CLS vs. UVA

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isabelarcher
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CLS vs. UVA

Postby isabelarcher » Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:11 pm

Hey y'all. I'm having a really hard time with this decision and I'd love some help. I have some money saved up plus a substantial scholarship that would allow me to get through UVA Law without debt. I haven't heard back from Columbia about aid yet, but I know that it's highly unlikely they'll give me anything more than $15k a year, which will put me at around $75-90k in debt by graduation. I don't know what kind of law I'd like to study, but I'd like the ability to go into public service if I want to without worrying about crippling debt. I really like UVA and Charlottesville as well. On the other hand, Columbia has been my dream school for a very long time and I'd love to live in New York. I also worry that I'll regret turning down a school I love so much that also has such a great reputation and job placement. Since I'm going directly from undergrad with pretty much no work experience, I'm very concerned about job placement in general - prestige may be all I have to go on to get interviews, etc. Moreover, I'm kind of concerned about the frattiness of UVA, which I don't think would really suit me socially. Any info or input people have would be really helpful. I'm glad I get to make this choice, but it's super stressful.

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Skunky Bumps
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Re: CLS vs. UVA

Postby Skunky Bumps » Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:15 pm

Where do you want to work?

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Chucky21
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Re: CLS vs. UVA

Postby Chucky21 » Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:19 pm

Well it depends where you want to work and where you'll be happy. UVA is in a great location and it places well in nyc if that's what you want. I have friends at UVA who love it and the frattiness is not what it's made out to be. So if UVA is where you want to be then don't let prestige get in the way. It's a great school, and choosing it over Columbia is nothing to be afraid of because you'll have many great opportunities from UVA.

Also your scholarship package makes it financially more feasible to go to UVA. If you want biglaw out of UVA you can get it also and you won't have to pay much on loan repayments. You can just pocket that cash. So this decision would seem to help you get ahead financially in the long run, and you're not giving up any prestige points!

But good luck! UVA with little debt sounds like a great option.

isabelarcher
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Re: CLS vs. UVA

Postby isabelarcher » Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:22 pm

I'm cool with working in pretty much any city on the east or west coast, though my ties are to a medium-sized city in the south that I'd really prefer not to return to for a while. I'm not too picky about where I end up other than that as long as its a reasonably-sized city.

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Chucky21
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Re: CLS vs. UVA

Postby Chucky21 » Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:26 pm

isabelarcher wrote:I'm cool with working in pretty much any city on the east or west coast, though my ties are to a medium-sized city in the south that I'd really prefer not to return to for a while. I'm not too picky about where I end up other than that as long as its a reasonably-sized city.


Well this does sound like you'd be leaning toward UVA. Your ties are to the south so this is a professional decision in that UVA would give you an edge in the south. While Columbia is not to be faulted, it is focused on nyc to a large extent. So, professionally, given your ties and UVA's reputation and the money they've given you. All signs seem to point to UVA.

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Br3v
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Re: CLS vs. UVA

Postby Br3v » Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:28 pm

UVA debt free? I don't think I could pass that up

t14fanboy
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Re: CLS vs. UVA

Postby t14fanboy » Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:28 pm

If you do indeed get the scholarship from CLS, a 90k pricetag isn't unreasonable. You say it's your dream school. Not a bad deal, IMO.

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Chucky21
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Re: CLS vs. UVA

Postby Chucky21 » Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:30 pm

t14fanboy wrote:If you do indeed get the scholarship from CLS, a 90k pricetag isn't unreasonable. You say it's your dream school. Not a bad deal, IMO.


but a 0k pricetag does have a ring to it.

paulinaporizkova
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Re: CLS vs. UVA

Postby paulinaporizkova » Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:38 pm

Regarding the frattiness of UVa, all elite law schools have insufferable douche bags running amok, the only difference is you can place a label on Virginia's much easier. Don't let that factor into your decision. I like the people here a lot and I'm no southern belle

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kwais
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Re: CLS vs. UVA

Postby kwais » Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:43 pm

t14fanboy wrote:If you do indeed get the scholarship from CLS, a 90k pricetag isn't unreasonable. You say it's your dream school. Not a bad deal, IMO.


yeah, imagine for a second that UVA was off the table. 90k at columbia is fucking amazing. just doesn't look as good next to your UVA offer. If it's your dream school give it some serious thought. either choice and you are good to go

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Br3v
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Re: CLS vs. UVA

