Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Law Scholarships Go to Those with Least Financial Need

From the Law School Survey of Student Engagement (LSSSE):

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.  

You can access the survey here.

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