UCLA (full ride) vs. Harvard (??$??)

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christinalsat
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UCLA (full ride) vs. Harvard (??$??)

Postby christinalsat » Tue Jan 25, 2011 2:53 pm

I just found out I got a full ride at UCLA today. I've been admitted at Harvard, but since they don't award merit scholarships, I have to wait until I fill out the fafsa and their aid form to see how much aid I qualify for. My parents are lower middle class but I have a decent amount of money saved from the five years I've spent working after undergrad.

I want to do public interest. I know Harvard has a nice loan forgiveness program, but it doesn't compare to full ride with no strings attached. Advice?

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Teoeo
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Re: UCLA (full ride) vs. Harvard (??$??)

Postby Teoeo » Tue Jan 25, 2011 2:57 pm

Thats a pretty tough call, are you in the UCLA public interest program? I'd say probably Harvard though.

CanadianWolf
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Re: UCLA (full ride) vs. Harvard (??$??)

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Jan 25, 2011 3:01 pm

I guess that Berkeley is no longer under consideration ? I just read your chances thread from last November & see that you were advised to "enjoy Fordham".

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2011L1
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Re: UCLA (full ride) vs. Harvard (??$??)

Postby 2011L1 » Tue Jan 25, 2011 3:04 pm

C'MON SONNNN!!!! HARVARD NO BRAINER! I feel the no debt, but walk through any door any rank from H LAW and the world is yours (scarface theme)

christinalsat
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Re: UCLA (full ride) vs. Harvard (??$??)

Postby christinalsat » Tue Jan 25, 2011 3:10 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:I guess that Berkeley is no longer under consideration ? I just read your chances thread from last November & see that you were advised to "enjoy Fordham".


I got into Berkeley, but so far haven't received any money from them so I'm assuming I'm looking at sticker price which just isn't enough when I hold Boalt up to Harvard.

Still waiting to hear whether I got into the Epstein program at UCLA. Does anyone know how generous Harvard's "aid" is? My family isn't at the poverty line or anything, but I definitely grew up in a less fortunate household (money-wise).

I haven't heard back from Fordham yet. :D

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bk1
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Re: UCLA (full ride) vs. Harvard (??$??)

Postby bk1 » Tue Jan 25, 2011 3:11 pm

I'd say HLS unless you are very debt averse.

bhan87
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Re: UCLA (full ride) vs. Harvard (??$??)

Postby bhan87 » Tue Jan 25, 2011 3:13 pm

I'd say Harvard. They don't give out any merit scholarships so they probably have more budget for need-based applicants.

sarahh
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Re: UCLA (full ride) vs. Harvard (??$??)

Postby sarahh » Tue Jan 25, 2011 3:15 pm

christinalsat wrote:I want to do public interest. I know Harvard has a nice loan forgiveness program, but it doesn't compare to full ride with no strings attached. Advice?


Actually I think it does. I know it is nice to not have to take out the loans in the first place, but if you have a job that qualifies for the loan repayment assistance program, then you are not paying your loans. The name on the diploma is something you will carry with you for the rest of your career, and Harvard opens more doors than UCLA (even in the public interest world).

christinalsat
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Re: UCLA (full ride) vs. Harvard (??$??)

Postby christinalsat » Tue Jan 25, 2011 3:19 pm

sarahh wrote:
christinalsat wrote:I want to do public interest. I know Harvard has a nice loan forgiveness program, but it doesn't compare to full ride with no strings attached. Advice?


Actually I think it does. I know it is nice to not have to take out the loans in the first place, but if you have a job that qualifies for the loan repayment assistance program, then you are not paying your loans. The name on the diploma is something you will carry with you for the rest of your career, and Harvard opens more doors than UCLA (even in the public interest world).


I would be paying off loans at Harvard, but on a sliding scale http://www.law.harvard.edu/current/sfs/ ... scale.html. And, yes, I am a little debt averse specifically because my family doesn't have the means to help me out if I am ever in a financial crunch. But, for the same reasons, the fact I worked my butt off to be at a place in my life where I can get into Harvard also makes it hard to say no to them.

