Berkeley (sticker) vs. UT (full ride) vs. NU (full ride)

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juliachild-ish
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Berkeley (sticker) vs. UT (full ride) vs. NU (full ride)

Postby juliachild-ish » Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:22 am

Hi all. So I'm running out of time to make this decision, and I'd like some help. I'm primarily deciding between a full ride at University of Texas Austin and paying sticker at UC Berkeley, though the Wigmore scholarship (full ride) at Northwestern is still sort of in the running.

I don't know for certain that I'll be paying sticker at Berkeley, but I don't qualify for need-based aid (due to my father's large income), I'm not a URM, and it seems they are very stingy with merit aid. So I'm operating as if I will have to pay sticker there, which is a fair assumption. My father has very generously offered to pay 1/3-1/2 of my law school costs, which helps me out a lot, but there's still a big cost gap between schools--I'd probably be looking at debt of around $110,000 at Berkeley and $30,000 at Texas.

I'm from Arizona, and would like to return there after graduation. My areas of interest are environmental/energy law, land use law, and public policy. I would ideally like to work in local AZ government, something like the AG's office, and I have a lot of connections in AZ through my parents. I would be okay with working at a smaller firm, but am adamantly opposed to doing BigLaw (I'm a staff member at a very large firm now).

Because of my opposition to big/corporate law, I'm not sure that Northwestern would be a good fit. The main reason I'm still considering it is because I currently live in Chicago with my SO, who's in his first year of med school. I don't think a relationship is a good reason to pick a law school, but I also feel like maybe I shouldn't be so quick to dismiss a full ride at Northwestern when they allegedly have such good employment statistics. I don't really like Chicago as a city (sorry!), so that's another reason to not pick Northwestern.

I think I would be really happy living in either Austin or Berkeley. I haven't had a chance to visit either school yet, but will be doing so next week. I think Berkeley is overall a better school for me--I prefer the smaller class size, I think it has a better national reputation, and I think its grading system might make it less competitive than UT. But in this economy, I don't know that the gap between the two schools is worth an extra $80,000 in debt.

So, what does everyone think? Is Berkeley worth $80,000 more in debt over UT? Should I still be considering Northwestern? Thanks in advance for any thoughts.

PS: Yes, I got accepted to Harvard. No, I'm not going. I shouldn't have even applied in the first place, because I wasn't that interested in attending, and I don't think I need to go there to achieve my goals. It's off the table, so if you're going to comment, please just advise me between the three schools listed above. Oh, and I haven't heard back from Stanford and Yale, but it's getting so late and so close to other deposit deadlines that I'm going forward assuming I'll get rejected from those two. And if I get in, it'll just be a really exciting surprise!

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alexonfyre
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Re: Berkeley (sticker) vs. UT (full ride) vs. NU (full ride)

Postby alexonfyre » Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:29 am

juliachild-ish wrote:Hi all. So I'm running out of time to make this decision, and I'd like some help. I'm primarily deciding between a full ride at University of Texas Austin and paying sticker at UC Berkeley, though the Wigmore scholarship (full ride) at Northwestern is still sort of in the running.

I don't know for certain that I'll be paying sticker at Berkeley, but I don't qualify for need-based aid (due to my father's large income), I'm not a URM, and it seems they are very stingy with merit aid. So I'm operating as if I will have to pay sticker there, which is a fair assumption. My father has very generously offered to pay 1/3-1/2 of my law school costs, which helps me out a lot, but there's still a big cost gap between schools--I'd probably be looking at debt of around $110,000 at Berkeley and $30,000 at Texas.

I'm from Arizona, and would like to return there after graduation. My areas of interest are environmental/energy law, land use law, and public policy. I would ideally like to work in local AZ government, something like the AG's office, and I have a lot of connections in AZ through my parents. I would be okay with working at a smaller firm, but am adamantly opposed to doing BigLaw (I'm a staff member at a very large firm now).

