Goerge Washington vs University at Buffalo

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JAGX
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Goerge Washington vs University at Buffalo

Postby JAGX » Wed Jul 20, 2011 3:36 pm

WOW I just got a call today saying I was accepted from the wait-list for GW :shock:

I'm just trying to decide if it would be worth it for me. I had been accepted to GM as well, but the tuition was too high and I didn't get any scholarships. Is it easy for DC to get in-state status for law students and is there an in-state discount?

I'm currently set to go to the University at Buffalo Law School which is ranked who knows where, but the cost is about 14.5k/yr after scholarship and then rent is like ~500/mo for a good apartment near campus. That would be approximately ~45k for 3 years.

GW is like what, 44k/yr and rent is about 1200-1500/mo (I saw the rent and my Buffalonian eye almost exploded out of my head)! So that's about 160+k for 3 years. I'll be 22 next month, and I don't know if it would be worth it to go up to my eyeballs in debt to attend GW??? I know it's high-ranking, but when cost is an issue is not being one the top elite schools worth it?
Last edited by JAGX on Wed Jul 20, 2011 5:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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bk1
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Re: Goerge Mason vs University at Buffalo

Postby bk1 » Wed Jul 20, 2011 3:53 pm

Are you talking about GM or GW? GM is a public school in VA (which I believe is almost impossible to get in-state if you don't start with it) and GW is a private school in DC (which means there is no in-state discount).

Neither of those schools are worth sticker. You should go to Buffalo and accept that you will likely be working in upstate NY after law school.

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ndirish2010
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Re: Goerge Mason vs University at Buffalo

Postby ndirish2010 » Wed Jul 20, 2011 4:01 pm

Buffalo.

JAGX
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Re: Goerge Mason vs University at Buffalo

Postby JAGX » Wed Jul 20, 2011 4:03 pm

bk1 wrote:Are you talking about GM or GW? GM is a public school in VA (which I believe is almost impossible to get in-state if you don't start with it) and GW is a private school in DC (which means there is no in-state discount).

Neither of those schools are worth sticker. You should go to Buffalo and accept that you will likely be working in upstate NY after law school.


I'm talking about Washington. Could I get an insight into your thought process?

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j12
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Re: Goerge Mason vs University at Buffalo

Postby j12 » Wed Jul 20, 2011 4:08 pm

JAGX wrote:
bk1 wrote:Are you talking about GM or GW? GM is a public school in VA (which I believe is almost impossible to get in-state if you don't start with it) and GW is a private school in DC (which means there is no in-state discount).

Neither of those schools are worth sticker. You should go to Buffalo and accept that you will likely be working in upstate NY after law school.


I'm talking about Washington. Could I get an insight into your thought process?

You need to change the title of your thread then.
I agree with BK though. You don't want $200K debt to compete in DC with everyone else.
You're much safer going with the manageable debt at Buffalo.

Also, sorry you're going to Buffalo (that's a knock on the city, not the school)

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bk1
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Re: Goerge Mason vs University at Buffalo

Postby bk1 » Wed Jul 20, 2011 4:13 pm

JAGX wrote:I'm talking about Washington. Could I get an insight into your thought process?


GW at sticker costs $225,000 at the moment (more if tuition continues to rise). Your chances at getting a job (either a 6 figure private sector job or a job that qualifies for PSLF/LRAP) that will make that kind of debt aren't better than 30% or so. Having a 70% chance of being drowned in soulcrushing debt is not something you want.

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ndirish2010
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Re: Goerge Mason vs University at Buffalo

Postby ndirish2010 » Wed Jul 20, 2011 4:14 pm

Buffalo is the best and cheapest school upstate. And you will have almost no debt. At GW if you are not in the top quarter, you are screwed.

JAGX
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Re: Goerge Mason vs University at Buffalo

Postby JAGX » Wed Jul 20, 2011 6:54 pm

bk1 wrote:
JAGX wrote:I'm talking about Washington. Could I get an insight into your thought process?


GW at sticker costs $225,000 at the moment (more if tuition continues to rise). Your chances at getting a job (either a 6 figure private sector job or a job that qualifies for PSLF/LRAP) that will make that kind of debt aren't better than 30% or so. Having a 70% chance of being drowned in soulcrushing debt is not something you want.


ndirish2010 wrote:Buffalo is the best and cheapest school upstate. And you will have almost no debt. At GW if you are not in the top quarter, you are screwed.


