Boston College vs. Vanderbilt

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

Boston College (scholly) vs. Vanderbilt (sticker)

Boston College (Total cost of tuition only: 95K)
46
60%
Vanderbilt (Total cost of tuition only: 140K)
31
40%
 
Total votes: 77

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madisonsmith5599
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Boston College vs. Vanderbilt

Postby madisonsmith5599 » Tue May 24, 2011 5:03 pm

I'm comparing BC with 30K scholly, and Vanderbilt at sticker. I have family to help pay for tuition and living expenses either way.

I would prefer to work on the East Coast, and maybe in Los Angeles later in life, but I have no problem with going wherever I can find a job that pays at the market rate for that city. I am fine studying in Boston or Nashville; I don't really care so much about location in terms of enjoyment as I do about getting a decent job to make the investment worthwhile.

Unless I am wrong, here are the latest rankings:
BC: 27 in USN, 16 in NLJ
Vandy: 16 in USN, 18 in NLJ

So, tuition only at BC would be about 95K, and at Vandy about 140K.

Does Vanderbilt's higher USN ranking make it a better choice, and worth the extra cost? Thanks in advance for your comments.

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bk1
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Re: Boston College vs. Vanderbilt

Postby bk1 » Tue May 24, 2011 5:53 pm

This is tough. While BC may have edged out Vandy this year, Vandy is generally ahead of BC as far as NLJ goes. Also, CoA estimates as provided by the schools (after accounting for your 30k scholarship) look like this:

BC - 150k
Vandy - 200k

I think it is kind of a toss up. Vandy places a bit better but I'm not sure it's worth the extra 50k. That being said, 150k is still a lot of debt coming out of BC. Both of these schools can probably place you roughly equally in NYC, though BC will give you an easier time in the northeast generally whereas Vandy will give you an easier time in the south. I have heard from other posters (and this is hearsay) that Vandy is doing pretty well (reportedly class of 2011 having something like 40% NLJ+A3 clerks) whereas people are struggling moreso at BC.

As noted above I think this is pretty tough. I think I'd take BC due to the 50k savings, especially if you'd also be okay in Boston as well as NYC. However I would try to talk to some students at these schools to get a feel how things are and to see if what I have heard from other posters on this board correlates with the truth.

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madisonsmith5599
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Re: Boston College vs. Vanderbilt

Postby madisonsmith5599 » Tue May 24, 2011 6:07 pm

bk1 wrote:This is tough. While BC may have edged out Vandy this year, Vandy is generally ahead of BC as far as NLJ goes. Also, CoA estimates as provided by the schools (after accounting for your 30k scholarship) look like this:

BC - 150k
Vandy - 200k

I think it is kind of a toss up. Vandy places a bit better but I'm not sure it's worth the extra 50k. That being said, 150k is still a lot of debt coming out of BC. Both of these schools can probably place you roughly equally in NYC, though BC will give you an easier time in the northeast generally whereas Vandy will give you an easier time in the south. I have heard from other posters (and this is hearsay) that Vandy is doing pretty well (reportedly class of 2011 having something like 40% NLJ+A3 clerks) whereas people are struggling moreso at BC.

As noted above I think this is pretty tough. I think I'd take BC due to the 50k savings, especially if you'd also be okay in Boston as well as NYC. However I would try to talk to some students at these schools to get a feel how things are and to see if what I have heard from other posters on this board correlates with the truth.


Many thanks for this info. I appreciate it, and will try to follow up with people, as you suggested. How do you feel about the whole "prestige" factor, the argument that Vanderbilt is somehow a "better brand name" because of the perpetually higher USN ranking?

Not saying I agree or disagree, just wondering whether anyone thinks this is a valid reason for me to spend the additional money.

Art0
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Re: Boston College vs. Vanderbilt

Postby Art0 » Tue May 24, 2011 6:18 pm

BC

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bk1
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Re: Boston College vs. Vanderbilt

Postby bk1 » Tue May 24, 2011 6:21 pm

madisonsmith5599 wrote:Many thanks for this info. I appreciate it, and will try to follow up with people, as you suggested. How do you feel about the whole "prestige" factor, the argument that Vanderbilt is somehow a "better brand name" because of the perpetually higher USN ranking?

Not saying I agree or disagree, just wondering whether anyone thinks this is a valid reason for me to spend the additional money.


