UH vs. SMU $$ vs. Vanderbilt $

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

UH vs SMU vs Vanderbilt

UH sticker
0
No votes
SMU $25k per year
7
22%
Vanderbilt $10k per year
25
78%
 
Total votes: 32

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glassglass
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2010 9:39 pm

UH vs. SMU $$ vs. Vanderbilt $

Postby glassglass » Mon Apr 05, 2010 10:57 pm

I’ve narrowed down my choices in attending law school to the titular three options, but it’s hard to narrow them down further without knowing more. My goal is to practice in Texas, and I can live a rich and fulfilling life without a biglaw job (especially in Texas; it isn’t nearly as expensive as other places). The lack of UT in the title implies correctly that I was rejected there. (The lack of Baylor in the title implies correctly that I was waitlisted there!) For the curious, my stats: 3.25/173, non URM (white male).

U. Houston

Pros: I’m from Houston. My family lives there. My cat lives there. I know where I’ll live (Calhoun Lofts). I already know people at UH. As a Texas resident, I get instate tuition (although ya’ll probably know about the hikes). It’s in Texas, so I can network more easily. I could get summer jobs in Houston more easily.
Cons: Not the nicest facilities. Lowest in rank of the three. I’m concerned about how well it places in Texas outside the Houston metro area. It is not in a nice area. How good is its alumni network, and how close-knit is the student body? No scholarship as of right now – and for this thread let’s assume I don’t get a scholarship. Friends of mine who go to UH (not to law school) dislike the administration. I was not happy about the tuition hikes.

SMU

Pros: $25,000 scholarship: believe it or not, it’s the cheapest option. I was impressed by the campus when I visited (definitely nicer than UH). It’s in a nice area. Like UH, it’s in Texas – good for networking.
Cons: Again, placement: I’m concerned about how well it places in Texas outside the Dallas metro area. I don’t think I’m ready to commit to one city over another. From what I’ve read on here, it sounds like SMU places better outside of Dallas than UH places outside of Houston. Of course, most of the students self-select to stay in one city over another.

Vanderbilt

Pros: #17. If I walk in, I’m quite confident I walk out with a job, and probably a good-paying job. Those who got accepted know about the package: folks going to this law school probably haven’t spent time in Nashville before (including me), and I really appreciate the help provided by it. There is a Five Guys nearby. I’ve gotten a really good impression of the school from reading about it on these forums – I’d much rather go here than say Georgetown or Cornell (didn’t apply to either). And I won’t lie, I’d rather tell people I’m going to Vandy Law rather than SMU or (in particular) UH (although I think UHLC is pretty good). I have not visited this school. I’m going to the admitted students day on Friday – really looking forward to that.
Cons: $10,000 scholarship is nice, but the cost (~$57,000 per year) is the huge drawback. I have a very hard time justifying that cost without loans, and I know I want to be debt-free. I can get a job from there, but I want to know what my opportunities in Texas will be from there (as compared to UH and SMU). Certainly it’s possible to get a job in Texas from Vanderbilt – I know Greg Abbott succeeded. Ultimately, what I need to know about Vandy is this: does it place about as well in Texas as UT does? Or would I be competing more against the SMU and UH people?

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kalvano
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Re: UH vs. SMU $$ vs. Vanderbilt $

Postby kalvano » Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:37 pm

If you are unsure as to where you want to work, go to Vanderbilt. It has a superb reputation, and seems to place very well pretty much everywhere.

If you were dead set on either Dallas or Houston, I would say take the cheaper option in those respective markets. But not being sure, take the option that will allow you the most flexibility.

I would cross UofH off that list if SMU is significantly cheaper, though.

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mr.ford
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 1:33 am

Re: UH vs. SMU $$ vs. Vanderbilt $

Postby mr.ford » Wed Apr 07, 2010 7:20 pm

I'm almost in the same boat, scholarship at SMU but no love from Houston. Based on last year's numbers I was sure I'd get at least something from UH, and I definitely wasn't expecting the tuition hike. Ah well.

I say go for SMU, Houston has done nothing to win you over, and SMU has the advantage in several areas (facilities, area of the city, etc.) SMU might even have more lay prestige.

sumus romani
Posts: 565
Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 6:04 pm

Re: UH vs. SMU $$ vs. Vanderbilt $

Postby sumus romani » Wed Apr 07, 2010 7:27 pm

glassglass wrote:I’ve narrowed down my choices in attending law school to the titular three options, but it’s hard to narrow them down further without knowing more. My goal is to practice in Texas, and I can live a rich and fulfilling life without a biglaw job (especially in Texas; it isn’t nearly as expensive as other places). The lack of UT in the title implies correctly that I was rejected there. (The lack of Baylor in the title implies correctly that I was waitlisted there!) For the curious, my stats: 3.25/173, non URM (white male).

U. Houston

Pros: I’m from Houston. My family lives there. My cat lives there. I know where I’ll live (Calhoun Lofts). I already know people at UH. As a Texas resident, I get instate tuition (although ya’ll probably know about the hikes). It’s in Texas, so I can network more easily. I could get summer jobs in Houston more easily.
Cons: Not the nicest facilities. Lowest in rank of the three. I’m concerned about how well it places in Texas outside the Houston metro area. It is not in a nice area. How good is its alumni network, and how close-knit is the student body? No scholarship as of right now – and for this thread let’s assume I don’t get a scholarship. Friends of mine who go to UH (not to law school) dislike the administration. I was not happy about the tuition hikes.

