GW v. UIUC ($) v. Chicago-Kent ($$)

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GW v. UIUC ($) v. Chicago-Kent ($$)

GW (14k/yr)
5
15%
UIUC (19k/yr)
18
53%
Chicago-Kent (Full)
11
32%
 
Total votes: 34

freemustacherides
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GW v. UIUC ($) v. Chicago-Kent ($$)

Postby freemustacherides » Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:39 am

Here's my options:

1) GW with 14k need-based grant offered for 1L (>200k total debt)
2) UIUC instate with a guaranteed 50% tuition scholarship (117k total debt)
3) Chicago-Kent with a guaranteed full tuition scholarship

Despite the obvious benefits of graduating debt-free, I think that I may be limiting my options if I choose Kent. Debt is not a huge issue for me. I'd rather make the best possible investment in my future--regardless of cost. At #23, UIUC seemed like the logical choice, but not so much now at #35. Is GW worth the extra $100k? What do you guys think? I'm also waitlisted at Michigan, and still waiting for a decision from UCLA...

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bk1
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Re: GW v. UIUC ($) v. Chicago-Kent ($$)

Postby bk1 » Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:44 am

UIUC seems to be your only reasonable option though it's still a bit too expensive than I'd want to pay for it.

freemustacherides wrote:Debt is not a huge issue for me. I'd rather make the best possible investment in my future--regardless of cost.


This doesn't make any sense. Unless someone is paying your debt for you how can it not be an issue? The second sentence is also illogical. If GW got you a job that was hypothetically 10% better (not sure how'd you quantify that but let's say it's possible) than the job you got from UIUC it wouldn't make sense to pay double for GW than UIUC... you're only getting something 10% better.

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blurbz
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Re: GW v. UIUC ($) v. Chicago-Kent ($$)

Postby blurbz » Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:46 am

There is no difference in what UIUC gets you from 23 to 35. The faculty is the same and the job prospects are the same. I think it's clearly the best choice, assuming you're familiar with the midwest.

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Ludo!
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Re: GW v. UIUC ($) v. Chicago-Kent ($$)

Postby Ludo! » Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:47 am

Illinois' drop in rank didn't really change anything that should matter to you in choosing a law school. If you want to work in Chicago you should go to Illinois, if you want to work in DC go to GW

rad lulz
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Re: GW v. UIUC ($) v. Chicago-Kent ($$)

Postby rad lulz » Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:59 am

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Last edited by rad lulz on Mon Apr 22, 2013 11:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

allamerican73
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Re: GW v. UIUC ($) v. Chicago-Kent ($$)

Postby allamerican73 » Thu Apr 12, 2012 9:33 am

Ludovico Technique wrote:Illinois' drop in rank didn't really change anything that should matter to you in choosing a law school. If you want to work in Chicago you should go to Illinois, if you want to work in DC go to GW


Great advice. This should be the rule for any "Tier 1" options outside T-14--decide where you want to live and practice then work backwards...

freemustacherides
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Re: GW v. UIUC ($) v. Chicago-Kent ($$)

Postby freemustacherides » Thu Apr 12, 2012 12:56 pm

bk1 wrote:UIUC seems to be your only reasonable option though it's still a bit too expensive than I'd want to pay for it.

freemustacherides wrote:Debt is not a huge issue for me. I'd rather make the best possible investment in my future--regardless of cost.


This doesn't make any sense. Unless someone is paying your debt for you how can it not be an issue? The second sentence is also illogical. If GW got you a job that was hypothetically 10% better (not sure how'd you quantify that but let's say it's possible) than the job you got from UIUC it wouldn't make sense to pay double for GW than UIUC... you're only getting something 10% better.


First of all, thank you for your input. I felt the same way about UIUC, but was worried about the impact of the "scandal." Also, I'm not sure I can put it any clearer than "debt is not a huge issue for me," but I meant that I'd rather make the best career decision. I don't look at student loans as an up-front cost.

In my mind, it's a question of overall risk and reward. Whats the risk of 200k in debt if I'm making >100k a year after graduation? I understand the rhetoric: "you're not a special snowflake." I know that I could go to law school and fail out, or do really well and still not get a job. But worst case scenario, I'll find a way to pay the minimum for the rest of my life--the good old-fashioned American way. That's how the system is set up.

