NU/GULC sticker v Apply next year (UPDATE)

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GULC v NU v Next Year

GULC sticker
3
7%
NU sticker
22
54%
Next Year
16
39%
 
Total votes: 41

rec345
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NU/GULC sticker v Apply next year (UPDATE)

Postby rec345 » Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:12 pm

Note: I recently posted this in the Financial Aid forum, but it seems a better fit here

So I'm a fairly serious splitter (3.4 GPA, 173 LSAT) from an Ivy League UG. I've been out of school for a few years and have pretty unique work experience. So far my cycle looks like this:

Accepted: Northwestern, GULC
Waitlisted: Columbia, NYU, UVA, Penn, Michigan, Duke, Cornell
Rejected: Chicago, Boalt

What should I do? Neither NU or GULC has given me a penny of financial aid. The prospect of walking into a lower T14 with 200K+ future debt hanging from my neck is pretty terrifying. At the moment I have a pretty decent job, and theoretically wouldn't mind putting off law school for a year if it would mean saving money down the line either via financial aid or the safety net of a significantly higher ranked school. Should I just pick GULC or NU and work my ass off? Would it be realistic for me to expect a significantly better outcome if I wait a year (more work experience, potentially higher LSAT, maybe ED)? I feel like I've underperformed this cycle, but I'm not positive. Finally, would it be possible to play NU and GULC off each other (as peer schools) to get at least a scrap of aid?

Thanks for any and all advice!
Last edited by rec345 on Tue May 01, 2012 2:18 pm, edited 3 times in total.

hdsoc
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Re: NU v GULC v Apply next year

Postby hdsoc » Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:15 pm

Similar numbers here. I can't speak to getting aid, but I think you would benefit from an ED and perhaps a stronger package. What are you ultimately hoping to do post law school?

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Nelson
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Re: NU v GULC v Apply next year

Postby Nelson » Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:58 pm

This looks about right for a 3.4/173. Ask Northwestern for some money, they showed some splitter love this cycle. I'd ride those WLs if you prefer another of MVP, but I think MVPBDN are basically peers for jobs.

You could have probably gotten your favorite of MVP with an ED, but it would have been sticker (or close). ED you might have a shot at NYU. I don't think NYU will happen RD with the 3.4 unless you retake to the upper 170s.

I don't think you have much chance of significant money in the T14 if you reapply.

CanadianWolf
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Re: NU v GULC v Apply next year

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:03 pm

Northwestern or next year.

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Samara
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Re: NU v GULC v Apply next year

Postby Samara » Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:11 pm

I don't think you underperformed your cycle. There's not much difference between 3.4/173 and 3.1/173. You should get off of at least one waitlist if you want to ride them out, but I have to stump for Northwestern here. Outside of the T6, your biglaw chances aren't going to be much, if at all, better, so I don't think it's worth it to wait a year just to pay sticker at Michigan over Northwestern.

What are your goals? Where do you want to practice? If you apply ED next year, you might be able to snag CCN (NYU is your best shot), but unless your goal is NYC biglaw or PI, I don't think it's worth it to wait.

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bk1
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Re: NU v GULC v Apply next year

Postby bk1 » Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:16 pm

Random thoughts:

1. As a splitter finaid is unlikely. NU seemed to show some love to splitters this cycle, but that is clearly an exception to the norm. I don't know if it's going to continue and I don't think it's something you should count on. As a splitter, you will be paying sticker.

2. There are only 6-7 schools (HYSCCN, maybe P) better than the lower T14 and only 3 of them are significantly better (HYS). You're not getting HYS so you are basically looking at 3-4 schools (CCN... P?) that would give you better job prospects. You're already out at 1 of them (UChi) and there's no guarantee that you'll get the other 2-3. Even if you did, they aren't that much better than the lower T14. The reality is that there is no "significantly better outcome" possible for you. There are slightly better outcomes, but they're not too much better.

3. I don't think you've underperformed. You're a splitter. Life sucks.

4. I'd take NU (maybe GULC) right now, but if you get NYU/CLS (maybe Penn) off the waitlist take those. Maybe UVA/Duke if you have a hankering for the South. You're in a decent spot. You've got a lower T14 and come OCI you'll have a slight edge on your peers based on your UG prestige and unique work experience.

