Columbia worth 200k??

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

Columbia or WUSTL 135k

Columbia
128
65%
WUSTL
69
35%
 
Total votes: 197

PhoenicianMonk
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Re: Columbia worth 200k??

Postby PhoenicianMonk » Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:26 pm

While I would pick Columbia at 200k over a T2 full-ride scholarship and most T1s... WUSTL is a fine school and there is just not a $200k difference between Columbia and WUSTL. If you had 1/2 tuition at Columbia, then I think this would be more balanced.

I just see no logic at all in signing yourself up for 200k in debt when you have a wonderful option essentially for free right in front of you.

You probably don't understand the gravity of 200k in loans now, but trust me the minute that first loan payment starts out... you're going to wish you had that extra $2,000 per month in disposable income for the next 10+ years. If you get biglaw you're going to be able to pay that off quicker, but if you are not set on it as a 0L I doubt you'll suddenly get full throttle turned onto big law during your law school career. Think realistically about how much money you're going to be making out of law school, and if you are really comfortable signing away $200k for an Ivy degree that really will only benefit you (comparatively) if you are dead set on biglaw or want to be a law professor one day.
Last edited by PhoenicianMonk on Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

PhoenicianMonk
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Re: Columbia worth 200k??

Postby PhoenicianMonk » Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:31 pm

AppsAbound wrote: And if you want Chicago, remember that there are several schools ahead of you in that food chain.

2 schools does not equal several schools. Chicago is the most common city for WUSTL law alums. It's not like you're talking about a TTT here without any connections to a major market.

AppsAbound wrote: At the end of the day, don't let the money stop you. Because you can pay off the debt and you will have the CLS degree for the rest of your life. What are the odds that you will regret that?

This isn't like a little $5 week allowance or buying a new bike. It's 200 freaking thousand dollars. That's a house. And if you actually want to buy a real house one day, you'll be paying off the first one (law school) while trying to buy the second one. If you're not making biglaw money, which the OP isn't sure that he wants to do, and isn't even guaranteed to do from Columbia (more likely, but not guaranteed), then it's going to be rather unpleasant.

dakatz
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Re: Columbia worth 200k??

Postby dakatz » Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:34 pm

The fact that OP pretty much has no idea what he wants or where he wants to be is what makes it pretty easy to say sticker is a bad idea. One doesn't take on life-altering debt without a concrete goal and reason. OP sounds like he is still feeling things out, still a bit unsure, curious about high-paying positions (sure, who doesn't say "I would love a high paying job" before really understanding the bigger picture). Just because many of us have more concrete goals, more focused ambitions, etc. doesn't mean that we should transpose those onto him and shift onto him the choices we would make given those differing goals and ambitions. I feel like many people are just saying Columbia because they have stars in their eyes, and that is where they would love to go, but for their own reasons, not for OP's.

keg411
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Re: Columbia worth 200k??

Postby keg411 » Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:43 pm

If OP is unsure about law he/she should not go to law school at all. Not knowing what you want to do doesn't justify going to WUSTL just because they offered major $$$$. The fact that OP is from St. Louis (something I missed in my original reading, I'll admit) makes it a little more justifiable, but still.

I'm just surprised there isn't some other T13 w/$ option here. There really is a difference between the top schools and everything else.

AppsAbound
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Re: Columbia worth 200k??

Postby AppsAbound » Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:48 pm

PhoenicianMonk wrote:
AppsAbound wrote: And if you want Chicago, remember that there are several schools ahead of you in that food chain.

2 schools does not equal several schools. Chicago is the most common city for WUSTL law alums. It's not like you're talking about a TTT here without any connections to a major market.

AppsAbound wrote: At the end of the day, don't let the money stop you. Because you can pay off the debt and you will have the CLS degree for the rest of your life. What are the odds that you will regret that?

This isn't like a little $5 week allowance or buying a new bike. It's 200 freaking thousand dollars. That's a house. And if you actually want to buy a real house one day, you'll be paying off the first one (law school) while trying to buy the second one. If you're not making biglaw money, which the OP isn't sure that he wants to do, and isn't even guaranteed to do from Columbia (more likely, but not guaranteed), then it's going to be rather unpleasant.


