Berkeley, Michigan($), Cornell($), UCLA($$$), or Vandy($$$)

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

Which should I choose?

Berkeley (assumed sticker, still waiting for scholly info)
27
34%
Cornell ($21,000)
5
6%
Michigan ($30,000)
27
34%
UCLA ($75,000)
15
19%
Vanderbilt ($75,000)
6
8%
Duke (if accepted; assume sticker)
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 80

Real Madrid
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Berkeley, Michigan($), Cornell($), UCLA($$$), or Vandy($$$)

Postby Real Madrid » Wed Mar 28, 2012 5:25 am

Ok, so I made a similar thread before, but the circumstances have changed a bit with new scholarships. Basically, what should I do?

I would like Big Law if possible (preferably in CA, but NY would be okay too). If not Big Law in a major market, I'd like the opportunity to maybe work at an NLJ/Big Law firm from my home secondary market (Birmingham).

As it stands, I have:

-$30,000 from Michigan
-$21,000 from Cornell
-$75,000 from UCLA
-$75,000 from Vanderbilt
-nothing from UC Berkeley (though I did apply for a UMich matching scholarship of $30,000 and completed the scholarship interest form - still waiting to hear).

I'm also on the priority reserve WL at Duke, but I assume (perhaps erroneously), that if I am accepted, it will be at sticker.

Furthermore, I have about $80,000 in savings to go towards my education, and my parents will contribute another $1k-$2k per month to help with living expenses, food, gas, etc. I have no debt from undergrad.

Though I have yet to visit, Berkeley is my top choice at the moment. I particularly like the grading system and school location, among other things. Nevertheless, I feel that Boalt might be a dumb choice given my other offers.

So, my question is, what should I do? I will try scholarship negotiation, so please tell me what threshold would need to be reached from any school to make it the clear winner.


Thanks!

stabiloboss
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Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2011 5:38 pm

Re: Berkeley, Michigan($), Cornell($), UCLA($$$), or Vandy($$$)

Postby stabiloboss » Wed Mar 28, 2012 5:28 am

I think you can safely remove Cornell from your consideration

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Berkeley, Michigan($), Cornell($), UCLA($$$), or Vandy($$$)

Postby Doorkeeper » Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:59 am

I would go Berkeley or Michigan here. Since you want CA biglaw and Michigan only offered 30k, perhaps Berkeley is the better choice?

Real Madrid
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Re: Berkeley, Michigan($), Cornell($), UCLA($$$), or Vandy($$$)

Postby Real Madrid » Fri Mar 30, 2012 7:36 am

Anyone else? :P

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doinmybest
Posts: 460
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Re: Berkeley, Michigan($), Cornell($), UCLA($$$), or Vandy($$$)

Postby doinmybest » Fri Mar 30, 2012 1:38 pm

Michigan does pretty well w/r/t CA big law. Those who want it have a shot at it. Berkeley's tuition is nasty at full-price. Debt should be your major concern here. Go to Michigan if Berk gives you $0.

woeisme
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Re: Berkeley, Michigan($), Cornell($), UCLA($$$), or Vandy($$$)

Postby woeisme » Fri Mar 30, 2012 4:54 pm

These are all pretty nice options. For big law, Cornell and Duke probably place the best, but Berk and Michigan aren't far behind. I'd ordinarily suggest taking Vandy and UCLA off the list, the additional scholly money notwithstanding. But you say that you want California, so I'd keep UCLA on.

Ultimately, if I were you, I guess I'd probably do Berkeley given your California interest (you should get the match scholarship). If for some reason you're looking at Berkeley at sticker, then I'd say UCLA, unless you foresee a desire to keep your options open on the east coast as well. In that case I'd maybe take Cornell, but I'd definitely also try to get them to match Michigan's scholarship.

Conclusion: I'm voting Berkeley.

Real Madrid
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Joined: Mon May 30, 2011 12:21 am

Re: Berkeley, Michigan($), Cornell($), UCLA($$$), or Vandy($$$)

Postby Real Madrid » Thu Apr 05, 2012 10:06 am

Any other opinions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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jrthor10
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Re: Berkeley, Michigan($), Cornell($), UCLA($$$), or Vandy($$$)

Postby jrthor10 » Thu Apr 05, 2012 10:15 am

With that much money at UCLA, it seems like a pretty good choice. If you didn't want CA, I would say Michigan.

woeisme
Posts: 781
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 8:39 pm

Re: Berkeley, Michigan($), Cornell($), UCLA($$$), or Vandy($$$)

Postby woeisme » Thu Apr 05, 2012 10:34 am

For CA biglaw (your first choice): Berkeley $ > UCLA $$$ > Berkeley sticker > Michigan $/Cornell $ > Vandy $$$

For NY biglaw (your second choice): Cornell $ > Michigan $ > Berkeley $ > UCLA $$$/Vandy $$$ > Berkeley sticker

For Birmingham: it's probably a wash given that this is your home market. Basically, anything but Berkeley at sticker would make sense.

