USC vs. UCLA vs. Reapply

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

What Should I do?

USC (sticker)
12
22%
UCLA (sticker)
24
44%
Reapply
18
33%
 
Total votes: 54

NerdmoD
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USC vs. UCLA vs. Reapply

Postby NerdmoD » Sat Apr 24, 2010 8:02 pm

3.8/170 non-URM looking to work in entertainment law in LA. Leaving town for a better school is not really an appealing option, as my wife has a killer job (and you can't beat the SoCal weather =) .) Unfortunately, applying late has bit me in ass, scholarship-wise, and I'm stuck paying sticker at both schools. UCLA is cheaper by about $10k/yr, but I went there undergrad, and I prefer USC's alumni network for entertainment in this town, plus I am a commuter, and USC allows me to take the train, rather than sit in 3+ hours of traffic.

I have had a lot of people telling me that I'd be crazy to pay sticker at USC given my numbers, and that I should either consider going UCLA or reapplying...thoughts?

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tallboone
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Re: USC vs. UCLA vs. Reapply

Postby tallboone » Sat Apr 24, 2010 8:20 pm

Four pieces of advice:
1) Take an extra year off and apply again next year as early as you can.
2) Apply to other schools of equal and higher ranks to have some leverage when you negotiate scholarships. UCLA specifically says that they want to be informed of other scholarship offers so that they can compete with them. So even though you have no intention of leaving LA, you should apply to most of the top 14 schools (especially when you get fee wavers), plus Texas and Vanderbilt.
3) As a UCLA alum, I definitely see what you mean about the alumni network at USC being so strong. But you should recognize that law school career services are a completely different game than the career office on westwood blvd that I never set foot in. UCLA is pretty much universally recognized as the better law school, and I think the law school alumni network is equally strong as 'SC's.
4) Finally, you should recognize that being able to work in entertainment law is rare, no matter which school you attend. With that said, I think because UCLA is a better school, it offers a better back-up plan if you can't get your foot in the entertainment law door.

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legalease9
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Re: USC vs. UCLA vs. Reapply

Postby legalease9 » Sat Apr 24, 2010 8:20 pm

Man, you do have good numbers. Go UCLA. I am generally against postponing a year unless you can't get into ANY good schools. UCLA is a very good school. Did you apply to any T14's? Also, I'm really suprised that USC didn't give you any $$$.

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tallboone
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Re: USC vs. UCLA vs. Reapply

Postby tallboone » Sat Apr 24, 2010 8:26 pm

Looking on LSN, you should be able to pull down a $75k scholarship if you apply early enough. Also, if you are set on going to school this year, you should call Steve Schwartz at the UCLA admissions office and the equivalent at USC just be totally honest with him about your situation and how you can't justify paying sticker and will apply next year. A lot of UCLA scholarship money is going to be turned down this week by folks withdrawing, so they may be able to give you a nice scholarship even this late. It cant hurt to call.

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legalease9
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Re: USC vs. UCLA vs. Reapply

Postby legalease9 » Sat Apr 24, 2010 8:29 pm

tallboone wrote:Also, if you are set on going to school this year, you should call Steve Schwartz at the UCLA admissions office and the equivalent at USC just be totally honest with him about your situation and how you can't justify paying sticker and will apply next year. A lot of UCLA scholarship money is going to be turned down this week by folks withdrawing, so they may be able to give you a nice scholarship even this late. It cant hurt to call.


This

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DOOM
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Re: USC vs. UCLA vs. Reapply

Postby DOOM » Sat Apr 24, 2010 8:45 pm

legalease9 wrote:
tallboone wrote:Also, if you are set on going to school this year, you should call Steve Schwartz at the UCLA admissions office and the equivalent at USC just be totally honest with him about your situation and how you can't justify paying sticker and will apply next year. A lot of UCLA scholarship money is going to be turned down this week by folks withdrawing, so they may be able to give you a nice scholarship even this late. It cant hurt to call.


This


+1. if this was an option in the poll, i would have voted for it.