Michigan sends a decent number of kids to Chicago, and UIUC is pretty much a competing peer school, even if it's not ranked above WUSTL.

Really? This isn't like the money my parents gave me as a kid?!?! It's real??? Guess I won't be paying my rent with my Monopoly money this month.

Obviously, this is not small change, and it is no small sum of money. But taking out that kind of money to attend an Ivy League law school happens all the time, and people pay off their loans and go on to do amazing things. I am less familiar with the kinds of opportunities available to WUSTL grads, but I can tell you there are bigger, better opportunities available to a larger portion of the students at CLS. I know people who have paid off loans in 5 years or less by being very smart with their money. If it's worth it to you to take that on, if that's what you want, than do it. If it's not then don't. But I knew that for me, after all my loans were paid back, if I had gone to WUSTL that I'd still probably be wishing I'd gone to CLS.

ALSO, this is one of a few schools that has a great program for loan repayment if you go into public interest. Don't quote me, but as it stands, I think if you made $75K/year, your loan contribution would be something like $8K/yr. Remember, you have options.

BUT, Biglaw's a biatch. It's not fun, and a lot of work that may not be too rewarding or appreciated, and that's what you have to do to get rid of that kind of debt otherwise. Talk to some jr associates before you make the big leap.

Good luck!

AppsAbound
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Re: Columbia worth 200k??

Postby AppsAbound » Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:49 pm

But above all, if you don't have a really good reason for going to law school RIGHT NOW, defer. Take some time off, especially if you haven't already. 1Ls with no life experience freak out the most. You'll have a better law school experience if you really want to be there.

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uzpakalis
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Re: Columbia worth 200k??

Postby uzpakalis » Fri Apr 08, 2011 4:22 pm

Take the money at WUSTL. Kill it your first year, and then transfer to HYS. 8)

06162014123
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Postby 06162014123 » Fri Apr 08, 2011 4:28 pm

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Last edited by 06162014123 on Sat Jun 07, 2014 9:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

FiveSermon
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Re: Columbia worth 200k??

Postby FiveSermon » Fri Apr 08, 2011 4:30 pm

lolol Columbia. Don't choose WUSTL please...

shaville
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Re: Columbia worth 200k??

Postby shaville » Fri Apr 08, 2011 4:30 pm

The people on this forum have no idea how much 200k is. WSTL hands down.

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Hannibal
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Re: Columbia worth 200k??

Postby Hannibal » Fri Apr 08, 2011 4:32 pm

There's no right answer. Columbia is worth 200k, but WUSTL is also worth 60k.

Edit: Rather, no wrong answer.

delusional
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Re: Columbia worth 200k??

Postby delusional » Fri Apr 08, 2011 5:49 pm

I'm on the verge of turning down Columbia at about $200K. I just don't see how the cost/benefit is worth it. Few people WANT biglaw for more than a few years, and even after paying $30,000 for four years of starting in biglaw, you'd owe $80,000 and expecting a big pay cut.

Yes, there is a gap in expected income between the two schools, but it's not easy to know what the gap is if you look at only students who were admitted to both.

And if you make $80,000 a year, WUSTL's debt would be manageable.

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Stringer Bell
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Re: Columbia worth 200k??

Postby Stringer Bell » Fri Apr 08, 2011 6:04 pm

Alot of people don't have any idea how much 200k is just like alot of people don't seem to understand how crucial your first job is. I'd probably go with CLS, but it's a tough call.

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chris0805
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Re: Columbia worth 200k??

