Help! Rank vs. $$$/location

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

Which school would you attend if you were in my shoes?

Harvard ($240,000 debt over 10 years)
48
47%
Defer at Harvard
28
27%
UCLA ($15,000 debt at graduation)
26
25%
USD ($16,000 debt at graduation)
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 102

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sad_squirrel
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Help! Rank vs. $$$/location

Postby sad_squirrel » Tue Apr 12, 2011 7:55 pm

I know a lot of people might think I am crazy, but here are my personal circumstances:

* My fiancé is finishing up a Ph.D. in San Diego and will not be done for another 2 years
* Because my fiancé is an academic, we don't really know where we're going to end up once he starts looking for a job
* I did not qualify for need-based grants from Harvard, and, well, it's kind of expensive
* I'm not entirely sure what I want to do with my J.D. yet. I've considered PI, but also might consider returning to academia. In short, I'm not really sure what my future with a J.D. holds, and I'm a little stressed about finding a job that would be covered by HLS's LIPP for 10 years.
* I don't really like cold weather

I've considered deferring at Harvard so that the fiancé and I will not be long-distance for quite as long (we have done the long-distance thing for about 2.5 of the 3.5 years that we have been together and we're kind of sick of it) and so that I can also save up some money. But there's also something to be said for staying local and accruing less debt. (I am debt-free at the moment, although the fiancé has about $20,000 in old student loans.)

If you have any thoughts, I would welcome your comments or PMs. Thank you very much for your help!

*Edited to reflect updated COA given UCLA's new scholarship offer.
Last edited by sad_squirrel on Wed Apr 20, 2011 1:23 am, edited 2 times in total.

lawboy81
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Re: Help! Rank vs. $$$/location

Postby lawboy81 » Tue Apr 12, 2011 10:01 pm

Easy. Is prestige worth more than happiness?

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gwuorbust
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Re: Help! Rank vs. $$$/location

Postby gwuorbust » Tue Apr 12, 2011 10:20 pm

I mean, I'd take Harvard but that doesn't mean it is the rational choice.

MyManKanye
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Re: Help! Rank vs. $$$/location

Postby MyManKanye » Wed Apr 13, 2011 1:14 am

If it were me it would depend on what your fiance's PhD is in. If he is going to be an Engineering or something like that where he'll make a 6 figure salary fairly early on than that's one thing. In that case I'd take the school closest to him and whatever employment that may come comes. If you foresee needing to bring in a lot of your family's income than I'd take Harvard. Long distance sucks, but in the end the chances of two academics ending up at the same university is low anyway so you might be doing a fair bit of it long term.

So basically,

Harvard if you need to breadwin
Closer to him if not

flexityflex86
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Re: Help! Rank vs. $$$/location

Postby flexityflex86 » Wed Apr 13, 2011 1:22 am

50% of marriages end in divorce, but Harvard lasts forever.

But you're probably more romantic than me so I'd take UCLA. Definitely worth 20k more than San Diego, and you'd be within 2 hours. Paying $430 a month for 10 years with what still is a great degree is easy.

At Harvard, you could go wherever you want, though.

woeisme
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Re: Help! Rank vs. $$$/location

Postby woeisme » Wed Apr 13, 2011 1:24 am

Assuming you're the same person as on LSN, I'd try and negotiate with Berkeley to get them to give you some money. That way you'll still be in California (even if no longer in SoCal). Otherwise, I'd probably either just take the money from Cornell, defer at Harvard, or take UCLA's money (if you're fairly certain you'd be satisfied staying in SoCal for a career).

WhirledWorld
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Re: Help! Rank vs. $$$/location

Postby WhirledWorld » Wed Apr 13, 2011 1:36 am

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Last edited by WhirledWorld on Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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arhmcpo
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Re: Help! Rank vs. $$$/location

Postby arhmcpo » Wed Apr 13, 2011 1:45 am

go to Harvard. defer for one year to lessen the long distance burden

During your 1L you spend all your time studying and don't have much free time. In the scheme of things, that year will go by fast. You don't know what you want to do? Well with the Harvard degree you'll be able to do anything pretty much. If you do a summer associate position either your 1L or 2L summers you will substantially decrease that debt as well.

