Michigan(45k total)v.Penn(Sticker). Explanation/poll inside

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

Michigan or Penn

Michigan (158k total cost)
54
60%
Penn (214k total cost)
36
40%
 
Total votes: 90

WheninLaw
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Michigan(45k total)v.Penn(Sticker). Explanation/poll inside

Postby WheninLaw » Fri Apr 20, 2012 9:27 pm

Hi all. I am having a terrible time with this decision, and turn to the genius of TLS to help. I hate the generic "x or y" threads, so here is some background.

Total Costs?
I put this information in the poll choices, but it breaks down as follows:
Michigan: $158,000 over 3 years. I have a $15k/year scholarship.
Penn: $214,000 over 3 years. I have no scholarship.

Thus, the difference in price is about $55,000.

Can you negotiate?
Michigan said no to any increase. Penn told me there would be no merit/need based scholarships available for me.

Other schools?
Due to a unique C&F issue, I did not apply to many other schools in the T-14. These two represent my best options.

What is important to you? What do you want to practice? Where are you from? Etc.
No ties anywhere. My number one priority is getting a job. And while I'd prefer to live in sunlight, I understand that living in NY/Chicago is a reality and I'm okay with it. I don't have an interest in PI - so biglaw all the way.

I did visit Penn and loved it. I did not visit Michigan, but hear nothing but great things. Further, I know they are in the same "tier," but Penn's employment prospects do seem far stronger than Michigan's, regardless of what bad advice CSO gave to Michigan students. However, the cost difference is significant. I guess my ultimate question is are the job prospects from Penn worth the additional 55k?

Thank you to anyone that replies.

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Tadatsune
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Re: Michigan(45k total)v.Penn(Sticker). Explanation/poll inside

Postby Tadatsune » Fri Apr 20, 2012 9:47 pm

In either case, you'll need biglaw to pay off your loans - plus that's what you intend to do anyway. I say better employment stats + you loved it = Penn.

WheninLaw
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Re: Michigan(45k total)v.Penn(Sticker). Explanation/poll inside

Postby WheninLaw » Sat Apr 21, 2012 4:41 am

So far it's 9/8 Michigan. I was hoping for a landslide! Would love to hear people's thoughts.

bobbyh1919
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Re: Michigan(45k total)v.Penn(Sticker). Explanation/poll inside

Postby bobbyh1919 » Sat Apr 21, 2012 1:13 pm

As mentioned above, your debt at either school is going to require BigLaw to pay off, so if you like Penn, I think it's justified. This really isn't a landslide type situation, meaning you really can't go wrong either way.

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bk1
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Re: Michigan(45k total)v.Penn(Sticker). Explanation/poll inside

Postby bk1 » Sat Apr 21, 2012 1:25 pm

The whole "you need biglaw no matter what" analysis is shortsighted. It is true that you'll need biglaw to pay it off, but there's the secondary issue of staying in biglaw long enough to pay off those loans. Only 20% of people make it to year 5 in biglaw (about the amount of time you'd need to pay off your Penn debt). While I'm not sure the amount of money from UMich is enough to alter the analysis, it is something to consider. I also don't think Penn is "far stronger" than UMich. It probably is a bit stronger due to its connection to NYC biglaw, but its also important to note that UMich's stats are dragged down by a much higher percentage of people taking PI than at Penn.

All that being said, it's probably a coinflip with this amount of money but 45k is definitely on the verge of making me lean UMich.

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Tadatsune
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Re: Michigan(45k total)v.Penn(Sticker). Explanation/poll inside

Postby Tadatsune » Sat Apr 21, 2012 1:39 pm

I'm inclined to be a lot more concerned about getting the job, rather than sticking with it, to be honest.

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bk1
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Re: Michigan(45k total)v.Penn(Sticker). Explanation/poll inside

Postby bk1 » Sat Apr 21, 2012 2:02 pm

Tadatsune wrote:I'm inclined to be a lot more concerned about getting the job, rather than sticking with it, to be honest.


When you have a 200k+ debtnoose around your neck you really should be thinking about both.