Postby chris0805 » Fri Apr 08, 2011 6:33 pm

I'm a recent CLS grad who did PI and, though I don't have 200K, I have very sizeable loans. My advice would be to take WUSTL or CLS, but NOT something in the middle. Obviously, I feel like CLS was a great choice for me, but I also love my job. If I hated my job, I'd be a little stuck. With huge loans, you either have to earn $$$ to pay them off or work as PI laywer to qualify for LRAP. You can't really switch careers if you decide after three years that you hate being lawyer... So it's a gamble and you do lose some freedom, but you also open a lot of new possibilities. Now, with WUSTL it looks like OP could graduate with very manageable debt (esp. Living with parents). Less opportunities but a debt load that could be paid basically on a service sector salary if you had/wanted to.

That's a tough call, but I wouldn't advocate for some "halfy" decision where OP takes a 1/2 scholarship at, say, Cornell and graduates with 120k in debt (60 for living costs and 60 for tuition). That debt is still huge and you increase the odds you get shutout from biglaw or you work in PI with a worse LRAP. You still don't have the "life flexibility" and you don't quite have the CLS level of opportunity.

Think about how much you're willing to bet on yourself (and the fact that you'll love being a lawyer) and think about how important flexibility in career for the ten years after law school is for you, but I wouldn't, personally, try to find a "compromise" option. /my .02.

Emma1
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Re: Columbia worth 200k??

Postby Emma1 » Fri Apr 08, 2011 6:35 pm

WUSTL and don't look back

FiveSermon
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Re: Columbia worth 200k??

Postby FiveSermon » Fri Apr 08, 2011 7:58 pm

chris0805 wrote:I'm a recent CLS grad who did PI and, though I don't have 200K, I have very sizeable loans. My advice would be to take WUSTL or CLS, but NOT something in the middle. Obviously, I feel like CLS was a great choice for me, but I also love my job. If I hated my job, I'd be a little stuck. With huge loans, you either have to earn $$$ to pay them off or work as PI laywer to qualify for LRAP. You can't really switch careers if you decide after three years that you hate being lawyer... So it's a gamble and you do lose some freedom, but you also open a lot of new possibilities. Now, with WUSTL it looks like OP could graduate with very manageable debt (esp. Living with parents). Less opportunities but a debt load that could be paid basically on a service sector salary if you had/wanted to.

That's a tough call, but I wouldn't advocate for some "halfy" decision where OP takes a 1/2 scholarship at, say, Cornell and graduates with 120k in debt (60 for living costs and 60 for tuition). That debt is still huge and you increase the odds you get shutout from biglaw or you work in PI with a worse LRAP. You still don't have the "life flexibility" and you don't quite have the CLS level of opportunity.

Think about how much you're willing to bet on yourself (and the fact that you'll love being a lawyer) and think about how important flexibility in career for the ten years after law school is for you, but I wouldn't, personally, try to find a "compromise" option. /my .02.


Hi random guy. Thanks for giving advice that has absolutely nothing to do with OPs post. See the poll? Read the post? Realize that the scenario you are drawing is never advertised as a choice in either.

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chris0805
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Re: Columbia worth 200k??

Postby chris0805 » Fri Apr 08, 2011 8:15 pm

rebexness wrote:
sarahlawg wrote:is there no in-between? if you got into Columbia, I would think you'd have $$$ a little lower down with good prospects in NYC.


This is a good point. Cornell?



Sorry to fivesermon. I was specifically responding to a few posts in this thread that seemed to express the quoted sentiment. I know that's not what the OP was asking about, but I see this thought process a lot and never post anything (and I was bored on my train commute), but I think its misguided to look for this compromise.

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swc65
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Re: Columbia worth 200k??

Postby swc65 » Fri Apr 08, 2011 8:42 pm

FiveSermon wrote:
chris0805 wrote:I'm a recent CLS grad who did PI and, though I don't have 200K, I have very sizeable loans. My advice would be to take WUSTL or CLS, but NOT something in the middle. Obviously, I feel like CLS was a great choice for me, but I also love my job. If I hated my job, I'd be a little stuck. With huge loans, you either have to earn $$$ to pay them off or work as PI laywer to qualify for LRAP. You can't really switch careers if you decide after three years that you hate being lawyer... So it's a gamble and you do lose some freedom, but you also open a lot of new possibilities. Now, with WUSTL it looks like OP could graduate with very manageable debt (esp. Living with parents). Less opportunities but a debt load that could be paid basically on a service sector salary if you had/wanted to.

