Stanford $16K [1st year] vs Berkeley $120K

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bromance
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Stanford $16K [1st year] vs Berkeley $120K

Postby bromance » Thu May 03, 2012 3:49 am

The facts:

-Stanford $$s are fellowship aid which, assuming I work paid employment during my 1L and 2L summers [I'm a URM] , will be reduced by approximately half for my 2L and 3L years bringing the grand total to around $32K for all 3 years.

-Berkeley $$$s are all scholarship, guaranteed $40K/yr for all 3 years

-I'm not necessarily sure where geographically I'd like to work post law school, but am hoping/planning to do biglaw for a few years to pay down debt and would prefer NOT to end up in New York biglaw

-I have substantial debt from UG [approx $60K].

Thoughts??...Thanks in advance for weighing in.

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smokeylarue
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Re: Stanford $16K [1st year] vs Berkeley $120K

Postby smokeylarue » Thu May 03, 2012 4:10 am

Can't go wrong here. Stanford is certainly worth sticker and you're getting a slight discount. You can't go wrong with a 75% off pricetag to Berkeley either. Stanford is almost a guarantee to land you Big Law if thats what you want. Berkeley is maybe 50-60%?

JasonR
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Re: Stanford $16K [1st year] vs Berkeley $120K

Postby JasonR » Thu May 03, 2012 4:13 am

Congrats on your acceptances!

So your combined educational debt after graduating from Stanford would be around $275K (since that UG debt will keep growing). That would scare the living shit out of me. I'm just guessing, since I don't know the exact interest rates, but you'll probably come out paying about $390K on that $275K when interest is added in. You'll be coughing up $3,250 per month for 10 years to pay that off. Jesus. Think about that.

I'm probably being irrational, because the debt picture out of Berkeley (~$1,800 per month for 10 years) is still pretty scary with your UG debt, but I couldn't handle having that total debt load out of Stanford. Holy shit, that's terrifying.

Golden Bear 11
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Re: Stanford $16K [1st year] vs Berkeley $120K

Postby Golden Bear 11 » Thu May 03, 2012 4:15 am

I vote Berkeley. Too much money to give up, especially since you already have 60K in undergrad debt.

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Stanford $16K [1st year] vs Berkeley $120K

Postby Doorkeeper » Thu May 03, 2012 10:15 am

Stanford for $96k total is great. I agree that your UG debt makes it worse (total $156k, not including interest), but this is totally within range of what people take out...

Plus, with Stanford you're much more biglaw secure.

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Br3v
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Re: Stanford $16K [1st year] vs Berkeley $120K

Postby Br3v » Thu May 03, 2012 11:00 am

SLS

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Nelson
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Re: Stanford $16K [1st year] vs Berkeley $120K

Postby Nelson » Thu May 03, 2012 11:04 am

Doorkeeper wrote:Stanford for $96k total is great. I agree that your UG debt makes it worse (total $156k, not including interest), but this is totally within range of what people take out...

Plus, with Stanford you're much more biglaw secure.

Your math is a bit off here. That's 32k total, not per year. He'll have well over 200k in principal if he goes to Stanford.

40k/yr is close to a full ride at Berkeley? I think that, given your undergrad debt, it's the smart play.

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Stanford $16K [1st year] vs Berkeley $120K

Postby Doorkeeper » Thu May 03, 2012 11:05 am

Nelson wrote:
Doorkeeper wrote:Stanford for $96k total is great. I agree that your UG debt makes it worse (total $156k, not including interest), but this is totally within range of what people take out...

Plus, with Stanford you're much more biglaw secure.

Your math is a bit off here. That's 32k total, not per year. He'll have well over 200k in principal if he goes to Stanford.

40k/yr is close to a full ride at Berkeley? I think that, given your undergrad debt, it's the smart play.

Oh, my bad. I thought 32k was his combined scholarship plus work amount.

Yea...that changes things a bit.

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2014
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Re: Stanford $16K [1st year] vs Berkeley $120K

Postby 2014 » Thu May 03, 2012 11:10 am

I'd probably do Berkeley in your shoes but it would be a hell of a choice to make.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Stanford $16K [1st year] vs Berkeley $120K

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu May 03, 2012 11:15 am

If Stanford was still ranked #3 by USNews, this would be a much easier decision.

P.S. :D

SaintFond
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Re: Stanford $16K [1st year] vs Berkeley $120K

Postby SaintFond » Thu May 03, 2012 11:20 am

I'd do Berkeley. 40K/yr from Berkeley is pretty hard to pass up, especially when you already have UG debt. At Berkeley, you'd probably only have to clear median to get BigLaw...maybe a bit higher. Or perhaps a bit lower because you are a URM?

On that note, at Berkeley, as a URM, you'll probably receive some kind of preferential treatment. They're HUGE into the URM thing.