Of course this is a very personal question and you have to decide whether you can do long distance. I think UCLA would be doable as well, although still a pain commuting-wise.

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sad_squirrel
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Re: Help! Rank vs. $$$/location

Postby sad_squirrel » Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:41 am

Thanks for the thoughts so far, everyone.

For those who asked about Berkeley and Stanford, I have a Matching Scholarship request in at Berkeley for $75,000, but I haven't heard anything yet, which leaves me less than optimistic that they're going to throw anything my way. I haven't heard from Stanford yet, which also leaves me less than optimistic that they're going to admit me.

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sad_squirrel
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Re: Help! Rank vs. $$$/location

Postby sad_squirrel » Sat Apr 16, 2011 5:20 pm

Well, Berkeley rejected my Matching Scholarship offer yesterday, so I think they might be officially out of the running. I figure that if I'm paying sticker anwhere, it may as well be at Harvard, right? Penn offered me a Levy yesterday, though. I had not really considered moving out of CA except for Harvard, but the lack of debt is somewhat appealing. I have reservations about going to a school I haven't visited, though.

Anybody have any additional thoughts? I let Berkeley and UCLA know about the Levy, hoping to get a bit more (or any, in Berkeley's case) money.

Thanks again for the help!

flexityflex86
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Re: Help! Rank vs. $$$/location

Postby flexityflex86 » Sat Apr 16, 2011 5:28 pm

I think UCLA is the right call. It carries a lot of prestige, albeit not the same level that Harvard does, but substantially more than USD. It will also lead to better job placement, and is under 2 hours away - as a law student, you won't have much time to be with your fiancee anyway, and you can still spend weekends together if you work really hard during the week. Job wise UCLA will put you in substantially better position than San Diego will. It seems like an easy call to me.

Also, a year more of working coming from Harvard is worth a lot more than whatever $ you'll bring in next year without your JD from Harvard.

flexityflex86
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Re: Help! Rank vs. $$$/location

Postby flexityflex86 » Sat Apr 16, 2011 5:32 pm

WhirledWorld wrote:Are Berkeley or Stanford not options here?

Honestly, I'd go to San Diego. Or, if your fiance can handle the distance, UCLA would be certainly worth the prestige boost.

Is deferring two years at Harvard an option? Is waiting to reapply and see if you get in in 2013 an option? Harvard is great, but I would never go across the country from my fiance, even for a Harvard JD.

If OP is already in at Harvard, I don't know if they can expect a much better cycle. Stanford is very far from San Diego - once you're 7-8 hours away by car, it really doesn't make a huge difference to be in Boston IMHO. Once you have to fly, you have to fly. The difference between a 1 hour plane ride and an 7 hour plane ride is a moot point as both require getting to the airport. If Berkley wouldn't give her more $ this year, why would they in 2 years, and distance is the same issue.

However, for academia, it will be tough getting there out of UCLA and especially USD unless you do something really spectacular in the legal field.

mst
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Re: Help! Rank vs. $$$/location

Postby mst » Sat Apr 16, 2011 5:37 pm

I just came in here to say that USD should be taken off the table. That sounds like a terrible, terrible option...

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Rock Chalk
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Re: Help! Rank vs. $$$/location

Postby Rock Chalk » Sat Apr 16, 2011 5:48 pm

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Last edited by Rock Chalk on Thu May 24, 2012 8:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Help! Rank vs. $$$/location

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat Apr 16, 2011 5:54 pm

Since you refer to your girlfriend as "the" fiance rather than "my" fiance, the relationship does not matter. Still, I voted for UCLA because of the cost difference & the fact that you do not like cold weather.

P.S. Are you considering Penn's offer ?

sashatheturk
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Re: Help! Rank vs. $$$/location

Postby sashatheturk » Sat Apr 16, 2011 6:09 pm

just out of curiosity, how is USD not giving you a full ride delivered in a Bentley by a stripper with a box of chocolates? I would figure the opportunity to steal someone away from Harvard/Berkeley/UCLA etc. would be huge. Play that angle with them a little more and honestly, if you come out debt free, consider it. With your numbers you are most likely going to come out on top of your class there and with no debt you could feasibly be in a position to offset the money you would possibly lose by going to better school where you can with ease get a higher paying job.....but id throw the deuces and go to Harvard.

justhoping
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Re: Help! Rank vs. $$$/location

Postby justhoping » Sat Apr 16, 2011 10:19 pm

flexityflex86 wrote:50% of marriages end in divorce, but Harvard lasts forever.


