Columbia (1/2 free) vs Michigan (free)

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Kring345
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Columbia (1/2 free) vs Michigan (free)

Postby Kring345 » Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:18 pm

Hello everyone-

I recently posted something similar for NW vs Michigan, and you all helped to convince me that I wasnt crazy to prefer NU > Mich. I dont mean to spam the site with my need for assistance, but Im back once more. Im having a bit of a hard time doing research because Im in Afghanistan. Fortunately, Ive been given some time recently to dedicate myself to research, so I'd like to consult the collective wisdom of TLS.

I was recently accepted at Columbia, and it really threw my planning through a lop.

Im a veteran, so the GI Bill helps big-time with tuition and cost of living.

Columbia
51k tuition
- 27k GI Bill
= 24k/year owed
But + 2,800/mo cost of living stipend
Total debt, assuming COL covers all 'extra' stuff = ~75k

Northwestern
52k tuition
- 48k GI Bill
= 4k/year owed
But + 1,650/mo cost of living stipend
Total debt, assuming COL covers all 'extra' stuff = ~12k

Michigan
Free
+ 10k/yr stipend
= 10k/year GAIN
And + 1,250/mo cost of living stipend
Total debt, assuming COL covers all 'extra' stuff = ~0

All things being equal (prestige, rank, job prospects, money), I'd go to Columbia in a heart beat because of the location, proximity to family, proximity awesome stuff, and Ive always wanted to live in a major city, followed kinda closely by NU (Chicago is exactly mince meat) and then by Michigan (sorry, but Ive already lived in a quaint college town during UG).

Three factors to consider besides money:

1. I havent lived in the same place for more than 9 months since 2003 and I'd like to attend a law school in a place where I don’t have to leave during the summers and after graduating. Im absolutely exhausted from moving around the world/country (VA, CA, Iraq, Afghanistan x 2, DC, PA, etc). This is why I prefer CLS/Northwestern over Michigan.

2. My goal is to work in corp/business law in a major city -- keeping my options open as to specific field. Dont really care which city, to be honest.

3. In the end, 1-10 years from now, I'd like to end up back on the east coast.

Im not petrified of debt, and I do realize that a lot of people are facing A LOTTTT more debt than I am, but NU/Mich are essentially free and CLS is approximately 1/2 tuition. Im so drawn to CLS though, and not necessarily for the lay prestige, but for what I think are fairly legitmate reasons: QoL, job prospects in BigLaw, close to family, etc.

Thanks!

Kring!
Last edited by Kring345 on Sun Feb 26, 2012 10:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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5ky
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Re: Columbia (27k/yr) vs Michigan (free)

Postby 5ky » Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:21 pm

I wouldn't bat an eye if you picked Columbia without knowing anything besides the total cost. This, plus the fact you seem to really, really prefer it, tells me that you should go to Columbia.

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Bronck
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Re: Columbia (27k/yr) vs Michigan (free)

Postby Bronck » Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:26 pm

I'd pick Columbia. 75k debt is really not that much from a T6 school, especially when you're looking into big law. Plus you've got family there, and CLS places phenomenally into NYC.

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FryBreadPower
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Re: Columbia (27k/yr) vs Michigan (free)

Postby FryBreadPower » Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:28 pm

Bronck wrote:I'd pick Columbia. 75k debt is really not that much from a T6 school, especially when you're looking into big law. Plus you've got family there, and CLS places phenomenally into NYC.


To be fair however, its not just 75k in debt. We are talking about a 105k swing between Michigan and Columbia. Regardless of placement statistics that is a serious chunk of change.

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Bronck
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Re: Columbia (27k/yr) vs Michigan (free)

Postby Bronck » Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:32 pm

FryBreadPower wrote:
Bronck wrote:I'd pick Columbia. 75k debt is really not that much from a T6 school, especially when you're looking into big law. Plus you've got family there, and CLS places phenomenally into NYC.


To be fair however, its not just 75k in debt. We are talking about a 105k swing between Michigan and Columbia. Regardless of placement statistics that is a serious chunk of change.


Well yeah. But you also have the pleasure of not having to live in Ann Arbor.

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quiver
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Re: Columbia (27k/yr) vs Michigan (free)

Postby quiver » Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:34 pm

Columbia. It meets all of these criteria:
1. I havent lived in the same place for more than 9 months since 2003 and I'd like to attend a law school in a place where I don’t have to leave during the summers and after graduating. Im absolutely exhausted from moving around the world/country (VA, CA, Iraq, Afghanistan x 2, DC, PA, etc). This is why I prefer CLS/Northwestern over Michigan.

2. My goal is to work in corp/business law in a major city -- keeping my options open as to specific field. Dont really care which city, to be honest.

3. In the end, 1-10 years from now, I'd like to end up back on the east coast.

1. NYC is where the jobs are (mostly biglaw). It's easier to stay in NYC for the summers than probably any other city out there.
2. CLS is in the corp/business capital of the world. Even the litigation is almost all commercially driven. And I'd call NYC a major city. Check.
3. NYC is on the east coast and CLS will be able to get you pretty much anywhere else on the east coast in varying degrees depending on grades, ties, etc.

