GW or BC?

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

GW vs. BC

George Washington (CoA = $61,300)
8
20%
Boston College (CoA = $32,871)
33
80%
 
Total votes: 41

cabradelvalverde
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 2:00 pm

GW or BC?

Postby cabradelvalverde » Mon May 14, 2012 2:49 pm

I had previously decided to go to GW, but was recently admitted to BC off the waitlist and was offered 30,000 per year. My scholarship to GW was for 16,000 and the difference in total cost of attendance would amount to $28,429 per year.
Also significant is that my mother is willing to help me cover at least the first year of tuition at either school, which I would have to pay her back, but she will give me a much better interest rate than the government loans do.

I am interested in administrative or transactional law in environmental work and working for a government agency, national or international NGO, non-profit organization, or company abroad. I would really like to work back and forth between the US and Germany, but I know this can make for a very specific, and likely unrealistic, dream.

I list what I perceive to be the advantages and disadvantages of each school, but I could be wrong and am interested in what other factors I should consider. I also just don't know much about what organizations and agencies are in Boston.

GW advantages:
connection to agencies, organizations, companies in DC and internationally
huge alumni network with alumni all over the world
new mentorship program pairing 1Ls with an alum in career of interest
closer to family and friends in Ohio
no need for a car
ability to do externships at gov agencies during the semester, while also taking classes (is this manageable?)
potential opportunities in NYC

disadvantages:
huge debt limits career options
DC is really expensive to live

BC advantages:
lower debt allows for more diverse career opportunities
also have ability to have externship in DC, get credit at school (but not at the same time as regular classes)
Boston is good legal market---opportunities that I don't know about yet

disadvantages:
may need a car --> additional expenses
travel home much more expensive
farther from gov agencies, international organizations

Pygmaeus
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:31 pm

Re: GW or BC?

Postby Pygmaeus » Mon May 14, 2012 5:14 pm

I think you need to consider job placement data for each school in the Public Interest sector. You can find that information on http://www.lawschooltransparency.com/

BC put 13.6% of grads in Gov/PI jobs for the class of 2010, whereas GW put 20.6%. That is a pretty significant difference.

On the other hand, 28K a year is a huge amount of money from BC. That would be really hard to turn down.

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Doorkeeper
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Re: GW or BC?

Postby Doorkeeper » Mon May 14, 2012 5:24 pm

Use BC acceptance to negotiate with GW. All things equal, I would go to GW and hustle for three years.

Rex777
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Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:18 pm

Re: GW or BC?

Postby Rex777 » Tue May 15, 2012 12:01 am

I am in the same position as you, choosing between GW and BC (except with 10k a year less at BC).

I honestly have gone back and forth ever since I heard from BC. I still don't know which I will decide on.

My reasoning thus far has been:
BC and GW are both regional schools so they obviously place most grads in the city they are located in and have the potential to send grads elsewhere (NY, CA) given favorable circumstances (i.e. great grades, hometown connections). They both also seem to have similar breakdowns of employment for their classes on Law School Transparency. The difference only seems to be the legal markets. So it comes down to asking yourself whether you would rather start a career in Washington, DC or Boston.

For you, it seems as though the only thing drawing you to BC is the lower cost. I would say that unless you can devise a tangible plan to your career goals at BC the lower cost will not matter. At BC you will not need a car unless you prefer the luxury good, the T runs just fine. Boston provides plenty of opportunity as the state capitol and as a regional office for federal agencies if you want to go into Gov't/PI work.

Let me know if you want to share war stories of what we have learned trying to make this decision. It would be helpful to hear someone else's reasoning facing a similar decision. Good luck with your decision and maybe see you this fall.

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Bronck
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Re: GW or BC?

Postby Bronck » Tue May 15, 2012 5:45 am

180-200k of debt for GW is ridiculous. I wouldn't get anywhere near that. For the class of 2010, only 1/3 of GW students got a fed clerkship or employment with a firm of size 101+. Those are terrible odds for that kind of money.

BC placed around 38% of their class into the same employment categories for c/o 2010. That seems like a much more reasonable bet at <100k in debt.

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top30man
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Re: GW or BC?

Postby top30man » Tue May 15, 2012 8:09 am

Bronck wrote:180-200k of debt for GW is ridiculous. I wouldn't get anywhere near that. For the class of 2010, only 1/3 of GW students got a fed clerkship or employment with a firm of size 101+. Those are terrible odds for that kind of money.

BC placed around 38% of their class into the same employment categories for c/o 2010. That seems like a much more reasonable bet at <100k in debt.

Yeah I would definitely go BC here. I think GW has significantly higher numbers in public interest because BC does so well in the private sector. That's far too expensive for such a mediocre school. BC is a better school at a better price.

JournalismToLaw
Posts: 67
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2012 5:45 pm

Re: GW or BC?

Postby JournalismToLaw » Tue May 15, 2012 9:01 am

Rex777 wrote:At BC you will not need a car unless you prefer the luxury good, the T runs just fine. Boston provides plenty of opportunity as the state capitol and as a regional office for federal agencies if you want to go into Gov't/PI work.


