Round 2: USC $ vs. Cardozo $$$$($)

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

Where?

Cardozo ($30k-$70k)
16
48%
USC (~$200k debt)
17
52%
 
Total votes: 33

ku1185
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Round 2: USC $ vs. Cardozo $$$$($)

Postby ku1185 » Mon Apr 11, 2011 9:31 pm

So deposit deadline is quickly approaching, and I've further narrowed my choices. I'm still waiting from some schools and financial aid info, but I'm going to work with what I have so far.

I would come out of USC w/ roughly $200k in debt, whereas I have a full tuition scholarship from Cardozo and I live close enough to commute. Initially, I was heavily leaning towards USC. When I got the offer from Cardozo, spoke with some friends (who are currently attending law schools), investigated the school, it turned out to be a very attractive option.

Cardozo seems to have very good programs in what I want to study (#5 in USNews IP rank, and Dozo website lists some interesting courses on technology/communications/Internet law). However, the employment prospects worry me, but that's somewhat offset by the fact that I would come out with relatively little debt. Also, I would hate the commute and living at home might not be conducive to studying. Still, it's a very cheap and a (presumably) very good education. Ultimately, I see it as less risk but also less post-graduate opportunities.

USC would be ideal as I really want to live in LA and I have family there. I could really use a change of setting (been in NJ for 20 years, including undergrad). I checked out the school and could definitely see myself there. I like that they have clinics in my field of interest and also have some interdisciplinary studies that is an option I may take advantage of. And California may be a better place in terms of employment given what I want to focus on. But the debt is seriously worrisome. Still, I think it would have better quality of life and employment prospects, though I may have to try for biglaw (which I'm not necessarily dying to get, nor am I against it) to pay off the debt.

What to do...

EDIT: Please contribute reasons to why you chose one over the other. ty

EDIT2: I'd like to ask what people think if I do take on some significant debt by getting my own place closer to school perhaps. What if I were to take on ~$70k debt at Cardozo?
Last edited by ku1185 on Wed Apr 13, 2011 5:25 pm, edited 3 times in total.

ku1185
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Re: Round 2: USC $ vs. Cardozo $$$$($)

Postby ku1185 » Mon Apr 11, 2011 9:56 pm

Anyone care to comment on why they voted for an option? I think it'd help in getting a better sense of why I should choose one school over another. Thanks.

dissonance1848
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Re: Round 2: USC $ vs. Cardozo $$$$($)

Postby dissonance1848 » Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:00 pm

Forget speciality rankings and areas of law, basically worthless indicators

Looking at your LSN profile, I wonder why Pepperdine isn't in the mix, given its nearly as much scholly as Cardozo, and near where you want to practice.

ku1185
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Re: Round 2: USC $ vs. Cardozo $$$$($)

Postby ku1185 » Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:08 pm

dissonance1848 wrote:Forget speciality rankings and areas of law, basically worthless indicators

Looking at your LSN profile, I wonder why Pepperdine isn't in the mix, given its nearly as much scholly as Cardozo, and near where you want to practice.


Cardozo is especially attractive because of living costs (would live at home), whereas I'd have to pay full COL at Pepperdine.

And also, tsunamis.

dissonance1848
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Re: Round 2: USC $ vs. Cardozo $$$$($)

Postby dissonance1848 » Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:10 pm

Fair enough, but you mentioned you wanted California. Now, if you don't care one way or another, then by all means take Cardozo.

ku1185
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Re: Round 2: USC $ vs. Cardozo $$$$($)

Postby ku1185 » Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:15 pm

I do want California. But do I want it bad enough to take $200k debt to go to a non T-14. That's the question.

dissonance1848
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Re: Round 2: USC $ vs. Cardozo $$$$($)

Postby dissonance1848 » Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:16 pm

Which is why I mentioned Pepperdine

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Teoeo
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Re: Round 2: USC $ vs. Cardozo $$$$($)

Postby Teoeo » Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:19 pm

Go to USC

ku1185
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Re: Round 2: USC $ vs. Cardozo $$$$($)

