UCLA (sticker) or GW w/30k/year plus housing stipend?

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davidicus
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UCLA (sticker) or GW w/30k/year plus housing stipend?

Postby davidicus » Sat Apr 17, 2010 5:09 pm

I thought I had it all figured out but then GW's recent bump in the USNWR rankings threw a wrench in my law school plans. When it wasn't a T20 school I wasn't really considering it, but now it's going to be hard to turn down that much money and a chance to live in DC.

Considerations:
Ranking - UCLA (15) vs GWU (20)
Tuition - UCLA (40,600 in state) vs GWU (44k - 30k = 14k/year)
Debt - I would probably graduate with an additional 100k in debt if I were to attend UCLA.
Job prospects - I want to end up in SoCal eventually, but I'm open to working in NY/DC for a few years after graduation.

Your thoughts? I enjoyed my visit to UCLA, but haven't made it to GW yet. I'm planning a trip for this next week. The first seat deposit for both schools is due on May 1...

Thank you all for your help!

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BarbellDreams
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Re: UCLA (sticker) or GW w/30k/year plus housing stipend?

Postby BarbellDreams » Sat Apr 17, 2010 5:19 pm

If you are sure about wanting to work in CA you have to go to UCLA, otherwise I like GW.

270910
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Re: UCLA (sticker) or GW w/30k/year plus housing stipend?

Postby 270910 » Sat Apr 17, 2010 5:23 pm

davidicus wrote:I thought I had it all figured out but then GW's recent bump in the USNWR rankings threw a wrench in my law school plans. When it wasn't a T20 school I wasn't really considering it, but now it's going to be hard to turn down that much money and a chance to live in DC.


Sigh. GW has been a T20 for decades, employers didn't run away when it went from 20 to 28th, nor are they going to show in droves now that it has jumped from 28 to 20.

Go to GW. UCLA and GW have very similar placement rates, so unless you know you want to work in cali...

06162014123
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Postby 06162014123 » Sat Apr 17, 2010 6:46 pm

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Geist13
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Re: UCLA (sticker) or GW w/30k/year plus housing stipend?

Postby Geist13 » Sat Apr 17, 2010 6:52 pm

davidicus wrote:When it wasn't a T20 school I wasn't really considering it


um, GW wasn't a T20 for a mere 12 months. Also it's a bit absurd for 8 spots on the rankings to cause a school to go from not being worth consideration to one of your top options. Nothing has changed at GW that should cause such a substantial shift in your opinion of it.

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davidicus
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Re: UCLA (sticker) or GW w/30k/year plus housing stipend?

Postby davidicus » Sat Apr 17, 2010 7:13 pm

Geist13 wrote:
davidicus wrote:When it wasn't a T20 school I wasn't really considering it


um, GW wasn't a T20 for a mere 12 months. Also it's a bit absurd for 8 spots on the rankings to cause a school to go from not being worth consideration to one of your top options. Nothing has changed at GW that should cause such a substantial shift in your opinion of it.



You're right - and perhaps I should clarify. I'm relatively new to the whole law school game so my first experience with rankings was last year when I started applying for schools. I didn't think to look at historical rankings, instead I assumed (incorrectly) that the rankings were more static than they are. In retrospect, GW should have been near the top of my list even before the latest rankings came out. It's a fantastic school and the prospects afterwards are top-notch as well.

rando
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Re: UCLA (sticker) or GW w/30k/year plus housing stipend?

Postby rando » Sat Apr 17, 2010 7:23 pm

My inclination would be to take GW despite the renewed ranking. That being said, as other posters pointed out, if you are dead-set on California, you have to go to UCLA.

And keep in mind, that working for a few years in DC/NY then moving to CA is probably not a good idea. Not only will you have to retake the bar in CA, but there is even less of a guarantee you will find a job there after being away from law school hiring for a couple years. It is possible to lateral across the country, but planning on it is silly.

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Joan Samuel Marat
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Re: UCLA (sticker) or GW w/30k/year plus housing stipend?

