Sticker (USD) vs. Full-ride (Cal Western)

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USD vs. Cal Western

USD ($0)
33
56%
Cal Western (full ride)
26
44%
 
Total votes: 59

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Great Satchmo
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Sticker (USD) vs. Full-ride (Cal Western)

Postby Great Satchmo » Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:10 pm

I ask this specifically because San Diego is not the market that San Francisco, New York, etc, are. San Diego has USD, Cal Western, and Thomas Jefferson.

My goal is corporate/tax law, or something of the like.

I'm not debt averse, but I want to set myself up for an easier life it at all possible (i.e. if I knew the outcome was the same, I'd go with the option without crushing debt).

I am in USD with no money (as or yet, or maybe at all) and in Cal Western with a full ride (stipulating: 82/100 or above to keep it, if I drop below I still get some money but the full ride can never be reinstated, and I have to graduate and take the CA, if I transfer or anything else, I owe them the money).

USD - I really enjoyed and valued the campus community during my UG and I think having some sense of community will be important to keeping as involved as I'd like to be. USD is the dominant school in the area and seems to have a lot of offerings in corporate and tax law. Plus, if I end up spending money on school, I'll feel ok spending it on USD. If it push comes to shove, I can live with my parents (not ideal) to save on COL. Downside - debt...potentially a lot of it.

Cal Western - No tuition. However, the stipulations are ridiculous (82 GPA, whatever it means, and I'm not sure the median - and if I drop out, transfer, or don't attempt the CA before any other, I owe the money as a loan). I'm afraid of the stress that the scholarship would put on me, because if I lost scholarship money at Cal Western, I'd be in a HUGE HUGE HUGE pile of regret. Basically, if I pay any tuition money to go there, I won't be happy. Best case, I graduate with little or no debt (just whatever I incur from COL, depending on if I stay with the 'rents) and keep more of the money I earn...assuming the jobs are accessible. Bad/worse case, I lose some or all of the scholarship money and severe depression sets in that I spent money on Cal Western rather than USD.


I'm still considering McGeorge with about a half scholarship, SCU with very little, USF with some...but the job markets for these are either a place I'd rather not commit to (McGeorge) or one I'd worry more about finding gainful employment (Bay Area). Waiting on others, but I presume this is going to be my decision in the end.

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megaTTTron
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Re: Sticker (USD) vs. Full-ride (Cal Western)

Postby megaTTTron » Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:12 pm

Right off the bat - are you sure you can't leverage any $$$ out of USD?? It seems like you'd be happier there!

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Re: Sticker (USD) vs. Full-ride (Cal Western)

Postby BruinsFan » Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:19 pm


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Great Satchmo
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Re: Sticker (USD) vs. Full-ride (Cal Western)

Postby Great Satchmo » Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:25 pm

Haha, I thought there was another thread like this.

Well, you've done the investigating - the grade curve and stipulations for Cal Western - that's scary.

Assuming I keep the scholarship at Cal Western, what does top 1/4 at Cal Western vs. top 1/4 at USD (assuming that if I could make it to that portion of the class at either school) make?

What about median at either? If I'm median at either, I'm paying tuition - so what does the median prospect of a Cal Western student look like compared to USD?

The idea of graduating almost debt free with a decent job would be AMAZING - I'd get to keep my income! However, it's not a guarantee.

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Kilpatrick
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Re: Sticker (USD) vs. Full-ride (Cal Western)

Postby Kilpatrick » Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:39 pm

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Last edited by Kilpatrick on Wed Nov 09, 2011 1:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Great Satchmo
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Re: Sticker (USD) vs. Full-ride (Cal Western)

Postby Great Satchmo » Wed Mar 10, 2010 7:13 pm

The idea of getting out of law school with really minimal debt (i.e. living expenses) is very, very appealing, especially in San Diego. If I can get the stipulations down enough, I might seriously be considering Cal Western.

I am just thinking 3.5 years ahead and the thought of getting out of school with some decent options and very little debt, versus some other options and a LOT of debt....the latitude I'd have in the former is appealing.