Vanderbilt is a more prestigious institution because the legal community views it as such, not because of what a magazine says.

The prestige matters only inasmuch as it can get you a job which Vanderbilt does have an edge over BC in getting you a prestigious (e.g. biglaw) job. The edge isn't gigantic or anything but it is there. The question is whether it is worth 50k and I'm not entirely sure if it is or it isn't.

crit_racer
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Re: Boston College vs. Vanderbilt

Postby crit_racer » Tue May 24, 2011 6:53 pm

i'd go vandy, but an argument can be made either way.

fingersxd
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Re: Boston College vs. Vanderbilt

Postby fingersxd » Wed May 25, 2011 12:03 am

bk1 wrote: The question is whether it is worth 50k and I'm not entirely sure if it is or it isn't.


I don't think either option is really a bad choice here, but I would only say that from my own research I feel like Vandy's CoA is much more generous than other schools, including BC. Your QoL for the money set aside from room/board at BC won't be great, whereas it will be pretty fantastic in Vandy. In addition, Vandy includes medical insurance, gym, & loan fees in its CoA (addt'l 3.5k/yr) whereas BC doesn't.

I really think you have to see where you are more comfortable b/c the prestige of Vandy is certainly a factor...but perhaps not enough to offset a ~40k difference in CoA.

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bernaldiaz
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Re: Boston College vs. Vanderbilt

Postby bernaldiaz » Wed May 25, 2011 12:18 am

bk1 wrote:This is tough. While BC may have edged out Vandy this year, Vandy is generally ahead of BC as far as NLJ goes. Also, CoA estimates as provided by the schools (after accounting for your 30k scholarship) look like this:

BC - 150k
Vandy - 200k

I think it is kind of a toss up. Vandy places a bit better but I'm not sure it's worth the extra 50k. That being said, 150k is still a lot of debt coming out of BC. Both of these schools can probably place you roughly equally in NYC, though BC will give you an easier time in the northeast generally whereas Vandy will give you an easier time in the south. I have heard from other posters (and this is hearsay) that Vandy is doing pretty well (reportedly class of 2011 having something like 40% NLJ+A3 clerks) whereas people are struggling moreso at BC.

As noted above I think this is pretty tough. I think I'd take BC due to the 50k savings, especially if you'd also be okay in Boston as well as NYC. However I would try to talk to some students at these schools to get a feel how things are and to see if what I have heard from other posters on this board correlates with the truth.


You really think three years in Nashville would be 60k while 3 years in Boston would only be 55k? I know BC is outside the city, but still, I would have assumed being in Mass. vs. Tenn would have tipped the COL factor in the favor of Vandy?

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madisonsmith5599
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Re: Boston College vs. Vanderbilt

Postby madisonsmith5599 » Wed May 25, 2011 12:30 am

bernaldiaz wrote:You really think three years in Nashville would be 60k while 3 years in Boston would only be 55k? I know BC is outside the city, but still, I would have assumed being in Mass. vs. Tenn would have tipped the COL factor in the favor of Vandy?


This is a good point, and it could go either way. This is why in my original post, I tried to present the cost of each school in terms of tuition only, because there are lifestyle choices and arrangements that a student can make such that either Boston or Nashville would be cheaper than the other, in terms of living expenses (not including tuition).

fingersxd
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Re: Boston College vs. Vanderbilt

Postby fingersxd » Wed May 25, 2011 8:30 am

madisonsmith5599 wrote:
bernaldiaz wrote:You really think three years in Nashville would be 60k while 3 years in Boston would only be 55k? I know BC is outside the city, but still, I would have assumed being in Mass. vs. Tenn would have tipped the COL factor in the favor of Vandy?


This is a good point, and it could go either way. This is why in my original post, I tried to present the cost of each school in terms of tuition only, because there are lifestyle choices and arrangements that a student can make such that either Boston or Nashville would be cheaper than the other, in terms of living expenses (not including tuition).


