Columbia (sticker) vs. Penn ($$)

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

Which school?

Penn
12
20%
Columbia
48
80%
 
Total votes: 60

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groundkontrol
Posts: 244
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Columbia (sticker) vs. Penn ($$)

Postby groundkontrol » Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:37 pm

I'm currently choosing between Columbia and Penn. I was set on Columbia until I received $45K ($15K per year) from Penn last week. I have yet to receive any offer from Columbia. Here are some factors to keep in mind.

Debt: I already owe $80K in loans from an expensive ivy-league education. It will cost $210K for me to attend Columbia at sticker. It will cost $160K for me to attend Penn with this scholarship.
Total Debt after graduating from Columbia: $290K
Total Debt after graduating from Penn: $240K
Personally, I don't see much of a difference between the two numbers. Paying back this much in loans is going to be crazy regardless of its $290K or $240k

Other factors:
-I love NYC so much. My entire family is here and all of my friends are too. I plan to live and work here after graduation.
-Columbia (because it is higher ranked) will most likely offer me better job prospects. I'm not sure if I want to do Biglaw or Government or private practice (in-house). Anyone know which school has a better LRAP?
- I visited both schools and I love them both; they each have something completely different to offer in terms of atmosphere and experiences.
- Other option: Don't go to law school at all and figure out how to pay off $80k with my liberal arts degree.

Thoughts? Feel free to PM me if you have any personal advice.
Thanks!
Last edited by groundkontrol on Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Flanker1067
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Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2009 12:47 pm

Re: Columbia (sticker) vs. Penn ($$)

Postby Flanker1067 » Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:41 pm

I just said Columbia because it's your best choice. It is tough saying that because while these are great law schools and you can make alot/have a career you like; fuck, that's alot of debt. Anyway, to sum up some valid arguments that have been made before, you will do better where you are happy, and don't waste three years of your life being unhappy because you don't get time back.

Add: And, I don't want to downplay the fact that Columbia is a better school.

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Core
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Re: Columbia (sticker) vs. Penn ($$)

Postby Core » Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:45 pm

Columbia has a much better LRAP. Your dilemma is a tough one. I would probably take CLS over Penn at $45,000, though.

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Hattori Hanzo
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Re: Columbia (sticker) vs. Penn ($$)

Postby Hattori Hanzo » Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:50 pm

The only way you can pay that amount of debt off is BigLaw and since you love NYC and Columbia has an obvious edge in NYC BigLaw, the answer is very clear. Also, once you pass a certain amount, $50K more or less is not going to make a difference.

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Steven Perry
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Re: Columbia (sticker) vs. Penn ($$)

Postby Steven Perry » Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:52 pm

Even though 50k may seem like a lot, you'll need the same job to pay off 240k as you would 290k. It may take longer, but if you want to live and work in NYC, Columbia probably is the better bet.

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underachiever
Posts: 401
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Re: Columbia (sticker) vs. Penn ($$)

Postby underachiever » Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:55 pm

Columbia (and I go to Penn)
45k is not enough to sway this one
You love NYC, stay there for school and have a better chance at getting a Biglaw job there by going to CLS....in 3 yrs at a firm, the small difference in loans wont matter and you will always have a Columbia degree on your wall and get to stay in the city you like. Columbia's LRAP is better, judging by the detailed LRAP posted before (just search for it) on TLS.

fwaam
Posts: 124
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:50 pm

Re: Columbia (sticker) vs. Penn ($$)

Postby fwaam » Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:29 pm

It wouldn't hurt to ask Columbia to match Penn's offer--the ranking difference isn't that big (although Columbia seems like the better choice for you).

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haroldfordIII
Posts: 52
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 10:56 am

Re: Columbia (sticker) vs. Penn ($$)

Postby haroldfordIII » Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:52 pm

Have you done a calculation on what the repayments would be on 290k?

