Got into UChi off WL, where now??

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

ALL #S ARE 3 YR TOTALS

NYU
4
8%
Penn ($30k)
9
17%
Mich ($45k)
3
6%
Duke ($60k)
7
13%
Chicago
29
56%
 
Total votes: 52

swoozie
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Got into UChi off WL, where now??

Postby swoozie » Wed Apr 18, 2012 12:17 pm

I just got off the Chicago waitlist on Friday and I think this shakes things up a bit. Don't know about financial aid but considering the fat zero from NYU that I haven't heard back about, let's assume the same at Chicago. I don't have the same reservations about Chicago as I do about NYC BUT I haven't visited Chicago in like 6 or 7 years. And I only visited the undergrad (which I really liked, if it's relevant).

My gut feeling is that there isn't enough money coming from Penn to take it over Chicago. But for some reason, now the 60k from Duke looks bigger (I don't know why my brain is thinking this way). Also, since I won't be able to visit before the May 1 deadline, I'm a tad worried, though I liked it when I visited before undergrad. Appreciate any thoughts!

nts: original poll results were 2, 7, 5, 3.

Original post:
I'd like some feedback on my current reasoning for choosing a school. Here is my situation:

NYU - $0. Filed an appeal but judging on #s, I won't get anything, so would probably be sticker.
Penn - $30k total (already knows all competing offers)
Mich - $45k total
Duke - $60k total

I'm leaning towards IP/patent law atm (which a lot of current students I have talked to at various ASWs have said is a great field job-wise right now, hopefully it holds up) and pretty sure I want a firm job afterwards.

I loved NYU when I visited. But I've written it off due to:
1) $0 aid + high CoL = significantly higher debt than other options
2) I don't like NY
3) I am like 75% sure I don't want to work in NY afterwards BUT I also recognize it is the biggest (and probably most feasible?) market
4) I am like 95% sure I won't want to do PI (so very little reason to go for the LRAP)

So I'm leaning towards taking Penn since it's close to my family and I have a lot of friends in the city already. Also, I've lived in/gone to school in a suburban setting for my whole life and I think it'd be nice to try living in a city. To be honest though, I think I liked both Duke and Michigan slightly more when I visited, but not enough to write off Penn immediately (which I did with GULC). Those two are still options in my mind, but Penn is just barely leading.

Am I missing anything big to my reasoning? In my situation, would it be dumb to not just take the cheapest option currently? That 20k/yr at Duke is reeeally tempting too...
Last edited by swoozie on Sun Apr 22, 2012 12:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

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jrthor10
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Re: NYU v. P($) v. M($) v. D($)

Postby jrthor10 » Wed Apr 18, 2012 12:21 pm

What city DO you want to be in post graduation? If the answer is Chicago or midwest, then Michigan. If the answer is somewhere in the South, then Duke. Penn is definitely the safest choice for Biglaw, but not by a lot, especially if you don't like nyc.

swoozie
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Re: NYU v. P($) v. M($) v. D($)

Postby swoozie » Wed Apr 18, 2012 12:29 pm

I'm not really sure. :( I like DC, only been to Chicago once but I liked it, I like the west coast too (used to live in CA), and generally I like the east coast (lived here most my life), I just am not fond of the idea of living/working in NY. I guess, all things equal, my top choices would be DC/CA, then other east coast locations, then south/midwest/NY would really be situational, only taking NY if it was blatantly and way better.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: NYU v. P($) v. M($) v. D($)

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Wed Apr 18, 2012 12:30 pm

I was gonna say you should go to NYU if you liked it that much because your scholarships aren't big enough to be deal breakers, but if you hate NYC then forget it. I agree that it should be Michigan or Duke depending on where you're from and want to end up. I think if you're gonna go to Penn you may as well go to NYU since you liked it so much.

Edit – sorry, overlooked that you actually like the Philly area. I don't know what to tell you to be honest. I'd probably go to Penn since it's a strong school in a place you like, but be prepared to spend a few years working in NYC. You should really be prepared for this possibility at any of these schools; you can aim for other markets in addition, and could plausibly end up in say, Philly or DC out of Penn, but NYC is still the safest bet.

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cjcregg
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Re: NYU v. P($) v. M($) v. D($)

Postby cjcregg » Wed Apr 18, 2012 12:33 pm

I think this is a tough call between Penn and Duke. I voted for Penn. You should throw out NYU if you don't like NY. That reason is enough to discard NYU w/o even considering the lack of scholarship. Michigan is the lukewarm option. I'd say the Penn>Mich in terms of prestige and quality of life. The 15k difference is peanuts.

Duke will prob be 45-50k cheaper than Penn considering CoL+scholarship. Nevertheless, I feel Duke confines you more to the south, separates you from friends and family, and deprives you of the big city experience you're searching for.

swoozie
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Re: NYU v. P($) v. M($) v. D($)

Postby swoozie » Wed Apr 18, 2012 12:38 pm

@dixiecupdrinking haha I actually took NYU out when I got my $0 aid notice because I knew I disliked NYC, but decided to go to the ASW. It didn't change my mind about the city, but man, the school was so awesome, I put it back in my options list.

But I did also really like Mich, Penn, and Duke. I only went to Preview Day at Penn and it just felt kinda watered down. Georgetown was the only school I visited where I knew immediately afterwards I didn't want to go.

@cjcregg Thanks very much for your opinion. My family seems to be kinda pushing Duke but my friends are going for Penn. I thought Duke was pretty great but it did sort of feel like I was back in undergrad somehow.

swoozie
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Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2010 2:20 pm

Re: Got into UChi off WL, where now??

