Michigan v. Columbia

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

Where should I go?

Michigan
17
77%
Columbia
5
23%
 
Total votes: 22

daydreamer
Posts: 108
Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 4:10 pm

Michigan v. Columbia

Postby daydreamer » Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:24 pm

The amounts listed in the title are scholarship amounts. The 3 year COA at each school are:

Michigan $165,000
Cornell $135,000
Columbia $280,000

The goal is biglaw, preferably in Chicago, but would take biglaw in any market. I have no undergrad debt, but also no significant savings. I'm attracted to Columbia for the prestigious name and opportunities but that kind of debt is really scary. I think Michigan is worth 30k more than Cornell, especially because I want to end up in Chicago, but maybe I'm wrong here.

I never thought this decision would be so difficult to make, but here I am, a week away from seat deposit deadlines and I am still undecided. Please help me TLS! Commentary would be very helpful!
Last edited by daydreamer on Sun Apr 29, 2012 10:59 am, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
quiver
Posts: 864
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 6:46 pm

Re: Michigan (54k) v Cornell (105k) v Columbia (0)

Postby quiver » Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:52 pm

Has to be Michigan here. I agree that Mich is worth 30k more than Cornell for Chicago biglaw but there's not way Columbia is worth over 100k more than Mich. Unless you really really hate Michigan and/or really really love debt, I say Mich.

daydreamer
Posts: 108
Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 4:10 pm

Re: Michigan (54k) v Cornell (105k) v Columbia (0)

Postby daydreamer » Sun Apr 29, 2012 10:57 am

Bumping this thread. I thought I had my decision made, but as I start writing my withdrawal letter to Columbia, I find myself really worried that I'll regret this decision. Does anyone think Columbia at sticker is worth picking over Michigan with $$? Comments from CLS students and Michigan students would be really appreciated!!

bdubs
Posts: 3729
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 2:23 pm

Re: Michigan v. Columbia

Postby bdubs » Sun Apr 29, 2012 11:03 am

Chicago firms recruit at Michigan for their Chicago offices. Most of those same firms will be recruiting for their NYC offices at Columbia.

You wouldn't be unable to get a job in Chicago from Columbia, but it would probably be harder. For example, there are only 3 Columbia associates at K&E Chicago and 21 from Michigan.

User avatar
TommyK
Posts: 1309
Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2010 3:08 pm

Re: Michigan v. Columbia

Postby TommyK » Sun Apr 29, 2012 11:04 am

Also, Ann Arbor is awesome. Ithaca blows. Worth the extra $10k/yr not to have to live in Ithaca.

ringo
Posts: 109
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 11:25 pm

Re: Michigan v. Columbia

Postby ringo » Sun Apr 29, 2012 11:10 am

I'm in a similar situation and turned down Columbia at sticker for UVA at a COA a bit lower than yours for Mich because I want DC biglaw. I know it's hard to turn down Columbia. Just do it.

daydreamer
Posts: 108
Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 4:10 pm

Re: Michigan v. Columbia

Postby daydreamer » Sun Apr 29, 2012 11:12 am

bdubs wrote:Chicago firms recruit at Michigan for their Chicago offices. Most of those same firms will be recruiting for their NYC offices at Columbia.

You wouldn't be unable to get a job in Chicago from Columbia, but it would probably be harder. For example, there are only 3 Columbia associates at K&E Chicago and 21 from Michigan.


That's a very good point. I've heard that once you start off in a NYC firm, it is relatively easy to transfer to a different office after a 2-3 years. I wouldn't mind doing that either. My main concern is to get biglaw in the first place; location is also a big factor, but still it's secondary.

keg411
Posts: 5935
Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 9:10 pm

Re: Michigan v. Columbia

Postby keg411 » Sun Apr 29, 2012 11:15 am

Almost $300k for CLS is too much. Come to Mich (since you want Chicago more than NYC... but you can get NYC from here; if you were leaning more towards NYC and didn't care about Chicago, I'd say Cornell).

bdubs
Posts: 3729
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 2:23 pm

Re: Michigan v. Columbia

Postby bdubs » Sun Apr 29, 2012 11:18 am

daydreamer wrote:
bdubs wrote:Chicago firms recruit at Michigan for their Chicago offices. Most of those same firms will be recruiting for their NYC offices at Columbia.

You wouldn't be unable to get a job in Chicago from Columbia, but it would probably be harder. For example, there are only 3 Columbia associates at K&E Chicago and 21 from Michigan.


That's a very good point. I've heard that once you start off in a NYC firm, it is relatively easy to transfer to a different office after a 2-3 years. I wouldn't mind doing that either. My main concern is to get biglaw in the first place; location is also a big factor, but still it's secondary.


I think "relatively easy" is an overstatement. It probably depends a lot on what firm you wind up working for, what kind of work you are doing, and whether that firm has a large office in Chicago.

If the goal is getting any biglaw job, then Columbia is clearly superior. $280k in debt is a lot though.

daydreamer
Posts: 108
Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 4:10 pm

Re: Michigan v. Columbia

Postby daydreamer » Sun Apr 29, 2012 11:26 am

Thanks everyone. I think the choice is obvious and that I'm just being silly. Depositing at Michigan and withdrawing from Columbia tonight.




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