Northwestern vs Colorado

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )
awhite1205
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed May 09, 2012 3:49 am

Northwestern vs Colorado

Postby awhite1205 » Wed May 09, 2012 4:10 am

Hello. I feel as though I'm in a tough spot right now, and thought this message board might be a good place to receive some anonymous, and unbiased input. So I've recently been admitted off a hold to Northwestern, a school that had initially been at the top of my list, if not my number one choice. I am somewhat of a fringe candidate for the T14 schools (high LSAT, low GPA (didn't take UG very seriously)), and have been waitlisted at every other such school that I applied to (save for a denial from Columbia). The only outside T14 school that I applied to is CU-Boulder, which offered me a full tuition scholarship for my 1st year, and 10K per year for the 2nd and 3rd (with re-evaluation each spring, and a 2.9 stip). I live in Colorado currently, like living in Colorado, and a lot of the time can see myself working for a firm in Denver and sort of settling here for the foreseeable future, but I'm not positive. NW would be sticker price, and though I have interest in a biglaw career, I feel as though it's too early for me to be certain about this. I'm afraid of being forced into a biglaw job that I hate in order to manage a crippling amount of debt, and of giving myself little flexibility in career choice or location choice out of school, but am also afraid of passing up a sort of "once-in-a-lifetime" opportunity. Thoughts?

User avatar
tedalbany
Posts: 1697
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:15 pm

Re: Northwestern vs Colorado

Postby tedalbany » Wed May 09, 2012 4:17 am

You're still looking at about $100k cost of attendance for CU. Unless you're 100% deadset on working in Denver, I'd go to Northwestern.

User avatar
rayiner
Posts: 6184
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:43 am

Re: Northwestern vs Colorado

Postby rayiner » Wed May 09, 2012 4:26 am

You're still going to be $100k in the hole at U Colorado, and for C/O 2010, only 13% of Colorado grads found work at a 50+ attorney firm or a federal clerkship (the jobs that pay six figures or lead to six-figure employment): --LinkRemoved--. At Northwestern that figure was about 64%. --LinkRemoved--.

User avatar
flem
Posts: 12949
Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:44 pm

Re: Northwestern vs Colorado

Postby flem » Wed May 09, 2012 8:19 am

Yeah dude, what the other guys said.

CU-Boulder is the shit, but Northwestern would certainly get you back to Colorado since you have ties there.

User avatar
Doorkeeper
Posts: 4872
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:25 pm

Re: Northwestern vs Colorado

Postby Doorkeeper » Wed May 09, 2012 10:03 am

tedalbany wrote:You're still looking at about $100k cost of attendance for CU. Unless you're 100% deadset on working in Denver, I'd go to Northwestern.

This.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Northwestern vs Colorado

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed May 09, 2012 10:09 am

You need to visit NU to see if you want to take on $275,000 of student loan debt over the next three years.

What is the total COA for Colorado after your scholarships are applied ?

Clearly, Northwestern offers superior biglaw placement. What are your career goals & geographic preferences ?

Lord Randolph McDuff
Posts: 1587
Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2011 4:37 pm

Re: Northwestern vs Colorado

Postby Lord Randolph McDuff » Wed May 09, 2012 11:29 am

Do you have money? Are going into 100k debt for CU and 275k debt for NU? 275k debt is insane-- if you get big law, you are going to be in a huge tax bracket and your going to take home less than you might think. If you burn out after a couple years (keep in mind, you'd be like, what thirty years old?), you'd probably still be in nearly 200k debt. 100k debt for CU is a ton. You'd have to gun for private firm work (which would make you kinda lame here) unless you wanted to either A) live life in debt or B) do work that would qualify for loan forgiveness in ten years. Can you keep that 100k down at CU? Because you are in-state, they must be calculating that it will cost you twenty grand to live per year. I go to CU and live cheaper than that, plus work for a small/midsize firm during 1L and now 1L summer. If you can do something similar, you can maybe get that cost down to 60k or so. However, if you get a 2L paid gig out of Northwestern you'll probably knock that 275k to 245k or so.

Both these options sound very risky. Have you visited both schools? I have no idea what you should do-- CU is slightly less risky because if it all blows up in your face the debt isn't nearly as soul-crushing, especially if you can keep it below 100k. Good luck.