On 10 year AM
Loan Balance: $290,000.00
Adjusted Loan Balance: $290,000.00
Loan Interest Rate: 5.00%
Loan Fees: 0.00%
Loan Term: 10 years
Minimum Payment: $50.00

Monthly Loan Payment: $3,075.90
Number of Payments: 120

Cumulative Payments: $369,107.99
Total Interest Paid: $79,107.99

On 30 year AM
Loan Balance: $290,000.00
Adjusted Loan Balance: $290,000.00
Loan Interest Rate: 5.00%
Loan Fees: 0.00%
Loan Term: 30 years
Minimum Payment: $50.00

Monthly Loan Payment: $1,556.78
Number of Payments: 361

Cumulative Payments: $560,443.06
Total Interest Paid: $270,443.06

This is assuming a low fixed interest rate.

With 1st year BigLaw salary in NY, you are looking at a 7000-8000/month take home post-tax. If you went the 10 year route, you'd make about 55K after debt service the first year. Of course, IF you stay in BigLaw, your salary would increase greatly. Some partners at BigLaw firms make $1mm+

OR, if you do PI for 10 years you could get forgiveness through IBR, but not for the ugrad debt I think (I don't know the details of Columbia's LRAP).

It comes down to this: what are your legal goals?

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groundkontrol
Posts: 244
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2009 12:25 am

Re: Columbia (sticker) vs. Penn ($$)

Postby groundkontrol » Thu Apr 15, 2010 12:11 pm

Thanks everyone for the advice. It looks like there's an overwhelming preference for Columbia.

Z3RO
Posts: 526
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2009 11:57 am

Re: Columbia (sticker) vs. Penn ($$)

Postby Z3RO » Thu Apr 15, 2010 12:18 pm

I almost voted for Penn, just because I really want to get in off of my Hold.

But I couldn't do it. It's clearly the right choice.

CanadianWolf
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Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Columbia (sticker) vs. Penn ($$)

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Apr 15, 2010 12:36 pm

I voted Columbia based on your shared info. However, your best play may be to ask Penn for more money as they obviously want you to attend. Be upfront & tell them what it would take for you to select Penn.

User avatar
groundkontrol
Posts: 244
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2009 12:25 am

Re: Columbia (sticker) vs. Penn ($$)

Postby groundkontrol » Sun Apr 18, 2010 10:01 pm

Received $20K from Columbia today.

Tofu
Posts: 249
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2009 4:18 pm

Re: Columbia (sticker) vs. Penn ($$)

Postby Tofu » Sun Apr 18, 2010 10:33 pm

groundkontrol wrote:Received $20K from Columbia today.


see you at cls!

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XxSpyKEx
Posts: 1741
Joined: Wed Dec 27, 2006 5:48 am

Re: Columbia (sticker) vs. Penn ($$)

Postby XxSpyKEx » Sun Apr 18, 2010 10:44 pm

haroldfordIII wrote:Have you done a calculation on what the repayments would be on 290k?

On 10 year AM
Loan Balance: $290,000.00
Adjusted Loan Balance: $290,000.00
Loan Interest Rate: 5.00%
Loan Fees: 0.00%
Loan Term: 10 years
Minimum Payment: $50.00

Monthly Loan Payment: $3,075.90
Number of Payments: 120

Cumulative Payments: $369,107.99
Total Interest Paid: $79,107.99

On 30 year AM
Loan Balance: $290,000.00
Adjusted Loan Balance: $290,000.00
Loan Interest Rate: 5.00%
Loan Fees: 0.00%
Loan Term: 30 years
Minimum Payment: $50.00

Monthly Loan Payment: $1,556.78
Number of Payments: 361

Cumulative Payments: $560,443.06
Total Interest Paid: $270,443.06

This is assuming a low fixed interest rate.

With 1st year BigLaw salary in NY, you are looking at a 7000-8000/month take home post-tax. If you went the 10 year route, you'd make about 55K after debt service the first year. Of course, IF you stay in BigLaw, your salary would increase greatly. Some partners at BigLaw firms make $1mm+

OR, if you do PI for 10 years you could get forgiveness through IBR, but not for the ugrad debt I think (I don't know the details of Columbia's LRAP).

It comes down to this: what are your legal goals?


Those loan interest rates are unrealistically low. The actual aggregate interest rate will be closer to 8% (assuming all the borrowing comes from stafford and gradPLUS). Bump the interest rate to 8% and that will inflate the monthly payments, total interest paid, and cumulative payments substantially (particularly for the 30 year repayment).




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