LSAC Fee Waivers with Kalyn McDaniel (Ep. 269)

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The world of LSAC Fee Waivers is opaque and confusing. You may not get a clear answer as to why you were granted or denied a fee waiver, leaving many people frustrated and in the dark—and still in need of any bit of financial relief they can get. The guys sit down with Kalyn McDaniel, an LSAT Demon tutor and 1L applicant who recently received a fee waiver after initially being denied. Kalyn discusses the fee-waiver appeal process and lets you know how you can set yourself up for success when asking LSAC for help. Plus, the guys consider the relationship between GPA and scholarships, they offer advice to someone who’s just starting their LSAT prep journey, they hear from someone who’s seen a bump in their score after studying with the Demon, and they critique a listener’s personal statement.

As always, if you like the show and you want to get more from the Thinking LSAT community, check out the links below. You can connect with other folks studying for the LSAT, and get more useful resources from Nathan and Ben.

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Important Dates

11.07.2020 – Break out the long sleeves, it’s the November LSAT-Flex testing week

12.02.2020 – It’s the last day to register for the January LSAT

01.06.2021 – It’s the last day to register for the February LSAT

01.16.2021 – Bundle up and hunker down! It’s the January LSAT

02.20.2021 – Hearts-for-eyes for days—it’s the February LSAT

2:46 – The Deal With Fee Waivers

Kalyn McDaniel, a new LSAT Demon tutor, joins Nathan and Ben to discuss her fee waiver journey. Over the past year, Kalyn requested an LSAC fee waiver and was denied. But in her appeal process, she was able to finally get her fee waiver request approved. Now she’s waiting to hear back from Harvard and other top law schools. Kalyn offers advice for other folks who are getting denied by LSAC.

23:49 – Scholarship and GPA Info

An LSAT Demon tutor writes anonymously to offer a critique of the way the guys framed up the relationship between GPA and scholarship opportunities in law school. It’s true that Ben and Nathan often discuss the biggest scholarships as being available to folks at the top of the applicant pool, but the reality is there are several variables schools look at. A 3.0 GPA will be considered differently from M.I.T. than from a regional community college, for example. The guys share how they think through scholarship opportunities and what it means for the Demon Scholarship Estimator.  

37:50 – Book Club Recs

Sam knows that Ben is constantly reading about this topic and that. And before the pandemic, Nathan was always headed to the movies. Sam wants to know if the guys have ever thought about starting a book club, or could at least offer up some new recs. Tune in to hear what the guys have been consuming, but warning…you might be disappointed.

39:41 – Getting Started

J has been flirting with the idea of taking the LSAT for over a year. Now he’s ready to take the plunge. He asks the guys where he should begin—a diagnostic? a certain section or question type? Ben and Nathan agree that taking a diagnostic is really important: you need to fail in order to work toward success. And once you have your diagnostic in hand, you can just start drilling and taking timed sections in the Demon. No need to focus on one section, you need to focus on the entire test—that’ll be a lot more engaging and fun, and will keep you sharp for every section of the test.

45:05 – Demon Success

Mel recently started studying with the LSAT Demon and the platform has already had a big impact on her score. In fact, she just nabbed a 170 for the first time on her practice test (that’s pretty badass, Mel!). Now she wants to know how she can push it even further. Nathan and Ben talk about how folks in the 170-180 range tend to score perfectly on the games and that’s the place where Mel should really focus. She’s still missing a number of points there which could easily put her in the 173+ range. The guys talk about what it means to approach the test at an elite level and how you can best plan for your best performance.

57:16 – DH’s Personal Statement  

DH submits her personal statement for a fine slicing and dicing and the guys don’t disappoint. They mince DH’s essay about her work as a flight attendant. Ben and Nathan tell DH how she can re-work her existing statement into a more compelling narrative about her…pretty cool job.