What to do: GULC w/ $$$ vs. Duke w/ $$ vs. Columbia w/ $

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

Which option do you like best?

Columbia with 260k in debt.
32
68%
Duke with 220k in debt.
3
6%
GULC with 180k in debt.
12
26%
 
Total votes: 47

adt231
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What to do: GULC w/ $$$ vs. Duke w/ $$ vs. Columbia w/ $

Postby adt231 » Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:28 am

So, I've narrowed down my choices to the following three options and I'd love my fellow TLS-ers input.

(A) Columbia with $55,000 in aid.
(B) Duke with $72,000 in aid.
(C) GULC with $120,000 in aid.

The skinny: I really want to go to Columbia mainly for personal reasons (love NYC, my fiance is tied to NYS for the next few years at a minimum) and obviously it offers the best job prospects of the three. Plus, I'm very strongly considering a career in PI and their LRAP is great.

The problem: I have substantial UG debt that will be about $75,000 upon graduation from law school. Thus, my options amount to the following amount of debt upon graduation:

(A) Columbia: 260k of debt upon graduation
(B) Duke: 220k of debt upon graduation
(C) GULC: 180k of debt upon graduation

I currently think that all three are not bad choices but I think Columbia may be the best option for me (though, I'm worried that it might be rationalization). My reasoning is basically as follows: I can only pay off these loans within 10 years if I get biglaw or utilize LRAP. And Columbia both (i) offers the best chances at biglaw, and (ii) has the best LRAP of the bunch. Yes, if I miss biglaw or LRAP qualifying work at Columbia, I'm in trouble. But this is true for Duke and GULC as well and is actually a more likely possibility from those two.

Another way of looking at it: if I ignored the source of my UG debt (i.e. pretend like it offsets my scholarship offers), I'm looking at roughly sticker price at Columbia versus a very small scholly at Duke and a decent scholly at GULC.

What do you all think?

FiveSermon
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Re: What to do: GULC w/ $$$ vs. Duke w/ $$ vs. Columbia w/ $

Postby FiveSermon » Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:38 am

Columbia. All of these options put you near or over 200k in debt. If you go PI/Gov, Columbia has the best LRAP. In all three options the only way you can pay off debt in a reasonable amount of time is through biglaw and Columbia gives you the best chances.

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patrickd139
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Re: What to do: GULC w/ $$$ vs. Duke w/ $$ vs. Columbia w/ $

Postby patrickd139 » Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:40 am

I'd go CLS. The difference between 180k and 260k is negligible when you've got LRAP at CLS to get you out from under it. If it were 80k v. 160k, it might be a different story.

bhan87
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Re: What to do: GULC w/ $$$ vs. Duke w/ $$ vs. Columbia w/ $

Postby bhan87 » Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:43 am

At that much debt you need to do absolutely everything possible to maximize your chances at a job because if you don't get one, you're royally screwed whether you have 180k debt or 260k debt. Columbia is your best bet here.

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DreamsInDigital
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Re: What to do: GULC w/ $$$ vs. Duke w/ $$ vs. Columbia w/ $

Postby DreamsInDigital » Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:47 am

It sounds to me like Columbia is TCR.

In the best case scenario of you getting into public interest and qualifying for the LRAP, you will have a degree from the best school on your list after having spent 3 years in the city you want to be in with your significant other.

In the very very unlikely but worst case scenario you get a non PI 50k a year job and have to rely on IBR. In a case like that, I don't see there being much difference between 260000 and 180000.

just my 2 cents.

edit - wow, everyone beat me to that while i was still typing. I guess I'm just too slow on these boards.
Last edited by DreamsInDigital on Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

scammedhard
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Re: What to do: GULC w/ $$$ vs. Duke w/ $$ vs. Columbia w/ $

Postby scammedhard » Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:48 am

Do LRAPs also cover the 75K you incurred in UG? I thought they were limited to the law school debt.

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patrickd139
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Re: What to do: GULC w/ $$$ vs. Duke w/ $$ vs. Columbia w/ $

Postby patrickd139 » Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:54 am

scammedhard wrote:Do LRAPs also cover the 75K you incurred in UG? I thought they were limited to the law school debt.