SMU

Pros: $25,000 scholarship: believe it or not, it’s the cheapest option. I was impressed by the campus when I visited (definitely nicer than UH). It’s in a nice area. Like UH, it’s in Texas – good for networking.
Cons: Again, placement: I’m concerned about how well it places in Texas outside the Dallas metro area. I don’t think I’m ready to commit to one city over another. From what I’ve read on here, it sounds like SMU places better outside of Dallas than UH places outside of Houston. Of course, most of the students self-select to stay in one city over another.

Vanderbilt

Pros: #17. If I walk in, I’m quite confident I walk out with a job, and probably a good-paying job. Those who got accepted know about the package: folks going to this law school probably haven’t spent time in Nashville before (including me), and I really appreciate the help provided by it. There is a Five Guys nearby. I’ve gotten a really good impression of the school from reading about it on these forums – I’d much rather go here than say Georgetown or Cornell (didn’t apply to either). And I won’t lie, I’d rather tell people I’m going to Vandy Law rather than SMU or (in particular) UH (although I think UHLC is pretty good). I have not visited this school. I’m going to the admitted students day on Friday – really looking forward to that.
Cons: $10,000 scholarship is nice, but the cost (~$57,000 per year) is the huge drawback. I have a very hard time justifying that cost without loans, and I know I want to be debt-free. I can get a job from there, but I want to know what my opportunities in Texas will be from there (as compared to UH and SMU). Certainly it’s possible to get a job in Texas from Vanderbilt – I know Greg Abbott succeeded. Ultimately, what I need to know about Vandy is this: does it place about as well in Texas as UT does? Or would I be competing more against the SMU and UH people?



As for Vandy placing better in Texas than UT, I've read quite a bit on TLS that suggests that UT out-places quite a few T14s in Texas, which implies that it out-places Vandy. Now, I don't know if that is true, but that seems to be the consensus on TLS. But why is this "Ultimately" what you need to know? It just doesn't make any sense.

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glassglass
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2010 9:39 pm

Re: UH vs. SMU $$ vs. Vanderbilt $

Postby glassglass » Wed Apr 07, 2010 9:37 pm

If you are unsure as to where you want to work, go to Vanderbilt. It has a superb reputation, and seems to place very well pretty much everywhere.

If you were dead set on either Dallas or Houston, I would say take the cheaper option in those respective markets. But not being sure, take the option that will allow you the most flexibility.

I would cross UofH off that list if SMU is significantly cheaper, though.


Yeah, not dead set on either Dallas or Houston. Here's my desirability ranking: (Austin, but that ain't happening) > Dallas, Houston > San Antonio > random suburbs or exurbs of the previous cities > large cities/suburbs in other states > rural areas in TX > rural areas in other states. Wouldn't call UH significantly cheaper than SMU - SMU's several thousand dollars cheaper I think.

I'm almost in the same boat, scholarship at SMU but no love from Houston. Based on last year's numbers I was sure I'd get at least something from UH, and I definitely wasn't expecting the tuition hike. Ah well.

I say go for SMU, Houston has done nothing to win you over, and SMU has the advantage in several areas (facilities, area of the city, etc.) SMU might even have more lay prestige.


Tuition hike definitely has me peeved, and of course there will be further tuition hikes in the years to come. I went to the March ASD, and my impression was that tuition will still go up by a fair amount in the coming years, although not 16%. Vandy, in contrast, will have tuition hikes of 2-3%, which is more reasonable. And yeah I think SMU has more lay prestige. I just find it strange that a private school will cost less for me than a similarly ranked public school.
As for Vandy placing better in Texas than UT, I've read quite a bit on TLS that suggests that UT out-places quite a few T14s in Texas, which implies that it out-places Vandy. Now, I don't know if that is true, but that seems to be the consensus on TLS. But why is this "Ultimately" what you need to know? It just doesn't make any sense.


It's a sliding scale. Vanderbilt costs more than SMU and UH, therefore Vanderbilt must have better job placement in Texas for me to go there.

Scale from 1 to 10. UT's ability to place its grads in Dallas or Houston is a 1. SMU's ability to place its grads in Dallas, and UH's ability to place its grads in Houston, is a 10. Where does Vanderbilt lie on the scale? If Vandy is a 3, go 'Dores. If Vandy is a 9, I'll go to SMU or UH. (Probably leaning SMU over UH right now, for reasons already said.)

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kalvano
Posts: 11720
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 2:24 am

Re: UH vs. SMU $$ vs. Vanderbilt $

Postby kalvano » Wed Apr 07, 2010 9:45 pm

SMU will take you far in Dallas, but that's the effective limit of it. While you can certainly find jobs outside Dallas, it become markedly more difficult.

I know there are a lot of Vanderbilt grads floating around the Dallas area, and it's a fantastic school. I don't think you're going to find any hard numbers that says Vanderbilt outplaces SMU / UofH in Dallas / Houston, but I think it would be a better bet for you since you're unsure.

Rawlsian
Posts: 387
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 3:53 pm

Re: UH vs. SMU $$ vs. Vanderbilt $

Postby Rawlsian » Tue May 25, 2010 9:36 pm

What school did you decide on?

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luhrenzo
Posts: 102
Joined: Fri Dec 11, 2009 6:11 pm

Re: UH vs. SMU $$ vs. Vanderbilt $

Postby luhrenzo » Tue May 25, 2010 9:52 pm

i wish i had seen this when it was originally posted...




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