I just wonder how much I'm banking on the idea that USD doing corporate/tax law is going to land me a solid (read: enjoyable enough and highly paid enough) job.

Scurredsitless1
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Re: Sticker (USD) vs. Full-ride (Cal Western)

Postby Scurredsitless1 » Wed Mar 10, 2010 7:30 pm

Great Satchmo wrote:The idea of getting out of law school with really minimal debt (i.e. living expenses) is very, very appealing, especially in San Diego. If I can get the stipulations down enough, I might seriously be considering Cal Western.

I am just thinking 3.5 years ahead and the thought of getting out of school with some decent options and very little debt, versus some other options and a LOT of debt....the latitude I'd have in the former is appealing.

I just wonder how much I'm banking on the idea that USD doing corporate/tax law is going to land me a solid (read: enjoyable enough and highly paid enough) job.



Without debt, the job doesn't have to be as highly paid. No debt opens doors.

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Re: Sticker (USD) vs. Full-ride (Cal Western)

Postby rando » Wed Mar 10, 2010 7:38 pm

Scurredsitless1 wrote:
Great Satchmo wrote:The idea of getting out of law school with really minimal debt (i.e. living expenses) is very, very appealing, especially in San Diego. If I can get the stipulations down enough, I might seriously be considering Cal Western.

I am just thinking 3.5 years ahead and the thought of getting out of school with some decent options and very little debt, versus some other options and a LOT of debt....the latitude I'd have in the former is appealing.

I just wonder how much I'm banking on the idea that USD doing corporate/tax law is going to land me a solid (read: enjoyable enough and highly paid enough) job.



Without debt, the job doesn't have to be as highly paid. No debt opens doors.


No debt gives you a lot of options. Further, I doubt you'll have trouble maintaining the scholarship stipulations.
I would probably argue differently if USD had a stellar reputation and gave you fantastic job prospects, but it doesn't. Even in San Diego, it is not like firms don't look to USC, UCLA, S & B. Not to mention the fact I am at school on the East coast and had several SD interviews. It does not seem like SD firms consider USD their home school.

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Re: Sticker (USD) vs. Full-ride (Cal Western)

Postby BruinsFan » Wed Mar 10, 2010 7:40 pm

Here are Employment Stats from both schools, keep in mind both sets are from before the uber recession hit. Also, MATH REQUIRED! Cal Western only reports the %, not the actual number, which makes the two hard to compare, 55% of the 255 that graduated from Cal Western is a different number of people than 55% of the 327 who graduated from USD

http://www.cwsl.edu/content/career_serv ... tStats.pdf

http://www.sandiego.edu/law/careers/stu ... t_data.php

Who knows what they'll look like for 2009, shutter.



P.S. this poll is a lot closer than the last one.

rando
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Re: Sticker (USD) vs. Full-ride (Cal Western)

Postby rando » Wed Mar 10, 2010 7:56 pm

It is important to remember that while job prospects ride the recession cycles, debt does not, you will owe an enormous amount of money. Right now, graduating from either school is going to be a nightmare for job prospects. But doing so with a huge amount of private tuition debt is horrifying.
Further, think a little bit down the road. 3.5 yrs from now, most people would imagine that the legal field will be a bit better than it is now. A degree from Cal-Western won't look like the stats from 2008, but it probably won't look as bad as it does now, and even if it does you won't have the man knocking down your door.

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Re: Sticker (USD) vs. Full-ride (Cal Western)

Postby BruinsFan » Wed Mar 10, 2010 8:08 pm

rando wrote:It is important to remember that while job prospects ride the recession cycles, debt does not, you will owe an enormous amount of money. Right now, graduating from either school is going to be a nightmare for job prospects. But doing so with a huge amount of private tuition debt is horrifying.
Further, think a little bit down the road. 3.5 yrs from now, most people would imagine that the legal field will be a bit better than it is now. A degree from Cal-Western won't look like the stats from 2008, but it probably won't look as bad as it does now, and even if it does you won't have the man knocking down your door.


I completely agree about the debt thing. I'm in the same situation as the poster and have done a TON of research on the two schools and there are still many stones to uncover.