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Tadatsune
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Re: Michigan(45k total)v.Penn(Sticker). Explanation/poll inside

Postby Tadatsune » Sat Apr 21, 2012 2:13 pm

bk1 wrote:
Tadatsune wrote:I'm inclined to be a lot more concerned about getting the job, rather than sticking with it, to be honest.


When you have a 200k+ debtnoose around your neck you really should be thinking about both.


Believe me, I've thought about it quite a bit.

If you end up at the top or bottom of the class, you'll be glad you went with the lower debt... but if you end up somewhere in the middle?

You are taking a risk either way, but I have come to the conclusion I'd rather take the debt in exchange for a higher employment %.

And, while UMich is surely a great school, and I am inclined to believe the whole self-selection into PI/NYC biglaw effect + the bid Chicago fiasco, the fact remains that Penn has a proven record of substantially greater biglaw hiring numbers.

I think that's worth 45k.

Edit:

Having worked for nearly a decade now for well under 30k/year, I find it really hard to believe that it will be as difficult as people on TLS make out to aggressively pay down your loans on 160k/year, even living in an expensive city like New York. Maybe that's just me.

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moneybagsphd
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Re: Michigan(45k total)v.Penn(Sticker). Explanation/poll inside

Postby moneybagsphd » Sat Apr 21, 2012 3:46 pm

I don't know why this poll is so close. The choice is pretty obviously Michigan, especially when you consider the interest 56k will accrue over the life of the loan* (i.e. the real difference is much bigger than 56k). Penn's edge in NYC biglaw simply doesn't justify the extra cost.

Personal Analogue: I'm trying to choose right now between Michigan with 54k and Cornell with 90k. The total difference for me-- since my parents are helping with COL-- will be about 15-20k. Assuming a 20k difference, GradPlus interest rates, paid over a 10 yr period, the actual difference is nearly $29,000. But I loved Michigan when I visited for ASW. I haven't had a chance to visit Cornell, and I have heard mixed things about the law school culture. At the moment, I am leaning towards Michigan because of its reputation as a more national school, and my interest in the CA market. But it's not an easy decision.

*You will most likely pay an addition 20k+ in interest. http://www.finaid.org/calculators/loanpayments.phtml

WheninLaw
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Re: Michigan(45k total)v.Penn(Sticker). Explanation/poll inside

Postby WheninLaw » Sat Apr 21, 2012 4:38 pm

Thank you to everyone that has voted or left a comment. I refresh constantly hoping for even more feedback/advice. Most times I refresh, it's 50/50 or Mich ahead by a vote or two. Ack!

The interest is a good point, and makes it a gap of more like $75,000. That's a metric fuckton of money, and I recognize the quick burnout rate for biglaw. I'm obviously fearful of a situation of hating it but not being able to leave due to massive debt payments. Any thought of financial considerations has me leaning Michigan.

But then I look at employment numbers and over the last three years, Penn has done considerably better at placing in biglaw. Absolutely, that is due in part to PI/ PI/govt placement for Michigan students -- but how much of that is self-selection compared to striking out at OCI? Does the median Mich student have the same shot (or near) of biglaw as the median Penn student? These seem like very difficult questions to answer.

Again, I appreciate all the responses. I have a week to make this decision, and welcome the help.

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Re: Michigan(45k total)v.Penn(Sticker). Explanation/poll inside

Postby 09042014 » Sat Apr 21, 2012 5:26 pm

One big factor in why Michigan students did really bad at OCI for class of 2011 was they were told to big in Chicago. But Chicago firms barely hired that year. Leading to a disaster for Michigan students. Penn usually gets people who are from the Northeast who want NYC, which is doing better.

Who actually got hired, doesn't really show who could have gotten hired.

I'd assume for this decision that Penn = Michigan placement nationwide, but with Penn having better Northeast placement and Michigan having better Midwest. If you aren't planning on going to the Northeast, Michigan is clear answer.

If you are going to the Northeast, maybe it's worth considering Penn, but that is still a lot of money.

