Michigan (sticker) v. BU ($60k)

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

What to do?

Michigan at sticker
69
76%
BU with $60k
19
21%
Deposit at both and take another month or so to decide
3
3%
 
Total votes: 91

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rayiner
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Re: Michigan v. BU (with potential $)

Postby rayiner » Mon Jan 25, 2010 2:55 pm

If you want a big firm job in NYC, then Michigan.

Re: T30 with money versus T14. One of the things I looked at after getting to NU was the GPA/callback data for top Atlanta firms. The data suggests that lower grades are necessary for these firms from NU than from Emory (assuming connections I suppose).

People on TLS may be prestige whores, but law is a prestige-whorey profession. Compare Duke and Emory, both T20 schools where top of the class aims for NYC and the rest of he class aims for Atlanta, etc. For CO 2008, Duke put over half the class into V100 firms. Emory was just under 10%.

The T30s are great schools, but h less you're sure you don't want biglaw, it's generally a mistake to choose one if you have T14 options.

married0L
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Re: Michigan v. BU (with potential $)

Postby married0L » Mon Jan 25, 2010 3:00 pm

Point taken agentzer but to assume that all "established" lawyers in a number of different of sized firms at various levels of management are all "wrong" or misinformed is a grand assumption also.

I think the other variable that has yet to be addressed by OP is family decisions and planning. I know for my wife and I it is definitely a factor in our decision making process.

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AngryAvocado
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Re: Michigan v. BU (with potential $)

Postby AngryAvocado » Mon Jan 25, 2010 3:00 pm

dakatz wrote:
married0L wrote:Just to add on to my last post. So much of what I read on here goes directly against what I hear when I talk to numerous lawyers themselves. While I am not located in NYC, DC, Boston, etc. I have come to know many men and women in the profession that are quite successful with degrees from "lesser schools" (top 30-40). They enjoy what they are doing and are quite comfortable. Perhaps this is because they never dreamed of the NYC associate making +$150,000 right out. But that comes with strings attached to (some of which are soul sucking). Anyways, I digress.

Know what is important to you and value that more than what you hear from kids on here. Build relationships with attorneys where you live. Ask their advice. Gather info and make a decision you are comfortable with.


So true. I told a few lawyers I know (some in big firms, some are solos, some in companies, etc) and not one single one recommended picking the full price T-14 over a reputable T25 or T30 that gives me a bunch of money. When I told them the cost of going to a T 14 at full price, they said it is crazy (A few of them went to T14 schools themselves, but none paid full price, except one who went to Harvard, and he still regrets going). We are so wide-eyed on this forum and have no conception of what debt is like. I made a mention of 200K debt and jaws his the floor and these lawyers gasped as they said, "you can't possibly be considering such stupidity, can you?" So I think that pretty much sums up where most lawyers (at least the ones I know) stand on the matter. Its not like you are comparing some TTT regional school to Michigan. BU is highly reputable, especially in New England, and there seem to be a bunch of factors in your situation that justify picking it.


Interesting, because I've spoken with a few T14 lawyers and they all told me that, unless I'm going for public interest, I should go to the top school that I get into (a couple said that it was okay to drop 2-3 ranks if they were offering significant money, but no further than that). They all pretty much pointed out that law is such a prestige-obsessed field that you'd be doing yourself a disservice in the long run by going to a lower ranked/regional school.

I happen to think it's not quite so black and white, but I would definitely only consider BU if they were willing to pay a full ride or damn close to it. Better prospects + nationwide appeal > an extra ~30% debt.

awesomepossum
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Re: Michigan v. BU (with potential $)

Postby awesomepossum » Mon Jan 25, 2010 3:02 pm

To go back to the OP...she said "she might be able to squeeze some money" out of BU. It doesn't sound like we're talking about a full ride or anywhere near that.

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Kiersten1985
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Re: Michigan v. BU (with potential $)

Postby Kiersten1985 » Mon Jan 25, 2010 3:07 pm

starstruck393 wrote:
Kiersten1985 wrote:Thanks. Yes, he definitely is "the one." We currently live together and are planning on getting married after I finish LS. It's really just a matter of waiting to buy a ring as to not freak our parents out. :wink:

And to an earlier post re: debt - I should mention that I have about $90k of UG debt as it stands and if I wish to pay off my debt in 10 years, another $200k from LS leaves me with a monthly payment of roughly $3,300 and a total interest amount of over $100k. This scares me, TBH. I could pay it off in 20 years but then that's more interest I'm paying and all I can think about is how I could be putting that money into savings or my kids' college funds.


