U of llinois ($$$) vs. Northwestern admit with no $

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U of llinois ($$$) vs. Northwestern admit with no $

Postby raf88 » Sat Apr 24, 2010 1:32 pm

Dear all:

I have difficult decision to make in the next 2 weeks (before Northwestern deposit due) of whether to accept a full ride at U of Illinois, which I liked a lot when visiting (ranked 21) and Northwestern (ranked 11 now) where I was recently admitted off of Hold. I should add that I plan on going into public interest, and not corporate law, which makes loan repayment all the more significant. Thoughts appreciated.


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Re: U of llinois ($$$) vs. Northwestern admit with no $

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat Apr 24, 2010 1:37 pm

If you are convinced that public interest law is your long term career goal, then both schools offer great financial incentives although one is upfront & the other in the form of a loan forgiveness program. Select the law school at which you feel more comfortable, assuming that you can afford either law school.


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Re: U of llinois ($$$) vs. Northwestern admit with no $

Postby LoyolaLaw2012 » Sat Apr 24, 2010 1:44 pm

Deciding between law schools ranked a mere 10 spots between one another should be easy. It really depends on what area of study you will focus your attention. If you are worried about loans, then it would be silly to choose NW or IL. However, NW does loan forgiveness if you work in public service after graduation. IL seem like the best choice, since you will not have to buckled down to public service. You might find out that you really love an area of law that has nothing to do with public service. Just look at the programs offered by both schools. A full sticker price at NW will not be pretty. Trust me, the cost of living in Chicago is not cheap.

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Re: U of llinois ($$$) vs. Northwestern admit with no $

Postby DerrickRose » Sat Apr 24, 2010 2:49 pm

They will tell you that IBR and Northwestern's LRAP will negate the cost of attendance, and they aren't entirely wrong. But those programs still force to you be attached to that mountain of debt for a sustained period of time, even though the programs make it manageable and affordable. To me, that sucks and I want to get rid of my loans as fast as possible. Just my perspective. I was on hold at NW too and I didn't even bother waiting when I negotiated more money out of Illinois.

As for the schools, both of them are quite private-practice focused, but both will give you PI opportunities if you ask around. Being in Chicago would probably afford you more local options for perhaps internships and the like, and hey its a T14 JD, that comes with a definite prestige advantage. The 10 rankings spots has nothing to do with it, its a T14 versus a non-T14 and there are always going to be costs associated with that.

The other thing I always have to point out, Illinois troll that I am, is how much more enjoyable of an atmosphere Illinois has with all the extracurricular activities, a younger student body, the college campus vibe and all that. Some people go for that private school austerity, but I am not one of them.

You would be protected with IBR and LRAP if you choose Northwestern, but all things considered I would take Illinois.

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