NerdmoD
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Re: USC vs. UCLA vs. Reapply

Postby NerdmoD » Sat Apr 24, 2010 9:11 pm

Thanks for the advice, guys. I will definitely give Robert a call over at UCLA (I had previously gotten the "send me competitive offers" rec from him, but, unfortunately, I didn't have any...), but I know that Mary over at USC told me that they are out of money for scholarship until after the deposit.

tallboone wrote:UCLA is pretty much universally recognized as the better law school, and I think the law school alumni network is equally strong as 'SC's


Part of my interest in the E Law at SC is the guaranteed 1L fellowships they offer to top incoming applicants (which I may get...but will no before I have to commit), and the fact that the just pulled in John Schulman to head the revamped E law department, which was quite a coup for SC. Is the difference between 15th and 18th really so huge in the Los Angeles/OC markets?

legalease9 wrote:Man, you do have good numbers. Go UCLA. I am generally against postponing a year unless you can't get into ANY good schools. UCLA is a very good school. Did you apply to any T14's? Also, I'm really suprised that USC didn't give you any $$$.


Haha thanks. I was too late this cycle to apply anywhere else except Penn.

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im_blue
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Re: USC vs. UCLA vs. Reapply

Postby im_blue » Sat Apr 24, 2010 9:17 pm

Given that you don't want to leave LA, either UCLA or USC would serve you well for job opportunities. You should take USC if they're better for entertainment law.

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joemoviebuff
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Re: USC vs. UCLA vs. Reapply

Postby joemoviebuff » Sat Apr 24, 2010 9:48 pm

How do you even get to do entertainment law anyway?

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DerrickRose
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Re: USC vs. UCLA vs. Reapply

Postby DerrickRose » Sat Apr 24, 2010 10:37 pm

NerdmoD wrote:Haha thanks. I was too late this cycle to apply anywhere else except Penn.


Oh man, you applied REALLY late. I would take another stab at it next year, you could be looking at Berkeley with $$ rather than USC sticker.

NerdmoD
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Re: USC vs. UCLA vs. Reapply

Postby NerdmoD » Sun Apr 25, 2010 2:40 am

DerrickRose wrote:
NerdmoD wrote:Haha thanks. I was too late this cycle to apply anywhere else except Penn.


Oh man, you applied REALLY late. I would take another stab at it next year, you could be looking at Berkeley with $$ rather than USC sticker.


Yes, such are the joys of taking the Feb LSATs...

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lt0826
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Re: USC vs. UCLA vs. Reapply

Postby lt0826 » Sun Apr 25, 2010 4:27 am

NerdmoD wrote:3.8/170 non-URM looking to work in entertainment law in LA. Leaving town for a better school is not really an appealing option, as my wife has a killer job (and you can't beat the SoCal weather =) .) Unfortunately, applying late has bit me in ass, scholarship-wise, and I'm stuck paying sticker at both schools. UCLA is cheaper by about $10k/yr, but I went there undergrad, and I prefer USC's alumni network for entertainment in this town, plus I am a commuter, and USC allows me to take the train, rather than sit in 3+ hours of traffic.

I have had a lot of people telling me that I'd be crazy to pay sticker at USC given my numbers, and that I should either consider going UCLA or reapplying...thoughts?


Wow - neither school offered you $$ with those numbers. Did you apply late in the cycle? If you did I would reapply next year for sure and apply early.

Did Irvine not interest you?

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roundabout
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Re: USC vs. UCLA vs. Reapply

Postby roundabout » Sun Apr 25, 2010 8:55 am

NerdmoD wrote:Thanks for the advice, guys. I will definitely give Robert a call over at UCLA (I had previously gotten the "send me competitive offers" rec from him, but, unfortunately, I didn't have any...), but I know that Mary over at USC told me that they are out of money for scholarship until after the deposit.

tallboone wrote:UCLA is pretty much universally recognized as the better law school, and I think the law school alumni network is equally strong as 'SC's


Part of my interest in the E Law at SC is the guaranteed 1L fellowships they offer to top incoming applicants (which I may get...but will no before I have to commit), and the fact that the just pulled in John Schulman to head the revamped E law department, which was quite a coup for SC. Is the difference between 15th and 18th really so huge in the Los Angeles/OC markets?

legalease9 wrote:Man, you do have good numbers. Go UCLA. I am generally against postponing a year unless you can't get into ANY good schools. UCLA is a very good school. Did you apply to any T14's? Also, I'm really suprised that USC didn't give you any $$$.


Haha thanks. I was too late this cycle to apply anywhere else except Penn.


Just wanted to second everyone else saying you should ask for money- UCLA gave me nothing and USC gave me something, and I was able to get some bling from UCLA. I still think it's worth going to them even if you have no leverage. On the down side, they did tell me they wouldn't have more until after May 1st. Maybe worth throwing down a seat deposit and seeing what you can negotiate later?