I understand how scary that debt can be, but I think looking at $200k vs $275k pushes it even farther toward Michigan than considering $100k vs. $180k. When you're talking $200k plus in debt, you're going to need a biglaw-salary job in order to pay it back on your own. You better hope you do really well out of BU if you choose that path, because if you can't get a really high salaried job you'll be in real trouble. I think the security Michigan offers, with much better job prospects, and LRAP to fall back on, makes it just about too good to turn down.

Of course you need to take other things into account. If you absolutely won't be happy at a school, you should probably avoid it, lest it affect your performance. Though I doubt you'll have enough free time on your hands to justify going to a school in a place you like, over one in a place you're not as enamored with.

And about the SO, I don't necessarily think being apart is such a bad thing. I would hate to have picked a school based on an SO, and then break up, leaving you stranded and with regret. As for the time apart, the long distance serves as a good test. If you get through it, you can have confidence that there's a good chance you're compatible enough to last long term. If it doesn't work out, there's a good chance marriage wouldn't have lasted long term either (~52% divorce rate in the US now), and it's better to find out early than have to go through the pains of a divorce...


The thing with having that amount is the interest. While a $75k scholarship doesn't seem to tip the scales that much now, in the end it yields an interest savings of over $100k dollarsthat could be put towards a home or savings. It also means a monthly payment of $2400 vs. $3300. All this info was calculated at http://www.finaid.org/calculators/loanpayments.phtml, by the way. I'm not too worried about not landing a job either, as I have a few connections.

I get what you're saying about the LTR thing, but I just don't want to be apart for that long. It's not a matter of breaking up - I'm not worried about that. It's more that life's just too short to spend three years apart if I don't have to.

awesomepossum
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Re: Michigan v. BU (with potential $)

Postby awesomepossum » Mon Jan 25, 2010 3:11 pm

do you think you're likely to get 25K a year?

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Kiersten1985
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Re: Michigan v. BU (with potential $)

Postby Kiersten1985 » Mon Jan 25, 2010 3:14 pm

awesomepossum wrote:do you think you're likely to get 25K a year?


I can't say for sure, obviously, but I think I could possibly negotiate my way up there based on LSN and my other offers/scholarships. Then again, I could be totally wrong.

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rayiner
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Re: Michigan v. BU (with potential $)

Postby rayiner » Mon Jan 25, 2010 3:16 pm

Kiersten1985 wrote: I'm not too worried about not landing a job either, as I have a few connections.


How solid are these connections? Are they at firms that have been hiring? Will they get you the type of job you want?

If you've got a guaranteed job at a place you'd love to work, then sure take the money and stay in Boston. But that's a big "if".

awesomepossum
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Re: Michigan v. BU (with potential $)

Postby awesomepossum » Mon Jan 25, 2010 3:16 pm

We all have priorities in life. If it's that important to you to be in that given city, then I think that's legit.

One thing to be careful about "connections." I've heard of so many stories since starting law school about those sort of things not panning about...family friends....even parents who are partners...it's always better to be able to go out and take care of business on your own.

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Kiersten1985
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Re: Michigan v. BU (with potential $)

Postby Kiersten1985 » Mon Jan 25, 2010 3:18 pm

rayiner wrote:
Kiersten1985 wrote: I'm not too worried about not landing a job either, as I have a few connections.


How solid are these connections? Are they at firms that have been hiring? Will they get you the type of job you want?

If you've got a guaranteed job at a place you'd love to work, then sure take the money and stay in Boston. But that's a big "if".


Very solid, yes and yes. I know nothing's 100% and I don't mean to sound naive. It's just a very good connection - a lot better than something like a family friend who's a lawyer at some firm.

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rayiner
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Re: Michigan v. BU (with potential $)

Postby rayiner » Mon Jan 25, 2010 3:24 pm

Kiersten1985 wrote:Very solid, yes and yes. I know nothing's 100% and I don't mean to sound naive. It's just a very good connection - a lot better than something like a family friend who's a lawyer at some firm.


In that case, modulo the reservation that awesomepossum pointed out, I don't really see what your question is? You generally go to a better school to be able to get a better job. If you've got a job lined up, then there is no reason not to pick the school that costs the least and is in the location you want.

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beesknees
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Re: Michigan v. BU (with potential $)

Postby beesknees » Mon Jan 25, 2010 5:52 pm

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Last edited by beesknees on Sat Dec 04, 2010 6:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

starstruck393
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Re: Michigan v. BU (with potential $)

Postby starstruck393 » Mon Jan 25, 2010 6:16 pm

beesknees wrote:A lot of people on here seem to be saying that the difference in having like $80-90k in debt is not much different than having $160-170k. That's a HUGE difference in my mind. We're talking like ~$1300/month versus ~$2500/month according to rough approximations.

