Cornell v. GW ($$$)

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Cornell v. GW

GW ($$$)
47
53%
Cornell
42
47%
 
Total votes: 89

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mi-chan17
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Cornell v. GW ($$$)

Postby mi-chan17 » Mon May 24, 2010 1:50 am

So I put down my deposit at GW, who gave me significant merit money, and then Friday I got admitted to Cornell. I want to work for the federal government - and I imagine that despite Cornell's T14 status GW would be better for that. However, it's entirely possible I'm wrong.

If the government thing doesn't work out, also entirely possible, I primarily just want to be able to get a job. I'm guessing that Cornell would be better on that score.

So, yeah. Money at GW versus Cornell (likely at sticker, though I haven't received my packet yet).

EDIT: It's also worth mentioning that I visited GW, and I had an awesome time there. I've never, in my life, been to Ithaca. Moving somewhere I've never seen strikes me as a bit dicey.

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thesealocust
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Re: Cornell v. GW ($$$)

Postby thesealocust » Mon May 24, 2010 2:20 am

nm
Last edited by thesealocust on Tue Jun 29, 2010 7:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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KMaine
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Re: Cornell v. GW ($$$)

Postby KMaine » Mon May 24, 2010 5:54 am

Agree with all of the above. GW should open up some decent doors in the government, though, with its D.C. location. I think this is a tough choice. How much $ did you get from GW? What is the debt comparison between the 2? Note that Cornell's Loan Repayment is one of the better ones out there. Good luck.

keg411
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Re: Cornell v. GW ($$$)

Postby keg411 » Mon May 24, 2010 8:36 am

How much is the $$$ difference at GW? If it's significant and all you want is government or just *a* job in general (i.e. you don't mind doing "less desirable/prestigious" work), then there's no reason not to take the money. If it will still leave you well over $100k in debt, take the better ranking/better LRAP.

doublefocus4
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Re: Cornell v. GW ($$$)

Postby doublefocus4 » Mon May 24, 2010 8:48 am

Till I know how much GW is giving you, I'm going with Cornell.

CyLaw
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Re: Cornell v. GW ($$$)

Postby CyLaw » Mon May 24, 2010 9:39 am

OP has the 30k per year + first year housing offer from GWU. 105k total value I believe, which leaves about 95k in debt based on GWU's COA estimates vs 210k in debt at Cornell (if no money).

That seems like a big difference, but since you want to do public service then you have to take into account LRAP at the two schools. With Cornell's LRAP, you would only end up paying around 50k of that debt and the rest is done by the school, so that considerable difference goes away in favor of Cornell. However, Cornell's LRAP only applies to jobs that REQUIRE a JD, so if you want to be a government lawyer, this is probably your best repayment plan, but if you want to do policy or leadership, then Cornell's LRAP as of now may not apply.

For both schools there is the option of doing IBR with public service forgiveness (bare in mind that this is almost useless if you get married, and is completely useless unless you spend a full 10 years in public service/interest), but if going this route, then both schools would be the same debt load (and likely more debt than with Cornell's LRAP).

My point here is that if you want to be a government lawyer, then the cost does not matter between these two schools (and likely is less debt at Cornell, thanks to their LRAP calls PILIPP). So I would not consider scholarship in this decision, since you want to do public service.

Edit: Just looked at GWU's LRAP, and Cornell's is much better. GWU LRAP does not cover government jobs unless the work is "primarily on behalf of indigent or under-represented populations". Also there is a set salary cap, and the LRAP is set up to bring you to a income of $37k per year (meaning the award is what ever will bring you to 37k per year after law school debt payments). Cornell's LRAP includes all government jobs as long as they require a JD for the position, and if you make less than $35k + locality pay (so for DC about $45k per year), you don't pay anything. Looking at the two plans, Cornell LRAP >>>> GWU LRAP.

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mi-chan17
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Re: Cornell v. GW ($$$)

Postby mi-chan17 » Mon May 24, 2010 10:21 am

CyLaw is right on that I got the 30k/yr + housing award from GW. So I'm looking at around 100k difference in debt between the two schools, provided that Cornell gives me no money.

