Help me decide: GMU v. FSU v. Indiana Bloom

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

GMU or FSU or IUB?

GMU
0
No votes
FSU
6
60%
IUB
4
40%
 
Total votes: 10

ram jam
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Help me decide: GMU v. FSU v. Indiana Bloom

Postby ram jam » Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:06 am

I am a Florida Resident. In-state tuition at FSU is dirt cheap. I was not awarded in $ from GMU or FSU. I would pay full out of state sticker at GMU.

FSU is overall the cheaper option. However, I would like to live/work in D.C. is GMU worth it?

I have been accepted by Indy - Bloom, but I am not interested in working in the Midwest. No info on money as of yet.

Seat deposits are due next week.

Any opinions?
Last edited by ram jam on Fri Apr 09, 2010 4:18 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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FunkyJD
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Re: GMU v. FSU

Postby FunkyJD » Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:26 am

ram jam wrote:I am a Florida Resident. In-state tuition at FSU is dirt cheap. I was not awarded in $ from GMU or FSU. I would pay full out of state sticker at GMU.

FSU is overall the cheaper option. However, I would like to live/work in D.C. is GMU worth it?

Seat deposits are due next week.

Any opinions?

Here's the problem with paying sticker at GMU: Cost of attendance at GMU, at OOS sticker, is going to run well over $150k, no?

Do you intend to go into public service? What kind of public service loan assistance/LRAP plan does Mason have? If so, it might be worth it. Maybe. If you absolutely have to be in DC, or bust. Maybe.

On the other hand, if you hope to go into biglaw in DC from Mason ... hmm ....

http://pdfserver.amlaw.com/nlj/composite.pdf (see page 5)

So, what are your career aspirations and expectations upon graduation from law school?

ram jam
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Re: GMU v. FSU

Postby ram jam » Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:31 am

Thanks for the insight!

I'm hoping to either work in a firm, not necessarily biglaw, or the federal government. I would like to live/work in D.C., although, it is not DC or bust.

FSU is the safer, more comfortable option, but I think the payoff from Mason would be a more interesting career. I just do not want to graduate from FSU and work in Medium-Law in a place like Orlando, or worse, Jax.

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FunkyJD
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Re: GMU v. FSU

Postby FunkyJD » Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:40 am

ram jam wrote:Thanks for the insight!

I'm hoping to either work in a firm, not necessarily biglaw, or the federal government. I would like to live/work in D.C., although, it is not DC or bust.

I'm going to take the road not traveled.

You don't have to go to a school in the DC area to get a job in Washington; nor do you have to go to a T14 or T20. I've had friends who went to TTT-type schools who have scored DOJ and other nice attorney gigs in the federal government. I wouldn't say that it is the best route, but it is doable IF you make the necessary connections. But if you will really have to work at it.

What I'm getting at is, does FSU have a semester in DC program? If so, you may want to take advantage of the lower tuition at FSU at go that route. Or, how about trying to arrange an externship in DC as an FSU student?

Are you politically active? Have you ever interned with a Member of Congress' office? Do you have any contacts in Washington that you could leverage in your job search? Are you willing and able to be really aggressive in your job search in DC if you went to FSU?

If you were saying, should I pay sticker at Georgetown or Virginia to try to get to DC, I would be all for it ... but if the choice is sticker at GMU versus much less at FSU, I personally don't think the advantage conferred by Mason is worth so much more in tuition. You'll have to decide if the proximity is worth the added expense. I say, save the cash, go to FSU, be aggressive and entrepreneurial in your search, and use the saved cash to afford the outrageous cost-of-living in [strike]hell[/strike] Washington, DC.

Edited to fix wrong school name.
Last edited by FunkyJD on Thu Apr 08, 2010 1:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ram jam
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Re: GMU v. FSU

Postby ram jam » Thu Apr 08, 2010 1:15 pm

Though, salaries in the DC market are generally much higher than in Florida. An FSU grad will make much less, on average, than a GMU grad?