That's a tough call, but I wouldn't advocate for some "halfy" decision where OP takes a 1/2 scholarship at, say, Cornell and graduates with 120k in debt (60 for living costs and 60 for tuition). That debt is still huge and you increase the odds you get shutout from biglaw or you work in PI with a worse LRAP. You still don't have the "life flexibility" and you don't quite have the CLS level of opportunity.

Think about how much you're willing to bet on yourself (and the fact that you'll love being a lawyer) and think about how important flexibility in career for the ten years after law school is for you, but I wouldn't, personally, try to find a "compromise" option. /my .02.


Hi random guy. Thanks for giving advice that has absolutely nothing to do with OPs post. See the poll? Read the post? Realize that the scenario you are drawing is never advertised as a choice in either.


Why you so mad? way to attack someone who has been posting here for five years for doing what TLS is all about- responding to OP while also responding to some of the other comments.

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camelcrema
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Re: Columbia worth 200k??

Postby camelcrema » Fri Apr 08, 2011 8:46 pm

swc65 wrote:
FiveSermon wrote:
chris0805 wrote:I'm a recent CLS grad who did PI and, though I don't have 200K, I have very sizeable loans. My advice would be to take WUSTL or CLS, but NOT something in the middle. Obviously, I feel like CLS was a great choice for me, but I also love my job. If I hated my job, I'd be a little stuck. With huge loans, you either have to earn $$$ to pay them off or work as PI laywer to qualify for LRAP. You can't really switch careers if you decide after three years that you hate being lawyer... So it's a gamble and you do lose some freedom, but you also open a lot of new possibilities. Now, with WUSTL it looks like OP could graduate with very manageable debt (esp. Living with parents). Less opportunities but a debt load that could be paid basically on a service sector salary if you had/wanted to.

That's a tough call, but I wouldn't advocate for some "halfy" decision where OP takes a 1/2 scholarship at, say, Cornell and graduates with 120k in debt (60 for living costs and 60 for tuition). That debt is still huge and you increase the odds you get shutout from biglaw or you work in PI with a worse LRAP. You still don't have the "life flexibility" and you don't quite have the CLS level of opportunity.

Think about how much you're willing to bet on yourself (and the fact that you'll love being a lawyer) and think about how important flexibility in career for the ten years after law school is for you, but I wouldn't, personally, try to find a "compromise" option. /my .02.


Hi random guy. Thanks for giving advice that has absolutely nothing to do with OPs post. See the poll? Read the post? Realize that the scenario you are drawing is never advertised as a choice in either.


Why you so mad? way to attack someone who has been posting here for five years for doing what TLS is all about- responding to OP while also responding to some of the other comments.


+1

T14Dilemma
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Re: Columbia worth 200k??

Postby T14Dilemma » Sat Apr 09, 2011 12:24 am

FiveSermon wrote:
chris0805 wrote:I'm a recent CLS grad who did PI and, though I don't have 200K, I have very sizeable loans. My advice would be to take WUSTL or CLS, but NOT something in the middle. Obviously, I feel like CLS was a great choice for me, but I also love my job. If I hated my job, I'd be a little stuck. With huge loans, you either have to earn $$$ to pay them off or work as PI laywer to qualify for LRAP. You can't really switch careers if you decide after three years that you hate being lawyer... So it's a gamble and you do lose some freedom, but you also open a lot of new possibilities. Now, with WUSTL it looks like OP could graduate with very manageable debt (esp. Living with parents). Less opportunities but a debt load that could be paid basically on a service sector salary if you had/wanted to.

That's a tough call, but I wouldn't advocate for some "halfy" decision where OP takes a 1/2 scholarship at, say, Cornell and graduates with 120k in debt (60 for living costs and 60 for tuition). That debt is still huge and you increase the odds you get shutout from biglaw or you work in PI with a worse LRAP. You still don't have the "life flexibility" and you don't quite have the CLS level of opportunity.

