Penn State ($) vs. UPitt($)

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

Penn State or UPitt?

Penn State
15
50%
UPitt
15
50%
 
Total votes: 30

bencoots
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Penn State ($) vs. UPitt($)

Postby bencoots » Thu May 05, 2011 10:28 pm

Hey all,
I am admitted to both schools. They are offering me pretty much the same amount of scholarships. I am taking the following factors into consideration and find it is hard to make the final decision.

1. Location & Job Prospects
I know Penn State is in the middle of nowhere while Pitt is in the city. To be candid, I am flexible with locations, but really concerned about job prospects. It seems the grads from two schools have been fighting for years for domestic jobs, and I guess UPitt-ers have a better chance since they enjoy a better alumni network.

2. Rankings & Reputation
After the big merge in 2005, Penn State has been on a rise in the ranking. UPitt has been on a drop.
In 2011, Penn State ranks in #60, while UPitt in #71. I guess the major reason is that Penn State has a big university name (PSU ranks #47 in colleges while UPitt ranks in #67).
Overall, it takes PSU 5 years to jump from a T-3 to #60. Although UPitt-ers think they are "underrated"

3. Atmosphere
I don't want to go to a school where students are overwhelming competitive and the administration does not care about the students (horrible experience at undergraduate *sigh*).
It seems students' opinions vary on UPitt. Some say the administration is "incredibly frustrating", while others think is "open and responsible".
I don't have much input from Penn State yet.
Students at both schools all say they enjoy the life there.

4. Others
I think they are equally good in the academic area. UPitt have a bigger emphasis on bar exams though. The Bar passage rate for UPitt is 90%, and Penn State is 84% last year.

---I guess the big question is, should I go for a rising ranking?---

Thanks for your input! Really appreciated!
Last edited by bencoots on Tue May 10, 2011 3:40 am, edited 2 times in total.

dissonance1848
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Re: Penn State ($) vs. UPitt($)

Postby dissonance1848 » Thu May 05, 2011 10:35 pm

Rankings and reputations for the schools are irrelevant. Basically, it comes down to where you want to work. Do you want to be in/around Pittsburgh, or in the middle of PA? Thats what it comes down to. As for biglaw prospects, they are probably similar, with a slight edge to Pittsburgh because a few biglaw offices are there.

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northwood
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Re: Penn State ($) vs. UPitt($)

Postby northwood » Thu May 05, 2011 10:38 pm

go to the cheaper school and the one you like the best

03121202698008
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Re: Penn State ($) vs. UPitt($)

Postby 03121202698008 » Thu May 05, 2011 10:55 pm

dissonance1848 wrote:Rankings and reputations for the schools are irrelevant. Basically, it comes down to where you want to work. Do you want to be in/around Pittsburgh, or in the middle of PA? Thats what it comes down to. As for biglaw prospects, they are probably similar, with a slight edge to Pittsburgh because a few biglaw offices are there.


This. I'm from PA and very familiar with the local market. Although both are a long shot for BigLaw.

bencoots
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Re: Penn State ($) vs. UPitt($)

Postby bencoots » Fri May 06, 2011 9:28 am

dissonance1848 wrote:Rankings and reputations for the schools are irrelevant. Basically, it comes down to where you want to work. Do you want to be in/around Pittsburgh, or in the middle of PA? Thats what it comes down to. As for biglaw prospects, they are probably similar, with a slight edge to Pittsburgh because a few biglaw offices are there.


Hey thanks for your reply!
You're right. The ranking does not pose a significant difference between the two schools.
I want to practice within the area of PA, although I may try my chances in Washington DC.
I guess maybe UPitt would be better since they locate in the city.

bencoots
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Re: Penn State ($) vs. UPitt($)

Postby bencoots » Fri May 06, 2011 9:31 am

northwood wrote:go to the cheaper school and the one you like the best


Thank you for your reply!
Apparently, UPitt is cheaper.
I haven't visit either of the two schools yet so I don't know which one I'd prefer.
Although I do prefer the UPitt website. Penn State has the website which seems come from the 90s.

bencoots
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Re: Penn State ($) vs. UPitt($)

Postby bencoots » Fri May 06, 2011 9:35 am

blowhard wrote:
dissonance1848 wrote:Rankings and reputations for the schools are irrelevant. Basically, it comes down to where you want to work. Do you want to be in/around Pittsburgh, or in the middle of PA? Thats what it comes down to. As for biglaw prospects, they are probably similar, with a slight edge to Pittsburgh because a few biglaw offices are there.