Postby Br3v » Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:49 pm

kwais wrote:
t14fanboy wrote:If you do indeed get the scholarship from CLS, a 90k pricetag isn't unreasonable. You say it's your dream school. Not a bad deal, IMO.


yeah, imagine for a second that UVA was off the table. 90k at columbia is fucking amazing. just doesn't look as good next to your UVA offer. If it's your dream school give it some serious thought. either choice and you are good to go


I skipped over the part about cls being your dream school. I know it shouldn't, but at least for me personally, that would weigh in on my decision

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quiver
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Re: CLS vs. UVA

Postby quiver » Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:04 am

Both are great options. If you do get the 15k at CLS I say go there; it's your dream school, 75-90k in debt is not unreasonable, and CLS has a pretty good LRAP that will allow you to do public service without worrying about the debt too much. CLS at sticker is a tougher decision but it's pretty clear you can't go wrong either way.

isabelarcher
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Re: CLS vs. UVA

Postby isabelarcher » Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:36 am

One big factor I neglected to mention is that I have to commit to UVA by April 6 and I may not have heard from CLS about financial aid at that point. Regardless, I'm leaning a bit towards UVA at the moment just because zero debt feels so right. My lay friends and family, of course, all think I'm crazy to turn down Columbia for Virginia.

sfreuden
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Re: CLS vs. UVA

Postby sfreuden » Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:00 am

isabelarcher wrote:One big factor I neglected to mention is that I have to commit to UVA by April 6 and I may not have heard from CLS about financial aid at that point. Regardless, I'm leaning a bit towards UVA at the moment just because zero debt feels so right. My lay friends and family, of course, all think I'm crazy to turn down Columbia for Virginia.


I'm pretty much in the exact same boat in deciding between UVa scholly and CLS unknown at the moment (plus the increased chaos of a decent NYU scholly). I asked for extensions from both UVa and NYU, and I'm waiting to hear back. I would suggest contacting the schools and requesting a deadline extension (use the admit e-mail for UVa). The worst they can do is say no, and at best you buy yourself a little more time. Also, you are probably not going to have time to negotiate with CLS after you receive their original offer, so you might want to tell them about the UVa scholly offer up front. I feel like you lose a little of your leverage that way, but better than waiting and not being able to use it at all because of deadlines.

You basically encapsulated the heart of my argument, as well. UVa is an amazing school, and it would be such a relief to graduate without any debt. On the other hand, I really want to be in NYC after graduation, and both NYU and CLS place well there. Columbia is also my dream school, and if finances weren't a consideration I would choose it in an instant. Unfortunately, finances are a consideration... And if you really aren't considering working in a large, private firm after graduation, having no debt can really allow you to choose your post-graduation plans flexibly. So, I'm torn.

But I'm trying to hold off all this angsting until I get my CLS aid package back.

tl;dr Ask for deadline extensions. Consider your options, but don't angst too much until CLS gets back to you on scholly.

bobbyh1919
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Re: CLS vs. UVA

Postby bobbyh1919 » Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:34 am

isabelarcher wrote:One big factor I neglected to mention is that I have to commit to UVA by April 6 and I may not have heard from CLS about financial aid at that point. Regardless, I'm leaning a bit towards UVA at the moment just because zero debt feels so right. My lay friends and family, of course, all think I'm crazy to turn down Columbia for Virginia.


Technically you don't actually have to commit to UVA on 4/6. Unless I'm mistaken, that's just the first deposit date and does not lock you into the school. You'd be risking the loss of $500, but it would give you more time to figure things out, and if you end up at UVA anyway you wouldn't loss anything.

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Doorkeeper
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Re: CLS vs. UVA

Postby Doorkeeper » Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:48 am

I would do CLS with under $100k in debt, especially since it's your dream school. Also, look into it's LRAP to help see if you can go into public service with your debt. I really don't think $75k in debt is too bad.

CanadianWolf
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Re: CLS vs. UVA

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Mar 20, 2012 10:35 am

Visit both before deciding--especially if you're worried about the culture at one of the two law schools. Congratulations on two great choices !

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RonnyDworkin
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Re: CLS vs. UVA

Postby RonnyDworkin » Tue Mar 20, 2012 10:41 am

How much is the cost of attendance at Columbia, so that the total debt would only amt to 75/90k even with a 15K/yr scholarship?


I would choose UVA. That money is unbeatable, and you'll have good access to both the NYC and DC markets.

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Br3v
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Re: CLS vs. UVA

Postby Br3v » Tue Mar 20, 2012 10:51 am

OP if you don't mind, what are your numbers (LSAT /gpa) to be in such a great predicament?