Also, you said this:
Im so drawn to CLS though, and not necessarily for the lay prestige, but for what I think are fairly legitmate reasons: QoL, job prospects in BigLaw, close to family, etc.
Just go to CLS. It has everything you want and 72k is really not that much debt (especially when considering that a majority of the class will have market-paying biglaw jobs).
Last edited by quiver on Sun Feb 26, 2012 1:55 am, edited 2 times in total.

kaiser
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Re: Columbia (27k/yr) vs Michigan (free)

Postby kaiser » Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:41 pm

I go to NYU and will have about the same debt load, and I can tell you that the vast majority of students would love to be in my (what could also be your) debt position. 75K debt with NYC biglaw job is a cakewalk compared to 200K debt, which is of course doable, but much more difficult. I plan to have that 70K or so paid off in 3 or 4 years, and never have to worry about it again, and it seems like that is an entirely realistic plan. If Columbia would leave you with around the same debt load, I say go for it.
Last edited by kaiser on Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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5ky
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Re: Columbia (27k/yr) vs Michigan (free)

Postby 5ky » Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:41 pm

FryBreadPower wrote:
Bronck wrote:I'd pick Columbia. 75k debt is really not that much from a T6 school, especially when you're looking into big law. Plus you've got family there, and CLS places phenomenally into NYC.


To be fair however, its not just 75k in debt. We are talking about a 105k swing between Michigan and Columbia. Regardless of placement statistics that is a serious chunk of change.


That's not how I interpreted the OP. It says that he/she would get a 2800/month COL stipend for Columbia, which would mostly cover COL.

edit: nvmd, you're right. i missed the bit about 10k/year stipend from Mich
Last edited by 5ky on Sun Feb 26, 2012 2:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

srfngdd6
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Re: Columbia (27k/yr) vs Michigan (free)

Postby srfngdd6 » Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:48 pm

for what you want Columbia seems like the best choice although Northwestern wouldnt be an awful decision however 75k debt for Columbia is something 95% of people would take in a heartbeat

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Tadatsune
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Re: Columbia (27k/yr) vs Michigan (free)

Postby Tadatsune » Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:52 pm

Tough decision. Bright side is you can't really lose no matter what you pick. Question is whether you feel C is worth 75k...

titan747
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Re: Columbia (27k/yr) vs Michigan (free)

Postby titan747 » Sat Feb 25, 2012 10:07 pm

I would take Michigan. It is a top 10 that would PAY YOU TO ATTEND! Great chance at biglaw without EVER having to make loan repayments.

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camelcrema
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Re: Columbia (27k/yr) vs Michigan (free)

Postby camelcrema » Sat Feb 25, 2012 10:20 pm

Congrats on the excellent options! I think CLS looks good here, mostly because you seem to really want family proximity and live in a big city. Family proximity can be a real boost during law school! However, living in NY on a student budget is a sad experience. Do you have the option to visit any of these, or will you have to submit a deposit before having the chance?

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emkay625
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Re: Columbia (27k/yr) vs Michigan (free)

Postby emkay625 » Sat Feb 25, 2012 10:21 pm

I would pick Columbia - you seem to have already made up your mind.

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blink
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Re: Columbia (27k/yr) vs Michigan (free)

Postby blink » Sat Feb 25, 2012 10:31 pm

Columbia.

Thank you for your service.

062914123
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Re: Columbia (27k/yr) vs Michigan (free)

Postby 062914123 » Sat Feb 25, 2012 10:33 pm

.
Last edited by 062914123 on Mon Jun 30, 2014 1:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

acrossthelake
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Re: Columbia (27k/yr) vs Michigan (free)

Postby acrossthelake » Sat Feb 25, 2012 11:51 pm

I doubt you'll go to either and really regret it. Normally I'd suggest the money, but considering your other preferences, go to Columbia. NYC is where the best corp/business law tends to be, and the other personal factors seem important.

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Kring345
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Re: Columbia (27k/yr) vs Michigan (free)

Postby Kring345 » Sun Feb 26, 2012 12:49 am

Thank you all for your great responses! I'll respond to some directly.

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Kring345
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Re: Columbia (27k/yr) vs Michigan (free)

Postby Kring345 » Sun Feb 26, 2012 12:50 am

FryBreadPower wrote:
Bronck wrote:I'd pick Columbia. 75k debt is really not that much from a T6 school, especially when you're looking into big law. Plus you've got family there, and CLS places phenomenally into NYC.


To be fair however, its not just 75k in debt. We are talking about a 105k swing between Michigan and Columbia. Regardless of placement statistics that is a serious chunk of change.

This is how I should have worded my question. Serious chunk, for sure!

