Northeastern v. BC

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Azetheros
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Northeastern v. BC

Postby Azetheros » Sat Apr 28, 2012 4:13 pm

Hi all! I'm having a really hard time making a decision. I've been admitted to Northeastern with a $20K/year plus a $3K stipend for a PI co-op. I heard from BC yesterday (I applied on the deadline, so I'm pretty sure I was in the last wave of applicants)--I was accepted, but they don't have scholarship info available for me yet. (I'm still waiting on BU, but to be frank I'm not really interested at all.)

The problem is this: NUSL's deposit is due May 1st (this Tuesday), and I definitely won't know about scholarship info from BC by then. I don't want to deposit at NUSL in bad faith, especially since I am genuinely interested in their program. Finances are not the only, or even the main, concern for me in making this decision, though obviously I don't want to pay sticker at BC (I suspect I will get some money). I'm not paying for law school on my own, but god forbid my family's financial situation changes I would hate to have to take out significant loans in this economy (though of course a lot of people do and it often works out just fine).

I'm also having a really hard time comparing NUSL and BC, since their programs are dramatically different. BC's seems pretty traditional/standard, and decidedly more academically rigorous. I find their emphasis on research and writing very compelling, and when I visited I definitely appreciated the collegial atmosphere, the campus, etc. I went to a very non-traditional undergrad (in NYC, no campus at all, very much a commuter school, etc.), so the idea of going to a traditional program in the fall is really nice, and BC definitely has that awesome, isolated campus feeling (but still with excellent proximity to the city). The class I sat in on at BC was much better than that at NUSL, though I don't want to put too much stock in that since I could have been at NUSL on an off-day--and either way, the students at both schools seemed equally engaged. Northeastern doesn't rank their students or use letter grades (which I like and am not terribly concerned about in terms of employability)--thus, there is no curve. Of course BC ranks and grades on a curve, but the collegial atmosphere ("Disneyland of law schools" and all that) I'm not petrified about it. This is one of the things that makes them so hard to compare. Finally, NUSL has the co-op program, which would build my resume up and allow me to explore a wide range of interests.

I have no work experience--I'm coming straight out of undergrad--and I have several sort of disparate interests (immigration law, financial regulation (gov't sector--think the SEC), intellectual property) and I feel like NUSL might give me a better chance to explore the full range of my interests through the co-op program. However, NUSL seems to have much more limited resources. In terms of publications, moot court, clinics, alumni network, job placement, etc., BC definitely has NUSL beat. I don't take rankings seriously at all, but obviously the reputations and job prospects out of each school are very important. NUSL's emphasis on PI is compelling to me, but since I'm not absolutely certain that I'll ultimately want to dedicate myself to PI I do worry a bit about my non-PI prospects there after graduation.

For the record, my stats are: 3.78, 165, plus I'm an URM. Taking a year off is NOT an option (I'll be summoned back to care for my father, who lives in Ecuador, and I won't have any chance at finding employment in a related field there), nor is going anywhere outside of Boston (my marriage-track girlfriend is going to grad school at Emerson, plus I want to live/work there longterm).

What would you do, especially given that I have to make a deposit at NUSL by Tuesday? Should I deposit there and wait it out to hear about money at BC? I do think my career prospects will be better if I eventually become a BC alum, but Northeastern's program is calling out to me and I'm finding the idea of saying no to either of them really difficult. Any advice would be deeply appreciated.

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Wily
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Re: Northeastern v. BC

Postby Wily » Sat Apr 28, 2012 4:16 pm

I'm sure the hivemind is going to say a big no to Northeastern, given it's much lower ranking/placement numbers and the fact that it doesn't rank its students, making it much harder to differentiate yourself from the rest of your class when hiring comes around.

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Blindmelon
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Re: Northeastern v. BC

Postby Blindmelon » Sat Apr 28, 2012 4:36 pm

Wily wrote:I'm sure the hivemind is going to say a big no to Northeastern, given it's much lower ranking/placement numbers and the fact that it doesn't rank its students, making it much harder to differentiate yourself from the rest of your class when hiring comes around.


Cool story bro. Fact of the matter, BC is a much, much, much better school that NE.

With your #s + URM, see if you can pull $ out of BC. BC sticker is rough, but NE is pretty low on the pecking order in Boston.

Try to negotiate and come back.

Azetheros
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Re: Northeastern v. BC

Postby Azetheros » Sat Apr 28, 2012 4:46 pm

Blindmelon wrote:
Wily wrote:I'm sure the hivemind is going to say a big no to Northeastern, given it's much lower ranking/placement numbers and the fact that it doesn't rank its students, making it much harder to differentiate yourself from the rest of your class when hiring comes around.


Cool story bro. Fact of the matter, BC is a much, much, much better school that NE.

With your #s + URM, see if you can pull $ out of BC. BC sticker is rough, but NE is pretty low on the pecking order in Boston.

Try to negotiate and come back.