NerdmoD
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Re: USC vs. UCLA vs. Reapply

Postby NerdmoD » Mon Apr 26, 2010 5:47 pm

roundabout wrote: Maybe worth throwing down a seat deposit and seeing what you can negotiate later?


Good idea -- I got that same email from USC. I think I'll do that for both UCLA and USC...see if I get lucky.

NerdmoD wrote:Did Irvine not interest you?


My wife and I actually live in Irvine...and that's where I'll be commuting from. It's definitely convenient, but I just don't think UCI is competitive enough, esp. in entertainment law.

seattlite
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Re: USC vs. UCLA vs. Reapply

Postby seattlite » Mon Apr 26, 2010 6:17 pm

NerdmoD wrote:
roundabout wrote: Maybe worth throwing down a seat deposit and seeing what you can negotiate later?


Good idea -- I got that same email from USC. I think I'll do that for both UCLA and USC...see if I get lucky.

NerdmoD wrote:Did Irvine not interest you?


My wife and I actually live in Irvine...and that's where I'll be commuting from. It's definitely convenient, but I just don't think UCI is competitive enough, esp. in entertainment law.


From personal experience, I can tell you that commuting from the OC to UCLA (Westwood) is an absolute nightmare and can, quite literally, make you start losing your mind! :roll: I would imagine that doing this while trying to manage law school would be especially crazy.

I also commuted to USC from OC, which was not nearly as bad (but I was taking classes there in the evening so that may have contributed to the better commute). Since I lived in SoCal, from what I have seen and from what I have heard from my family still down there, traffic has gotten no better...in fact, it might have gotten worse.

Based on this, I would suggest the following courses of action for your own sanity and quality of life:

(1) going to USC like you said and taking the train (a train ride is much preferred to So Cal traffic...esp the nightmare traffic on the 405 freeway during pretty much anytime of the day). You can also probably study on the train...which I imagine could be a godsend for law school (esp in 1L);
(2) moving closer to LA (e.g. the South Bay) or even North OC before you start law school in order to split the distance for the commute of you (going to either UCLA or USC) and your wife (who presumably works in Irvine / South OC)...this might not be an option if you own a house, as I know that the OC housing market is pretty weak right now. I should mention that the 105 freeway is really a good way to get to downtown LA...very fast, even though you commute through some bad neighborhoods. There is also a train that can take you to downtown LA / USC area from the South Bay near LAX...though I have never done this, but many of my friends did and said it was not bad...though, I probably wouldn't take a train too late at night because I think you have to transfer in a really sketchy part of town; and / or
(3) going to UCI (don't know if you applied this year or not and, as such, this might not be an option). I recommend that you consider UCI because even if they do not have an entertainment law focus right now, they are probably going to be a strong school in general once they are ranked (though maybe not as highly ranked as UCLA or USC), there is definitely something to be said for convenience of a school located in your own backyard (esp when they are offering a huge incentive at 1/2 tuition for its incoming class), they are bringing in strong faculty based on the interests of its students (e.g. entertainment law seems like a natural fit for classes to be developed in the next couple of years), and the OC legal community seems really jazzed about the UCI law school. Ultimately, you need to think about where you want to live after you graduate from law school. Do you want to stay in the OC or work in LA? Because, ulimately, unless you want to be commuting once you graduate to downtown LA or Westwood area, if you are thinking you want to work possibly in OC in entertainment law, then this is a serious consideration as well.

Lastly, I am a strong advocate of USC. I really like USC's alumni network, and its more personalized and pragmatic approach to education. Both UCLA and USC are schools that are really strong in entertainment law, but I think it is good to diversify from being a Bruin for both undergrad and grad, and I think ITE, the alumni network of USC could play a very important role in finding your first job.

Just my 2 cents. Best of luck to you!

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romothesavior
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Re: USC vs. UCLA vs. Reapply

Postby romothesavior » Mon Apr 26, 2010 6:19 pm

I am generally against waiting a year, but this is a case where you should do it. You will definitely crack the T14, and at the very least you will get scholly money from UCLA/USC. Taking that year off could save you tens of thousands of dollars, even if you end up going to one of those two schools regardless.