Or does anyone have a reasonable guess?
I guess my true question is what numbers do you need for such a UVA scholarship?

ringo
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Re: CLS vs. UVA

Postby ringo » Tue Mar 20, 2012 11:27 am

bobbyh1919 wrote:
isabelarcher wrote:One big factor I neglected to mention is that I have to commit to UVA by April 6 and I may not have heard from CLS about financial aid at that point. Regardless, I'm leaning a bit towards UVA at the moment just because zero debt feels so right. My lay friends and family, of course, all think I'm crazy to turn down Columbia for Virginia.


Technically you don't actually have to commit to UVA on 4/6. Unless I'm mistaken, that's just the first deposit date and does not lock you into the school. You'd be risking the loss of $500, but it would give you more time to figure things out, and if you end up at UVA anyway you wouldn't loss anything.


She will lose the scholarship if she doesn't deposit by 4/6.

But then they could give it to me...

bobbyh1919
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Re: CLS vs. UVA

Postby bobbyh1919 » Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:22 pm

ringo wrote:
bobbyh1919 wrote:
isabelarcher wrote:One big factor I neglected to mention is that I have to commit to UVA by April 6 and I may not have heard from CLS about financial aid at that point. Regardless, I'm leaning a bit towards UVA at the moment just because zero debt feels so right. My lay friends and family, of course, all think I'm crazy to turn down Columbia for Virginia.


Technically you don't actually have to commit to UVA on 4/6. Unless I'm mistaken, that's just the first deposit date and does not lock you into the school. You'd be risking the loss of $500, but it would give you more time to figure things out, and if you end up at UVA anyway you wouldn't loss anything.


She will lose the scholarship if she doesn't deposit by 4/6.

But then they could give it to me...


Right, OP absolutely has to deposit on 4/6, but that doesn't lock them into UVA. Think about it this way: make the deposit to UVA, and the only way you'll lose that money is if you decide on CLS instead. The only way you'll decide on CLS instead is if you get a great offer that allows CLS to overtake UVA, and in that case it'll be well worth it to take that offer and lose the $500.

I think that makes sense.

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Chucky21
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Re: CLS vs. UVA

Postby Chucky21 » Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:58 pm

0 debt at UVA is amazing so great job! I don't think this should be turned down. 90k is a lot of money especially with interesting compounding. I know you mentioned CLS being a 'dream' school, but this is a professional decision, and you can easily get NYC from UVA. The only difference is that you won't have to hand over part of your salary to the gov't every month to pay off your debt.

FloridaCoastalorbust
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Re: CLS vs. UVA

Postby FloridaCoastalorbust » Tue Mar 20, 2012 3:17 pm

Columbia. 90k for dream school/dream environment is a winner. IMO, over the course of a career, 90k is largely insignificant. You'll only be paying about $187.50/month over a 40 year career to die a Columbia grad. And doesn't dying a CLS grad sound so much better than dying a UVA grad to you?

ringo
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Re: CLS vs. UVA

Postby ringo » Tue Mar 20, 2012 4:00 pm

bobbyh1919 wrote:
ringo wrote:
bobbyh1919 wrote:
isabelarcher wrote:One big factor I neglected to mention is that I have to commit to UVA by April 6 and I may not have heard from CLS about financial aid at that point. Regardless, I'm leaning a bit towards UVA at the moment just because zero debt feels so right. My lay friends and family, of course, all think I'm crazy to turn down Columbia for Virginia.


Technically you don't actually have to commit to UVA on 4/6. Unless I'm mistaken, that's just the first deposit date and does not lock you into the school. You'd be risking the loss of $500, but it would give you more time to figure things out, and if you end up at UVA anyway you wouldn't loss anything.


She will lose the scholarship if she doesn't deposit by 4/6.

But then they could give it to me...


Right, OP absolutely has to deposit on 4/6, but that doesn't lock them into UVA. Think about it this way: make the deposit to UVA, and the only way you'll lose that money is if you decide on CLS instead. The only way you'll decide on CLS instead is if you get a great offer that allows CLS to overtake UVA, and in that case it'll be well worth it to take that offer and lose the $500.

I think that makes sense.


Yes, this does make sense. I RC-failed your first post.

When I posted in this thread this morning, I didn't realize I'd be faced with the same decision this afternoon. Thread just became much more relevant to my interests.

t14fanboy
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Re: CLS vs. UVA

Postby t14fanboy » Tue Mar 20, 2012 4:06 pm

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