Fantastic (TTT) Scholarship vs. Good (T30) Scholarship

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )

Drake with the Opperman Scholarship or Iowa with free tuition?

Drake
5
17%
Iowa
24
83%
 
Total votes: 29

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shredderrrrrr
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Fantastic (TTT) Scholarship vs. Good (T30) Scholarship

Postby shredderrrrrr » Wed Feb 01, 2012 5:18 pm

Opie had a discussion about these same two schools a few days ago, but I wanted your thoughts on my particular situation. Yes, I know I am talking about a TTT on the TOP Law School forums, but I think my situation is understandable.

Option 1: Drake Law School with the Opperman Scholarship. This is a full-tuition scholarship with a $10,000/year stipend (given in the form of two $5,000 checks, one each semester) and various networking opportunities reserved solely for scholarship recipients. It is renewed for the 2nd and 3rd year so long as I am top 35% in one of the semesters from the preceding year. If I fail to be top 35% either semester, it is renewed minus the stipend so long as I am top 40% one of the two semesters. The stipulations then go further down, but if I am not in the top 40%, I will likely not continue law school regardless. FWIW, in the last 10 years, only 1 of the total 50 recipients has failed to keep the Opperman Scholarship at full award.

Option 2: Full tuition scholarship at University of Iowa College of Law. This has a top 35% stipulation as well. Unlike Drake, however, there are no steps. If I fail to be top 35%, I lose the scholarship.

Relevant Information:
I love Iowa and want to live/practice in Iowa.

I currently live about 1.5 hours from either town (Des Moines and Iowa City) but have family that live in both.

I have no ties anywhere to the legal market whatsoever.

Drake places as well, if not better, than Iowa in Des Moines (the primary legal market in the state). Outside of Iowa, Drake has virtually no weight while Iowa, as a T30, is decent in the Midwest. Note that I have no intentions of leaving Iowa and would love to work in Des Moines.

I am coming straight from UG without any debt. My girlfriend will be graduating along with me and will hopefully have a job as a special education teacher to help cover living expenses.

Lastly, my parents, having tried to save money to help me finance my law school education, have money saved that will now not need to be put towards tuition. If I attend Drake, they have promised to give my girlfriend and I $500/month to help with living expenses. If I attend Iowa, they are going to temporarily purchase my grandmothers home (who has recently moved into assisted living) for my girlfriend and I to live in. While we wouldn't receive any money from them, we would have free lodging minus utilities. I assure you I am not an entitled douche. I just am really lucky and have very generous parents.

TL;DR:
Considering I want to stay in Iowa, does getting paid to attend a lower ranked school outweigh a free education from a higher ranked school?

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rinkrat19
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Re: Fantastic (TTT) Scholarship vs. Good (T30) Scholarship

Postby rinkrat19 » Wed Feb 01, 2012 5:24 pm

Your reasoning about wanting to stay in Iowa is fine, but I'd still be extremely concerned about Drake's employment stats. They are truly abysmal.

checkster
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Re: Fantastic (TTT) Scholarship vs. Good (T30) Scholarship

Postby checkster » Wed Feb 01, 2012 5:42 pm

Personally, as someone familiar with both of these schools, I'd say Iowa. I'm from northern MO, and even around here people really don't know Drake. I don't know a single attorney here that went to Drake, but know several from Iowa. I know you want to stay in Iowa, but I'd still take the school that would give you the chance to get a job somewhere else if you needed to. It would be one thing if it was Drake free vs Iowa at in-state only, but Iowa free is great. Even if you lose it, you saved the 27k for the first year, so you're looking at 2 years of in-state for a T30 school. Paying at most 55k for an Iowa degree, with the possibility of paying nothing? I'd take that over Drake any day.

But either way, you seem like you will be in ok shape if you like Iowa.

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Nelson
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Re: Fantastic (TTT) Scholarship vs. Good (T30) Scholarship

Postby Nelson » Wed Feb 01, 2012 5:47 pm

Iowa seems like the clear choice.

I've read about Iowa's bad stips in the past, but every time I see them I'm shocked. Top 35% is worse than most TT schools who at least give you a coin toss to stay in the top half. Is there any chance of getting them removed with an offer from a peer school?

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romothesavior
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Re: Fantastic (TTT) Scholarship vs. Good (T30) Scholarship

Postby romothesavior » Wed Feb 01, 2012 6:06 pm

I think Iowa is the clear winner, but why are Iowa schools so fucking TTT in their scholarships? I mean, Jesus Christ that is so horrible. They are one of the only (maybe the only) school in their peer group with scholarship stips at all, and 35%? That is just so goddamn ridiculous it is hard to believe it is coming from a purportedly top 30 institution. Maybe they will remove them?