Because of my opposition to big/corporate law, I'm not sure that Northwestern would be a good fit. The main reason I'm still considering it is because I currently live in Chicago with my SO, who's in his first year of med school. I don't think a relationship is a good reason to pick a law school, but I also feel like maybe I shouldn't be so quick to dismiss a full ride at Northwestern when they allegedly have such good employment statistics. I don't really like Chicago as a city (sorry!), so that's another reason to not pick Northwestern.

I think I would be really happy living in either Austin or Berkeley. I haven't had a chance to visit either school yet, but will be doing so next week. I think Berkeley is overall a better school for me--I prefer the smaller class size, I think it has a better national reputation, and I think its grading system might make it less competitive than UT. But in this economy, I don't know that the gap between the two schools is worth an extra $80,000 in debt.

So, what does everyone think? Is Berkeley worth $80,000 more in debt over UT? Should I still be considering Northwestern? Thanks in advance for any thoughts.

PS: Yes, I got accepted to Harvard. No, I'm not going. I shouldn't have even applied in the first place, because I wasn't that interested in attending, and I don't think I need to go there to achieve my goals. It's off the table, so if you're going to comment, please just advise me between the three schools listed above. Oh, and I haven't heard back from Stanford and Yale, but it's getting so late and so close to other deposit deadlines that I'm going forward assuming I'll get rejected from those two. And if I get in, it'll just be a really exciting surprise!


NU >> UT, and given your ties to Chicago (despite your feelings toward the city) it would be a much better choice. NU can probably put you down in Texas, or out to the west coast, if you do well, UT may not be able to offer the same.
I don't think there are many people who would argue that paying sticker at a T14 is a bad investment, though Berk is by far the most expensive out of all of them. If you are very debt-averse then I would say to just go to NU and save the money, if not, go to Berk and be happy in the new city.

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buckilaw
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Re: Berkeley (sticker) vs. UT (full ride) vs. NU (full ride)

Postby buckilaw » Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:31 am

If you are adamantly opposed to going to Harvard NU is the way to go.

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Saul Goodman
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Re: Berkeley (sticker) vs. UT (full ride) vs. NU (full ride)

Postby Saul Goodman » Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:32 am

You have a difficult decision ahead of you. I just wanted to say HUGE congrats on your impressive stats and an even bigger congrats on withdrawing from Harvard. That diploma mill doesn't deserve impressive people like you.

I think you need to visit UT and Berkeley before turning down a full ride at NU. Yes, the weather in Chicago blows. But, you need to make sure you like the alternatives.

That said, you'll have the best chance of doing well if you are happy. If you think you'll be happiest in Berkeley, go there. Your stats lead me to believe that you are fully capable of making the right decision on your own.

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src42
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Re: Berkeley (sticker) vs. UT (full ride) vs. NU (full ride)

Postby src42 » Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:34 am

I'm choosing between NU and UT also (though with lower scholarship offers than yours). I'd eliminate Berkeley, since it seems like your connections to AZ are sufficient to get a job you want from any of these three schools, which makes any perceived difference in opportunity from Berkeley more or less irrelevant. Plus, if you like Berkeley, you will love Austin. I'm from Texas, and trust me, it's amazing.

Since you don't like Chicago and have no interest in corporate law/BigLaw, I'd go with UT. Enjoy Austin, and congrats on your achievements.

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Shaggier1
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Re: Berkeley (sticker) vs. UT (full ride) vs. NU (full ride)

Postby Shaggier1 » Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:54 am

Have you applied for a matching scholarship at Berkeley? I believe NU is one of the schools that they match?

charliebrownwn
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Re: Berkeley (sticker) vs. UT (full ride) vs. NU (full ride)

Postby charliebrownwn » Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:04 am

Visit Berkeley and Austin, then pick based on your impressions of quality of life / student body. I'd say the money is a wash, since Boalt does place better.

You said you don't want to go to Northwestern; you have other good options; therefore, do not go to northwestern. I don't see any reason for you to second-guess yourself there.

