For PI: Northeastern v. CUNY v. stay at my T1

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For PI: Northeastern v. CUNY v. stay at my T1

Postby boilerplated » Tue Jul 12, 2011 11:45 am

I'm probably setting myself up for a lot of snark, but any constructive advice is appreciated. I'm a transfer applicant now at a lower-end T1 in the west, looking to make a move east. I'm looking pretty exclusively at public interest work after I graduate and would highly prefer to work in the northeast region. I haven't gotten a decision from CUNY yet, but I'm trying to rank my potential options so I can make a decision as soon as everything comes through. Here are the pros and cons as I see them:

Northeastern: Has a solid reputation for public interest in the region I'm aiming for. The co-op program is a genuinely unique feature that I won't find at other schools, and I feel like I would graduate with more than just a degree. The primary drawback is the price. It's an expensive private school and I won't get scholarship money as a transfer. I've also never lived in Boston and would have to scramble to find an apartment. (Total estimated debt: $80K.)

CUNY: A fourth-tier school, but one with a public interest niche and affordable tuition. Their third-year clinical programs are very hands-on and geared towards the type of work I want to do. Would be the least expensive option by far. I have strong ties to Queens and could save money on COL by renting a room from family. Overall I would be most comfortable with the living situation, and I'm leaning this way if I get in. Primary drawback: would offer the least flexibility if I want to go in a different direction career-wise. (Total estimated debt: $20K)

My T1: The highest ranked school of the three, though I'm not convinced that makes a huge difference. I have solid relationships with some of the faculty and it's of course easier to stay put than to leave. I'll have in-state tuition over the next two years and have a modest scholarship going forward (first year is paid for), so it would be the in-between option in terms of price. Primary drawbacks: I don't like the area and couldn't see myself living here longterm, and it's not a school that draws much name recognition back east. It's also a very traditional law school and I'm looking for a different experience. (Total estimated debt: $45K)

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