Private School (Case Western) -- Is It Worth the Debt?

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AVBucks4239
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Private School (Case Western) -- Is It Worth the Debt?

Postby AVBucks4239 » Sat Dec 25, 2010 3:06 am

I applied to five USNWR top 100 schools: Indiana, Cincinnati, Ohio State, Pitt, and Case Western. I also applied to Akron and Cleveland State, two well-respected law schools in an area (NE Ohio, preferably in Cleveland) where I would ideally like to practice.

I expect a ding from OSU and Indiana, my two semi-reaches. I have been waitlisted at Cincinnati and accepted by Pitt, Akron and Case Western. LSP has me at <95% to get into Cleveland State, so that is in the cards as well. Looking at a purely law school perspective, Case Western is far and away my first choice. I toured the school last year and loved the building's design, the surrounding neighborhood, its location relatively close to home, and (most importantly) its very well respected Center for Law, Technology, and the Arts (IP Law). I'm not a fan of the city of Pittsburgh and Akron isn't a city with a whole lot to do.

But as we all know, financing law school is an entirely different story. My numbers are pretty much at Case's medians (GPA is around 75th, LSAT at median) so I am not expecting Santa to send me a miracle 30k/year scholarship. Based on looking at LSN, I can maybe get around 10k of scholarship money per year, driving the cost of tuition to around $30k.

Cleveland State and Akron, on the other hand, have tuitions around 23k and and 18k, respectively.

So, I have two questions for the knowledgeable people on this board:

1) First, is the additional $25-40k debt worth going to Case Western? I love almost everything about the school and it seems to be a near perfect fit for me; but, the tuition is just so high.

2) How should I go about negotiating scholarship money? I would really love to get to 15k per year, but with numbers just slightly above the medians and being a non-URM, I know this would be a huge challenge.

Sorry if this seems like a rant, but I have way too much time to sit and think during the holidays. Hopefully all of you have a Merry Christmas and thanks in advance for those who respond!

SuperFreak
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Re: Private School (Case Western) -- Is It Worth the Debt?

Postby SuperFreak » Sat Dec 25, 2010 3:35 am

TTTs are never worth the debt.

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BarbellDreams
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Re: Private School (Case Western) -- Is It Worth the Debt?

Postby BarbellDreams » Sat Dec 25, 2010 2:23 pm

Get a fullride or close to a fullride at Akron,Cleveland State, Ohio Northern or Capital and go there. There is really no business in taking out 100k+ in loans for a t2. If you are 100% sure you wanna stay in the area, a third or fourth tier school in that area with a max scholarship is a better option.

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Re: Private School (Case Western) -- Is It Worth the Debt?

Postby saito816 » Sat Dec 25, 2010 3:25 pm

BarbellDreams wrote:Get a fullride or close to a fullride at Akron,Cleveland State, Ohio Northern or Capital and go there. There is really no business in taking out 100k+ in loans for a t2. If you are 100% sure you wanna stay in the area, a third or fourth tier school in that area with a max scholarship is a better option.


This might not necessarily be a good course. From what I've heard scholarships at Akron, while they may cover up to full tuition, get revoked if you are not in the top 15% (Or around there) of students, which is something you can by no means guarantee. Definitely check into what the stipulations are for any scholarships, particularly from 3rd and 4th tier schools, because they can be particularly harsh and leave you paying way more than you originally had thought, which is particularly bad because the job prospects coming out of those schools will probably be worse than coming out of Case Western.

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Re: Private School (Case Western) -- Is It Worth the Debt?

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat Dec 25, 2010 5:37 pm

In your case, this is a very personal decision. If I am guessing correctly, your LSAT is a 158 or 159 & your GPA is almost a 3.7 so you can get scholarship money elsewhere but CWR is clearly your dream school. If you are comfortable with the debt & you want Cleveland, then it's worth the debt. Wait for CWR's offer & politely ask for more if it isn't enough.

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Re: Private School (Case Western) -- Is It Worth the Debt?

Postby BarbellDreams » Sat Dec 25, 2010 7:37 pm

saito816 wrote:
BarbellDreams wrote:Get a fullride or close to a fullride at Akron,Cleveland State, Ohio Northern or Capital and go there. There is really no business in taking out 100k+ in loans for a t2. If you are 100% sure you wanna stay in the area, a third or fourth tier school in that area with a max scholarship is a better option.


This might not necessarily be a good course. From what I've heard scholarships at Akron, while they may cover up to full tuition, get revoked if you are not in the top 15% (Or around there) of students, which is something you can by no means guarantee. Definitely check into what the stipulations are for any scholarships, particularly from 3rd and 4th tier schools, because they can be particularly harsh and leave you paying way more than you originally had thought, which is particularly bad because the job prospects coming out of those schools will probably be worse than coming out of Case Western.