A lot of the research I've done is about whether or not it's reasonable to assume one can keep their scholarship. After all Cal Western and USD cost about the same sans money. What a lot of people unfamiliar with Cal Western don't know is that Cal Western drops anyone who doesn't hit a 74 or 75 1L, which doesn't seem like a bad requirement right? Any school will kick you out of you fall below a 2.0. Things are a little bit different at CW though, Cal Western's curve is set up so that 20% of the class won't come back.

Ok, so they admit less qualified applicants right? Should be easier to stay above the marker. In order for me to keep my money I need to hit an 80. I went to admissions and asked what average 1L gpa is, they couldn't tell me. For a school that has such a strict curve, I'm sure that's a stat they can figure out. How many people lost their scholarships last year? Who knows.

A CW student I spoke with said that they jam 60 or so % of the class between 75 and 80, meaning that (with 20% below the 75 cutoff) keeping an 80 would be like a top 20 or 25% deal. I'm no math whiz, so if that's wrong please let me know.

While I plan to work my butt off in law school, the idea that if I have 1 bad class and could fall below this marker and lose my money is terrifying. Plus, it doesn't seem like they set their students up for success.

Just sayin...

My situation is a little different than the OP's. I applied PT to USD and would work all 4 years to cover my living expenses. My scholarship to CW was also not full and would have left me with 50 or 60 k in debt. Living expenses plus some half semesters.

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bass08
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Re: Sticker (USD) vs. Full-ride (Cal Western)

Postby bass08 » Wed Mar 10, 2010 10:02 pm

Does anyone else appreciate the thoroughness of the employment stats from USD? Although the stats are from 2008, it's nice that they break it down and give you an idea of the salaries of those employed in various size firms and percentage and number for each. Seems like grads did alright that year.

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tallboone
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Re: Sticker (USD) vs. Full-ride (Cal Western)

Postby tallboone » Wed Mar 10, 2010 10:12 pm

Go to Cal Western for free and by the time you finish you can say you went to UCSD Law

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Great Satchmo
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Re: Sticker (USD) vs. Full-ride (Cal Western)

Postby Great Satchmo » Wed Mar 10, 2010 10:27 pm

As BruinsFan mentioned (and is probably far too familiar with), the scholarship is a huge consideration. If I get to the point where Cal Western is a school I'd put a deposit down on, the stipulations would have to be loosened (thinking more in the - they'd kick me out anyway, so losing the scholarship would be immaterial - level). I do have a family member that is an alumni of Cal Western. So, if I feel like the scholarship is secure, it's a different story.

SO, someone check my logic: looking at those numbers for USD vs. Cal Western, for private practice - the difference in medians is around $20k/year for starting salary. Assuming that is a pervasive gap, it'd take, without interest added, about 10 years to break even on the $180k from USD vs. minimal COL (can live with my parents) for Cal Western. Does that make sense?

I definitely feel afraid to interpret employment stats (less so with USD due to more details) as I know how this stuff can be skewed (I work in research and see all of the ways data can be misrepresented).

There is a certainly an ego component to T4's, but I'm sure I can get over it (I went to state school, haha) - but I'm more comfortable doing this in SD where (1) it's a smaller/unique market from other big cities and Cal Western seems to be well enough regarded there, (2) I have at least a minimal amount of built-in networking in law through practicing attorneys in my family (although they are in criminal law, and I would like to work in corporate law).


My big fears are basically this: (1) I will lose my scholarship due to a hiccup or a very harsh curve, and (2) that doing well (top 25% or better) at Cal Western won't afford me any in-roads to corporate law.

I guess with the latter, I need to remember networking and my own footwork is going to be instrumental in my success or failure. The former, well, I think that's a point I need to make a trip to Cal Western and meet with someone at admissions about.

keg411
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Re: Sticker (USD) vs. Full-ride (Cal Western)

Postby keg411 » Wed Mar 10, 2010 10:27 pm

While debt is scary, BruinsFan's research is revealing and scarier regarding CalWestern. OP, got to USD.