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Re: Michigan(45k total)v.Penn(Sticker). Explanation/poll inside

Postby crumpetsandtea » Sat Apr 21, 2012 5:26 pm

WheninLaw wrote:Thank you to everyone that has voted or left a comment. I refresh constantly hoping for even more feedback/advice. Most times I refresh, it's 50/50 or Mich ahead by a vote or two. Ack!

Bro, I mean this in the nicest of ways -- if you're relying on an internet poll to decide what school to go to...you are making a huge mistake. Let the poll be some sort of gauge as to everyone's opinions, but who cares if it's 50/50? That just means it's a tough choice, which you already knew. Ultimately we can't make this decision for you, we can only provide information and things to consider and you'll still have to decide yourself.

Another thing to consider: Penn is located in/near 2 strong markets - PA and NY. Mich is located near one - Chicago, and Michigan is hardly considered a 'Chicago' school (plus, the Chicago market is incredibly hard to break into w/o ties, whereas NY is much easier). Michigan does have a reputation of being a national school, but I feel that's almost due mostly out of necessity, because no one wants to stay in Ann Arbor after graduating.

Again, though, it comes down to YOUR personal values. Best of luck, you've got some great choices to decide between (:

WheninLaw
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Re: Michigan(45k total)v.Penn(Sticker). Explanation/poll inside

Postby WheninLaw » Sat Apr 21, 2012 6:21 pm

crumpetsandtea wrote:
WheninLaw wrote:Thank you to everyone that has voted or left a comment. I refresh constantly hoping for even more feedback/advice. Most times I refresh, it's 50/50 or Mich ahead by a vote or two. Ack!

Bro, I mean this in the nicest of ways -- if you're relying on an internet poll to decide what school to go to...you are making a huge mistake. Let the poll be some sort of gauge as to everyone's opinions, but who cares if it's 50/50? That just means it's a tough choice, which you already knew. Ultimately we can't make this decision for you, we can only provide information and things to consider and you'll still have to decide yourself.

Another thing to consider: Penn is located in/near 2 strong markets - PA and NY. Mich is located near one - Chicago, and Michigan is hardly considered a 'Chicago' school (plus, the Chicago market is incredibly hard to break into w/o ties, whereas NY is much easier). Michigan does have a reputation of being a national school, but I feel that's almost due mostly out of necessity, because no one wants to stay in Ann Arbor after graduating.

Again, though, it comes down to YOUR personal values. Best of luck, you've got some great choices to decide between (:


It functions as a gauge, not a decision. I had hoped the voters might have insight that I had not considered. I apologize if I'm coming off as "make this decision for me," not my intention!

My biggest problem is the only real priority I have is finding a job, and that seems like the consideration that is hardest to work through. Location/ties/etc are all fairly straight-forward. But knowing the opportunities available to median students at Mich/Penn is difficult to ascertain. From everything I know, Penn is better. But I don't know if it's 70k better.

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Re: Michigan(45k total)v.Penn(Sticker). Explanation/poll inside

Postby smokeylarue » Sat Apr 21, 2012 6:34 pm

Recent Michigan employment numbers from NLJ250 are dreadful. As a 0L, I'd be scared senseless. That said, historically Penn's advantage has been minimal before the economy crashed. Me personally, I'm risk averse (but not debt averse), so I'd always go to the best school if money were not a huge factor. I say Penn.

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Re: Michigan(45k total)v.Penn(Sticker). Explanation/poll inside

Postby moneybagsphd » Sat Apr 21, 2012 6:43 pm

smokeylarue wrote:Recent Michigan employment numbers from NLJ250 are dreadful. As a 0L, I'd be scared senseless. That said, historically Penn's advantage has been minimal before the economy crashed. Me personally, I'm risk averse (but not debt averse), so I'd always go to the best school if money were not a huge factor. I say Penn.

You're an idiot to think that 75k+ is not a huge factor.

