-Why I chose Penn: great school and I'm incredibly grateful to have a cost of living of $0 since I'm living with my parents, who are right near philly. Note--I highlighted the fact that my cost of living would be $0 at penn when negotiating scholarships at other schools.
I'm not sure if this helped at all but about a month before I applied I emailed the admissions departments of all the schools I was interested in asking for fee waivers and also asking any random question about the school in order to show I was interested. If the person would follow up saying "you should contact x person" or something, I would do that. If anything, this helped show my interest, got my name out there to various people at the school, and also allowed me to learn more about the school while seeing what the people at the school were like.
-10/05 went to Lehigh Valley Law Day Fair and spoke to an admissions representative. He was very friendly and I had a good conversation with him. Later on I emailed him to follow up and he got me in contact with two student ambassadors. I think it was good to be able to talk to all of them and it might have helped my application, since I specifically mentioned meeting them in the application and talked about how they gave me a good impression of the school.
-10/20 fee waiver
-12/18 Interview requested
-12/21 or 12/22 Interview completed (went well)
-2/1 admitted via phone call
-2/5 offered $300 travel stipend to cover a visit, but could only be used if visiting during an accepted students day.
-2/15 scholarship notification
-3/1 applied for Charles Evans Hughes scholarship
-3/5 Charles Evans Hughes rejection
-3/27 attempted scholarship negotiation using duke (105k) and penn (90k)
-3/28 reconsideration request denied.
-4/12 attempted to negotiate again using increased duke (114k). Cornell responded saying they only allow one reconsideration request per student.
-10/29 emailed admissions asking for a fee waiver, expressing my interest, and asking about clinics. Denied a fee waiver two days later.
-2/13 placed on hold via email
-4/3 sent LOCI
-4/9 received LOCI
-4/24 placed on reserve
-10/14 offered to apply through duke priority track with application fee waived
-11/29 admitted via email
-12/11 received email about financial aid instructions
-1/16 scheduled scholarship interview
-2/16 had scholarship interview (went very well). Sent thank you emails and such afterwards.
-3/19 received scholarship award via snail mail. $105k initial offer.
-3/31 sent scholarship negotiation email using cornell (120) nyu (90) and penn (90)
-4/10 sent follow up email about scholarship
-4/11 increased offer to $114k
-4/12 tried to negotiate again via email using Berkeley $97,500 offer and the fact that I had tentatively agreed to enroll at Berkeley, and also Penn (90). Also mentioned Penn deadline extension to 4/16
-4/13 received an email back saying "the committee has made a decision about my appeal, and I should get an email back later that day." Never received the email. I think the person was referring to the email I received on 4/11 about the increase to $114k.
-10/13 emailed about fee waiver and journals
-10/22 received fee waiver
-10/27 sent email to office of journal administration asking my question about journals (I was directed to the office in an email I received a few days earlier from an admissions person who said that that office could answer my original question about journals). They replied back with a very nice email. I followed up with another question and they got back to me.
-12/21 sent in a why georgetown law essay via email.
-1/08 received essay
-2/28 invited to group interview session in philly
-3/1 declined group interview invitation. I then sent an email clarifying that I would not be able to commute to philly, and asked if there was any way I could have a skype interview instead.
-3/9 invited to alumni interview
-3/26 had facetime interview with alumni. Was pretty weird, basically told him I wasn't that interested in Georgetown and we just talked about other things instead.
-4/4 waitlisted via email
-At some point in October I sent an email asking for a fee waiver and asking another question and I accidentally wrote "does Yale give out fee waivers" instead of "Harvard". Lol that sealed my fate. But watch out for things like that in emails/applications it is very important to get the names right.
-3/26 waitlisted via email/portal and withdrew the same day
-4/2 decided to email them and ask if I could get back on the waitlist.
-4/17 they accepted and put me back on the waitlist
-4/24 asked to be removed from the waitlist again. Officially withdrew
-Applied to Jacobson Law and Business and Latinx rights scholarships (neither application was particularly great)
-Earlier in October-received fee waiver
-10/29-10/31 corresponded with admissions about clinical opportunities
-12/05 admitted via phone call
-2/23 dinged for Jacobson
-3/05 dinged for latinx rights
-3/14 offered $90k with a 4/18 deadline to commit
-3/17-3/21 arranged individual visit for 3/30
-3/30 had a fantastic visit. Sat in on two classes, got a tour with a student and talked with him a lot, met with the head of the public interest office and also with a financial aid officer. Explored the campus and also the city a bit. Was leaning NYU after the visit but ultimately decided against it due to debt concerns.