User avatar
Icculus
Posts: 1421
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:02 am

Re: Northwestern vs Colorado

Postby Icculus » Wed May 09, 2012 11:54 am

Well, I am at NU right now paying sticker, and what I can tell you is that while the looming debt is a bit terrifying, the job prospects coming out of NU are a lot better, and honestly 100K making 50K a year is no better than 200K making 160K a year, yes both are risks, but I would probably take the risk at the place that gave me the best job prospects. You also need to figure out the odds of keeping that scholarship, I have no idea what CU curves to, but if there is a good chance you lose the scholarship then NU seems a better investment. As for the idiot comment about you being 30, I'll be 34 when I graduate and I can tell you I don't see it impacting my ability to work long hours and be successful. Dumb ass twenty somethings shouldn't be so sure that 30=death. Idiot. There are far more realistic concerns than you may be 30.

User avatar
rayiner
Posts: 6184
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:43 am

Re: Northwestern vs Colorado

Postby rayiner » Wed May 09, 2012 12:47 pm

When did NU become 275? I think with tuition increases and interest you're at 260, 240 with your SA which you will more likely than not get.

Paul Campos
Posts: 645
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 9:44 am

Re: Northwestern vs Colorado

Postby Paul Campos » Wed May 09, 2012 12:54 pm

rayiner wrote:When did NU become 275? I think with tuition increases and interest you're at 260, 240 with your SA which you will more likely than not get.



COA for the entering class is estimated by the school as $79K and change. Debt financed and assuming 3.5% increases in COA in each of the next two years that makes for $284K at graduation.

09042014
Posts: 18282
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:47 pm

Re: Northwestern vs Colorado

Postby 09042014 » Wed May 09, 2012 12:55 pm

rayiner wrote:When did NU become 275? I think with tuition increases and interest you're at 260, 240 with your SA which you will more likely than not get.


The real problem here is that Denver firms aren't paying that much. From spot checking a couple Denver firms on NALP, you are looking at 110-120K / year.

Lord Randolph McDuff
Posts: 1587
Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2011 4:37 pm

Re: Northwestern vs Colorado

Postby Lord Randolph McDuff » Wed May 09, 2012 12:56 pm

Icculus wrote:Well, I am at NU right now paying sticker, and what I can tell you is that while the looming debt is a bit terrifying, the job prospects coming out of NU are a lot better, and honestly 100K making 50K a year is no better than 200K making 160K a year, yes both are risks, but I would probably take the risk at the place that gave me the best job prospects. You also need to figure out the odds of keeping that scholarship, I have no idea what CU curves to, but if there is a good chance you lose the scholarship then NU seems a better investment. As for the idiot comment about you being 30, I'll be 34 when I graduate and I can tell you I don't see it impacting my ability to work long hours and be successful. Dumb ass twenty somethings shouldn't be so sure that 30=death. Idiot. There are far more realistic concerns than you may be 30.


The "idiot comment" about being thirty was mis-intrepretted by you. Maybe you're an idiot? I don't know.

OP: I mentioned thirty because a lot of law students don't realize that after working a couple years (and still being in massive debt) they will be THIRTY and will probably want to get married, buy a house, IE do other things that will increase your sole crushing debt. Think about it: law school is not the only expensive thing on the planet.

Also above poster inexplicably knocked 75k off of your potential debt at NU. The cost different could be as high as 200K, as you are in-state at CU and could probably live off less than 20k a year. Don't worry about losing your scholarship at CU-- Curve is between 3.3 and 3.4, and you have to maintain a 2.9 to keep the money. The lowest grade in two of the 1L classes was a B, so you could literally be at the bottom of the curve and still keep your money.

NU gives you a real shot at Biglaw and Art. 3 clerkships, where CU gives you much smaller window at those jerbs with a real possibility of small shop 50k+ and gov. Two clear and distinct choices if you ask me.

User avatar
flem
Posts: 12949
Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:44 pm

Re: Northwestern vs Colorado

Postby flem » Wed May 09, 2012 12:57 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
The real problem here is that Denver firms aren't paying that much. From spot checking a couple Denver firms on NALP, you are looking at 110-120K / year.


The flip side, though, is that the cost of living in Denver is more reasonable than NYC or DC, so it's PROBABLY a wash.

Lord Randolph McDuff
Posts: 1587
Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2011 4:37 pm

Re: Northwestern vs Colorado

Postby Lord Randolph McDuff » Wed May 09, 2012 12:58 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
rayiner wrote:When did NU become 275? I think with tuition increases and interest you're at 260, 240 with your SA which you will more likely than not get.


The real problem here is that Denver firms aren't paying that much. From spot checking a couple Denver firms on NALP, you are looking at 110-120K / year.



I think the problem is that that OP is not likely to be employed by the Denver firms. Most of the "big law" 17th street firms in Denver pay 160k, though.

User avatar
bk1
Posts: 18424
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: Northwestern vs Colorado

Postby bk1 » Wed May 09, 2012 1:05 pm

Paul Campos wrote:
rayiner wrote:When did NU become 275? I think with tuition increases and interest you're at 260, 240 with your SA which you will more likely than not get.


