HLS ($90k debt) vs. Columbia w/ Hamilton

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

NOW WITH POLL!!!1

Harvard ($90k debt)
20
53%
Columbia (no debt)
18
47%
 
Total votes: 38

fdsa
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HLS ($90k debt) vs. Columbia w/ Hamilton

Postby fdsa » Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:42 pm

Subject line says it all. I'm in the extremely fortunate position of being in at Harvard and in at Columbia with a Hamilton Fellowship. Based on what my parents are (very generously) able to contribute and what I could make in my 2L summer, I could graduate from HLS w/ ~$90k in debt (including tuition and cost of living loans).

I would graduate from Columbia without debt, since between my 2L summer employment and what my parents would be able to contribute I would be able to cover cost of living, and the Hamilton covers full tuition.

My goals: I want to clerk, work for a big firm as a litigator, and then go into the federal government in order to get substantive trial experience for a few years before going back to the private sector at a good litigation firm. Obviously this could change, but that is the goal as of now.

I recognize that this is deep into First World Problems territory, and I am tremendously thankful for having such great opportunities and such a supportive family, but I do need to make a decision. What does TLS think?
Last edited by fdsa on Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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ph14
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Re: HLS ($90k debt) vs. Columbia w/ Hamilton

Postby ph14 » Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:44 pm

fdsa wrote:Subject line says it all. I'm in the extremely fortunate position of being in at Harvard and in at Columbia with a Hamilton Fellowship. Based on what my parents are (very generously) able to contribute and what I could make in my 2L summer, I could graduate from HLS w/ ~$90k in debt (including tuition and cost of living loans).

I would graduate from Columbia without debt, since between my 2L summer employment and what my parents would be able to contribute I would be able to cover cost of living, and the Hamilton covers full tuition.

My goals: I want to clerk, work for a big firm as a litigator, and then go into the federal government in order to get substantive trial experience for a few years before going back to the private sector at a good litigation firm. Obviously this could change, but that is the goal as of now.

I recognize that this is deep into First World Problems territory, and I am tremendously thankful for having such great opportunities and such a supportive family, but I do need to make a decision. What does TLS think?


I'd go with Harvard. A $90k pricetag is a great deal on a HLS degree so I'd take it.
Last edited by ph14 on Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.

kaiser
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Re: HLS ($90k debt) vs. Columbia w/ Hamilton

Postby kaiser » Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:45 pm

You can make a poll on the thread creation page, and it would tally the results for you. As for my thoughts, I know I would go with Columbia. No debt at all and a degree from a T6 school is all I have to hear.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: HLS ($90k debt) vs. Columbia w/ Hamilton

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:51 pm

Harvard

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Geetar Man
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Re: HLS ($90k debt) vs. Columbia w/ Hamilton

Postby Geetar Man » Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:53 pm

Wow, congrats on your acceptances. That's truly something to be proud of.

A few questions:

Do you have any debt from UG?
Did you apply to YLS? or SLS?

In regards to the former question, it might be important to know that you have 100k in UG debt. (We can safely assume that you don't, but hey, I think total debt is relevant.)
In regards to the latter question, I'm just interested to see if you had any other offers.

Also, the freedom of no debt seems so highly attractive, considering the schools are both very highly ranked. Harvard's reach is massive though, in terms of employment, but I would posit that Columbia's reach isn't far behind.

Regardless of all this, I would choose Harvard.

You have a tough decision to make my friend, but start by making a poll.

dixon02
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Re: HLS ($90k debt) vs. Columbia w/ Hamilton

Postby dixon02 » Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:56 pm

Given your goals, Harvard appears to be the better option. If the goal were merely Big Law, I'd go Columbia.

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ColtsFan88
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Re: HLS ($90k debt) vs. Columbia w/ Hamilton

Postby ColtsFan88 » Sun Mar 18, 2012 11:20 pm

I think you would be crazy to turn down a HLS degree for 90k, even if the other option is a free CLS degree.

CanadianWolf
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Re: HLS ($90k debt) vs. Columbia w/ Hamilton

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Mar 18, 2012 11:51 pm

Tough call. Columbia with Hamilton scholarship is tough to pass up unless you qualify for financial aid at Harvard. May come down to personal preference. NYC or Cambridge ? You don't really offer any evidence to merit a decision one way or the other. What is important to you ?

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Tadatsune
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Re: HLS ($90k debt) vs. Columbia w/ Hamilton

Postby Tadatsune » Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:00 am

HLS.

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bk1
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Re: HLS ($90k debt) vs. Columbia w/ Hamilton

Postby bk1 » Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:02 am

ph14 wrote:I'd go with Harvard. A $90k pricetag is a great deal on a HLS degree so I'd take it.


+1

Considering CLS will cost $60k for cost of living alone, this seems like a no brainer.

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Bronck
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Re: HLS ($90k debt) vs. Columbia w/ Hamilton

Postby Bronck » Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:04 am

Tiago Splitter wrote:Harvard

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20130312
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Re: HLS ($90k debt) vs. Columbia w/ Hamilton

Postby 20130312 » Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:06 am

bk1 wrote:
ph14 wrote:I'd go with Harvard. A $90k pricetag is a great deal on a HLS degree so I'd take it.