-3/31 filled out the scholarship appeal form in order to try and negotiate. (NYU has a formal appeals form online, so if you want to appeal, just email them about it and they will create a "my appeal" tab in your NYU financial aid profile.) I used Penn (90), Duke (105), and possibly Cornell (120) and Chicago (60) but I can't remember.
-4/2 sent a lot of thank you emails to people I met in financial aid and admissions, etc. during my visit
-4/4 scholarship appeal request denied
-4/11 sent an email to NYU financial aid saying I really want to go but I'm still considering Penn (90) and increased Duke offer (114)
-4/12 emailed letting them know that Penn extended deadline to 4/16
-4/12 same day I emailed letting them know of Berkeley $97,500 and again asked if my award could be changed in light of berkeley and duke
-4/12 requests for reconsideration denied again.
-10/30 emailed asking about fee waivers and clinics
-4/17 ish (I can't remember) received waitlist notification via snail mail
-12/20 received full scholarship and acceptance via email
-10/29 emailed about fee waivers and asked something and was denied
-01/02 admitted via email
-03/28 ish (can't remember exactly) offered $0 from Berkeley
-4/9 emailed berkeley requesting reconsideration using duke (105) and penn (90)
-4/11 let berkeley know that duke upped offer to 114
-4/12 I indicated that I tentatively intended to enroll at Berkeley (did this because I thought it would help them give me money). The agreement was non-binding
-4/12 later that day....received $97,500 offer from Berkeley
-January--admitted via phone call. It was on or before 1/30, can't remember.
-2/22-2/23 offered $107,500 total in need-based and merit scholarship
-4/9 sent scholarship negotiation email using Penn (90) and cornell (120)
-4/9 upped offer to $125,000
-4/9 tried to increase offer more by using $109,476 from Texas. They said it was final offer.
-I applied to Doctoroff Program (essay wasn't that great)
-10/30 emailed about fee waiver and Doctoroff program
-01/12 invited to an admissions interview via skype
-02/09 had interview (went pretty well), sent thank you email.
-02/15 in via email
-02/21 invited to interview for Doctoroff
-02/27 did interview via skype. Went very badly, but both I and the interview sort of agreed that the program wasn't for me since I wanted to do public interest.
-3/14 received $60k scholly via email
-4/01 requested link to scholarship reconsideration form
-4/02 filled out scholly reconsideration form using nyu, penn (90), and duke (105)
-4/09 sent a follow up email letting them know of the penn deadline (4/12) coming up
-4/11 sent an email letting them know of increased Duke offer (114) and telling them I was still interested in penn as well. They responded telling me that I had to resubmit the scholarship reconsideration form.
-4/11 resubmitted form using penn, duke, and nyu
-4/12 let them know of penn extended deadline
-4/12 emailed about berkeley offer and was told I needed to resubmit the scholarship form again, so I do so on the 14th.
-11/9 emailed asking about fee waivers and clinics. Was sent link through which to apply for fee waiver. Received fee waiver after applying.
-11/17 requested off-campus interview in my area
-11/21 sent another email to admissions person I corresponded with earlier regarding the concentrations at NU
-11/27 told there were no available off-campus interviews in my area, so I instead requested an online interview.
-12/11 completed interview. It went pretty well I think.
-2/12 waitlisted via email
-10/16 received fee waiver
Note---there are several lafayette college grads at Penn (a good friend of mine from Lafayette will also be attending Penn in the fall with me), and for the past few years, every year a grad has been admitted to and decided to attend penn. For whatever reason, Penn definitely likes Lafayette students.
-10/05 talked with admissions rep at lehigh valley law day. To be honest it was a very impersonal encounter. Didn't get much at all out of it. I'd say that talking with a penn rep would only be fruitful once you get your LSAT score (I didn't have my score yet).