In what way(s) do you mean that BC is a better school? Obviously the rankings are way, way higher (and to some extent that's hard to argue with), but as I said I'm finding it nearly impossible to compare them because NUSL's structure is incredibly different (full-year quarter system, co-op, etc.).

I sent BC an e-mail yesterday telling them that I'm honored they've accepted me and telling them about my scholarship offer. I'm just concerned that I almost definitely will not hear from BC about $ until well after NUSL's deadline (May 1), and I don't want withdraw my acceptance there and (unoffically but effectively) commit to BC without knowing whether I'll be stuck at sticker. I do suspect I'll get money from them (looking at LSN it seems like most folks with similar #s who have posted their financial offers have gotten decent amounts out of them), but I don't want to assume that I will and then be disappointed.

I wish I'd heard from BC before yesterday (Friday!) so that I would have had a couple days to talk/negotiate with them on the phone before the weekend, since at this point I'll only really have Monday. I am leaning a bit toward BC at this point, in terms of rankings, career prospects, etc., but without knowing about $ at BC, it's really hard to say no to $60K from NUSL.

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Br3v
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Re: Northeastern v. BC

Postby Br3v » Sat Apr 28, 2012 5:05 pm

It took me awhile to realize we were talking about NE not northwestern and was taken back by the advice. But OP if it were me I'd take BC, especially if you think you will be getting some parental contribution let alone $ BC offers

concurrent fork
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Re: Northeastern v. BC

Postby concurrent fork » Sat Apr 28, 2012 6:02 pm

Blindmelon wrote:With your #s + URM, see if you can pull $ out of BC. BC sticker is rough, but NE is pretty low on the pecking order in Boston.

This. I would be surprised if you didn't get some $$ at BC. Hard to justify NE unless it's free.

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bceagles182
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Re: Northeastern v. BC

Postby bceagles182 » Sat Apr 28, 2012 6:10 pm

If you are 100% sure you want PI, consider NE. If not, go to BC.

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bceagles182
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Re: Northeastern v. BC

Postby bceagles182 » Sat Apr 28, 2012 6:12 pm

Azetheros wrote:
Blindmelon wrote:
Wily wrote:I'm sure the hivemind is going to say a big no to Northeastern, given it's much lower ranking/placement numbers and the fact that it doesn't rank its students, making it much harder to differentiate yourself from the rest of your class when hiring comes around.


Cool story bro. Fact of the matter, BC is a much, much, much better school that NE.

With your #s + URM, see if you can pull $ out of BC. BC sticker is rough, but NE is pretty low on the pecking order in Boston.

Try to negotiate and come back.


In what way(s) do you mean that BC is a better school? Obviously the rankings are way, way higher (and to some extent that's hard to argue with), but as I said I'm finding it nearly impossible to compare them because NUSL's structure is incredibly different (full-year quarter system, co-op, etc.).

I sent BC an e-mail yesterday telling them that I'm honored they've accepted me and telling them about my scholarship offer. I'm just concerned that I almost definitely will not hear from BC about $ until well after NUSL's deadline (May 1), and I don't want withdraw my acceptance there and (unoffically but effectively) commit to BC without knowing whether I'll be stuck at sticker. I do suspect I'll get money from them (looking at LSN it seems like most folks with similar #s who have posted their financial offers have gotten decent amounts out of them), but I don't want to assume that I will and then be disappointed.

I wish I'd heard from BC before yesterday (Friday!) so that I would have had a couple days to talk/negotiate with them on the phone before the weekend, since at this point I'll only really have Monday. I am leaning a bit toward BC at this point, in terms of rankings, career prospects, etc., but without knowing about $ at BC, it's really hard to say no to $60K from NUSL.



If you're really worried about this, just deposit at NE to give you more time. You can still withdraw after depositing and a couple hundred bucks isn't much in comparison to overall the cost of education.
Last edited by bceagles182 on Sat Apr 28, 2012 6:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

sullidop
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Re: Northeastern v. BC

Postby sullidop » Sat Apr 28, 2012 6:12 pm

Just deposit at Northeastern and wait out BC.

The real question is how much money does BC have to give you to get you to go?

Azetheros
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Re: Northeastern v. BC

Postby Azetheros » Sat Apr 28, 2012 6:19 pm

sullidop wrote:Just deposit at Northeastern and wait out BC.

The real question is how much money does BC have to give you to get you to go?



This is definitely what I'm leaning towards (depositing at Northeastern and waiting to hear about money from BC). Since I'm already leaning somewhat toward BC, I suspect I'll accept if they give me $40K+. Obviously I'd prefer more, but I'm not sure what to expect and I don't want to get my hopes up for much more than that.

And, thanks to everyone who has replied so far. This has been pretty illuminating.

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thelawyler
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Re: Northeastern v. BC

Postby thelawyler » Sun Apr 29, 2012 4:27 am

With those stats, I'm sure BC will throw some money at you. Go to BC.