Postby Joan Samuel Marat » Sat Apr 17, 2010 7:27 pm

davidicus wrote:I want to end up in SoCal eventually


then you go to California-Los Angeles. very very easy.

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DerrickRose
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Re: UCLA (sticker) or GW w/30k/year plus housing stipend?

Postby DerrickRose » Sat Apr 17, 2010 9:47 pm

UCLA at sticker is a little scary. Not as scary as trying to get to SoCal from GW, but still scary.

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beesknees
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Re: UCLA (sticker) or GW w/30k/year plus housing stipend?

Postby beesknees » Sat Apr 17, 2010 10:01 pm

Dude, Cali tuition hikes are WAY more scary.

Take GW with awesome money. You should have a good chance of getting good employment in DC. Worst case is no job, but no debt... not too bad.

UCLA offers same opportunity in Cali, but worst case is ridiculously scary, namely you'll be close to $200k in debt and can't find a decent job.

Unless you are married to the state of California, I would say take the money and be flexible with the region you practice in.

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doinmybest
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Re: UCLA (sticker) or GW w/30k/year plus housing stipend?

Postby doinmybest » Sat Apr 17, 2010 10:07 pm

UCLA at sticker is way too scary for me. I'd give up any California dreams I had once I saw how much UCLA was. A lot of your loans will begin accumulating interest while you're in law school, not to mention UCLA tuition will probably raise to sky high levels very soon. Just my own opinion...

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NayBoer
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Re: UCLA (sticker) or GW w/30k/year plus housing stipend?

Postby NayBoer » Sat Apr 17, 2010 10:20 pm

Take GW, not because of the recent rankings restoration but because of the money. UCLA is only going to get more expensive. But if you go to GW be aware that it might take a while to go back to LA.

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waldodanto
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Re: UCLA (sticker) or GW w/30k/year plus housing stipend?

Postby waldodanto » Sat Apr 17, 2010 10:24 pm

I'm admittedly biased, but you all know that UCLA's tuition is basically the same as every private school in the country, or a couple thousand cheaper?
The rate hikes aren't projected to overtake private tuition at any of the private schools either...

GW is clearly not the choice if you want to get to so cal, but it depends on your priorities.

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beesknees
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Re: UCLA (sticker) or GW w/30k/year plus housing stipend?

Postby beesknees » Sat Apr 17, 2010 10:30 pm

waldodanto wrote:I'm admittedly biased, but you all know that UCLA's tuition is basically the same as every private school in the country, or a couple thousand cheaper?
The rate hikes aren't projected to overtake private tuition at any of the private schools either...

GW is clearly not the choice if you want to get to so cal, but it depends on your priorities.


Yes, it is misleading to tout UCLA tuition as being ridiculous comparing it to its peers.

But comparing it to GW full tuition + stipend seems a little ridiculous. I couldn't imagine being in a position where I thought living in the golden state was worth roughly $200k more than working in DC after receiving A FREE T20 education (I don't want to spark a GW rankings debate).

But I guess if OP MUST be in Cali... no, still couldn't personally justify it unless I had a sick mother there.

BetterCallSaul
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Re: UCLA (sticker) or GW w/30k/year plus housing stipend?

Postby BetterCallSaul » Sat Apr 17, 2010 10:33 pm

You currently live in California, right? It's not so hard to go back once you've been there. Take GW.

You might need to spend a bit more time and energy on your job search to land California--at worst you'd work outside the state for a few years--but I think that's easily worth $1100/month for 10 years (that's pretty much the minimum of how much more you'd have to pay in loans to attend UCLA).

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sanpiero
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Re: UCLA (sticker) or GW w/30k/year plus housing stipend?

Postby sanpiero » Sat Apr 17, 2010 10:35 pm

UCLA no question

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beesknees
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Re: UCLA (sticker) or GW w/30k/year plus housing stipend?

Postby beesknees » Sat Apr 17, 2010 10:43 pm

Do people not know how much loan repayments are for various amounts?

