University of Houston or GWU

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )
theresafire
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2011 2:27 pm

University of Houston or GWU

Postby theresafire » Wed Jul 06, 2011 2:42 pm

So I just found out i got off the waitlist at GWU and have 9 days to decide (still don't have the acceptance packet yet so not sure about financial aid).

Into Houston, which is 56ish this year, so "tier 2" w/e that means these days.

Anyways, studied International relations in undergrad, GPA is rather crap so getting off waitlist at GWU was a bit of a surprise...

Now I'm onto decision time. Houston is $27,000/yr tuition, with full stafford loans coming it at 21000 or so, and a texas resident grant of 2200/yr for grad school. Housing in the houston area will be around 800/month+utilities so be generous and say 1k/month.

so about 20k/yr in "debt" (still not sure if i'm getting help from the parents or taking loans, which i understand will be a deciding factor...

GWU is 74k/yr after stafford thats 21000 again, + potentially perkins (if they have any left) and need baised (max of 16k/yr) as i don't have hard numbers I'll just say 16 for need, thats 37, loans of about 37 (although 18,500 for room/board seems a bit on the low side, as i will be off campus and everything i've seen from a quick google puts housing around 1500/month in dc.). so 17k/yr difference.

From the data on one of the stickied post about 2009 employment break downs, GWU was about 30% biglaw, Houston was about 18%. when adding in other firms both are at 60% of students, for government positions both sit around 15% of the students graduating.

Now the decision aspects. GWU wasn't my first choice, but i applied on a whim due in large part to reputation and location. I'm intrigued by international law, and would love to do something on the public side of it, so thats a big swing for GWU (or so i thought, but houston's goverment job numbers are almost as high), D.C. is a hub for this definitely.

Houston's legal market is massive however, and I could potentially see going into corporate type work...where Houston would win out period (oil companies left and right + i know quite a few people who's families work for them so if i got lucky could lead to some help with jobs in that regard surely not a big law firm but not bad).

LSAT was 167, I understand its not a huge predictor, but from where i'm sitting I'm having trouble deciding (some big assumptions here...) if the increased competition from going to a better school like GWU would work against me when compared to a smaller school like Houston where I would expect to be in the top 20% if not top 10%.

Anyone have some thoughts on this matter?

TLDR:Not sure on aid from GWU, in off wait list, paying sticker(essentially) at Houston with in state tuition. Where I want to practice IDK, i don't think i'd be against being in houston for a few years, however i'd like the ability to move after some time, but with all the fortune 500 companies headquarted in houston i imagine the job market is decent to say the least, and not oversaturated like d.c.

GWU is a significantly better school, but not sure if it will be worth the extra 15-20k/yr.

Thanks for any input

User avatar
gwuorbust
Posts: 2087
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 11:37 pm

Re: University of Houston or GWU

Postby gwuorbust » Wed Jul 06, 2011 4:12 pm

edit:

I thought you were paying 54k/year for Houston.

at 20k/year in debt TCR is Houston IMO. GWU should be out, no brainer.

theresafire
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2011 2:27 pm

Re: University of Houston or GWU

Postby theresafire » Wed Jul 06, 2011 4:17 pm

I appreciate your feedback, sorry if it was a bit confusing.... to break it down


UH would come to about 20,000/yr cost to me (either debt or help from family)

GWU (if i get lucky) will be at least 37,000/yr potentially 50,000/yr.

From the data i've seen job prospects are rather similar even though the "rank" of the schools is widely different.

Also what does TCR mean? i see so many abbreviations on these boards i think i just missed the faq post lol.

User avatar
ndirish2010
Posts: 2950
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 4:41 pm

Re: University of Houston or GWU

Postby ndirish2010 » Wed Jul 06, 2011 4:46 pm

Houston. Has GW had a flood of WL admits lately? Everyone seems to be asking whether it's a good idea to pay sticker for them.