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Sandstorm
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Re: Northeastern v. BC

Postby Sandstorm » Mon Apr 30, 2012 3:04 pm

Azetheros wrote:Of course BC ranks and grades on a curve, but the collegial atmosphere ("Disneyland of law schools" and all that) I'm not petrified about it. This is one of the things that makes them so hard to compare. Finally, NUSL has the co-op program, which would build my resume up and allow me to explore a wide range of interests.


The phrase 'Disneyland of law schools' does not really apply to BC anymore. And there really isn't an engaged collegial atmosphere where students are willing to help others anymore. BC students care just as, or more about grades and they are highly competitive. I am not trying to dissuade a choice in BC in anyway, I just want to make you aware of what its really like. My guess (and only a guess) would be that schools that don't have the strict curve like BC has would be closer to a more collegial atmosphere.

As far as money, I'm not sure how much BC would give you. But I don't see how its possible they would give you nothing. I'm sure they will throw money your way.

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Blindmelon
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Re: Northeastern v. BC

Postby Blindmelon » Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:43 pm

Sandstorm wrote:
Azetheros wrote:Of course BC ranks and grades on a curve, but the collegial atmosphere ("Disneyland of law schools" and all that) I'm not petrified about it. This is one of the things that makes them so hard to compare. Finally, NUSL has the co-op program, which would build my resume up and allow me to explore a wide range of interests.


The phrase 'Disneyland of law schools' does not really apply to BC anymore. And there really isn't an engaged collegial atmosphere where students are willing to help others anymore. BC students care just as, or more about grades and they are highly competitive. I am not trying to dissuade a choice in BC in anyway, I just want to make you aware of what its really like. My guess (and only a guess) would be that schools that don't have the strict curve like BC has would be closer to a more collegial atmosphere.

As far as money, I'm not sure how much BC would give you. But I don't see how its possible they would give you nothing. I'm sure they will throw money your way.


I think the idea of any law school being super collegial when on a curve is a little far-fetched. Northeastern can be pretty competitive actually - when only 5-10 people will get jobs through OCI, it can be a little crazy. You don't get grades, but there are buzz words that teachers use to indicate how well you did compared to others - also, those who book the class are asked to RA for the class - so that signals who is top.

sullidop
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Re: Northeastern v. BC

Postby sullidop » Mon Apr 30, 2012 6:37 pm

Sandstorm wrote:
The phrase 'Disneyland of law schools' does not really apply to BC anymore. And there really isn't an engaged collegial atmosphere where students are willing to help others anymore. BC students care just as, or more about grades and they are highly competitive.


This statement is highly conclusory and I flatly disagree with it. BC's on the curve but I've found the students to be very collegial. During my 1L year a kid in my section lost all of his notes and outlines four days before our last final. He sent an email out to the section and got over forty outlines and notes within ten minutes. Every semester I'm amazed at the extent to which students in my classes readily share outlines and study aids. That's just the culture.

There's a difference between schools where the students compete with themselves and where students compete with each other. I've found BC to be the former.

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Sandstorm
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Re: Northeastern v. BC

Postby Sandstorm » Mon Apr 30, 2012 6:58 pm

sullidop wrote:
Sandstorm wrote:
The phrase 'Disneyland of law schools' does not really apply to BC anymore. And there really isn't an engaged collegial atmosphere where students are willing to help others anymore. BC students care just as, or more about grades and they are highly competitive.


This statement is highly conclusory and I flatly disagree with it. BC's on the curve but I've found the students to be very collegial. During my 1L year a kid in my section lost all of his notes and outlines four days before our last final. He sent an email out to the section and got over forty outlines and notes within ten minutes. Every semester I'm amazed at the extent to which students in my classes readily share outlines and study aids. That's just the culture.

There's a difference between schools where the students compete with themselves and where students compete with each other. I've found BC to be the former.


I was in the hospital for a week, and couldn't get notes from anyone.

sullidop
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Re: Northeastern v. BC

Postby sullidop » Mon Apr 30, 2012 8:52 pm

Strange that our experiences have been so wildly different. I wonder what the reason is.

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Sandstorm
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Re: Northeastern v. BC

Postby Sandstorm » Mon Apr 30, 2012 8:55 pm

sullidop wrote:Strange that our experiences have been so wildly different. I wonder what the reason is.


Difference in class years? I have not many 2Ls or 3Ls who have have been as anti-social as students in my year.

sullidop
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Re: Northeastern v. BC

Postby sullidop » Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:10 pm

Sandstorm wrote:
sullidop wrote:Strange that our experiences have been so wildly different. I wonder what the reason is.


Difference in class years? I have not many 2Ls or 3Ls who have have been as anti-social as students in my year.


Yeah, I'm a 3L. If this is true of the 1L class broadly, that blows (although my 1L mentee and rms seem chill). Hopefully admissions will do better this year.

They should start interviewing people. Beer test failure = ding.




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