Thank you guys so much for the help, you're giving me a lot to think about (which is good). Keep it coming.

minuit
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Re: Cornell v. GW ($$$)

Postby minuit » Mon May 24, 2010 10:46 am

At GW's ASD, it was explained that the school plans on expanding their LRAP up to 45k from 37k. Also, they made no mention of only including gov't jobs that dealt with certain populations; it was my understanding that all gov't jobs were included... but maybe they just left that part out, as I do remember reading that on their website. That would be a good question to ask. Anyway, one way that it can work is that you pay IBR, and then they take your income after your IBR payments, and they bump you back up to 45k (37k at the moment), with a maximum of 10,000 dollars (it's less at the moment). So if you only make 30k, you will get 40k. And if you make 39k, you'll make 45k. Also, the money GW gives you is non-taxable.

I'm biased, but that's because I plan on going into government or PI, and I plan on using DC like it's my candy land during the school year to benefit from living there. Cornell doesn't place a lot of students into government or PI. I'm sure it's very possible, but it's a very small number (self selection). At GW, you can work for the government during the school year and get class credit - I don't think it gets better than that!

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mi-chan17
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Re: Cornell v. GW ($$$)

Postby mi-chan17 » Wed May 26, 2010 2:31 am

I'd been thinking something similar about the internship opportunities available at GW given its location - especially for the federal government - and the outside placement for credit deal. That being said, is it possible that Cornell's name might overcome that advantage (especially when combined with their full-term externship)? I originally wasn't thinking so, but now I'm being told I'm likely wrong.

LRAP and IBR might also reduce the disparity created by aid between the two - and I haven't heard about aid from Cornell yet; there's a very, very slim chance they might offer me money, but I'm not counting on it. Despite the existence of Cornell's LRAP (which, I have to agree, is far better than GW's) and IBR, I feel kind of frightened by the prospect of an extra 100k of debt.

Any other thoughts?

Help?

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mi-chan17
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Re: Cornell v. GW ($$$)

Postby mi-chan17 » Thu May 27, 2010 12:08 am

Received my financial aid letter from Cornell via email. They are very excited to offer me $69,750 per year in loans. So I'd be paying sticker to go there.

What would you guys do? And why?

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thesealocust
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Re: Cornell v. GW ($$$)

Postby thesealocust » Thu May 27, 2010 12:13 am

edited / never mind
Last edited by thesealocust on Mon Jun 28, 2010 8:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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mbw
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Re: Cornell v. GW ($$$)

Postby mbw » Thu May 27, 2010 12:25 am

mi-chan17 wrote:Received my financial aid letter from Cornell via email. They are very excited to offer me $69,750 per year in loans. So I'd be paying sticker to go there.

What would you guys do? And why?


Did you forward your GW offer? If not, it wouldn't hurt to do so now.

I guess I would still say Cornell (and I loved GW -- in fact, way more than GULC.) But I do think you should visit, if you can. Ithaca is not for everyone -- although, the Hogwarts/Ivy factor of the university goes a long way to counter the town proper...

night06
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Re: Cornell v. GW ($$$)

Postby night06 » Thu May 27, 2010 12:40 am

mbw wrote:
mi-chan17 wrote:Received my financial aid letter from Cornell via email. They are very excited to offer me $69,750 per year in loans. So I'd be paying sticker to go there.

What would you guys do? And why?


Did you forward your GW offer? If not, it wouldn't hurt to do so now.

I guess I would still say Cornell (and I loved GW -- in fact, way more than GULC.) But I do think you should visit, if you can. Ithaca is not for everyone -- although, the Hogwarts/Ivy factor of the university goes a long way to counter the town proper...


Is the town itself really so bad that it needs to be "countered"? Most people I've met who did their undergrad there say they enjoyed it, but here on TLS, people seem to make it out to be some kind of frozen hell-on-earth. Has me a little worried... Do any of you genuinely enjoy being there?

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mbw
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Re: Cornell v. GW ($$$)

Postby mbw » Thu May 27, 2010 12:53 am

night06 wrote:
mbw wrote:
mi-chan17 wrote:Received my financial aid letter from Cornell via email. They are very excited to offer me $69,750 per year in loans. So I'd be paying sticker to go there.

