One last time...

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romothesavior
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One last time...

Postby romothesavior » Tue Mar 16, 2010 3:57 pm

I asked a few months ago about choosing a school, and I received some very valuable feedback. However, I have since refined my choices (eliminated Cornell) and have more concrete numbers on scholarships, so I am returning to the TLS community for their infinite wisdom. I know everyone and their mother is doing these polls right now, but I greatly appreciate any advice you could give me. I'm trying to decide between

-UIUC (full tution scholly, approx. COA 50k)
-WUSTL (75k scholly, approx. COA 100k)
-Vanderbilt (60k scholly, approx. COA 130k)

Some things about me: I want to practice law in the midwest, preferably in Chicago, St. Louis, or Indianapolis. I'm not totally against going to another region (the south or east coast), but my preference would be to stay in the midwest. My top choice throughout the cycle was Michigan, but I got waitlisted there. If I were to get off the waitlist early enough (say June or so), I would go there, but I obviously cannot bank on it.

I've grown up in the midwest and love it, for the most part. I grew up in a mid-sized city and I go to school in a similarly sized town. Quite honestly, I'm ready for a taste of big city life, even if its just Nashville or St. Louis. I think I have a pretty good shot at working in-house at a big corporation in my hometown (family connections to the company, I'm working there this summer, I've done some networking, etc.), but I would rather do that down the road, perhaps after a big law stint or something. I really am tired of living in this area and I want to experience something new for a few years. For these reasons, I'm not too big on UIUC, especially because I can't stand the thought of Champaign for 3 years.

On the other hand, UIUC would be by far the cheapest school to attend and I think it would give me the best Chicago job opportunities out of the three. I liked UIUC on my open house visit, but I still feel like another 3 years of living in an average sized midwestern town would be too much for me.

So your thoughts? Should I bite the bullet and go to UIUC, or do the other schools have a compelling case to make?

edit: The poll went haywire so I took it down, but I'll try to get it back up later.
Last edited by romothesavior on Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:53 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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holydonkey
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Re: One last time...

Postby holydonkey » Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:07 pm

I chose Vanderbilt #6.

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romothesavior
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Re: One last time...

Postby romothesavior » Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:08 pm

holydonkey wrote:I chose Vanderbilt #6.


Haha I have no idea WTF my computer is doing. I've tried fixing it like 10 times and it won't even let me remove the poll now.

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Snoopy1216
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Re: One last time...

Postby Snoopy1216 » Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:08 pm

+1 hahahaha

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romothesavior
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Re: One last time...

Postby romothesavior » Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:11 pm

I don't believe in a deity, but if I did, this would surely be a sign that I should end up at Vanderbilt.

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holydonkey
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Re: One last time...

Postby holydonkey » Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:12 pm

I changed my mind and it let me re-vote so I chose Vanderbilt #8.

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romothesavior
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Re: One last time...

Postby romothesavior » Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:17 pm

Okay screw the stupid poll haha. But does anyone have any serious input?

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holydonkey
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Re: One last time...

Postby holydonkey » Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:31 pm

In all seriousness, I say take WUSTL. You want a city. You want the midwest. WUSTL is the best option for this. UIUC is great as well and a good choice, but if you weren't sold when you visited and want something more urban go to Wash U.

djgoldbe
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Re: One last time...

Postby djgoldbe » Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:41 pm

I'm in a similar position as you OP, except I didn't even bother applying to UIUC because I just don't want to be there. Personally, if you KNOW you want to be in Chicago I would say UIUC is financially the most sound decision. However, (also, if you KNOW you want to be in chicago) if you can't stand champaign and want a better QOL, go with WUSTL.

Lastly, if you want to have ANY reasonable chance of going outside of the midwest, go with Vandy. Academically and job prospect wise I would definitely say it's the best choice of the three. However, you're going to pay a bit for that portability and increase in job prospects.

I personally am leaning towards Vandy just because I want to keep my options open and because I am interested in working in DC at least for a few years.

td6624
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Re: One last time...

Postby td6624 » Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:50 pm

I think that without your personal feelings, most people would say Vandy. But I think your interest in staying in the midwest + the extra money and slightly lower COL outweighs the relatively small difference in quality.

I hear you on UIUC. I would have loved to end up in Chicago (and had no real shot at NU or U of C)... but to me it wasn't worth being stuck in Champaign. With that said, it is a pretty decent college town, but that might not be what you're looking for as a law student (which pretty much seems to be the case).

You can't really go wrong with any choice here for the midwest, but if I were you I'd go with WUSTL.

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Grizz
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Re: One last time...

Postby Grizz » Tue Mar 16, 2010 5:08 pm

td6624 wrote:You can't really go wrong with any choice here for the midwest, but if I were you I'd go with WUSTL.


TITCR, because you are sure you want to stay in the Midwest. If that changes in the next few weeks (unlikely), go Vandy.

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romothesavior
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Re: One last time...

Postby romothesavior » Tue Mar 16, 2010 5:13 pm

How hard would it be to come back to the midwest if I went to Vandy? Vanderbilt is a southern school, to be sure, but it really isn't that far from the midwest. Anyone have any idea how they might place in cities like Chicago, St. Louis, or Indianapolis?

td6624
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Re: One last time...

Postby td6624 » Tue Mar 16, 2010 5:32 pm

romothesavior wrote:How hard would it be to come back to the midwest if I went to Vandy? Vanderbilt is a southern school, to be sure, but it really isn't that far from the midwest. Anyone have any idea how they might place in cities like Chicago, St. Louis, or Indianapolis?


I'm no expert here, but Vandy has the farthest reach of any of these, and if you really wanted to, I'm sure you could make it work without much difficulty. But it wouldn't be easier (or at least not much easier) than landing in the midwest from WUSTL (as far as I know, someone please correct me if I'm wrong), so then you're still left (I think) with WUSTL as the better option.

For some point of reference, I'm heavily considering Vandy, and at this point I don't see myself remaining in the South after graduation unless some absurd job lands in my lap.

djgoldbe
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Re: One last time...

Postby djgoldbe » Tue Mar 16, 2010 5:37 pm

I also don't plan on staying in the south besides perhaps Atlanta after Vandy. Although most people who leave the south out of Vandy go to NYC or DC, I don't think you'd have any issue with Chicago. That said, like the poster above said I would guess it would probably place similarly in Chicago as WUSTL does but that's something of a guess. Would be nice to have someone from Vandy to chime in.

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romothesavior
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Re: One last time...

Postby romothesavior » Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:53 pm

Bump, I know my problem with the poll kinda derailed this thread. But I am genuinely interested in people's opinions.

Should I go the uber-cheap route and take UIUC for 50k, or is Vanderbilt worth the $130,000 plunge? Or should I settle somewhere in between and spend $100,000 at WUSTL?

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thickfreakness
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Re: One last time...

Postby thickfreakness » Wed Mar 17, 2010 10:05 pm

Really tough decision. I've heard negative things about student culture at WUSTL and many, many positive things about Vandy. I think you can get a job in the midwest out of Vanderbilt, but you'll have to do some legwork. However, your connections to the region are going to help quite a bit. The only worry about WUSTL I would have is its recent rise likely has created some lagging prestige and with that weakened placement ability. I think the best way to make this decision is to visit both places and see which you like more. I think I would lean towards WUSTL because 30K is definitely an appreciable difference in loan expenses.




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