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pjo
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Re: GMU v. FSU

Postby pjo » Thu Apr 08, 2010 1:23 pm

ram jam wrote:Though, salaries in the DC market are generally much higher than in Florida. An FSU grad will make much less, on average, than a GMU grad?


NO, plain and simple. FSU is a great school. Basically if you graduate top 10% at FSU or top 10% AT GMU you will have the same career prospects for the most part. (I would even say this for government work bc FSU is right by the capital of FL, although GMU would be easier to nat'l government work). Furthermore, I would argue that top grads at FSU end up having more options bc their feeder markets aren't stuarted by other, better school grads like you have in DC and GMU (one thing that has really turned me off to the DC market)

ram jam
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Re: GMU v. FSU

Postby ram jam » Thu Apr 08, 2010 4:05 pm

FSU median starting salary $68K
GMU median starting salary $120K

It is estimated that one would have more earning power as a graduate from GMU. But is the greater earning power sufficient to justify much higher tuition?

BeccaBaby13
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Re: GMU v. FSU

Postby BeccaBaby13 » Thu Apr 08, 2010 4:14 pm

I visited GMU for their ASOH and if you have a desire to be in D.C. it may be the option to go with. I was HIGHLY impressed with their career services and there are so many internship opportunties for you there both during the summer and the school year. Also, if you want to live/work near D.C., you can apply to gain VA residency after your first year and that will save you money. Is it hard to do? Yes, but you can accomplish it and pay in-state for the last two years.

ram jam
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Re: Help me decide: GMU v. FSU

Postby ram jam » Thu Apr 08, 2010 9:07 pm

I think it has been established that getting in-state in Va is impossible.

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Grizz
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Re: Help me decide: GMU v. FSU

Postby Grizz » Thu Apr 08, 2010 9:16 pm

FSU. I know you want to work in DC, but in-state at GMU is absolutely outrageous. I know you may not want to hear this, but you may have to work in FL for at least a while just to avoid the soul-crushing debt you will incur paying sticker at GMU.

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truthypants
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Re: Help me decide: GMU v. FSU

Postby truthypants » Thu Apr 08, 2010 10:57 pm

rad law wrote:FSU. I know you want to work in DC, but in-state at GMU is absolutely outrageous. I know you may not want to hear this, but you may have to work in FL for at least a while just to avoid the soul-crushing debt you will incur paying sticker at GMU.


That's not true--they have IBR (income based repayment) options on student loans now, and if you land a govt. job, your entire student loan debt is forgiven after 10 years I believe. If you want to live and work in DC, head to GMU for sure. If you want to stay and work in Florida, go FSU. I'm at Mason now, and I can tell you that the feds definitely come to recruit here (i've already been on numerous interviews with agencies and am working a govt. gig this 1L summer). The only thing I want to warn you about is Mason has an unconventional curriculum--that is, you have to take an econ class and a constitution class your first year. The problem is that these classes are curved, so you might be competing for As that have advanced degrees in economics or poli-sci. Also, the legal writing class is not pass/fail as at other schools (and you're graded against how well you do compared to 10 students and not the class as a whole). Other than that, Mason is solid and if you do well, you'll get something in DC for your efforts.

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Grizz
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Re: Help me decide: GMU v. FSU

Postby Grizz » Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:27 pm

truthypants wrote:
rad law wrote:FSU. I know you want to work in DC, but in-state at GMU is absolutely outrageous. I know you may not want to hear this, but you may have to work in FL for at least a while just to avoid the soul-crushing debt you will incur paying sticker at GMU.


That's not true--they have IBR (income based repayment) options on student loans now, and if you land a govt. job, your entire student loan debt is forgiven after 10 years I believe. If you want to live and work in DC, head to GMU for sure. If you want to stay and work in Florida, go FSU. I'm at Mason now, and I can tell you that the feds definitely come to recruit here (i've already been on numerous interviews with agencies and am working a govt. gig this 1L summer). The only thing I want to warn you about is Mason has an unconventional curriculum--that is, you have to take an econ class and a constitution class your first year. The problem is that these classes are curved, so you might be competing for As that have advanced degrees in economics or poli-sci. Also, the legal writing class is not pass/fail as at other schools (and you're graded against how well you do compared to 10 students and not the class as a whole). Other than that, Mason is solid and if you do well, you'll get something in DC for your efforts.