What would you guys do? And why?


Did you forward your GW offer? If not, it wouldn't hurt to do so now.

I guess I would still say Cornell (and I loved GW -- in fact, way more than GULC.) But I do think you should visit, if you can. Ithaca is not for everyone -- although, the Hogwarts/Ivy factor of the university goes a long way to counter the town proper...


Is the town itself really so bad that it needs to be "countered"? Most people I've met who did their undergrad there say they enjoyed it, but here on TLS, people seem to make it out to be some kind of frozen hell-on-earth. Has me a little worried... Do any of you genuinely enjoy being there?


Well, I might be an outlier, so don't take my experience as typical. I spent probably an inordinate amount of time at the LS -- I have a family, which made it hard to study at home, so I didn't get out that much, other than school and Collegetown for lunch and drinks after class/studying. I'm hoping to change that more this coming year, and I know (from locals) that I live in what's considered the best neighborhood for activities and the like. I also came from a city while only a few tens of thousands larger than Ithaca, has a much more cosmopolitan feel. Do I enjoy being here? I think so, and believe that I'm happier than I would have been in NYC or Ann Arbor -- although, I really do love Minneapolis (where we had moved prior to decided to shift gears an head to Ithaca...) I guess it all depends on how flexible you can be... There are a lot of good things about Ithaca... you just have to be willing to overlook a few warts...

night06
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Re: Cornell v. GW ($$$)

Postby night06 » Thu May 27, 2010 1:03 am

mbw wrote:
night06 wrote:
mbw wrote:
mi-chan17 wrote:Received my financial aid letter from Cornell via email. They are very excited to offer me $69,750 per year in loans. So I'd be paying sticker to go there.

What would you guys do? And why?


Did you forward your GW offer? If not, it wouldn't hurt to do so now.

I guess I would still say Cornell (and I loved GW -- in fact, way more than GULC.) But I do think you should visit, if you can. Ithaca is not for everyone -- although, the Hogwarts/Ivy factor of the university goes a long way to counter the town proper...


Is the town itself really so bad that it needs to be "countered"? Most people I've met who did their undergrad there say they enjoyed it, but here on TLS, people seem to make it out to be some kind of frozen hell-on-earth. Has me a little worried... Do any of you genuinely enjoy being there?


Well, I might be an outlier, so don't take my experience as typical. I spent probably an inordinate amount of time at the LS -- I have a family, which made it hard to study at home, so I didn't get out that much, other than school and Collegetown for lunch and drinks after class/studying. I'm hoping to change that more this coming year, and I know (from locals) that I live in what's considered the best neighborhood for activities and the like. I also came from a city while only a few tens of thousands larger than Ithaca, has a much more cosmopolitan feel. Do I enjoy being here? I think so, and believe that I'm happier than I would have been in NYC or Ann Arbor -- although, I really do love Minneapolis (where we had moved prior to decided to shift gears an head to Ithaca...) I guess it all depends on how flexible you can be... There are a lot of good things about Ithaca... you just have to be willing to overlook a few warts...


Fair enough. Would you say that many of your classmates have a good time there?

(sorry to derail the thread, OP)

thatsnotmyname
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Re: Cornell v. GW ($$$)

Postby thatsnotmyname » Thu May 27, 2010 1:14 am

Looks like another TLSer is having to make a similar choice: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=118632

Personally, I'd take GW just because I love DC. But if you don't think you'd mind Ithaca, Cornell will likely give you a better chance of landing your dream job. Though, I'm not really sure by how much. I also don't think you can sell short the ability to intern in DC during the school year and make connections... But Cornell easily has the better LRAP, which is big if you're set on government work.

Take Cornell unless you think you'd be unhappy in Ithaca.

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najumobi
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Re: Cornell v. GW ($$$)

Postby najumobi » Thu May 27, 2010 1:31 am

thatsnotmyname wrote:Looks like another TLSer is having to make a similar choice: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=118632

Personally, I'd take GW just because I love DC. But if you don't think you'd mind Ithaca, Cornell will likely give you a better chance of landing your dream job. Though, I'm not really sure by how much. I also don't think you can sell short the ability to intern in DC during the school year and make connections... But Cornell easily has the better LRAP, which is big if you're set on government work.