Shaggier1 wrote:Have you applied for a matching scholarship at Berkeley? I believe NU is one of the schools that they match?

Berkeley does NOT match Northwestern (or Texas).
http://www.law.berkeley.edu/6957.htm

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sundance95
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Re: Berkeley (sticker) vs. UT (full ride) vs. NU (full ride)

Postby sundance95 » Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:05 am

NU w/full tuition > B at sticker or T w/full tuition.

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Saul Goodman
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Re: Berkeley (sticker) vs. UT (full ride) vs. NU (full ride)

Postby Saul Goodman » Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:10 am

charliebrownwn wrote:
Shaggier1 wrote:Have you applied for a matching scholarship at Berkeley? I believe NU is one of the schools that they match?

Berkeley does NOT match Northwestern (or Texas).
http://www.law.berkeley.edu/6957.htm


Can someone explain to me why for Berkeley GULC > NU?

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sundance95
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Re: Berkeley (sticker) vs. UT (full ride) vs. NU (full ride)

Postby sundance95 » Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:11 am

Saul Goodman wrote:Can someone explain to me why for Berkeley GULC > NU?

Cogently? No.

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buckilaw
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Re: Berkeley (sticker) vs. UT (full ride) vs. NU (full ride)

Postby buckilaw » Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:13 am

Berkeley does NOT match Northwestern (or Texas).
http://www.law.berkeley.edu/6957.htm[/quote]

Kind of a slight to NU that Boalt considers every school in the T14 a peer except NU.

Bumi
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Re: Berkeley (sticker) vs. UT (full ride) vs. NU (full ride)

Postby Bumi » Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:26 am

OP, you seem to have connections to the jobs you want. Where did those people go to law school?

I don't understand why Berkeley at sticker is even on the table, but maybe you know something I don't. Seems to me you'd want to minimize debt and stay close to the region, which points to UT.

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Shaggier1
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Re: Berkeley (sticker) vs. UT (full ride) vs. NU (full ride)

Postby Shaggier1 » Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:28 am

Berkeley does NOT match Northwestern (or Texas).
http://www.law.berkeley.edu/6957.htm


Kind of a slight to NU that Boalt considers every school in the T14 a peer except NU.[/quote]

Ah I did not realize. Regardless, I would negotiate. I know a 1L who got money out of Boalt by leveraging a full ride at American. They did not match, obviously, but he said it was enough to make the decision easy for him.

It may be Boalt's "policy" not to match NU, but I am sure they will recognize that they would need to throw significant money at you to get you to turn down a full ride at another t14. Seriously, talk to them. And don't be scared to be a bit relentless.

If not, enjoy no debt and a world-class degree (I say that as someone who attends, and loves, Berkeley. You just have to take the NU full ride if Berkeley does not show you any love)

juliachild-ish
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Re: Berkeley (sticker) vs. UT (full ride) vs. NU (full ride)

Postby juliachild-ish » Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:36 am

Bumi, to be honest, many/most of the prominent lawyers in AZ went to UofA or ASU. However, they obviously graduated in a different era, and I'm not seriously considering either of those schools. Aside from that, there's a smattering of people from all kinds of schools, with no particular school or even particular tier seeming to dominate. I've talked with a couple recruiters at law firms in Phoenix, just to get their opinion, and the concensus seems to be that they really just care about good grades. Neither of the recruiters I talked to saw any clear differences between Boalt, UT, or Northwestern in terms of placement ability. I think Berkeley is still on the table because I've had people tell me that it's hard to leave Texas with a UT degree (even to go to a nearby state such as AZ) and that a degree from Berkeley will give me more options and flexibility down the road. Also, Berkeley seems to have a decent LRAP.

