USC vs American University

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USC vs American University

Postby shearerbs » Tue May 11, 2010 10:53 pm

Hi everyone. This is my first post and I am a little crunched for advice so any input within the next like 24 hours would be highly appreciated.

To sum up my decision, I need to decide whether to go to the University of Southern California (USC) or American University (WCL) by Thursday. Of course, it isn't that simple but that is the sparknotes version.

First of all, it should be noted that I went to USC undegrad. I was accepted to USC in February and, initially, they did not offer any scholarship money. Currently, I am in the middle of brokering some money from them because Seattle U gave me $16k/year and according to the guys at the Financial Aid Office, there is a good chance I will receive some money. Unfortunately, it looks like I won't know before Thursday, when I need to make my decision. I love USC but am a little discouraged by staying in the same school for 7 years. Also, I am not terribly into business/tax law which seems to be their focus. The ranking thing is hard to overlook though.

I was waitlisted at WCL in February and just received an email that seemed like they are going to offer me a spot tomorrow. WCL's shitty policy is that you only have 24 hours to deposit $1000 after being accepted off the waitlist. I can't afford to pay that and not go. I really like the idea of practicing in DC and the whole international/public interest/government law focus is right up my alley. I toured WCL and it was pretty awesome. Still, the ranking thing is hard to overlook.

So what do you guys think. Should I suck it up and go for ranking, or choose according to geography and field?

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Re: USC vs American University

Postby TheCheerfulPessimist » Tue May 11, 2010 10:59 pm

Hmm. In a better economy, I would say that American isn't a bad deal. But considering the circumstances, I can't help but recommend USC. On the other hand, if you feel that your performance will suffer if you stay, then I'd say go to American.

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Re: USC vs American University

Postby cardinalandgold » Tue May 11, 2010 11:01 pm

Go to USC. USC is heads and shoulders above American.


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Re: USC vs American University

Postby Danteshek » Tue May 11, 2010 11:01 pm

You can't be serious

If money is important, then I'm sure you can get some from another LA school


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Re: USC vs American University

Postby bk1 » Wed May 12, 2010 9:45 am

Field is largely irrelevant here. USC seems like the obvious choice as it has much better prospects than American. TBH, if you can't decide within 24 hours, I think that $1000 is worth the peace of mind to allow you more time to choose, considering this is a 6 figure investment. If for some reason you have a burning desire to work in DC then maybe AU is better, but I wouldn't choose it ITE.


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Re: USC vs American University

Postby tesoro » Wed May 12, 2010 9:56 am

AU is not a great choice. In the DC market, it's crowded out by GWU, GULC, UVA, W&M, W&L the rest of the T14, GMU and Catholic. GMU, Catholic and AU grads struggle here all the time (I know these people personally) because the market is cutthroat and ultracrowded. In other words, DC is as popular as NYC, but with the same amount of feeder schools and with 1/10 the amount of positions.

USC is second to UCLA and the T14 in its rather large home market.

If getting a decent job after graduation is the goal, USC is the correct plan of action.

I understand that your goals are related to international, PI and government work. AU is not a leg up in these fields. While they may focus on them more than USC does, the rather large disparity in prestige undercuts the focus as far as employers are concerned (IMO at least). I think you will be able to enter any of these fields more easily from USC than from AU.

In any case, good luck-

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Re: USC vs American University

Postby holydonkey » Wed May 12, 2010 9:58 am

USC, unless you want to practice "international law". For "international law" American is the obvious choice.

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Re: USC vs American University

Postby deadpanic » Wed May 12, 2010 11:05 am

For the love of God, go to USC. This should not be close, at all.

holydonkey wrote:USC, unless you want to practice "international law". For "international law" American is the obvious choice.

That is good shit. +1

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