BU $$ v. BC $$$ v. W&M $$$ v. BYU $$

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

Help this Mormon boy choose a law school!

BU @ $135,996 COA
4
5%
BU if, and only if, the wifey gets a job there
7
9%
W&M @ $63,300 COA
15
18%
BYU @ $62,010 COA
9
11%
New: BC @ ~99,000 COA
47
57%
 
Total votes: 82

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zonto
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BU $$ v. BC $$$ v. W&M $$$ v. BYU $$

Postby zonto » Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:57 pm

Hey everyone, time for my obligatory thread/poll for my upcoming decision this cycle. Stats in my profile.

Poll options are with most up-to-date total COA estimates (net any scholarship I've been awarded at the school) multiplied by three. It also doesn't factor in my wife's wages that we will use for living expenses since she doesn't have a job yet. If you vote for the #2 choice, please vote for the contingency choice between W&M and BYU as well. :mrgreen:

I'm married and my wife will be working full-time to offset expenses, most likely for COL and maybe save a bit extra to pay down loans a little early. She currently works on campus here, and we've found several positions at BU that are very similar to what she does now. The kicker here is that if she gets one of these full-time gigs I can get 50% tuition waiver as a spousal benefit after 12 months which would significantly reduce the added expense at BU. Downside is that without that, my debt-aversion pretty much makes BU unfeasible especially when compared to these other two options.

---------------

Info on the schools and why they're in the running:

BU
Pros:
- The "highest ranked" school I got into
- Visited and loved it (my wife has loved Boston for a long time)
- Reputable school for banking, financial, and corporate law which is what interests me the most currently. They also have an accelerated LL.M. in that area which I could conceivably finish in time for a 9 month deferred offer of employment upon graduation (one extra semester after J.D.)
- Love the history of Boston and the idea of living in a bigger city for a while

Cons:
- COL in Boston is ridiculous
- Most expensive school by far with the least amount of aid (percentage of tuition) that I've received thus far at $15,000 k/year
- Harsh winters, hopefully somewhat negated by being in the tower all day

W&M
Pros:
- Visited GMU last month and, though we hated that school, we loved Virginia and D.C. (found out I got into W&M after trip was booked, so we couldn't visit there)
- Graduate Fellowship (out-of-state tuition waiver @ $9,000) + $4,000 stipend + $15,000 merit aid (after negotiations) while maintaining a "B" average
- Cheaper tuition than BU at $33,800
- Like the appeal of the history surrounding Williamsburg and the proximity to D.C.
- Cheaper COL than Boston

Cons:
- Somewhat isolated in Williamsburg
- More difficult job market for my wife and possible longer commute

BYU
Pros:
- Ridiculously cheap tuition ($10,600 for 2011–2012) due to Church membership
- $5,000 scholarship which is about half tuition
- Close to family; planning on pregnancy or kid somewhat close to the last year of law school so it would be nice to have parents around
- Less worry about tuition inflation eating up my scholarship awards like at other schools
- Good alumni network could help us with the job search

Cons:
- Provo, Utah
- BYU is more "competitive" in the sense that because there is less drinking and partying and many students have families they tend to study more
- Top 33% stipulation on scholarship
- Less "adventurous" since we've been in Utah basically our whole lives

---------------

Thanks in advance for any wisdom or advice you have to offer!
Last edited by zonto on Fri Apr 15, 2011 7:29 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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bsm909
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Re: BU $$ v. W&M $$$ v. BYU $$

Postby bsm909 » Mon Apr 04, 2011 9:55 pm

I'm biased but at least I admit it. Sad to see I didnt make the pro list for a school either! :)

Thoughts outside of that:

-How does W&M do in the job/industry/area you want to work in? One pull or BYU is obviously the network which I think can help.

Should your wife get the job at BU, it would be sweet to attend a school like that with the tuition help from her job without the grade stipulation problem too. Though may want to make sure she is ok working it all 3 years as that is a lot of debt in comparison to the other options without that financial assistance.

Should you really be planning a possible kid during school, it may be good to stay by family so she can have more help. I can't imagine having a kid with my husband busy in law school and not able to help as much as either of us would hope. That support system may, though I don't know her so maybe not, really help her maintain her sanity. Not just to lean on but for instant baby sitters so you guys can have your own time easier. My friend had a baby right before her husband started at Harvard business and they moved away from family for that and.she had a hard time with this as she felt she was left out of school things more and missed her husbands help. Just know it was tough without her traditional support group, though she survived! So not impossible.

Wow. Long winded and scattered. Sorry.

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Frasier27
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Re: BU $$ v. W&M $$$ v. BYU $$

Postby Frasier27 » Mon Apr 04, 2011 11:04 pm

Not sure what type of job your wife wants, but from Williamsburg, Newport News, Norfolk and Richmond are all less than an hour away, so she might not have all that much trouble. I can also say from personal experience that Williamsburg is a very pleasant place to live, and W&M's law school is nicer looking than BU's ugly tower (the weather also beats Boston hands down).

