ITT Penn & Berkeley face off and you help me decide

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Penn or Berkeley?

Penn - $139k total debt
69
58%
Berkeley - $153k total debt
50
42%
 
Total votes: 119

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Core
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ITT Penn & Berkeley face off and you help me decide

Postby Core » Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:44 am

So I was all set to attend Penn with a $78,000 scholly, but Berkeley matched their offer yesterday, with $75,000. Penn is supposedly taking this into consideration as it reevaluates scholarship offers, but I'm not expecting an increase. I'm on 3 WLs, as many of you probably know lol, but I have no expectations about getting off. I'm also considering UCLA but less so because it seems to offer me many less options (in terms of job and region).
I would graduate Penn with 139k total debt (accounting for an extreme but probably realistic 5% increase in costs each year) and Berkeley with 153k debt (yikes).
I am most interested in the east coast (NYC), but I'm very open to the west as well (SoCal). Both schools seem to offer great atmospheres and experiences. I would like to pursue a clerkship for a year post-grad, or a year or two of biglaw - but after that I'm most interested in a gov job/PI and possibly academia.
I know this decision should probably come down to coastal preferences (and I'm still leaning toward Penn), but if anyone has useful input I would be very appreciative.

janer
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Re: ITT Penn & Berkeley face off and you help me decide

Postby janer » Tue Apr 27, 2010 12:18 pm

Did you visit both schools? Unless you have a strong preference for Berkeley, Penn seems to be the logical choice (less debt, better east coast placement).

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Formerbruin
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Re: ITT Penn & Berkeley face off and you help me decide

Postby Formerbruin » Tue Apr 27, 2010 12:59 pm

Boalt 3L here. I think that the coastal bias aspect in terms of getting a job is overblown. I am originally from LA, and had callbacks with big firms in NYC, SF, and LA. I did best in NYC (in terms of both success at getting callbacks and in turning those callbacks into offers) and, weirdly enough, worst in LA. I know it's said over and over, but the relative lack of Boalt grads outside of CA is due mostly to self-selection.

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apper123
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Re: ITT Penn & Berkeley face off and you help me decide

Postby apper123 » Tue Apr 27, 2010 1:04 pm

I'd just pick where you want to spend 3 years. Obviously both schools place really well all over the country.

garrett09
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Re: ITT Penn & Berkeley face off and you help me decide

Postby garrett09 » Tue Apr 27, 2010 1:07 pm

apper123 wrote:I'd just pick where you want to spend 3 years. Obviously both schools place really well all over the country.


this.

money's about equal, rank's about equal, ability to place where you want to be seems about equal. but it's philly vs. berkeley... those seem different. have a preference? or does either school better match your interests?

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Dignan
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Re: ITT Penn & Berkeley face off and you help me decide

Postby Dignan » Tue Apr 27, 2010 1:23 pm

I won't vote because the question is so close. Anyone who comes down strongly for one side or the other is most likely just trolling for their favored school.

You know that they're both great schools with roughly similar reputations. Do you want to live in Berkeley/SF for three years or in Philly? Answer that question and make your choice.

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tintin
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Re: ITT Penn & Berkeley face off and you help me decide

Postby tintin » Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:52 pm

FWIW, berkeley / the bay area is WAY better than philly. better weather too.

ne11986
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Re: ITT Penn & Berkeley face off and you help me decide

Postby ne11986 » Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:58 pm

tintin wrote:FWIW, berkeley / the bay area is WAY better than philly. better weather too.


I don't totally agree with this statement. Penn is in the heart of Philly, and Philly has a whole lot more to do than people give it credit for. The restaurants, shopping and nightlife are simply great. Also, there is a really good music scene. At Berkeley, you are still a ways away from the city. Sure, the weather might be better, but I think it is a bit of a stretch to say that the bay area is "way" better than Philly.

Perhaps most importantly, however, the cost of living is going to be drastically less in Philly. Take this advice for what it's worth....

Renzo
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Re: ITT Penn & Berkeley face off and you help me decide

Postby Renzo » Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:59 pm

Core wrote:I am most interested in the east coast (NYC), but I'm very open to the west as well (SoCal). Both schools seem to offer great atmospheres and experiences. I would like to pursue a clerkship for a year post-grad, or a year or two of biglaw - but after that I'm most interested in a gov job/PI and possibly academia.
I know this decision should probably come down to coastal preferences (and I'm still leaning toward Penn), but if anyone has useful input I would be very appreciative.