This. I'm from PA and very familiar with the local market. Although both are a long shot for BigLaw.


Thanks for providing the info!
I understand they only have the regional reputation so BigLaw might not be the thing.
Which school do people in PA think is better in terms of academics, Penn State of Pitt?

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The Gentleman
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Re: Penn State ($) vs. UPitt($)

Postby The Gentleman » Fri May 06, 2011 9:38 am

I read in another thread that Penn State puts some tough GPA stipulations on their scholarships. (Like top 1/3 or something) You should research this and then factor in the risk of losing your scholarship at each school.

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TJISMYHERO
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Re: Penn State ($) vs. UPitt($)

Postby TJISMYHERO » Fri May 06, 2011 9:48 am

dissonance1848 wrote:Rankings and reputations for the schools are irrelevant. Basically, it comes down to where you want to work. Do you want to be in/around Pittsburgh, or in the middle of PA? Thats what it comes down to. As for biglaw prospects, they are probably similar, with a slight edge to Pittsburgh because a few biglaw offices are there.



If rankings and reputation were irrelevant then schools and applicants wouldn't obsess over them. Fact is, however good or bad, rankings and especially reputation do matter. Alumni will give more back to a school that is increasing the value of their degree. While UPitt and Penn St. are relatively close in rank this year, I expect, since Penn St is one of the top public universities in the country, to dump enough resources into PSL to eventually translate into better overall job prospects.

Disclaimer: 0L opinion which could be totally wrong.

bencoots
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Re: Penn State ($) vs. UPitt($)

Postby bencoots » Fri May 06, 2011 9:49 am

The Gentleman wrote:I read in another thread that Penn State puts some tough GPA stipulations on their scholarships. (Like top 1/3 or something) You should research this and then factor in the risk of losing your scholarship at each school.


Hey thanks for reminding me about that!!
Penn State asks me to stay at the top half of the class and in Pitt I need to maintain a 3.0 GPA.
So I think they are pretty much the same terms.
I know law school is tough, but I will try my best and hardest to be on the top of the class 8)

bencoots
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011 10:24 pm

Re: Penn State ($) vs. UPitt($)

Postby bencoots » Fri May 06, 2011 10:08 am

TJISMYHERO wrote:
dissonance1848 wrote:Rankings and reputations for the schools are irrelevant. Basically, it comes down to where you want to work. Do you want to be in/around Pittsburgh, or in the middle of PA? Thats what it comes down to. As for biglaw prospects, they are probably similar, with a slight edge to Pittsburgh because a few biglaw offices are there.



If rankings and reputation were irrelevant then schools and applicants wouldn't obsess over them. Fact is, however good or bad, rankings and especially reputation do matter. Alumni will give more back to a school that is increasing the value of their degree. While UPitt and Penn St. are relatively close in rank this year, I expect, since Penn St is one of the top public universities in the country, to dump enough resources into PSL to eventually translate into better overall job prospects.

Disclaimer: 0L opinion which could be totally wrong.


Thanks for your reply!
Well, I guess it's hard to predict what the future ranking would be.

Lsat year, people were so believed that Penn State would face a drop in the ranking since there was a rapid jump the year before. It turned out to be another increase.

Actually I watched the open house video from Penn State. Someone asked about the alumni network and if my memory is correct the faculty said they do use the alumni network from the university and still improving the network for law students

To this point, I feel like kind of making a stock investment.

P.S. We will soon become 1Ls aren't we? 8)

03121202698008
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Re: Penn State ($) vs. UPitt($)

Postby 03121202698008 » Fri May 06, 2011 11:51 am

bencoots wrote:
blowhard wrote:
dissonance1848 wrote:Rankings and reputations for the schools are irrelevant. Basically, it comes down to where you want to work. Do you want to be in/around Pittsburgh, or in the middle of PA? Thats what it comes down to. As for biglaw prospects, they are probably similar, with a slight edge to Pittsburgh because a few biglaw offices are there.