5. The real kicker, I think, is that you're never going to eliminate the real risk: getting biglaw and not staying long enough to pay down your loans. Sticker from all these schools is going to take around 5 years to pay back but only 20% of biglaw associates make it to year 5. Waiting another year or even 5 years isn't going to change the fact that you will be paying sticker. I guess a conceivable reason I can think for waiting would be if you were saving money at a decent rate right now. But you also have to factor that tuition costs are going up every year.

rec345
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Re: NU v GULC v Apply next year

Postby rec345 » Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:33 pm

Samara wrote:I don't think you underperformed your cycle. There's not much difference between 3.4/173 and 3.1/173. You should get off of at least one waitlist if you want to ride them out, but I have to stump for Northwestern here. Outside of the T6, your biglaw chances aren't going to be much, if at all, better, so I don't think it's worth it to wait a year just to pay sticker at Michigan over Northwestern.

What are your goals? Where do you want to practice? If you apply ED next year, you might be able to snag CCN (NYU is your best shot), but unless your goal is NYC biglaw or PI, I don't think it's worth it to wait.


Thanks for the response. I visited NU a few months ago and loved the feel of the campus. That said, I'm debt-averse enough to strongly consider GULC if they were to miraculously give me some $. I'm principally interested in international corporate law and also the legal issues surrounding social entrepreneurship (currently working abroad in the microfinance sector). As for where I'd like to work, I fell in love with California a while ago but with virtually no ties I know it's a long-shot. More likely NYC, where I have family and friends, or perhaps Chicago if I go the NU route.

rec345
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Re: NU v GULC v Apply next year

Postby rec345 » Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:36 pm

bk1 wrote:Random thoughts:

1. As a splitter finaid is unlikely. NU seemed to show some love to splitters this cycle, but that is clearly an exception to the norm. I don't know if it's going to continue and I don't think it's something you should count on. As a splitter, you will be paying sticker.



Great response, I'm analyzing it in pieces. Do you think that it would still be possible to finagle a bit of aid from NU or GULC, even though they've already sent me a package consisting entirely of loans? Basically by sending a letter saying "look, I would be equally happy at either place. If I were to receive a bit of aid I would definitely enroll here"

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crumpetsandtea
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Re: NU v GULC v Apply next year

Postby crumpetsandtea » Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:38 pm

A few thoughts:

- I don't think a retake would help you much, and it would be risky

- It doesn't seem like you've underperformed too much (maybe you could have also gotten bites from Mich or Virginia, but pretty unlikely given UVa's tendency to default to WL and Mich's tendency to prefer reverse splitters.

- BK is totally on point with his analysis of what would qualify as a 'better outcome'

- If you do decide to reapply, schools (especially NU and GULC) are going to want to know why you're reapplying when you turned down their offer the year before

- AFAIK, NU does not negotiate much, especially when what you're trying to negotiate with is "No money at a peer school that is equally as expensive when it comes to CoL". There's about 0% chance you're getting money out of either of them when you only have that to barter with. It's just not compelling at all.

I'd go with NU if I were you, but I'm biased (deposited at NU last week) and I don't know where you want to work/what you want to do after you graduate.

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Samara
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Re: NU v GULC v Apply next year

Postby Samara » Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:39 pm

rec345 wrote:
bk1 wrote:Random thoughts:

1. As a splitter finaid is unlikely. NU seemed to show some love to splitters this cycle, but that is clearly an exception to the norm. I don't know if it's going to continue and I don't think it's something you should count on. As a splitter, you will be paying sticker.



Great response, I'm analyzing it in pieces. Do you think that it would still be possible to finagle a bit of aid from NU or GULC, even though they've already sent me a package consisting entirely of loans? Basically by sending a letter saying "look, I would be equally happy at either place. If I were to receive a bit of aid I would definitely enroll here"

It's doubtful, at least from NU. I can't speak to GULC as well, but I wouldn't expect anything, considering all you have to negotiate with is a NU acceptance.