I agree with you regarding the reward part, however. The difficult part is quantifying it (that's why I came here). You're argument fails to take into account that a "10% better" job could earn me significantly more income over the life of the loan--and after. I see it as a question of: 1) Would I get a better job, or have better career options, with a degree from GW; and, if so, 2) does this justify and extra 100K in debt. My guess is that you'd still say no?

blurbz wrote:There is no difference in what UIUC gets you from 23 to 35. The faculty is the same and the job prospects are the same. I think it's clearly the best choice, assuming you're familiar with the midwest.


Ludovico Technique wrote:Illinois' drop in rank didn't really change anything that should matter to you in choosing a law school. If you want to work in Chicago you should go to Illinois, if you want to work in DC go to GW


Thanks, both of you. I'm still relatively new to the whole ranking system, so I wasn't sure if UIUC was going to be shamed and stoned or whatnot. Someone in another thread put forth a pretty solid argument for them retaining their share of the Chicago market, and I tend to agree.

I'm actually from Chicago and live there (here) now--along with all my friends, family, and my girlfriend of 6 years. Still, I wouldn't mind living/working in DC, and I've been reading that my job prospects in the Chicago market would probably be just as strong with a degree from GW as with one from UIUC (presumably, because of it's higher rank and my strong Chicago ties?). If this is in fact the case, GW would offer me access to two markets. Do any of you have any opinions on this? Still probably not worth the additional 100k in debt though...

You guys are really making me lean toward UIUC.

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blurbz
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Re: GW v. UIUC ($) v. Chicago-Kent ($$)

Postby blurbz » Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:39 pm

Yeah, I think it will probably come down to your preferences re: debt and location. The scandal sucks, but I don't think it will have any real impact on hiring. Smith seems pretty committed to limiting damage to PR and improving programs and processes...I don't think it's a real reason to go somewhere else.

I would eliminate Kent. Illinois is leagues better in placement, so Kent is not really worth considering unless you absolutely need to be in Chicago for the next three years (and understand that those three years come at a price: Substantially diminished job prospects).
Last edited by blurbz on Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

rad lulz
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Re: GW v. UIUC ($) v. Chicago-Kent ($$)

Postby rad lulz » Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:48 pm

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Last edited by rad lulz on Mon Apr 22, 2013 11:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

freemustacherides
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Re: GW v. UIUC ($) v. Chicago-Kent ($$)

Postby freemustacherides » Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:40 pm

blurbz wrote:Yeah, I think it will probably come down to your preferences re: debt and location. The scandal sucks, but I don't think it will have any real impact on hiring. Smith seems pretty committed to limiting damage to PR and improving programs and processes...I don't think it's a real reason to go somewhere else.

I would eliminate Kent. Illinois is leagues better in placement, so Kent is not really worth considering unless you absolutely need to be in Chicago for the next three years (and understand that those three years come at a price: Substantially diminished job prospects).


Agreed. I only included Kent because of the full scholarship. I'm trying not to let location/personal issues influence my decision too much (MOB!). Thanks again.

rad lulz wrote:If you don't get biglaw (the likely outcome from GW), do you realize what paying back $200k looks like when you start at about $50k? If you even get a job? This is life ruining. If you make minimum payment for 25 years and hit traditional private practice IBR, you will then get slammed with a tax bomb for the forgiven loan amount, which will be a lot if you've barely touched the principal. This debt will keep you from doing cool shit like I dunno, home ownership, sending your kids to college, etc. It's like a mortgage, except you can't give it back to the bank if it goes bad. Think about it.


Thank you. I appreciate the advice. And believe me, I am thinking about it. Very hard. I realize GW has the potential for disaster, and included Kent in the poll for a reason. I just want to consider all my options and all points of view fully, and not base my decision purely on worst-case scenarios.

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Samara
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Re: GW v. UIUC ($) v. Chicago-Kent ($$)

Postby Samara » Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:47 pm

rad lulz wrote:
bk1 wrote:UIUC seems to be your only reasonable option though it's still a bit too expensive than I'd want to pay for it.
This.