I think that a lot of people on here look at huge numbers and say, "hey, they're all big, so what's the real difference of borrowing that much more?" I see a huge difference in those monthly payments, personally.


Of course there's a very real difference in actual payments. What I mean in arguing that the difference is minimal is this: regardless of whether you have the higher debt or lower debt, you're still going to need a high paying job. The T14 gives you a much better chance at landing that job. It's all about risk management. Say you go to BU with the $$, finish first in your class and land a sweet biglaw job. You took the riskier option, but it worked out for you, and your payments will be less for it. But say you finished at median. Good luck getting a $100k/yr+ job with median out of BU right now, which would allow you to keep up with your still sizable loan payment, while avoiding living in a cardboard box. No, instead, you get a $50-$60k/yr job (hey, at least you were able to find something). Good luck trying to stay afloat, while making your payments. Although it is easier without the debt, it would be very hard to even pay off the smaller amount. Now, if you had been at Michigan instead, although you would have more debt to deal with, your median could still land you a decent job, where you could live comfortably and pay off your increased debt, or, if you were stuck making $50k/yr, have LRAP pay off a sizable portion of your payments.

It's the fact that if you can't get a good job, even the $100k of debt can be so difficult so as to make an additional sum functionally non-existent...

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rayiner
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Re: Michigan v. BU (with potential $)

Postby rayiner » Mon Jan 25, 2010 6:33 pm

beesknees wrote:A lot of people on here seem to be saying that the difference in having like $80-90k in debt is not much different than having $160-170k. That's a HUGE difference in my mind. We're talking like ~$1300/month versus ~$2500/month according to rough approximations.

I think that a lot of people on here look at huge numbers and say, "hey, they're all big, so what's the real difference of borrowing that much more?" I see a huge difference in those monthly payments, personally.


It's a product of the bimodal distribution of legal salaries. There are a lot fewer jobs in $80-120k range than jobs in the $125k+ range, and many of those go to the tippy-top of the class at regional schools. So what you're really looking at is:

T14: 50-60% chance at $135k+, else $50-60k with $2,500 to pay off.
T30: 15% chance at $135k+, else $50-60k with $1,300 to pay off.

That's not nearly as clear-cut a case as some people are making it out to be.

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beesknees
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Re: Michigan v. BU (with potential $)

Postby beesknees » Mon Jan 25, 2010 6:40 pm

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starstruck393
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Re: Michigan v. BU (with potential $)

Postby starstruck393 » Mon Jan 25, 2010 8:08 pm

beesknees wrote:
starstruck393 wrote:
beesknees wrote:A lot of people on here seem to be saying that the difference in having like $80-90k in debt is not much different than having $160-170k. That's a HUGE difference in my mind. We're talking like ~$1300/month versus ~$2500/month according to rough approximations.

I think that a lot of people on here look at huge numbers and say, "hey, they're all big, so what's the real difference of borrowing that much more?" I see a huge difference in those monthly payments, personally.


Of course there's a very real difference in actual payments. What I mean in arguing that the difference is minimal is this: regardless of whether you have the higher debt or lower debt, you're still going to need a high paying job. The T14 gives you a much better chance at landing that job. It's all about risk management. Say you go to BU with the $$, finish first in your class and land a sweet biglaw job. You took the riskier option, but it worked out for you, and your payments will be less for it. But say you finished at median. Good luck getting a $100k/yr+ job with median out of BU right now, which would allow you to keep up with your still sizable loan payment, while avoiding living in a cardboard box. No, instead, you get a $50-$60k/yr job (hey, at least you were able to find something). Good luck trying to stay afloat, while making your payments. Although it is easier without the debt, it would be very hard to even pay off the smaller amount. Now, if you had been at Michigan instead, although you would have more debt to deal with, your median could still land you a decent job, where you could live comfortably and pay off your increased debt, or, if you were stuck making $50k/yr, have LRAP pay off a sizable portion of your payments.

It's the fact that if you can't get a good job, even the $100k of debt can be so difficult so as to make an additional sum functionally non-existent...


Yeah, this is what I go back and forth between (as I really love Michigan as a school). Visiting won't really help (it'll just make me want Michigan more, probably). I need to make a very practical decision here. While I'd love Michigan, if I can't afford it, I can't afford. Just like I'd love to drive a Benz right now, but I can't afford to.

