Hamilton vs. Harvard Financial Example

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pinkzeppelin
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Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2009 11:51 pm

Hamilton vs. Harvard Financial Example

Postby pinkzeppelin » Tue Apr 12, 2011 4:36 am

I thought this might be useful to some people making the decision between a full-ride somewhere and another package elsewhere. I was offered the Hamilton at Columbia and offered ~19000 from Harvard in grants. Initially, I made the silly assumption of "Law School costs about $200,000." With that assumption, Columbia should cost $200,000-$161,000=$39,000 and Harvard should cost $200,000-$57,000=$143,000. It turns out that these were both huge underestimates. The cost of attending Columbia, even with the Hamilton is nearly $90,000 according to my estimates, and the additional cost of the Harvard degree is $100,000. Yikes!

Anyway, I made this fairly simple loan projection using both the financial packages I received from Columbia and Harvard and the information from their websites. I assume 4% increase in tuition and cost of living each year, and I assume loan and grant eligibility remain constant all three years. (Meaning that any increase in tuition and cost of living goes directly to the higher interest GradPLUS loans). In addition, the calculations assume that the loans are given as a lump sum at the beginning of the year because I was too lazy to stagger the distribution by 5 months. This means that these estimates are probably 1-2% higher than they should be.

Here is a screenshot of the spreadsheet:
Image

Here is a link to the spreadsheet in case you want to edit it:
http://www.filedropper.com/lawschoolcos ... rojections

I hope this can help other TLSers make wise financial decisions. I'm currently graduating from undergrad with 0 debt, and I admit I'm frightened to see these numbers.

pwyoung
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Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Hamilton vs. Harvard Financial Example

Postby pwyoung » Tue Apr 12, 2011 4:41 am

but but but... it's Harvard

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Knock
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Re: Hamilton vs. Harvard Financial Example

Postby Knock » Tue Apr 12, 2011 1:01 pm

Interesting. Which way you leaning OP?

gerbal
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Re: Hamilton vs. Harvard Financial Example

Postby gerbal » Tue Apr 12, 2011 7:17 pm

I'm curious. If you live very frugally and end up not using all of your loans, can you pay off some of your loans using that savings? or will it be deducted from your grants somehow?

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vanwinkle
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Re: Hamilton vs. Harvard Financial Example

Postby vanwinkle » Tue Apr 12, 2011 7:23 pm

gerbal wrote:I'm curious. If you live very frugally and end up not using all of your loans, can you pay off some of your loans using that savings? or will it be deducted from your grants somehow?

Good luck living frugally near either school.

rundoxierun
Posts: 1893
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2008 1:46 am

Re: Hamilton vs. Harvard Financial Example

Postby rundoxierun » Tue Apr 12, 2011 7:27 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
gerbal wrote:I'm curious. If you live very frugally and end up not using all of your loans, can you pay off some of your loans using that savings? or will it be deducted from your grants somehow?

Good luck living frugally near either school.


TBF, you can easily save 15-20k(over the 3 years) off the Harvard Room/Board estimate without being all that frugal.




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