User avatar
bk1
Posts: 18422
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: University of Houston or GWU

Postby bk1 » Wed Jul 06, 2011 4:58 pm

I highly doubt you'll get any need based aid from GW since they were pretty stingy with it earlier and have probably run out of it. You also can't assume you will do any better at Houston than GW.

I think it all depends on how much money your parents are giving you. If they can bring your GW debt to around $120k or so (meaning they give you at least $100k) then GW becomes feasible even though Houston is going to be the more attractive choice no matter what. If you aren't getting at least 6 figures from your parents then go to Houston no matter what. If they are giving you 6 figures then Houston is still the right call but if you really irrationally love DC much more than Texas then you could make a case for GW.

ndirish2010 wrote:Houston. Has GW had a flood of WL admits lately? Everyone seems to be asking whether it's a good idea to pay sticker for them.


They have. There was a decent amount of waitlist movement above them and it has finally trickled down to GW.

schooner
Posts: 374
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 6:50 pm

Re: University of Houston or GWU

Postby schooner » Wed Jul 06, 2011 7:25 pm

theresafire wrote:Also what does TCR mean? i see so many abbreviations on these boards i think i just missed the faq post lol.


I think it means "The Credited Response."

I could've sworn I read in the GW threads that the WL people were told, very recently, that there's no more grant aid available. (Somebody correct me if I'm wrong.)

User avatar
queenlizzie13
Posts: 938
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 9:30 pm

Re: University of Houston or GWU

Postby queenlizzie13 » Wed Jul 06, 2011 7:49 pm

schooner wrote:
theresafire wrote:Also what does TCR mean? i see so many abbreviations on these boards i think i just missed the faq post lol.


I think it means "The Credited Response."

I could've sworn I read in the GW threads that the WL people were told, very recently, that there's no more grant aid available. (Somebody correct me if I'm wrong.)


You are correct. There is no more merit based aid available. However, you can still be considered for need-based aid which ranges from 2k - 16k per year.

theresafire
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2011 2:27 pm

Re: University of Houston or GWU

Postby theresafire » Wed Jul 06, 2011 8:33 pm

queenlizzie13 wrote:
You are correct. There is no more merit based aid available. However, you can still be considered for need-based aid which ranges from 2k - 16k per year.


Which is what i was referring to.

As I said I don't have my financial aid info in from them yet, but best case is stafford +16k (potentially some Perkins loans too depending on if they have any of that money available, still loans though so not super helpful in the grand scheme of things)

Seems that the majority of people on these forums are concerned mostly with the debt, which makes logical sense.

I also feel that if i dislike houston it just gives me even more of a reason to do super well so i can transfer out somewhere else...but thats a bridge to cross in a year or so tbh.

I just wondering if people have some thoughts on the issue, the way i see it, GWU is at least 17k/yr more expensive then houston, the 2009 data suggest 32% of their graduating class goes to biglaw, while only 18% of houston's does (which is quite a significant amount considering their rank) while biglaw+other firms=~65% at GWU and ~55% at houston. 15% government employment at GWU vs ~10% at houston, they are rather close, but I would imagine GWU would open many doors for potential government positions, especially with location and possible summer/externship opportunities next door. so the question comes down to whether those potential opportunities are worth 17k....(or more but if its more the answer will more then likely be no)

I guess at that point, assuming all loans, 60k in loans is rough, 100k is worse but IMO they still suck either way and I expect to take 15 years or more to pay them off....

fingersxd
Posts: 643
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 7:04 pm

Re: University of Houston or GWU

Postby fingersxd » Thu Jul 07, 2011 11:56 am

Houston should be your choice here. I suspect the CoA at GW will be at the higher end of your expected spectrum and the school just isn't worth paying sticker(or close to) for, when you have a good, and relatively cheap, option in Houston.

theresafire
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2011 2:27 pm

Re: University of Houston or GWU

Postby theresafire » Mon Jul 11, 2011 7:07 pm

Ok few more questions for people to hopefully respond to.