Also, even if those top paying jobs are available, like I said, I'm interested in PI/gov work, so I'm not really wanting a $160k biglaw job. To me, having close to $200k in debt is limiting for my career prospects in that I'd have to take (what I see) as a soul-sucking firm gig for 10 years, unless their LRAP is really what its cut out to be.

Sigh. I wish we had some actual recent grads on here to get that perspective (what its like searching for a job and living with huge debt). Seems like we have plenty of 0L perspective, some 2L and 3L, but no "real world" perspective. All of the attorneys I know either went to a lower ranked school cuz they had to or are 50 years old and went to LS when it wasn't so astronomically expensive to do so.

PS sorry for hijacking the original thread lol.


Yea, that's tough. I guess, you need to decide how prestigious gov/pi you're looking at, and how debt averse you are. If you want prestigious jobs, Michigan would probably be the way to go. If not, and if you're debt averse, I really think a full ride to lower ranked school in the region of your interest can make sense for you...

woeisme
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Re: Michigan v. BU (with potential $)

Postby woeisme » Tue Jan 26, 2010 3:37 am

Kiersten1985 wrote:I'm still waiting to hear back from 6 schools, but since they're all reaches, I'm starting to think more seriously about where I'll end up going. Michigan is the highest ranked school to which I've been accepted, but I really, really am not excited about the prospect of leaving the northeast. I'm currently in NYC with plans to move back to Boston (my hometown) eventually to raise a family and spend summers at my dream Cape house :D But I digress...

I'm thinking I can squeeze some cash out of BU, but not expecting any from Michigan. Would I be crazy to choose BU over Michigan? I can safely say that if I do decently well at BU, I would have a BigLaw job in NYC if I wanted after graduation (which is what I'd like to do for a few years before officially moving back to Boston).

I have transferring in the back of my mind, too, as an option. Any thoughts of what I'd need to go from BU to Columbia/Harvard (the only schools I'd consider transferring to) are welcome.

Thanks as always :)


I know I'm always beating people over the head with Cornell, but in your case I'd think this would make a lot of sense. Is this not a consideration? Seems like a win-win situation (re: prestige and east coast). But anyway, yeah, if you're really gung ho Boston and you're narrowing it down to BU and MIchigan, I'd think BU with money wouldn't be absurd at all. As for transferring, I'd say top 15%. Maybe 10%. I really don't know though.

woeisme
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Re: Michigan v. BU (with potential $)

Postby woeisme » Tue Jan 26, 2010 3:42 am

Kiersten1985 wrote:
awesomepossum wrote:Here are a few thoughts I have.


1) VISIT. It will help you figure out if you might like it here or you just can't take it.
2) VISIT. Seriously.
3) You will make friends in law school. Unless you're a total toolbox....in which case you will probably still make friends.
4) Travel out of this area is remarkably easy. It's nice to have Northwest Airlines major hub 30 mins away.
5) VISIT.

I will say this though. There are a lot of people who do long distance over law school that end up breaking up. There are people that don't, but far more do than don't from what I've seen. When law school started it seemed like everyone was in a relationship. 2 months later everyone was single.

Oh...and before I forget....visit. :D


haha - I knew this would come up. I am definitely planning to come to one of the ASWs and the proximity to the airport is huge (a major reason why Michigan is way WAY ahead of Cornell in my mind even though Cornell's still in NY).


Ahem. Cornell troll piping in momentarily (cause sorry, I hadn't read this post before). You do know that there is an airport like seven minutes away, right? Ithaca has an airport. Also hourly buses to NYC. And another airport 50 minutes away in Syracuse. Just saying. 8)

DukeHopeful
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Re: Michigan v. BU (with potential $)

Postby DukeHopeful » Tue Jan 26, 2010 4:06 am

Just for perspective on paying off all of the debt, ATL today had a thing for Hughes, Hubbard, and Reed, a NYC firm ranking 126 on the NLJ 250. Salary info for class years. It also said first-year associates with 2100 hours got a $35K bonus. Makes that extra $1100 a month in loan payments seem worth it if it might mean the difference between this BigLaw and not. In the first 5 years on this schedule, you'd make $955K in salary, pre-bonus, pre-taxes. Another $1.03 million in the following four. I just thought it relevant that with a ten year payoff plan, it makes sense to look at more than just starting salary. If anyone has any info or a similar chart for $50-60K starting job, I'm sure it would be helpful.