Really? I understand that you have to do well to earn your way, but why would so many people go to GW if that's actually the case... I'm getting the impression that 60-70% of people who go to tier 1 law schools outside of t14 are having difficulties finding work that correspond to their degrees.

I know that employment rates after graduation are all inflated, but what about all of the hype regarding networking and prime locations and 'strong career services offices' and such; is that all only applicable to the top 30% of students?

I'm not saying I wouldn't do well, but mathematically I'd be more likely to end up in the lower 70% rather than the top 30% (especially in a school bursting with talented students). The financial aid office at GW really gave me a candid description that it's a GAMBLE to take that much debt (gambling with money I don't even have)

To top off my day, the admissions officer I spoke with really put his foot in his mouth which really doesn't give me the confidence I need to make such a financial commitment. He said something to the effect of:

"Well, a law degree is biggest investment in yourself you will ever make, and the institution you get your degree from will follow you forever. I mean, you need to have confidence in your investments and take risks, let's face it if people didn't make those investments they wouldn't own houses LOL."

And I was thinking to myself, yeah and all the people who took those absurd loans on houses that didn't have enough money can't pay them back, and now they are losing their houses. This seems to clearly mirror my situation, except after law school loans I'll still have a mortgage too :(

From 80% of sources I talk to, I haven't gotten the confidence needed to take the leap to go to the higher tier schools :cry:

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bk1
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Re: Goerge Mason vs University at Buffalo

Postby bk1 » Wed Jul 20, 2011 6:59 pm

JAGX wrote:Really? I understand that you have to do well to earn your way, but why would so many people go to GW if that's actually the case... I'm getting the impression that 60-70% of people who go to tier 1 law schools outside of t14 are having difficulties finding work that correspond to their degrees.


Because people aren't fully rational about the financial decision they are about to make on top of the fact that they don't do enough research (plus people assume that they can just work hard and they will be at the top of their class even though statistically most of them won't be). GW reports a median private sector salary in the 6 figures and people assume that they have a good shot at a 6 figure job even though if you do a little digging you find that that salary covers barely 1/4 of their class. On top of that it isn't hard to get the loan money. The government just hands it to people so they don't even have to think about the kind of investment they make. I mean GW at sticker is a bad idea but there are tons of people out there making even worse decisions (e.g. sticker at T2/T3/T4 schools). Just because lots of people are making a decision doesn't mean it's a good thing to do. Sticker at GW is a pretty bad idea, especially when a far cheaper option is available.

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Re: Goerge Mason vs University at Buffalo

Postby JAGX » Wed Jul 20, 2011 11:00 pm

bk1 wrote:
JAGX wrote:Really? I understand that you have to do well to earn your way, but why would so many people go to GW if that's actually the case... I'm getting the impression that 60-70% of people who go to tier 1 law schools outside of t14 are having difficulties finding work that correspond to their degrees.


Because people aren't fully rational about the financial decision they are about to make on top of the fact that they don't do enough research (plus people assume that they can just work hard and they will be at the top of their class even though statistically most of them won't be). GW reports a median private sector salary in the 6 figures and people assume that they have a good shot at a 6 figure job even though if you do a little digging you find that that salary covers barely 1/4 of their class. On top of that it isn't hard to get the loan money. The government just hands it to people so they don't even have to think about the kind of investment they make. I mean GW at sticker is a bad idea but there are tons of people out there making even worse decisions (e.g. sticker at T2/T3/T4 schools). Just because lots of people are making a decision doesn't mean it's a good thing to do. Sticker at GW is a pretty bad idea, especially when a far cheaper option is available.


You make very rational points.

The bolded is what concerns me most. I like many people was assuming that the median salary would mean that there are a decent number of jobs available in the six figure range. I don't know where to go to do the digging to fight numbers that are not bs inflations and misleading medians.

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ach24
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Re: Goerge Washington vs University at Buffalo

Postby ach24 » Thu Jul 21, 2011 8:44 am

.
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bogart
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Re: Goerge Mason vs University at Buffalo

Postby bogart » Thu Jul 21, 2011 9:57 am

j12bash wrote:
JAGX wrote:
bk1 wrote:Are you talking about GM or GW? GM is a public school in VA (which I believe is almost impossible to get in-state if you don't start with it) and GW is a private school in DC (which means there is no in-state discount).