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Great Satchmo
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Re: ITT Penn & Berkeley face off and you help me decide

Postby Great Satchmo » Tue Apr 27, 2010 3:07 pm

Coastal preference or campus preference, the difference in debt is negligible.

I voted Berkeley because I'd take it over Penn in a heartbeat.

motiontodismiss
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Re: ITT Penn & Berkeley face off and you help me decide

Postby motiontodismiss » Tue Apr 27, 2010 3:07 pm

I picked Penn-but then again I wouldn't touch the West coast with a 10 foot pole, short of getting into Stanford and nowhere else.

i.e. I would turn down Stanford for Mich/Penn/NU with money. Turn down Stanford for GULC full fare? No way.

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tintin
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Re: ITT Penn & Berkeley face off and you help me decide

Postby tintin » Tue Apr 27, 2010 3:11 pm

ne11986 wrote:
tintin wrote:FWIW, berkeley / the bay area is WAY better than philly. better weather too.


I don't totally agree with this statement. Penn is in the heart of Philly, and Philly has a whole lot more to do than people give it credit for. The restaurants, shopping and nightlife are simply great. Also, there is a really good music scene. At Berkeley, you are still a ways away from the city. Sure, the weather might be better, but I think it is a bit of a stretch to say that the bay area is "way" better than Philly.

Perhaps most importantly, however, the cost of living is going to be drastically less in Philly. Take this advice for what it's worth....


berkeley itself is a very vibrant area, it's not just a suburb of SF. it has TONS of stuff to do, great food, etc.

motiontodismiss
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Re: ITT Penn & Berkeley face off and you help me decide

Postby motiontodismiss » Tue Apr 27, 2010 3:16 pm

tintin wrote:
ne11986 wrote:
tintin wrote:FWIW, berkeley / the bay area is WAY better than philly. better weather too.


I don't totally agree with this statement. Penn is in the heart of Philly, and Philly has a whole lot more to do than people give it credit for. The restaurants, shopping and nightlife are simply great. Also, there is a really good music scene. At Berkeley, you are still a ways away from the city. Sure, the weather might be better, but I think it is a bit of a stretch to say that the bay area is "way" better than Philly.

Perhaps most importantly, however, the cost of living is going to be drastically less in Philly. Take this advice for what it's worth....


berkeley itself is a very vibrant area, it's not just a suburb of SF. it has TONS of stuff to do, great food, etc.


And absolutely absurd CoL in the People's Republic....

ughOSU
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Re: ITT Penn & Berkeley face off and you help me decide

Postby ughOSU » Tue Apr 27, 2010 3:44 pm

Yea I was expecting to really love Berkeley, but I only liked it. Parts of it are amazing, but there are a lot of bums. Of course, there will be plenty of bums in Philly as well.

I think TCR is that they're tied in the rankings so you should go to the cheapest one.

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tintin
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Re: ITT Penn & Berkeley face off and you help me decide

Postby tintin » Tue Apr 27, 2010 4:05 pm

wait, i mean berkeley is a horrifying place and a terrible school, so go to penn and give your spot to meee!! :lol:

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JollyGreenGiant
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Re: ITT Penn & Berkeley face off and you help me decide

Postby JollyGreenGiant » Tue Apr 27, 2010 4:08 pm

This is one that no one can answer for you. It's all you.

fortissimo
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Re: ITT Penn & Berkeley face off and you help me decide

Postby fortissimo » Tue Apr 27, 2010 4:14 pm

ne11986 wrote:
tintin wrote:FWIW, berkeley / the bay area is WAY better than philly. better weather too.


I don't totally agree with this statement. Penn is in the heart of Philly, and Philly has a whole lot more to do than people give it credit for. The restaurants, shopping and nightlife are simply great. Also, there is a really good music scene. At Berkeley, you are still a ways away from the city. Sure, the weather might be better, but I think it is a bit of a stretch to say that the bay area is "way" better than Philly.

Perhaps most importantly, however, the cost of living is going to be drastically less in Philly. Take this advice for what it's worth....


