MrAnon wrote:180K of debt + 45K job in 4 years as a Rutgers grad is absolutely a worse option than McDonalds management position. I would say worse than cashier as well. Probably a line cook or the janitor person at McDonald's is in a worse position, but the line cook does learn transferable skills and could trade up to restaurant at some point.
The Rutgers grad might earn 60k by the time he is 30. With debt payments continuing for 20 years that is not a whole lot of dough.
Yeah, except that by the time he's 50, his income will be likely be entirely based on the quality of work he produces. If that work is strong, he very well might be doing quite well for himself. In addition, if he takes advantage of IBR, we are talking 15% of his annual income at most. Also, don't say the government will pull the rug out from under him and end IBR. While it is entirely possible that IBR will end at some point, if it stands through the duration of his enrollment, the government will not alter the terms of his deal. Plus IBR actually is a good thing for the government, its all interest, no principle. They make money off of IBR.
In addition, during the course of his career, situations will likely change. His wife might make good money, his parents might pass away and leave him a little something, he might make a wise investment with what disposable income he has. All these things amount to what is called life; I find it highly doubtful that his net worth will be entirely based on the law school he attended. As get it to X noted, if the person truly has a passion for the law and law school is not just a get rich quick scheme, than what's so bad about being a lawyer?
Advanced degrees are of questionable value if we are talking about strictly return on investment, but sometimes they are a prerequisite to the pursuit of a passion. People often invest 100k+ for a degree which leads to a career in teaching, and teachers are poor. I don't see this as a poor investment if you're passionate about the work. I don't know what motivates the OP, but if his passion is in law, and not line work at a fast food place, he should go to law school and try his best to succeed.
Also, Rutgers at full cost only amounts to about 120k in debt, before we factor in interest. I only mention this in case you were thinking that 180k was the starting price.
Finally, I will concede that retaking and trying for scholarships is a worthwhile endeavor for those who would be burdened by high levels of debt. Law school is an oddity, in the sense that it allows one to take a single test and makeup for all their prior academic failings. Eventually, he will have to attend though, if this is the career he wants, scholarship or not.