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Samara
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Re: NU v GULC v Apply next year

Postby Samara » Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:42 pm

rec345 wrote:
Samara wrote:I don't think you underperformed your cycle. There's not much difference between 3.4/173 and 3.1/173. You should get off of at least one waitlist if you want to ride them out, but I have to stump for Northwestern here. Outside of the T6, your biglaw chances aren't going to be much, if at all, better, so I don't think it's worth it to wait a year just to pay sticker at Michigan over Northwestern.

What are your goals? Where do you want to practice? If you apply ED next year, you might be able to snag CCN (NYU is your best shot), but unless your goal is NYC biglaw or PI, I don't think it's worth it to wait.


Thanks for the response. I visited NU a few months ago and loved the feel of the campus. That said, I'm debt-averse enough to strongly consider GULC if they were to miraculously give me some $. I'm principally interested in international corporate law and also the legal issues surrounding social entrepreneurship (currently working abroad in the microfinance sector). As for where I'd like to work, I fell in love with California a while ago but with virtually no ties I know it's a long-shot. More likely NYC, where I have family and friends, or perhaps Chicago if I go the NU route.

FWIW, NU places stronger in Cali, so maybe if you get good grades you could have a shot there? (bk1, rayiner or somebody want to jump in here?) NU also has an entrepreneurship clinic, so that might have some neat opportunities for you.

As for biglaw placement in general, NU is measurably stronger than GULC, so I don't think it would be worth it to take a small amount of money at GULC unless you liked the culture or location better or something.

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rayiner
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Re: NU v GULC v Apply next year

Postby rayiner » Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:45 pm

If you reapply, you're probably not getting CCN. 3.5 is kind of the floor for them, but who knows given apps are down 20% for 170+ scorers this year. I would've thought you'd be solidly in at Penn or Virgnia. Virginia isn't really any better of an outcome (unless you like Virginia better than NU from a fit perspective), though Penn probably is if you want NYC.

The real underperformance is not getting money. Was your app shitty?

rec345
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Re: NU v GULC v Apply next year

Postby rec345 » Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:46 pm

bk1 wrote:
3. I don't think you've underperformed. You're a splitter. Life sucks.



I suppose I feel like I've underperformed because I personally know people with similar/worse numbers who have gotten into schools that I haven't (mainly NYU and Penn). Also, I really underperformed on the LSAT (was PTing 177+) and I guess I'm still in denial, haha. No doubt NU and GULC are great schools though.

bk1 wrote:
5. The real kicker, I think, is that you're never going to eliminate the real risk: getting biglaw and not staying long enough to pay down your loans. Sticker from all these schools is going to take around 5 years to pay back but only 20% of biglaw associates make it to year 5. Waiting another year or even 5 years isn't going to change the fact that you will be paying sticker. I guess a conceivable reason I can think for waiting would be if you were saving money at a decent rate right now. But you also have to factor that tuition costs are going up every year.



This is the key point I suppose. Now that I am so close to committing I'm getting cold feet. I've read the stats, I've heard the horror stories, and 200k of debt is making me rethink law school altogether, knowing it's a coin flip whether I get BigLaw and then another one whether I can stick it out. I know it's a personal choice, I'm just having trouble making it.

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crumpetsandtea
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Re: NU v GULC v Apply next year

Postby crumpetsandtea » Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:48 pm

Samara wrote:
rec345 wrote:Thanks for the response. I visited NU a few months ago and loved the feel of the campus. That said, I'm debt-averse enough to strongly consider GULC if they were to miraculously give me some $. I'm principally interested in international corporate law and also the legal issues surrounding social entrepreneurship (currently working abroad in the microfinance sector). As for where I'd like to work, I fell in love with California a while ago but with virtually no ties I know it's a long-shot. More likely NYC, where I have family and friends, or perhaps Chicago if I go the NU route.

FWIW, NU places stronger in Cali, so maybe if you get good grades you could have a shot there? (bk1, rayiner or somebody want to jump in here?) NU also has an entrepreneurship clinic, so that might have some neat opportunities for you.

As for biglaw placement in general, NU is measurably stronger than GULC, so I don't think it would be worth it to take a small amount of money at GULC unless you liked the culture or location better or something.

