How I paid for Law School | Tashoy's Story

“Where yuh working now?”
“I don’t work. I go to UWI.”
“Eeeh? What you doing?”

And then I get a certain look, because it is assumed that only the elite can study law. It’s not an unsound assumption as law is a prestigious area. If you are a law student, financially challenged or not, you know that it is easier to get admission to the faculty than it is to find the tuition to stay there.
I decided I wanted to be an attorney at 12 years old. By age 15 I began to question the likelihood that I could pursue a career so financially demanding, so I considered journalism as a suitable alternative. One simple statement gave me the courage to choose Law, “Don’t worry about the money. If it’s what you want to do, the money must come”. This encouraged me to not to be deterred by the expenses however knowing that money could not materialize out of thin air I began a scholarship hunt.

My search revealed many available scholarships but even more that reflected that small print reading “NO MED OR LAW STUDENTS”.Those that catered to law students were The Rujohn Foundation Scholarship, The JMMB Joan Duncan Foundation Scholarship, and Carreras Ltd Scholarship among others. Though at that point in time I had Advanced Level Exams to focus on, I hunted for scholarships like my life depended on it; in actuality the life I wanted depended on it. By July 2015 I had applied for a total of nine scholarships. I had also applied for loan assistance from the Students’ Loan Bureau and was successful. 

The result of those nine scholarship applications were less than favorable as I was only awarded two including a grant from NCB. I had procured money to cover only a little more than half of my tuition. I knew that my mother could pay a percentage of the deficit gradually out of pocket but there were a few hundreds of thousands whose method of payment remained a mystery. My mother was the sole parent footing my university expenses.

Nevertheless, I began my first year at the Western Jamaica Campus no less enthusiastic than the other students. It wasn’t until three weeks into the second semester that I realized that this money was harder to pay off than I had anticipated.  I knew that each day that balance stood it was less likely that I would be able to continue with second year. It lingered and plagued me throughout the rest of my first year, threatening my survival UWI.

In August 2017 my father died of cancer which meant that my mother was solely charged with taking care of my younger sibling. In that same month I resumed my preparations for school. I had a full time job and I resigned. A friend asked me if I was certain I would be going to back to school and I told her yes. "So what about the money you owe" she had asked me. A few weeks later I could tell her that that money was paid off.

I received a JMMB Joan Duncan Foundation Scholarship that paid in full my outstanding balance. After receiving that scholarship more came rolling in. I had applied for just as many as I did the year before but I had little hope that I would be successful. I was proven wrong. By December 2016 I had received over $1,000,000.00 in scholarships and bursaries. I am optimistic that for my final year I will be offered enough scholarships to complete my degree and move on to Norman Manley Law School.

While a lack of financial resources is a cogent excuse to not achieve your goals you do yourself no favors in accepting this as your ultimate limitation on life. 

Unapologetically, make attempts to attain your dreams despite financial barriers. There are organizations and individuals who will eagerly assist you in achieving the foundation for your success. Your toil will not go unnoticed and your sacrifices will not go unrewarded.

Here are a few scholarships that offer assistance to law students:

- Carreras Ltd University Bursary      -NCB Foundation Scholarship
-JMMB Joan Duncan Foundation      -Peace and Love Academic Scholarship
-Credit Union Scholarship                  -Courts Customer Scholarship
-UWI OSF Scholarships                     -Next Move Jamaica Scholarship
-Rujohn Foundation Scholarship        -Ministry of Education Scholarships

Written by Tashoy Adrian
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1 comment :

  1. I heard that study in law is very much expensive and everyone can't study on that subject. Only intelligent and interested students can complete this course. BTW thanks for sharing this content with us. What Is An S Corporation


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