Help Me Choose: Minnesota ($$) vs. Iowa ($$$)

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )

Minnesota or Iowa?

Minnesota with $20k/year
23
36%
Iowa full-ride + RA
41
64%
 
Total votes: 64

JOThompson
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Help Me Choose: Minnesota ($$) vs. Iowa ($$$)

Postby JOThompson » Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:53 pm

I've been offered $20k/year at Minnesota with a good standing requirement, but Iowa just came back with the Law Opportunity Fellowship, which is a full-ride plus a paid research assistant job (10 hours/week). I am not that attracted to Biglaw, but I'd like to keep my options open. That said, since both schools are relatively regional, I'd much prefer to be confined to Minneapolis than Iowa if I don't graduate toward the top of my class. Still, I'm hesitant to take on much debt. Do you think that Minnesota places well enough to justify an extra $60-70K in loans?

Edit: I forgot to mention that there doesn't seem to be any conditions on the Iowa Fellowship. Thanks for the opinions and votes everyone.

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84Sunbird2000
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Re: Help Me Choose: Minnesota ($$) vs. Iowa ($$$)

Postby 84Sunbird2000 » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:43 pm

What are your numbers?

09042014
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Re: Help Me Choose: Minnesota ($$) vs. Iowa ($$$)

Postby 09042014 » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:45 pm

JOThompson wrote:I've been offered $20k/year at Minnesota with a good standing requirement, but Iowa just came back with the Law Opportunity Fellowship, which is a full-ride plus a paid research assistant job (10 hours/week). I am not that attracted to Biglaw, but I'd like to keep my options open. That said, since both schools are relatively regional, I'd much prefer to be confined to Minneapolis than Iowa if I don't graduate toward the top of my class. Still, I'm hesitant to take on much debt. Do you think that Minnesota places well enough to justify an extra $60-70K in loans?

Edit: I forgot to mention that there doesn't seem to be any conditions on the Iowa Fellowship. Thanks for the opinions and votes everyone.


Will Minnesota match the full ride?

JOThompson
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Re: Help Me Choose: Minnesota ($$) vs. Iowa ($$$)

Postby JOThompson » Wed Jan 06, 2010 12:28 am

I'm 159/3.74 and am very surprised about these two offers so I don't expect to be in at any higher ranked schools. I haven't asked Minnesota to match the offer, but that's a good idea. I just don't want to appear ungrateful.

09042014
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Re: Help Me Choose: Minnesota ($$) vs. Iowa ($$$)

Postby 09042014 » Wed Jan 06, 2010 12:34 am

JOThompson wrote:I'm 159/3.74 and am very surprised about these two offers so I don't expect to be in at any higher ranked schools. I haven't asked Minnesota to match the offer, but that's a good idea. I just don't want to appear ungrateful.


There are threads about negotiating on TLS. Look them up.

ToTransferOrNot
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Re: Help Me Choose: Minnesota ($$) vs. Iowa ($$$)

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Wed Jan 06, 2010 1:44 am

Er... URM? Otherwise, yeah, those offers are really surprising.

With no requirement for the Iowa full ride, I would go with that, tbh. That said, there is a pretty significant difference between Minneapolis and Des Moines/Iowa City as far as careers go

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Tanicius
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Re: Help Me Choose: Minnesota ($$) vs. Iowa ($$$)

Postby Tanicius » Wed Jan 06, 2010 1:54 am

JOThompson wrote:I'm 159/3.74 and am very surprised about these two offers so I don't expect to be in at any higher ranked schools. I haven't asked Minnesota to match the offer, but that's a good idea. I just don't want to appear ungrateful.


Do you have residency in either state?

JOThompson
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Re: Help Me Choose: Minnesota ($$) vs. Iowa ($$$)

Postby JOThompson » Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:01 am

I am a minority, but not a URM. I believe my personal statement helped me stand out, as my LSAT is pretty lackluster. Yeah, I'd much rather end up in Minnesota. From what I've researched, it seems like a great place to study and work.

I've looked up the negotiation threads and am currently writing a letter, thanks for the suggestion.

I'm unfortunately not a resident of either state. However, Iowa would consider me a resident for my second and third years and then provide me a tuition grant to cover those fees.