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StarLightSpectre
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Re: Stanford $16K [1st year] vs Berkeley $120K

Postby StarLightSpectre » Thu May 03, 2012 11:21 am

Br3v wrote:SLS



Because of your avatar I read all of your responses in a "bro voice". I love it.

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twenty
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Re: Stanford $16K [1st year] vs Berkeley $120K

Postby twenty » Thu May 03, 2012 11:52 am

SaintFond wrote:They're HUGE into the URM thing.


Based on?

EDIT> I mean, more so than other schools? :D

SaintFond
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Re: Stanford $16K [1st year] vs Berkeley $120K

Postby SaintFond » Thu May 03, 2012 12:05 pm

twentypercentmore wrote:
SaintFond wrote:They're HUGE into the URM thing.


Based on?

EDIT> I mean, more so than other schools? :D


A few choice entries from their 2012 Admitted Students Weekend schedule:

Faculty Panel Discussion: "Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman, and You: Examining the Continued Impact of Race in our Lives and Communities"

Reception and Light Dinner Honoring Diverse Admits

Dinner with Women of Color Collective (WOCC)

Family Dinner with Law Students of African Descent (LSAD)

"Wings and Beers" with Men of Color Alliance (MOCA)

No Desecration for Recreation

Movie screening of "In the Light of Reverence." Highlights three different sacred sites currently being abused and neglected. Native American Law Students Association.

Dinner with the South Asian and Muslim Law Student Associations

Dinner with the Middle Eastern Law Students Association and the Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Law

Blackfire in Concert

Blackfire is a band from the Navajo Nation whose style combines traditional, punk-rock, and "alter-native" music.

Dinner & Board Game Night with the Asian and Pacific Islander Student Association

Law Students of African Descent -Annual Legacy Gala

Boalt Jewish Students Association "Shabbatluck"

Dinner with the Queer Caucus

Dinner with the Native American Law Students Association


Berkeley is VERY heavy on the diversity shtick, especially URM. Not familiar with OP, obviously, but I wouldn't be surprised if the fact that he is a URM played a part in his getting that scholarship. Doesn't surprise me at all that it came from Berkeley. I'm guessing he's a URM with high stats, making him doubly appealing to Berkeley.

zakohl
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Re: Stanford $16K [1st year] vs Berkeley $120K

Postby zakohl » Thu May 03, 2012 12:09 pm

Berkeley!

redbullvodka
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Re: Stanford $16K [1st year] vs Berkeley $120K

Postby redbullvodka » Thu May 03, 2012 12:20 pm

JasonR wrote:Congrats on your acceptances!

So your combined educational debt after graduating from Stanford would be around $275K (since that UG debt will keep growing). That would scare the living shit out of me. I'm just guessing, since I don't know the exact interest rates, but you'll probably come out paying about $390K on that $275K when interest is added in. You'll be coughing up $3,250 per month for 10 years to pay that off. Jesus. Think about that.

I'm probably being irrational, because the debt picture out of Berkeley (~$1,800 per month for 10 years) is still pretty scary with your UG debt, but I couldn't handle having that total debt load out of Stanford. Holy shit, that's terrifying.


This is where I think TLS risk aversion gets a bit irrational -- it's Stanford. I think it's worth an extra 120K. I truly think HYS is always worth sticker, absent full rides/stipends from CCNP.

SaintFond
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Re: Stanford $16K [1st year] vs Berkeley $120K

Postby SaintFond » Thu May 03, 2012 12:25 pm

redbullvodka wrote:
JasonR wrote:Congrats on your acceptances!

So your combined educational debt after graduating from Stanford would be around $275K (since that UG debt will keep growing). That would scare the living shit out of me. I'm just guessing, since I don't know the exact interest rates, but you'll probably come out paying about $390K on that $275K when interest is added in. You'll be coughing up $3,250 per month for 10 years to pay that off. Jesus. Think about that.

I'm probably being irrational, because the debt picture out of Berkeley (~$1,800 per month for 10 years) is still pretty scary with your UG debt, but I couldn't handle having that total debt load out of Stanford. Holy shit, that's terrifying.


This is where I think TLS risk aversion gets a bit irrational -- it's Stanford. I think it's worth an extra 120K. I truly think HYS is always worth sticker, absent full rides/stipends from CCNP.


He will have to be a BigLaw debt slave for YEARS to pay that all back. What if he ends up in BigLaw and decides he hates it?

redbullvodka
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Re: Stanford $16K [1st year] vs Berkeley $120K

Postby redbullvodka » Thu May 03, 2012 12:34 pm

I suppose I didn't really ask OP what his long term career plans were. I know biglaw is exactly what I want to do--I don't plan to get married for another decade at least, so perhaps my perspective is highly biased re: life/work trade off (I'm not looking at biglaw, at least ex-ante, as a slave labor situation).