My goal isn't necessarily Big law, although UH is top 20% in NLJ250 so not much worse then GWU (and much better then its peer schools). But my big concern is whether or not I want to stay in Houston...

Ideally I would like to go into either some sort of government position or perhaps International Transactions. Seeing as I doubt i'd get much aid from GWU, My parents are helping with rent, that is about 12000/yr in houston and about 20,000/yr in GWU (18500 according to their CoA).

Tuition is 20,000yr/more at GWU so i'm looking at right around 90-100k Debt from Houston(before interest) and 160,000ish from GWU. Granted 60k is quite a pretty penny, but it seems much closer in the end.

As for classes offered, GWU has a significant advantage.

Given this what are thoughts on UH first year then transferring (not necessarily to GWU ideally a t14-t20ish school)? saves a bit of money for the first year, depending on how well I do the possibility for more aid the 2nd year to further reach a price parity on a better school that opens up more of a market.

Essentially my biggest concern is whether I want to be stuck in Houston for 3-6 years after I graduate...

User avatar
bk1
Posts: 18422
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: University of Houston or GWU

Postby bk1 » Mon Jul 11, 2011 7:11 pm

theresafire wrote:Tuition is 20,000yr/more at GWU so i'm looking at right around 90-100k Debt from Houston(before interest) and 160,000ish from GWU. Granted 60k is quite a pretty penny, but it seems much closer in the end.

90-100k is going to be far far easier to pay back in 10 years on a 30-60k salary than 160k. I guess the question is, are you okay with paying a lot more in interest because you will be indebted for around 2 decades rather than 1?
theresafire wrote:As for classes offered, GWU has a significant advantage.

This isn't important.
theresafire wrote:Given this what are thoughts on UH first year then transferring (not necessarily to GWU ideally a t14-t20ish school)? saves a bit of money for the first year, depending on how well I do the possibility for more aid the 2nd year to further reach a price parity on a better school that opens up more of a market.

This is bad idea. You will need to be around 10% or so to transfer out of UH meaning that 90% of the time you won't be able to transfer. Not to mention that it isn't so clear cut considering transferring means giving up a lot of things too.
theresafire wrote:Essentially my biggest concern is whether I want to be stuck in Houston for 3-6 years after I graduate...

You need to figure this out.

theresafire
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2011 2:27 pm

Re: University of Houston or GWU

Postby theresafire » Mon Jul 11, 2011 10:49 pm

bk1 wrote:
theresafire wrote:Tuition is 20,000yr/more at GWU so i'm looking at right around 90-100k Debt from Houston(before interest) and 160,000ish from GWU. Granted 60k is quite a pretty penny, but it seems much closer in the end.

90-100k is going to be far far easier to pay back in 10 years on a 30-60k salary than 160k. I guess the question is, are you okay with paying a lot more in interest because you will be indebted for around 2 decades rather than 1?

My thoughts on this are I'm either getting a job that will allow me to pay either back in 10 years (at GWU thats about 100k/yr pre tax for 1/4th post income going to loan payments) or i'm going to do income based and be paying a shitton more in interest over 25 years... I do realize that being in houston would mean significantly less pre tax income for the same comfort in repayment as living cost are much cheaper in Houston compared to anywhere along the eastern seaboard.

theresafire wrote:As for classes offered, GWU has a significant advantage.

This isn't important.

While I understand to a degree that what classes i take specifically aren't important, from undergrad experience I also know i'm much more motivated when I find material more interesting. Being in Law school is also an all or nothing proposal here, but I feel that when i'm truly truly interested in the class I can perform better. It might not make a huge difference in employment, but I don't think i can just toss it by the way side knowing I would have more options. Especially considering that the more interesting I find the class the more engaging I can be.

theresafire wrote:Given this what are thoughts on UH first year then transferring (not necessarily to GWU ideally a t14-t20ish school)? saves a bit of money for the first year, depending on how well I do the possibility for more aid the 2nd year to further reach a price parity on a better school that opens up more of a market.