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Kring345
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Re: Columbia (27k/yr) vs Michigan (free)

Postby Kring345 » Sun Feb 26, 2012 12:51 am

kaiser wrote:I go to NYU and will have about the same debt load, and I can tell you that the vast majority of students would love to be in my (what could also be your) debt position. 75K debt with NYC biglaw job is a cakewalk compared to 200K debt, which is of course doable, but much more difficult. I plan to have that 70K or so paid off in 3 or 4 years, and never have to worry about it again, and it seems like that is an entirely realistic plan. If Columbia would leave you with around the same debt load, I say go for it.

3-4 years, eh? Seems reasonable. But are you factoring in the high taxes, etc in NYC?

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Kring345
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Re: Columbia (27k/yr) vs Michigan (free)

Postby Kring345 » Sun Feb 26, 2012 12:52 am

5ky wrote:
FryBreadPower wrote:
Bronck wrote:I'd pick Columbia. 75k debt is really not that much from a T6 school, especially when you're looking into big law. Plus you've got family there, and CLS places phenomenally into NYC.


To be fair however, its not just 75k in debt. We are talking about a 105k swing between Michigan and Columbia. Regardless of placement statistics that is a serious chunk of change.


That's not how I interpreted the OP. It says that he/she would get a 2800/month COL stipend for Columbia, which would mostly cover COL.

Correct, I get a 2800/month at Columbia vs 1250/mo at Mich vs 1650/mo at NU.

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Kring345
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Re: Columbia (27k/yr) vs Michigan (free)

Postby Kring345 » Sun Feb 26, 2012 12:52 am

quiver wrote:Columbia. It meets all of these criteria:
5ky wrote:1. I havent lived in the same place for more than 9 months since 2003 and I'd like to attend a law school in a place where I don’t have to leave during the summers and after graduating. Im absolutely exhausted from moving around the world/country (VA, CA, Iraq, Afghanistan x 2, DC, PA, etc). This is why I prefer CLS/Northwestern over Michigan.

2. My goal is to work in corp/business law in a major city -- keeping my options open as to specific field. Dont really care which city, to be honest.

3. In the end, 1-10 years from now, I'd like to end up back on the east coast.

1. NYC is where the jobs are (mostly biglaw). It's easier to stay in NYC for the summers than probably any other city out there.
2. CLS is in the corp/business capital of the world. Even the litigation is almost all commercially driven. And I'd call NYC a major city. Check.
3. NYC is on the east coast and CLS will be able to get you pretty much anywhere else on the east coast in varying degrees depending on grades, ties, etc.

Also, you said this:
Im so drawn to CLS though, and not necessarily for the lay prestige, but for what I think are fairly legitmate reasons: QoL, job prospects in BigLaw, close to family, etc.
Just go to CLS. It has everything you want and 72k is really not that much debt (especially when considering that a majority of the class will have market-paying biglaw jobs).

Thank you for your detailed response! It really helped put things into context.

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Ozymandias
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Re: Columbia (27k/yr) vs Michigan (free)

Postby Ozymandias » Sun Feb 26, 2012 12:53 am

blink wrote:Columbia.

Thank you for your service.

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Bronck
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Re: Columbia (27k/yr) vs Michigan (free)

Postby Bronck » Sun Feb 26, 2012 12:58 am

Kring345 wrote:
kaiser wrote:I go to NYU and will have about the same debt load, and I can tell you that the vast majority of students would love to be in my (what could also be your) debt position. 75K debt with NYC biglaw job is a cakewalk compared to 200K debt, which is of course doable, but much more difficult. I plan to have that 70K or so paid off in 3 or 4 years, and never have to worry about it again, and it seems like that is an entirely realistic plan. If Columbia would leave you with around the same debt load, I say go for it.

3-4 years, eh? Seems reasonable. But are you factoring in the high taxes, etc in NYC?


You can probably pay it off in 2-3 years.

You can pay off some of the principal from the 2L SA salary and then live relatively frugally your first two years in biglaw.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Columbia (27k/yr) vs Michigan (free)

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Sun Feb 26, 2012 2:38 am

I also go to NYU and will owe far more than you would at CLS (but far less than people borrowing full sticker at either school). I have a biglaw job lined up and should be able to pay down my debt. I feel like I made the right decision instead of going to Michigan, which would have been about $50k cheaper, all things considered. It's not quite as much as the difference you're looking at, but I think you should go to CLS, given that your strong and completely reasonable preferences favor being in NYC. (I also suspect that being a veteran, and having the qualifications to get into these schools, means you will do really well with firm hiring, so the money shouldn't be a huge concern.)

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Kring345
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Re: Columbia (27k/yr) vs Michigan (free)

Postby Kring345 » Sun Feb 26, 2012 3:53 am

Bronck - What is a 2L SA salary, normally? 2-3000 for NYC biglaw?

dixie - Thank you for responding. My preference is leaning to CLS, and it's nice to hear someone who was in a similar situation made a similar call and is happy that they did so.




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