More importantly though, where do you want to practice? If Boston/New England or maybe NYC go to BC or BU. If you happen to want to practice in Washington DC go to William & Mary without a question. If somewhere else its probably not a huge difference.

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zonto
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Re: BU $$ v. W&M $$$ v. BYU $$

Postby zonto » Mon Apr 04, 2011 11:56 pm

Thanks for your comments!

As to where I want to practice, I would be content in any of these places as we only applied to places that we would feel comfortable living in. After visiting both bigger cities, I think I would be content in either one. Though moving back to Utah is something we've talked about, beginning a career elsewhere and moving back after 5 or 10 years of working is completely fine as well.

Slevin Kelevra 2011
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Re: BU $$ v. W&M $$$ v. BYU $$

Postby Slevin Kelevra 2011 » Tue Apr 05, 2011 10:17 am

Keep your non-dischargeable debt to a minimum.

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Cupidity
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Re: BU $$ v. W&M $$$ v. BYU $$

Postby Cupidity » Tue Apr 05, 2011 10:22 am

I voted BYU but I would rescind that now that I see there is a scholarship stipulation. Top 1/3 at any lawschool is hard, let alone at the highly competitive BYU. Older non-trad students generally do not grade as well as younger students.

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brose
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Re: BU $$ v. W&M $$$ v. BYU $$

Postby brose » Tue Apr 05, 2011 10:34 am

BYU. Even if you lose your scholarship it's still hella cheap. And, if you've talked to your wife about being in Utah for a bit before moving, then you should probably do that. Especially if you're starting a family and being close to family is important. Also, you won't have to move?

I don't know if it matters but W & M's tuition is also going up to 36-37k - this was said at ASW.

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ndirish2010
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Re: BU $$ v. W&M $$$ v. BYU $$

Postby ndirish2010 » Tue Apr 05, 2011 10:48 am

BYU.

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zonto
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Re: BU $$ v. W&M $$$ v. BYU $$

Postby zonto » Tue Apr 05, 2011 3:15 pm

Sorry about the "nontraditional" part of my OP. I forgot the forum's definition of the term, and promptly deleted it after reading Cupidity's post. I'm 25 and finishing undergrad this semester.

AP-375
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Re: BU $$ v. W&M $$$ v. BYU $$

Postby AP-375 » Wed Apr 06, 2011 1:57 pm

I voted W&M.
Having done my undergrad at BYU, I believe the network effect of BYU Law is overrated. It's more the mormon network effect rather than the BYU Law effect. If you've got USU on your resume, that should at least be enough for the networking connection when talking with other LDS lawyers out there. "Oh hey, you went to BYU. I went to USU. Now we're cool." That's all it is.
Also, it looks like BYU and W&M are similar in cost, so I would roll with Williamsburg over Provo any day. Maybe when I was 18, Provo was okay, but I'm ready to not spend any more of my life there.
Also, don't understimate the competitiveness at BYU. I've heard it's one of the most competitive schools in the country. You're competing with a bunch of older, RM, married dudes, who are super-focused, disciplined,
and don't party. Not the group I want to be competing against.
Finally, family planning can sometimes be unpredictable, so you'd hate to be in Boston, paying sticker, with your wfe not having the opportunity to work full time for some baby reason or another.
(Disclosure: I'm most likely heading to W&M in the fall.)
Last edited by AP-375 on Wed Apr 06, 2011 1:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

AP-375
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Re: BU $$ v. W&M $$$ v. BYU $$

Postby AP-375 » Wed Apr 06, 2011 1:59 pm

brose wrote:BYU. Even if you lose your scholarship it's still hella cheap. And, if you've talked to your wife about being in Utah for a bit before moving, then you should probably do that. Especially if you're starting a family and being close to family is important. Also, you won't have to move?

I don't know if it matters but W & M's tuition is also going up to 36-37k - this was said at ASW.


How have I missed this piece of information? That's bothersome.

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zonto
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Re: BU $$ v. W&M $$$ v. BYU $$

Postby zonto » Thu Apr 07, 2011 8:37 pm

AP-375 wrote:
brose wrote:BYU. Even if you lose your scholarship it's still hella cheap. And, if you've talked to your wife about being in Utah for a bit before moving, then you should probably do that. Especially if you're starting a family and being close to family is important. Also, you won't have to move?

I don't know if it matters but W & M's tuition is also going up to 36-37k - this was said at ASW.


How have I missed this piece of information? That's bothersome.


Yeah. I emailed W&M's financial aid department with a bunch of questions about this year's tuition, what happens with scholarship/fellowship in different situations, and what the past 5–10 years of tuition were so I can calculate a rough average of how much they increase it every year. My wife also applied to a job out there that is basically the same as what she does now, so we'll see what happens.