:lol: that totally made my day, should be Harvard's new slogan :lol:

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sad_squirrel
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Re: Help! Rank vs. $$$/location

Postby sad_squirrel » Sat Apr 16, 2011 11:39 pm

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts, everyone.

CanadianWolf wrote:Since you refer to your girlfriend as "the" fiance rather than "my" fiance, the relationship does not matter. Still, I voted for UCLA because of the cost difference & the fact that you do not like cold weather.

P.S. Are you considering Penn's offer ?

The relationship definitely matters :wink:

Regarding Penn, I'm not sure. Perhaps on some level, but I sort of feel as though I might as well take UCLA instead of Penn (?): UCLA is closer, and not *too* much more expensive . . . but perhaps the difference in rank is significant enough to merit further thought? Anybody have further thoughts on the Levy from Penn? The offer was just extended Friday and I have to decide by Tuesday, so I don't have time to visit. I'm rather hesitant to commit to a school and city which I haven't even seen!

mst
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Re: Help! Rank vs. $$$/location

Postby mst » Sun Apr 17, 2011 2:53 am

sad_squirrel wrote:Thanks again for sharing your thoughts, everyone.

CanadianWolf wrote:Since you refer to your girlfriend as "the" fiance rather than "my" fiance, the relationship does not matter. Still, I voted for UCLA because of the cost difference & the fact that you do not like cold weather.

P.S. Are you considering Penn's offer ?

The relationship definitely matters :wink:

Regarding Penn, I'm not sure. Perhaps on some level, but I sort of feel as though I might as well take UCLA instead of Penn (?): UCLA is closer, and not *too* much more expensive . . . but perhaps the difference in rank is significant enough to merit further thought? Anybody have further thoughts on the Levy from Penn? The offer was just extended Friday and I have to decide by Tuesday, so I don't have time to visit. I'm rather hesitant to commit to a school and city which I haven't even seen!


How much is the Levy for?

BlueDiamond
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Re: Help! Rank vs. $$$/location

Postby BlueDiamond » Sun Apr 17, 2011 3:01 am

I think you could definitely eliminate USC because Im waitlisted

Meerkat Manor
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Re: Help! Rank vs. $$$/location

Postby Meerkat Manor » Sun Apr 17, 2011 3:38 am

don't ask TLS people to choose between harvard/yale and anything else.


unless it's stanford


you get the idear

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Pleasye
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Re: Help! Rank vs. $$$/location

Postby Pleasye » Sun Apr 17, 2011 3:55 am

You got into Harvard and are considering USD? Holy shit.

Meerkat Manor
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Re: Help! Rank vs. $$$/location

Postby Meerkat Manor » Sun Apr 17, 2011 4:32 am

I have no idea what USD even is, seriously

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Pleasye
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Re: Help! Rank vs. $$$/location

Postby Pleasye » Sun Apr 17, 2011 4:38 am

Meerkat Manor wrote:I have no idea what USD even is, seriously

University of San Diego. It shouldn't even be considered.

OP, I think because of the uncertainty of what you want to do with your degree and the fact that you would like to go into academia, you should go to Harvard. Deferring Harvard for a year so that your relationship won't be long distance for as long seems like TCR to me.

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VictoryFord
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Re: Help! Rank vs. $$$/location

Postby VictoryFord » Sun Apr 17, 2011 9:05 am

Pleayse is right. Defer at harvard. This will give you one year with your fiancée. And then during 1l you will be apart. it's 7/8 crazy busy months. Plus the deferral keeps you out of this job market for one more year. Then you will still have a shot at academia. Plus a degree that is portable across the country. fitting all of your criteria. The debt sucks, but considering the job prospects I think it's a better value anyway.
Last edited by VictoryFord on Sun Apr 17, 2011 10:09 am, edited 1 time in total.




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