+1 Though you say you're in-state, so presumably you have ties, which strengthen job prospects a little and makes the debt more palatable. From what I've heard, the rankings drop is really just a removal of its artificial inflation and should have little impact on employment.

CanadianWolf
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Re: GW v. UIUC ($) v. Chicago-Kent ($$)

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:53 pm

Eliminate GWU. Too expensive.

Fight to get off the waitlists at Michigan and UCLA.

Among your current options, visit both Illinois & IIT (Chicago-Kent) before deciding.

Lord Randolph McDuff
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Re: GW v. UIUC ($) v. Chicago-Kent ($$)

Postby Lord Randolph McDuff » Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:00 pm

allamerican73 wrote:
Ludovico Technique wrote:Illinois' drop in rank didn't really change anything that should matter to you in choosing a law school. If you want to work in Chicago you should go to Illinois, if you want to work in DC go to GW


Great advice. This should be the rule for any "Tier 1" options outside T-14--decide where you want to live and practice then work backwards...


+1

Also just because you go to Cornell doesn't mean you can go get a job in Salt Lake City because you like to ski. Just like all the other graduates from all the other schools, there is some chance you could work your way out there, but the notion that T-14's are "national" is an overstatement at best.

timbs4339
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Re: GW v. UIUC ($) v. Chicago-Kent ($$)

Postby timbs4339 » Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:15 pm

freemustacherides wrote:Thank you. I appreciate the advice. And believe me, I am thinking about it. Very hard. I realize GW has the potential for disaster, and included Kent in the poll for a reason. I just want to consider all my options and all points of view fully, and not base my decision purely on worst-case scenarios.


That's not the worst-case scenario. That's the MEDIAN case scenario. There are some schools where you can reasonably be assured of a six-figure or close to six-figure job if you are at median, but none are on your list.

freemustacherides
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Re: GW v. UIUC ($) v. Chicago-Kent ($$)

Postby freemustacherides » Fri Apr 13, 2012 3:20 pm

timbs4339 wrote:That's not the worst-case scenario. That's the MEDIAN case scenario. There are some schools where you can reasonably be assured of a six-figure or close to six-figure job if you are at median, but none are on your list.


I don't know, man.....I don't think it gets much worse than:

rad lulz wrote:If you make minimum payment for 25 years and hit traditional private practice IBR, you will then get slammed with a tax bomb for the forgiven loan amount, which will be a lot if you've barely touched the principal. This debt will keep you from doing cool shit like I dunno, home ownership, sending your kids to college, etc. It's like a mortgage, except you can't give it back to the bank if it goes bad.


Regardless, I do realize that this is a possible--and even probable--result of attending GW with that kind of debt. I've been clear about that. But still, a median is a median. Half are above it, and half below. There's no logical basis for assuming that I'll be at or below median rather than above it. If I factor in the possibility that I may not graduate, why should I not consider the possibility of a six-figure salary? Being overly pessimistic is just as naive as being overly optimistic.

freemustacherides
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Re: GW v. UIUC ($) v. Chicago-Kent ($$)

Postby freemustacherides » Fri Apr 13, 2012 3:40 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Eliminate GWU. Too expensive.

Fight to get off the waitlists at Michigan and UCLA.

Among your current options, visit both Illinois & IIT (Chicago-Kent) before deciding.


Thank you, and I have (eliminated GW and visited both campuses). I'm really leaning towards UIUC at this point. Deposits are due for GW and Kent on Monday, so I'm thinking of withdrawing from both today.

Either way, I'm going to take your advice on UCLA and Michigan (I actually haven't even heard from UCLA since going complete on 1/5). But it doesn't seem likely that either will give me any more money than GW, so I'll have to go through this entire process again.... :roll:

rad lulz
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Re: GW v. UIUC ($) v. Chicago-Kent ($$)

Postby rad lulz » Fri Apr 13, 2012 4:05 pm

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Last edited by rad lulz on Mon Apr 22, 2013 11:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

timbs4339
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Re: GW v. UIUC ($) v. Chicago-Kent ($$)

Postby timbs4339 » Fri Apr 13, 2012 4:45 pm

rad lulz wrote:
freemustacherides wrote:
timbs4339 wrote:That's not the worst-case scenario. That's the MEDIAN case scenario. There are some schools where you can reasonably be assured of a six-figure or close to six-figure job if you are at median, but none are on your list.


