Vanderbilt 80k Vs Cornell Sticker

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zaltman
Posts: 20
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:23 am

Re: Vanderbilt 80k Vs Cornell Sticker

Postby zaltman » Fri May 11, 2012 12:41 am

So I just got my Cornell aid package and its a whopping 75k in loans. They gave me zero need based or merit grants/scholarships. For the record I am a 3.6/171. I am obviously going to email them and ask them to reevaluate tomorrow morning. I will mention my Vandy scholly and possibly the 90k I got from GW.

I honestly don't know if I can justify going to Cornell with no aid. Freaking studio apartments in Ithaca are going to run me 1,400 a month. Even if I land the best big law job three years from now I'm going to be staring down $250,000 (30 undergrad) in student loans that are never going to go away. I just don't think its worth it to force myself into this high risk gameplan. What if I can't stand big law? What if I dont get the right grades/interviews?

I was able to talk to some students today....a 3L said that he and his friends all landed firm jobs w/ no problem and a 1L seemed to have easily gotten a Fed Clerkship in Brooklyn. Obviously Cornell is a great school with great connections....thats what is making this so tough.

woeisme
Posts: 781
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 8:39 pm

Re: Vanderbilt 80k Vs Cornell Sticker

Postby woeisme » Fri May 11, 2012 12:46 am

zaltman wrote:TLS, this is getting down to the wire and I am not sure what to do.

I am from Boston and want to land Big Law. Although I would prefer to work in Boston or New York when it is all said and done I am more concerned with landing a good, highpaying, job in corporate/business/tax law.

3 weeks ago I sent in my deposit to Vandy and was thrilled. I went to the ASW in March and absolutely loved it. I liked the students, the atmosphere, the laid back attitude the weather, the buildings, the faculty... everyone. I was, admittedly, wooed by the people speaking at the ASW. One thing that really struck out was the amount of weight given to clearkships by the faculty. I really want to land a clerkship before I begin working.

Anyways fastforward a couple of weeks and I got accepted into Cornell at what is likely sticker. After reviewing their placement numbers etc I was absolutely thrilled. I am in Ithaca now visiting and although the campus is stunning and the buildings are gorgeous I think they leave something to be desired and I'm just not getting the same feeling I was getting at Vandy. A couple of the classrooms I went in looked unwelcoming and didn't even have electricity provided. Also, although the campus is beautiful now, after going to school in MA I can't stop thinking about how bad its going to be come winter. I am really sick of the winter and do not want to keep fighting my way to and from classes especially in these stupid hills.

Finally, I'll admit that I'm a little nervous about the culture of Cornell. It looks and feels seeped in history and tradition and I've heard some people say that it is very cutthroat and brutal. I know wherever I go to law school is going to be very difficult and competitive but I really don't want to put myself in a bad situation.

I guess at the end of the day my question is as follows: Am I crazy to turn down Cornell even with its ~$100k extra COA given the lack of awards and increased COL in Ithaca?

Thanks.


Yes, you'd be crazy but only because (1) your expressed career goals; (2) your over emphasis on weather; and (3) your mistaken impression about the culture at Cornell.

If securing biglaw is why you're going to law school, go to Cornell. If you're okay not getting back to northeast, definitely do Vandy, as it sounds like the risk would be worth it for you.

SaintFond
Posts: 120
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2012 6:19 pm

Re: Vanderbilt 80k Vs Cornell Sticker

Postby SaintFond » Fri May 11, 2012 12:51 am

To be honest, I am kind of surprised you didn't get any aid, given your LSAT score. Perhaps because you got in off waitlist and they have already run out of funds? Your parents aren't like loaded, are they?

woeisme
Posts: 781
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 8:39 pm

Re: Vanderbilt 80k Vs Cornell Sticker

Postby woeisme » Fri May 11, 2012 12:56 am

zaltman wrote:So I just got my Cornell aid package and its a whopping 75k in loans. They gave me zero need based or merit grants/scholarships. For the record I am a 3.6/171. I am obviously going to email them and ask them to reevaluate tomorrow morning. I will mention my Vandy scholly and possibly the 90k I got from GW.

I honestly don't know if I can justify going to Cornell with no aid. Freaking studio apartments in Ithaca are going to run me 1,400 a month. Even if I land the best big law job three years from now I'm going to be staring down $250,000 (30 undergrad) in student loans that are never going to go away. I just don't think its worth it to force myself into this high risk gameplan. What if I can't stand big law? What if I dont get the right grades/interviews?

I was able to talk to some students today....a 3L said that he and his friends all landed firm jobs w/ no problem and a 1L seemed to have easily gotten a Fed Clerkship in Brooklyn. Obviously Cornell is a great school with great connections....thats what is making this so tough.


A studio for $1,400/month? That sounds steep... there are much cheaper places in Ithaca. You don't necessarily have to be right by the law school... and even if you are, there are cheaper places. A lot of the houses have been split into apartments and run for a lot cheaper (more like 700-800/month).

I think writing Cornell again sounds like a good idea. In past years they haven't really been concerned about competing with money from Vanderbilt... maybe that's starting to change idk. I still think for your goals you're going to want to get more than 80 from Vandy to make that the better choice though.

zaltman
Posts: 20
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:23 am

Re: Vanderbilt 80k Vs Cornell Sticker

Postby zaltman » Fri May 11, 2012 1:49 am

SaintFond wrote:To be honest, I am kind of surprised you didn't get any aid, given your LSAT score. Perhaps because you got in off waitlist and they have already run out of funds? Your parents aren't like loaded, are they?


I suspect I was placed on an internal "wait list" which explains why I was admitted so late. Unfortunately I have zero family money and law school is all on me.

mnevins
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:10 pm

Re: Vanderbilt 80k Vs Cornell Sticker

Postby mnevins » Fri May 11, 2012 9:14 am

derp i pretty much posted this same thread last night after receiving the same financial aid as you :?

whats your 2nd deposit date for cornell? im interested in what your final decision is

zaltman
Posts: 20
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:23 am

Re: Vanderbilt 80k Vs Cornell Sticker

Postby zaltman » Fri May 11, 2012 10:33 am

I haven't paid a deposit at Cornell yet because they let me wait until I got my aid package. Now they want a full $900 deposit Monday the 14th. I plan to email them today asking for a. review of my award package and b. an extension of that deposit deadline until I hear back about the aid.

I think If I have to make a decision right now it is going to be Vanderbilt. I'd also like to hear your final decision mnevins.

woeisme
Posts: 781
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 8:39 pm

Re: Vanderbilt 80k Vs Cornell Sticker

Postby woeisme » Fri May 11, 2012 10:44 am

zaltman wrote:I think If I have to make a decision right now it is going to be Vanderbilt.


If you're hoping to work in the northeast and are going to need a high-paying legal gig to pay off your Vandy debt anyway, I'd rethink this decision. I know $80k sounds like a lot and Vandy and Cornell aren't separated by much in the rankings, ... but for your career goals they really are different playing fields. Granted, everything will be rosy if you end up at the top of your class at Vandy, but I feel like that's a pretty big risk to bank on. People choose Vandy over schools like Cornell every year, no doubt. But these people generally aren't hoping to secure northeast law firm gigs.

Just some food for thought.

SaintFond
Posts: 120
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2012 6:19 pm

Re: Vanderbilt 80k Vs Cornell Sticker

Postby SaintFond » Fri May 11, 2012 10:56 am

Vandy with 80K isn't a bad decision. You just have to be aware that you will have to place pretty well to get BigLaw. Be careful.




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