I think people conflate the overall "bay area" with the "east bay." A lot of places in the bay area suck (inland like sac area, east bay). The different areas are very different in character. The East Bay itself is a horrible place to live, unless you are in the Oakland hills/other really, really expensive places to live. That said, not sure I'd want to live in Philly either but I can't comment on it since I actually haven't lived there and have only lived in the east bay.

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Dignan
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Re: ITT Penn & Berkeley face off and you help me decide

Postby Dignan » Tue Apr 27, 2010 4:20 pm

JollyGreenGiant wrote:This is one that no one can answer for you. It's all you.

I disagree. I think that Core should choose based on the TLS poll. Normally, I would suggest blindly following the USNWR rankings. But, sadly, the two schools are tied. The TLS poll is left standing as the only decisive authority.

I'm not sure the outcome was ever in doubt. The TLS poll system gives extra points for schools that are in the Ivy League; it subtracts points for schools that are situated near enclaves of hippies. Berkeley never had a chance.

Have fun at Penn, Core!

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Core
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Re: ITT Penn & Berkeley face off and you help me decide

Postby Core » Tue Apr 27, 2010 7:04 pm

Dignan wrote:
JollyGreenGiant wrote:This is one that no one can answer for you. It's all you.

I disagree. I think that Core should choose based on the TLS poll. Normally, I would suggest blindly following the USNWR rankings. But, sadly, the two schools are tied. The TLS poll is left standing as the only decisive authority.

I'm not sure the outcome was ever in doubt. The TLS poll system gives extra points for schools that are in the Ivy League; it subtracts points for schools that are situated near enclaves of hippies. Berkeley never had a chance.

Have fun at Penn, Core!

LMAO

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Dignan
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Re: ITT Penn & Berkeley face off and you help me decide

Postby Dignan » Tue Apr 27, 2010 9:09 pm

fortissimo wrote:I think people conflate the overall "bay area" with the "east bay." A lot of places in the bay area suck (inland like sac area, east bay).

I've lived in the Bay Area my entire life, and I have yet to meet anyone who thinks that Sacramento is part of the SF Bay Area. Most people consider the Livermore-Concord-Fairfield line to be the Eastern perimeter of the Bay Area.

The different areas are very different in character. The East Bay itself is a horrible place to live, unless you are in the Oakland hills/other really, really expensive places to live.

Well, the East Bay includes some nice towns like Walnut Creek. Yes, it's true that the nice places to live are expensive. But that's true of many metropolitan areas, including NYC, DC, and even Philly.

fortissimo
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Re: ITT Penn & Berkeley face off and you help me decide

Postby fortissimo » Tue Apr 27, 2010 9:31 pm

Dignan wrote:
fortissimo wrote:I think people conflate the overall "bay area" with the "east bay." A lot of places in the bay area suck (inland like sac area, east bay).

I've lived in the Bay Area my entire life, and I have yet to meet anyone who thinks that Sacramento is part of the SF Bay Area. Most people consider the Livermore-Concord-Fairfield line to be the Eastern perimeter of the Bay Area.


Livermore-Concord-Fairfield aren't exactly improvements from Sacramento. (I think some people from Sac-town consider themselves to be part of the general "Bay Area" or at least they talk about it when trying to up the region they live in.)

The different areas are very different in character. The East Bay itself is a horrible place to live, unless you are in the Oakland hills/other really, really expensive places to live.

Well, the East Bay includes some nice towns like Walnut Creek. Yes, it's true that the nice places to live are expensive. But that's true of many metropolitan areas, including NYC, DC, and even Philly.


Except those are actual cities. You can pay less and actually live in a city (given a not so nice part). The east bay isn't legit urban and yet you still have to pay a lot to live in a nice suburban area in the east bay. Most of it feels a lot more like a (rundown) suburban environment than urban environment, and Berkeley itself feels like a college town.

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jonas
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Re: ITT Penn & Berkeley face off and you help me decide

Postby jonas » Fri Apr 30, 2010 5:49 am

Some of the descriptions of the East Bay on this thread strike me as inaccurate.

fortissimo wrote:The east bay isn't legit urban.... Most of it feels a lot more like a (rundown) suburban environment than urban environment, and Berkeley itself feels like a college town.

Berkeley is a college town. The area just to the south of campus has fraternities, bars with dumb names, shirtless dudes playing frisbee, young women in Uggs, etc.