+1

Considering CLS will cost $60k for cost of living alone, this seems like a no brainer.


He already said his parents would cover COL for Columbia, so it'd be free.

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Br3v
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Re: HLS ($90k debt) vs. Columbia w/ Hamilton

Postby Br3v » Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:10 am

It's Harvard.

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bk1
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Re: HLS ($90k debt) vs. Columbia w/ Hamilton

Postby bk1 » Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:13 am

InGoodFaith wrote:
bk1 wrote:
ph14 wrote:I'd go with Harvard. A $90k pricetag is a great deal on a HLS degree so I'd take it.


+1

Considering CLS will cost $60k for cost of living alone, this seems like a no brainer.


He already said his parents would cover COL for Columbia, so it'd be free.


Oh I misread. I'd still say HLS if goals > $.

t14fanboy
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Re: HLS ($90k debt) vs. Columbia w/ Hamilton

Postby t14fanboy » Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:14 am

Image

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20130312
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Re: HLS ($90k debt) vs. Columbia w/ Hamilton

Postby 20130312 » Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:15 am

Man. I think I'd have to go against the grain and pick Columbia...

checkster
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Re: HLS ($90k debt) vs. Columbia w/ Hamilton

Postby checkster » Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:40 am

Awesome, awesome choices. I couldn't turn down HLS for <90k, though.

CanadianWolf
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Re: HLS ($90k debt) vs. Columbia w/ Hamilton

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:02 am

I wonder if some are misinterpreting OP's situation. Harvard Law School will not cost OP just $90,000, it will leave OP $90,000 in debt after paying the rest (about $160,000) in cash. The real comparison, therefore, is between Harvard at approximately $250,000 total COA versus Columbia at approximately $60,000 total COA.

P.S. Both the $250,000 cost-of-attendance at Harvard and the $60,000 total COA at Columbia are in after-tax dollars.

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sunynp
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Re: HLS ($90k debt) vs. Columbia w/ Hamilton

Postby sunynp » Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:12 am

CanadianWolf wrote:I wonder if some are misinterpreting OP's situation. Harvard Law School will not cost OP just $90,000, it will leave OP $90,000 in debt after paying the rest (about $160,000) in cash. The real comparison, therefore, is between Harvard at approximately $250,000 total COA versus Columbia at approximately $60,000 total COA.

P.S. Both the $250,000 cost-of-attendance at Harvard and the $60,000 total COA at Columbia are in after-tax dollars.

Columbia all the way. OP should fix his thread to reflect this huge difference. No way Harvard is worth almost 200k more than Columbia. Not to mention e prestige points of the hamilton.
Last edited by sunynp on Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

imchuckbass58
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Re: HLS ($90k debt) vs. Columbia w/ Hamilton

Postby imchuckbass58 » Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:13 am

If you're dead-set on clerking/government, that's one of the areas Harvard will actually give you a leg up, and I would consider taking them for that reason. If that's kind of secondary to your primary goal of biglaw, CLS probably does just as well in most situations. Do you have any geographic preferences? Many people would say CLS is more New York centric than HLS - if you want to practice in another area of the country (other than the northeast) the HLS name may travel further.

I feel like this is a close enough call though that if you strongly prefer one location, or get a much better feeling from one school when you visit, you can just go on gut.

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jkpolk
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Re: HLS ($90k debt) vs. Columbia w/ Hamilton

Postby jkpolk » Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:17 am

I could not turn down Harvard, but this may reflect my inability to earn a situation where I could turn down Harvard. Congrats OP.

EMZE
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Re: HLS ($90k debt) vs. Columbia w/ Hamilton

Postby EMZE » Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:20 am

CLS.

Seriously, leave the nest. Don't ask your parents to pay for anything anymore. You're a big boy/girl.

If it were me, though, I would take the debt at HLS.

CanadianWolf
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Re: HLS ($90k debt) vs. Columbia w/ Hamilton

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:22 am

Although a bit off-topic, I think the sentiment that one cannot turn down Harvard is more appropriate for Harvard Business School's MBA degree program than for law school. Probably due to the globalization of the business world, whereas the practice of law is far less international in nature.

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romothesavior
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Re: HLS ($90k debt) vs. Columbia w/ Hamilton

Postby romothesavior » Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:23 am

imchuckbass58 wrote:If you're dead-set on clerking/government, that's one of the areas Harvard will actually give you a leg up, and I would consider taking them for that reason. If that's kind of secondary to your primary goal of biglaw, CLS probably does just as well in most situations. Do you have any geographic preferences? Many people would say CLS is more New York centric than HLS - if you want to practice in another area of the country (other than the northeast) the HLS name may travel further.

I feel like this is a close enough call though that if you strongly prefer one location, or get a much better feeling from one school when you visit, you can just go on gut.

I think this is a solid assessment of the situation. I actually think CLS for free is worth taking over Harvard if the person just wants a biglaw job, but with your other goals it sounds like HLS is the way to go. Congrats on the amazing options OP.

CanadianWolf
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Re: HLS ($90k debt) vs. Columbia w/ Hamilton

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:23 am

@EMZE: Even if that debt were $250,000 for Harvard versus $60,000 for Columbia ?




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