Think about how much you're willing to bet on yourself (and the fact that you'll love being a lawyer) and think about how important flexibility in career for the ten years after law school is for you, but I wouldn't, personally, try to find a "compromise" option. /my .02.


Hi random guy. Thanks for giving advice that has absolutely nothing to do with OPs post. See the poll? Read the post? Realize that the scenario you are drawing is never advertised as a choice in either.


This post helped me A LOT! So I appreciate it.

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cucullu
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Re: Columbia worth 200k??

Postby cucullu » Sun Apr 10, 2011 10:21 am

OP:

1. Have you visited both schools? FWIW, I was facing a similar choice (CN v. full ride at one of WUSTL's peer schools) and my visit to both helped me get the prestige stars out of my eyes. I'm committed to PI, and contrary to the testimony of our recent CLS grad friend, I didn't feel like I was a very good fit at CLS (after my visit! so visit if you can!)

At the same time, my visit to my full ride was actually also really helpful, because I saw how interested the profs were in supporting the scholly kids (all of your fellow scholarship recips prob also turned down at least one and probably several of CCNMVPB to attend for free). The special attention can be really nice.

2. If I was 100% dead set on gunning for Biglaw with the intention to stay there for at least ~5 years or close to it, I'd probably have been much more open to CLS. However, only you can do the hard thinking about what you are WILLING to do for work after you graduate.

For me and my PI <3, NYU would be the dream for my career goals. So, the question became: what's better for me, awesome LRAP and better career support and connections in my intended field (minus flexibility) or the freedom of little to no debt (wahoo!) and the confidence that I'd do well enough at my full ride school to still have good opportunities after I graduate? It's hard to pass up the dream of going to the sparkliest school you ever got into, but I found it helpful to picture life 7 years down the line, when you have the freedom to take lower paying jobs or take a year off or do something else because you don't have debt.

3. I'd do some more hard thinking about where geographically you'd like to end up. I decided that I most likely wanted to come back to the general region of the country where I had the full ride, which also made it a more reasonable option. Most of the PI in these parts is not super prestige-whorey, and the firms sure as hell aren't. Most partners at the firms around here (medium-sized American City, USA) went to the local T1/T2 or the flagship state school. Again, FWIW, every practicing attorney I spoke to (in medium-sized-not-NYC-not-Biglaw-territory City, USA) said "Are you nuts? Take the full ride."

adt231
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Re: Columbia worth 200k??

Postby adt231 » Sun Apr 10, 2011 10:57 am

cucullu wrote:OP:

1. Have you visited both schools? FWIW, I was facing a similar choice (CN v. full ride at one of WUSTL's peer schools) and my visit to both helped me get the prestige stars out of my eyes. I'm committed to PI, and contrary to the testimony of our recent CLS grad friend, I didn't feel like I was a very good fit at CLS (after my visit! so visit if you can!)

At the same time, my visit to my full ride was actually also really helpful, because I saw how interested the profs were in supporting the scholly kids (all of your fellow scholarship recips prob also turned down at least one and probably several of CCNMVPB to attend for free). The special attention can be really nice.

2. If I was 100% dead set on gunning for Biglaw with the intention to stay there for at least ~5 years or close to it, I'd probably have been much more open to CLS. However, only you can do the hard thinking about what you are WILLING to do for work after you graduate.

For me and my PI <3, NYU would be the dream for my career goals. So, the question became: what's better for me, awesome LRAP and better career support and connections in my intended field (minus flexibility) or the freedom of little to no debt (wahoo!) and the confidence that I'd do well enough at my full ride school to still have good opportunities after I graduate? It's hard to pass up the dream of going to the sparkliest school you ever got into, but I found it helpful to picture life 7 years down the line, when you have the freedom to take lower paying jobs or take a year off or do something else because you don't have debt.

