Nearly 80 percent of scholarships awarded to law school students are not based on financial need, according to new data from the Law School Survey of Student Engagement. More than two-thirds of white students who were surveyed received such scholarships, while less than half of black students did. Scholarships were given to those with high LSAT scores. And these students were less likely than others to be first-generation college students.
A statement from Aaron N. Taylor, director of the study and associate professor at Saint Louis University School of Law, said, “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.”
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