A very large portion of NU's student body is from the West Coast, which is probably what contributes to its strength in California, not so much the school itself. Without ties, California is going to be a pretty fucking hard market to break into (I'm an 0L though, so this is just based on what I've heard from others).

Agreed RE: biglaw placement between NU and GULC, though. If you're interested in doing gov't work or working in DC, GULC might be better, but if you just want a big firm job in Chi or NY, NU is the way to go.

rec345
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Re: NU v GULC v Apply next year

Postby rec345 » Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:54 pm

rayiner wrote:If you reapply, you're probably not getting CCN. 3.5 is kind of the floor for them, but who knows given apps are down 20% for 170+ scorers this year. I would've thought you'd be solidly in at Penn or Virgnia. Virginia isn't really any better of an outcome (unless you like Virginia better than NU from a fit perspective), though Penn probably is if you want NYC.

The real underperformance is not getting money. Was your app shitty?


A fair question. There were a few definite weak spots. One was that I studied abroad, had to leave the country before finishing some courses, and ended up getting two F's in absentia, which hurt my GPA. Another is that my rec letters are fairly weak, for a variety of reasons. Other than that I had a strong PS, strong softs, etc. Do people with my numbers usually get money?


As for those who say there is no significantly better outcome, that's probably true in regard to higher ranked schools. I was thinking just as much about finaid when I wrote that though.


Also, do any of these people who think I should reapply next year want to chime in? It would be appreciated

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Re: NU v GULC v Apply next year

Postby senorhosh » Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:15 pm

NU or next year.

If i were you I'd wait a year and ED to an MVP or NYU. You aren't getting money either way so make use of the ED.

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Re: NU v GULC v Apply next year

Postby senorhosh » Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:18 pm

senorhosh wrote:NU or next year.

If i were you I'd wait a year and ED to an MVP or NYU. You aren't getting money either way so make use of the ED.


Also, look at NYU on LSN. Plenty of people who got in below 3.5, without ED.
ED doesn't give you a big boost at NYU (I think) but it might give you just enough. It's risky though

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bk1
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Re: NU v GULC v Apply next year

Postby bk1 » Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:20 pm

rec345 wrote:I was thinking just as much about finaid when I wrote that though.


Even then there aren't really any significantly better outcomes. I mean there's the possibility of maybe 45k-ish at a lower T14? But I'm not sure that possibility is significant compared to the fact that you'll still be 200k+ in debt even with that kind of money. That being said, people who applied this cycle (crumps/samara) probably have better insight on the kind of money you can get.

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Re: NU v GULC v Apply next year

Postby crumpetsandtea » Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:28 pm

bk1 wrote:
rec345 wrote:I was thinking just as much about finaid when I wrote that though.


Even then there aren't really any significantly better outcomes. I mean there's the possibility of maybe 45k-ish at a lower T14? But I'm not sure that possibility is significant compared to the fact that you'll still be 200k+ in debt even with that kind of money. That being said, people who applied this cycle (crumps/samara) probably have better insight on the kind of money you can get.

RE: money...I think NU focused much more on need-based aid this year. I had a 2.8/176 split and received $45K. I made maybe between $13K-$15K last year after taxes.

TBF though I also submitted all my financial info (Need Access, FAFSA, and NU's personal application with essays) by January 23rd, so I was probably one of the first scholarship applications they read. If you submitted late it's very possible they ran out of money or had tightened their standards for giving out scholarships by then.

However, I do know some people who applied for aid pretty late in the game and got offers (see: franklyscarlet, who has a 3.6/168 IIRC, and got $60K). It's possible your finaid essays weren't as good as they could have been? Johann posted on his G+ account that unimpressive essays hurt a lot of people when it came time to dole out scholarship money.

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Nelson
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Re: NU v GULC v Apply next year

Postby Nelson » Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:29 pm

senorhosh wrote:NU or next year.

If i were you I'd wait a year and ED to an MVP or NYU. You aren't getting money either way so make use of the ED.

MVP and NYU don't really make that much difference for job prospects though. And NYU is even more expensive than NU's already steep price.

rec345
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Re: NU v GULC v Apply next year

Postby rec345 » Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:31 pm

crumpetsandtea wrote:
RE: money...I think NU focused much more on need-based aid this year. I had a 2.8/176 split and received $45K. I made maybe between $13K-$15K last year after taxes.