3. I'd do some more hard thinking about where geographically you'd like to end up. I decided that I most likely wanted to come back to the general region of the country where I had the full ride, which also made it a more reasonable option. Most of the PI in these parts is not super prestige-whorey, and the firms sure as hell aren't. Most partners at the firms around here (medium-sized American City, USA) went to the local T1/T2 or the flagship state school. Again, FWIW, every practicing attorney I spoke to (in medium-sized-not-NYC-not-Biglaw-territory City, USA) said "Are you nuts? Take the full ride."


Yes, region where you want to work is HUGE in determining where you go to law school - but OP says he WANTS NYC for a little while. And fit is important, but is not THAT important (i.e. job prospects are king -- for which, region you want to work is relevant). And you're PI, OP wants biglaw. You know how hard it is to get biglaw from WUSTL? Also, you are right that non-biglaw practicing attorney will say to take the money, but these people aren't OP who wants to be in NYC biglaw for a while.

OP: decide if you would be happy doing small-law in the midwest for a while. If yes, go to WUSTL. If not, go to Columbia. Am I missing something in my analysis here?

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kwais
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Re: Columbia worth 200k??

Postby kwais » Sun Apr 10, 2011 11:03 am

FiveSermon wrote:
chris0805 wrote:I'm a recent CLS grad who did PI and, though I don't have 200K, I have very sizeable loans. My advice would be to take WUSTL or CLS, but NOT something in the middle. Obviously, I feel like CLS was a great choice for me, but I also love my job. If I hated my job, I'd be a little stuck. With huge loans, you either have to earn $$$ to pay them off or work as PI laywer to qualify for LRAP. You can't really switch careers if you decide after three years that you hate being lawyer... So it's a gamble and you do lose some freedom, but you also open a lot of new possibilities. Now, with WUSTL it looks like OP could graduate with very manageable debt (esp. Living with parents). Less opportunities but a debt load that could be paid basically on a service sector salary if you had/wanted to.

That's a tough call, but I wouldn't advocate for some "halfy" decision where OP takes a 1/2 scholarship at, say, Cornell and graduates with 120k in debt (60 for living costs and 60 for tuition). That debt is still huge and you increase the odds you get shutout from biglaw or you work in PI with a worse LRAP. You still don't have the "life flexibility" and you don't quite have the CLS level of opportunity.

Think about how much you're willing to bet on yourself (and the fact that you'll love being a lawyer) and think about how important flexibility in career for the ten years after law school is for you, but I wouldn't, personally, try to find a "compromise" option. /my .02.


Hi random guy. Thanks for giving advice that has absolutely nothing to do with OPs post. See the poll? Read the post? Realize that the scenario you are drawing is never advertised as a choice in either.


Hey, can we start a monthly award system for most helpful and most douchey posts? If so, I nominate this for the latter. Congrats fivesermon!

dakatz
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Re: Columbia worth 200k??

Postby dakatz » Sun Apr 10, 2011 11:10 am

I don't think I know a single attorney who would recommend going 200K into debt. I remember them calling me crazy for considering Chicago at sticker. They all work for mid size and large law firms, yet the still had debt horror stories and said that, if you can avoid that ball and chain, you should. Its sort of funny that the one guy who said, just go to best school regardless of debt, was a guy who went to a T14 school on a big scholarship.

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kwais
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Re: Columbia worth 200k??

Postby kwais » Sun Apr 10, 2011 11:16 am

dakatz wrote:I don't think I know a single attorney who would recommend going 200K into debt. I remember them calling me crazy for considering Chicago at sticker. They all work for mid size and large law firms, yet the still had debt horror stories and said that, if you can avoid that ball and chain, you should. Its sort of funny that the one guy who said, just go to best school regardless of debt, was a guy who went to a T14 school on a big scholarship.


Everyone has a different set of anecdotes. My experience has been that practicing attorneys have told me to take Columbia at sticker over other options. So have students I have met at lower ranked schools who took the money. I think it's reasonable to take either option but it is strange how upset certain people on TLS get at the notion of someone going to their dream school. I'm guessing it shines a bright light on their own decisions.




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