rayiner wrote:ToTransferOrNot wrote:rayiner wrote:
Lack of debt aversion and wanting to be able to check the "legacy" box for your kids' Harvard applications.
Realizing that Harvard almost certainly doesn't add ($240k + interest) to a person's lifetime earning potential isn't being "debt averse," it's being "pro-math." That debt forces you to put off home-ownership (or incur even greater interest expense), forces you to keep a biglaw job for longer (which, as I'm learning the hard way, can really come into conflict with, for example, a spouse's career goals), etc.
Now, if you want to argue that the potentially more lucrative exit options provided by Harvard makes it a sound financial decision, OK, but I don't see how one makes effectively makes that argument. If you see yourself wanting to go into politics (lol), then Harvard probably does have extra cachet to it. But for bigfed, PI, etc., Harvard isn't going to open a lot of doors that Chicago and Columbia leave closed.
I can see the point of the legacy admit checkbox, I guess. Hard to quantify how much that's worth.
I think in Big Fed there is still something to the Harvard thing. There are a disproportionate number of HLS-ers running around Washington in high-ranking positions. It's not just the name, it's the self-perpetuating Harvard alumni network. But that's where the risk tolerance comes in--how much are you willing to pay for a prospect that has a 1% chance of happening?
As for the intangible value, that's wholly dependent on your internal priorities. I don't think OP would be irrational taking Harvard over Chicago. People spend a lot of money on things of intangible value. My dad paid out of pocket to send my brother to Yale (UG), over substantial scholarship at very good schools. That's not money he could just throw around, but he was born in a village in a poor country and being being able to do that was a personal achievement for him. I hope to be able to do the same for my kids one day, because at the end of the day I'd value that more than a lake house or whatever else I'd spend the money on.
ITT Rayiner FOBS all over the place.