. With test dates being canceled and grades moving to pass/fail, they fear they won’t meet the criteria to earn such scholarships.

“It’s clear to me that colleges and universities know the extraordinary circumstances we’re under,” Nelson said. “All schools are leaning forward and considering all options as the situation develops. I would continue to encourage juniors to stay engaged and stay informed.” You should also watch to see what happens with test dates, she said. The ACT and SAT dates could change, and some schools may forego the need for a test score altogether, she added.

In addition, some merit scholarships that have traditionally been based on test scores may become test optional, Kalinkewicz noted.

Keep in mind that in many cases, families are in the driver’s seat rather than having the colleges be in charge, Javice said. Some schools have lost revenue and are very eager for students right now, “so if you are scared because you thought you could never get into a specific school from an admission criteria standpoint, this is your year to stretch, this is your year to think about the schools that are your reach category and go for it, because schools need the money and need the students. So the power that used to be in an admissions office is in you, the student or the family’s hands,” she said.

She also advises juniors to request application waivers from schools to save the $50 to $100 or so per application that they would normally pay. The schools may say no, but it won’t hurt to ask, she advised. “Persistence is key when dealing with schools,” Javice noted.

Federal Student Loans Payment Suspended

As many families are aware, payments on federal student loans are automatically suspended from March 13 through September 30, 2020 thanks to the government’s CARES Act. This is essential to keep in mind, particularly for families that have multiple children in various stages of the college process.

“You will stop paying your loans and you will have zero interest from now until September 30, and that’s important for parents to know,” Nelson said regarding existing federal student loans. “If you had an auto draft, the auto draft has been shut off and will not continue. You can, however, continue to make those payments if you’d like, and any interest you had before March 13, once that interest is paid up, all your payments will go directly toward your principal.” She advises families with federally-backed loans to check with their loan servicing agents, because they have a lot of information for both parent and student borrowers on how the CARES Act will impact payments for the next six months.

Student Job Gone? Colleges Might Help

For students who expect to earn money via part-time or full-time work to pay for college, but can’t do so due to the coronavirus, colleges may have resources to help. “There are many colleges and universities that have put together emergency grants for students to cover expenses that they were maybe not expecting because of COVID-19,” Nelson said. “They are making accommodations to try and make up for that lost income for students.”

Trusty said Morehead State is continuing to pay students who were on federal work-study. “If they had a job, we are still paying them right now as if they were working, although they are not. In the summer, those funds will be flipped over to emergency grant funds. So we will make sure that our students are covered and can live as if they were employed with the work-study position.”

Some colleges have even made remote work available to students, Kalinkewicz added. Therefore, contact your financial aid office to determine if any accommodations are available to make up for lost student income whenever possible.

Consider Other Options to Save

If you are seeking ways to save money on college, you should also consider other resources, whether that means less expensive colleges, in-state options or potentially transferring down the road, Janice said. You can also save money by taking classes at a community college to pay a lower cost for your credits that can be transferred to a four-year college later.

“If you have that target institution in mind — maybe you’ve already been admitted there but your family has determined a year of community college will really help stretch things further — work on articulation agreements or a plan so you are taking the right classes that actually have the ability to transfer toward the degree you want at your target institution, not necessarily just as credit,” Kalinkewicz said.

In addition, many colleges offer merit aid for transfer students, she added. So always look for every potential financial aid and scholarship resource to best maximize your package and allow your dollars to stretch as far as possible.

Resource: To review the entire hour-long webinar, you can watch the replay here.

Share Your Thoughts

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Check out our forum to contribute to the conversation!

By: Torrey Kim
Title: Webinar Recap: How COVID-19 is Affecting Financial Aid
Sourced From:
Published Date: Fri, 10 Apr 2020 15:22:20 +0000

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