HELP!!! Deciding b/w USC w/scholarship and UCLA w/grant

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USC w/a scholarship or UCLA w/a grant?

Poll ended at Thu Apr 21, 2011 1:23 pm

USC with a 20K/year scholarship
40
43%
UCLA with a 20K grant for 1L, projected 20K for 2L, 10K for 3L (instate tuition from the second semester of 1L on)
53
57%
 
Total votes: 93

Puttanesca
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HELP!!! Deciding b/w USC w/scholarship and UCLA w/grant

Postby Puttanesca » Wed Apr 20, 2011 1:23 pm

I HAVE CHANGED THE POLL OPTIONS. USC HAS INCREASED MY SCHOLARSHIP TO 20K/YR. UCLA HAS ALSO GIVEN ME PROJECTED AWARDS FOR 2L AND 3L AT 20K AND 10K RESPECTIVELY. WITH INSTATE TUITION AT UCLA, COA AT BOTH WILL BE ALMOST EXACTLY EQUAL.

I am deciding between USC with a $15K/year scholarship which is renewable for all three years and UCLA with a $20K grant for the first year with grant amounts for the the second and third years to be determined when I apply for financial aid each year. I meet the intent and physical presence requirements for CA residency, but would most likely end up paying out-of-state tuition for the first year because my mother (out-of-state resident) claimed me as a dependent on her 2010 tax return.

It's really difficult to compare the COA at USC and UCLA since USC is offering a renewable scholarship (with no strings attached) and UCLA is offering a need-based grant which may or may not vary across the three years. Also, I am a USC undergrad, so, would the USC advantage of the Trojan network even matter for me since I am already a part of it?

Any thoughts on which school I should choose would be greatly appreciated!

P.S. I'm looking to do transactional work in LA or SF biglaw.
Last edited by Puttanesca on Fri May 06, 2011 11:25 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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bk1
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Re: HELP!!! Deciding b/w USC w/scholarship and UCLA w/grant

Postby bk1 » Wed Apr 20, 2011 1:26 pm

USC and UCLA are equal schools. Would you get a boost from the Trojan network while being USC UG with UCLA law school? Maybe, but I doubt it is appreciable to alter cost decisions.

This is easily USC considering the massive cost difference when you factor in the renewability of the UCLA grant.

Arelikefoxes
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Re: HELP!!! Deciding b/w USC w/scholarship and UCLA w/grant

Postby Arelikefoxes » Wed Apr 20, 2011 1:28 pm

bk1 wrote:USC and UCLA are equal schools. Would you get a boost from the Trojan network while being USC UG with UCLA law school? Maybe, but I doubt it is appreciable to alter cost decisions.

This is easily USC considering the massive cost difference when you factor in the renewability of the UCLA grant.


+1

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Zabini
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Re: HELP!!! Deciding b/w USC w/scholarship and UCLA w/grant

Postby Zabini » Wed Apr 20, 2011 4:11 pm

bk1 wrote:USC and UCLA are equal schools. Would you get a boost from the Trojan network while being USC UG with UCLA law school? Maybe, but I doubt it is appreciable to alter cost decisions.

This is easily USC considering the massive cost difference when you factor in the renewability of the UCLA grant.


+2, Fight on!

Puttanesca
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Re: HELP!!! Deciding b/w USC w/scholarship and UCLA w/grant

Postby Puttanesca » Wed Apr 20, 2011 10:09 pm

Thanks to all those who responded! Does anyone know how likely UCLA is to offer similar grants for 2L and 3L assuming that my financial circumstances remain the same? I am trying to calculate a possible cost of attendance for UCLA. I could not find UCLA's tuition rates for 2011-2012, so in my attempt to calculate cost of attendance, I am estimating that out-of-state tuition will be $53K and that in-state tuition for 2L and 3L would average $45K/year. This would bring the cost of tuition to $143K. USC's tuition over 3 years will be around $150K.

If UCLA were to award me a $20K grant just for this upcoming year and made me pay sticker after that, my tuition bill there would be $123K.

USC's tuition bill will be $105K (with my scholarship).

If UCLA were to give me just $18K total over 2L and 3L, cost of attendance at UCLA would equal that of USC. It's overly optimistic to think this, but if UCLA gave me the same $20K grant for 2L and 3L, cost of attendance would actually only be $83K. So, I don't really think that the cost factor necessarily favors USC.

Any other thoughts on this? Thanks.

