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Your frustration with GULC fin aid is well-founded. I, too, had to deal with the divorced parents situation and it undoubtedly works to your disadvantage. As for being "indpendent" from your parents, virtually impossible. And the same holds true at most of the private schools I dealt with prior to signing on with GULC. Interesting that you mention it, but the ONLY way you can avoid the parental contribution factor is if your parents abused and it would be unsafe or otherwise unreasonable to ask you to contact them. You can, however, get a Federal Perkins loan to cover the parental/student contribution since you're over 26.

I agree, it's ridiculous. But, we have to remember with what we are dealing. We are dealing with a private institution where many of the students' parents can and do contribute heavily to their fees. During orientation last fall, I was talking with a girl who honestly thought the total cost of attending GULC was $12K (obviously she's not signing the promissory notes). From my many conversations with GULC fin aid (and GW and...), I have been told it's the only possible way to truly put everyone on an even playing field. And, to some extent, that's true (except for us unfortunate children of broken homes).


I completely sympathize with your annoyance. I asked someone in NYU's admissions department why they would want my parents' financial information as well as my own. The answer, as you said, was "because we don't want people to take advantage of us by having their parents pay." I was pretty annoyed (offended actually), given that I've been out of school for 6 years, am married and have a mortgage.

Please do take seriously the high cost of living here in DC. It's not as expensive as Boston, New York or San Francisco, but by any normal definition, it's extremely pricey.


Dude. Go to UConn. Debt sucks. Don't get trapped someplace you don't want to be because of the price tag of your law school.

You're going to love studying the law -- it's fascinating and engrossing and absorbing. As long as there are a handful of challenging, dedicated professors and a dozen or two motivated and bright classmates, you are going to have the guides and the companionship you need for a wonderful journey into a really compelling subject. The bulk of your law school journey will be between the covers of your casebook and in your brain as you struggle with the new materials. I'm not sure the difference in law schools -- facilities, prestige, clinics, etc. -- is worth a financial scenario that will dramatically limit your post-grad options.

Best of luck, my friend.


On the other hand, one could argue that the lack of those things --facilities, prestige, clinics, etc.-- can also dramatically limit your post-grad options...

But, I agree, the most pressing problem with legal education today is the skyrocketing cost. The repurcussions ripple far beyond the individual debt-ridden student and, I think, are a chief contributor to the overall decline of legal practice from a self-regulating and (despite popular opinion) honorable profession into a cutthroat business, concerned only with the bottom line. Debt burden pushes many people into practice settings in which they don't want to be. While there, the pressures to please the bottom line push ethics, morality, family life, etc. to the wayside and the whole profession (and, one could argue, society-at-large) suffers.

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