I should have qualified my answer with scholarships that either have no stipulations or have a 3.0 or lower stipulation. Obviously top 10% is a terrible scholly stipulation to rely on.

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homestyle28
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Re: Private School (Case Western) -- Is It Worth the Debt?

Postby homestyle28 » Sat Dec 25, 2010 7:56 pm

In ohio, After OSU/Cincinnati/Case, your job prospects change significantly, if you want Cleveland, go to Case regardless of scholarship $.

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BarbellDreams
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Re: Private School (Case Western) -- Is It Worth the Debt?

Postby BarbellDreams » Sat Dec 25, 2010 7:57 pm

Also, what do you want to do? This may also change people's answers.

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Re: Private School (Case Western) -- Is It Worth the Debt?

Postby justadude55 » Sat Dec 25, 2010 8:07 pm

AVBucks4239 wrote:I applied to five USNWR top 100 schools: Indiana, Cincinnati, Ohio State, Pitt, and Case Western. I also applied to Akron and Cleveland State, two well-respected law schools in an area (NE Ohio, preferably in Cleveland) where I would ideally like to practice.

I expect a ding from OSU and Indiana, my two semi-reaches. I have been waitlisted at Cincinnati and accepted by Pitt, Akron and Case Western. LSP has me at <95% to get into Cleveland State, so that is in the cards as well. Looking at a purely law school perspective, Case Western is far and away my first choice. I toured the school last year and loved the building's design, the surrounding neighborhood, its location relatively close to home, and (most importantly) its very well respected Center for Law, Technology, and the Arts (IP Law). I'm not a fan of the city of Pittsburgh and Akron isn't a city with a whole lot to do.

But as we all know, financing law school is an entirely different story. My numbers are pretty much at Case's medians (GPA is around 75th, LSAT at median) so I am not expecting Santa to send me a miracle 30k/year scholarship. Based on looking at LSN, I can maybe get around 10k of scholarship money per year, driving the cost of tuition to around $30k.

Cleveland State and Akron, on the other hand, have tuitions around 23k and and 18k, respectively.

So, I have two questions for the knowledgeable people on this board:

1) First, is the additional $25-40k debt worth going to Case Western? I love almost everything about the school and it seems to be a near perfect fit for me; but, the tuition is just so high.

2) How should I go about negotiating scholarship money? I would really love to get to 15k per year, but with numbers just slightly above the medians and being a non-URM, I know this would be a huge challenge.

Sorry if this seems like a rant, but I have way too much time to sit and think during the holidays. Hopefully all of you have a Merry Christmas and thanks in advance for those who respond!


i have under a 95% chance at Harvard too, that doesn't mean i am going to get in.

in all seriousness, if you aren't getting a full ride to cleveland state or akron, i'd pay the extra 25-40 for pace. 23k a year is not a small amount either, and i believe it's worth an extra 10+ to attend a moderately better school.

is it worth an extra 10k a year to attend Georgetown over GW? Yes, so why is this any different?

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Re: Private School (Case Western) -- Is It Worth the Debt?

Postby mpj_3050 » Sat Dec 25, 2010 8:53 pm

You probably will get 10k like you said (I have similar numbers and have been accepted too) and that would leave 90k in just tuition. So with living expenses you would be lucky to get out under 120k. The other northern Ohio schools would offer money but again it is going to come with strings attached. It really depends on what the other schools offer and what stipulations there are. Akron gives a good bit but then they say you must maintain top 15% or something.

For me it is terrifying to think about the amount of debt Case Western would leave me with. I have been accepted to some out of state publics that I would get away with 40k in debt which is manageable with a 40k starting salary (provided I get a job). The thing about Case is that there is a good possibility that you could end up making 45-60k or something and have over 120k in loans. If you try to pay the loans off on the 10 year plan it would be pretty difficult and IBR with private practice would be would mean you are paying those loans for a long time. There are no prepayment penalties with federal loans but I would worry about that kind of debt and the difficulty of paying it off in a timely manner, and making law school actually worth it.

Opportunity costs are a consideration as well. What do you do now? If you make crap wages with a social science degree than it will be worth it provided you manage debt and expectations.

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Re: Private School (Case Western) -- Is It Worth the Debt?

Postby AVBucks4239 » Sat Dec 25, 2010 9:39 pm

BarbellDreams wrote:Also, what do you want to do? This may also change people's answers.

