1/2 tuition at Michigan v. sticker at Columbia

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

1/2 tuition at Michigan v. sticker at Columbia

Michigan
27
59%
Columbia
19
41%
 
Total votes: 46

NW Transplant
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:31 am

1/2 tuition at Michigan v. sticker at Columbia

Postby NW Transplant » Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:52 am

Hi All.

I am trying to decide between taking a Dean's Scholarship at Michigan and paying sticker at Columbia. My wife and I know that we want to end up living on the west coast again, either in Nor Cal or the Pacific Northwest, with Portland being the dream scenario. Having heard back from everyone but YHS, and knowing that my 3.69/178 is unlikely to get me in to any of those three, the wife and I are trying to work through this dilema. While I know enough to know that I won't know what I want to do with my JD until I have some school under my belt, I suspect that I will end up gravitating to Big Law.

The pro-con as I see it:

Michigan Pros
Healthy scholarship and low cost of living reduce our debt burden
More diverse geographic placement of graduates
Stronger national alumni network

Michigan Cons
More challenging to find summer work
Job placement and starting salary not quite at Columbia's level

Columbia Pros
Ivy League reputation
Strong summer employment prospects
Very strong job placement and starting salary

Columbia Cons
High cost of living and tuition produce a mountain of debt
Very regional job placement
Weaker national alumni network

Thank you for reading. I greatly appreciate whatever feedback you might have.

User avatar
Lincoln
Posts: 1029
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2009 11:27 pm

Re: 1/2 tuition at Michigan v. sticker at Columbia

Postby Lincoln » Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:00 am

(1) What would your wife do if you lived in Ann Arbor?
(2) Negotiate with Columbia for scholarship money.

dixon02
Posts: 374
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:27 am

Re: 1/2 tuition at Michigan v. sticker at Columbia

Postby dixon02 » Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:01 am

Out of curiosity, does your wife's ability to find a job factor in at all? If so, that's obviously a pretty big edge to NY.

There's no right answer here...people debate these situations all the time. Like you, I'm a little older, and that made me more debt averse when choosing. I faced nearly the exact same decision and took the 1/2 scholly at an MVPB school and never looked back. Very happy with my decision right now.

One thing I would toss in is that part of Columbia's geographic placement is self-selection. A lot of them just want to stay in NY. If you want to go to Portland and have ties, Columbia will certainly allow you to do that.

ahnhub
Posts: 578
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 3:14 pm

Re: 1/2 tuition at Michigan v. sticker at Columbia

Postby ahnhub » Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:06 am

Would you be willing to work at a corporate law firm in NY, at least for a few years? Because that is the most significant advantage Columbia has over Michigan.

And +1 to getting money from Columbia--they haven't announced awards yet, right? Your GPA is low but your LSAT is stellar, I think you could finagle some $ from them. Did you get into NYU or Chicago? Any scholarships from them would probably be stronger negotiating material.

+1 also to the geographic placement thing--self selection mostly explains the geographic diversity of Michigan grads. Columbia grads are strongly attracted to prestigious New York law firms. I love Michigan, but I honestly think the Columbia name might have slightly more pull.

NW Transplant
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:31 am

Re: 1/2 tuition at Michigan v. sticker at Columbia

Postby NW Transplant » Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:18 am

My wife works in management for a national retailer, and should be able to transfer in either case.

I was under the impression that Columbia informed applicants of merit awards at time of admission, but maybe I am wrong about that. I didn't apply to NYU, and got wait-listed at Chicago. My apps went out in mid-december. Do you think the Michigan scholly would be useful in negotiating?

As for whether I would be willing to do a few years work in NYC to start: likely not. I know how easy it is to get stuck once you start practicing, and I really do not want to get stuck in the Big Apple.

ahnhub
Posts: 578
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 3:14 pm

Re: 1/2 tuition at Michigan v. sticker at Columbia

Postby ahnhub » Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:33 am

For Columbia-- if they're doing it like before you need to fill out NeedAccess and their FA Questionnaire (possibly maybe FAFSA?) before they determine your award.

kaiser
Posts: 2940
Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 11:34 pm

Re: 1/2 tuition at Michigan v. sticker at Columbia

Postby kaiser » Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:36 am

Full sticker at Columbia, plus NYC cost of living, is a somewhat scary proposition. I don't know if I would be comfortable with it, to tell you the truth. Hopefully they throw you some scholarship, because idk if over 200K in debt is worth it.

dixon02
Posts: 374
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:27 am

Re: 1/2 tuition at Michigan v. sticker at Columbia

Postby dixon02 » Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:40 am

If you are not only not interested but unwilling to do NYC big law, then Michigan seems like a better option.

NW Transplant
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:31 am

Re: 1/2 tuition at Michigan v. sticker at Columbia

Postby NW Transplant » Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:42 am

ahnhub wrote:For Columbia-- if they're doing it like before you need to fill out NeedAccess and their FA Questionnaire (possibly maybe FAFSA?) before they determine your award.


I don't have very high hopes on the need-based aid front.

ahnhub
Posts: 578
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 3:14 pm

Re: 1/2 tuition at Michigan v. sticker at Columbia

Postby ahnhub » Tue Feb 28, 2012 2:41 am

It will be merit-based, not need-based. Actual need-based aid generally only exists for HYS. Your GPA is a little low, but I would think that 178 would be very desirable to Columbia. If you negotiate I think you could snag some $.

User avatar
hung jury
Posts: 159
Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2011 1:52 am

Re: 1/2 tuition at Michigan v. sticker at Columbia

Postby hung jury » Tue Feb 28, 2012 3:27 am

I find Columbia at sticker hard to fathom even if you want NYC. Since you want to move West, I'd go with Michigan. Any gap between the two outside of NYC doesn't justify the massive cost difference (decently over 100k once you factor in interest and COL). Michigan has a sizeable alumni base out west as well.




Return to “Choosing a Law School”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: sanibella and 3 guests