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DreamsInDigital
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Re: HELP!!! Deciding b/w USC w/scholarship and UCLA w/grant

Postby DreamsInDigital » Thu Apr 21, 2011 12:08 am

Puttanesca wrote:Thanks to all those who responded! Does anyone know how likely UCLA is to offer similar grants for 2L and 3L assuming that my financial circumstances remain the same? I am trying to calculate a possible cost of attendance for UCLA. I could not find UCLA's tuition rates for 2011-2012, so in my attempt to calculate cost of attendance, I am estimating that out-of-state tuition will be $53K and that in-state tuition for 2L and 3L would average $45K/year. This would bring the cost of tuition to $143K. USC's tuition over 3 years will be around $150K.

If UCLA were to award me a $20K grant just for this upcoming year and made me pay sticker after that, my tuition bill there would be $123K.

USC's tuition bill will be $105K (with my scholarship).

If UCLA were to give me just $18K total over 2L and 3L, cost of attendance at UCLA would equal that of USC. It's overly optimistic to think this, but if UCLA gave me the same $20K grant for 2L and 3L, cost of attendance would actually only be $83K. So, I don't really think that the cost factor necessarily favors USC.

Any other thoughts on this? Thanks.


I am not speaking form personal experience, but from what I've read on here I think you are more than likely to at least get the same amount the following year unless you win the lottery.

If you have been working and got that grant, then you will be making less money this year because of the time you will spend in school.

If you are in undergrad right now, you will essentially be in the same financial situation when you become a law student (unemployed) so nothing should change.

And if i'm right on this, I would go with LA.

Puttanesca
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Re: HELP!!! Deciding b/w USC w/scholarship and UCLA w/grant

Postby Puttanesca » Thu Apr 21, 2011 12:53 pm

DreamsInDigital wrote:I am not speaking form personal experience, but from what I've read on here I think you are more than likely to at least get the same amount the following year unless you win the lottery.

If you have been working and got that grant, then you will be making less money this year because of the time you will spend in school.

If you are in undergrad right now, you will essentially be in the same financial situation when you become a law student (unemployed) so nothing should change.

And if i'm right on this, I would go with LA.


Thanks for your input. I think I would qualify for the same grant amount based on my and my family's financial circumstances. I guess the thing that scares me about UC though is the CA budget crisis, and how that could affect the tuition and the availability of financial aid.

Any other opinions on USC vs. UCLA?

CanadianWolf
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Re: HELP!!! Deciding b/w USC w/scholarship and UCLA w/grant

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Apr 21, 2011 1:10 pm

UCLA. Financial aid grants vary based on your financials year to year. Some law schools, however, assume a certain level of summer earnings whether earned or not. Still, UCLA is the better choice due to contacts with two networks, better location & better reputation nationally and UCLA may be lower cost overall.

P.S. Private schools have been known to raise tuition & fees; public schools just get more publicity when tuition & fees are raised because it affects more students & all taxpayers in that state.

P.P.S. Because of your wording which is somewhat misleading regarding UCLA grants, most arelikely to vote USC. Change the wording to reflect that second & third year grants at UCLA are yet to be determined & the results may change.
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Thu Apr 21, 2011 1:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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kapital98
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Re: HELP!!! Deciding b/w USC w/scholarship and UCLA w/grant

Postby kapital98 » Thu Apr 21, 2011 1:13 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:UCLA. Financial aid grants vary based on your financials year to year. Some law schools, however, assume a certain level of summer earnings whether earned or not. Still, UCLA is the better choice due to contacts with two networks, better location & better reputation nationally and UCLA may be lower cost overall.

P.S. Private schools have been known to raise tuition & fees; public schools just get more publicity when tuition & fees are raised because it affects more students & all taxpayers in that state.


Yes. Enjoy UCLA! :D

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bk1
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Re: HELP!!! Deciding b/w USC w/scholarship and UCLA w/grant

Postby bk1 » Thu Apr 21, 2011 1:21 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:UCLA. Financial aid grants vary based on your financials year to year. Some law schools, however, assume a certain level of summer earnings whether earned or not. Still, UCLA is the better choice due to contacts with two networks, better location & better reputation nationally and UCLA may be lower cost overall.

P.S. Private schools have been known to raise tuition & fees; public schools just get more publicity when tuition & fees are raised because it affects more students & all taxpayers in that state.

P.P.S. Because of your wording which is somewhat misleading regarding UCLA grants, most arelikely to vote USC. Change the wording to reflect that second & third year grants at UCLA are yet to be determined & the results may change.


UCLA and USC are peers. If the cost were similar I would say that UCLA is the better call due to possible double alumni connections, but that would be it.

From what at least one Berkeley student on these boards has said (worldtraveler), need grants often have a clause stating "we may revoke it if we don't have enough funds" and thus most need grants are not renewed in years 2 and 3. I have no experience but I think that it definitely warrants further investigation as to whether or not the need grants will still be there in years 2 and 3. A choice can't really be made until you know exactly how likely you are to keep the UCLA grant because if it is iffy at all, I think USC is the right call.