I'm interested in IP law with a specific focus on internet law. Case has a pretty good center for this (Center for Law, Technology, and the Arts) and has a very well respected Internet Law Journal. This is extremely attractive to me.

mpj_3050 wrote:You probably will get 10k like you said (I have similar numbers and have been accepted too) and that would leave 90k in just tuition. So with living expenses you would be lucky to get out under 120k. The other northern Ohio schools would offer money but again it is going to come with strings attached. It really depends on what the other schools offer and what stipulations there are. Akron gives a good bit but then they say you must maintain top 15% or something.

For me it is terrifying to think about the amount of debt Case Western would leave me with. I have been accepted to some out of state publics that I would get away with 40k in debt which is manageable with a 40k starting salary (provided I get a job). The thing about Case is that there is a good possibility that you could end up making 45-60k or something and have over 120k in loans. If you try to pay the loans off on the 10 year plan it would be pretty difficult and IBR with private practice would be would mean you are paying those loans for a long time. There are no prepayment penalties with federal loans but I would worry about that kind of debt and the difficulty of paying it off in a timely manner, and making law school actually worth it.

Opportunity costs are a consideration as well. What do you do now? If you make crap wages with a social science degree than it will be worth it provided you manage debt and expectations.

I graduated in June and now have a job in communications making $12.50 an hour plus commission. I'm not making a ton of money, but I should have enough saved up to get through my first year in decent shape.

I just know so many grads from Akron who finished in the top 25% and can't find anything. That is more terrifying to me than having more debt but still at least having a job.


Also, when negotiating scholarship money with Case, how much do I lead on that they are my clear number one? I don't want to make it seem like I will go there no matter what, but I want them to know that I'm extremely interested in attending.

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Re: Private School (Case Western) -- Is It Worth the Debt?

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat Dec 25, 2010 9:57 pm

Then just be upfront & tell them how much financial assistance you need in order to attend.

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Re: Private School (Case Western) -- Is It Worth the Debt?

Postby mpj_3050 » Sat Dec 25, 2010 10:07 pm

It really isn't surprising about Akron grads not finding work - Ohio has so many schools that it should be illegal. Case Western is a tricky one for me too and I am mulling it over. I expect to get 10k because they seem to give everyone scholarships. As for negotiating merit aid, the consensus appears to be that you need an offer from a peer school. Did you get any money from Pitt? If so that would help with your leverage, but as it stands I think it will be tough for you, but hopefully I am wrong. Case Western will certainly give you better options than Akron or the other Ohio schools sans OSU and Cincinnati. It is ridiculous for the kids from Akron, Toledo, CSU, Ohio Northern - there just are not enough jobs for these folks, and lots of other higher ranked schools too, and I would like to know how things are for Case grads, like how deep they go before you are screwed.

I am definitely going to have to think about Case Western. I would like to try for a small PD/DA job out of school and I would be very uneasy about Toledo, Akron, or CSU unless they give big money that is stipulation free.

Is there anything in your background that would give you an edge in the IP field you are considering? I don't know what this field pays but assume you finish median, the law school debt alone (provided you are okay from undergrad) would be pretty steep. Then again, with no real opportunity costs it may work out in the end. Hopefully we are talking about a decades long career where you can profit solidly from the investment.

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Re: Private School (Case Western) -- Is It Worth the Debt?

Postby Upton Sinclair » Sat Dec 25, 2010 10:08 pm

This might not necessarily be a good course. From what I've heard scholarships at Akron, while they may cover up to full tuition, get revoked if you are not in the top 15% (Or around there) of students, which is something you can by no means guarantee. Definitely check into what the stipulations are for any scholarships, particularly from 3rd and 4th tier schools, because they can be particularly harsh and leave you paying way more than you originally had thought, which is particularly bad because the job prospects coming out of those schools will probably be worse than coming out of Case Western.[/quote]

100% This. Akron is notorious for this.

And based on purely anecdotal evidence (I currently live in Cleveland) CSU is actually gaining ground on Case, and quickly. But to me, it sounds like you really want to go to Case.

1. Go where you'll be happy.
2. Grind it out - kick ass.
3. Disregard females; acquire currency.

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Re: Private School (Case Western) -- Is It Worth the Debt?

Postby Upton Sinclair » Sat Dec 25, 2010 10:10 pm

Also, I really suck at using message boards.

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Re: Private School (Case Western) -- Is It Worth the Debt?

