Colorado ($$) vs GULC (Sticker)

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holden147
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Colorado ($$) vs GULC (Sticker)

Postby holden147 » Tue Mar 20, 2012 11:41 am

Hello,

I will obviously make this decision myself, but I just wanted some insight.

I have narrowed down my choice to two schools: Colorado and GULC.

The reason I am interested in Colorado is because I would love to live in that area, so I figure going to the top school in the state would be a great way to get a job. I have received a scholarship offer covering full tuition my 1st year and $10k for each of my second and third year of school.

The reason I am interested in GULC is because of its location in DC (a region which I would also love to live in) and it's proximity to countless PI and government offices.

WHAT I AM LOOKING TO GET OUT OF LAW SCHOOL:

Ideally, I would love to do PI or government work, but I am also open to working "midlaw" if I attend CU. GULC provides an LRAP program for those who enter PI/government work. I am originally from Bosnia-Herzegovina so I am deeply interested in human rights/international issues (i.e. DOJ Human Rights section), which was my whole reason for applying to GULC.

I am also completely comfortable moving out of the States to work in Europe (ideally within the International Criminal Court, especially with the Genocide Trials for the Former Yugoslavia).

So my question becomes: Is GULC worth the 6 figure debt for what I want to do? The loan forgiveness program is my biggest draw to the school, but I am concerned about the economic downturn affecting hiring within PI/government agencies.

Any insight provided would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. :)

CanadianWolf
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Re: Colorado ($$) vs GULC (Sticker)

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:02 pm

The debt is too risky, in my opinion.

Lord Randolph McDuff
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Re: Colorado ($$) vs GULC (Sticker)

Postby Lord Randolph McDuff » Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:34 pm

There may be 100 international opportunities from GULC and 11 from Colorado, but 11 may be enough for you. How much cheaper is Colorado though?

Are we talking like 250k debt v. 60k debt? (my best guess from your scholarship info) In that case I'd agree with wolf--- 60k is "shitty, but doable debt" and 250k is "lifetime of slavery" debt.

FWIW the only person I know who works at a super cool international law job in europe went to Santa Clara Law. I think its more about the person than the school in that very tiny and niche field.

senhorquick
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Re: Colorado ($$) vs GULC (Sticker)

Postby senhorquick » Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:50 pm

Lord Randolph McDuff wrote:There may be 100 international opportunities from GULC and 11 from Colorado, but 11 may be enough for you. How much cheaper is Colorado though?

Are we talking like 250k debt v. 60k debt? (my best guess from your scholarship info) In that case I'd agree with wolf--- 60k is "shitty, but doable debt" and 250k is "lifetime of slavery" debt.

FWIW the only person I know who works at a super cool international law job in europe went to Santa Clara Law. I think its more about the person than the school in that very tiny and niche field.


Yeah, exactly how much debt are you looking at?

A small amount of debt at CU is manageable, but anything bigger than I'd say... 80k? (McDuff would know better than I) is probably too risky.

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holden147
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Re: Colorado ($$) vs GULC (Sticker)

Postby holden147 » Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:53 pm

Thank you for your responses.

GULC at sticker, after 3 years would cost me about $150-180k. So while not $250k, it is still significant.

I come from an extremely low income family so I expect to receive financial aid (my GULC and CU financial aid info is currently being processed), which would obviously change things if one school gave me significantly more than the other.

At the end of the day, after doing estimations (as of right now, pending Financial Aid)
3 year cost:
GULC: $150-180k
Colorado: $50-70k

I don't need a "really cool international law job" as I have pretty broad interests and love non-profits and would be perfectly happy making $50-70k a year doing something I enjoy. My biggest concern is that the debt would weigh me down too much.

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bk1
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Re: Colorado ($$) vs GULC (Sticker)

Postby bk1 » Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:55 pm

So you have 70-100k saved up or are you not factoring in cost of living?

It's also unlikely that you would get significant need-based aid from either school since law schools tend to give out little if any need aid.

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holden147
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Re: Colorado ($$) vs GULC (Sticker)

Postby holden147 » Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:58 pm

bk1 wrote:So you have 70-100k saved up or are you not factoring in cost of living?

It's also unlikely that you would get significant need-based aid from either school since law schools tend to give out little if any need aid.


I am factoring in COA. As I posted in my original post, the full tuition is covered for the 1st year, and I would gain residency in 2nd and 3rd years and would have about 1/3 of my tuition covered for the 2nd and 3rd year.