Right now I'm leaning towards depositing at BYU and BU and seeing what the job/negotiation situation ends up like in Boston.

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zonto
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Re: BU $$ v. W&M $$$ v. BYU $$

Postby zonto » Tue Apr 12, 2011 5:49 pm

Just heard from BC today with financial aid info. $28,000 in scholarship a year with estimated $61,000 a year in COA. Total COA would be ~$99,000 with those numbers.

Seat deposits due Friday... :shock:
Last edited by zonto on Fri Apr 15, 2011 7:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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KMaine
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Re: BU $$ v. W&M $$$ v. BYU $$

Postby KMaine » Tue Apr 12, 2011 6:01 pm

Cupidity wrote:Older non-trad students generally do not grade as well as younger students.


Source? In my experience it has been just the opposite. I am not saying that you are wrong, I am just wondering about your source.

OP: I think I like W&M for you, but if you could get that tuition down to 50%, that may be the way to go.

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zonto
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Re: BU $$ v. W&M $$$ v. BYU $$

Postby zonto » Fri Apr 15, 2011 7:09 pm

Turns out too that BC's package includes the max amount in Stafford loans as well as $9,000 in Perkins and law school loans which have a 5% interest rate and are also subsidized interest until 6 months after graduation. Basically if my wife gets a job anywhere that we could use to pay COL, then I could end up with about $40–45,000 of subsidized loans and a degree from BC: The BYU of Massachusetts. I really like the thought of not having to utilize unsubsidized Stafford or GRAD Plus loans. They also gave me the option to do work study as well which could be a research assistant according to the financial aid office.

This is looking better and better!

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zonto
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Re: BU $$ v. W&M $$$ v. BYU $$

Postby zonto » Fri Apr 15, 2011 7:15 pm

Poll reset with new BC option. Old results were:

Code: Select all

BU @ $135,996 COA    24%     [ 11 ]
BU if, and only if, the wifey gets a job there    17%     [ 8 ]
W&M @ $63,300 COA    20%     [ 9 ]
BYU @ $62,010 COA    37%     [ 17 ]

Slevin Kelevra 2011
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Re: BU $$ v. BC $$$ v. W&M $$$ v. BYU $$

Postby Slevin Kelevra 2011 » Sat Apr 16, 2011 10:25 am

BC places better in biglaw than any of the others you listed and it is not going to cost you an arm and a leg. Easy choice.

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zonto
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Re: BU $$ v. BC $$$ v. W&M $$$ v. BYU $$

Postby zonto » Sat Apr 16, 2011 2:22 pm

Slevin Kelevra 2011 wrote:BC places better in biglaw than any of the others you listed and it is not going to cost you an arm and a leg. Easy choice.

How much does an arm and leg cost in USD?

neonx
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Re: BU $$ v. BC $$$ v. W&M $$$ v. BYU $$

Postby neonx » Sat Apr 16, 2011 2:23 pm

BU, my friend.

flexityflex86
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Re: BU $$ v. BC $$$ v. W&M $$$ v. BYU $$

Postby flexityflex86 » Sat Apr 16, 2011 2:58 pm

I think BC. I've heard the rankings overblow it, and job wise it is the = of BU given the alumni network. I also think being a bit older and already married might help you network a little better when you can relate to the partners on that front in a way the younger crowd can't. 36k in savings seems to be a better deal, and your wife can stay in Boston.

HeavenWood
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Re: BU $$ v. BC $$$ v. W&M $$$ v. BYU $$

Postby HeavenWood » Sat Apr 16, 2011 4:20 pm

flexityflex86 wrote:I think BC. I've heard the rankings overblow it, and job wise it is the = of BU given the alumni network. I also think being a bit older and already married might help you network a little better when you can relate to the partners on that front in a way the younger crowd can't. 36k in savings seems to be a better deal, and your wife can stay in Boston.


Definitely BC.

CanadianWolf
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Re: BU $$ v. BC $$$ v. W&M $$$ v. BYU $$

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat Apr 16, 2011 5:48 pm

BYU because you refer to your spouse as "the wifey".

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Rock Chalk
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Re: BU $$ v. BC $$$ v. W&M $$$ v. BYU $$

Postby Rock Chalk » Sat Apr 16, 2011 5:53 pm

.
Last edited by Rock Chalk on Wed May 16, 2012 1:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

bellamy
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Re: BU $$ v. BC $$$ v. W&M $$$ v. BYU $$

Postby bellamy » Sat Apr 16, 2011 8:38 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:BYU because you refer to your spouse as "the wifey".

Very clever.3 years out of Utah will be good for him

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zonto
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Re: BU $$ v. BC $$$ v. W&M $$$ v. BYU $$

Postby zonto » Sat Apr 16, 2011 8:45 pm

I prefer that to the "SO" thrown around on the board so much. :wink:




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