COA for the entering class is estimated by the school as $79K and change. Debt financed and assuming 3.5% increases in COA in each of the next two years that makes for $284K at graduation.


This is slightly off. CoA is 77k (NU adds 2k for a laptop to get to 79k which I assume most people already have). With interest it is almost 275k. Of course tuition is also likely to increase at least 1-2k/year and bring it even higher.

I'm also not convinced that SA pay is going to make as big a dent as rayiner implies. People don't start biglaw until the fall of graduation. This leaves 3 summers worth of CoL expenses (1L/2L/postgrad). If you end up taking a practicum for 1L summer (and thus loans rather than a SFPIF or other PI grant) these 3 summers will eat a healthy chunk out of SA pay.

09042014
Posts: 18282
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:47 pm

Re: Northwestern vs Colorado

Postby 09042014 » Wed May 09, 2012 1:09 pm

flem wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
The real problem here is that Denver firms aren't paying that much. From spot checking a couple Denver firms on NALP, you are looking at 110-120K / year.


The flip side, though, is that the cost of living in Denver is more reasonable than NYC or DC, so it's PROBABLY a wash.


110K CO vs 160 NYC/DC with no debt ---> CO big winner

But that debt costs the same in both cities. 110K --> 76K after taxes. Assuming you try to pay it all off before you get up and outted at the firm. You are left living on 26K per year in Denver. That's tough. If you push it to 10 year repayment that's still only 46K. 46K should be good to live nicely on. But you'd still have a fuck ton of debt by the time you get pushed out of big law.

I can see NYC to 180K just based on the extreme debt people are ending up with.

09042014
Posts: 18282
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:47 pm

Re: Northwestern vs Colorado

Postby 09042014 » Wed May 09, 2012 1:10 pm

bk1 wrote:
Paul Campos wrote:
rayiner wrote:When did NU become 275? I think with tuition increases and interest you're at 260, 240 with your SA which you will more likely than not get.


COA for the entering class is estimated by the school as $79K and change. Debt financed and assuming 3.5% increases in COA in each of the next two years that makes for $284K at graduation.


This is slightly off. CoA is 77k (NU adds 2k for a laptop to get to 79k which I assume most people already have). With interest it is almost 275k. Of course tuition is also likely to increase at least 1-2k/year and bring it even higher.

I'm also not convinced that SA pay is going to make as big a dent as rayiner implies. People don't start biglaw until the fall of graduation. This leaves 3 summers worth of CoL expenses (1L/2L/postgrad). If you end up taking a practicum for 1L summer (and thus loans rather than a SFPIF or other PI grant) these 3 summers will eat a healthy chunk out of SA pay.


I know for a fact Rayiner saved zero from his SA!

User avatar
flem
Posts: 12949
Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:44 pm

Re: Northwestern vs Colorado

Postby flem » Wed May 09, 2012 1:12 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
110K CO vs 160 NYC/DC with no debt ---> CO big winner

But that debt costs the same in both cities. 110K --> 76K after taxes. Assuming you try to pay it all off before you get up and outted at the firm. You are left living on 26K per year in Denver. That's tough. If you push it to 10 year repayment that's still only 46K. 46K should be good to live nicely on. But you'd still have a fuck ton of debt by the time you get pushed out of big law.

I can see NYC to 180K just based on the extreme debt people are ending up with.


Good lord.

User avatar
rayiner
Posts: 6184
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:43 am

Re: Northwestern vs Colorado

Postby rayiner » Wed May 09, 2012 1:13 pm

Paul Campos wrote:
rayiner wrote:When did NU become 275? I think with tuition increases and interest you're at 260, 240 with your SA which you will more likely than not get.



COA for the entering class is estimated by the school as $79K and change. Debt financed and assuming 3.5% increases in COA in each of the next two years that makes for $284K at graduation.


COA over the last four years has increased 3% per year. The COA includes origination fees. The $79k figure includes a laptop that isn't included for 2L and 3L. With in-school interest you're looking at around $270k. How much interest are you calculating? I paid full freight and accumulated $25k. They should be around $28k.

User avatar
rayiner
Posts: 6184
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:43 am

Re: Northwestern vs Colorado

Postby rayiner » Wed May 09, 2012 1:15 pm

It doesn't matter if you save your SA money or not. It's still $30k you have to account for. If you have no other sources of income for the summers, that's extra debt you'll have to take on at CU. If you blow it on restaurants, booze, and an engagement ring like I did, well you benefitted from the extra consumption.