Postby ku1185 » Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:19 pm

dissonance1848 wrote:Which is why I mentioned Pepperdine


There's a number of serious reasons why I don't want to go to Pepperdine, the biggest being the top 30% stipulation on the scholarship. That alone is a deal-breaker for me (not that I'm not confident, but still a significant risk).
Last edited by ku1185 on Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.

ku1185
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Re: Round 2: USC $ vs. Cardozo $$$$($)

Postby ku1185 » Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:21 pm

Teoeo wrote:Go to USC


Thanks for the reply, but would you care to elaborate? Given what I had said, why do you think I should choose USC? (i.e., quality of life? better prospects? are these more important than debt? etc.)

ku1185
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Re: Round 2: USC $ vs. Cardozo $$$$($)

Postby ku1185 » Tue Apr 12, 2011 2:28 pm

I would really appreciate an explanation of people's votes. I see USC is leading in the poll, but what do you think of the $200k debt? Is it worth it for my desire to go out to California? What about those who voted for Cardozo? Please, I want reasons!

It just seems odd that the prevailing notion on TLS is different from what I would hear from, say, Above the Law and current students I know. I'm curious as to the discrepancy, and hearing your reasons would help in that regard.

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Teoeo
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Re: Round 2: USC $ vs. Cardozo $$$$($)

Postby Teoeo » Tue Apr 12, 2011 2:44 pm

ku1185 wrote:
Teoeo wrote:Go to USC


Thanks for the reply, but would you care to elaborate? Given what I had said, why do you think I should choose USC? (i.e., quality of life? better prospects? are these more important than debt? etc.)


Money is important, but if you want to work in California it is just a no-brainer. USC has great employment prospects there and you could stay near your family. Whats the point of saving money if you end up somewhere you don't want to be?

ku1185
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Re: Round 2: USC $ vs. Cardozo $$$$($)

Postby ku1185 » Wed Apr 13, 2011 4:56 pm

Hmm... Just wondering what people think if I were to take on $70k or so debt at Cardozo to move out and be in a better studying environment?

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bk1
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Re: Round 2: USC $ vs. Cardozo $$$$($)

Postby bk1 » Wed Apr 13, 2011 5:00 pm

The best overall option is Cardozo, but you will be unlikely to get an LA job right out of school.

USC at that price is just too risky in the case that you don't get biglaw (which only 1/4-1/3 of the class gets) and are forced to pay back 200k in loans on a 50k/year salary.

ku1185
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Re: Round 2: USC $ vs. Cardozo $$$$($)

Postby ku1185 » Wed Apr 13, 2011 5:11 pm

bk1 wrote:The best overall option is Cardozo, but you will be unlikely to get an LA job right out of school.

USC at that price is just too risky in the case that you don't get biglaw (which only 1/4-1/3 of the class gets) and are forced to pay back 200k in loans on a 50k/year salary.


That's what reason is telling me, but my heart says Cali! There are more jobs/clients that I would be interested in over there. I'd also say I'd have a better quality of life there, but that's not taking into account the debt.

But if I were to incur $70k debt at Cardozo, is it still a better option? I just ask because I don't think the environment I'm in now would really be all that good for studying, and the commute will likely make me miserable.
Last edited by ku1185 on Wed Apr 13, 2011 5:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

aliarrow
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Re: Round 2: USC $ vs. Cardozo $$$$($)

Postby aliarrow » Wed Apr 13, 2011 5:15 pm

ku1185 wrote:
What to do...

EDIT: Please contribute reasons to why you chose one over the other. ty

EDIT2: I'd like to ask what people think if I do take on some significant debt by getting my own place closer to school perhaps. What if I were to take on ~$70k debt at Cardozo?


At that point you may as well just go to USC.

I voted USC since you want to end up in LA

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bk1
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Re: Round 2: USC $ vs. Cardozo $$$$($)

Postby bk1 » Wed Apr 13, 2011 5:16 pm

ku1185 wrote:But if I were to incur $70k debt at Cardozo, is it still a better option? I just ask because I don't think the environment I'm in now would really be all that good for studying, and the commute will likely make me miserable.


