Flash Poll: WUSTL$$ vs. Vandy$ (5/26 deadline)

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WUSTL$$ vs. Vandy$

WUSTL$$
27
39%
Vandy$
37
54%
Hold Out
5
7%
 
Total votes: 69

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bigjinjapan
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Flash Poll: WUSTL$$ vs. Vandy$ (5/26 deadline)

Postby bigjinjapan » Wed May 25, 2011 1:38 am

Just off the waitlist at Vandy with $5K/yr plus a one-time $5K bonus. I already have a deposit down at WUSTL with $28K/yr. The $5K brings CoA to parity, so: is it worth paying an extra $79K to go to Vandy? FWIW I'm not especially interested in working in St. Louis or the Midwest in general. Also, I'm from NC so I'd be closer to home in TN. As a third option, I'm still riding the WL at 6 more highly ranked schools, so I'm considering sitting on my current deposit and holding out for one of them.

To avoid sounding like I've made up my mind and am simply seeking affirmation, I want to avoid listing all my personal pros and cons for each school. If you have an opinion please chime in.

Only have till the 26th to decide, so get those votes in quick!

EDIT: The CoA estimates the schools provide don't stack up very well for comparison, so based just on tuition:
Vandy: $45,750-$5K=$40,750x3=$122,250-$5k=$117,250
WUSTL: $43,420-$28K=$15,420x3=$46,260
Difference: $70,990
Last edited by bigjinjapan on Wed May 25, 2011 11:25 am, edited 2 times in total.

stylishlaw
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Re: Flash Poll: WUSTL$$ vs. Vandy$ (5/26 deadline)

Postby stylishlaw » Wed May 25, 2011 3:47 am

Can't reasonably answer this question without knowing more about your career goals. I had 75k at WashU and 30K at Vandy. If WashU had given me just slightly more money I would have gone there. (And I told them this but they didn't budge) To me, I think Vandy is worth the 45K difference but not a difference of 84k. To put it into context for you, 84K is 2 years of tuition at WUSTL.

I'd probably go with WUSTL here and just sit it out on the other waitlists.

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bigjinjapan
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Re: Flash Poll: WUSTL$$ vs. Vandy$ (5/26 deadline)

Postby bigjinjapan » Wed May 25, 2011 7:38 am

stylishlaw wrote:Can't reasonably answer this question without knowing more about your career goals. I had 75k at WashU and 30K at Vandy. If WashU had given me just slightly more money I would have gone there. (And I told them this but they didn't budge) To me, I think Vandy is worth the 45K difference but not a difference of 84k. To put it into context for you, 84K is 2 years of tuition at WUSTL.

I'd probably go with WUSTL here and just sit it out on the other waitlists.


Thanks for the input. I'm shooting for international biglaw, especially focusing on Japan. Hoping to land biglaw employ at a firm with offices in Tokyo.

Also, with the $5K bonus the difference is actually $79K. Sorry for the earlier miscalculation.

fingersxd
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Re: Flash Poll: WUSTL$$ vs. Vandy$ (5/26 deadline)

Postby fingersxd » Wed May 25, 2011 10:11 am

I would agree that 79k isn't worth the difference b/t WUSTL and Vandy. That is a TON of money and although Vandy's biglaw placement is greater than WUSTL's, I just don't that it makes sense to take on that much more debt unless you are breaking into at least the t14. Any chance you can get more $ out of Vandy?

duckmoney
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Re: Flash Poll: WUSTL$$ vs. Vandy$ (5/26 deadline)

Postby duckmoney » Wed May 25, 2011 10:20 am

Go WUSTL. Vandy is better, but not 80 grand better.

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bigjinjapan
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Re: Flash Poll: WUSTL$$ vs. Vandy$ (5/26 deadline)

Postby bigjinjapan » Wed May 25, 2011 10:21 am

fingersxd wrote:I would agree that 79k isn't worth the difference b/t WUSTL and Vandy. That is a TON of money and although Vandy's biglaw placement is greater than WUSTL's, I just don't that it makes sense to take on that much more debt unless you are breaking into at least the t14. Any chance you can get more $ out of Vandy?