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Iconoclast
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Re: UCLA (full ride) vs. Harvard (??$??)

Postby Iconoclast » Tue Jan 25, 2011 5:47 pm

With Harvard there is no ceiling on where you can go. UCLA is a fine school, but there are doors (even within PI) that the UCLA degree will not open. You may never want to go through those particular doors, but why not leave the option open?

bikepilot
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Re: UCLA (full ride) vs. Harvard (??$??)

Postby bikepilot » Wed Jan 26, 2011 2:13 pm

HLS is an awesome school (I went there, graduated last May) with a lot of PI stuff going on, but if it were me and I was headed for PI I'd do UCLA to avoid the huge loans. HLS is expensive, my parents aren't wealthy and I had very little saved up and still got essentially zero fin aid. I'm working big law now so can pay back the loans, but there's no way I could pay them back in any sort of reasonable time frame working PI. I wouldn't feel good about going in relying on loan forgiveness.

I did know other students who were much better off that got much more aid. The need-based, fin aid program is pretty wacky and how much you get depends as much on your specific factors as overall financial status. If you are married, you get hammered, but if you shack up with your GF you don't, so don't make anything formal 'till you graduate. If you have kids you get a bunch extra, including for kids born in law school. If your parents own a business, you'll probably get nothing as they take into account the full value of the business (even though selling the business would be unrealistic) as part of your parent's assets available to pay for school. Do note that they change the regs frequently and this could all be out of date already, but bottom line is don't count on anything no matter what they tell you.
Last edited by bikepilot on Wed Jan 26, 2011 2:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

christinalsat
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Re: UCLA (full ride) vs. Harvard (??$??)

Postby christinalsat » Wed Jan 26, 2011 2:19 pm

bikepilot wrote:HLS is an awesome school (I went there, graduated last May) with a lot of PI stuff going on, but if it were me and I was headed for PI I'd do UCLA to avoid the huge loans. HLS is expensive, my parents aren't wealthy and I had very little saved up and still got essentially zero fin aid. I'm working big law now so can pay back the loans, but there's no way I could pay them back in any sort of reasonable time frame working PI. I wouldn't feel good about going in relying on loan forgiveness.


Yikes! So their loan forgiveness program simply isn't enough to alleviate at least a large chunk of the burden? I do NOT want to work big law and am really hoping Harvard will take into account my financial situation considering their significant endowment funds.

bikepilot
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Re: UCLA (full ride) vs. Harvard (??$??)

Postby bikepilot » Wed Jan 26, 2011 2:24 pm

I don't know much about loan forgiveness. I went to law school in order to practice in big law so it was always irrelevant to me. As a matter or prudence I think it unwise to take on debt you don't expect to be able to service. The LRAP program is really well regarded and probably will be of major help, but it could change at any time and as a matter of principle I just would personally not be comfortable taking on debt and relying on others to cover it for me.

There's also public interest funding for summer work, but it is also absurdly administered. For example, it will cover you if you work for the executive or legislative branches of the federal government, but not if you work for the judicial branch. It won't cover work for a private law firm, but will cover "work" for your college frat.

CanadianWolf
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Re: UCLA (full ride) vs. Harvard (??$??)

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Jan 26, 2011 2:40 pm

UCLA because of the uncertain & changing economy.

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bk1
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Re: UCLA (full ride) vs. Harvard (??$??)

Postby bk1 » Wed Jan 26, 2011 2:41 pm

bikepilot wrote:I don't know much about loan forgiveness. I went to law school in order to practice in big law so it was always irrelevant to me. As a matter or prudence I think it unwise to take on debt you don't expect to be able to service. The LRAP program is really well regarded and probably will be of major help, but it could change at any time and as a matter of principle I just would personally not be comfortable taking on debt and relying on others to cover it for me.


From what I've read about other LRAP's that have changed their programs (not sure if Harvard does it this way) is that older graduates will always have the same LRAP program they started with. This is a boon if the LRAP program gets worse, but a curse if the LRAP program gets better. Either way the graduate knows exactly what they are signing themselves up for.

