MOOBCINOS wrote:It's not dumb. Just look at the numbers. Yes, Cornell and Columbia are both great schools. The issue is just thay Columbia will open a few more doors for you than Cornell.
The debt issue comes into play only if you want to work for Govt. or something else with a lower salary compared, in which case I would recommend Cornell.
I'm simply pointing out the fact that, if OP wants to go to BigLaw, biting the 210k bullet to go to Columbia is probably worth it.
So, you would pay 210K for something that may open up a few more doors? It would be silly to say that Columbia does not offer better opportunities: better shot at academia, top clerkships, V10 firms will dip deeper in the class, but the price I would pay for that difference is significantly less. Personally, I would go to Cornell, get my biglaw job, and invest the money (would make more than a nice down payment on your dream house).
Also, I think you have it backwards. If I was going to work in some sort of low paying job, I would be more willing to take on the additional debt because of LRAP and IBR.