Shaggier, that's interesting that someone you know got money by leveraging American. That's not at all what I'd read previously, and they make it sound unlikely on their website: "The 2010-11 list of peer schools eligible for Matching Scholarship consideration (indicated above) is final. Every year we receive inquiries from admitted students that have scholarship offers from schools not on this list asking if we are able to make exceptions and allow them to apply. Unfortunately we are not able to accommodate those requests." But if you say it's worked, I'll definitely try and give it a shot.

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rayiner
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Re: Berkeley (sticker) vs. UT (full ride) vs. NU (full ride)

Postby rayiner » Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:38 am

juliachild-ish wrote:Hi all. So I'm running out of time to make this decision, and I'd like some help. I'm primarily deciding between a full ride at University of Texas Austin and paying sticker at UC Berkeley, though the Wigmore scholarship (full ride) at Northwestern is still sort of in the running.

I don't know for certain that I'll be paying sticker at Berkeley, but I don't qualify for need-based aid (due to my father's large income), I'm not a URM, and it seems they are very stingy with merit aid. So I'm operating as if I will have to pay sticker there, which is a fair assumption. My father has very generously offered to pay 1/3-1/2 of my law school costs, which helps me out a lot, but there's still a big cost gap between schools--I'd probably be looking at debt of around $110,000 at Berkeley and $30,000 at Texas.

I'm from Arizona, and would like to return there after graduation. My areas of interest are environmental/energy law, land use law, and public policy. I would ideally like to work in local AZ government, something like the AG's office, and I have a lot of connections in AZ through my parents. I would be okay with working at a smaller firm, but am adamantly opposed to doing BigLaw (I'm a staff member at a very large firm now).

Because of my opposition to big/corporate law, I'm not sure that Northwestern would be a good fit. The main reason I'm still considering it is because I currently live in Chicago with my SO, who's in his first year of med school. I don't think a relationship is a good reason to pick a law school, but I also feel like maybe I shouldn't be so quick to dismiss a full ride at Northwestern when they allegedly have such good employment statistics. I don't really like Chicago as a city (sorry!), so that's another reason to not pick Northwestern.

I think I would be really happy living in either Austin or Berkeley. I haven't had a chance to visit either school yet, but will be doing so next week. I think Berkeley is overall a better school for me--I prefer the smaller class size, I think it has a better national reputation, and I think its grading system might make it less competitive than UT. But in this economy, I don't know that the gap between the two schools is worth an extra $80,000 in debt.

So, what does everyone think? Is Berkeley worth $80,000 more in debt over UT? Should I still be considering Northwestern? Thanks in advance for any thoughts.

PS: Yes, I got accepted to Harvard. No, I'm not going. I shouldn't have even applied in the first place, because I wasn't that interested in attending, and I don't think I need to go there to achieve my goals. It's off the table, so if you're going to comment, please just advise me between the three schools listed above. Oh, and I haven't heard back from Stanford and Yale, but it's getting so late and so close to other deposit deadlines that I'm going forward assuming I'll get rejected from those two. And if I get in, it'll just be a really exciting surprise!


Go to Harvard.

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ahduth
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Re: Berkeley (sticker) vs. UT (full ride) vs. NU (full ride)

Postby ahduth » Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:43 am

Shaggier1 wrote:
Berkeley does NOT match Northwestern (or Texas).
http://www.law.berkeley.edu/6957.htm


Kind of a slight to NU that Boalt considers every school in the T14 a peer except NU.


Ah I did not realize. Regardless, I would negotiate. I know a 1L who got money out of Boalt by leveraging a full ride at American. They did not match, obviously, but he said it was enough to make the decision easy for him.

It may be Boalt's "policy" not to match NU, but I am sure they will recognize that they would need to throw significant money at you to get you to turn down a full ride at another t14. Seriously, talk to them. And don't be scared to be a bit relentless.