I don't know, man.....I don't think it gets much worse than:

rad lulz wrote:If you make minimum payment for 25 years and hit traditional private practice IBR, you will then get slammed with a tax bomb for the forgiven loan amount, which will be a lot if you've barely touched the principal. This debt will keep you from doing cool shit like I dunno, home ownership, sending your kids to college, etc. It's like a mortgage, except you can't give it back to the bank if it goes bad.


Regardless, I do realize that this is a possible--and even probable--result of attending GW with that kind of debt. I've been clear about that. But still, a median is a median. Half are above it, and half below. There's no logical basis for assuming that I'll be at or below median rather than above it. If I factor in the possibility that I may not graduate, why should I not consider the possibility of a six-figure salary? Being overly pessimistic is just as naive as being overly optimistic.


You don't get this. This "worst case scenario" is the reality if you don't hit biglaw from GW. Outside of biglaw, salaries start at around $50k. Entry level salaries are bimodal (this of course assumes you even get a job). With that 50k, the scenario I described above applies. Chances of biglaw or federal clerkship at GW were 34% in 2010 and 25% in 2011. Deck's stacked very much against you.

At least if you get that $50k salary from UIUC (the most likely outcome), the debt won't crush you. It will be horrendous, but paying back $117k on $50k plus some salary increases is much more achievable.


Yes, the worst case scenario is you are:

Unemployed
Working part-time for $15/hr
Working temp doc review
Working a non-law job
Continuing to go to grad school

freemustacherides
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Re: GW v. UIUC ($) v. Chicago-Kent ($$)

Postby freemustacherides » Fri Apr 13, 2012 5:00 pm

rad lulz wrote:You don't get this. This "worst case scenario" is the reality if you don't hit biglaw from GW. Outside of biglaw, salaries start at around $50k. Entry level salaries are bimodal (this of course assumes you even get a job). With that 50k, the scenario I described above applies. Chances of biglaw or federal clerkship at GW were 34% in 2010 and 25% in 2011. Deck's stacked very much against you.

At least if you get that $50k salary from UIUC (the most likely outcome), the debt won't crush you. It will be horrendous, but paying back $117k on $50k plus some salary increases is much more achievable.


I'm pretty sure I'm getting it, boss. Thanks, though, for both you're condescending attitude and repetitive arguments. I'm not saying--nor have I said--that I'm confident that I'll get biglaw. In fact, I acknowledged that it was unlikely because I can also read employment statistics. But regardless of how the deck is stacked, people win at poker. Sometimes taking risks pays off. As someone who is new to the process, I was trying to elicit opinions on whether GW was worth such a risk. Sorry I did not immediately accept your point of view as gospel....

rad lulz
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Re: GW v. UIUC ($) v. Chicago-Kent ($$)

Postby rad lulz » Fri Apr 13, 2012 5:15 pm

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Last edited by rad lulz on Mon Apr 22, 2013 11:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

freemustacherides
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Re: GW v. UIUC ($) v. Chicago-Kent ($$)

Postby freemustacherides » Fri Apr 13, 2012 5:36 pm

I'm not butthurt. Don't worry. In fact, I have agreed with what you're saying--that getting biglaw is unlikely, and that 200k debt would be devastating without it. This is the worst case scenario (notwithstanding unemployment), and it is likely. After thanking you, I was only trying to see if you had any meaningful argument other than telling me not to go to GW because it was statistically improbable that I would get big law. You replied that I did not get it.

tlsposter
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Re: GW v. UIUC ($) v. Chicago-Kent ($$)

Postby tlsposter » Mon Apr 16, 2012 4:04 pm

That's a good deal from UIUC.

chicagoborn
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Re: GW v. UIUC ($) v. Chicago-Kent ($$)

Postby chicagoborn » Tue May 29, 2012 2:55 pm

I had almost the exact same set of options and after much consideration I chose UIUC. With the high cost, huge class size, and number of schools in the DC area, GW just seemed too much like a trap school (http://insidethelawschoolscam.blogspot. ... hools.html).

Did you decide yet? Any movement on those waitlists?




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