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Sauer Grapes
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Re: USC vs. UCLA vs. Reapply

Postby Sauer Grapes » Mon Apr 26, 2010 6:25 pm

romothesavior wrote:I am generally against waiting a year, but this is a case where you should do it. You will definitely crack the T14, and at the very least you will get scholly money from UCLA/USC. Taking that year off could save you tens of thousands of dollars, even if you end up going to one of those two schools regardless.

I'm with romo here. In fact, not only will you crack the top 14, but you will get scholarship money at the top 14. I am going to predict $45-$54 at Michigan, $54-$60 at Duke, $60 at Northwestern, $75 at GeorgeTTTown, assuming you get into that specific school. You could also possibly get into Berkeley and Chicago and NYU.

Edited to say... even if you are stuck on going to USC or UCLA, I still think reapplying and using better schools as leverage is the way to go. Think about it this way, you can work for a year, save more money and then pay less for school.

NerdmoD
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Re: USC vs. UCLA vs. Reapply

Postby NerdmoD » Mon Apr 26, 2010 6:31 pm

seattlite wrote:From personal experience, I can tell you that commuting from the OC to UCLA (Westwood) is an absolute nightmare and can, quite literally, make you start losing your mind! :roll: I would imagine that doing this while trying to manage law school would be especially crazy.

I also commuted to USC from OC, which was not nearly as bad (but I was taking classes there in the evening so that may have contributed to the better commute). Since I lived in SoCal, from what I have seen and from what I have heard from my family still down there, traffic has gotten no better...in fact, it might have gotten worse.

Based on this, I would suggest the following courses of action for your own sanity and quality of life:

(1) going to USC like you said and taking the train (a train ride is much preferred to So Cal traffic...esp the nightmare traffic on the 405 freeway during pretty much anytime of the day). You can also probably study on the train...which I imagine could be a godsend for law school (esp in 1L);
(2) moving closer to LA (e.g. the South Bay) or even North OC before you start law school in order to split the distance for the commute of you (going to either UCLA or USC) and your wife (who presumably works in Irvine / South OC)...this might not be an option if you own a house, as I know that the OC housing market is pretty weak right now. I should mention that the 105 freeway is really a good way to get to downtown LA...very fast, even though you commute through some bad neighborhoods. There is also a train that can take you to downtown LA / USC area from the South Bay near LAX...though I have never done this, but many of my friends did and said it was not bad...though, I probably wouldn't take a train too late at night because I think you have to transfer in a really sketchy part of town; and / or
(3) going to UCI (don't know if you applied this year or not and, as such, this might not be an option). I recommend that you consider UCI because even if they do not have an entertainment law focus right now, they are probably going to be a strong school in general once they are ranked (though maybe not as highly ranked as UCLA or USC), there is definitely something to be said for convenience of a school located in your own backyard (esp when they are offering a huge incentive at 1/2 tuition for its incoming class), they are bringing in strong faculty based on the interests of its students (e.g. entertainment law seems like a natural fit for classes to be developed in the next couple of years), and the OC legal community seems really jazzed about the UCI law school. Ultimately, you need to think about where you want to live after you graduate from law school. Do you want to stay in the OC or work in LA? Because, ulimately, unless you want to be commuting once you graduate to downtown LA or Westwood area, if you are thinking you want to work possibly in OC in entertainment law, then this is a serious consideration as well.

Lastly, I am a strong advocate of USC. I really like USC's alumni network, and its more personalized and pragmatic approach to education. Both UCLA and USC are schools that are really strong in entertainment law, but I think it is good to diversify from being a Bruin for both undergrad and grad, and I think ITE, the alumni network of USC could play a very important role in finding your first job.

Just my 2 cents. Best of luck to you!



Appreciate the comments -- yes I work almost exclusively in West LA at the moment, and I can tell you that I am VERY opposed to continuing that habit. I didn't apply to UCI (again, too late), but really, having lived down here for several years, I am pretty confident that even in Irvine, USC has a stronger alumni network than UCI (esp in law...since UCI's alw dept is so young.)

romothesavior wrote:I am generally against waiting a year, but this is a case where you should do it. You will definitely crack the T14, and at the very least you will get scholly money from UCLA/USC. Taking that year off could save you tens of thousands of dollars, even if you end up going to one of those two schools regardless.


I certainly can appreciate that, but does that potential value outweigh the loss of a (higher) income for a year? I've run the figures, and I'm not sold it does...even w/o a "big-law" salary...