So ~10k in the first year, ~25k 2nd and 3rd years, which is how I came up with my COA for Colorado.

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Samara
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Re: Colorado ($$) vs GULC (Sticker)

Postby Samara » Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:59 pm

I would definitely go to Colorado because of the way the scholarship is structured. If you go and it turns out that law school isn't a good fit for you or you didn't do well at OCI, you can drop out before incurring much debt. International law is extremely competitive, so Colorado is definitely the safer choice.

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Witt
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Re: Colorado ($$) vs GULC (Sticker)

Postby Witt » Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:05 pm

GULC's LRAP nearly negates the higher cost. Sure you'd need to secure a PI job, but doing so might be a little easier in three years. I'm in a similar situation and will be headed to DC. Also, I think your interest align more with GULC than CU.

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bk1
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Re: Colorado ($$) vs GULC (Sticker)

Postby bk1 » Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:07 pm

holden147 wrote:I am factoring in COA. As I posted in my original post, the full tuition is covered for the 1st year, and I would gain residency in 2nd and 3rd years and would have about 1/3 of my tuition covered for the 2nd and 3rd year.

So ~10k in the first year, ~25k 2nd and 3rd years, which is how I came up with my COA for Colorado.


It seems like you're seriously lowballing the cost of living (--LinkRemoved--). Your numbers are also inconsistent (30k instate tuition, 1/3 covered, means 20k tuition... this means you're budgeting 10k for CoL the first year but 5k in years 2 and 3?). I'm also unsure as to how you're getting 150-180k at GULC when cost of attendance there is around 70k/year. You're also not factoring possible tuition increases or interest accumulated during school.

Using the numbers the schools give (and assuming that you aren't getting any outside assistance), I think it's a tough call. 110k debt at Boulder (after interest) is still quite a bit but it is less than the 250k that GULC costs. I'd probably lean Boulder but it's close, imo.

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spleenworship
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Re: Colorado ($$) vs GULC (Sticker)

Postby spleenworship » Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:16 pm

CU.

Lord Randolph McDuff
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Re: Colorado ($$) vs GULC (Sticker)

Postby Lord Randolph McDuff » Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:19 pm

holden147 wrote:
bk1 wrote:So you have 70-100k saved up or are you not factoring in cost of living?

It's also unlikely that you would get significant need-based aid from either school since law schools tend to give out little if any need aid.


I am factoring in COA. As I posted in my original post, the full tuition is covered for the 1st year, and I would gain residency in 2nd and 3rd years and would have about 1/3 of my tuition covered for the 2nd and 3rd year.

So ~10k in the first year, ~25k 2nd and 3rd years, which is how I came up with my COA for Colorado.


He means cost of living not cost of attendance, which should obviously include cost of living.

I lived in D.C. for awhile and can tell you that your cost of living estimate (zero dollars) is off. I would guess it would cost you at least 60k and more like 70k+ to live there for three years. That is why I put you debt at 250k. What is tuition/fees/books at GULC? Over $50,000 right?

I put your debt at CU much lower because of the lower cost of living. I live in Boulder and pay 800 and change for rent, but you can live ten minutes from the law school and pay $500 or $600 for a one bedroom if you'd like. For reference, my share of the rent was $1250 a month in D.C. and I lived in a ten by ten room in an apartment with two chicks, no living room, and a half kitchen you couldn't turn around in. Plus a non happy hour drink in D.C. is at least twice as much as in northern Colorado. (should you happen to be an alcoholic).

You'll get in-state after your first year at CU but that should still leave you paying around 40k in tuition over the last two years. You could live on the COL estimate CU Law provides, which is about $11,000 a year I believe. So 73k. I first said 60k but I actually hadn't done the math on your scholarship.

As to the previous poster hazarding a guess that I might have a better idea about what amount of debt is too much at CU Law-- I assume that you have kindly granted me this respect because I attend CU Law. I would caution that this does not make me an expert in the slightest. I have no idea if 80k of debt is "too much." It wouldn't be too much for me because of the career track I am heading down, but those wanting to get right in the thick of the private sector might feel differently. I think your payment would be about $1,000 a month with 80k debt. I dunno I think you can expect to be able to afford that. Maybe you won't be able to afford that. I don't know.
Last edited by Lord Randolph McDuff on Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:25 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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R86
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Re: Colorado ($$) vs GULC (Sticker)

Postby R86 » Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:22 pm

:D
Last edited by R86 on Wed Apr 04, 2012 4:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Lord Randolph McDuff
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Re: Colorado ($$) vs GULC (Sticker)

Postby Lord Randolph McDuff » Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:23 pm

IBR and LRAPs scare the shit out of me. Are they real? We are taught by TLS that everything law schools say is a lie, except LRAP.