Not sure the logic makes sense. It is much harder to live cheaply in Boston than Nashville, and as I mentioned previously, doing so will also probably pretty significantly lower your QoL. Also please note that factors like medical insurance, books, etc. should be looked at separately from room & board and included in your "tuition" which makes the difference less. that said, the only real option is to visit the.schools and see which you prefer

Slevin Kelevra 2011
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Re: Boston College vs. Vanderbilt

Postby Slevin Kelevra 2011 » Wed May 25, 2011 10:39 am

These are peer schools. If you don't have a preference for where you will live after graduation, you should go to the cheaper school to keep your debt down. If you want to work in New York, Boston and the northeast generally, go to BC. If you want to work in Nashville, Altanta or the south generally, go to Vandy.

shouldgetmba
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Re: Boston College vs. Vanderbilt

Postby shouldgetmba » Wed May 25, 2011 11:37 am

My biggest regret was not applying to BC. Love the school and love the NE. Congrats on it.

fingersxd
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Re: Boston College vs. Vanderbilt

Postby fingersxd » Wed May 25, 2011 11:59 am

Slevin Kelevra 2011 wrote:These are peer schools. If you don't have a preference for where you will live after graduation, you should go to the cheaper school to keep your debt down. If you want to work in New York, Boston and the northeast generally, go to BC. If you want to work in Nashville, Altanta or the south generally, go to Vandy.


Challenge. They are NOT peer schools. Vandy is widely (i.e. outside of Boston) recognized as the better, or at least more prestigious, school. Yes, BC's NLJ250 #'s were slightly higher than Vandy this past year, but as noted previously, Vandy has been better historically and this years #'s look very promising as well.

That said, they might be "peers" only in the sense that given the cost difference BC may make sense - 50k is a lot of money. All else equal, Vandy would be the choice. Given the cost differences, BC is at least as good of an option, if not better.

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bk1
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Re: Boston College vs. Vanderbilt

Postby bk1 » Wed May 25, 2011 12:28 pm

bernaldiaz wrote:You really think three years in Nashville would be 60k while 3 years in Boston would only be 55k? I know BC is outside the city, but still, I would have assumed being in Mass. vs. Tenn would have tipped the COL factor in the favor of Vandy?


Nashville is probably cheaper, but BC's tuition is lower.

Vandy's CoA - 68.5k/year (http://law.vanderbilt.edu/prospective-s ... index.aspx)
BC's CoA - 61k/year (http://www.bc.edu/schools/law/admission ... ml#tuition)

I don't really know anything about Newton but I have a friend who goes to BC for grad school and pays 1300 for a 1 bedroom. I'm assuming that 1000 for a studio is doable. I don't know anything about Nashville so maybe you can shave some off of Vandy's CoL estimate. Even if you did and it was a 40k difference in cost between BC and Vandy, I don't think that then tips this decision into being easier in deciding between Vandy and BC.

fingersxd
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Re: Boston College vs. Vanderbilt

Postby fingersxd » Wed May 25, 2011 1:00 pm

bk1 wrote:Nashville is probably cheaper, but BC's tuition is lower.

Vandy's CoA - 68.5k/year (http://law.vanderbilt.edu/prospective-s ... index.aspx)
BC's CoA - 61k/year (http://www.bc.edu/schools/law/admission ... ml#tuition)


This is just to clarify BC's CoA, not to recommend BC over Vandy or vice-versa.

That said, BC's CoA, is NOT actually 61k/yr. As mentioned previously, that value excludes medical insurance(irrelevant for thsoe <26 who may fall under their parents insruance), gym, loan fees, and other "miscellaneous" charges that you will likely have to pay. All told, the "real" CoA is at least $4k/yr more before you take into account cost of living. Then again, I will say that I know plenty of law students who live below the projected CoA regardless of where they go.

BC also assumes $500 less for books than Vandy (I just found this a hilarious difference and am pointing it out for that reason alone).

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Re: Boston College vs. Vanderbilt

Postby BCLS Alum » Wed May 25, 2011 5:12 pm

To be fair, Vandy is only recognized as more prestigious in the south. Those of us who are attorneys in the northeast (New York, Boston) don't have much experience with Vandy attorneys and really couldn't tell you either way whether it is a good school. I usually think of it as a good school in south, ranked somewhere between Emory and Duke (which is a good reputation place to be considered).

I am sure in the south Vandy is considered a prestigious school on par with the T14, but in the northeast, it is just another 15-30 school with a decent reputation.

fingersxd
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Re: Boston College vs. Vanderbilt

Postby fingersxd » Wed May 25, 2011 6:14 pm

BCLS Alum wrote:To be fair, Vandy is only recognized as more prestigious in the south. Those of us who are attorneys in the northeast (New York, Boston) don't have much experience with Vandy attorneys and really couldn't tell you either way whether it is a good school. I usually think of it as a good school in south, ranked somewhere between Emory and Duke (which is a good reputation place to be considered).

