Law Students

Conditional Scholarships Offered to More Students Than Ever Before
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Summary: Retention rates are causing many law schools to rethink conditional scholarships but the number of these scholarships being offered is also going up.

More law schools students have received conditional scholarships than ever before. Based on the latest data from the 2013-2014 year, the American Bar Association reported that 29 percent or 11,300 students were offered a conditional scholarship.


A conditional scholarship is when the financial aid award is contingent on the student maintaining not only in good academic standing but also keeping a minimum grade point and/or class standing.

Only 73 percent of the students offered this scholarship kept it, higher than 2011 by 4.5 percent. However, the retention rates at law schools are not good. Forty-six of the 120 schools have a retention rate of 80 percent and above but 29 schools are still below 60 percent.

The released data is part of an effort for prospective law students to understand their options better. Law schools are now required to provide their scholarship retention rates on school websites and scholarship offer letters.

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More schools are also offering scholarships for students that remain in good academic standing. Jerry Organ from the University of St. Thomas School of Law noted that these numbers “would seem to indicate that at least some law schools have decided conditional scholarships aren’t good for law schools or for law students.”

The school with the lowest retention rate, the University of Akron School of Law, changed their policy so that all scholarships are guaranteed and no longer dependent on grades. Now the University of New Hampshire has the lowest retention rate at 30.6 percent.




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