OP, what do you want to do with your law degree?

SaintFond
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Re: Stanford $16K [1st year] vs Berkeley $120K

Postby SaintFond » Thu May 03, 2012 12:47 pm

I don't know, I still think OP is being blinded by the prestttige of Stanford. If he didn't already have 60K in debt from UG, it *might* be another story, but as it stands, I think a 6 figure scholarship from a T10 school in CA when OP doesn't even want NY BigLaw sounds pretty damn good to me. And again, there's the URM factor: Berkeley will suc...no, you know what, never mind, not gonna be vulgar. So long as OP has reason to believe he can clear median at Berkeley (i.e., depending upon his GPA/LSAT ratio), he should be fine.

OP, whatever you decide, just be careful not to be dazzled by prestige.

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Nelson
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Re: Stanford $16K [1st year] vs Berkeley $120K

Postby Nelson » Thu May 03, 2012 1:32 pm

redbullvodka wrote:
JasonR wrote:Congrats on your acceptances!

So your combined educational debt after graduating from Stanford would be around $275K (since that UG debt will keep growing). That would scare the living shit out of me. I'm just guessing, since I don't know the exact interest rates, but you'll probably come out paying about $390K on that $275K when interest is added in. You'll be coughing up $3,250 per month for 10 years to pay that off. Jesus. Think about that.

I'm probably being irrational, because the debt picture out of Berkeley (~$1,800 per month for 10 years) is still pretty scary with your UG debt, but I couldn't handle having that total debt load out of Stanford. Holy shit, that's terrifying.


This is where I think TLS risk aversion gets a bit irrational -- it's Stanford. I think it's worth an extra 120K. I truly think HYS is always worth sticker, absent full rides/stipends from CCNP.

Your reasoning is what's irrational. He has 60k in undergrad debt gaining interest for 3 years on top of nearly full price at Stanford gaining interest for up to three years. HYS is not always "worth sticker" absent all other considerations. One of the main reasons why HYS is usually better than other options is that people get significant need based aid packages. OP is not, so he's paying a huge premium for Stanford on top of a large preexisting debt burden.

A (nearly) full ride at Berkeley is a pretty great deal.

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Redamon1
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Re: Stanford $16K [1st year] vs Berkeley $120K

Postby Redamon1 » Thu May 03, 2012 2:00 pm

redbullvodka wrote:
JasonR wrote:Congrats on your acceptances!

So your combined educational debt after graduating from Stanford would be around $275K (since that UG debt will keep growing). That would scare the living shit out of me. I'm just guessing, since I don't know the exact interest rates, but you'll probably come out paying about $390K on that $275K when interest is added in. You'll be coughing up $3,250 per month for 10 years to pay that off. Jesus. Think about that.

I'm probably being irrational, because the debt picture out of Berkeley (~$1,800 per month for 10 years) is still pretty scary with your UG debt, but I couldn't handle having that total debt load out of Stanford. Holy shit, that's terrifying.


This is where I think TLS risk aversion gets a bit irrational -- it's Stanford. I think it's worth an extra 120K. I truly think HYS is always worth sticker, absent full rides/stipends from CCNP.


Blatant P trolling. But more importantly, your argument is overly simplistic. "It's Stanford" is a bit light of a demonstration that the massive debt is always worth it. And I'm not contesting that OP will likely be able to pay back the loans, but the reasonable questions that OP is likely considering are:

- could I not get a similar job at B?
- for my career goals, is the additional prestige of S worth the debt? (and BTW as far as lay prestige is concerned, don't underestimate B).
- would I value having more flexibility and less stress because of a more manageable amount of debt hanging over my head?
- would I prefer to use my income to pay down UG debt quickly and buy a house, rather than pay back mountains of debt for 10+ years?

I think it's reasonable for OP and others to answer yes to some if no all of these questions.

It's clearly a personal decision but in hindsight I think OP will find that attending T10 on near-full ride makes sense.

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Dignan
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Re: Stanford $16K [1st year] vs Berkeley $120K

Postby Dignan » Thu May 03, 2012 2:09 pm

redbullvodka wrote:
This is where I think TLS risk aversion gets a bit irrational -- it's Stanford. I think it's worth an extra 120K. I truly think HYS is always worth sticker, absent full rides/stipends from CCNP.

Given that the OP doesn't want biglaw in New York, it's absurd to suggest that Penn (and probably NYU) would somehow be better than B. There's no "CCNP" tier, particularly when a student doesn't want NYC big law.