I would to go Iowa and be ready to drop out if you don't stay in the top 35%.

ETA: The more I think about it, the more I am hesitant to say Iowa. You are literally getting a free education from Drake (not even really paying for COL) at Drake, and you are from Iowa and want to stay there. What are your goals? How does Drake place into "Iowa biglaw" (in other words, the Des Moines firms that are even relatively decent sized)? Does anyone know anything about Drake's placement in Iowa? Being a lawyer with a $40,000 salary really isn't so bad if you have zero debt, so long as practicing law is what you really want to do.
Last edited by romothesavior on Wed Feb 01, 2012 6:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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smelltheglove
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Re: Fantastic (TTT) Scholarship vs. Good (T30) Scholarship

Postby smelltheglove » Wed Feb 01, 2012 6:07 pm

Are these your only choices?

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sach1282
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Re: Fantastic (TTT) Scholarship vs. Good (T30) Scholarship

Postby sach1282 » Wed Feb 01, 2012 6:08 pm

romothesavior wrote:35%? That is just so goddamn ridiculous


QFT.

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Nelson
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Re: Fantastic (TTT) Scholarship vs. Good (T30) Scholarship

Postby Nelson » Wed Feb 01, 2012 6:14 pm

romothesavior wrote:ETA: The more I think about it, the more I am hesitant to say Iowa. You are literally getting a free education from Drake (not even really paying for COL) at Drake, and you are from Iowa and want to stay there. What are your goals? How does Drake place into "Iowa biglaw" (in other words, the Des Moines firms that are even relatively decent sized)? Does anyone know anything about Drake's placement in Iowa? Being a lawyer with a $40,000 salary really isn't so bad if you have zero debt, so long as practicing law is what you really want to do.

I thought this at first, but if his SO is covering their living expenses (and housing is free) then it's a difference of the 30k stipend. If he finishes out of the top 35% at Drake either semester than he loses the stipend. That's just designed to be lost.

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shredderrrrrr
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Re: Fantastic (TTT) Scholarship vs. Good (T30) Scholarship

Postby shredderrrrrr » Wed Feb 01, 2012 6:26 pm

Lol it may show how Iowa-sheltered I've been, but I thought 35% were the norm! I guess I've never seen it as a huge issue because if you're not in the top 35% of your class coming from schools like Drake or even Iowa, you're going to be in a bad situation regardless. Even if I was going at full cost, I'd be thinking about dropping out if I wasn't top 35% unless I was at a top-tier school.

Out of curiosity, how do I ask if the stipulations can be removed? Just politely suggest it in an email? Also, and more importantly, can schools rescind their scholarship offers? I may sound stupid, but I'm afraid if I ask for the stiupulations to be removed for either scholarship that I would look greedy and unappreciative of their offer and that it would be taken away.

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shredderrrrrr
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Re: Fantastic (TTT) Scholarship vs. Good (T30) Scholarship

Postby shredderrrrrr » Wed Feb 01, 2012 6:28 pm

Nelson wrote:
romothesavior wrote:ETA: The more I think about it, the more I am hesitant to say Iowa. You are literally getting a free education from Drake (not even really paying for COL) at Drake, and you are from Iowa and want to stay there. What are your goals? How does Drake place into "Iowa biglaw" (in other words, the Des Moines firms that are even relatively decent sized)? Does anyone know anything about Drake's placement in Iowa? Being a lawyer with a $40,000 salary really isn't so bad if you have zero debt, so long as practicing law is what you really want to do.

I thought this at first, but if his SO is covering their living expenses (and housing is free) then it's a difference of the 30k stipend. If he finishes out of the top 35% at Drake either semester than he loses the stipend. That's just designed to be lost.


No, I just need to be top 35% in ONE of the two semesters. So basically if I get top 35% first semester and last in the class 2nd semester, I would still recieve the scholarship the following year. Sorry if I mispoke/waasn't clear about that.

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shredderrrrrr
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Re: Fantastic (TTT) Scholarship vs. Good (T30) Scholarship

Postby shredderrrrrr » Wed Feb 01, 2012 6:34 pm

ETA: The more I think about it, the more I am hesitant to say Iowa. You are literally getting a free education from Drake (not even really paying for COL) at Drake, and you are from Iowa and want to stay there. What are your goals? How does Drake place into "Iowa biglaw" (in other words, the Des Moines firms that are even relatively decent sized)? Does anyone know anything about Drake's placement in Iowa? Being a lawyer with a $40,000 salary really isn't so bad if you have zero debt, so long as practicing law is what you really want to do.