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Tanicius
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Re: Help Me Choose: Minnesota ($$) vs. Iowa ($$$)

Postby Tanicius » Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:03 am

JOThompson wrote:I am a minority, but not a URM. I believe my personal statement helped me stand out, as my LSAT is pretty lackluster. Yeah, I'd much rather end up in Minnesota. From what I've researched, it seems like a great place to study and work.

I've looked up the negotiation threads and am currently writing a letter, thanks for the suggestion.

I'm unfortunately not a resident of either state. However, Iowa would consider me a resident for my second and third years and then provide me a tuition grant to cover those fees.


Well, definitely hit up UMN and see if you can't get more greens from them.

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Vincent Vega
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Re: Help Me Choose: Minnesota ($$) vs. Iowa ($$$)

Postby Vincent Vega » Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:09 am

You sure your Iowa scholly doesn't have class rank strings? I got a full ride with RA there and it said I had to stay in the top third to renew the scholarship.

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Vincent Vega
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Re: Help Me Choose: Minnesota ($$) vs. Iowa ($$$)

Postby Vincent Vega » Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:11 am

That said, I still voted Iowa. Personally, I would much rather live in Minneapolis than Iowa City, but the money would probably tempt me.

JOThompson
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Re: Help Me Choose: Minnesota ($$) vs. Iowa ($$$)

Postby JOThompson » Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:58 am

I didn't see any GPA requirement on the Iowa letter, but I'll doublecheck. I'd definitely prefer to be in Minneapolis too, but the extra debt scares me.

Do you all think I should wait for IUB and Illinois to make decisions, or am I already in a good enough position to negotiate?

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Tanicius
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Re: Help Me Choose: Minnesota ($$) vs. Iowa ($$$)

Postby Tanicius » Wed Jan 06, 2010 3:19 am

JOThompson wrote:I didn't see any GPA requirement on the Iowa letter, but I'll doublecheck. I'd definitely prefer to be in Minneapolis too, but the extra debt scares me.

Do you all think I should wait for IUB and Illinois to make decisions, or am I already in a good enough position to negotiate?


You can negotiate whenever you want in the application cycle. You can negotiate now and you can negotiate when results from other schools come in. It's usually an on-going process as schools changes their minds about scholarship offers throughout the year.

mhernton
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Re: Help Me Choose: Minnesota ($$) vs. Iowa ($$$)

Postby mhernton » Wed Jan 06, 2010 3:41 am

Take a long term view on this. If you don't have to pay back student loans for the next 20 years then don't. You're going to have your head in the books for the next at least 2 years, it won't matter if your in Iowa City, Minn, or Adak Alaska. There is fun to be had anywhere you go, if not then your just a boring person, and will be miserable anywhere. There isn't a real huge difference between 20 and 26 in rankings. So for me if come back down to student loan debt. I know I just get irritated when I have to send money out for my MBA. Undergrad was free, and Law School is looking like its going to be close to free for me...Anyway good luck.

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Thirteen
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Re: Help Me Choose: Minnesota ($$) vs. Iowa ($$$)

Postby Thirteen » Wed Jan 06, 2010 4:08 am

Halibut6 wrote:That said, I still voted Iowa. Personally, I would much rather live in Minneapolis than Iowa City, but the money would probably tempt me.


+1

I agree with the posters that suggest negotiating with Minnesota. The schools could be considered peer institutions, so they might offer more money. Good luck with the decision, and congrats on the great offers.

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camstant
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Re: Help Me Choose: Minnesota ($$) vs. Iowa ($$$)

Postby camstant » Thu Jan 07, 2010 4:02 am

Halibut6 wrote:You sure your Iowa scholly doesn't have class rank strings? I got a full ride with RA there and it said I had to stay in the top third to renew the scholarship.


+1

Also, I have almost exactly the same offers from both of those schools. I will probably choose MN because of the location and their placement statistics, but i will still make an attempt at a negotiation :)

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thepcv
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Re: Help Me Choose: Minnesota ($$) vs. Iowa ($$$)

Postby thepcv » Thu Jan 07, 2010 8:08 am

Halibut6 wrote:You sure your Iowa scholly doesn't have class rank strings? I got a full ride with RA there and it said I had to stay in the top third to renew the scholarship.


Since first reading this thread, I've looked at my own LOF letter a ridiculous amount of times, but no matter how many times I look, I don't see any class rank strings. So, it makes me wonder why some would have the class rank stip and some wouldn't (especially if they're the same Law Opportunity Fellowship award--which, I'm assuming they are).