Neither of those schools are worth sticker. You should go to Buffalo and accept that you will likely be working in upstate NY after law school.


I'm talking about Washington. Could I get an insight into your thought process?

You need to change the title of your thread then.
I agree with BK though. You don't want $200K debt to compete in DC with everyone else.
You're much safer going with the manageable debt at Buffalo.

Also, sorry you're going to Buffalo (that's a knock on the city, not the school)


Fuck that noise. Buffalo's awesome.

Op, go to buffalo and enjoy financial freedom.

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KingMenes
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Re: Goerge Washington vs University at Buffalo

Postby KingMenes » Thu Jul 21, 2011 10:05 am

Buffalo/financial freedom > GW/debtor's prison

If you excelled in your 1L year, couldn't your current scholarship be increased to a full ride in your 2L year?

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Robespierre
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Re: Goerge Washington vs University at Buffalo

Postby Robespierre » Thu Jul 21, 2011 10:16 am

OP, you mentioned the low rents on apartments in Buffalo. Does that mean you have to support yourself during LS? Because if your net tuition at SUNY-Buff is 14.5K/yr and you have to pay your own living expenses, and you have to borrow all of the above, your total debt looks like 80-90K, especially if you need a car and have to buy your own health insurance.

No?

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bport hopeful
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Re: Goerge Washington vs University at Buffalo

Postby bport hopeful » Thu Jul 21, 2011 10:23 am

OP, do you live in western NY? If not, Id say dont go to buffalo, defer, and figure some new shit out for next year. Buffalo sucks dog taint.

Also, I have some friends who go to cuse law and UB and have heard some terrible things about how UB students are fairing after graduation. Something about a change in their grading system.

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ndirish2010
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Re: Goerge Washington vs University at Buffalo

Postby ndirish2010 » Thu Jul 21, 2011 10:26 am

bport hopeful wrote:OP, do you live in western NY? If not, Id say dont go to buffalo, defer, and figure some new shit out for next year. Buffalo sucks dog taint.

Also, I have some friends who go to cuse law and UB and have heard some terrible things about how UB students are fairing after graduation. Something about a change in their grading system.


Yeah, UB finally went to an actual curve. I know a rising 2L who has a summer job but who knows what the job search there will be like. It is cheap though, unlike Cuse and Albany.

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Re: Goerge Washington vs University at Buffalo

Postby bogart » Thu Jul 21, 2011 10:26 am

bport hopeful wrote:OP, do you live in western NY? If not, Id say dont go to buffalo, defer, and figure some new shit out for next year. Buffalo sucks dog taint.

Also, I have some friends who go to cuse law and UB and have heard some terrible things about how UB students are fairing after graduation. Something about a change in their grading system.


Fuck your noise too, Buffalo's awesome.

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bport hopeful
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Re: Goerge Washington vs University at Buffalo

Postby bport hopeful » Thu Jul 21, 2011 10:28 am

bogart wrote:
bport hopeful wrote:OP, do you live in western NY? If not, Id say dont go to buffalo, defer, and figure some new shit out for next year. Buffalo sucks dog taint.

Also, I have some friends who go to cuse law and UB and have heard some terrible things about how UB students are fairing after graduation. Something about a change in their grading system.


Fuck your noise too, Buffalo's awesome.

haha buffalo is a festering wound.

Yeah, buffalo is cheap though. Id go there before I went to cuse or albany if I didnt get any schollys. Im from western NY and chose to GTFO because its not that nice here, and job prospects are terrble.

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Re: Goerge Washington vs University at Buffalo

Postby bogart » Thu Jul 21, 2011 10:42 am

bport hopeful wrote:
bogart wrote:
bport hopeful wrote:OP, do you live in western NY? If not, Id say dont go to buffalo, defer, and figure some new shit out for next year. Buffalo sucks dog taint.

Also, I have some friends who go to cuse law and UB and have heard some terrible things about how UB students are fairing after graduation. Something about a change in their grading system.


Fuck your noise too, Buffalo's awesome.

haha buffalo is a festering wound.

Yeah, buffalo is cheap though. Id go there before I went to cuse or albany if I didnt get any schollys. Im from western NY and chose to GTFO because its not that nice here, and job prospects are terrble.