I think the whole fear of LRAP changing is unfounded when it is a prestigious institution such as Harvard. I can understand not wanting to trust somebody/something else with your debt, but rationally I don't see any reason not to trust HLS. Then again, maybe I'm too trusting.

In any case, if one is concerned about LRAP's changing, I would call and ask their offices as to what happens if LRAP changes for graduates who are in the middle of using it.

rundoxierun
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Re: UCLA (full ride) vs. Harvard (??$??)

Postby rundoxierun » Wed Jan 26, 2011 2:49 pm

This:
bk1 wrote:I think the whole fear of LRAP changing is unfounded when it is a prestigious institution such as Harvard. I can understand not wanting to trust somebody/something else with your debt, but rationally I don't see any reason not to trust HLS.


they have an LRAP contribution estimator on the SFS site. It is pretty solid and will only get more solid because the income scale increases by 3% percentage annually(this has held in the past).

Here is the calculator.
http://www.law.harvard.edu/apps/sfs/cal ... lipp-calc/

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Law Sauce
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Re: UCLA (full ride) vs. Harvard (??$??)

Postby Law Sauce » Wed Jan 26, 2011 2:53 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:UCLA because of the uncertain & changing economy.


HAVARD because of the uncertain & changing economy

..... DUHHHHHHHH


edit: 0L warning. but still, come on now
Last edited by Law Sauce on Wed Jan 26, 2011 2:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

lawyerwannabe
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Re: UCLA (full ride) vs. Harvard (??$??)

Postby lawyerwannabe » Wed Jan 26, 2011 2:54 pm

And, if you don't want to use the calculater, look at the LIPP scenarios

(http://www.law.harvard.edu/current/sfs/ ... arios.html)

Honestly, it may be just as inexpensive to attend Harvard if you intend on working public interest.

CanadianWolf
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Re: UCLA (full ride) vs. Harvard (??$??)

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Jan 26, 2011 2:55 pm

No debt versus $200,000 in debt. Easy choice.

rundoxierun
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Re: UCLA (full ride) vs. Harvard (??$??)

Postby rundoxierun » Wed Jan 26, 2011 2:57 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:No debt versus $200,000 in debt. Easy choice.


No. More like 60k in debt vs. unknown debt amount that could range from 125k-210k.

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bk1
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Re: UCLA (full ride) vs. Harvard (??$??)

Postby bk1 » Wed Jan 26, 2011 2:57 pm

tkgrrett wrote:
CanadianWolf wrote:No debt versus $200,000 in debt. Easy choice.


No. More like 60k in debt vs. unknown debt amount that could range from 125k-210k.


This, not to mention OP has money saved up that helps mitigate the amount of debt taken on (by which I mean it lessens risk even if it doesn't truly lessen cost except in regards to interest).

CanadianWolf
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Re: UCLA (full ride) vs. Harvard (??$??)

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Jan 26, 2011 2:59 pm

Then it's not a "full ride"; it's a "full tuition & fees" award.

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bk1
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Re: UCLA (full ride) vs. Harvard (??$??)

Postby bk1 » Wed Jan 26, 2011 3:01 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Then it's not a "full ride"; it's a "full tuition & fees" award.


No reason to argue the semantics. While agree with you on the word choice, so few schools award living stipends on top of full tuition that I would assume "full ride" meant just tuition unless stated otherwise.

rundoxierun
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Re: UCLA (full ride) vs. Harvard (??$??)

Postby rundoxierun » Wed Jan 26, 2011 3:02 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Then it's not a "full ride"; it's a "full tuition & fees" award.


The only top law school scholarship that is a true "full ride" is the Dillard scholarship at UVA and they enroll like 2 per year. All other scholarships cover full tuition with some of them offering an additional stipend but not enough to cover full COL.

CanadianWolf
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Re: UCLA (full ride) vs. Harvard (??$??)

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Jan 26, 2011 3:03 pm

Not true. SMU & Michigan (max. Darrow), Stetson among others offer full rides.
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Wed Jan 26, 2011 3:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.




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