Puttanesca
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Re: HELP!!! Deciding b/w USC w/scholarship and UCLA w/grant

Postby Puttanesca » Thu Apr 21, 2011 1:28 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:UCLA. Financial aid grants vary based on your financials year to year. Some law schools, however, assume a certain level of summer earnings whether earned or not. Still, UCLA is the better choice due to contacts with two networks, better location & better reputation nationally and UCLA may be lower cost overall.

P.S. Private schools have been known to raise tuition & fees; public schools just get more publicity when tuition & fees are raised because it affects more students & all taxpayers in that state.

P.P.S. Because of your wording which is somewhat misleading regarding UCLA grants, most arelikely to vote USC. Change the wording to reflect that second & third year grants at UCLA are yet to be determined & the results may change.


Thanks for your response! I don't think I can change the wording of the poll, but I edited the wording of the first sentence in my original post to make it clearer that the UCLA grant amounts for 2L and 3L are to be determined.

Arelikefoxes
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Re: HELP!!! Deciding b/w USC w/scholarship and UCLA w/grant

Postby Arelikefoxes » Thu Apr 21, 2011 1:32 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:


+1, BUT...

CanadianWolf wrote:P.S. Private schools have been known to raise tuition & fees; public schools just get more publicity when tuition & fees are raised because it affects more students & all taxpayers in that state.



USC has pretty standard increases per year (4-5%), whereas UCLA has some very sensational news regarding their tuition increases...there are lots of debates about this on TLS, but I don't think it is a good assumption to make that USC will increase at a similar rate to UCLA, much less at a greater rate.

CanadianWolf
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Re: HELP!!! Deciding b/w USC w/scholarship and UCLA w/grant

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Apr 21, 2011 1:33 pm

Never made or implied that assumption. Just refuting the assumption that USC, a private school, will not increase tuition & fees. Endowment funds are more predictable than state funding in the current economy.

Puttanesca
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Re: HELP!!! Deciding b/w USC w/scholarship and UCLA w/grant

Postby Puttanesca » Thu Apr 21, 2011 1:35 pm

bk1 wrote:UCLA and USC are peers. If the cost were similar I would say that UCLA is the better call due to possible double alumni connections, but that would be it.

From what at least one Berkeley student on these boards has said (worldtraveler), need grants often have a clause stating "we may revoke it if we don't have enough funds" and thus most need grants are not renewed in years 2 and 3. I have no experience but I think that it definitely warrants further investigation as to whether or not the need grants will still be there in years 2 and 3. A choice can't really be made until you know exactly how likely you are to keep the UCLA grant because if it is iffy at all, I think USC is the right call.


Yeah, that's the scary thing about need-based grants. At USC UG, I received pretty much the same need-based grant amount each of my four years there, but then again, law schools and especially public law schools in a state with a severe budget crisis will probably not be as good about meeting financial need as USC UG was. I will inquire with the UCLA financial aid office on the likelihood of having my grant renewed at a similar amount. Of course they might lie to me, but I think it's worth a shot trying to get as much info as I can.

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bk1
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Re: HELP!!! Deciding b/w USC w/scholarship and UCLA w/grant

Postby bk1 » Thu Apr 21, 2011 1:42 pm

Puttanesca wrote:Yeah, that's the scary thing about need-based grants. At USC UG, I received pretty much the same need-based grant amount each of my four years there, but then again, law schools and especially public law schools in a state with a severe budget crisis will probably not be as good about meeting financial need as USC UG was. I will inquire with the UCLA financial aid office on the likelihood of having my grant renewed at a similar amount. Of course they might lie to me, but I think it's worth a shot trying to get as much info as I can.


If you can find some current students to talk to that would probably be helpful too to see if they have any info regarding keeping the grants.

Puttanesca
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Re: HELP!!! Deciding b/w USC w/scholarship and UCLA w/grant

Postby Puttanesca » Thu Apr 21, 2011 2:04 pm

bk1 wrote:If you can find some current students to talk to that would probably be helpful too to see if they have any info regarding keeping the grants.


Yeah, I'm actually going to be visiting the campus tomorrow, so I'll see what I can find out from current students.

Puttanesca
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Re: HELP!!! Deciding b/w USC w/scholarship and UCLA w/grant

Postby Puttanesca » Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:52 pm

Visited UCLA today and really liked it! Grants are likely to remain similar over the three years if financial circumstances don't change. The maximum grant allotted may also increase as tuition raises.