Postby mpj_3050 » Sat Dec 25, 2010 10:22 pm

My whole goal in life is to not end up living in a trash can so I tend to be a little pessimistic. I just know people who have made extremely bad decisions regarding T2 schools and even a few T1's. As for the Cleveland State issue, if they give you decent money with favorable stipulations than they would beat out Case Western. Maybe at CSU you don't get a job at OCI but find something down the road with a lower debt level. It sounds like you would not work at a job that qualifies for the public service forgiveness and being on the hook for 100k plus is rough. Between Case and CSU the rankings difference isn't that great and I don't know about the extra debt. But again if you truly know you will be happy at Case and are not hedging a bet on being in the top x percent than it sounds like it would be a good decision for you. You have a crap job like me so opportunity costs are low, but loans are no joke.

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Re: Private School (Case Western) -- Is It Worth the Debt?

Postby Upton Sinclair » Sat Dec 25, 2010 10:40 pm

In terms of negotiating scholarships:

It's not too late to apply to more peer schools. Scholarship offers won't be coming out for another month or two. Email some schools and request a fee waiver to help minimize the cost if you can. It doesn't matter if you have no desire to attend these schools. If you can get accepted to some higher ranked schools, or get scholarship offers from some similarly ranked schools, you'll have a lot more leverage with Case. That's what I would do. You might pay a few hundred more in application fees and spend more time filling apps out, but you could save thousands in the long run.

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Re: Private School (Case Western) -- Is It Worth the Debt?

Postby deadpanic » Sat Dec 25, 2010 10:48 pm

if you have in-state tuition + end up with a scholarship from cleveland state, it would be a much better choice than case western. CWRU is good, but as someone pointed out, they give almost everyone a scholarship, so everyone is fighting to maintain theirs so obviously everyone can't. at least with cleveland state if you lose the scholly, the in-state tuition is affordable. the rankings difference is probably not a huge deal if you plan on staying in the cleveland area.

bottom line, case western is not worth the debt without some large scholarship that is virtually guaranteed (i.e. maintain good standing or no strings).

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Re: Private School (Case Western) -- Is It Worth the Debt?

Postby AVBucks4239 » Sun Dec 26, 2010 1:44 pm

Upton Sinclair wrote:In terms of negotiating scholarships:

It's not too late to apply to more peer schools. Scholarship offers won't be coming out for another month or two. Email some schools and request a fee waiver to help minimize the cost if you can. It doesn't matter if you have no desire to attend these schools. If you can get accepted to some higher ranked schools, or get scholarship offers from some similarly ranked schools, you'll have a lot more leverage with Case. That's what I would do. You might pay a few hundred more in application fees and spend more time filling apps out, but you could save thousands in the long run.

Who do you think Case considers to be its "rival" schools?

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Re: Private School (Case Western) -- Is It Worth the Debt?

Postby BarbellDreams » Sun Dec 26, 2010 2:45 pm

Pitt.

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Re: Private School (Case Western) -- Is It Worth the Debt?

Postby deadpanic » Sun Dec 26, 2010 3:57 pm

AVBucks4239 wrote:
Upton Sinclair wrote:In terms of negotiating scholarships:

It's not too late to apply to more peer schools. Scholarship offers won't be coming out for another month or two. Email some schools and request a fee waiver to help minimize the cost if you can. It doesn't matter if you have no desire to attend these schools. If you can get accepted to some higher ranked schools, or get scholarship offers from some similarly ranked schools, you'll have a lot more leverage with Case. That's what I would do. You might pay a few hundred more in application fees and spend more time filling apps out, but you could save thousands in the long run.

Who do you think Case considers to be its "rival" schools?


something in about the same ranking range; probably most T2 schools will work.

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Re: Private School (Case Western) -- Is It Worth the Debt?

Postby iWayneState » Sun Dec 26, 2010 4:09 pm

What still confuses me is why Case Western is ranked so low.

It has a great undergrad rep and yes, I know Cleveland is not great but WashU is a comparative school and has a top shelf law school.

Can anyone explain this to me? I love Case Western as a school and it was and still is a top choice but unless I get a hefty amount of coin I will have to matriculate elsewhere.

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Re: Private School (Case Western) -- Is It Worth the Debt?

Postby ran12 » Sun Dec 26, 2010 4:45 pm

iWayneState wrote:What still confuses me is why Case Western is ranked so low.

It has a great undergrad rep and yes, I know Cleveland is not great but WashU is a comparative school and has a top shelf law school.

Can anyone explain this to me? I love Case Western as a school and it was and still is a top choice but unless I get a hefty amount of coin I will have to matriculate elsewhere.


Might be b/c the facilities are sort of on the older side and Cleveland being the market it's in. Also, Cleveland is not exactly the greatest place to spend 3 years so people with higher numbers may like Case but don't go b/c of Cleveland, thus leading to lower medians and lower ranking. That said, Case is more portable than its peers.