Worth noting, the T goes to BC's main campus, but not the law school. There's a shuttle from BC's main campus to the law school, so no car works, but isn't ideal.

Still, I'd go BC here. 30k/year off the waitlist?!?

dolia
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue May 01, 2012 1:17 pm

Re: GW or BC?

Postby dolia » Tue May 15, 2012 12:53 pm

I'm a GW alum, and while my experience was incredibly positive there (got a SA job through OCI, started at my firm in late August after graduation and the Bar and moved onto a gvmt job a year later), even when I applied back in 2007, when the market still seemed to be booming, I would have chosen BC here. If the schools are fairly even, always choose the school with less debt. And almost 90k (over the three years) is significant.

The access to federal internships in DC was a huge plus to GW, but you can do PI internships over the summer in DC if that's where your interest lies, and you can intern at more local PI/local gvmt places during the school year in Boston.

cabradelvalverde
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 2:00 pm

Re: GW or BC?

Postby cabradelvalverde » Fri May 18, 2012 3:51 pm

Thanks for all the helpful responses. Since I used my BC scholarship to ask for additional funds from GW, GW offered me some additional money. At this point, I had decided on BC and sent in my deposit there, but is this extra money worth it from GW?

They offered 25k per year. This makes the yearly difference in CoA $19,429 between GW and BC (rather than the 28,429 previously).

Thanks for any additional input.

JournalismToLaw
Posts: 67
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2012 5:45 pm

Re: GW or BC?

Postby JournalismToLaw » Fri May 18, 2012 4:55 pm

cabradelvalverde wrote:They offered 25k per year. This makes the yearly difference in CoA $19,429 between GW and BC (rather than the 28,429 previously).


Is that total difference in CoA or per year, as you said in the first post?

JasonR
Posts: 421
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2010 9:09 am

Re: GW or BC?

Postby JasonR » Fri May 18, 2012 7:00 pm

Even with GW's new offer, I can't see a good argument for going there when BC is that much less expensive. I think ~$155K for GW is still utter insanity.

Splitteroni
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue May 08, 2012 10:49 am

Re: GW or BC?

Postby Splitteroni » Mon May 21, 2012 12:11 pm

Im in the same boat!! Except my family is close to BC and GW is offering me more than BC...GW 30,000 a year and BC 25,000 a year. Obviously I have to decide by June 1st and I am so torn. Too bad we couldn't trade scholly offers!!

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bostonlawchick
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Re: GW or BC?

Postby bostonlawchick » Mon May 21, 2012 12:48 pm

I go to BC, so obviously I am biased, but I feel like BC would still be the best choice for you here. Boston is cheaper than DC, and you really don't need a car (especially if you can make friends/be roommates with someone who has one).

Boston is really the center of government not just for MA but for all of New England. Obviously it can't compare to DC, but many federal agencies have their regional offices in the city, and I've seen lots of postings up on Symplicity over the year for internships and volunteer opportunities. There is also as you mentioned the Semester in Practice program in DC, which I think is new. I know they mentioned it when they talked to us about clinic opportunities in March.

I'm not a PI person but honestly at times I feel like I'm in the minority. Obviously that could be because as 1Ls everyone still has an "I'm going to save the world" mentality and for all I know I'll be competing with all of them at OCI, but I really feel like a substantial number of people I met have their heart set on public interest work. The school seems to give these students a lot of support. There are two PI job fairs (on the smaller side) and a lot of people also participate in the Equal Justice Works job fair in DC as well.

You'd also have about the same amount of opportunities in NYC from either school. BC runs off-campus recruiting in NYC with a couple other schools, and I'm pretty sure at least a few 1Ls are working there this summer.

And it really isn't considerably cheaper to get to Ohio from DC vs. from Boston, unless you're not flying.

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flem
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Re: GW or BC?

Postby flem » Mon May 21, 2012 12:56 pm

Bronck wrote:180-200k of debt for GW is ridiculous. I wouldn't get anywhere near that. For the class of 2010, only 1/3 of GW students got a fed clerkship or employment with a firm of size 101+. Those are terrible odds for that kind of money.

BC placed around 38% of their class into the same employment categories for c/o 2010. That seems like a much more reasonable bet at <100k in debt.


I'm not totally disagreeing here, but I like how you say "only 1/3 of GW students" and then shift to "38% of BC students". That's not really a significant difference.

But yeah, paying double the price for the roughly the same odds is stupid.

CanadianWolf
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Re: GW or BC?

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon May 21, 2012 2:16 pm

Boston College is the better choice due to lower cost.

Rex777
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:18 pm

Re: GW or BC?

Postby Rex777 » Tue May 22, 2012 8:20 pm

Splitteroni wrote:Im in the same boat!! Except my family is close to BC and GW is offering me more than BC...GW 30,000 a year and BC 25,000 a year. Obviously I have to decide by June 1st and I am so torn. Too bad we couldn't trade scholly offers!!


I am GW $21k/yr and BC $20k/yr, I wish we could donate our money to other posters, but here is to driving my #s up to both of yours! BC is close to family & I live in DC now; as you can imagine I am equally torn.




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