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Great Satchmo
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Re: Sticker (USD) vs. Full-ride (Cal Western)

Postby Great Satchmo » Wed Mar 10, 2010 10:29 pm

tallboone wrote:Go to Cal Western for free and by the time you finish you can say you went to UCSD Law


Ahaha, I highly doubt it'll happen, and even if it does...it's still a T4.

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Great Satchmo
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Re: Sticker (USD) vs. Full-ride (Cal Western)

Postby Great Satchmo » Wed Mar 10, 2010 10:31 pm

keg411 wrote:While debt is scary, BruinsFan's research is revealing and scarier regarding CalWestern. OP, got to USD.


While I know it's not safe to assume you will be top of your class, I do have confidence that I'm at least a middle of the pack student.

The big concern is not that I'll be dropped out; it's that I'll drop below the top 20% or whatever the "82" is that I have to maintain. If I can get the stipulation to be "top 2/3rd's", I'd have no qualms about this...because if I'm bottom 1/3rd of the class, I'm in trouble no matter what and likely dropped out.

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Re: Sticker (USD) vs. Full-ride (Cal Western)

Postby BaiAilian2013 » Wed Mar 10, 2010 10:37 pm

The details on Cal Western's very harsh curve can be found in the academic policies and procedures section of its student handbook (http://www.cwsl.edu/main/default.asp?na ... k/home.asp). I would absolutely not trust a scholarship offer from them.

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Great Satchmo
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Re: Sticker (USD) vs. Full-ride (Cal Western)

Postby Great Satchmo » Wed Mar 10, 2010 10:41 pm

And, in this string of responses in the wake of some real work I actually got done today:

I'm starting to consider this in extremes: I either go to Hastings/Davis/etc (none of the places I'm into, or really are likely to get into), or I should go to a place with money and decent career prospects.

For example, McGeorge seems to do well in Sacramento and I have decent money there - I'm just not keen on the city.

USD seems like a strong school, but it'll still bind me to SD, and although the numbers are better than Cal Western, they don't seem $120k better (i.e. it's not like the top 1/4 of their class gets big law, $160k jobs of their choice). Given what seems to be a relatively small trade-off in employment stats, and if the scholarship at Cal Western is more secured, then it doesn't seem to make much sense beyond emotions.

If I was considering the San Francisco market, however, like USF/SCU versus Golden Gate, I'd opt for USF/SCU and pay the money (small-decent scholly's) rather than full ride at Golden Gate. GGU has a fledgling reputation, and it's a flooded market.


Does this make sense to anyone else, or am I headed toward the edge of the cliff? The more I think about it, it's the scholarship's stipulations that are making this a difficult decision.

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Great Satchmo
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Re: Sticker (USD) vs. Full-ride (Cal Western)

Postby Great Satchmo » Wed Mar 10, 2010 10:51 pm

Grade Allowable Range

I. First Trimester of first year. 90-95 5-10%
85-89 5-15%
80-84 10-20%
74-79 30-60%
69-73 15-20%
50-68 10-15%

Grade Allowable Range II. Second Trimester of first year.
90-95 5-10%
85-89 5-15%
80-84 10-20%
74-79 30-60%
69-73 15-20%
50-68 5-10%

III. Upper Division Classes of more than 40.
90-95 5-10%
85-89 10-20%
80-84 20-30%
74-79 30-60%
50-73 0-20%

IV. Upper Division Classes of 40 or fewer.
90-95 5-20%
85-89 10-30%
80-84 20-40%
74-79 20-60%
50-73 0-20%

V. Legal Process, Legal Skills I and Legal Skills II (as first year course).
90-95 5-10%
80-89 30-45%
74-79 30-40%
69-73 5-15%
50-68 0-5%

VI. Upper Division Classes of 15 or fewer. More B’s than A’s.



So clearly there is a lot of space for these to be harsh. I would have to negotiate down the requirement to keep the scholarship, but is this enough money to know what I need to ask?

Rather than dealing with something that can be twisted, is it more sensible to push for top 2/3rd's - that way, the curve doesn't matter, it's only competition with the rest of the class? Are these stipulations usually for the section, or is it for the entire class? I figure section-stacking is a potential for the former.