Take Cornell unless you think you'd be unhappy in Ithaca.
what aspect of cornell's lrap makes it better than gw's?

CyLaw
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Re: Cornell v. GW ($$$)

Postby CyLaw » Thu May 27, 2010 9:22 am

najumobi wrote:what aspect of cornell's lrap makes it better than gw's?


Edit: These debt numbers are based on info from the OP. Your mileage may vary.

Some simplified calculations based on $210k in debt at Cornell and $95k in debt at GWU. Assuming very simplified 6.8% interest on debt and no previous debt, this leads to a repayment per year of $29k for Cornell and 13.1k for GW.

All formulas based on the most current WRITTEN documentation from the schools. Not accounting for any promised changes.
--LinkRemoved--
http://www.lawschool.cornell.edu/admiss ... P-info.pdf

Assuming 4 salary levels: $35,000 / $45,000 / $55,000 / $70,000 in DC

Cornell

Formula: You pay each year (Salary - (SMA * Area Adjustment)) / 2. Cornell pays the rest.
SMA right now is $35k. Area adjustment for DC is 1.2422 (locality pay for dc), so SMA * Are adjustment is ~43.5k for this year. (normally goes up each year).

$35k: Award = $29k, You pay per year = $0, Total Debt = $0
$45k: Award = $27.5, You pay per year = $.75K, Total Debt = $7.5k
$55k: Award = $23.25, You pay per year = $5.75K, Total Debt = $57.5
$70k: Award = $15.75, You pay per year = $13.25K, Total Debt = $132.5k

GWU

Formula: Current target salary of $37k, with a max award of $8k in the year. Award amount = Target Salary - Salary + Loan Payments.

$35k: Award = $8k, You pay per year = $5.1k, Total Debt = $51k
$45k: Award = $5.1k, You pay per year = $8k, Total Debt = $80k
$55k: Award = $0, You pay per year = $13.1k, Total Debt = $131k
$70k: Award = $0, You pay per year = $13.1k, Total Debt = $131k

Analysis
In current forms, Cornell's LRAP provides less debt than GWU for salary levels where LRAP is used at GWU. At 70k Cornell is $1,500 more expensive than GWU. Granted this is very simplified and does not account for pay increases, marrigage status, or a slew of other things, but is meant to demostrate a basic comparison.

Also as I noted before GWU's LRAP has stricter employment restrictions than Cornell's, namely while any government work with a JD is fine for cornell's GWU's states the only government employment allowed is
d. Government employment in which the recipient's law-related work is primarily on behalf of indigent or under-represented populations.

sanibel1376
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Re: Cornell v. GW ($$$)

Postby sanibel1376 » Thu May 27, 2010 11:06 am

I have a similar decision to make...Cornell (sticker) vs. Fordham (10k per yr) however, I received less of a scholarship than you, but I would be commuting from home and saving approx. 10k per yr as well....I am pretty sure I will not be receiving any financial aid too...

I want to go into corporate law and work in nyc...will the long term benefits of Cornell outweigh the added costs?

did you make your final decision? I am leaning towards Cornell, but its a tough choice, esp since I just found out that I was accepted to Cornell yesterday and have been set on Fordham for the past month.

Any advice???

Thanks!

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thesealocust
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Re: Cornell v. GW ($$$)

Postby thesealocust » Thu May 27, 2010 2:35 pm

edited / never mind
Last edited by thesealocust on Mon Jun 28, 2010 8:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Ronaldo
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Re: Cornell v. GW ($$$)

Postby Ronaldo » Thu May 27, 2010 2:49 pm

thesealocust wrote:
sanibel1376 wrote:I want to go into corporate law and work in nyc...will the long term benefits of Cornell outweigh the added costs?



YES

You are not a special snowflake. Every year, a large number of students at Cornell have grades that qualify them for corporate NYC jobs which the same grades/rank at Fordham would not qualify them for. Don't take the risk. You only have one realistic shot at biglaw - fall recruiting - and so it is in your best interest to maximize your odds, even if it is costly.



Regarding biglaw, if you do not get a biglaw job after graduation, does that mean you will never be able to get one?