I am sure in the south Vandy is considered a prestigious school on par with the T14, but in the northeast, it is just another 15-30 school with a decent reputation.


I would disagree with this assessment. Although I am an 0L, I have worked both at a large NY firm (the type of firm every biglaw applicant is gunning for) as well as in-house at a financial institution. In each case, the attorneys were well aware of Vanderbilt as a great school with a great reputation. This may not be the case in Boston, but in NYC where, Vandy places plenty of graduates, it is very well known. I've never heard of it being considered as just a "good school in the south."

Now, this does't make Vandy the right choice here, but I did want to clarfiy what I think is an inaccurate description of Vandy's "prestige"

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ThomasMN
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Re: Boston College vs. Vanderbilt

Postby ThomasMN » Wed May 25, 2011 6:21 pm

What do you think of Boston? I'd say if your goal was to practice in Boston, go to Boston College. I live in Minnesota and Vanderbilt has a good reputation up here, so I'm fairly certain its not just a "Southern" school. From what I can tell on TLS Vanderbilt places very well nationally compared to Boston College, which puts most of its graduated in Boston and the East Coast.

Emma1
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Re: Boston College vs. Vanderbilt

Postby Emma1 » Wed May 25, 2011 8:19 pm

I would go to Vanderbilt. It's a better law school.

Slevin Kelevra 2011
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Re: Boston College vs. Vanderbilt

Postby Slevin Kelevra 2011 » Thu May 26, 2011 3:07 pm

Pretty much comparable. Both are outstanding schools.

Generally, I would say:
If you want to work in New York, Boston and the northeast generally, go to BC.
If you want to work in Nashville, Altanta or the south generally, go to Vandy.

If you want to work on the midwest/west coast, its pretty much a wash. Midwest might prefer Vandy, while west coast might prefer BC, but that is anecdotal. Doubt either will give you much more of an advantage in these regions. If you want to work in either of these locations, I'd probably go where I felt the most comfortable and where I'd have the best option to graduate with the least amount of debt.

Emma1
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Re: Boston College vs. Vanderbilt

Postby Emma1 » Thu May 26, 2011 11:12 pm

I think Vanderbilt places better in NYC than BC does

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madisonsmith5599
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Re: Boston College vs. Vanderbilt

Postby madisonsmith5599 » Thu May 26, 2011 11:32 pm

shouldgetmba wrote:My biggest regret was not applying to BC. Love the school and love the NE. Congrats on it.


Thanks. I was fortunate to get in, for sure.

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madisonsmith5599
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Re: Boston College vs. Vanderbilt

Postby madisonsmith5599 » Fri May 27, 2011 12:04 am

ThomasMN wrote:What do you think of Boston? I'd say if your goal was to practice in Boston, go to Boston College. I live in Minnesota and Vanderbilt has a good reputation up here, so I'm fairly certain its not just a "Southern" school. From what I can tell on TLS Vanderbilt places very well nationally compared to Boston College, which puts most of its graduated in Boston and the East Coast.


Boston seems like a great place to live and work. I had a good time during my recent visits. I also visited Vandy and was impressed by the campus and Nashville in general. Working in NYC is my biggest aspiration, though I have heard that it is challenging to make it there for various reasons. I will go happily wherever I find a decent job.

Aside from the cost/prestige discussion, I have another question for everyone: As a minority, should my ethnicity factor into the decision, and if so, how?

I am not implying that my ethnicity should or should not matter, so please don't criticize me for asking. I just want to know what other people think.

tram988
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Re: Boston College vs. Vanderbilt

Postby tram988 » Fri May 27, 2011 12:50 pm

Emma1 wrote:I think Vanderbilt places better in NYC than BC does

Would love to see some numbers backing this up :)

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Re: Boston College vs. Vanderbilt

Postby BCLS Alum » Fri May 27, 2011 2:47 pm

tram988 wrote:
Emma1 wrote:I think Vanderbilt places better in NYC than BC does

Would love to see some numbers backing this up :)



I have not found this to be the case in any way. Vandy is a smaller school, but its presence in the legal market in the northeast is minimal.




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