Class Year Salary
2009 $160,000
2008 $170,000
2007 $185,000
2006 $210,000
2005 $230,000
2004 $240,000
2003 $250,000
2002 $265,000
2001 $275,000
2000 and above $280,000

EDIT FOR LINK: --LinkRemoved--

fortissimo
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Re: Michigan v. BU (with potential $)

Postby fortissimo » Tue Jan 26, 2010 6:28 am

-
Last edited by fortissimo on Sat Mar 20, 2010 1:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

awesomepossum
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Re: Michigan v. BU (with potential $)

Postby awesomepossum » Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:20 am

woeisme wrote:
Kiersten1985 wrote:
awesomepossum wrote:Here are a few thoughts I have.


1) VISIT. It will help you figure out if you might like it here or you just can't take it.
2) VISIT. Seriously.
3) You will make friends in law school. Unless you're a total toolbox....in which case you will probably still make friends.
4) Travel out of this area is remarkably easy. It's nice to have Northwest Airlines major hub 30 mins away.
5) VISIT.

I will say this though. There are a lot of people who do long distance over law school that end up breaking up. There are people that don't, but far more do than don't from what I've seen. When law school started it seemed like everyone was in a relationship. 2 months later everyone was single.

Oh...and before I forget....visit. :D


haha - I knew this would come up. I am definitely planning to come to one of the ASWs and the proximity to the airport is huge (a major reason why Michigan is way WAY ahead of Cornell in my mind even though Cornell's still in NY).


Ahem. Cornell troll piping in momentarily (cause sorry, I hadn't read this post before). You do know that there is an airport like seven minutes away, right? Ithaca has an airport. Also hourly buses to NYC. And another airport 50 minutes away in Syracuse. Just saying. 8)



It also costs a ridiculous amount of money to go from Ithaca to anyplace via airplane. I think to take the plane from Ithaca to NYC costs something like $250. The bus is horrific and takes 6 hours.

woeisme
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Re: Michigan v. BU (with potential $)

Postby woeisme » Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:27 am

awesomepossum wrote:It also costs a ridiculous amount of money to go from Ithaca to anyplace via airplane. I think to take the plane from Ithaca to NYC costs something like $250. The bus is horrific and takes 6 hours.


You're right that flights cost more from Ithaca, but that's easy to deal with if you just plan in advance. It's only $250 if you buy the ticket shortly before the flight. A lot of my friends only fly out of Ithaca and they just buy their tickets well in advance.

As for the bus, there are a few that go regularly. The Cornell bus is far from horrific. It's actually pretty nice - internet connection, comfy seats, spacious, etc. And I was under the impression that it was only a 4.5 hour trip. If you're talking about Greyhound, though, then you won't hear any arguments from me. Your description sounds spot on. :lol:

alm2127
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Re: Michigan v. BU (with potential $)

Postby alm2127 » Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:42 am

i would try to get off the georgetown waitlist, or if you get waitlisted at penn try really hard to squeeze your way in there...i've been doing long distance from dc to ny with my boyfriend for past 2 years and the cheap express buses have made it possible to see eachother any weekend we want.
other than that, if you really do have a guaranteed job at a good firm and your significant other will be in nyc, maybe you should just take the full scholarship at cardozo (or try for one at brooklyn if you'd prefer that). then if for some reason the job does fall through, it's not a big deal and all you'd have to make up is any loans you take out for living expenses.

umichgrad
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Re: Michigan v. BU (with potential $)

Postby umichgrad » Tue Jan 26, 2010 1:22 pm

OP, I did long distance Ann Arbor-Philly while at Michigan. 1.5 hours on a plane sure beat a 4.5 hour bus ride. If you fly jetblue or spirit or one of those, you can get round-trip tickets for cheaper than an amtrak ticket.

That said, it sounds like you honestly prefer BU, but feel like you have to take Michigan. You don't! I love Michigan probably more than anybody, but you have to go to the school that is the best fit for you personally (and not for the rest of TLS).

woeisme
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Re: Michigan v. BU (with potential $)

Postby woeisme » Tue Jan 26, 2010 1:42 pm

umichgrad wrote:OP, I did long distance Ann Arbor-Philly while at Michigan. 1.5 hours on a plane sure beat a 4.5 hour bus ride.


To be fair, it doesn't make sense to compare plane to bus. Whether traveling by plane or bus, Ithaca is MUCH closer to Boston/NYC than is Ann Arbor. The advantage Ann Arbor has is that it's cheaper to fly out of without advance notice. Then again, you could always fly out of Syracuse and then there's not much of a difference. Nevertheless, I'm not sure Cornell is really in this race right now anyway.

OP, have you contacted BU on $ yet? Why not ask the advice of your contact in Boston?




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