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DreamsInDigital
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Re: HELP!!! Deciding b/w USC w/scholarship and UCLA w/grant

Postby DreamsInDigital » Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:06 pm

Puttanesca wrote:Visited UCLA today and really liked it! Grants are likely to remain similar over the three years if financial circumstances don't change. The maximum grant allotted may also increase as tuition raises.


Does that make the decision for you, or are you still on the fence?

Puttanesca
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Re: HELP!!! Deciding b/w USC w/scholarship and UCLA w/grant

Postby Puttanesca » Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:20 pm

DreamsInDigital wrote:Does that make the decision for you, or are you still on the fence?


I'm 70/30 for UCLA/USC, so I'm definitely leaning toward UCLA but haven't made up my mind for sure yet.

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Stupendous_Man
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Re: HELP!!! Deciding b/w USC w/scholarship and UCLA w/grant

Postby Stupendous_Man » Sat Apr 23, 2011 12:37 am

CanadianWolf wrote:P.S. Private schools have been known to raise tuition & fees; public schools just get more publicity when tuition & fees are raised because it affects more students & all taxpayers in that state.

P.P.S. Because of your wording which is somewhat misleading regarding UCLA grants, most arelikely to vote USC. Change the wording to reflect that second & third year grants at UCLA are yet to be determined & the results may change.


Actually, public schools are more likely to raise their tuitions and fees, since CA's economy is shaky. Private schools are more insulated from the financial problems of the state. I haven't looked into it, but I'm pretty sure that there's a dramatic difference in tuition increases, with UCLA's tuition increasing at a higher rate.

Puttanesca
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Re: HELP!!! Deciding b/w USC w/scholarship and UCLA w/grant

Postby Puttanesca » Sat Apr 23, 2011 1:16 am

Stupendous_Man wrote:
CanadianWolf wrote:P.S. Private schools have been known to raise tuition & fees; public schools just get more publicity when tuition & fees are raised because it affects more students & all taxpayers in that state.

P.P.S. Because of your wording which is somewhat misleading regarding UCLA grants, most arelikely to vote USC. Change the wording to reflect that second & third year grants at UCLA are yet to be determined & the results may change.


Actually, public schools are more likely to raise their tuitions and fees, since CA's economy is shaky. Private schools are more insulated from the financial problems of the state. I haven't looked into it, but I'm pretty sure that there's a dramatic difference in tuition increases, with UCLA's tuition increasing at a higher rate.


Yes, UCLA's tuition is increasing at a higher rate than USC's tuition. Tuition increases at UCLA are projected to be $3000-$4000 every year over the next several years for instate tuition, and the email that I received from USC said that USC's tuition has not increased by more than 5% over the past three years. If it keeps with this trend, USC will be increasing tuition by roughly $2500/year.

JJDancer
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Re: HELP!!! Deciding b/w USC w/scholarship and UCLA w/grant

Postby JJDancer » Sat Apr 23, 2011 12:49 pm

You have to decide what's best for you. I picked USC because they negotiated my scholarship to where I was comfortable and because when I visited both, I liked something about USC more (def not the boxy law school building lol).
So my main factors were cost (because I have over 50K of UG debt) and the question of "for my goals (LA biglaw) does UCLA have anything so special that I would give up the $$ and the "fit" at USC?" I researched and ultimately decided that there wasn't.

For you -- USC is guaranteed $$ and UCLA isn't (UCLA tuition will also likely rise at 3-4K per year) so on the safe side, I would assume you get the same grant for 2L but not 3L (especially if you get a paid SA gig 2L summer). But if those costs are roughly equal (and if you don't have other debt 5-10K difference won't matter much)
If I assume UCLA total cost 145K and USC 150K. Then your USC scholly makes it cost 105K and UCLA with 20K 1L and 20K 2L makes it 145-40K = 105K. So costs are essentially equal..with a shot at being UCLA 85-90K and USC 105K.

You have to factor in the risk (CA budget crisis) and all to see whether they will be roughly equal or if UCLA will be cheaper - you can't know for sure.

So think about which one you LIKE better (or matches goals better) if they were a) equal cost, b) USC cost 15-20K more, and c) if UCLA was 20K more (125K vs 105K at USC).
If in all or most of these cases you would like Ucla better, then pick it. If you are not sure whether you would pick UCLA in situation c, then take the next few days to talk to current students (USC has ambassadors you can contact) and make your decision on the last possible day (april 29 for UCLA).