Just spoke with admissions and was told this was unlikely, but that she'd ask. Explained my situation pretty plainly. Kinda chafing over this 2-day deadline...

summer1
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Re: Flash Poll: WUSTL$$ vs. Vandy$ (5/26 deadline)

Postby summer1 » Wed May 25, 2011 4:04 pm

literally in the EXACT same situation...just got off vandy's waitlist w/ 5k per year and had accepted 84k at washu (and used to live in NC as well)

going to accept at vandy though bc HATED st. louis/the midwest

...also, washu's tuition is really 45,350/yr, not 43,xxx, so I had calculated the cost difference at ~65k

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bk1
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Re: Flash Poll: WUSTL$$ vs. Vandy$ (5/26 deadline)

Postby bk1 » Wed May 25, 2011 4:06 pm

You don't want the midwest so this is easily Vandy.

fingersxd
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Re: Flash Poll: WUSTL$$ vs. Vandy$ (5/26 deadline)

Postby fingersxd » Wed May 25, 2011 4:12 pm

bigjinjapan wrote:FWIW I'm not especially interested in working in St. Louis or the Midwest in general.


Where are you looking to work?

TheFactor
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Re: Flash Poll: WUSTL$$ vs. Vandy$ (5/26 deadline)

Postby TheFactor » Wed May 25, 2011 4:17 pm

bigjinjapan wrote: I'm not especially interested in working in St. Louis or the Midwest in general.

Given this, Vandy for sure.

fingersxd
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Re: Flash Poll: WUSTL$$ vs. Vandy$ (5/26 deadline)

Postby fingersxd » Wed May 25, 2011 4:21 pm

bk1 wrote:You don't want the midwest so this is easily Vandy.


I'm not saying that Vandy is the right or wrong choice here, but I'm not sure it is so cut-and-dried. Yes, all things equal Vandy>WUSTL. That said, if you do reasonably well at WUSTL, I'm not sure you are limited to St. Louis or the midwest (although, yes, it is harder to go to NYC, DC, etc. from WUSTL than Vandy).

~75k is a lot of money to leave on the table. If OP really likes Nashville/Vandy and absolutely hates WUSTL/St. Louis, then the choice is Vanderbilt. If OP like WUSTL (as many do) or could be happy at either school and living in either city for 3 yrs, I would probably lean slightly in WUSTL's favor.

Full disclosure: I got into both, but didn't get enough $ from WUSTL to chose it over Vandy. Had the difference been 75k I very likely would have.

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bk1
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Re: Flash Poll: WUSTL$$ vs. Vandy$ (5/26 deadline)

Postby bk1 » Wed May 25, 2011 4:32 pm

fingersxd wrote:I'm not saying that Vandy is the right or wrong choice here, but I'm not sure it is so cut-and-dried. Yes, all things equal Vandy>WUSTL. That said, if you do reasonably well at WUSTL, I'm not sure you are limited to St. Louis or the midwest (although, yes, it is harder to go to NYC, DC, etc. from WUSTL than Vandy).

~75k is a lot of money to leave on the table. If OP really likes Nashville/Vandy and absolutely hates WUSTL/St. Louis, then the choice is Vanderbilt. If OP like WUSTL (as many do) or could be happy at either school and living in either city for 3 yrs, I would probably lean slightly in WUSTL's favor.

Full disclosure: I got into both, but didn't get enough $ from WUSTL to chose it over Vandy. Had the difference been 75k I very likely would have.


Vandy is a substantially better school so it helps mitigate the cost difference somewhat. That being said, assuming that OP prefers the south (because OP is from NC) would OP rather take 10 years to pay off debt while working in a non-preferable place or take 15 years to pay off debt while working in a preferable place?

I mean you're right it isn't cut and dry, but it is personal. If OP prefers the south and/or NYC greatly over the midwest then I think Vandy is the right call. As much as people on TLS will talk about the rational choice and weighing cost/benefit decisions, at the end of the day where you prefer to work is inherently personal and irrational. At least in this instance Vandy isn't that crazy considering it is a notch better than WUSTL. If OP would prefer the extra money over having a far easier time finding employment in the south then OP should take WUSTL. But I can't really make that decision because I have no idea how much OP is attached to the thought of working in the south.