TBF though I also submitted all my financial info (Need Access, FAFSA, and NU's personal application with essays) by January 23rd, so I was probably one of the first scholarship applications they read. If you submitted late it's very possible they ran out of money or had tightened their standards for giving out scholarships by then.

However, I do know some people who applied for aid pretty late in the game and got offers (see: franklyscarlet, who has a 3.6/168 IIRC, and got $60K). It's possible your finaid essays weren't as good as they could have been? Johann posted on his G+ account that unimpressive essays hurt a lot of people when it came time to dole out scholarship money.


I definitely would have qualified for need-based, seeing as how I've been working for non-profits and have virtually zero savings. I also (in my opinion of course) wrote strong essays. I think in the end I just really shot myself in the foot by turning in the scholly app so freaking late, basically last minute.

hdsoc
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Re: NU v GULC v Apply next year

Postby hdsoc » Thu Apr 12, 2012 5:16 pm

I don't think NU at sticker is a terrible option, but I think people above are also being a little negative. I got 15K/per year at Michigan with worse stats; and NU with money seems within the realm of possibility. I think you'd get UPenn and have a real shot at NYU with an ED, but those would still be sticker, obviously.

That said, splitter cycles are always crapshoots, so you could re-apply and end up in the same position or worse.

rec345
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Re: NU v GULC v Apply next year

Postby rec345 » Tue Apr 17, 2012 12:55 pm

Just got waitlisted at Cornell, bringing my totals up to 2 acceptances, 2 rejections, and a whopping 7 waitlists. I guess there is something just strikingly unstriking about my application :)

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Re: NU/GULC sticker v Apply next year

Postby ryemanhattan » Tue Apr 17, 2012 1:37 pm

OP I'm right here with you. I'm in at NU, some decent regional schools (with $, but not enough $), waitlisted at NYU, UVA. I've been courting UVA (flew out and met with admissions... lots of email contact since then). Probably won't deposit at NU, as I don't want NYC or Chicago biglaw, at least not for the five years+ it would take to pay off 250k. If I knew I could walk into SF or Denver biglaw from NU, I would do it, but that's a crapshoot.

UVA, even with the slightly lower cost and broader (if not better) job options I'm still apprehensive. Had not given NYU much thought, since with my sub3 GPA I never thought I'd get this far. Think I'd take the slight $ difference at UVA though, if I miraculously got into both.

Strongly contemplating the great unknown that is UC Irvine ($). Better the devil I don't know, I figure.

But yes, cold feet. My life is good now. Debt is terrifying. If I don't get UVA I might consider reapplying ED in September. But I'm not thrilled with any of my options, given the costs.

I think that we are in a for a massive correction is the costs/structure of law school, as it is already a losing proposition for the majority of applicants. We should make that law school two years (with undergrad prereqs?), or just make it an UG degree and maybe require an apprenticeship, old school. Something has to give. Kudos to Hastings for cutting 20% of it's class next year... not exactly groundbreaking but it shows that they know there is a problem. More schools need to be getting proactive on the fact they are overcharging for their product.

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Re: NU/GULC sticker v Apply next year

Postby rayiner » Tue Apr 17, 2012 2:22 pm

ryemanhattan wrote:If I knew I could walk into SF or Denver biglaw from NU, I would do it, but that's a crapshoot.

UVA, even with the slightly lower cost and broader (if not better) job options I'm still apprehensive. Had not given NYU much thought, since with my sub3 GPA I never thought I'd get this far. Think I'd take the slight $ difference at UVA though, if I miraculously got into both.


If you don't have strong ties to SF or Denver, you're not going to have a lot of luck in SF or Denver from either NU or UVA. It's really DC where UVA will carry you further than NU (UVA is particularly strong in DC, and NU is particularly weak in DC).

If you get into both NYU and UVA, you'll have to decide whether your aversion to NYC big law is bigger than your aversion to no big law. In terms of overall safety net, NYU is worth the slight $ difference over UVA.




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