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Re: Michigan(45k total)v.Penn(Sticker). Explanation/poll inside

Postby smokeylarue » Sat Apr 21, 2012 6:52 pm

I think it's worth it for the superior job prospects. Crappy economy or not, Michigan's c/o 2011 had 31% going into Big Law. That is less than one in 3 chance and REALLY bad for a T-14. That means nearly 7 in 10 are likely graduating without a six figure job. And when you have six figure debt, you better maximize your chances of getting a six figure job (PI people excluded of course).

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moneybagsphd
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Re: Michigan(45k total)v.Penn(Sticker). Explanation/poll inside

Postby moneybagsphd » Sat Apr 21, 2012 7:04 pm

smokeylarue wrote:I think it's worth it for the superior job prospects. Crappy economy or not, Michigan's c/o 2011 had 31% going into Big Law. That is less than one in 3 chance and REALLY bad for a T-14. That means nearly 7 in 10 are likely graduating without a six figure job. And when you have six figure debt, you better maximize your chances of getting a six figure job (PI people excluded of course).

Desert Fox wrote:I'd assume for this decision that Penn = Michigan placement nationwide, but with Penn having better Northeast placement and Michigan having better Midwest. If you aren't planning on going to the Northeast, Michigan is clear answer.

If you are going to the Northeast, maybe it's worth considering Penn, but that is still a lot of money.

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Re: Michigan(45k total)v.Penn(Sticker). Explanation/poll inside

Postby WheninLaw » Sun Apr 22, 2012 12:48 am

Appreciate all the advice. I do agree that if I had a location preference (and I don't), this would be an easy choice.

Think I'm going to deposit at Michigan. Will give it a couple more days, though.

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Re: Michigan(45k total)v.Penn(Sticker). Explanation/poll inside

Postby Wholigan » Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:18 am

As a Penn student who loves it there, I still have to vote Michigan. The fact that you need biglaw/IBR either way to avoid debtor's prison ignores the sizable difference in monthly payments if you do end up in biglaw, which it seems is the most likely outcome. Put this in a loan calculator - these are peer schools, and that difference is $660 a month for 10 years. That's substantial - the equivalent of getting a free very nice vacation every six months for 10 years... or having a nice, new luxury car lease for free for 10 years, if you wind up in a market where you need or want a car.

Even in the less likely scenario that somehow things don't work out and you end up in some job that starts at $50k and go on 30 year repayment, that's a difference of $400/month for 30 years. Rather than putting this in the context of luxury goods, this could be the difference between having to live with a roommate for a number of years or not.

WheninLaw
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Re: Michigan(45k total)v.Penn(Sticker). Explanation/poll inside

Postby WheninLaw » Sun Apr 22, 2012 2:21 pm

Wholigan wrote:As a Penn student who loves it there, I still have to vote Michigan. The fact that you need biglaw/IBR either way to avoid debtor's prison ignores the sizable difference in monthly payments if you do end up in biglaw, which it seems is the most likely outcome. Put this in a loan calculator - these are peer schools, and that difference is $660 a month for 10 years. That's substantial - the equivalent of getting a free very nice vacation every six months for 10 years... or having a nice, new luxury car lease for free for 10 years, if you wind up in a market where you need or want a car.

Even in the less likely scenario that somehow things don't work out and you end up in some job that starts at $50k and go on 30 year repayment, that's a difference of $400/month for 30 years. Rather than putting this in the context of luxury goods, this could be the difference between having to live with a roommate for a number of years or not.


Yeah, I had not thought about it like that. I also didn't factor in Mich resident tuition for 2L/3L year. The savings, before interest kicks in, is more like 60k. That's an entire 1-2 years of paying back loans.

Go Wolverines I guess!

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Re: Michigan(45k total)v.Penn(Sticker). Explanation/poll inside

Postby Sammy841 » Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:09 pm

Unless you have previously been a MI resident, don't expect to get in-state during your later years. It's nearly impossible.

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Re: Michigan(45k total)v.Penn(Sticker). Explanation/poll inside

Postby thelawyler » Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:58 pm

As somebody who wants the NE, this is a hard call for me. But without a major regional bias to the NE, I'd say Michigan is the clear choice. You'll enjoy Ann Arbor.




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