But there is so much more to the East Bay! There's Rockridge, Claremont, Elmwood, Piedmont Avenue, Temescal, Lake Merritt, the Berkeley Hills, Oakland's Chinatown, International Boulevard.... These are all neighborhoods in Oakland or Berkeley. They're anything but "suburban," at least as that term is usually used -- to refer to areas of single-family houses, low density, separate zoning for residences and businesses, no real downtown, and so forth.

Compare that to Rockridge. It's a neighborhood on the Berkeley/Oakland border, about 15 minutes by bus from the UCB campus. Urban planners regard it as a model of a walkable, mixed-use urban neighborhood.

Here's how the SF Chronicle describes Rockridge in the newspaper's guide to the East Bay:

[T]he homes on the leafy residential streets have been charmingly restored; and the area's main thoroughfare, College Avenue, is lined with atmospheric cafes, gourmet restaurants, independent bookstores and antiques shops that people go out of their way to patronize....

Although some have derided the neighborhood for being too upscale, too yuppie, Rockridge is, unlike many other gentrified areas, ethnically diverse. After all, this is still Oakland, the most integrated city in the United States....

(Emphasis added.)

And that's just one neighborhood in the East Bay. The area's filled with vibrant and diverse urban neighborhoods.

OK, I'm starting to sound like a real estate agent. I'll stop. I just wanted to put in a good word for the East Bay.

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A'nold
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Re: ITT Penn & Berkeley face off and you help me decide

Postby A'nold » Fri Apr 30, 2010 6:08 am

Livermore is a very nice area, are you smoking crack?

Also, I find it SO funny how much things can change b/c of a one year fluctuation in rankings. If this question was asked last year it would have been like "what the hell are you thinking, Boalt is leagues better than Penn, they are not even in the same stratosphere!!" Now they are peer schools, lulz. Everyone should have always known that this is where Berk should be ranked (not that it's bad, but tied w/ Chicago? C'mon).

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Dignan
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Re: ITT Penn & Berkeley face off and you help me decide

Postby Dignan » Fri Apr 30, 2010 2:28 pm

A'nold wrote:Also, I find it SO funny how much things can change b/c of a one year fluctuation in rankings. If this question was asked last year it would have been like "what the hell are you thinking, Boalt is leagues better than Penn, they are not even in the same stratosphere!!" Now they are peer schools, lulz. Everyone should have always known that this is where Berk should be ranked (not that it's bad, but tied w/ Chicago? C'mon).

I don't think that's right. The new rankings came out on April 15. For as long as I've been on this board (several months), the general consensus is that Chicago belongs in a tier above Berkeley. It's practically gospel around here that the tiers are HYS/CCN/MVBP/DNCG.

Once in awhile, someone will argue that the tiers aren't right (e.g., "NYU doesn't belong with Columbia or Chicago!"), but those posts are outliers. Penn and Berkeley were regarded as peer schools last year, last month, and now. The new USNWR rankings didn't seem to change the TLS consensus at all, and I don't think the recent rankings had an impact on the discussion in this thread.

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JollyGreenGiant
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Re: ITT Penn & Berkeley face off and you help me decide

Postby JollyGreenGiant » Fri Apr 30, 2010 2:46 pm

Dignan wrote:
A'nold wrote:Also, I find it SO funny how much things can change b/c of a one year fluctuation in rankings. If this question was asked last year it would have been like "what the hell are you thinking, Boalt is leagues better than Penn, they are not even in the same stratosphere!!" Now they are peer schools, lulz. Everyone should have always known that this is where Berk should be ranked (not that it's bad, but tied w/ Chicago? C'mon).

I don't think that's right. The new rankings came out on April 15. For as long as I've been on this board (several months), the general consensus is that Chicago belongs in a tier above Berkeley. It's practically gospel around here that the tiers are HYS/CCN/MVBP/DNCG.

Once in awhile, someone will argue that the tiers aren't right (e.g., "NYU doesn't belong with Columbia or Chicago!"), but those posts are outliers. Penn and Berkeley were regarded as peer schools last year, last month, and now. The new USNWR rankings didn't seem to change the TLS consensus at all, and I don't think the recent rankings had an impact on the discussion in this thread.

+1.. it has always been MVPB for the last 3-ish years I've been here.




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