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Need some financial assistance in the law school application process? Here are four ways to apply for free:
1. You can be awarded a fee waiver by LSAC. The fee waiver is difficult to qualify for and requires you to demonstrate an “extreme need.” Expect to start this process early – budget 2 months before your LSAT. This fee waiver will include the cost of two LSAT tests, your CAS registration, six law school reports, and a Score Preview waiver. Because these waivers are so stringent, once you are awarded a fee waiver by LSAC most law schools will automatically grant you an application fee waiver. Only a handful of law schools require you to request a fee waiver after receiving the LSAC fee waiver.
2. If you do well on the LSAT, you may get unsolicited fee waivers from law schools who want you to apply. To ensure an opportunity to receive these waivers, make sure you sign up for LSAC’s Candidate Referral System prior to taking your test. These fee waivers do not necessarily mean you will be admitted. Some schools will extend these waivers to increase the number of applicants to the school so their numbers look better for rankings. Expect to receive these offers by email in the days or weeks after the LSAT scores are released. Occasionally, “hidden” waivers are issued. A hidden waiver will become evident when you add your law school application to your shopping cart on the LSAC site. You will be pleasantly surprised to learn that there is no charge.
3. You can request a fee waiver. To do this, email the admissions officer with your request. In the email, ask whether the school offers a merit-based application fee waiver, and whether you qualify. Include your UGPA, LSAT, and LSAC account number. Don’t expect one of these waivers unless your numbers are above the school’s median. You can also get fee waivers at law school admissions forums or live and virtual tours. Many times recruiters at these events will hand out waivers to candidates who approach them and express interest in their school.
4. Increasingly, schools are offering free applications to all. However, you will still need to pay LSAC $45 per law school report unless you secure an LSAC fee waiver.