Time sensitive: Cornell ($220k debt) vs. BU ($85k debt)

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

Cornell ($220k+ debt) or BU ($85k debt)

Cornell
30
28%
BU
77
72%
 
Total votes: 107

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Robespierre
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Re: Time sensitive: Cornell ($220k debt) vs. BU ($85k debt)

Postby Robespierre » Fri Jun 10, 2011 12:22 pm

OP, if you graduated LS and were making 50K, or god forbid unemployed, would your dad work with you on the 100K loan, like forgo all payments for a couple of years with no penalty? And is there any chance he might forgive the loan (like, for example, if he had some good years in his work and no longer needed the 100K for his retirement)?

What I'm getting at is, is Cornell really 220K in debt, or is it 120K in debt plus a 100K family contribution with a moral obligation to repay? If the latter, Cornell would become the clear choice.

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Perch
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Re: Time sensitive: Cornell ($220k debt) vs. BU ($85k debt)

Postby Perch » Fri Jun 10, 2011 12:31 pm

Robespierre wrote:OP, if you graduated LS and were making 50K, or god forbid unemployed, would your dad work with you on the 100K loan, like forgo all payments for a couple of years with no penalty? And is there any chance he might forgive the loan (like, for example, if he had some good years in his work and no longer needed the 100K for his retirement)?

What I'm getting at is, is Cornell really 220K in debt, or is it 120K in debt plus a 100K family contribution with a moral obligation to repay? If the latter, Cornell would become the clear choice.


with that line of thinking, BU would be free + moral obligation to repay, no?
Last edited by Perch on Fri Jun 10, 2011 2:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Robespierre
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Re: Time sensitive: Cornell ($220k debt) vs. BU ($85k debt)

Postby Robespierre » Fri Jun 10, 2011 12:47 pm

Perch wrote:
Robespierre wrote:OP, if you graduated LS and were making 50K, or god forbid unemployed, would your dad work with you on the 100K loan, like forgo all payments for a couple of years with no penalty? And is there any chance he might forgive the loan (like, for example, if he had some good years in his work and no longer needed the 100K for his retirement)?

What I'm getting at is, is Cornell really 220K in debt, or is it 120K in debt plus a 100K family contribution with a moral obligation to repay? If the latter, Cornell would become the clear choice.


with that like of thinking, BU would be free + moral obligation to repay, no?


You're right. The cost difference between the two schools would still be 135K. But the biggest anti-Cornell factor is the specter of 220K debt and low paying employment. That factor goes away if the family loan is more like a moral obligation thing. So that tips the balance to Cornell IF you accept that the decision is pretty much a tossup, which I do at this point.

FutureInLaw
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Re: Time sensitive: Cornell ($220k debt) vs. BU ($85k debt)

Postby FutureInLaw » Sat Jun 11, 2011 4:36 pm

So it's unlikely I'll get any sort of scholarship (their funds are essentially out), but I would need to complete the financial aid process to find out. That won't be complete by the time I need to deposit. They want the deposit postmarked by Monday or Tuesday.

Would this change any opinions: $220k interest-free loan from dad? It's not definite by any means, but it's being talked about.

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Corwin
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Re: Time sensitive: Cornell ($220k debt) vs. BU ($85k debt)

Postby Corwin » Sat Jun 11, 2011 4:38 pm

FutureInLaw wrote:Would this change any opinions: $220k interest-free loan from dad? It's not definite by any means, but it's being talked about.

That might change my mind. You can work an 80K a year job for 5 years (or biglaw for 2-3 years) and comfortably pay back a $220k interest-free loan. No so if you have to pay interest.

Lord Randolph McDuff
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Re: Time sensitive: Cornell ($220k debt) vs. BU ($85k debt)

Postby Lord Randolph McDuff » Sat Jun 11, 2011 7:21 pm

FutureInLaw wrote:So it's unlikely I'll get any sort of scholarship (their funds are essentially out), but I would need to complete the financial aid process to find out. That won't be complete by the time I need to deposit. They want the deposit postmarked by Monday or Tuesday.

Would this change any opinions: $220k interest-free loan from dad? It's not definite by any means, but it's being talked about.


Is it being talked about because you are bringing it up? It sounds like you might want to go to Cornell. If that were the case, I would first examine all the reasons why you might feel like that, and if you can't shake them and you know it would bother you down the road if you didn't go, I would take Cornell.

I think the board has clearly spoken for BU (the poll is one-sided). However, if you want Cornell it wouldn't be a crazy decision to go there.

alumniguy
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Re: Time sensitive: Cornell ($220k debt) vs. BU ($85k debt)

Postby alumniguy » Sun Jun 12, 2011 9:00 am

Corwin wrote:
FutureInLaw wrote:Would this change any opinions: $220k interest-free loan from dad? It's not definite by any means, but it's being talked about.

