Law School Merit Scholarship "Bait & Switch"

The problem: Students are promised merit scholarships to 'bait' them to attend a particular law school. The students are told that they will continue to receive their merit scholarships if they maintain a B or better. Since law school grading is on a curve, it is not mathematically feasible for all of the students who came in with merit scholarships to maintain a B or better. Many students end up losing the merit scholarships ('switch') that persuaded them to attend that particular law school in the first place. 

After a New York Times article brought this information to light, the ABA decided to look into scholarship retention rates. Yay! proactive legal education reform.
University of St. Thomas law professor Jerry Organ analyzed website statistics for 140 ABA-accredited schools that offered conditional scholarships for entering students in 2011. He published his findings in this paper.
"The average retention rate for scholarships across these 140 schools was 69 percent, Organ found. Twenty-six law schools had retention rates of 90 percent or better, while eight law schools had retention rates of less than 40 percent.
Among all the accredited law schools with merit-based scholarships, these 25 schools had the worst retention rates for entering students in 2011:
Akron (21%)
St. Mary’s (21%)
Howard (24%)
St. Thomas in Florida (24%)
Texas Wesleyan (28%)
George Mason (32%)
Rutgers-Camden (32%)
Barry (39%)
Florida A&M (40%)
Santa Clara (40%)
Chicago-Kent (42%)
Pacific-McGeorge (42%)
Catholic (43%)
Charlotte (43%)
Arkansas Fayetteville (44%)
Western State University (45%)
UNLV (46%)
Brooklyn (47%)
Chapman (48%)
Hofstra (49%)
Idaho (49%)
Seattle (49%)
Golden Gate (50%)
John Marshall (50%)
Texas Southern (50%)
These schools, on the other hand, had 100 percent retention rates: UCLA, University of Minnesota, Emory, University of Arizona, University of Colorado, Connecticut, Oklahoma, Oregon, Stetson, Vermont, Liberty and South Dakota.
These schools had retention rates at or above 90 percent and below 100 percent: University of Texas, George Washington, Washington and Lee, Georgia, William & Mary, University of Maryland, Ohio State, Baylor, Cardozo, Syracuse, CUNY, William Mitchell, Appalachian and Elon."
This is another chance for students to do their homework about which law school they will attend. If you are offered admission with a hefty merit scholarship at Akron (21%) and also offered admission to Vermont (100%) with a lesser merit scholarship, you might decide to attend Vermont because the chances of retaining your merit scholarship are greater.


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