If not, enjoy no debt and a world-class degree (I say that as someone who attends, and loves, Berkeley. You just have to take the NU full ride if Berkeley does not show you any love)[/quote]

NU gives out significantly more money than some of these other guys, I'm assuming that's the root of the policy.

bigben
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Re: Berkeley (sticker) vs. UT (full ride) vs. NU (full ride)

Postby bigben » Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:00 pm

NU, obviously. But did I read correctly that you don't want to go to Harvard (presumably because of the cost?) but you are interested in attending Yale or Stanford? That's a head-scratcher.

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Re: Berkeley (sticker) vs. UT (full ride) vs. NU (full ride)

Postby bigben » Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:09 pm

buckilaw wrote:Berkeley does NOT match Northwestern (or Texas).
http://www.law.berkeley.edu/6957.htm


Kind of a slight to NU that Boalt considers every school in the T14 a peer except NU.

Maybe NU throws too much money around for them? Just a guess.

juliachild-ish
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Re: Berkeley (sticker) vs. UT (full ride) vs. NU (full ride)

Postby juliachild-ish » Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:14 pm

bigben wrote:NU, obviously. But did I read correctly that you don't want to go to Harvard (presumably because of the cost?) but you are interested in attending Yale or Stanford? That's a head-scratcher.


I'm not interested in attending Harvard mostly because of the school itself, not because of cost. Though cost is definitely an issue. Yale and Stanford might be better fits, but I don't know for sure.

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Re: Berkeley (sticker) vs. UT (full ride) vs. NU (full ride)

Postby r6_philly » Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:26 pm

juliachild-ish wrote:
bigben wrote:NU, obviously. But did I read correctly that you don't want to go to Harvard (presumably because of the cost?) but you are interested in attending Yale or Stanford? That's a head-scratcher.


I'm not interested in attending Harvard mostly because of the school itself, not because of cost. Though cost is definitely an issue. Yale and Stanford might be better fits, but I don't know for sure.


Did you go visit both UT and NU? If liking the school is a primary criteria you may actually like UT over NU quite a bit, considering you really like Berkeley. Stanford would obviously be best, but I don't see how you could dislike Harvard enough to not take it over the 3 options listed, but yet you would consider Yale.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Berkeley (sticker) vs. UT (full ride) vs. NU (full ride)

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:29 pm

Northwestern. Harvard's atmosphere is probably more competitive since Northwestern encourages teamwork. NU law is not entirely corporate; Northwestern has a prominent "wrongful convictions/innocence type clinic" in addition to several other offerings such as an LLM in humanitarian/human rights law.
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

barry
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Re: Berkeley (sticker) vs. UT (full ride) vs. NU (full ride)

Postby barry » Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:30 pm

Go to NU full ride i'd argue its better than berk and certainly better than tx, you can still get out to AZ from there too, and I'm sure there are PI people there just like at every school. Really it's the only good option to turn down a harvard acceptance for

Bumi
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Re: Berkeley (sticker) vs. UT (full ride) vs. NU (full ride)

Postby Bumi » Mon Mar 28, 2011 1:16 pm

So to sum up:

OP has very specific goals in a specific region, and doesn't want to do biglaw. Which is great and fine. However:

-OP doesn't want to go to a local school like Arizona or Arizona State where the people in OP's target job went, probably with a full scholarship
-OP doesn't want to go to a regional powerhouse school with a full scholarship, UT
-OP doesn't want to go to a T14 near an SO with a full scholarship, NU
-OP doesn't want to go to Harvard
-OP is leaning towards Berkeley at sticker

Did I get that right, OP?

Oh yeah, and OP made a "choose a school" thread without making it a poll, probably the most egregious error in judgment out of all of them.

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Alex-Trof
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Re: Berkeley (sticker) vs. UT (full ride) vs. NU (full ride)

Postby Alex-Trof » Mon Mar 28, 2011 1:24 pm

Please don't go to Berkley at a sticker given your acceptance to Harvard.

r6_philly
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Re: Berkeley (sticker) vs. UT (full ride) vs. NU (full ride)

Postby r6_philly » Mon Mar 28, 2011 1:24 pm

Go Bears!




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