Are you trying to apply to law schools but have financial problems? In this guide, we'll take an in-depth look at LSAC’s fee waiver.
If you're reading this article, you might have your eyes set on a career in law. Starting from the very first step of embarking into the field of law, applicants and students have massive fees they must pay, whether tuition or LSAC fees. Unless you get a full-ride scholarship, those pursuing a career in law face extremely high costs.
These high costs start from the very beginning. When applicants apply to law schools, they use the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) site to start their application. LSAC has fees that applicants must pay to use its services.
If you're applying to law schools and cannot afford the LSAC fees, you may be eligible for a fee waiver. This guide will cover how to get a waiver, who's eligible, and what the fee waiver covers.
The fee waiver is only for those who cannot afford the fees. You must prove your income to be considered for this program. LSAC considers applicants whose income falls within the 250-300% income limit of the poverty guidelines for their Tier 1 and 2 packages. In addition to that, a person must:
You must provide documentation when applying for the LSAC Fee Waiver Program.
The fee waiver program has been modified to follow a two-tiered system to cover the costs of more applicants seeking financial assistance when applying to law school. Both tiers cover the costs of different services. Below are tables that show what each tier covers.
The Tier 1 Fee Waiver package includes the following:
The table above shows the various services LSAC waives with the Tier 1 package. As you can see, it covers many services many applicants have trouble covering.
The Tier 2 Fee Waiver package includes the following:
As you can see, both tiers cover the same services; however, Tier 1 includes a lot more. Now we'll be going over a brief description of each of the services the LSAC offers.
When applying to law school, applicants must register for the Credential Assembly Service (CAS). Law schools for registration require CAS. The fee for CAS is $200, and it's for five years.
CAS is an extension of LSAC, and it gathers an applicant's transcripts, letters of recommendation, and other documentation to submit to law school admissions.
The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is the standardized test applicants must complete applying to law schools. Registering for one LSAT is $222. The Tier 1 Fee Waiver Package covers two LSATs, while the Tier 2 Fee Waiver Package covers only one.
The Law School Report is a standardized report that LSAC will send to law schools. The reports include your LSAT scores, transcripts, and letters of recommendation.
Nearly all law schools in the country require a copy of your Law School Report. One CAS Law School Report is $45. If you’re trying to stretch your dollars even further, you can apply to law schools with great financial aid options!
LawHub Advantage provides applicants with a subscription to over 75 official LSATs that have been administered in the past. The practice tests are administered online and are designed to help applicants practice before they take the LSAT. A one-year subscription is $115.
The LSAT Score Preview allows first-time LSAT takers the option to purchase a preview of their LSAT scores. This allows applicants to see their LSAT score and decide if they want to keep it or not.
In the past, applicants could not remove their bad LSAT scores from the permanent record. But now, applicants have the option to remove their lousy scores. The LSAT Score Previews cost $45.
LawReady is a new LSAC initiative allowing college students to explore the legal profession and develop the skills necessary for success while navigating the admissions process and building their network. LawReady costs $249.
Getting a fee waiver through LSAC means first applying through your LSAC.org account. You’ll need to make an account first through the site. Next, through your LSAC account, you must upload all documentation supporting your fee waiver application. These documents include:
1. All tax documents supporting your fee waiver application. You must include all federal income tax schedules filed with Form 1040, including:
2. The Verification of Non-filing Letter from the IRS.
3. DACA documentation
4. Driver’s license, passport, or state ID
You must submit these documents at least six weeks prior to the registration deadline.
You should submit your completed fee waiver application to LSAC six weeks before the registration deadline.
If you plan on taking advantage of the one-year Prep Plus subscription, you should submit your completed fee waiver application six months before the LSAT registration deadline.
LSAC will hold your file if your fee waiver request is denied. You then have two options: appeal the decision or pay all outstanding fees. You may only appeal the decision once, and the review process should be complete within two weeks. During this time, there will still be a hold on your file.
If you still have questions after reading this guide, check out these frequently asked questions.
According to the LSAC website, you must earn 250-300% of the poverty guidelines to be considered for the fee waiver.
Once you've applied and submitted your documentation to LSAC, it usually takes about two weeks to process. If your application is denied, you can appeal it, which may take an additional two to three weeks.
LSAC will approve or deny your fee waiver request’s approval depending on whether you’re within the income limit and what your residency status/citizenship status is.
LSAC recommends applicants apply for a fee waiver at least six months before your LSAT test date to “maximize the benefit from the one-year LawHub Advantage subscription included in the fee waiver package.”
Applying to law schools can be extra stressful if you're not financially able to pay for the many LSAC services. However, now that you've read this guide, you know there are programs to help cover these costs. An LSAC fee waiver can help cover these costs and help you during these stressful times.