Sorry bud, but usually its the person and not the town. Fun people always have fun. Also, job prospects are not as bad in upstate and western ny as other parts of the country.

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bport hopeful
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Re: Goerge Washington vs University at Buffalo

Postby bport hopeful » Thu Jul 21, 2011 10:46 am

bogart wrote:
bport hopeful wrote:
bogart wrote:
bport hopeful wrote:OP, do you live in western NY? If not, Id say dont go to buffalo, defer, and figure some new shit out for next year. Buffalo sucks dog taint.

Also, I have some friends who go to cuse law and UB and have heard some terrible things about how UB students are fairing after graduation. Something about a change in their grading system.


Fuck your noise too, Buffalo's awesome.

haha buffalo is a festering wound.

Yeah, buffalo is cheap though. Id go there before I went to cuse or albany if I didnt get any schollys. Im from western NY and chose to GTFO because its not that nice here, and job prospects are terrble.


Sorry bud, but usually its the person and not the town. Fun people always have fun. Also, job prospects are not as bad in upstate and western ny as other parts of the country.

Thats not to say I havent had fun there, but good RC. Its fun in the sense that if I was a shithead drunk UG student (which I was for the four previous years) that its not a decent place to spend a night, but thats about it. I wouldnt want to live there as a proffesional or raise kids there though. And theres always going to be someplace with a worse legal market, but western ny is pretty bad man.

I did once see like a sixty man brawl on chippewa. That was an experience that Im glad I had, but it adds to the reasons I wouldnt want to be there for any extended perio of time.

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Re: Goerge Washington vs University at Buffalo

Postby JAGX » Thu Jul 21, 2011 11:52 am

I live about 45 minutes away from UB, and I would commute for the first year and would then look to get an apartment, and possibly split a place if I don't like the expenses.

So straight 15k for the first year, then for the 2nd and 3rd it's 15k/yr (30 total) tuition + say ~15k/yr (another 30 total) expenses = ~75k total. And it's very unlikely that I would get any extra $$$ for doing well. Keep in mind the living expenses are a bit generous.

So 75k UB vs 220k GW?


Would my earning power after GW justify 3x the expenses? And what kind of chance/how high in my class would I need to be to snag a six figure job from GW?

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Robespierre
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Re: Goerge Washington vs University at Buffalo

Postby Robespierre » Thu Jul 21, 2011 12:46 pm

JAGX wrote:I live about 45 minutes away from UB, and I would commute for the first year and would then look to get an apartment, and possibly split a place if I don't like the expenses.

So straight 15k for the first year, then for the 2nd and 3rd it's 15k/yr (30 total) tuition + say ~15k/yr (another 30 total) expenses = ~75k total. And it's very unlikely that I would get any extra $$$ for doing well. Keep in mind the living expenses are a bit generous.

So 75k UB vs 220k GW?


Would my earning power after GW justify 3x the expenses? And what kind of chance/how high in my class would I need to be to snag a six figure job from GW?


OK thanks for clarifying.

GW placed only about 25% of its 2010 grads in high-paying "NLJ250" jobs. Even assuming the number isn't worse when your time comes to seek a job, those aren't good odds when you've got 220K in nondischargeable debt on your back. I don't see GW as an option for you.

Even the 75K debt at UB scares me. But if you are burning to be a lawyer, would be happy working in Buffalo, and know the risks, I guess it's a decent gamble.

Try to get some money out of GW. If you can't, my vote is UB. Also, if you think you can do better on the LSAT, then wait a year, study hard and retake it, and qualify for better schools or a scholly at GW.

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ndirish2010
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Re: Goerge Washington vs University at Buffalo

Postby ndirish2010 » Thu Jul 21, 2011 12:57 pm

GW doesn't negotiate, it's either that 105K scholarship or nothing.

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bport hopeful
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Re: Goerge Washington vs University at Buffalo

Postby bport hopeful » Thu Jul 21, 2011 1:21 pm

You should call UB and see if they can do anything for you. Use GW and GM as leverage.

I live like an hour from UB and cant find a single thing in this area that makes me want to stay. Do you really like it here that much to not get out when you have this glorious oppertunity?

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Re: Goerge Washington vs University at Buffalo

Postby SchopenhauerFTW » Thu Jul 21, 2011 2:49 pm

Dat thread title.




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