This. I'm from PA and very familiar with the local market. Although both are a long shot for BigLaw.


Thanks for providing the info!
I understand they only have the regional reputation so BigLaw might not be the thing.
Which school do people in PA think is better in terms of academics, Penn State of Pitt?


Penn State

03121202698008
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Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2009 2:07 am

Re: Penn State ($) vs. UPitt($)

Postby 03121202698008 » Fri May 06, 2011 11:53 am

The Gentleman wrote:I read in another thread that Penn State puts some tough GPA stipulations on their scholarships. (Like top 1/3 or something) You should research this and then factor in the risk of losing your scholarship at each school.


Maybe they have different ones? The scholly they offered me (I didn't take) either had no stipulations or they were decent (top 75%). I threw out all offers with ridiculous stipulations.

bencoots
Posts: 20
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Re: Penn State ($) vs. UPitt($)

Postby bencoots » Fri May 06, 2011 8:08 pm

blowhard wrote:
bencoots wrote:
blowhard wrote:
dissonance1848 wrote:Rankings and reputations for the schools are irrelevant. Basically, it comes down to where you want to work. Do you want to be in/around Pittsburgh, or in the middle of PA? Thats what it comes down to. As for biglaw prospects, they are probably similar, with a slight edge to Pittsburgh because a few biglaw offices are there.


This. I'm from PA and very familiar with the local market. Although both are a long shot for BigLaw.


Thanks for providing the info!
I understand they only have the regional reputation so BigLaw might not be the thing.
Which school do people in PA think is better in terms of academics, Penn State of Pitt?


Penn State


wow, I thought Pitt has a better name since Penn State is considered to be a party school

bencoots
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011 10:24 pm

Re: Penn State ($) vs. UPitt($)

Postby bencoots » Fri May 06, 2011 8:09 pm

blowhard wrote:
The Gentleman wrote:I read in another thread that Penn State puts some tough GPA stipulations on their scholarships. (Like top 1/3 or something) You should research this and then factor in the risk of losing your scholarship at each school.


Maybe they have different ones? The scholly they offered me (I didn't take) either had no stipulations or they were decent (top 75%). I threw out all offers with ridiculous stipulations.


Yep, Penn State asks me to stay at the top half of the class and in Pitt I need to maintain a 3.0 GPA.

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: Penn State ($) vs. UPitt($)

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Fri May 06, 2011 8:19 pm

bencoots wrote:
The Gentleman wrote:I read in another thread that Penn State puts some tough GPA stipulations on their scholarships. (Like top 1/3 or something) You should research this and then factor in the risk of losing your scholarship at each school.


Hey thanks for reminding me about that!!
Penn State asks me to stay at the top half of the class and in Pitt I need to maintain a 3.0 GPA.
So I think they are pretty much the same terms.
I know law school is tough, but I will try my best and hardest to be on the top of the class 8)


Good god, man.

bencoots
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Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011 10:24 pm

Re: Penn State ($) vs. UPitt($)

Postby bencoots » Fri May 06, 2011 8:32 pm

Aberzombie1892 wrote:
bencoots wrote:
The Gentleman wrote:I read in another thread that Penn State puts some tough GPA stipulations on their scholarships. (Like top 1/3 or something) You should research this and then factor in the risk of losing your scholarship at each school.


Hey thanks for reminding me about that!!
Penn State asks me to stay at the top half of the class and in Pitt I need to maintain a 3.0 GPA.
So I think they are pretty much the same terms.
I know law school is tough, but I will try my best and hardest to be on the top of the class 8)


Good god, man.


I know. On the good side, I will be more motivated.

whymeohgodno
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Re: Penn State ($) vs. UPitt($)

Postby whymeohgodno » Fri May 06, 2011 8:34 pm

Top half doesn't sound bad. Not sure on the 3.0 since I have no clue on how UPitt curves.