Either way, as far as LRAP goes, CLS is the clear winner here.

scammedhard
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Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2011 1:17 pm

Re: What to do: GULC w/ $$$ vs. Duke w/ $$ vs. Columbia w/ $

Postby scammedhard » Fri Apr 22, 2011 1:03 am

patrickd139 wrote:
scammedhard wrote:Do LRAPs also cover the 75K you incurred in UG? I thought they were limited to the law school debt.

Either way, as far as LRAP goes, CLS is the clear winner here.

Yes, CLS is the best option.
But another issue the OP needs to consider is that if LRAP does not cover the UG debt, then PI is off the table, and the ONLY hope for paying such massive debt is a big law job with a giant salary.

delusional
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Re: What to do: GULC w/ $$$ vs. Duke w/ $$ vs. Columbia w/ $

Postby delusional » Fri Apr 22, 2011 1:12 am

Maybe it's because I'm not a PI kind of guy, but I don't see LRAP as a major solution. Especially not from Columbia, which is not known to be a bastion of PI. Your chances for biglaw are better from CLS, but you will need two full years of biglaw over what you'd need from GULC to pay it off. Also, IMHO, with debt numbers like that, you might be enticed to find the sweet spot between hgih market biglaw and low COL, which might even the difference between GULC and CLS for biglaw too.

TL,DR: Huge debt should at least be as little as possible.

FiveSermon
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Re: What to do: GULC w/ $$$ vs. Duke w/ $$ vs. Columbia w/ $

Postby FiveSermon » Fri Apr 22, 2011 1:12 am

scammedhard wrote:
patrickd139 wrote:
scammedhard wrote:Do LRAPs also cover the 75K you incurred in UG? I thought they were limited to the law school debt.

Either way, as far as LRAP goes, CLS is the clear winner here.

Yes, CLS is the best option.
But another issue the OP needs to consider is that if LRAP does not cover the UG debt, then PI is off the table, and the ONLY hope for paying such massive debt is a big law job with a giant salary.


In which case, CLS is still the best option.

lakerfanimal
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Re: What to do: GULC w/ $$$ vs. Duke w/ $$ vs. Columbia w/ $

Postby lakerfanimal » Fri Apr 22, 2011 2:24 am

You want to be at CLS and that is a lot of money you sacrifice by going there, but a) you want to be there and b) it is a better school (nobody can say for sure how much, but it is somewhat better). I'm going to CLS with no aid over Duke with the same amount you got and am 100% fine with my decision. Good luck deciding!

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Perch
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Re: What to do: GULC w/ $$$ vs. Duke w/ $$ vs. Columbia w/ $

Postby Perch » Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:05 am

lakerfanimal wrote:You want to be at CLS and that is a lot of money you sacrifice by going there, but a) you want to be there and b) it is a better school (nobody can say for sure how much, but it is somewhat better). I'm going to CLS with no aid over Duke with the same amount you got and am 100% fine with my decision. Good luck deciding!


lots of debt no matter what so take on the extra, you're obviously bright and will succeed. make it happen, be happy. win.

adt231
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Re: What to do: GULC w/ $$$ vs. Duke w/ $$ vs. Columbia w/ $

Postby adt231 » Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:47 am

Thanks for your responses and votes everyone. Would some of you that voted for either Duke or Georgetown want to explain to me your rationale?

Also, do you think any of you would change your mind if, say, Georgetown or Duke upped their offer to full-tuition so I'd only be looking at 125-140k in debt? I highly doubt that this will happen but it's worth considering.

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Upton Sinclair
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Re: What to do: GULC w/ $$$ vs. Duke w/ $$ vs. Columbia w/ $

Postby Upton Sinclair » Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:55 am

adt231 wrote:Thanks for your responses and votes everyone. Would some of you that voted for either Duke or Georgetown want to explain to me your rationale?

Also, do you think any of you would change your mind if, say, Georgetown or Duke upped their offer to full-tuition so I'd only be looking at 125-140k in debt? I highly doubt that this will happen but it's worth considering.


Georgetown is already close to full tuition, yes? IMO, if Duke somehow came through with full tuition, I'd go there. Otherwise, enjoy CLS.




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