Best School Possible vs Full Ride at a Great School

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SciLaw
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Best School Possible vs Full Ride at a Great School

Postby SciLaw » Wed Jan 06, 2010 6:01 pm

My grades are pretty good, and I'm hoping to end up with a 170-172 LSAT. Given those numbers, I think I have a chance at HYS (though, I understand still a reach- please note, not the point of this thread)

My question remains: given the opportunity to attend GULC, Cornell, UVA or similar schools with a full tuition scholly, would I be crazy to pass on admission to Harvard, Yale, or Stanford?

Now, lets say I don't do as well as I hope, but I get can still get into the T14. The GW Presidential Scholarship looks like a pretty sweet deal. Would I be better off attending GULC/Cornell for sticker? or GW for free?

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FromRussiaWithLove
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Re: Best School Possible vs Full Ride at a Great School

Postby FromRussiaWithLove » Wed Jan 06, 2010 6:09 pm

You're too late for the GW ED unless your are talking about next year.

I struggled with the same decision. I wasn't Harvard material, but I had the option of going to some of the T14 at almost sticker/sticker. In the end, I decided a full ride was worth more to me than the name on my degree. I understand not everyone on here will agree.

But I will come out of GW with debt equal to only my housing costs (granted, in D.C., that will be about as much debt as I would have paid in tuition at my state school). Nevertheless, I am just too debt averse to owe the federal gov. almost 200k.

It is a personal decision, though. What is more important to you?

wired
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Re: Best School Possible vs Full Ride at a Great School

Postby wired » Wed Jan 06, 2010 6:10 pm

Depends on your goals in life. If you want to teach at a law school, you'd be insane to pass up HYS.

If you want to work in your father's law firm for the rest of your life, you'd be insane to pass up the lowest cost school you could find.

Everything between that is a balancing act.

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Kiersten1985
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Re: Best School Possible vs Full Ride at a Great School

Postby Kiersten1985 » Wed Jan 06, 2010 6:14 pm

The thing with having a certain name on your resume - aside from academia - is bringing in clients. Clients are going to feel more comfortable going with the big law school name guy/girl vs. the lower-tier school. They won't care that you go into the T14 but passed it up for financial reasons.

This is particularly true if your dream job is BigLaw (or close to it) partner, because you'll need to be a rainmaker before you join the big boys' club. That means bringing in clients. That means an impressive name on your resume.

flcath
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Re: Best School Possible vs Full Ride at a Great School

Postby flcath » Wed Jan 06, 2010 6:18 pm

wired wrote:If you want to teach law school, you'd be insane to pass up HYS.

This is entirely correct, to a much larger extent than is conveyed by the simple language. Look at the numbers.

If you go to HYS, you can be basically assured of landing a Biglaw spot, you just now HAVE to do Biglaw for awhile if you want to pay down your debt (don't let people here fool you, the LRAP lifestyle is not premo). I think if you're fine doing this--or for God's sake if you actually *want* Biglaw--then an admission to HYS ends your cycle early.

On the other hand, I would never call someone who chose a full ride at GULC or Cornell over sticker at HYS stupid, it's just a decision that implies you have some amount of certainty about what you want (or, more accurately, what you *don't* want) to do with your degree.

Is this fair?

SciLaw
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Re: Best School Possible vs Full Ride at a Great School

Postby SciLaw » Wed Jan 06, 2010 6:22 pm

Yes, I'm talking about next year. I still need a bit more LSAT practice. I've maxed out at 175, but I'm usually in the high 160's or low 170's.

I have no real plans to teach law school (though I admit, that does have a certain appeal), but my problem is that I don't really know where I want to practice.

I guess what I really want to know is, to you TLSers, what rank is "high enough" for you? and why?

wired
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Re: Best School Possible vs Full Ride at a Great School

Postby wired » Wed Jan 06, 2010 6:30 pm

Since you asked about us individually, I would almost certainly reject any offer at a T14 that didn't have good money with it because I plan on doing government work and do not want to have the debt hanging over me. I MIGHT go to Georgetown at sticker, but that is only because they have such a generous LRAP and would make the payments feasible, but everywhere else makes it nearly impossible.