OP wants firm or govt. If OP get govt., and there is no guarantee of this, 10 yrs IBR is still a hefty load, and is something not to be undertaken lightly. If OP went firm, OP would pay perhaps 10%-15% for about 25 years, assuming (I feel it is a fair assumption) OP did not pay it off before. IMO, relying on IBO exclusively is not such a good idea.

ram jam
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Re: Help me decide: GMU v. FSU

Postby ram jam » Fri Apr 09, 2010 1:02 pm

There simply cannot be a rule of thumb that dictates that one should only go to the cheapest school that you are accepted to. There are other factors, such as median starting salaries...

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FunkyJD
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Re: Help me decide: GMU v. FSU

Postby FunkyJD » Fri Apr 09, 2010 1:07 pm

Yeah, but who is reporting these salaries? The schools? If so, how much do you trust them? How have those figures been manipulated?

Does the average FSU grad really stand to make $52,000 less than the average GMU grad? After all, we're talking MEDIAN, not mean salaries of those who have reported, right?

And how does cost-of-living in the different areas where GMU and FSU grads are most likely to practice factor into those numbers?

I wouldn't make my decision based on the median starting salaries you provided without fully understanding what they represent. They may not be very useful measures.

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Spaceman Spiff
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Re: Help me decide: GMU v. FSU

Postby Spaceman Spiff » Fri Apr 09, 2010 1:25 pm

I know you want to work and live in DC. However, it's hard to justify $150,000 worth of debt for a school that's 4th best in its state and right across the river from GULC and GW.

ram jam
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Re: Help me decide: GMU v. FSU

Postby ram jam » Fri Apr 09, 2010 4:16 pm

Updated info... Now, I am more confused. IUB is a good school. But will I be enslaved to the midwest?

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FunkyJD
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Re: Help me decide: GMU v. FSU

Postby FunkyJD » Fri Apr 09, 2010 4:55 pm

ram jam wrote:Updated info... Now, I am more confused. IUB is a good school. But will I be enslaved to the midwest?

Here's an older post that may still be relevant to this question; and to your broader concerns, especially as they pertain to your interest in working in DC:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=96842

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southerngrace
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Re: Help me decide: GMU v. FSU v. Indiana Bloom

Postby southerngrace » Wed Apr 14, 2010 2:10 pm

I am glad I found this .... I am currently TORN between FSU (FL Res sticker) and GMU (OOS sticker). I have NO interest in living in Florida after I graduate (want to live in VA, NC, CO or TN), but I am really not comfortable with the COL in Arlington plus the high tuition. I don't want to get stuck making $45,000 after graduation trying to repay $150,000 + in loans.

It is my understanding that FSU's name only carries weight in Florida and perhaps GA and AL? I'm nervous that GMU has been slightly dropping in rankings though ...

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Grizz
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Re: Help me decide: GMU v. FSU v. Indiana Bloom

Postby Grizz » Wed Apr 14, 2010 2:50 pm

southerngrace wrote:I am glad I found this .... I am currently TORN between FSU (FL Res sticker) and GMU (OOS sticker). I have NO interest in living in Florida after I graduate (want to live in VA, NC, CO or TN), but I am really not comfortable with the COL in Arlington plus the high tuition. I don't want to get stuck making $45,000 after graduation trying to repay $150,000 + in loans.

It is my understanding that FSU's name only carries weight in Florida and perhaps GA and AL? I'm nervous that GMU has been slightly dropping in rankings though ...


You're between a rock and a hard place. FSU, 2nd best school in FL, won't do anything great for you in GA, but GMU is ridiculously expensive. Go to FSU, do well, save money, work in FL for a few years, then move. This isn't ideal, but there you go.




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