Postby swoozie » Sun Apr 22, 2012 12:04 am

Updated because I got into Chi. Any more feedback would be great!

chasgoose
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Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2011 10:18 pm

Re: Got into UChi off WL, where now??

Postby chasgoose » Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:22 pm

I would make sure to visit before picking Chicago. Of all the top law schools, it really requires a visit. Chicago is a good 20 minutes from the actual city of Chicago by public transportation and Hyde Park is pretty damn desolate. I recently visited a friend there and was shocked by the fact that there was nothing but other U Chicago buildings for a half mile radius from the law school AND the fact that most of the housing is a good 1.5-2 miles away from the law school. Hyde Park itself isn't as ghetto as people make it out to be, but there doesn't seem to be very much to do there and I feel like I personally would want to have a car if I went to Chicago.

Furthermore, from an academic perspective Chicago is not for everyone. The quarter system is intense (exams are the worst part of law school, having them 3 times a year is less than ideal, even if that means each one is less important to your overall GPA) and overall there is a more "academic" feel to the law school as opposed to the more practical focused mindset of a place like NYU. Of course they are still firmly rooted in academia so that may be splitting hairs. Another difference to consider is that Chicago's Legal Writing class is on the curve. That means, unlike NYU where you can put in just enough effort to get your Lawyering work done and pass, you are going to have to actually do well on those assignments (and to those who say that it will prepare you better for being a lawyer, I call BS, most training will happen on the job anyways) or else your GPA will suffer.

I know you said that you don't want to be in NYC. I felt the same as you last year, and while I still have issues, I enjoy it a lot more than I thought I would. I would lose my mind in Hyde Park with nothing but law school to keep me occupied. I would probably pick the school you liked the best. I would say that each school is priced about right so that its an even decision between all of them. Yeah Penn, Duke and Michigan are slightly cheaper than NYU/Chicago, but you are still going to be racking up a lot of debt at any of them and the security NYU/Chicago offer over the other three make up for the cost difference. If I were you, I would go to NYU or Chicago, but I would visit Chicago again to make sure that its a good fit.

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Nelson
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Re: Got into UChi off WL, where now??

Postby Nelson » Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:47 pm

chasgoose wrote:Yeah Penn, Duke and Michigan are slightly cheaper than NYU/Chicago, but you are still going to be racking up a lot of debt at any of them.

Penn is at least 40k cheaper and Mich closer to 60k. NYU sticker is ok for some but OP doesn't want the one advantage NYU has. Take the money here IMO.

swoozie
Posts: 159
Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2010 2:20 pm

Re: Got into UChi off WL, where now??

Postby swoozie » Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:57 am

chasgoose wrote:I know you said that you don't want to be in NYC. I felt the same as you last year, and while I still have issues, I enjoy it a lot more than I thought I would. I would lose my mind in Hyde Park with nothing but law school to keep me occupied. I would probably pick the school you liked the best. I would say that each school is priced about right so that its an even decision between all of them. Yeah Penn, Duke and Michigan are slightly cheaper than NYU/Chicago, but you are still going to be racking up a lot of debt at any of them and the security NYU/Chicago offer over the other three make up for the cost difference. If I were you, I would go to NYU or Chicago, but I would visit Chicago again to make sure that its a good fit.

The problem with NYC is that I've never liked the city, I visited the school to see if it would change my mind about the city, but nope. I do feel that the decision is pretty even, which is partly why I'm having such a hard time choosing, there's no real "standout" for me right now. Chicago was my favorite coming in but now that I've seen more of the other schools, it's much closer.

Nelson wrote:Penn is at least 40k cheaper and Mich closer to 60k. NYU sticker is ok for some but OP doesn't want the one advantage NYU has. Take the money here IMO.

I did some number crunching and between NYU and Duke (the biggest difference, appeal came back with nothing), I got almost 80k. I don't think NYU is worth 80k over Duke for me, so at least I've eliminated NYU. You're right on Penn and Mich as well, difference on them from NYU is about 40k and 65k respectively. This is what the other differences look like:
Chicago--(30k)--Penn--(25k)--Mich--(10k)--Duke
I can rationalize the differences broken down like this between the schools next to each other but somehow I can't rationalize the breakdown between the ends. I'm also kinda just rambling now, super stressed!!! sorry :(

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Nelson
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Re: Got into UChi off WL, where now??

Postby Nelson » Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:17 pm

Any luck negotiating with Chicago? I got a decent chunk of money just by asking them for more.

Is your target market Philadelphia? If so, Penn might be an OK option if you have ties to the city (my understanding is that the market here is pretty insular and the Philly firm jobs go to locals mostly), but a good chunk of Penn grads end up in NYC. Otherwise, I think it's either Duke because it's cheapest or Chicago because it gives you a shot at a decently sized non-NYC market.

swoozie
Posts: 159
Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2010 2:20 pm

Re: Got into UChi off WL, where now??

Postby swoozie » Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:32 pm

I only got accepted on Friday and the e-mail said fin. aid would be released this week. Considering Duke's deadline is in like 3 days, I'm considering just preemptively sending Chicago an e-mail today with my other offers, begging for a response, and seeing what they say. Or would that be a bad idea?

I think I would actually like to work in DC (but I'm not going to GULC! check one school I actually disliked when I visited) or maaaybe CA. I think I could be happy elsewhere (with NYC being low). I don't have ties to Philly specifically but my family lives about 45 minutes away. Most of my friends will probably end up on the east coast also, though I have a few out west. No one really in the midwest.




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