UF, no scholarship versus Stetson full ride plus $5k/yr

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Irishman87
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UF, no scholarship versus Stetson full ride plus $5k/yr

Postby Irishman87 » Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:35 pm

I have a dilemma on my hands and was looking for some advice. On the one hand I've been admitted to the University of Florida without scholarship money, and on the other I've been admitted to Stetson with a full tuition scholarship, plus $5,000 per year living stipend. It would essentially cost me $45,000 in student debt to attend Stetson and $90,000 to attend UF. Is it worth the additional $45,000 to attend UF?

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SAE
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Re: UF, no scholarship versus Stetson full ride plus $5k/yr

Postby SAE » Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:38 pm

Irishman87 wrote:Is it worth the additional $45,000 to attend UF?

YES.

I take it, you are from out of state?

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Grizz
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Re: UF, no scholarship versus Stetson full ride plus $5k/yr

Postby Grizz » Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:39 pm

Depeneds. Are there stipulations on the Stetson scholarship? Also, are you cool with ending up in Tampa/St. Pete for what could be the entirety of your career? What are your career goals?

If you want a firm job, and you are not sure you want to live in the Bay Area forever, you have to go to UF. Simple as that.

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UFMatt
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Re: UF, no scholarship versus Stetson full ride plus $5k/yr

Postby UFMatt » Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:41 pm

Spend the extra and go to UF. Stetson isn't highly regarded even in-state, so imagine if you ever wanted to leave Florida. UF is a solid school; as the de facto flagship of a rapidly growing state, it has a lot of room for improvement too.

Disclaimer: I am obviously biased, but I think the stats back me up.
Last edited by UFMatt on Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

lawschoolgiant
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Re: UF, no scholarship versus Stetson full ride plus $5k/yr

Postby lawschoolgiant » Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:43 pm

GO TO UF....You can get residency after one year, and the tuition will decrease....much better job prospects.

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SAE
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Re: UF, no scholarship versus Stetson full ride plus $5k/yr

Postby SAE » Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:45 pm

lawschoolgiant wrote:GO TO UF....You can get residency after one year, and the tuition will decrease....much better job prospects.

This.

Also, factor in the cost of living difference.

showNprove
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Re: UF, no scholarship versus Stetson full ride plus $5k/yr

Postby showNprove » Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:46 pm

Florida is worth the extra $45k.

Irishman87
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Re: UF, no scholarship versus Stetson full ride plus $5k/yr

Postby Irishman87 » Wed Apr 07, 2010 5:49 pm

I'm actually in-state, but I would be responsible for the full debtload, as my parents don't have the expendable cash available to help out.

But wow, thanks to everyone for the clear and unambiguous advice. I was already leaning towards Florida, based on the following reasoning, but the advice really makes the decision much easier. Anyway, my reasoning was this: at a rougly 8% interest rate, $45,000 is an extra $300 per month in debt service, and with Florida grads in the private sector (where I would try to head) on average making around $18,000 more per year/ $1,500 per month than Stetson grads (more like $16,000 per year/ $1,333 per month once you adjust for the tax brackets), I would actually net an extra $1,033 per month going to UF, so I could actually pay off my loans more rapidly perhaps going to Florida. Someone please call me out or correct me though if my thinking process was flawed.

I've already considered the possibility that UF grads might only make more because they head to bigger markets (Miami/ South Florida) where the living expenses are higher, and thus attorneys must make more to keep up. But then again Stetson's regional reputation means most of their grads are confined to the Tampa/ Orlando area, where living expenses are high relative to the state's average, and yet they still make less on average than UF grads. UF's statewide reputation, by contrast, means more of their graduates are spread out over the state, and therefore probably experience living expenses on aggregate more in line with the state's average, and still make more. So factoring in the living expenses/ salary issue, the income gap between UF and Stetson grads actually may widen.

The problem is that my whole reasoning is purely conjectural and based on 2009 data, but I have faith that UF will continue to dominate the market for the best jobs in Florida. So my next question is, will my reasoning still be valid three years from now? Will UF's tuition skyrocket? Will the salary gap close between UF and Stetson grads (mainly by UF grads making less)? It might seem from what I had said above that I was already set on Florida, but the fact is I'm still unsure because there's so much uncertainty in the future surrounding the costs and value of UF.