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Rock Chalk
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Re: Flash Poll: WUSTL$$ vs. Vandy$ (5/26 deadline)

Postby Rock Chalk » Wed May 25, 2011 4:39 pm

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Last edited by Rock Chalk on Wed May 16, 2012 2:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

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stratocophic
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Re: Flash Poll: WUSTL$$ vs. Vandy$ (5/26 deadline)

Postby stratocophic » Wed May 25, 2011 4:48 pm

I picked WUSTL in a nearly identical scenario. Reasoning was that neither's a super safe choice, might as well shoot for the debt that'll take 1/2 as long to pay off if things don't work out well. I was more open to the midwest vs. south question, but that 180+ for Vandy is brutal. Piece of advice, don't hold your breath on the other WLs.

Also, COL in Nashville's higher than in St. Louis (especially when comparing the areas around Vandy and WUSTL).

fingersxd
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Re: Flash Poll: WUSTL$$ vs. Vandy$ (5/26 deadline)

Postby fingersxd » Wed May 25, 2011 4:49 pm

Rock Chalk wrote:I agree that OP's geographic preferences point to Vandy, but if I were OP I'd definitely need more than $5k/year. I wouldn't even consider taking out $180k or so in loans for Vandy. Waiting it out seems like the best option here.


...and if OP chooses to wait it out and is not rewarded for his patience, then let me guess...you would suggest he Retake/Reapply?

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Rock Chalk
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Re: Flash Poll: WUSTL$$ vs. Vandy$ (5/26 deadline)

Postby Rock Chalk » Wed May 25, 2011 5:45 pm

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Last edited by Rock Chalk on Wed May 16, 2012 2:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: Flash Poll: WUSTL$$ vs. Vandy$ (5/26 deadline)

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Wed May 25, 2011 6:01 pm

OP - your goals point to Vanderbilt. However, only having $20,000 off of the three year tuition price (and living expenses) is insane.

Looking at your tuition comparison, $117,000 for Vandy isn't that bad - but the additional COA debt would make that probably around $170,000ish. That's far too much.

So...I vote you do one of the following:
1. Ride out the waitlists
2. Go to WashU
3. Consider Emory or similar schools with large scholarships instead.

fingersxd
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Re: Flash Poll: WUSTL$$ vs. Vandy$ (5/26 deadline)

Postby fingersxd » Wed May 25, 2011 6:16 pm

Rock Chalk wrote:
fingersxd wrote:
Rock Chalk wrote:I agree that OP's geographic preferences point to Vandy, but if I were OP I'd definitely need more than $5k/year. I wouldn't even consider taking out $180k or so in loans for Vandy. Waiting it out seems like the best option here.


...and if OP chooses to wait it out and is not rewarded for his patience, then let me guess...you would suggest he Retake/Reapply?

I'm probably more debt averse than most, so for me in that scenario it would either be WUSTL or reapply. Vandy is a very good school, but that's more debt than I would personally take on for it.


Now this is something I would generally agree with.

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bigjinjapan
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Re: Flash Poll: WUSTL$$ vs. Vandy$ (5/26 deadline)

Postby bigjinjapan » Wed May 25, 2011 7:58 pm

Looking like a dead heat here. Pretty interesting considering the usual rankings mania seen on TLS. Without telling you my sign, here's a few personal details that might help guide discussion:

-Reapply is not an option.
-For school geographically I don't have any real ties to either city, and aside from Nashville being closer to home neither is intrinsically more appealing than the other.
-For work geographically the ultimate goal is Tokyo, but in the meantime I would prefer Los Angeles or NYC.
-I have pretty substantial financial resources, so cost doesn't necessary equal debt. Obviously money is an issue or I wouldn't be stuck on this, but I'm looking at taking on a maximum of $60-100K debt no matter where I go.

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bk1
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Re: Flash Poll: WUSTL$$ vs. Vandy$ (5/26 deadline)

Postby bk1 » Wed May 25, 2011 7:59 pm

bigjinjapan wrote:Looking like a dead heat here. Pretty interesting considering the usual rankings mania seen on TLS. Without telling you my sign, here's a few personal details that might help guide discussion:

-Reapply is not an option.
-For school geographically I don't have any real ties to either city, and aside from Nashville being closer to home neither is intrinsically more appealing than the other.
-For work geographically the ultimate goal is Tokyo, but in the meantime I would prefer Los Angeles or NYC.
-I have pretty substantial financial resources, so cost doesn't necessary equal debt. Obviously money is an issue or I wouldn't be stuck on this, but I'm looking at taking on a maximum of $60-100K debt no matter where I go.