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chem
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Re: Colorado ($$) vs GULC (Sticker)

Postby chem » Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:35 pm

OP may be interested in this

--LinkRemoved--

Edit: fixed link
Last edited by chem on Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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bk1
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Re: Colorado ($$) vs GULC (Sticker)

Postby bk1 » Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:42 pm

Lord Randolph McDuff wrote:IBR and LRAPs scare the shit out of me. Are they real? We are taught by TLS that everything law schools say is a lie, except LRAP.


Well there are people who believe that IBR/LRAP's can disappear at any moment but I think that's tinfoil hat thinking.

I imagine that CU, like most other low T1's, has a nominal LRAP. They have one, but it usually sucks, it is up to the discretion of the school whether you can enter it, and has a limited funding so there is no guarantee it will help you.

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bk1
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Re: Colorado ($$) vs GULC (Sticker)

Postby bk1 » Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:49 pm

Lord Randolph McDuff wrote:I put your debt at CU much lower because of the lower cost of living. I live in Boulder and pay 800 and change for rent, but you can live ten minutes from the law school and pay $500 or $600 for a one bedroom if you'd like. For reference, my share of the rent was $1250 a month in D.C. and I lived in a ten by ten room in an apartment with two chicks, no living room, and a half kitchen you couldn't turn around in. Plus a non happy hour drink in D.C. is at least twice as much as in northern Colorado. (should you happen to be an alcoholic).

You'll get in-state after your first year at CU but that should still leave you paying around 40k in tuition over the last two years. You could live on the COL estimate CU Law provides, which is about $11,000 a year I believe. So 73k. I first said 60k but I actually hadn't done the math on your scholarship.

As to the previous poster hazarding a guess that I might have a better idea about what amount of debt is too much at CU Law-- I assume that you have kindly granted me this respect because I attend CU Law. I would caution that this does not make me an expert in the slightest. I have no idea if 80k of debt is "too much." It wouldn't be too much for me because of the career track I am heading down, but those wanting to get right in the thick of the private sector might feel differently. I think your payment would be about $1,000 a month with 80k debt. I dunno I think you can expect to be able to afford that. Maybe you won't be able to afford that. I don't know.


CU at least budgets 11k for rent/utilities/food but an additional 9k for books/healthinsurance/transportation/personal. It's also important to not that school CoA budgets don't include the summer. I will defer to you in how cheaply one could live in Boulder, but I think CU's seems close considering your estimate of 800/month in rent.

The debt estimate seems like it should be around 100k. That's around 1200/month in loan payments on a 10 year repayment plan. I think that's feasible on a 50k/year salary though it's still putting a major dent into that salary.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Colorado ($$) vs GULC (Sticker)

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:53 pm

Many think that IBR/LRAP will disappear with a Republican administration.

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R86
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Re: Colorado ($$) vs GULC (Sticker)

Postby R86 » Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:54 pm

:D
Last edited by R86 on Wed Apr 04, 2012 4:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Colorado ($$) vs GULC (Sticker)

Postby Tiago Splitter » Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:55 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Many think that IBR/LRAP will disappear with a Republican administration.


Many more think the tax bomb after 20 years will never materialize. Who's right?!?!?!?!

CanadianWolf
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Re: Colorado ($$) vs GULC (Sticker)

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:56 pm

What is "the tax bomb" ? Are you referring to income taxation on the loan forgiveness amount ?

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Colorado ($$) vs GULC (Sticker)

Postby Tiago Splitter » Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:58 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:What is "the tax bomb" ? Are you referring to income taxation on the loan forgiveness amount ?


The taxable event that occurs when people in non-PSLF jobs finish IBR and their debt is "forgiven"

EDIT: To your question, yes

CanadianWolf
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Re: Colorado ($$) vs GULC (Sticker)

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:00 pm

That's what I thought that you meant, but I am not sure that I understand your point. Regardless, the IRS permits payment plans with interest that should total far less than the amount forgiven.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Colorado ($$) vs GULC (Sticker)

Postby Tiago Splitter » Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:06 pm

The point is that OP should not fear responsible decision making by the Federal Government.

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holden147
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Re: Colorado ($$) vs GULC (Sticker)

Postby holden147 » Tue Mar 20, 2012 3:21 pm

Thank you for your responses, they are very helpful and I appreciate the differing viewpoints.




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