At this point, I have no specific aspirations in regards to what exact field I want to practice in. Furthermore, I have no intentions of biglaw. I'd rather make less and have a better work-life balance. It is largely my ambivalence that is pushing me towards accepting the cheapest education possible.

From all the evidence I have gathered, Drake places better in Des Moines. The question, however, is whether this is a result of Iowa grads choosing to practice elsewhere. It's hard to know if there are more Drake grads working in Des Moines because those are the only ones who apply for the jobs or if they are actively picked over Iowa grads. The latter isn't too ridiculous when considering alumni bias/preference.

At the very worst, it seems Drake and Iowa would be equal in Des Moines. If this were the case, I am under the impression that an "Opperman Scholar" from Drake would look better than just a regular student from Iowa. Is this stupid?

And yes, I would much rather make less money and have no debt than have a high-paying job with big loans to pay off. Debt scares the shit out of me.

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shredderrrrrr
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Re: Fantastic (TTT) Scholarship vs. Good (T30) Scholarship

Postby shredderrrrrr » Wed Feb 01, 2012 6:38 pm

smelltheglove wrote:Are these your only choices?


For what I want, pretty much. I got accepted into Marquette and have yet to hear about scholarship info, was WLed at Minnesota, and got a 50% scholarship at Illinois (the only tempting alternative).

As I mentioned above, however, I want no debt and to practice in Iowa. Compared to my Iowa and Drake situation, none of these three would make any sense.

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Nelson
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Re: Fantastic (TTT) Scholarship vs. Good (T30) Scholarship

Postby Nelson » Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:10 pm

shredderrrrrr wrote:
Nelson wrote:
romothesavior wrote:ETA: The more I think about it, the more I am hesitant to say Iowa. You are literally getting a free education from Drake (not even really paying for COL) at Drake, and you are from Iowa and want to stay there. What are your goals? How does Drake place into "Iowa biglaw" (in other words, the Des Moines firms that are even relatively decent sized)? Does anyone know anything about Drake's placement in Iowa? Being a lawyer with a $40,000 salary really isn't so bad if you have zero debt, so long as practicing law is what you really want to do.

I thought this at first, but if his SO is covering their living expenses (and housing is free) then it's a difference of the 30k stipend. If he finishes out of the top 35% at Drake either semester than he loses the stipend. That's just designed to be lost.


No, I just need to be top 35% in ONE of the two semesters. So basically if I get top 35% first semester and last in the class 2nd semester, I would still recieve the scholarship the following year. Sorry if I mispoke/waasn't clear about that.

Oh my mistake. If the two schools have the same stips and roughly equivalent placement in the cities you want to work in, take the money.

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Belle88
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Re: Fantastic (TTT) Scholarship vs. Good (T30) Scholarship

Postby Belle88 » Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:02 pm

People on this website don't respect Drake- doesn't mean it isn't a good place to be. My brother attended Drake on the Opperman, finished debt free, landed a federal clerkship, and now has a job in Iowa. It can be done from anywhere. And Des Moines is better than Eastern Iowa. Just sayin.

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Bronck
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Re: Fantastic (TTT) Scholarship vs. Good (T30) Scholarship

Postby Bronck » Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:08 pm

Belle88 wrote:People on this website don't respect Drake- doesn't mean it isn't a good place to be. My brother attended Drake on the Opperman, finished debt free, landed a federal clerkship, and now has a job in Iowa. It can be done from anywhere. And Des Moines is better than Eastern Iowa. Just sayin.


People generally don't respect Drake because of its poor employment data, not for some random reason.

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Fantastic (TTT) Scholarship vs. Good (T30) Scholarship

Postby Doorkeeper » Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:14 pm

If possible, you could apply to other schools around the T30 and if you get scholly packages from them use that to leverage Iowa into removing the stips from that scholarship. Top 35% is nasty.

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vpintz
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Re: Fantastic (TTT) Scholarship vs. Good (T30) Scholarship

Postby vpintz » Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:20 pm

Obvi I'm voting Drake so we can be classmates. (I kid!)

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TommyK
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Re: Fantastic (TTT) Scholarship vs. Good (T30) Scholarship

Postby TommyK » Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:23 pm

Some schools will negotiate the stipulations to a lower threshold. I was able to do that with bama last year. You may want to see if you can swing that if you haven't tried. Even top 50% would give me a bit more comfort in making the choice. But it sounds like you have two acceptable options there.




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