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pearl_earrings
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Re: UF, no scholarship versus Stetson full ride plus $5k/yr

Postby pearl_earrings » Wed Apr 07, 2010 11:39 pm

.
Last edited by pearl_earrings on Tue Aug 17, 2010 5:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

fcowrx
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Re: UF, no scholarship versus Stetson full ride plus $5k/yr

Postby fcowrx » Thu Apr 08, 2010 12:50 am

UF, hands down. From what I've heard from attorneys down here it's basically UM/UF for the Miami/S.Fl market, UF for basically everything else aside from northern Florida which FSU tends to dominate. Also, if UF ends up being the flagship university that should have its perks too. The difference in debt, in my opinion, isn't big enough to warrant taking the money at Stetson and lowering your job prospects outside of Tampa.

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HenryDavid
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Re: UF, no scholarship versus Stetson full ride plus $5k/yr

Postby HenryDavid » Tue Nov 16, 2010 4:52 pm

I had an even easier choice a few years ago. I had the full ride + 5K at Stetson v. 7k/yr scholly at UF for years 1 and 2. Sounds easy. Except I visited both and just hated UF. I took the Stetson deal. I live in Clearwater and didn't have to move or anything like that. Stetson people were all very nice, it felt like a cozier school and I decided my educational experience might affect my grades and well-being while in school. I had no burning desire to go out of state or I would have taken BU at 20k/yr scholly or USC at sticker.

I am not sure whether it was a good call professionally yet, since I am not at the point of receiving offers yet. Stats seem to tell me that maximizing wealth is not going to happen with my choice. Personally, it has worked out great. Not much stress, am on the Honor Roll and home life has stayed calm.

I am also 30 years old. So this is a different perspective but one that is somewhat similar to yours (in state, UF v. Stetson with full and 5k) and maybe the info helps.

If you know you want the most options and the debt doesn't scare you and you visit UF and like it, go there but do not assume that you will get the grades necessary to actually get the best UF jobs. Many students at both schools that are on scholly are not even in top half of the class...

CanadianWolf
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Re: UF, no scholarship versus Stetson full ride plus $5k/yr

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Nov 16, 2010 4:59 pm

What are your numbers, if you don't mind sharing ?

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Cupidity
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Re: UF, no scholarship versus Stetson full ride plus $5k/yr

Postby Cupidity » Tue Nov 16, 2010 5:05 pm

Stetson! 100%

Florida is an insulated legal market and despite its TTT rank, Stetson has a solid in-state reputation. No one is getting big law jobs from either school, mostly small firm work through alumni contacts (thats the way the market works in Florida). That 50k doesn't sound like much to those considering firm jobs or higher paying markets, but the most you'll likely make in the sunshine state is 60-70k, and at those rates, 50k debt is huge.

That being said, Florida is worth in-state tuition, so in either scenario you are in good shape.

CanadianWolf
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Re: UF, no scholarship versus Stetson full ride plus $5k/yr

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Nov 16, 2010 5:38 pm

Does Holland & Knight recruit at Stetson ?

I only know a handful of Stetson Law grads all of whom are successful but all are also entrepreneurs (in the sense that they all have their own law firms).

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GotYourselfAStewGoin
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Re: UF, no scholarship versus Stetson full ride plus $5k/yr

Postby GotYourselfAStewGoin » Tue Nov 16, 2010 6:09 pm

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98234872348
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Re: UF, no scholarship versus Stetson full ride plus $5k/yr

Postby 98234872348 » Tue Nov 16, 2010 6:16 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Does Holland & Knight recruit at Stetson ?

I only know a handful of Stetson Law grads all of whom are successful but all are also entrepreneurs (in the sense that they all have their own law firms).

H&K typically takes 1 UF SA a year, not exactly a "safe bet"

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skoobily doobily
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Re: UF, no scholarship versus Stetson full ride plus $5k/yr

Postby skoobily doobily » Tue Nov 16, 2010 6:21 pm

Nightrunner wrote:
Irishman87 wrote:I'm actually in-state, but I would be responsible for the full debtload, as my parents don't have the expendable cash available to help out.

But wow, thanks to everyone for the clear and unambiguous advice. I was already leaning towards Florida, based on the following reasoning, but the advice really makes the decision much easier. Anyway, my reasoning was this: at a rougly 8% interest rate, $45,000 is an extra $300 per month in debt service, and with Florida grads in the private sector (where I would try to head) on average making around $18,000 more per year/ $1,500 per month than Stetson grads (more like $16,000 per year/ $1,333 per month once you adjust for the tax brackets), I would actually net an extra $1,033 per month going to UF, so I could actually pay off my loans more rapidly perhaps going to Florida. Someone please call me out or correct me though if my thinking process was flawed.

I've already considered the possibility that UF grads might only make more because they head to bigger markets (Miami/ South Florida) where the living expenses are higher, and thus attorneys must make more to keep up. But then again Stetson's regional reputation means most of their grads are confined to the Tampa/ Orlando area, where living expenses are high relative to the state's average, and yet they still make less on average than UF grads. UF's statewide reputation, by contrast, means more of their graduates are spread out over the state, and therefore probably experience living expenses on aggregate more in line with the state's average, and still make more. So factoring in the living expenses/ salary issue, the income gap between UF and Stetson grads actually may widen.

