ACROOS170 wrote:First, thank you all for your input!!! This feedback is incredibly helpful. I think it is great that TLS provides these forums...
Having said that, I am sorta surprised by the consensus. Obviously, UT is a great school and I am giving them consideration because of that. However, just running some quick calculations...
Wash U: $35,000 in living expenses + $40,000 Undergrad = $75,000 in debt = roughly $750 monthly payments for 10yr plan
UTexas: $35,000 in living expenses + $40,000 Undergrad + ~$60,000 Law School = $135,000 in debt = roughly $1,350 monthly payments for 10yr plan
Penn: $40,000 in living expenses + $40,000 Undergrad + ~$145,000 Law School = $225,000 in debt = roughly $2,250 monthly payments for 10yr plan
Conservatively estimated starting salaries over 10 years... (obviously not accounting for bonuses/raises/taxes)
Wash U: $125,000 / 12mos = ~$10,500 per month - $750 = $9,250 in monthly dough after loan payments
UTexas: $140,000 /12mos = ~$11,500 per month - $1,350 = $10,150 "
Penn: $155,000 / 12mos = ~$13,000 per month - $2,250 = $10,750 "
Obviously these are only rough estimates... Certainly, some Wash U grads land 160k paying jobs and same for UT... But I think it would be naive to assume that I would be one of them... Plus, I could end up being one of the few Penn grads who want BigLaw and don't get such a job, which would undermine my estimations, as well. Additionally, there are factors that one can't quantify (i.e. career prospects & flexibility beyond 10yrs, location livability, and other intangibles...)
If nothing else, I think this just shows that it isn't as simple as it may seem at first.
And in re: UTexas, it seems plausible that I could graduate with a $120,000 salary and $100,000+ in debt... That scares me the most of all....
Again, I'm not saying that I don't like UT. I think it is a great school... I'm just not convinced that it is as simple of a decision as some make it sound...
Especially to the UT advocates, is there a reason why I should discount the calculations I just mentioned? Other factors that I am not considering?
There are a few problems with this analysis, but there are two major flaws above all others that will significant impact the decision:
1) You forgot about taxes. Your monthly 'dough' will be about half what you calculated.
2) Where are you getting $145k + $40k in debt for Penn from? Unless I'm missing something, you said sticker, correct? CoA at Penn is roughly $70k per year right now. Ignoring any tuition increases, you're talking about $210k in debt, which is $25k more than you projected.