If UCLA is about $40k/year, when you factor a good $20k extra for COL, that's roughly $180k for three years.

$180k according to fin aid calculator is about $2k/month in monthly payments. And that's not even taking into account that only $60k of that debt is Stafford loans at 6.8% interest rate. The payment will actually be more because I just did a quick calculation; the remaining debt will hopefully be in GRAD plus, which has a 7.9% interest rate.

So OP has to decide is Cali market worth over $2k/month for 10 years. Its a personal decision, though this seems like a no-brainer to many of us.

galahad85
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Re: UCLA (sticker) or GW w/30k/year plus housing stipend?

Postby galahad85 » Sat Apr 17, 2010 10:46 pm

beesknees wrote:
waldodanto wrote:I'm admittedly biased, but you all know that UCLA's tuition is basically the same as every private school in the country, or a couple thousand cheaper?
The rate hikes aren't projected to overtake private tuition at any of the private schools either...

GW is clearly not the choice if you want to get to so cal, but it depends on your priorities.


Yes, it is misleading to tout UCLA tuition as being ridiculous comparing it to its peers.

But comparing it to GW full tuition + stipend seems a little ridiculous. I couldn't imagine being in a position where I thought living in the golden state was worth roughly $200k more than working in DC after receiving A FREE T20 education (I don't want to spark a GW rankings debate).

But I guess if OP MUST be in Cali... no, still couldn't personally justify it unless I had a sick mother there.


I had the GW $30k/year + housing offer last cycle, and I remember the total debt still coming out to ~$100k. While it is substantially cheaper than UCLA at sticker, it is definitely not a free education.

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DerrickRose
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Re: UCLA (sticker) or GW w/30k/year plus housing stipend?

Postby DerrickRose » Sun Apr 18, 2010 1:51 am

Lets also leave open the possibility that if you have to choose between SoCal and Law School, that SoCal might very well be the right answer.

fortissimo
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Re: UCLA (sticker) or GW w/30k/year plus housing stipend?

Postby fortissimo » Wed Apr 21, 2010 2:11 pm

Isn't the instate tuition going to be 50k per year your 2L or 3L year? I'd just retake the LSAT and reapply, seriously.

JOThompson
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Re: UCLA (sticker) or GW w/30k/year plus housing stipend?

Postby JOThompson » Wed Apr 21, 2010 2:15 pm

UCLA only if you wouldn't be happy anywhere outside of California.

As much as I love the west coast, I would personally take that GW offer. Great school with minimal debt.

forty-two
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Re: UCLA (sticker) or GW w/30k/year plus housing stipend?

Postby forty-two » Wed Apr 21, 2010 3:57 pm

fortissimo wrote:Isn't the instate tuition going to be 50k per year your 2L or 3L year? I'd just retake the LSAT and reapply, seriously.


Only if comparable private schools cost that much by then.

CanadianWolf
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Re: UCLA (sticker) or GW w/30k/year plus housing stipend?

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Apr 21, 2010 4:02 pm

The George Washington University Law School is the obvious answer unless UCLA is willing to match GWU's scholarship offer.

GermX
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Re: UCLA (sticker) or GW w/30k/year plus housing stipend?

Postby GermX » Wed Apr 21, 2010 4:10 pm

I wish I had that choice. Unfortunately I have to go to GW for sticker unless Cornell accepts me. Dude, go to GW Law. UCLA isn't worth it I promise (as an undergrad there, I promise you, the schools sucks ass.)

fortissimo
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Re: UCLA (sticker) or GW w/30k/year plus housing stipend?

Postby fortissimo » Thu Apr 22, 2010 2:26 am

forty-two wrote:
fortissimo wrote:Isn't the instate tuition going to be 50k per year your 2L or 3L year? I'd just retake the LSAT and reapply, seriously.


Only if comparable private schools cost that much by then.


...I doubt they will cost 54k in 1-2 years, or whatever the going rate is right now for UCLA.




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