I say Vandy and aim for NYC.

stylishlaw
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Re: Flash Poll: WUSTL$$ vs. Vandy$ (5/26 deadline)

Postby stylishlaw » Wed May 25, 2011 9:35 pm

This is a tough decision. It wasn't cut-and-dry for me and the decision ruined a couple weeks of my life.

I have been to both ASWs and both are excellent schools. At both you'll get a small class size and the students are very friendly. They are both located in mid-sized cities with plenty to do. From talking to students, you would have an amazing experience at either school.

In terms of employment, it is true Vandy places better based on NLJ250 - an acceptable proxy for BigLaw placement. However, neither school has T13 BigLaw placement and without an IP law background I don't think I would enter 6 figure debt for either. Also keep in mind that Vandy has higher medians, which could potentially negate that extra 10-15% BigLaw placement that Vandy gives you.

I think I would go with WashU here. Also don't forget to combine the results of "wait it out" with the votes for WashU. Those two options are pretty much redundant.

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fl0w
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Re: Flash Poll: WUSTL$$ vs. Vandy$ (5/26 deadline)

Postby fl0w » Wed May 25, 2011 11:38 pm

Take the money and run.

For all the rank obsession on this site, everyone seems to forget that after you get your first job, where you went to school barely matters anymore.

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Dany
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Re: Flash Poll: WUSTL$$ vs. Vandy$ (5/26 deadline)

Postby Dany » Wed May 25, 2011 11:44 pm

fl0w wrote:For all the rank obsession on this site, everyone seems to forget that after you get your first job, where you went to school barely matters anymore.

Except you need to be able to actually get a job in the first place.

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fl0w
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Re: Flash Poll: WUSTL$$ vs. Vandy$ (5/26 deadline)

Postby fl0w » Thu May 26, 2011 12:23 am

Dany wrote:
fl0w wrote:For all the rank obsession on this site, everyone seems to forget that after you get your first job, where you went to school barely matters anymore.

Except you need to be able to actually get a job in the first place.


and if you aren't a total screwup, regardless of choosing wustl or vandy you should be able to land one. c'mon, we are talking 16 v. 18.

I get that people want the "name" of the institution to do the heavy lifting for them, but the vast majority of people that are established in their careers will tell you to take the money and run from a top 20 school. At least the vast majority that I spoke with before choosing a school had that advice.

edit: and regardless of where you go... career services isn't going to get the job for you. you gotta do the work.

fingersxd
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Re: Flash Poll: WUSTL$$ vs. Vandy$ (5/26 deadline)

Postby fingersxd » Thu May 26, 2011 12:31 am

Dany wrote:
fl0w wrote:For all the rank obsession on this site, everyone seems to forget that after you get your first job, where you went to school barely matters anymore.

Except you need to be able to actually get a job in the first place.


I think the point is that the difference in placement may not be as huge as people make it out to be. Vandy will be better in the South, DC and NYC. In Chicago or the West Coast, WUSTL will be comparable. if OP is looking at both NY and the West Coast there are competing interests there. I would actually think West Coast would be preferable for an eventual move to Tokyo, but really am not super-familiar with lateral transfers to international branches (though my guy tells me there should be more shared offices b/t Tokyo and the West Coast than Tokyo and NYC).

The real question for OP is, would you go to your WL schools at sticker? And how likely do you think you are to actually get into one of them (some schools, even in the t14, are more transparent with approx. odds than others)? It seems that if the chance is half decent, you are probably better off saving that extra $ and sticking with WUSTL, while keeping you fingers crossed for the WL schools.

I agree with some of the previous posters that Vandy may not be worth the debt you would take on (and yes, I know OP says he has significant financial resources, but couldn't those be better spent elsewhere? ...buy a house, invest it and make more $, whatever).

Also, getting that 1st job depends far more on your grades than your school -- more so when these schools aren't THAT far apart. I can't see Vandy having more than a few % points extra value over WUSTL (hypothetically top 1/3 at WUSTL = top 40% at Vandy, I would think, right? -- pulled these numbers out of my ass, but I don't think they are unreasonable).




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