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thesealocust
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Re: Cornell v. GW ($$$)

Postby thesealocust » Thu May 27, 2010 2:56 pm

edited / never mind
Last edited by thesealocust on Mon Jun 28, 2010 8:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Ronaldo
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Re: Cornell v. GW ($$$)

Postby Ronaldo » Thu May 27, 2010 3:39 pm

thesealocust wrote:
Ronaldo wrote:
thesealocust wrote:
sanibel1376 wrote:I want to go into corporate law and work in nyc...will the long term benefits of Cornell outweigh the added costs?



YES

You are not a special snowflake. Every year, a large number of students at Cornell have grades that qualify them for corporate NYC jobs which the same grades/rank at Fordham would not qualify them for. Don't take the risk. You only have one realistic shot at biglaw - fall recruiting - and so it is in your best interest to maximize your odds, even if it is costly.



Regarding biglaw, if you do not get a biglaw job after graduation, does that mean you will never be able to get one?


If you do not get a biglaw job during fall recruitment after your 1L year, you will never* get one

*There are exceptions, but not many. Big law has a recruiting pipeline - you catch the train or you don't. There is a tiny, tiny, tiny amount of hiring after 2L year, but it's mostly for people who want to switch firms, not for people who failed to get a firm job for their 2L summer. Sometimes you can get a bigfirm job after a clerkship, but clerkships are harder to get than biglaw, so that's not much of an alternative. And some people do get big firm jobs after relevant government experience, such as hill job -> firm lobbying or agency job -> regulatory practice, but the kinds of jobs that set you up for a big law lateral are (repeating them) also extraordinarily competitive. Also know that many 'cool' legal jobs in the government, in PI shops, or at smaller boutique firms exclusively hire people who have already worked in big law firms. It is absolutely imperative that you understand how this system works when you choose schools and make plans based on debt, career prospects, etc. It isn't fair or rational, but it's the way the world works and we all need to be prepared to deal with it.



I have also read in other posts that its biglaw (160,000) or 40,000. I find hard to believe that this is true. Is there midlaw firms that pay 80,000 or 120,000 etc.
I am sure I will follow the private practice route.

yabbadabbado
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Re: Cornell v. GW ($$$)

Postby yabbadabbado » Thu May 27, 2010 5:05 pm

Recent t14 grad here.

Federal govt. jobs are far harder to get than most 0Ls can imagine. Bottom line, the govt. doesn't hire that many entry level attorneys even in a good year. If you don't believe me, get your hands on the Arizona Honors Program Handbook, which is the THE guidebook for federal govt. legal jobs. Since you've already been admitted to LS, one of the career offices should be able to help you get an electronic copy since virtually every LS is subscribed to it. Basically, the odds of you getting a fed. govt. job are not that good and it is going to be very competitive to get one from either school.

As far as "just getting a job" goes, you will have to decide whether to shoot for that after 1L year because govt honors programs don't hire until 3L, whereas most decent size firms that hire SAs make offers after the 2L SA programs are over.

LRAP is all fine and good but there is a lot of competition to get an LRAP qualifying job. So those calculations don't mean a thing if you can't get one. You can still sign up for IBR no matter what, which will help you if your salary coming out of either school is low.

Cornell is a great school, but 210K for a JD from there is insane, especially given the uncertain future of the legal job market. If the GW deal was a full ride with no strings, I'd probably say take it, but the deal they've offered you is still fairly attractive. I'd try to get more $ out of GW if you can.

Are there any other schools that have offered you money?

yabbadabbado
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Re: Cornell v. GW ($$$)

Postby yabbadabbado » Thu May 27, 2010 5:11 pm

There are some mid-market firms that hire new grads and have SA programs but not many. Basically your odds of getting a job like that are very low. Even if you go to a top school, if you do not get a biglaw job and you go to a law firm, odds are you will be making around $50K or less.

ITE, even grads of good schools would be happy to take a job that paid $50K at a stable firm with decent benefits.

Ronaldo wrote:I have also read in other posts that its biglaw (160,000) or 40,000. I find hard to believe that this is true. Is there midlaw firms that pay 80,000 or 120,000 etc.
I am sure I will follow the private practice route.




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