User avatar
bk1
Posts: 18424
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: Northwestern vs Colorado

Postby bk1 » Wed May 09, 2012 1:21 pm

rayiner wrote:It doesn't matter if you save your SA money or not. It's still $30k you have to account for. If you have no other sources of income for the summers, that's extra debt you'll have to take on at CU. If you blow it on restaurants, booze, and an engagement ring like I did, well you benefitted from the extra consumption.


Yeah I think it's fair because you would have to pay for summers as well at CU. My point was more that graduation debt at NU will still be enormous.

rayiner wrote:COA over the last four years has increased 3% per year. The COA includes origination fees. The $79k figure includes a laptop that isn't included for 2L and 3L. With in-school interest you're looking at around $270k. How much interest are you calculating? I paid full freight and accumulated $25k. They should be around $28k.


The GULC finaid calculator (LinkRemoved) says that accumulation is 39k at 6 months after graduation (not sure if this accounts for the fact that subsidized Staffords are dead but I think it does).

09042014
Posts: 18282
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:47 pm

Re: Northwestern vs Colorado

Postby 09042014 » Wed May 09, 2012 1:29 pm

flem wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
110K CO vs 160 NYC/DC with no debt ---> CO big winner

But that debt costs the same in both cities. 110K --> 76K after taxes. Assuming you try to pay it all off before you get up and outted at the firm. You are left living on 26K per year in Denver. That's tough. If you push it to 10 year repayment that's still only 46K. 46K should be good to live nicely on. But you'd still have a fuck ton of debt by the time you get pushed out of big law.

I can see NYC to 180K just based on the extreme debt people are ending up with.


Good lord.


26K after tax is more than it sounds. It's like a 35 grand salary. 46K is like living on a 62K salary.

NYC is 100K after tax. That knocks it down to 50K after tax for a 5 year repayment, or about a 75K salary. 10 year repayment: 70K or a 117K salary.

So
5 year
  • NYC effective salary = 75K
  • CO Effective Salary =35k
10 year
  • NYC effective =117K
  • CO effective = 46k

User avatar
rayiner
Posts: 6184
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:43 am

Re: Northwestern vs Colorado

Postby rayiner » Wed May 09, 2012 1:32 pm

bk1 wrote:
rayiner wrote:It doesn't matter if you save your SA money or not. It's still $30k you have to account for. If you have no other sources of income for the summers, that's extra debt you'll have to take on at CU. If you blow it on restaurants, booze, and an engagement ring like I did, well you benefitted from the extra consumption.


Yeah I think it's fair because you would have to pay for summers as well at CU. My point was more that graduation debt at NU will still be enormous.

rayiner wrote:COA over the last four years has increased 3% per year. The COA includes origination fees. The $79k figure includes a laptop that isn't included for 2L and 3L. With in-school interest you're looking at around $270k. How much interest are you calculating? I paid full freight and accumulated $25k. They should be around $28k.


The GULC finaid calculator (LinkRemoved) says that accumulation is 39k at 6 months after graduation (not sure if this accounts for the fact that subsidized Staffords are dead but I think it does).


The calculator has me at $248k, and I'm around $238k, having taken full loans each semester. I think GULC's COA doesn't include loan fees which their calculator is adding back in.
Last edited by rayiner on Wed May 09, 2012 1:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

09042014
Posts: 18282
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:47 pm

Re: Northwestern vs Colorado

Postby 09042014 » Wed May 09, 2012 1:33 pm

rayiner wrote:
bk1 wrote:
rayiner wrote:It doesn't matter if you save your SA money or not. It's still $30k you have to account for. If you have no other sources of income for the summers, that's extra debt you'll have to take on at CU. If you blow it on restaurants, booze, and an engagement ring like I did, well you benefitted from the extra consumption.


Yeah I think it's fair because you would have to pay for summers as well at CU. My point was more that graduation debt at NU will still be enormous.

rayiner wrote:COA over the last four years has increased 3% per year. The COA includes origination fees. The $79k figure includes a laptop that isn't included for 2L and 3L. With in-school interest you're looking at around $270k. How much interest are you calculating? I paid full freight and accumulated $25k. They should be around $28k.


The GULC finaid calculator (LinkRemoved) says that accumulation is 39k at 6 months after graduation (not sure if this accounts for the fact that subsidized Staffords are dead but I think it does).


The calculator has me at $248k, and I'm around $238k, having taken full loans each semester.


After 6 months you'll be a lot close to 248 than to 238.

User avatar
bk1
Posts: 18424
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: Northwestern vs Colorado

Postby bk1 » Wed May 09, 2012 1:33 pm

rayiner wrote:The calculator has me at $248k, and I'm around $238k, having taken full loans each semester.


That seems about right since it is set for 6 months from graduation.

ETA: Scooped by DF.




Return to “Choosing a Law School”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests