UVA w/Scholarship vs. Columbia

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Norm DePlume
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UVA w/Scholarship vs. Columbia

Postby Norm DePlume » Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:00 pm

How Are You Gentlemen,

Long time lurker, first time poster. Wanted to sound out the peanut gallery on a question that's been gnawing at me (and, once answered, will likely gnaw at me for the next ten years).

I applied to Yale, NYU, Columbia, and UVA this cycle--fairly late, mid-January or so--with the intention of seeing what came of it and perhaps applying to a wider range of schools next year. Then came the good fortune (UVA with Dean's Scholarship, Columbia with very modest grant); then came the bad fortune (NYU with no aid, waitlisted at Yale).

Now I'm torn between Columbia and a boatload (>120k) of debt, or UVA gratis. I'm leaning toward the former, but would appreciate any feedback you might have to offer.

imchuckbass58
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Re: UVA w/Scholarship vs. Columbia

Postby imchuckbass58 » Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:04 pm

1) What type of law do you want to do?

2) Where do you want to practice?

3) Have you visited the schools? If so what were your impressions?

4) Do you have any special factors that would pull you towards New York or Virginia?

In a complete vaccuum I'd say take the full ride at UVA, but it's next to impossible to give an opinion on this question without more information.

Norm DePlume
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Re: UVA w/Scholarship vs. Columbia

Postby Norm DePlume » Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:12 pm

Honestly, I was hoping for the sort of vacuum/gut reaction, but I now realize omitting the details is rather unhelpful for would-be feedback-givers.

1) Ideally, media, IP and communications law

2) New York or Washington, DC

3) I was a UVA undergrad and spent a good deal of time on North Grounds, and visited Columbia for the Admitted Students Love-in earlier this month. Charlottesville is charming, nestled as it is in the Appalachian foothills, and a very pleasant place to live, but I also really liked Morningside Heights. I stayed with a friend in Midtown and fell a little in love with the city, what with seeing the skyscrapers all dreamlike in the twilight and the oddly comforting surround sound of the city.

4) Nothing beyond the smitten burblings of #3

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vanwinkle
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Re: UVA w/Scholarship vs. Columbia

Postby vanwinkle » Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:16 pm

Do keep in mind that the COL between UVA and CLS for three years will be huge as well, and increase the difference in total costs of attendance. Adding in COL, your total CLS debt will be closer to 200K, and UVA will probably be somewhere around 60K.

It sounds like you want to do BigLaw. The difference in placement between UVA and CLS is not huge, and ITE it's more important than ever to try to minimize debt when it makes sense to do so. I'd say take UVA in this case as the practical, economic decision. The relatively small decrease in chances of BigLaw employment is worth the very large decrease in debt.

If you like NYC that much, go visit during the breaks. That's much cheaper than living there.

splinter23x
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Re: UVA w/Scholarship vs. Columbia

Postby splinter23x » Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:18 pm

Columbia. It opens more doors, has a better name among lawyers, and is a much much bigger name among the lay crowd and internationally. I could be wrong but I think most Columbia students could go to UVA with aid if they wanted to, but they don't. Columbia is simply outstanding, congratulations.

Also New York > Charlottesville.

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D Brooks
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Re: UVA w/Scholarship vs. Columbia

Postby D Brooks » Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:18 pm

vanwinkle wrote:Do keep in mind that the COL between UVA and CLS for three years will be huge as well, and increase the difference in total costs of attendance. Adding in COL, your total CLS debt will be closer to 200K, and UVA will probably be somewhere around 60K.

It sounds like you want to do BigLaw. The difference in placement between UVA and CLS is not huge, and ITE it's more important than ever to try to minimize debt when it makes sense to do so. I'd say take UVA in this case as the practical, economic decision. The relatively small decrease in chances of BigLaw employment is worth the very large decrease in debt.

If you like NYC that much, go visit during the breaks. That's much cheaper than living there.


Everything in this post is credited.

splinter23x
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Re: UVA w/Scholarship vs. Columbia

Postby splinter23x » Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:20 pm

vanwinkle wrote:The difference in placement between UVA and CLS is not huge, and ITE it's more important than ever to try to minimize debt when it makes sense to do so.

I'd agree in some cases, but not when it comes to Columbia. Pretty much a guaranteed job, even in this economy, for life. Debt thus not an issue, in my opinion.

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D Brooks
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Re: UVA w/Scholarship vs. Columbia

Postby D Brooks » Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:20 pm

splinter23x wrote:Columbia. It opens more doors, has a better name among lawyers, and is a much much bigger name among the lay crowd and internationally. I could be wrong but I think most Columbia students could go to UVA with aid if they wanted to, but they don't. Columbia is simply outstanding, congratulations.

Also New York > Charlottesville.


True, most CLS admits could go to UVA $$ if they weren't YP'ed, but $20k/yr is a lot different than a full-ride.

I'd rather work at WilmerHale in DC with only $60k in debt and be able to bank my entire career as opposed to working at Sullivan and Cromwell in NYC with $200k+ in debt.

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D Brooks
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Re: UVA w/Scholarship vs. Columbia

Postby D Brooks » Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:21 pm

splinter23x wrote:
vanwinkle wrote:The difference in placement between UVA and CLS is not huge, and ITE it's more important than ever to try to minimize debt when it makes sense to do so.

I'd agree in some cases, but not when it comes to Columbia. Pretty much a guaranteed job, even in this economy, for life. Debt thus not an issue, in my opinion.


Where is the cutoff? Chicago? NYU? Michigan?

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vanwinkle
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Re: UVA w/Scholarship vs. Columbia

Postby vanwinkle » Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:25 pm

splinter23x wrote:
vanwinkle wrote:The difference in placement between UVA and CLS is not huge, and ITE it's more important than ever to try to minimize debt when it makes sense to do so.

I'd agree in some cases, but not when it comes to Columbia. Pretty much a guaranteed job, even in this economy, for life. Debt thus not an issue, in my opinion.

Bolded is so ridiculously untrue that I call flame.

byunbee
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Re: UVA w/Scholarship vs. Columbia

Postby byunbee » Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:26 pm

splinter23x wrote:Pretty much a guaranteed job, even in this economy, for life. Debt thus not an issue, in my opinion.


I think everything on this site and the latest sobering employment data suggest that nothing is guaranteed ITE.

Norm DePlume
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Re: UVA w/Scholarship vs. Columbia

Postby Norm DePlume » Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:29 pm

This is enormously helpful. Because of prestige, mostly (petty, I know, but still true), I'd all but walled off UVA in my mind as an inviting but ultimately lesser option.

splinter23x
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Re: UVA w/Scholarship vs. Columbia

Postby splinter23x » Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:32 pm

D Brooks wrote:Where is the cutoff? Chicago? NYU? Michigan?

Good question. I'd take UVA for free over all three of them. I really think it's Harvard, Yale, Stanford, and Columbia that are so good, so well-respected all over the world, that no one should ever pass them up. After those 4, scholarships can come into play. Just a personal opinion.

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vanwinkle
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Re: UVA w/Scholarship vs. Columbia

Postby vanwinkle » Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:32 pm

Norm DePlume wrote:This is enormously helpful. Because of prestige, mostly (petty, I know, but still true), I'd all but walled off UVA in my mind as an inviting but ultimately lesser option.

It doesn't have much lay prestige, but a UVA Law degree is regarded as pretty prestigious among the legal community. No, it's not Columbia, but it's close enough to get you the kind of work you want and for a lot cheaper.

Honestly, in your shoes I'd be sorely tempted to go to CLS too. I love New York and the idea of having CLS prestige when I graduate, too. But UVA is really something you need to think long and hard about, because it really is the winner here, if you look at things in a risk/reward analysis. Much less risk, nearly the same reward, given the two choices you have.

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jm19
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Re: UVA w/Scholarship vs. Columbia

Postby jm19 » Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:41 pm

My cycle came down to this exact question, and I took the money at UVA. I couldn't convince myself that Columbia would be worth 200K. Even with BigLaw, that is still 200K I'd have to pay back -- money that can't be put toward starting a family, owning a home, etc.

I had a truly difficult time letting go of the desire to put CLS on my resume, but in the end, the prestige was the overwhelming reason I wanted Columbia at all and that simply wasn't a reason I was willing to pay 200K for.

It sounds like you're leaning toward CLS, and ultimately, if you're comfortable committing now to the debt load and the type of employment necessary to pay it off, go to New York. I wasn't, and that made UVA the right decision.

imchuckbass58
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Re: UVA w/Scholarship vs. Columbia

Postby imchuckbass58 » Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:42 pm

splinter23x wrote:I'd agree in some cases, but not when it comes to Columbia. Pretty much a guaranteed job, even in this economy, for life. Debt thus not an issue, in my opinion.

As a current CLS student, this is absolutely wrong. In this economy CLS doesn't guarantee you a job after graduation, let alone for life, if you're towards the bottom of the class.

To the OP: Tough decision. Here's what I'd say:

1) Media/IP/communications: Weighs heavily in favor of CLS. We're strong in those areas, have a dedicated center for media law, dedicated journal for law and the arts, and there's a lot of practicitioner interaction (internships, term-time externships, speakers etc.) in New York City

2) New York/DC: Split. If you were dead set on New York I'd say go to CLS, but DC is UVA's strongest major market (relatively speaking).

3) I guess this is kind of a wash - familiarity vs. something new that you think you'd like.

I think this is a very tough call and you can't make a wrong decision, but I'd go with UVA in your shoes. I have nothing but great things to say about Columbia and I think it is the "better" school, but I'm not sure the difference is so much that it outweighs a full ride. UVA is very respected among practitioners (much more so than among academics) and will probably put you in the same place.

But, as I said I don't think you can go wrong.

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D Brooks
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Re: UVA w/Scholarship vs. Columbia

Postby D Brooks » Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:44 pm

splinter23x wrote:
D Brooks wrote:Where is the cutoff? Chicago? NYU? Michigan?

Good question. I'd take UVA for free over all three of them. I really think it's Harvard, Yale, Stanford, and Columbia that are so good, so well-respected all over the world, that no one should ever pass them up. After those 4, scholarships can come into play. Just a personal opinion.


:roll:

hubtubrub
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Re: UVA w/Scholarship vs. Columbia

Postby hubtubrub » Tue Apr 20, 2010 9:51 pm

go to columbia.

this site is full fo uva trolls.

(well I should be a uva troll)... i'm going there anyway... but I would rather go to columbia.

fortissimo
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Re: UVA w/Scholarship vs. Columbia

Postby fortissimo » Tue Apr 20, 2010 11:23 pm

byunbee wrote:
splinter23x wrote:Pretty much a guaranteed job, even in this economy, for life. Debt thus not an issue, in my opinion.


I think everything on this site and the latest sobering employment data suggest that nothing is guaranteed ITE.


TCR...didn't a Columbia 2L post that top 1/3 was the cutoff for NYC biglaw this past OCI? I know a guy around median at Columbia who is working for free (well school is paying but whatever) in PI after getting locked out of OCI. The job does not place after graduation so he still has to look during 3L year. Not sure why all these 0Ls spread these liez.
Last edited by fortissimo on Tue Apr 20, 2010 11:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unemployed
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Re: UVA w/Scholarship vs. Columbia

Postby Unemployed » Tue Apr 20, 2010 11:28 pm

fortissimo wrote:
byunbee wrote:
splinter23x wrote:Pretty much a guaranteed job, even in this economy, for life. Debt thus not an issue, in my opinion.


I think everything on this site and the latest sobering employment data suggest that nothing is guaranteed ITE.


TCR...didn't a Columbia 2L post that top 1/3 was the cutoff for NYC biglaw this past OCI? I know a guy around median at Columbia who is working for free (well school is paying but whatever) in PI after getting locked out of OCI.


It was the cutoff for guarantee/safety. People with considerably less stellar grades got biglaw jobs, but not all of them.

That said, I think OP would be crazy to turn down UVA full ride.

queenofhearts
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Re: UVA w/Scholarship vs. Columbia

Postby queenofhearts » Tue Apr 20, 2010 11:48 pm

since UVA is a school for southern gentlemen, maybe you'd find that more to your liking. my vagina disqualifies me from being a 'gentleman,' so i guess i'll withhold further advice.

berkeleykel06
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Re: UVA w/Scholarship vs. Columbia

Postby berkeleykel06 » Tue Apr 20, 2010 11:54 pm

queenofhearts wrote:since UVA is a school for southern gentlemen, maybe you'd find that more to your liking. my vagina disqualifies me from being a 'gentleman,' so i guess i'll withhold further advice.


I was waiting for someone to point out the "gentlemen" address. The feminist in me got slightly irked over this as well.

reverendt
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Re: UVA w/Scholarship vs. Columbia

Postby reverendt » Tue Apr 20, 2010 11:58 pm

berkeleykel06 wrote:
queenofhearts wrote:since UVA is a school for southern gentlemen, maybe you'd find that more to your liking. my vagina disqualifies me from being a 'gentleman,' so i guess i'll withhold further advice.


I was waiting for someone to point out the "gentlemen" address. The feminist in me got slightly irked over this as well.

No need to get upset. You ladies are welcome here. The legal profession could use some career-girls.

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Unemployed
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Re: UVA w/Scholarship vs. Columbia

Postby Unemployed » Tue Apr 20, 2010 11:58 pm

berkeleykel06 wrote:
queenofhearts wrote:since UVA is a school for southern gentlemen, maybe you'd find that more to your liking. my vagina disqualifies me from being a 'gentleman,' so i guess i'll withhold further advice.


I was waiting for someone to point out the "gentlemen" address. The feminist in me got slightly irked over this as well.


You'll be ok so long as you are a gentlady.

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TheBigMediocre
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Re: UVA w/Scholarship vs. Columbia

Postby TheBigMediocre » Wed Apr 21, 2010 12:06 am

berkeleykel06 wrote:
queenofhearts wrote:since UVA is a school for southern gentlemen, maybe you'd find that more to your liking. my vagina disqualifies me from being a 'gentleman,' so i guess i'll withhold further advice.


I was waiting for someone to point out the "gentlemen" address. The feminist in me got slightly irked over this as well.


Both of these girls' computers better be in the damn kitchen or else there is a whooping coming their way. :lol:
Last edited by TheBigMediocre on Wed Apr 21, 2010 12:14 am, edited 1 time in total.




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