Based on the above, I'd pick the schools in this order:

(1) Berkeley $
(2) UCLA $$$
(3) Cornell $
(4) Michigan $
(5) Berkeley sticker
(6) Vandy $$$

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Redamon1
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Re: Berkeley, Michigan($), Cornell($), UCLA($$$), or Vandy($$$)

Postby Redamon1 » Thu Apr 05, 2012 11:05 am

I'm afraid I can't use as scientific a method as this one ^, but I would say you have a choice to make about geography and career goals.

If you are absolutely set on CA, then you may view UCLA $$$ as a worthwhile discount to get in exchange for locking yourself into the CA market and modestly reducing your chances of getting BigLaw. If on the other hand, you like the idea of maintaining some geographical flexibility and you want to maximize your chances of getting BigLaw, then I would go with Mich, Cornell or Berkeley.

You say you think Berkeley would be a good fit for you personally. The school would also give you a good shot at your career goal, make you very competitive in your preferred market (CA) and be reputable enough to allow you to land jobs in other markets. Whether this edge for Berkeley is worth 30k is a personal choice, I think. You seem to have a good savings lined up + parental contributions, so I would not think we you were crazy to pay the premium, but others might think it's not worth it. I think it's a close call.

Also, do make sure you wait for Berkeley's financial aid info. It can take weeks, and sometimes months for them to send out merit or matching scholarship info (some people have reported awards in May).

rad lulz
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Re: Berkeley, Michigan($), Cornell($), UCLA($$$), or Vandy($$$)

Postby rad lulz » Thu Apr 05, 2012 11:16 am

Any CA ties?

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Dany
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Re: Berkeley, Michigan($), Cornell($), UCLA($$$), or Vandy($$$)

Postby Dany » Thu Apr 05, 2012 12:38 pm

I'm pondering for you and I'll let you know what I think eventually. :D

Real Madrid
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Joined: Mon May 30, 2011 12:21 am

Re: Berkeley, Michigan($), Cornell($), UCLA($$$), or Vandy($$$)

Postby Real Madrid » Thu Apr 05, 2012 1:58 pm

rad lulz wrote:Any CA ties?


None, unfortunately. :|

dany wrote:I'm pondering for you and I'll let you know what I think eventually.


Please do. :P

Real Madrid
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Joined: Mon May 30, 2011 12:21 am

Re: Berkeley, Michigan($), Cornell($), UCLA($$$), or Vandy($$$)

Postby Real Madrid » Fri Apr 06, 2012 7:13 pm

Just received a $90,000 scholarship from USC. Does this change things?

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Lincoln
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Re: Berkeley, Michigan($), Cornell($), UCLA($$$), or Vandy($$$)

Postby Lincoln » Fri Apr 06, 2012 7:20 pm

Real Madrid wrote:Just received a $90,000 scholarship from USC. Does this change things?


No. Leverage your scholarships to get Berkeley to give you money, and then go there.

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FryBreadPower
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Re: Berkeley, Michigan($), Cornell($), UCLA($$$), or Vandy($$$)

Postby FryBreadPower » Fri Apr 06, 2012 7:37 pm

Matching program at Berkeley, you should be able to at least get a scholarship that matches Cornell/Michigan.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Berkeley, Michigan($), Cornell($), UCLA($$$), or Vandy($$$)

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri Apr 06, 2012 10:02 pm

USC, UCLA or UCal-Berkeley.

shoeshine
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Re: Berkeley, Michigan($), Cornell($), UCLA($$$), or Vandy($$$)

Postby shoeshine » Fri Apr 06, 2012 10:10 pm

I am going to say B because you already seem like you have decided you want to go there plus your scholarships at Michigan and Cornell aren't that big. Plus neither of them will get you a decent shot at a Cali Big Law job without stellar grades.

I might change my answer to Cornell if you said that you want NYC biglaw more than Cali and you have been to Ithaca and understand what it would be like to live there for 3 years.

Otherwise the answer is B, hopefully they match your scholarships.




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