This is bad idea. You will need to be around 10% or so to transfer out of UH meaning that 90% of the time you won't be able to transfer. Not to mention that it isn't so clear cut considering transferring means giving up a lot of things too.

Definitely part of my concern with this strategy. Knowing that I can't assume to do better at UH means Transferring isn't guaranteed at all which again puts me back at square one.

theresafire wrote:Essentially my biggest concern is whether I want to be stuck in Houston for 3-6 years after I graduate...

You need to figure this out.


The advice I was given was essentially, "if i want to practice in texas, go to houston, if not GWU." Without spending 3-6 years in Houston I won't know if i'd like to stay. Staying in Houston would make in house counsel at numerous big international companies a real possibility which would have the potential to alleviate my concern with being "stuck" in Houston, but I'm not sure how practical it is to say move from Texas to the east coast after practicing law for 3-6 years? is it reasonable to do? or more hassle then its worth?

User avatar
bk1
Posts: 18422
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: University of Houston or GWU

Postby bk1 » Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:31 pm

theresafire wrote:My thoughts on this are I'm either getting a job that will allow me to pay either back in 10 years (at GWU thats about 100k/yr pre tax for 1/4th post income going to loan payments) or i'm going to do income based and be paying a shitton more in interest over 25 years... I do realize that being in houston would mean significantly less pre tax income for the same comfort in repayment as living cost are much cheaper in Houston compared to anywhere along the eastern seaboard.


At both Houston and GW your chances of getting a 6 figure salary aren't particularly high (though they are definitely higher at GW). You will pretty much be guaranteed to be debt free in 10 years coming out of Houston even with a bottom of the barrel legal job (i.e. salary of 30k-60k) so you don't need to use IBR there. But another thing to take into account here is that only 60% of Houston grads got full time legal jobs in 2009 whereas it was 80% for GW. I mean being out of debt in 2024 sounds a lot more appealing to me than being out of debt in 2039.

theresafire wrote:While I understand to a degree that what classes i take specifically aren't important, from undergrad experience I also know i'm much more motivated when I find material more interesting. Being in Law school is also an all or nothing proposal here, but I feel that when i'm truly truly interested in the class I can perform better. It might not make a huge difference in employment, but I don't think i can just toss it by the way side knowing I would have more options. Especially considering that the more interesting I find the class the more engaging I can be.


I function similarly, but I am sure you can find interesting classes even at Houston. Not to mention that during 1L you will have no choice in the classes you take. This concern really is extremely secondary compared to debt, job prospects, and regionality.

theresafire wrote:The advice I was given was essentially, "if i want to practice in texas, go to houston, if not GWU." Without spending 3-6 years in Houston I won't know if i'd like to stay. Staying in Houston would make in house counsel at numerous big international companies a real possibility which would have the potential to alleviate my concern with being "stuck" in Houston, but I'm not sure how practical it is to say move from Texas to the east coast after practicing law for 3-6 years? is it reasonable to do? or more hassle then its worth?


You're from TX, I'd assume that if you like TX that Houston is going to closer to what you know than DC. However after several years of practice it will be the jobs and connections you've made that will help you find employment elsewhere, far more so than the school on your degree.

User avatar
Lawquacious
Posts: 2037
Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 10:36 am

Re: University of Houston or GWU

Postby Lawquacious » Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:34 pm

Do a poll.

User avatar
brose
Posts: 648
Joined: Sun Nov 16, 2008 2:05 am

Re: University of Houston or GWU

Postby brose » Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:35 pm

Why do I not get 2k/yr for resident grant? wtf.

dudders
Posts: 468
Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2010 4:56 pm

Re: University of Houston or GWU

Postby dudders » Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:47 pm

battle of the crappy summer weather my friend ... best of luck with your decision!