OP: I'm not sure what I would do in your situation. If you're sure you want big law, then I'd probably go with B. I don't think the big law placement differences between SLS and Berkeley are as significant as many TLS'ers seem to think. However, SLS will offer you significantly better opportunities in other areas. For clerskships, federal government positions, and academia, SLS is much stronger than Berkeley. If you highly value these non-big law options, it could be worth foregoing significant money at Berkeley.

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The Brainalist
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Re: Stanford $16K [1st year] vs Berkeley $120K

Postby The Brainalist » Thu May 03, 2012 2:10 pm

According to Berkeley, Berkeley is a more valuable school than Stanford. For 2011, Berkeley was $54,372 and Stanford was $47,460. Thus Berkeley is worth about $7,000 more than Stanford, or 15% more. Stanford, by not matching Berkeley's tuition, implicitly agrees.

I think your choice here is quite clear.

bromance
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Re: Stanford $16K [1st year] vs Berkeley $120K

Postby bromance » Thu May 03, 2012 2:23 pm

Hey guys, thanks for weighing in. All these same arguements have been bouncing around in my head for the last few days, causing me major stress as i'm still pretty torn. Essentially as of two days ago I thought I was getting nothing from Berkeley and had resigned myself to crippling debt at Stanford with the idea that I would try to live really frugally during my 3 years there, put the majority of my SA salary(ies) towards my UG debt and hope for the best. I sent my deposit to Stanford on Tuesday, but then I get the curve ball e-mail from Berkeley later that evening offering me $120K in matching scholarship...which is kind of frustrating since I applied MONTHS ago and had assumed I was getting nada when i hadn't heard anything.

I really loved stanford when i visited, but for what its worth i really liked Berkeley too and would have gone there hands down if I hadn't gotten into Stanford/hadn't ended up loving the school as much as I did - had a total cliche "this is it!" moment during ASW, lol. I'd have no problem paying sticker at Stanford if it weren't for my UG debt (Loved the school and the job security...no idea whether I can do above median at Berkeley) and having been out of school for a few years I know what it means to have a solid chunk of your income go to student loans each month...but then again once we start approaching $300K in student loan debt i start to feel more than a little nautious.

As far as career goes, i haven't worked in law at all so I don't really know how I would like biglaw, but based on what I've heard/knowing my personality I probably won't like it...although I worked at a job I hated for a year for a very low salary (dysfunctional non-proffit w/an uninspiring mission) so I know what it feels like to not like what your doing and feel certain I can suck it up for a few years.

Regardless of where I go to school/how much i owe at graduation, I have no intention of sticking to a 10 yr repayment schedule out of the gate...will definitely be hitting the debt hard for a few years (i'm thinking 3-4 big law then assesing my opitions if I end up hating it) live like I'm making $30K and get that paid down to something reasonable - which seems feasible to me, thoughts?

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The Brainalist
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Re: Stanford $16K [1st year] vs Berkeley $120K

Postby The Brainalist » Thu May 03, 2012 2:34 pm

bromance wrote:Hey guys, thanks for weighing in. All these same arguements have been bouncing around in my head for the last few days, causing me major stress as i'm still pretty torn. Essentially as of two days ago I thought I was getting nothing from Berkeley and had resigned myself to crippling debt at Stanford with the idea that I would try to live really frugally during my 3 years there, put the majority of my SA salary(ies) towards my UG debt and hope for the best. I sent my deposit to Stanford on Tuesday, but then I get the curve ball e-mail from Berkeley later that evening offering me $120K in matching scholarship...which is kind of frustrating since I applied MONTHS ago and had assumed I was getting nada when i hadn't heard anything.

I really loved stanford when i visited, but for what its worth i really liked Berkeley too and would have gone there hands down if I hadn't gotten into Stanford/hadn't ended up loving the school as much as I did - had a total cliche "this is it!" moment during ASW, lol. I'd have no problem paying sticker at Stanford if it weren't for my UG debt (Loved the school and the job security...no idea whether I can do above median at Berkeley) and having been out of school for a few years I know what it means to have a solid chunk of your income go to student loans each month...but then again once we start approaching $300K in student loan debt i start to feel more than a little nautious.

As far as career goes, i haven't worked in law at all so I don't really know how I would like biglaw, but based on what I've heard/knowing my personality I probably won't like it...although I worked at a job I hated for a year for a very low salary (dysfunctional non-proffit w/an uninspiring mission) so I know what it feels like to not like what your doing and feel certain I can suck it up for a few years.

Regardless of where I go to school/how much i owe at graduation, I have no intention of sticking to a 10 yr repayment schedule out of the gate...will definitely be hitting the debt hard for a few years (i'm thinking 3-4 big law then assesing my opitions if I end up hating it) live like I'm making $30K and get that paid down to something reasonable - which seems feasible to me, thoughts?


I have read your post several times, and it seems to me that you may not fully have understood my post. Please PM me if you need further explanation.




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