USC ($) vs Cornell (Sticker)

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

USC or Cornell

University of Southern California (150k Debt)
28
45%
Cornell (225k Debt)
34
55%
 
Total votes: 62

justnicholas
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USC ($) vs Cornell (Sticker)

Postby justnicholas » Wed May 23, 2012 6:07 pm

There was some confusion about my original post so I thought I would repost and be more clear so the poll isn't skewed (feel free to chew me out).

About me:
-Biglaw for a few years then in-house would be my dream
-JAG would also be a dream
-No ties to any lawyers or "contacts"
-Born in CA and Family in CA, but raised in Seattle area
-Top 6 cities in order of where I would like to work: San Fran, NYC, San Diego, Seattle, LA (Would enjoy any of them, but some more than others)

University of Southern California:
-20k a year (60k total) with no stips
-Prefer West Coast in general more (but NYC does sound pretty cool)
-Stellar Biglaw placement recently (41.3%)
-Hear that they are like a laid back community

Cornell:
-No Scholarships/Aid, Super expensive
-T14 (last place haha)
-NYC Sounds Awesome, but Ithaca doesn't (3 years isn't that long though)
-Known for Biglaw placement (41.5%)
-Hear that it is hella cut throat and non-friendly


Cornell seems sketch with how much debt, but USC is still expensive and does not have as many opportunities.

Estimated COA:
USC: 150k
Cornell: 225k

So is Cornell worth 75k more debt than USC? Esspecially when they have almost the exact same big law placement ( http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNL ... 2443758843 ). I would rather be in NYC in the end game than LA, but if I have the same job prospects less debt is rather important.
Last edited by justnicholas on Wed May 23, 2012 6:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

CanadianWolf
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Re: USC ($) vs Cornell (Sticker)

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed May 23, 2012 6:12 pm

Your post suggests that you prefer USC.

If you want NYC placement, then yes, Cornell is worth the extra expense, in my opinion. But you forgot to add in accrued interest to your COA calculation. With interest, Cornell will run at least $257,000 for three years.
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Wed May 23, 2012 6:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.

justnicholas
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Re: USC ($) vs Cornell (Sticker)

Postby justnicholas » Wed May 23, 2012 6:14 pm

Honestly I prefer the best job prospects and this forum seems to suggest that T14/Cornell is the way to go, but USC is cheaper and seems pretty close to Cornell, right?

I wouldn't mind attending either. I am stoked to have either option. I would love living in the city (while South Central is not that great) or in a college town.

CanadianWolf
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Re: USC ($) vs Cornell (Sticker)

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed May 23, 2012 6:16 pm

Sunny & urban versus rainy/cloudy & rural.

LA placement versus NYC placement.

woeisme
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Re: USC ($) vs Cornell (Sticker)

Postby woeisme » Thu May 24, 2012 12:15 pm

I'd easily do Cornell here (as would most people with these options). But people have and do certainly pick USC and that could be justifiable.


University of Southern California:
-20k a year (60k total) with no stips
cool
-Prefer West Coast in general more (but NYC does sound pretty cool)
west coast or LA? Cornell will have better name recognition and will probably serve you better nationally assuming you have demonstrable ties. If no ties to the area, then USC looks better because it helps to back up your interest in being there.
-Stellar Biglaw placement recently (41.3%)
no way. Do not go to USC for their "stellar" big law placement. To my knowledge, USC has never outplaced Cornell in biglaw placement. And frankly, I wouldn't even call Cornell's placement "stellar"
-Hear that they are like a laid back community
perhaps

Cornell:
-No Scholarships/Aid, Super expensive
that sucks
-T14 (last place haha)
this year they're ranked 14. For the past 4-5 they'd been 13 or so. But focusing on a school's rank in any given year is somewhat silly. Just look at overall trends. Cornell is basically a peer with the other lower T14s (i.e., Virginia, Duke, Penn, Berkeley, Northwestern, Georgetown, and Michigan) for all appreciable purposes. USC is a tier below that along with Texas, UCLA, and Vanderbilt. Any one of these schools can make sense over the others depending on one's personal goals and finances.
-NYC Sounds Awesome, but Ithaca doesn't (3 years isn't that long though)
subjective, but yeah, this is largely agreed
-Known for Biglaw placement (41.5%)
Is known for that. Not sure what that 41.5% is. Historically it was 95%+. ITE it's been ~35-40% (class of 2011); ~55-60% (class of 2012); and ~70-75% (class of 2013; summer offers)
-Hear that it is hella cut throat and non-friendly
false (from personal experience)

justnicholas
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Re: USC ($) vs Cornell (Sticker)

Postby justnicholas » Fri May 25, 2012 2:11 am

Hey everyone. Since my poll was heavily skewed Cornell. I was wondering what makes such a dramatic difference between me and this guy: http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/v ... 1&t=181631

Only 30k difference in cost and he does have better ties to the region.

I am just trying to figure out why people would vote for the more expensive school when they have similar job prospects.

Is Cornell that much better?

de5igual
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Re: USC ($) vs Cornell (Sticker)

Postby de5igual » Fri May 25, 2012 2:32 am

justnicholas wrote:Hey everyone. Since my poll was heavily skewed Cornell. I was wondering what makes such a dramatic difference between me and this guy: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=181631

Only 30k difference in cost and he does have better ties to the region.

I am just trying to figure out why people would vote for the more expensive school when they have similar job prospects.

Is Cornell that much better?


You: USC 60K, Him (just going to assume male here): USC 90K
You: California Biglaw>/=NYC Biglaw, Him: California Biglaw>California Non-biglaw
You: West Coast Ties, Him: Strong LA-specific ties

All in all, it sort of made sense in that case to go to USC

adamr1219
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Re: USC ($) vs Cornell (Sticker)

Postby adamr1219 » Fri May 25, 2012 2:44 am

Holy crap dude. Lets be friends. I literally have this exact same problem. I have 60K to USC and just got into Cornell with little chance of scholarship. I've been in NYC for the last 5 years (film at NYU and worked a year). I eventually would like to make it into entertainment law, and eventually be a studio exec.

This decision has driven me into a night of heavy drinking, of which I am now suffering from the repercussions, but at the moment my logic is as follows.

- I WANT to go to USC. I think my quality of life will be significantly better there for the next three years.
- I NEED to go to Cornell. The Cornell name is fantastic and being part of the Ivy club is kickass.

I guess my big question is this. Would USC actually help me get into Entertainment Law faster? Or should I just go to the best law school possible. From what I've heard, 60K is not a HUGE deal when it comes to paying back loans.

woeisme
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Re: USC ($) vs Cornell (Sticker)

Postby woeisme » Fri May 25, 2012 9:13 am

adamr1219 wrote:Holy crap dude. Lets be friends. I literally have this exact same problem. I have 60K to USC and just got into Cornell with little chance of scholarship. I've been in NYC for the last 5 years (film at NYU and worked a year). I eventually would like to make it into entertainment law, and eventually be a studio exec.

This decision has driven me into a night of heavy drinking, of which I am now suffering from the repercussions, but at the moment my logic is as follows.

- I WANT to go to USC. I think my quality of life will be significantly better there for the next three years.
- I NEED to go to Cornell. The Cornell name is fantastic and being part of the Ivy club is kickass.

I guess my big question is this. Would USC actually help me get into Entertainment Law faster? Or should I just go to the best law school possible. From what I've heard, 60K is not a HUGE deal when it comes to paying back loans.


LA entertainment law or any? Also, why that field? You a contract guru or just want to be around famous people (hopefully your rationale isn't the latter).

Anyway, Cornell is the wiser choice, but only you can decide if your preference for USC tilts the calculus the other way

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Law Sauce
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Re: USC ($) vs Cornell (Sticker)

Postby Law Sauce » Fri May 25, 2012 10:32 am

This is really close. Most polls are not this close. Personally I would go with Cornell still because
1) Ithaca and Cornell are not too bad, except for the weather, the place is pretty cool (and your in law school anyway), and
2) Far more importantly, Cornell is a safer bet to get Biglaw. I would guess that ~70% of the class could get Biglaw of some type if they pursued it (pursued it correctly of course, i.e. applied to all realistic firms, were flexible with geography and vault rank, worked on interviewing, built up resume as much as possible). Most of this will likely be in NYC and you listed NYC as a good result (40% for Cornell is low, perhaps an outlier year). I am quite sure that USC's middle third does not have the same type of chances at CA big law (40% seems really high and also perhaps is an outlier year), which is more grade selective and has less practice area variety, namely its less focused on big corporate. To me, 60k is not enough money objectively, however, going to USC, if that is really what you want to do, is also a good option in order to stay in CA. However, short of strong personal preference which you do seem to have, I'd choose Cornell.

adamr1219
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Re: USC ($) vs Cornell (Sticker)

Postby adamr1219 » Fri May 25, 2012 12:59 pm

woeisme wrote:LA entertainment law or any? Also, why that field? You a contract guru or just want to be around famous people (hopefully your rationale isn't the latter).

Anyway, Cornell is the wiser choice, but only you can decide if your preference for USC tilts the calculus the other way


I am a producer at the moment. I've spent the last two years running my own production company (producing mostly small commercials). And no it has nothing to do with famous people. I know the industry well (at least the NYC side) and I love it, and years down the road I'd even like the flexibility to produce a few large projects of my own again, or work as a studio exec. I imagine at some point I will have to move to LA, or at least spend a great deal of time there.

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lowry99
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Re: USC ($) vs Cornell (Sticker)

Postby lowry99 » Fri May 25, 2012 5:27 pm

message redacted
Last edited by lowry99 on Thu Aug 09, 2012 10:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.

lawschool?s
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Re: USC ($) vs Cornell (Sticker)

Postby lawschool?s » Sat May 26, 2012 4:21 pm

Any other incite?

CanadianWolf
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Re: USC ($) vs Cornell (Sticker)

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat May 26, 2012 4:23 pm

lawschool?s wrote:Any other incite?



The only other thought or insight that I can offer is to make sure that you visit both Ithaca & New York City if you're leaning in that direction before committing.

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bk1
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Re: USC ($) vs Cornell (Sticker)

Postby bk1 » Sat May 26, 2012 4:38 pm

Cornell. The only advantage USC has over Cornell for you is a slight difference in cost, but USC is still going to put you over 180k+ in debt by the time you start paying back your loans so it really isn't cheap enough to justify over Cornell.

justnicholas
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Re: USC ($) vs Cornell (Sticker)

Postby justnicholas » Mon May 28, 2012 4:18 am

Would 75k or 90k make USC more appealing than Cornell?

I am trying to leverage my Cornell acceptance.

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rickgrimes69
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Re: USC ($) vs Cornell (Sticker)

Postby rickgrimes69 » Mon May 28, 2012 4:09 pm

I'm gonna go against the grain here and say USC. You have major ties to CA, and four of the five cities you want to work in are on the west coast. I feel like although Cornell is a national name, it won't be viewed that much more highly above USC once you're in California. Not $75,000 more highly, anyway.

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fips tedora
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Re: USC ($) vs Cornell (Sticker)

Postby fips tedora » Mon May 28, 2012 5:16 pm

rickgrimes69 wrote:I'm gonna go against the grain here and say USC. You have major ties to CA, and four of the five cities you want to work in are on the west coast. I feel like although Cornell is a national name, it won't be viewed that much more highly above USC once you're in California. Not $75,000 more highly, anyway.


bk1 - a mod saying to OP to go to Cornell > rickgrimes69 - logic to go to USC

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phillykid
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Re: USC ($) vs Cornell (Sticker)

Postby phillykid » Mon May 28, 2012 5:27 pm

Two short things:

1) Ithaca is great college town. If you don't mind the whether (from Nov. to March) I would say go to Cornell.

2) If you play golf, you'll be pleasantly surprised with the quality of the college golf course (not that you'll ever have time to play it anyways lol). Of course, this is arbitrary, but the more details the better :D

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boredtodeath
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Re: USC ($) vs Cornell (Sticker)

Postby boredtodeath » Tue May 29, 2012 3:29 am

I would go Cornell.

Cornell's biglaw placement numbers are better, and you said you would welcome working in NYC.

Also, having gone to Cornell as an undergrad, I can tell you that Ithaca is not as bad as people make it out to be. Sure it's cold and rainy from October to March, but if you are used to living in a place with four seasons, this is negligible. The weather and scenery are also amazing for the rest of the year. Great college town, great people, and a variety of activities to take part in; although you'll be swamped with work anyway so this isn't a huge deal.

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top30man
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Re: USC ($) vs Cornell (Sticker)

Postby top30man » Tue May 29, 2012 7:57 am

bk1 wrote:Cornell. The only advantage USC has over Cornell for you is a slight difference in cost, but USC is still going to put you over 180k+ in debt by the time you start paying back your loans so it really isn't cheap enough to justify over Cornell.

I agree. Especially since you're goal is big law, I'd do Cornell.

justnicholas
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Re: USC ($) vs Cornell (Sticker)

Postby justnicholas » Thu May 31, 2012 6:04 am

Sent my deposit to Cornell. Still have a couple days to withdraw before the check arrives.

What happens to non-Biglaw Cornell grads? I am pretty worried about this crippling debt.

woeisme
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Re: USC ($) vs Cornell (Sticker)

Postby woeisme » Thu May 31, 2012 8:26 am

justnicholas wrote:Sent my deposit to Cornell. Still have a couple days to withdraw before the check arrives.

What happens to non-Biglaw Cornell grads? I am pretty worried about this crippling debt.


They go to non-biglaw firms; clerkships; gov agencies; public interest; etc.

de5igual
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Re: USC ($) vs Cornell (Sticker)

Postby de5igual » Thu May 31, 2012 10:56 am

justnicholas wrote:Sent my deposit to Cornell. Still have a couple days to withdraw before the check arrives.

What happens to non-Biglaw Cornell grads? I am pretty worried about this crippling debt.


http://top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=181723

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Green Glass Windows
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Re: USC ($) vs Cornell (Sticker)

Postby Green Glass Windows » Thu May 31, 2012 5:50 pm

I had to make this same exact decision pretty much except that I'm from the midwest. I went with Cornell because I ended up really loving Ithaca and biglaw prospects are so much better.




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