On the other hand, I want to work in a US Attorney's Office, so I am trying to find a good school that is highly ranked. I am trying to keep annual expenses to less than 30k/year and then going to the school that is most likely to feed me into a good litigation job after, particularly in California or DC. For me, that hopefully means Vanderbilt, George Washington, William and Mary or UCI.

flcath
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Re: Best School Possible vs Full Ride at a Great School

Postby flcath » Thu Jan 07, 2010 1:34 pm

wired wrote:Since you asked about us individually, I would almost certainly reject any offer at a T14 that didn't have good money with it because I plan on doing government work and do not want to have the debt hanging over me. I MIGHT go to Georgetown at sticker, but that is only because they have such a generous LRAP and would make the payments feasible, but everywhere else makes it nearly impossible.

On the other hand, I want to work in a US Attorney's Office, so I am trying to find a good school that is highly ranked. I am trying to keep annual expenses to less than 30k/year and then going to the school that is most likely to feed me into a good litigation job after, particularly in California or DC. For me, that hopefully means Vanderbilt, George Washington, William and Mary or UCI.

What's UCI? And why, of all the schools that you listed, did you choose to make that one an acronym (I'd have gotten GULC, GW, W&M, or "Vandy")?

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2807
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Re: Best School Possible vs Full Ride at a Great School

Postby 2807 » Thu Jan 07, 2010 1:43 pm

UCI is U.C. Irvine. California.

flcath
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Re: Best School Possible vs Full Ride at a Great School

Postby flcath » Thu Jan 07, 2010 2:09 pm

2807 wrote:UCI is U.C. Irvine. California.

Oh, okay. I dunno if you're from CA, but the various UC's, excepting UCLA and Berkeley, aren't really instantly recognizable on the east coast the way they are there.

Oban
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Re: Best School Possible vs Full Ride at a Great School

Postby Oban » Thu Jan 07, 2010 4:15 pm

I'm most likely taking a fullride at lower ranked T1 then paying sticker at a school like minnesota or WUSTL. living expense debt is enough for me.

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Kiersten1985
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Re: Best School Possible vs Full Ride at a Great School

Postby Kiersten1985 » Thu Jan 07, 2010 4:21 pm

jayzon wrote:Sure, you might miss BigLaw, but you won't need it: you're not $200K in the hole.


Very good point.

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echoi
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Re: Best School Possible vs Full Ride at a Great School

Postby echoi » Thu Jan 07, 2010 6:19 pm

wired wrote:Since you asked about us individually, I would almost certainly reject any offer at a T14 that didn't have good money with it because I plan on doing government work and do not want to have the debt hanging over me. I MIGHT go to Georgetown at sticker, but that is only because they have such a generous LRAP and would make the payments feasible, but everywhere else makes it nearly impossible.

On the other hand, I want to work in a US Attorney's Office, so I am trying to find a good school that is highly ranked. I am trying to keep annual expenses to less than 30k/year and then going to the school that is most likely to feed me into a good litigation job after, particularly in California or DC. For me, that hopefully means Vanderbilt, George Washington, William and Mary or UCI.

You don't have to rely solely on LRAP with the new Income-Based Repayment Plans for federal student loans--just avoid taking out non-federal loans if you can. IMO, if you're accepted to a T14 and you really want to go to law school, debt shouldn't be stopping you from attending.

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TheWire
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Re: Best School Possible vs Full Ride at a Great School

Postby TheWire » Thu Jan 07, 2010 6:24 pm

flcath wrote:
2807 wrote:UCI is U.C. Irvine. California.

Oh, okay. I dunno if you're from CA, but the various UC's, excepting UCLA and Berkeley, aren't really instantly recognizable on the east coast the way they are there.


I'm kind've interested in this since I am from cali and everyone here would know...have you not heard of UCSD or UCSB?




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