GW $$$ or Cornell at sticker?

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ersh1428
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GW $$$ or Cornell at sticker?

Postby ersh1428 » Mon Mar 22, 2010 10:59 pm

I was admitted to GW with their $105,450 deal, and am still waiting to hear from Cornell. My numbers suggest that I should be an admit (although this year, I'm not counting on anything). My concern is that due to the increase in applications, I may not hear from Cornell until there is little to no time left before deposits are due, so I'll have to make a very snap decision.

I really liked GW when I visited, and given that I am unsure what I want to do after law school (I may not even want to practice law), I am fairly debt averse. That said, Cornell is obviously the superior school in both education and prestige, and I really like the idea of the Cornell name to help compensate for an unimpressive undergraduate college (Large Public University a shade below UM, UVA, and the UCs,).

I love DC, but I think I could also enjoy Ithaca.

I'd really appreciate any input that anyone has, because once I do hear from Cornell, I may have very little time to make this decision. Please help. Thanks.

dakatz
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Re: GW $$$ or Cornell at sticker?

Postby dakatz » Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:12 pm

Well, the settings are polar opposites. Cornell is the type of school you really must visit first, especially if you used to a city environment. It is very small and intimate, with only 600 people, as compared to the 1,600 or so GW students. Only problem is, Cornell costs 70K a year. Obviously, that is an insane amount of cash. Just to add some perspective, I am in the exact same situation as you. I have the 105K offer from GW, and haven't heard yet from Cornell. If Cornell gives me nothing, I don't think I can justify the price difference. But thats just me.

ersh1428
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Re: GW $$$ or Cornell at sticker?

Postby ersh1428 » Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:15 pm

Yeah, that cost at Cornell really took me aback. I was sure that with its supposedly lower COL, its total price would be lower, but to take out over 200K in loans has me terrified. I'm just not sure I can justify spending an extra hundred grand to go to Cornell due to prestige and better biglaw placement, when I'm not sure that I want biglaw. Beyond the difference in class size, it seems somewhat insane to me to spend an extra hundred grand for what's essentially 10 spots in the rankings.

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Puffy
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Re: GW $$$ or Cornell at sticker?

Postby Puffy » Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:19 pm

There's no reason not to pay $100k for prestige if it matters to you and if it will make you a happier person in the end. What's the point of saving even $100k if you are going to feel bitter and resentful at your GW JD for the rest of your life, while being reminded every minute that you could have chosen Cornell?

ersh1428
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Re: GW $$$ or Cornell at sticker?

Postby ersh1428 » Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:24 pm

I don't think i would feel bitter at all for making what I would deem a rational decision, if that's all the difference is about. I made a similar decision when it came to undergrad, and I haven't regretted it for a moment. Cornell is great, but it isn't Harvard or Yale. But is the difference in prestige between it and GW worth a hundred grand? That's what I just don't know.

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Puffy
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Re: GW $$$ or Cornell at sticker?

Postby Puffy » Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:30 pm

ersh1428 wrote:I don't think i would feel bitter at all for making what I would deem a rational decision, if that's all the difference is about. I made a similar decision when it came to undergrad, and I haven't regretted it for a moment. Cornell is great, but it isn't Harvard or Yale. But is the difference in prestige between it and GW worth a hundred grand? That's what I just don't know.


Imo it's quite the rational decision to pay extra for vanity prestige if that will help you be happier. Of course the hard question is, as you say, whether Cornell is worth $100k over GW. One thing that you might think about is, this is something you will never be able to undo. You can't just go back and get a better JD later on, as you might with other luxury items.

Z3RO
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Re: GW $$$ or Cornell at sticker?

Postby Z3RO » Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:47 pm

Puffy wrote:
ersh1428 wrote:I don't think i would feel bitter at all for making what I would deem a rational decision, if that's all the difference is about. I made a similar decision when it came to undergrad, and I haven't regretted it for a moment. Cornell is great, but it isn't Harvard or Yale. But is the difference in prestige between it and GW worth a hundred grand? That's what I just don't know.


Imo it's quite the rational decision to pay extra for vanity prestige if that will help you be happier. Of course the hard question is, as you say, whether Cornell is worth $100k over GW. One thing that you might think about is, this is something you will never be able to undo. You can't just go back and get a better JD later on, as you might with other luxury items.

You can't go back and take the scholly at GW once big law doesn't happen at Cornell either.

I would take the money.

chocho
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Re: GW $$$ or Cornell at sticker?

Postby chocho » Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:54 pm

Puffy wrote:There's no reason not to pay $100k for prestige if it matters to you and if it will make you a happier person in the end. What's the point of saving even $100k if you are going to feel bitter and resentful at your GW JD for the rest of your life, while being reminded every minute that you could have chosen Cornell?


umm, there certainly are plenty of reasons not to pay 100K for prestige, even if it matters to you.

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Grizz
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Re: GW $$$ or Cornell at sticker?

Postby Grizz » Tue Mar 23, 2010 12:08 am

chocho wrote:
Puffy wrote:There's no reason not to pay $100k for prestige if it matters to you and if it will make you a happier person in the end. What's the point of saving even $100k if you are going to feel bitter and resentful at your GW JD for the rest of your life, while being reminded every minute that you could have chosen Cornell?


umm, there certainly are plenty of reasons not to pay 100K for prestige, even if it matters to you.


Exactly. Soul-crushing debt, for one.

OP, you're not sure you want biglaw, so visit both, but the money seems much too good to pass up, especially if you're ok with being in the region after graduation.

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beef wellington
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Re: GW $$$ or Cornell at sticker?

Postby beef wellington » Tue Mar 23, 2010 12:08 am

ersh1428 wrote:I don't think i would feel bitter at all for making what I would deem a rational decision, if that's all the difference is about. I made a similar decision when it came to undergrad, and I haven't regretted it for a moment. Cornell is great, but it isn't Harvard or Yale. But is the difference in prestige between it and GW worth a hundred grand? That's what I just don't know.

I'd say definitely not in your situation. Since you're not even sold on being a lawyer you should either not go to law school or take the money at GW. If you hate it you'd emerge relatively unscathed compared to if you took out all those loans for Cornell.

K's Logic
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Re: GW $$$ or Cornell at sticker?

Postby K's Logic » Tue Mar 23, 2010 12:19 am

OP, I am in your situation as well and also find myself unsure about what I want to do with my legal career. I am heavily leaning towards GW $$$ right now even with some much higher-ranked schools' decisions still not made. If GW provides a little more in the form of need-based aid, I think it will tip the scales. The only two schools (that I have a good shot at) remaining that I would consider at sticker over GW are Northwestern and Cornell, but even then I think it's best to take the $$$ if you are unsure what you want to do and would be satisfied even if you didn't get big-law.




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