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yngblkgifted
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Re: Penn State ($) vs. UPitt($)

Postby yngblkgifted » Fri May 06, 2011 8:36 pm

Aren't one of these any Ivy?

bencoots
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Re: Penn State ($) vs. UPitt($)

Postby bencoots » Fri May 06, 2011 8:51 pm

whymeohgodno wrote:Top half doesn't sound bad. Not sure on the 3.0 since I have no clue on how UPitt curves.



Thanks for your reply!
The curve at Pitt is not very tough (I think).
3.0 is somewhere in B and according to their grade distribution this is approximately the middle of the class.

bencoots
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Re: Penn State ($) vs. UPitt($)

Postby bencoots » Fri May 06, 2011 8:56 pm

yngblkgifted wrote:Aren't one of these any Ivy?


Penn State is a "public ivy league". Pitt is a "worthy runners-up", not an ivy according to Greenes' Guides

reverendt
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Re: Penn State ($) vs. UPitt($)

Postby reverendt » Fri May 06, 2011 9:01 pm

Pitt graduating 3L here.
Obviously I can't make a real comparison, but I can tell you that I have been 95% very satisfied with the academics at Pitt.
Probably close to 1/3 of my professors were excellent, meaning they were both prominent/scholarly in their field AND were skilled teachers.
MOST of the rest I would describe as good to very good.
There were a few classes that I thought were lacking. Really only 2 overall.
Career services at Pitt sucks, and that's probably why they sometimes suffer in the rankings.
Oh and the student body....wonderful people, very friendly and un-cutthroat. Couldn't have asked for better classmates (some will be longtime friends).

reverendt
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Re: Penn State ($) vs. UPitt($)

Postby reverendt » Fri May 06, 2011 9:04 pm

blowhard wrote:
bencoots wrote:
blowhard wrote:
dissonance1848 wrote:Rankings and reputations for the schools are irrelevant. Basically, it comes down to where you want to work. Do you want to be in/around Pittsburgh, or in the middle of PA? Thats what it comes down to. As for biglaw prospects, they are probably similar, with a slight edge to Pittsburgh because a few biglaw offices are there.


This. I'm from PA and very familiar with the local market. Although both are a long shot for BigLaw.


Thanks for providing the info!
I understand they only have the regional reputation so BigLaw might not be the thing.
Which school do people in PA think is better in terms of academics, Penn State of Pitt?


Penn State

Penn state has a very nice faculty, but the students are generally considered a hard partying rabble who opted for a cow town so they could get trashed on football weekends.

whymeohgodno
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Re: Penn State ($) vs. UPitt($)

Postby whymeohgodno » Fri May 06, 2011 9:04 pm

reverendt wrote:Pitt graduating 3L here.
Obviously I can't make a real comparison, but I can tell you that I have been 95% very satisfied with the academics at Pitt.
Probably close to 1/3 of my professors were excellent, meaning they were both prominent/scholarly in their field AND were skilled teachers.
MOST of the rest I would describe as good to very good.
There were a few classes that I thought were lacking. Really only 2 overall.
Career services at Pitt sucks, and that's probably why they sometimes suffer in the rankings.
Oh and the student body....wonderful people, very friendly and un-cutthroat. Couldn't have asked for better classmates (some will be longtime friends).


Did you land a job? If so what class rank were you (approximately)?

bencoots
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011 10:24 pm

Re: Penn State ($) vs. UPitt($)

Postby bencoots » Fri May 06, 2011 9:08 pm

reverendt wrote:Pitt graduating 3L here.
Obviously I can't make a real comparison, but I can tell you that I have been 95% very satisfied with the academics at Pitt.
Probably close to 1/3 of my professors were excellent, meaning they were both prominent/scholarly in their field AND were skilled teachers.
MOST of the rest I would describe as good to very good.
There were a few classes that I thought were lacking. Really only 2 overall.
Career services at Pitt sucks, and that's probably why they sometimes suffer in the rankings.
Oh and the student body....wonderful people, very friendly and un-cutthroat. Couldn't have asked for better classmates (some will be longtime friends).


Hey thank you very much for your reply!!!
I am wondering where do the grads in Pitt go. Do most of grads stay in Pittsburgh? What about Washington D.C. area?




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