You can easily pay back 70k debt in under 10 years even if you get a low end job (30-60k salary). 200k debt is going to take you 20-30 years with that same salary. Make no mistake, plenty of USC kids are getting jobs in the 30-60k range.

ku1185
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Re: Round 2: USC $ vs. Cardozo $$$$($)

Postby ku1185 » Wed Apr 13, 2011 5:20 pm

aliarrow wrote:At that point you may as well just go to USC.

I voted USC since you want to end up in LA


That was my thinking as well. Taking on ~1/3 the debt I would at USC probably isn't worth the drop in rankings and passing on my target market. But getting a place closer to school will significantly improve my quality of life. If it wasn't for the fact that I would have to commute 1+ hour per day through public transportation w/ multiple transfers and lots of walking (in NY weather, too), this would be a much easier choice.

ku1185
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Re: Round 2: USC $ vs. Cardozo $$$$($)

Postby ku1185 » Wed Apr 13, 2011 5:21 pm

bk1 wrote:
ku1185 wrote:But if I were to incur $70k debt at Cardozo, is it still a better option? I just ask because I don't think the environment I'm in now would really be all that good for studying, and the commute will likely make me miserable.


You can easily pay back 70k debt in under 10 years even if you get a low end job (30-60k salary). 200k debt is going to take you 20-30 years with that same salary. Make no mistake, plenty of USC kids are getting jobs in the 30-60k range.


Yeah, the burden of the debt goes up logarithmically due to interest (30k in interest payment vs 100k++ in interest payments). But I need to figure out the value of better job prospects as well as quality of life at USC.

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bk1
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Re: Round 2: USC $ vs. Cardozo $$$$($)

Postby bk1 » Wed Apr 13, 2011 5:25 pm

ku1185 wrote:Yeah, the burden of the debt goes up logarithmically due to interest (30k in interest payment vs 100k++ in interest payments). But I need to figure out the value of better job prospects as well as quality of life.


Personally, I think the job prospects thing is pretty easy to decide based on the fact that a majority of USC grads are not getting jobs that allow them to pay back 200k worth of debt easily whereas the majority of Cardozo grads are getting jobs that allow them to pay back 70k worth of debt fairly easily. You will have to hustle harder for a job out of Cardozo though, but I just don't see USC as worth the risk.

On the other hand, only you can decide how to value QoL.

flexityflex86
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Re: Round 2: USC $ vs. Cardozo $$$$($)

Postby flexityflex86 » Wed Apr 13, 2011 5:26 pm

I feel as though USC gives you a much better option to pay it off. Nobody there seems too worried.

jarofsoup
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Re: Round 2: USC $ vs. Cardozo $$$$($)

Postby jarofsoup » Wed Apr 13, 2011 5:27 pm

Put down a deposit at both and buy yourself a bit more time and talk to some more people. Thats what I am doing.

flexityflex86
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Re: Round 2: USC $ vs. Cardozo $$$$($)

Postby flexityflex86 » Wed Apr 13, 2011 5:29 pm

Is USC increasing tuition this year?

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bk1
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Re: Round 2: USC $ vs. Cardozo $$$$($)

Postby bk1 » Wed Apr 13, 2011 5:32 pm

flexityflex86 wrote:Is USC increasing tuition this year?


2009-2010: $44,674
2010-2011: $46,774
2011-2012: $48,434

ku1185
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Re: Round 2: USC $ vs. Cardozo $$$$($)

Postby ku1185 » Wed Apr 13, 2011 5:33 pm

jarofsoup wrote:Put down a deposit at both and buy yourself a bit more time and talk to some more people. Thats what I am doing.


Yeah. If I'm not blown away (one way or another) at Cardozo tomorrow, I may have to do this.

flexityflex86 wrote:Is USC increasing tuition this year?

Yes. I believe the 2011-2012 tuition is $48,434, up $2,000 from last year. (hah, thx bk1)




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