The problem is that my whole reasoning is purely conjectural and based on 2009 data, but I have faith that UF will continue to dominate the market for the best jobs in Florida. So my next question is, will my reasoning still be valid three years from now? Will UF's tuition skyrocket? Will the salary gap close between UF and Stetson grads (mainly by UF grads making less)? It might seem from what I had said above that I was already set on Florida, but the fact is I'm still unsure because there's so much uncertainty in the future surrounding the costs and value of UF.


I'm not going to tell you how to make an incredibly personal decision, but I will tell you this: using the "median private sector salary" of a law school as anything vaguely resembling hard data is a terrible, terrible mistake.


Not only that: your analysis really should be more focused on the probability of you actually ever getting a real legal job ever based on where you go to school. Those salary numbers are not a matter of "when" but "if".

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: UF, no scholarship versus Stetson full ride plus $5k/yr

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Tue Nov 16, 2010 6:31 pm

Cupidity wrote:Stetson! 100%

Florida is an insulated legal market and despite its TTT rank, Stetson has a solid in-state reputation. No one is getting big law jobs from either school, mostly small firm work through alumni contacts (thats the way the market works in Florida). That 50k doesn't sound like much to those considering firm jobs or higher paying markets, but the most you'll likely make in the sunshine state is 60-70k, and at those rates, 50k debt is huge.

That being said, Florida is worth in-state tuition, so in either scenario you are in good shape.


This has been the most reasonable response. OP, you will have a difficult time getting a firm job from either. I'm not voting for Stetson; I'm just sayin you should be realistic. Also, you most likely aren't going to get a job making $70,000 anyway from either, so that is certainly something to consider.

Hell, use the money you saved by going to Stetson (assuming no strings attached) to get a Tax LLM at UF. I'm not saying Tax LLMs from the Big 3 (UF/NYU/GEORGETOWN) have an easier job market, I'm saying that you could go further in your career by saving money up front.
Last edited by Aberzombie1892 on Tue Nov 16, 2010 6:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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BarbellDreams
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Re: UF, no scholarship versus Stetson full ride plus $5k/yr

Postby BarbellDreams » Tue Nov 16, 2010 6:35 pm

Unless you wanna do PI work I would take UF for 45K.

JOThompson
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Re: UF, no scholarship versus Stetson full ride plus $5k/yr

Postby JOThompson » Tue Nov 16, 2010 6:40 pm

BarbellDreams wrote:Unless you wanna do PI work I would take UF for 45K.

Take UF even if your goal is PI. Those jobs aren't easy to come by, especially not as a T3 graduate. Your overall debt won't be horrible at UF anyways, and you can always use IBR to manage your loans.

mst
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Re: UF, no scholarship versus Stetson full ride plus $5k/yr

Postby mst » Sat Nov 20, 2010 8:58 am

Stetson = Tampa Legal Market. I'm not saying this should be the main factor in your decision, or that you should or shouldn't choose Stetson. All I'm saying is that you best be comfortable working in Tampa for the near to distant future if you attend Stetson (if you work at all)...
Last edited by mst on Sun Nov 21, 2010 9:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

shawty18ga
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Re: UF, no scholarship versus Stetson full ride plus $5k/yr

Postby shawty18ga » Sat Nov 20, 2010 1:20 pm

It all depends on what you want to do. Neither school is going to give you a great shot at Biglaw. You need to be in the top 5 students at Stetson to get Biglaw probably. I think the valedictorian from last year is working at H & K and another high ranking recent graduate that I know is working at Trennam Kemker. They both hate their jobs. I have met, and heard of lots of people working at small firms and at the State Attorney's office of PD, and they seem much happier overall.

One 3L I talked to (has pretty good grades) is gonna work at a local State Attorney's office after graduation, but he had offers to do the same type of work as far away as Jacksonville. He said that interning and doing the clinic are key for that type of work.

That's my experience with Stetson so far. Your scholarship, if it's like mine, has a top 50% requirement. If you're not top 50% here, you probably should consider dropping out anyway. Stetson does not appear to stack sections, btw.

shawty18ga
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Re: UF, no scholarship versus Stetson full ride plus $5k/yr

Postby shawty18ga » Sat Nov 20, 2010 1:27 pm

Also, make sure you don't mind living in Pinellas County before you come to Stetson. Tampa isn't far away, but it seems like a world away. The area around the school is not so nice.




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