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Re: Private School (Case Western) -- Is It Worth the Debt?

Postby robotclubmember » Sun Dec 26, 2010 7:36 pm

iWayneState wrote:What still confuses me is why Case Western is ranked so low.

It has a great undergrad rep and yes, I know Cleveland is not great but WashU is a comparative school and has a top shelf law school.

Can anyone explain this to me? I love Case Western as a school and it was and still is a top choice but unless I get a hefty amount of coin I will have to matriculate elsewhere.


I just posted this in your other thread, but thought I'd add it here since this is specific to Case.

robotclubmember wrote:
bigkahuna2020 wrote:
iWayneState wrote:Here are a list of schools that I would come to think would have pretty good law schools but seem to be under performing and are ranked lower than I would expect.

-------------
1. Case Western Reserve
2. Villanova
3. Richmond
4. Michigan State
5. Tulane


I am interested in others thoughts on this list.

For me the most surprising is Case Western due to their UG rep and WashU being ranked so highly.


Case Western isn't a bad law school. Cleveland HAS a legal market, and it isn't one a lot of people shoot for in other cities. That being said, outside of the midwest, Case Western has barely any name recognition, except for the people who know about the biological sciences


I live in Cleveland, so I'll scoop on Case Western a bit since I have some friends that go or have gone.

First of all, great place to pick up women. I did not go to CWRU but I've dated four girls that went there in the last two years (only one from the law school though). This is because the men are all gunners, Asians who can't get their noses out of books (re: undergrad, haven't seen many Asians in CWRU law) or just flat-out nerds. The women are desperate. Everytime I go to the CWRU law school to study or whatever I see at least one asshole with a bow-tie. It's awful. Only black muslims look legit in bow ties, and that's a fact. GTFO Tucker Carlson wannabes.

That said, I often here complaints about CWRU's career services office. Cleveland's been hit hard, we're basically the next Detroit, so in this legal market, most decent firms with offices here (Thompson & Hine, Baker Hostetler, etc) will only look at you if you are in the top 10% of the class @ Case. That's their cutoff and it's explicitly known. But a pretty significant chunk of the top 10% of CWRU usually transfers out. So almost no one that actually goes to Case can apply to those jobs, because career services office does not adjust the top 10% for students that have left.

It's sad that anecdotal evidence is among the best form of evidence of a non T14 law school's performance in career placement. But it's true, because their surveys are tragically flawed (working at Subway counts as being employed in their statistics! But they conveniently discriminate salary data so that Subway doesn't count as "private" or "public", therefore not tainting their salary statistics, lol). So, anecdotally, we had a CWRU law grad applying for a job at my firm (Big Four accounting), actually for consulting work, not tax. My partner is kind of a snob, lol, so he pried and asked the interviewee how many of the people in his class had found jobs (this was about 6 months after graduation, and the interviewee had obv not found a job yet). He said he thinks around 10%. Now, I think that might be a little low even for Case based on what I've heard from students that currently go there, but I don't think that that estimate is out of the ballpark either. They can only find unpaid internships generally and work their guts out. The one guy I know who got a good job after graduating was connected anyway, he could have gone to any school and his dad would have gotten him a job and had his cronies putting their jackets into puddles at street crosswalks for the kid.

That said, I'm not sure CWRU really has a great reputation.

Can't comment on the other schools, just thought I'd share what I do know.


EDIT - To clarify, I don't really believe that CWRU's placement is only 10%, I think the interviewee perhaps was in a pool of friends with particularly bad luck or perhaps he was playing Chicken Little. But I do know it is a serious weakness and I would never consider going there personally. But as Evel Knievel says: "For you to do what I do would not be right, but for me, it is not wrong." Do as you please.

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Re: Private School (Case Western) -- Is It Worth the Debt?

Postby deadpanic » Sun Dec 26, 2010 8:29 pm

ran12 wrote:
iWayneState wrote:What still confuses me is why Case Western is ranked so low.

It has a great undergrad rep and yes, I know Cleveland is not great but WashU is a comparative school and has a top shelf law school.

Can anyone explain this to me? I love Case Western as a school and it was and still is a top choice but unless I get a hefty amount of coin I will have to matriculate elsewhere.


Might be b/c the facilities are sort of on the older side and Cleveland being the market it's in. Also, Cleveland is not exactly the greatest place to spend 3 years so people with higher numbers may like Case but don't go b/c of Cleveland, thus leading to lower medians and lower ranking. That said, Case is more portable than its peers.


probably admission stats. to get into CWRU, you just need an LSAT in the high 150s, not the case with WUSTL (no pun intended).




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