That might change my mind. You can work an 80K a year job for 5 years (or biglaw for 2-3 years) and comfortably pay back a $220k interest-free loan. No so if you have to pay interest.


I don't think you can "comfortably" pay back 220k, even interest free, in a 2-3 year biglaw stint. That is like 70k a year and if in NYC, your after tax take home pay is under 100. There is just no way to pay back that much in such a short time period without sacrificing somewhere.

Seems like OP's family wants him to make a decision that doesn't factor costs into the equation. If I was OP, I would choose Cornell with a 220k interest free family loan over BU at $85k debt. It would certainly stink to be indebted to someone in my family (I imagine feeling "guilty" when making large expenditures with an outstanding loan), but that is far better than a 7% private loan.

OP is one lucky individual and I'm not sure I would make this information known to my classmates!!!

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Corwin
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Re: Time sensitive: Cornell ($220k debt) vs. BU ($85k debt)

Postby Corwin » Sun Jun 12, 2011 12:24 pm

alumniguy wrote:I don't think you can "comfortably" pay back 220k, even interest free, in a 2-3 year biglaw stint. That is like 70k a year and if in NYC, your after tax take home pay is under 100.


You have a 38% effective tax rate when you make 160K in NYC? That seems wrong to me, but I'm interested in being corrected.

alumniguy wrote:There is just no way to pay back that much in such a short time period without sacrificing somewhere.


No kidding. But it's debt. You sacrifice to pay it off. No need to adopt an expensive lifestyle right away if you are used to living like a student.

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Blindmelon
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Re: Time sensitive: Cornell ($220k debt) vs. BU ($85k debt)

Postby Blindmelon » Sun Jun 12, 2011 12:39 pm

Corwin wrote:
alumniguy wrote:I don't think you can "comfortably" pay back 220k, even interest free, in a 2-3 year biglaw stint. That is like 70k a year and if in NYC, your after tax take home pay is under 100.


You have a 38% effective tax rate when you make 160K in NYC? That seems wrong to me, but I'm interested in being corrected.

alumniguy wrote:There is just no way to pay back that much in such a short time period without sacrificing somewhere.


No kidding. But it's debt. You sacrifice to pay it off. No need to adopt an expensive lifestyle right away if you are used to living like a student.


38% sounds about right. Its 33% in Boston and NYC is higher. Your costs working at a bigfirm are also higher - need nicer clothing, constant dry cleaning, going to be going out with coworkers/supervisors to nice places, etc. Also, you're presumably going to want to live near work so your life is easier - in NYC, thats expensive.

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Corwin
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Re: Time sensitive: Cornell ($220k debt) vs. BU ($85k debt)

Postby Corwin » Sun Jun 12, 2011 1:17 pm

33% makes a lot more sense. It is doable though. I've lived in Boston on less than 30K a year for a job in which I needed expensive suites. I was only a few T stops away from the Prudential as well, so that price includes renting a place close to a big law firm. I suppose going out to nice places all the time would put a dent in that. I'm not familiar with how often you can dodge that without sacrificing on your professional networking.

alumniguy
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Re: Time sensitive: Cornell ($220k debt) vs. BU ($85k debt)

Postby alumniguy » Sun Jun 12, 2011 9:35 pm

The after tax paycheck for NYC biglaw has been described before on this board. It is approximately 95k after taxes (not including any bonus amounts). I imagine that most associates also end up stocking some pre-tax money into their 401ks.

220k in three years is nuts. I've never heard of this happening and it will take SERIOUS sacrifices - multiple roommates, living in an undesirable areas, little to no eating out, etc. I'm not saying it can't be done, but I'd be pretty surprised if more than a handful of associates can actually pull this off.

Edit: NYC is significantly more expensive than Boston. Housing, food costs, transportation, etc...everything is more expensive.

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Moxie
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Re: Time sensitive: Cornell ($220k debt) vs. BU ($85k debt)

Postby Moxie » Sun Jun 12, 2011 9:39 pm

alumniguy wrote:The after tax paycheck for NYC biglaw has been described before on this board. It is approximately 95k after taxes (not including any bonus amounts). I imagine that most associates also end up stocking some pre-tax money into their 401ks.

220k in three years is nuts. I've never heard of this happening and it will take SERIOUS sacrifices - multiple roommates, living in an undesirable areas, little to no eating out, etc. I'm not saying it can't be done, but I'd be pretty surprised if more than a handful of associates can actually pull this off.


+1. With the salary advance you have to pay back over your first year and 401k contributions, and there is no way you could pay off 70k a year in debt.

OP - I'd go BU with a 135k cost difference, Cornell may make it easier to get Biglaw/open some doors, but do well at BU and those same options are open. Plus if you don't do well, the 135k difference in debt will ease your burden significantly.




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