GOOD LUCK. Both are great options!

forty-two
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Re: HELP!!! Deciding b/w USC w/scholarship and UCLA w/grant

Postby forty-two » Sat Apr 23, 2011 1:02 pm

Puttanesca wrote:
Stupendous_Man wrote:
CanadianWolf wrote:P.S. Private schools have been known to raise tuition & fees; public schools just get more publicity when tuition & fees are raised because it affects more students & all taxpayers in that state.

P.P.S. Because of your wording which is somewhat misleading regarding UCLA grants, most arelikely to vote USC. Change the wording to reflect that second & third year grants at UCLA are yet to be determined & the results may change.


Actually, public schools are more likely to raise their tuitions and fees, since CA's economy is shaky. Private schools are more insulated from the financial problems of the state. I haven't looked into it, but I'm pretty sure that there's a dramatic difference in tuition increases, with UCLA's tuition increasing at a higher rate.


Yes, UCLA's tuition is increasing at a higher rate than USC's tuition. Tuition increases at UCLA are projected to be $3000-$4000 every year over the next several years for instate tuition, and the email that I received from USC said that USC's tuition has not increased by more than 5% over the past three years. If it keeps with this trend, USC will be increasing tuition by roughly $2500/year.

Idk, everything I've read about the issue makes it seem like the UCs won't raise in state tuition so much that it ends up being more expensive than peer private schools.

As for which to choose, the whole grant thing at UCLA would make me a little nervous because it might not be renewed, but I'd still probably pick it because I personally prefer the vibe there. However, I have friends at both law schools who've had great experiences, so I don't really think there's a wrong choice here.

Puttanesca
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Re: HELP!!! Deciding b/w USC w/scholarship and UCLA w/grant

Postby Puttanesca » Sat Apr 23, 2011 1:34 pm

JJDancer wrote:You have to decide what's best for you. I picked USC because they negotiated my scholarship to where I was comfortable and because when I visited both, I liked something about USC more (def not the boxy law school building lol).
So my main factors were cost (because I have over 50K of UG debt) and the question of "for my goals (LA biglaw) does UCLA have anything so special that I would give up the $$ and the "fit" at USC?" I researched and ultimately decided that there wasn't.

For you -- USC is guaranteed $$ and UCLA isn't (UCLA tuition will also likely rise at 3-4K per year) so on the safe side, I would assume you get the same grant for 2L but not 3L (especially if you get a paid SA gig 2L summer). But if those costs are roughly equal (and if you don't have other debt 5-10K difference won't matter much)
If I assume UCLA total cost 145K and USC 150K. Then your USC scholly makes it cost 105K and UCLA with 20K 1L and 20K 2L makes it 145-40K = 105K. So costs are essentially equal..with a shot at being UCLA 85-90K and USC 105K.

You have to factor in the risk (CA budget crisis) and all to see whether they will be roughly equal or if UCLA will be cheaper - you can't know for sure.

So think about which one you LIKE better (or matches goals better) if they were a) equal cost, b) USC cost 15-20K more, and c) if UCLA was 20K more (125K vs 105K at USC).
If in all or most of these cases you would like Ucla better, then pick it. If you are not sure whether you would pick UCLA in situation c, then take the next few days to talk to current students (USC has ambassadors you can contact) and make your decision on the last possible day (april 29 for UCLA).

GOOD LUCK. Both are great options!


Thanks for your input. I would probably pick UCLA in situations a) equal cost and b) USC costs 15-20K more, but I would definitely pick USC in situation c) UCLA is 20K more than USC. I'll try to talk to as many people as I can before I have to make a final decision. Ah!

Puttanesca
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Re: HELP!!! Deciding b/w USC w/scholarship and UCLA w/grant

Postby Puttanesca » Sat Apr 23, 2011 1:39 pm

forty-two wrote:
Puttanesca wrote:
Yes, UCLA's tuition is increasing at a higher rate than USC's tuition. Tuition increases at UCLA are projected to be $3000-$4000 every year over the next several years for instate tuition, and the email that I received from USC said that USC's tuition has not increased by more than 5% over the past three years. If it keeps with this trend, USC will be increasing tuition by roughly $2500/year.


Idk, everything I've read about the issue makes it seem like the UCs won't raise in state tuition so much that it ends up being more expensive than peer private schools.

As for which to choose, the whole grant thing at UCLA would make me a little nervous because it might not be renewed, but I'd still probably pick it because I personally prefer the vibe there. However, I have friends at both law schools who've had great experiences, so I don't really think there's a wrong choice here.


Thanks for your response. I got the $3K-$4K figures from the UCLA admissions office, but I'm not sure how long the increases at this rate will last. If UCLA continues to raise tuition by $3-4K each year, within the next 3-4 years, instate tuition will exceed tuition at comparable private schools, and out-of-state tuition would be more than 60K.




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