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im_blue
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Re: USC vs. UCLA vs. Reapply

Postby im_blue » Mon Apr 26, 2010 6:36 pm

NerdmoD wrote:
romothesavior wrote:I am generally against waiting a year, but this is a case where you should do it. You will definitely crack the T14, and at the very least you will get scholly money from UCLA/USC. Taking that year off could save you tens of thousands of dollars, even if you end up going to one of those two schools regardless.


I certainly can appreciate that, but does that potential value outweigh the loss of a (higher) income for a year? I've run the figures, and I'm not sold it does...even w/o a "big-law" salary...

Since you seem to be committed to staying in LA, the only possible benefit to waiting a year is more scholarship money from UCLA or USC. I'm not sure if that lost year of income would be worth it, depending on your specific circumstances.

SaraLA
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Re: USC vs. UCLA vs. Reapply

Postby SaraLA » Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:00 am

tallboone wrote:Looking on LSN, you should be able to pull down a $75k scholarship if you apply early enough. Also, if you are set on going to school this year, you should call Steve Schwartz at the UCLA admissions office and the equivalent at USC just be totally honest with him about your situation and how you can't justify paying sticker and will apply next year. A lot of UCLA scholarship money is going to be turned down this week by folks withdrawing, so they may be able to give you a nice scholarship even this late. It cant hurt to call.


FYI, his name is Robert Schwartz, not Steve Schwartz (Dean of Admissions at UCLA). It will probably help your cause if you call him by his correct name :)

NerdmoD
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Re: USC vs. UCLA vs. Reapply

Postby NerdmoD » Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:49 pm

SaraLA wrote:
tallboone wrote:Looking on LSN, you should be able to pull down a $75k scholarship if you apply early enough. Also, if you are set on going to school this year, you should call Steve Schwartz at the UCLA admissions office and the equivalent at USC just be totally honest with him about your situation and how you can't justify paying sticker and will apply next year. A lot of UCLA scholarship money is going to be turned down this week by folks withdrawing, so they may be able to give you a nice scholarship even this late. It cant hurt to call.


FYI, his name is Robert Schwartz, not Steve Schwartz (Dean of Admissions at UCLA). It will probably help your cause if you call him by his correct name :)


Lol.

Yeah, I've found Rob to be one of the most responsive adcoms out there -- great guy.

fortissimo
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Re: USC vs. UCLA vs. Reapply

Postby fortissimo » Tue Apr 27, 2010 4:23 pm

Reapply. You should be able to get $ with your numbers at those schools.

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romothesavior
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Re: USC vs. UCLA vs. Reapply

Postby romothesavior » Tue Apr 27, 2010 6:00 pm

im_blue wrote:
NerdmoD wrote:
romothesavior wrote:I am generally against waiting a year, but this is a case where you should do it. You will definitely crack the T14, and at the very least you will get scholly money from UCLA/USC. Taking that year off could save you tens of thousands of dollars, even if you end up going to one of those two schools regardless.


I certainly can appreciate that, but does that potential value outweigh the loss of a (higher) income for a year? I've run the figures, and I'm not sold it does...even w/o a "big-law" salary...

Since you seem to be committed to staying in LA, the only possible benefit to waiting a year is more scholarship money from UCLA or USC. I'm not sure if that lost year of income would be worth it, depending on your specific circumstances.


Don't just look at it as a question of potential income. Look at it as the minimization of risk. The risk of LS being a poor investment will be lower if you can go for cheap or you go to a better school.

NerdmoD
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Re: USC vs. UCLA vs. Reapply

Postby NerdmoD » Wed May 05, 2010 7:32 pm

Thanks for all of your comments / thoughts everyone!

As a pretty darn exciting update, after following the advice of many of you, I actually just got a call from Dean Schwartz (at UCLA) a few days after the first deposit date, and was awarded $66,800 in merit-based scholarship aid!

Kind makes this thread moot, but I am very excited, and figured I would let you all know...I hate when an advice thread goes unresolved.... (besides, I just might have to open a new one next week if SC gets back to me a competitive offer... :wink:

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Dr. Strangelove
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Re: USC vs. UCLA vs. Reapply

Postby Dr. Strangelove » Wed May 05, 2010 8:01 pm

If UCLA is the best law school you'd attend- I'd just go for that and see if you can negotiate for scholarship money.
But damn.. your stats would probably get you everywhere except HYS & Columbia.




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