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Re: Sticker (USD) vs. Full-ride (Cal Western)

Postby keg411 » Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:09 pm

For CalWestern: ask for the scholarship stipulation at the attrition line. My post re: BruinsFan had to do with the fact that you likely won't fail out, but they are trying to "trap" you to lose your scholarship, but still be a student and have to pay $$$$ to go to a Tier 4 school.

I personally think scholarship stipulations, when law schools curve, are a really nasty, misleading tool.

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Re: Sticker (USD) vs. Full-ride (Cal Western)

Postby BruinsFan » Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:28 pm

keg411 wrote:For CalWestern: ask for the scholarship stipulation at the attrition line. My post re: BruinsFan had to do with the fact that you likely won't fail out, but they are trying to "trap" you to lose your scholarship, but still be a student and have to pay $$$$ to go to a Tier 4 school.

I personally think scholarship stipulations, when law schools curve, are a really nasty, misleading tool.


All law schools curve 1L, it's an ABA mandate.

Satchmo, I definitely see what you're saying about an all or nothing ie. Davis/Hastings or Cal Western approach. I was able to work it out so that USD will likely only cost me 30 - 40 k more, rather than 160 k vs. 30k. I'm still open, ok not really, I'm maybe still open to the thought of Cal Western and I'm going to the legal scholars thing to check it out. Maybe I can find someone who wasn't nearly as dim witted as my original admissions person.

keg411
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Re: Sticker (USD) vs. Full-ride (Cal Western)

Postby keg411 » Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:41 pm

BruinsFan wrote:
keg411 wrote:For CalWestern: ask for the scholarship stipulation at the attrition line. My post re: BruinsFan had to do with the fact that you likely won't fail out, but they are trying to "trap" you to lose your scholarship, but still be a student and have to pay $$$$ to go to a Tier 4 school.

I personally think scholarship stipulations, when law schools curve, are a really nasty, misleading tool.


All law schools curve 1L, it's an ABA mandate.

Satchmo, I definitely see what you're saying about an all or nothing ie. Davis/Hastings or Cal Western approach. I was able to work it out so that USD will likely only cost me 30 - 40 k more, rather than 160 k vs. 30k. I'm still open, ok not really, I'm maybe still open to the thought of Cal Western and I'm going to the legal scholars thing to check it out. Maybe I can find someone who wasn't nearly as dim witted as my original admissions person.


I know they all curve. I just think schools shouldn't give out scholarships based on it because people who end up being lower in their class are going to get lower paying jobs -> harder to pay off debt. Most people pick schools with scholarships to minimize debt and with a stip it can blow up in your face. That's all I meant. Not that the curves themselves are nasty and misleading.

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Great Satchmo
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Re: Sticker (USD) vs. Full-ride (Cal Western)

Postby Great Satchmo » Thu Mar 11, 2010 3:03 am

Can you imagine getting accepted, obviously knowing the stipulations exist, then find out in 1L that section stacking occurs and that scholarships are structured in a way that makes it almost an assurance that a decent portion will be lost?

I'd be livid.

Anyhow, the more I think about it, Cal Western seems to be one of my better options IF I can get the stipulations changed.

I feel like April 15th is a lot further away, but in not much over a month I'm going to have to make this decision...wow.

rando
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Re: Sticker (USD) vs. Full-ride (Cal Western)

Postby rando » Thu Mar 11, 2010 8:30 am

Great Satchmo wrote:
So clearly there is a lot of space for these to be harsh. I would have to negotiate down the requirement to keep the scholarship, but is this enough money to know what I need to ask?

Rather than dealing with something that can be twisted, is it more sensible to push for top 2/3rd's - that way, the curve doesn't matter, it's only competition with the rest of the class? Are these stipulations usually for the section, or is it for the entire class? I figure section-stacking is a potential for the former.


I have never heard of section-stacking of scholarship folk. I am not that familiar with how lower tier's leverage their scholarship money or out 20% of their class but section stacking would ruin the curve & rankings and I don't think schools would purposely do it in order to boot their scholarship recipients.




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