I even looked over my letter twice more while writing this.

LSATfromNC
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Re: Help Me Choose: Minnesota ($$) vs. Iowa ($$$)

Postby LSATfromNC » Thu Jan 07, 2010 9:28 am

thepcv wrote:
Halibut6 wrote:You sure your Iowa scholly doesn't have class rank strings? I got a full ride with RA there and it said I had to stay in the top third to renew the scholarship.


Since first reading this thread, I've looked at my own LOF letter a ridiculous amount of times, but no matter how many times I look, I don't see any class rank strings. So, it makes me wonder why some would have the class rank stip and some wouldn't (especially if they're the same Law Opportunity Fellowship award--which, I'm assuming they are).

I even looked over my letter twice more while writing this.


You probably don't. Last cycle I was given one diversity scholarship (I'm white, so it must have been for my background). My offer sounded exactly like everyone else's except that it did not have the same GPA requirement. Mine was 2.5 while everyone else's was 1/3 or something.

Slimpee
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Re: Help Me Choose: Minnesota ($$) vs. Iowa ($$$)

Postby Slimpee » Thu Jan 07, 2010 9:53 am

I voted for Iowa. The rankings difference is insignificant and if you work hard I bet you can get a job in Minneapolis if you'd like. In fact, a dude I know from middle and grade school graduated from Iowa in '09 and got his first gig in Minneapolis. Maybe he's the exception but it's certainly possible!

And who know what the economy will bring in three years...

Thirdish, the fellowship sounds like a really cool opportunity!

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thepcv
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Re: Help Me Choose: Minnesota ($$) vs. Iowa ($$$)

Postby thepcv » Thu Jan 07, 2010 10:08 am

FWIW, I just looked at the official Iowa ABA sheet (downloadable through LSAC). For the last reported Bar results (1st time takers with 100% reporting), Iowa had 70 students take the Iowa Bar, 42 take the Illinois Bar and 19 take the Minnesota Bar (they also had 12 Wisconsin and 12 New York). So, that's just over 12% of 1st time takers from UI who take the Minnesota Bar.

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KMaine
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Re: Help Me Choose: Minnesota ($$) vs. Iowa ($$$)

Postby KMaine » Thu Jan 07, 2010 11:10 am

I picked Minnesota because it is where you want to go. That said, you MUST negotiate with them using the Iowa scholarship. They can either do it or the can't. You do not need to worry about being ungrateful. They would do the same thing. It is your life, your debt and your responsibility to get the best deal possible for yourself. Congratulations on your offers.

JOThompson
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Re: Help Me Choose: Minnesota ($$) vs. Iowa ($$$)

Postby JOThompson » Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:34 pm

Just an update: I sent this letter about a week ago but haven't received a reply yet. I'm a bit worried now. If Minnesota could offer me even another $5k/year, I'd go for it.

Dear Mr. XXXX,

I am honored by the acceptance and generous scholarship offer that arrived in my mailbox yesterday, as the University of Minnesota Law School is my top choice. I humbly thank you for this excellent opportunity. I believe that your rigorous program provides the best possible training and learning environment for me. I plan to attend your March Campus Preview and I look forward to seeing the campus and meeting you all.

Due to my financial situation, cost is an important factor in my decision to attend law school. While the University of Minnesota is my ideal school, a recent full-ride offer from the University of Iowa puts me in a difficult position since I hope to minimize my educational debt. Is it possible to request additional aid from the University of Minnesota?

Thank you for your time and consideration,

XXXX XXXXXX

ToTransferOrNot
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Re: Help Me Choose: Minnesota ($$) vs. Iowa ($$$)

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:38 pm

You seriously wrote "full-ride" in the letter?

Really? :?

JOThompson
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Re: Help Me Choose: Minnesota ($$) vs. Iowa ($$$)

Postby JOThompson » Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:39 pm

ToTransferOrNot wrote:You seriously wrote "full-ride" in the letter?

Really? :?

Oops.

Leeroy Jenkins
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Re: Help Me Choose: Minnesota ($$) vs. Iowa ($$$)

Postby Leeroy Jenkins » Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:41 pm

It's a little early to ask for more money anyway. I don't think a single school knows what their finaid budget looks like at this point in the cycle, except for maybe GW.




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