User avatar
gwuorbust
Posts: 2087
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 11:37 pm

Re: University of Houston or GWU

Postby gwuorbust » Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:02 am

Lawquacious wrote:Do a poll.


NO.

don't go GWU @ sticker. /needforpoll.

FlanSolo
Posts: 439
Joined: Mon Oct 11, 2010 11:34 am

Re: University of Houston or GWU

Postby FlanSolo » Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:14 am

I'll be going to GW in the Fall and just wanted to let you know that you shouldn't count on receiving any need based aid at all. Obviously, I don't know your situation, but if your parents are in a position to help you pay for school ...you aren't going to get any aid.

theresafire
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2011 2:27 pm

Re: University of Houston or GWU

Postby theresafire » Tue Jul 12, 2011 1:33 pm

FlanSolo wrote:I'll be going to GW in the Fall and just wanted to let you know that you shouldn't count on receiving any need based aid at all. Obviously, I don't know your situation, but if your parents are in a position to help you pay for school ...you aren't going to get any aid.



And honestly thats the Crux of it.

If i got 10k from GWU (which i don't actually expect to) its a difference of 50k...still significant

Also, i'm neither from Texas nor DC area.

Grew up in michigan, undergrad in boston, lived in CO before heading to Texas. I love Austin... but Austin isn't Texas, and the number of legal jobs here is, well shall we say LOW especially with UT Austin (and there aren't enough jobs in Austin for all their grads either).

So again, is it possible to move states 3-6 years down the line? or is that more hassle then its worth? if thats not a huge deal then I can see houston being alright for the next 6-9 years before moving and settling down elsewhere....

User avatar
ach24
Posts: 207
Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2010 1:24 pm

Re: University of Houston or GWU

Postby ach24 » Wed Jul 13, 2011 9:46 am

.
Last edited by ach24 on Fri Jul 31, 2015 10:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
maxm2764
Posts: 529
Joined: Sun May 02, 2010 6:12 pm

Re: University of Houston or GWU

Postby maxm2764 » Wed Jul 13, 2011 9:52 am

theresafire wrote:
increased competition from going to a better school like GWU would work against me when compared to a smaller school like Houston where I would expect to be in the top 20% if not top 10%.



Remove this from your decision-making process.

RustytheBeagle
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2011 4:09 pm

Re: University of Houston or GWU

Postby RustytheBeagle » Thu Jul 14, 2011 9:38 am

--LinkRemoved--

Click on the snapshot spreadsheet for the detailed information.

theresafire
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2011 2:27 pm

Re: University of Houston or GWU

Postby theresafire » Thu Jul 14, 2011 9:54 am

so with certainty just over 14% are in VERY big firms (50+ lawyers) and seem to make on average about 140k/yr....

Not bad considering the economy, even after that, 71% employed in jd required, another 14 in jd preferred, thats 85% employment right there. While everyone says the economy is dire, seems a tad overblown. Granted Houston (and texas in general) has weathered the storm well....

As for find jobs outside of houston....yes and know. I currently live in Austin, and I assure you, the UT grads + t14 school grads that want to move here is quite a few times more than the jobs available. Dallas is someplace i won't move, which leaves Houston, and Austin (if i'm top of the class in UH) for employment opportunities. Having lived in Austin would give me a leg up here, but statistically it won't happen). Granted Houston's legal market is, BIG, and In house counsel is still paying 65k for 50th percentile...

Did GWU post their 2010 numbers? seems like UH did a bit better this year then 2009, which is somewhat surprising....but top 16% gives a shot at a decent sized firm with it dropping quickly from there.

the data here...http://www.law.gwu.edu/Careers/prospective/Pages/EmploymentStatistics.aspx suggest 99% employment, which seems rather high if you ask me.




Return to “Choosing a Law School”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Alive97 and 13 guests