sunynp wrote:Why would you take on 200,000 of debt when you don't have to? I would love to ask the trustee of my friend's trust fund to see what they would say. I am certain that a prudent financial advisor would not approve spending $200,000 for Harvard or Stanford when you could go to Columbia for free.
I mean, seriously, what world do you live in that $200,000 is not enough money to make your mind up for you? Just why would you burden your future with having to pay that amount back? It makes no sense to me.
I mean, not to be flip, but we are literally talking about a world in which your starting salary with the degree is likely to be in the neighborhood of 160k, or else likely eligible for loan repayment.
I don't think it's at all unreasonable to go to HLS/SLS over the Hamilton. I'm in the same position as OP except haven't heard from Stanford (so only deciding HLS/Hamilton at this point) and it is a genuinely difficult decision. It's not just a matter of 'duh take the money'-- you'll have an HLS degree for a lot longer than you'll be servicing HLS debt.
Based on the conversations I've been having with people, the decision comes down more or less to how comfortable someone is with risk. HLS at sticker has a relatively small downside and a huge upside, but it's still a risk, and it's definitely true that loan repayments are a major drag on your lifestyle. CLS w/ the Hamilton has no real downside and a pretty damn big upside, but the upside isn't quite as big.
So it's the psychological factor coupled with what someone's specific ambitions are. HLS does carry at least somewhat farther in certain areas of law (academia, PI) that might matter a whole lot to people. So I think it's wrong to say "oh it's crazy to take on the debt." It's a matter of taste more than anything.