Washington & Lee or Wake Forest ($$)??

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

Washington & Lee or Wake Forest?

Washington & Lee (Full tuition)
9
41%
Wake Forest ($22.5K per year scholly)
13
59%
 
Total votes: 22

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gogo
Posts: 92
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 11:52 am

Washington & Lee or Wake Forest ($$)??

Postby gogo » Sat Jun 05, 2010 7:19 pm

Yesterday I was accepted off the waitlist at my first choice school - Washington & Lee. As of before that, I had committed to Wake Forest. I only have a few days to decide and don't know what to do! W&L and WF both have about the same tuition and living costs - the biggest thing here is that I have a 22,500 scholarship/ year at Wake Forest and would be paying full-tuition at W&L. W&L is ranked slightly higher, but used to be ranked much, much higher...so this is a concern...will it continue to fall or will it stay put/rebound? Is Wake on it's way up? I know a law degree is an investment, but how much is prestige worth? is W&L worth the full-tuition costs?

Ultimately, post law school I want to end up in DC. Wake Forest has a new DC initiative program students can do for one semester, but does W&L fare better in the DC market because it is a VA school? Also, would my career prospects be significantly better coming out of W&L?

Both schools are relatively small and in smaller towns and fairly southern with a collegial student body so not much of a difference there. W&L seems to have a bit of a higher caliber student body. I feel like my heart wants W&L but I don't want to make an irrational choice, esp because I loved my visit to Wake. I feel like I would really love W&L as well though...If i want this spot i have to come up with .a $1,500 deposit by next week...

Any thoughts/advice would be appreciated!

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Regionality
Posts: 789
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2010 5:13 am

Re: Washington & Lee or Wake Forest ($$)??

Postby Regionality » Sat Jun 05, 2010 7:51 pm

gogo wrote:Yesterday I was accepted off the waitlist at my first choice school - Washington & Lee. As of before that, I had committed to Wake Forest. I only have a few days to decide and don't know what to do! W&L and WF both have about the same tuition and living costs - the biggest thing here is that I have a 22,500 scholarship/ year at Wake Forest and would be paying full-tuition at W&L. W&L is ranked slightly higher, but used to be ranked much, much higher...so this is a concern...will it continue to fall or will it stay put/rebound? Is Wake on it's way up? I know a law degree is an investment, but how much is prestige worth? is W&L worth the full-tuition costs?

Ultimately, post law school I want to end up in DC. Wake Forest has a new DC initiative program students can do for one semester, but does W&L fare better in the DC market because it is a VA school? Also, would my career prospects be significantly better coming out of W&L?

Both schools are relatively small and in smaller towns and fairly southern with a collegial student body so not much of a difference there. W&L seems to have a bit of a higher caliber student body. I feel like my heart wants W&L but I don't want to make an irrational choice, esp because I loved my visit to Wake. I feel like I would really love W&L as well though...If i want this spot i have to come up with .a $1,500 deposit by next week...

Any thoughts/advice would be appreciated!


Hey you may have gotten my spot at W&L since I didn't deposit the 2nd time!

Tough choice, but I have a lot of thoughts on W&L, not so many on wake:

I decided W&L was NOT worth sticker for a variety of reasons:
1) It's rank is falling, and has been for the past years. This isn't so much a problem except as in how it might affect employment stats, which is hard to judge...so take that for what it's worth but I do think the fall is both reflective and predictive of something going awry with their numbers
2) I would have killed myself from boredom in Lexington
3) I did not like their new 3rd year program. The reason I didn't like it is complex, because I very much believe that practical experience is necessary...I just didn't believe that a law school in Lexington can give any real practical experience that isn't just a fake simulation in a classroom...they have SOME clinics, but they were all pretty small in their scope due to its location
4) Tuition is EXPENSIVE
5) W&L is 6th in line for the DC market after GWU, GULC, UVA, W&M, and American (its higher ranked than American but everyone at American wants to stay in DC)
6) I'm not a fan of their local fall-back market (rural virginia/w virginia...)
7) Classes are small (130 students) and the interaction with the undergrad is zilch, and there are no other grad programs...in other words, small world reinforced by a small world

I LOVED W&L for a lot of reasons: Collegiality, honor code, region, beauty of the location, academic reputation, and so on...but in the end it didn't add up for me...my personal advice is to take the scholly at Wake....

Edit: I realize that my advice is mostly taking the form of pointing out things that are wrong with W&L, so take that for what it's worth

User avatar
Barolo
Posts: 77
Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2010 4:27 pm

Re: Washington & Lee or Wake Forest ($$)??

Postby Barolo » Sun Jun 06, 2010 1:31 am

Agreed, that's a lot of money to turn down from what is essentially a peer school. W&L has many virtues, but I can't imagine paying sticker.

forty-two
Posts: 433
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 12:33 am

Re: Washington & Lee or Wake Forest ($$)??

Postby forty-two » Sun Jun 06, 2010 2:22 am

[quote="gogo"]I feel like my heart wants W&L but I don't want to make an irrational choice, esp because I loved my visit to Wake. I feel like I would really love W&L as well though...If i want this spot i have to come up with .a $1,500 deposit by next week...[/quote]

I agree with Barolo that Wake is the smart choice, but I think there's also a lot to be said for personal happiness (not only will you have a better experience, but you'll probably do better in school if you're happier). If you think you'll be happy at Wake, go for it. If you think you'll regret turning down W&L, things get a little bit more complicated. Maybe make a pro-con list?

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Barolo
Posts: 77
Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2010 4:27 pm

Re: Washington & Lee or Wake Forest ($$)??

Postby Barolo » Sun Jun 06, 2010 2:20 pm

Both are small, both are located in less than exciting locales, and both are well respected but do not dominate any markets.

I very seriously considered W&L and somewhat less seriously considered Wake -- my money situation was reversed. 42 is totally right -- there's a lot to be said for personal happiness and not feeling regret. That said, depending on your situation, there is also a lot to be said for going to school on the cheap.

I do not know the actual placement numbers in DC. Both have tons of competition there and I don't see one being much stronger than the other. W&L is known to have a pretty rabid alumni base which could be in your favor. Still, getting a good job in DC is going to require a significant amount of ass-kicking. Go where you can do best if you're not too concerned about the cost difference.




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