-10/13 Emailed admissions asking about their certificate programs and fee waivers. Received a very nice email back.
-10/17 received fee waiver
-10/27 followed up with same admissions person I emailed earlier, this time asking about clinics.
11/01 admissions rep sent me a very nice email back.
-11/22 visited the school for the first time. Everyone was mostly gone for Thanksgiving break, but I met up with a good friend of mine who was a 1L at the time (also a Lafayette grad) and she showed me around. Very nice visit.
-11/24 sent note to admissions telling them I enjoyed the visit.
-2/16 accepted via phone call!
-2/19 invited to apply for toll public interest scholarship
-2/26 completed toll pi application (was not that great)
-2/28 invited to apply for dean's scholarship
-3/11 submitted dean's scholarship essay
-3/12 dinged for toll pi scholly
-3/15 visited campus again. Was really great. Sat in on a class, got a tour, talked with students, met with a person from the toll public interest center, had lunch with a student. I also met with the dean of financial aid which was great. I told him about all of the other offers I had received, and he told me to email these to the financial aid office. He said he'd use those offers to help in determining an offer from penn.
-3/18 sent thank yous to everyone I
-3/19 emailed financial aid with offers from NYU, cornell, chicago, temple, ucla, and texas (which was pretty silly, should have just sent NYU cornell and chicago). Told them I would send in Duke and Berkeley offers once I got them.
-3/19 later that day....$90k dean's scholly offer via email, with a 4/12 acceptance deadline (also had to withdraw all other offers by deadline).
-4/04 sent a scholarship negotiation email using nyu and duke (105)
-4/09 sent another email following up and also noting that I had received an increased offer from ucla (125k). I also forwarded my email from 4/04 since I wasn't sure if it had been received since no one responded.
-4/09 financial aid responded saying that while it is possible to have more offer increased, they could not guarantee more funding moving forward.
-4/10 requested that my deadline (4/12) be extended.
-4/11 emailed financial aid letting them know of duke increased offer (114k)
-4/11 later that day..still no response about deadline extension or duke's offer, so I sent another email following up. A few minutes later I got a response which said that my award could not be increased at that time; however, in the email he did not address my request to have the deadline extended. I responded again, asking if my deadline could be extended, and then
-4/12 sent an email again requesting if my deadline could be extended. They responded and extended my deadline to 4/16 at 11 am.
-4/12 emailed penn about Berkeley's $97,500 offer and told them that I expressed my intent to tentatively enroll at Berkeley
-4/13 financial aid responded saying they'd save the offer to my file.
-9:30 am 4/16 I send a final email asking if there's anyway my award could be increased, and again mentioned the Berkeley offer
-10 am 4/16 I called the dean of financial aid to try and talk to him. He was on the phone with someone else so I had to call back in like 20 minutes.
-I called back, and he basically said he had no idea whether I was serious about Penn because of all the emails I had sent. So he asked "are you gonna come" and I said "yes" and he was like alright we'll increase your award. It was pretty funny that the whole time, all I had to do was call him and that's what worked. He said he'd get back to me in a little bit about the exact number.
-I think I called again after a while and the receptionist said he was talking to someone else.
-10:55 sent an email asking if he could call me back before 11 am, or if not, if my deadline could be extended.
-Few minutes later he finally called me, told me the award would be increased to $99k and I agreed.
-Literally sent in my commitment form at 10:59 am. It was a crazy morning.
10/29 asked about fee waivers and clinics. 10/31 responded.
-12/7 invited to interview via kira talent video platform
-12/11 did interview (went very well)
-01/08 admitted via phone call
-01/26 received $109,476 scholly
-04/09 completed scholarship reconsideration form (can't remember which offers I used)
-04/10 reconsideration request denied
10/28 emailed about clinics and fee waiver
-10/30 got a response with a fee waiver
-10/31 sent another email following up about clinics and got another one back
-12/1 sent in why UVA essay via email
-3/22 waitlisted and immediately withdrew
10/28 emailed asking about fee waivers and another question
10/30 Yale only does need based waivers
-4/24 emailed Yale telling them that my seat deposit deadline for Penn was 5/01, and asking if they could give me a decision.
-4/24 dinged via email