Debt level for TT

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )
User avatar
1776
Posts: 243
Joined: Wed Feb 29, 2012 3:49 pm

Debt level for TT

Postby 1776 » Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:52 pm

I calculated the final cost for three years at Pitt to be $19,500. I'm from Pittsburgh and want to stay for the long haul. With tuition increases it may jump a few grand. I have less than $10,000 in undergrad debt. Is that a reasonable price? I already negotiated. Big law isn't my goal. If it happens, it happens. I want to be able to take a job I enjoy rather than whatever job will pay off my loans.

Thanks for the insight.

User avatar
Nova
Posts: 9116
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2012 8:55 pm

Re: Debt level for TT

Postby Nova » Thu Jun 07, 2012 9:37 pm

That is extreamely reasonable! 20k for a law degree is cake. Congrats on your scholarship!!! You are exactly the kind of person who SHOULD entertain the idea of attending their local TT.

User avatar
RedBirds2011
Posts: 623
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2011 3:26 pm

Re: Debt level for TT

Postby RedBirds2011 » Thu Jun 07, 2012 9:39 pm

1776 wrote:I calculated the final cost for three years at Pitt to be $19,500. I'm from Pittsburgh and want to stay for the long haul. With tuition increases it may jump a few grand. I have less than $10,000 in undergrad debt. Is that a reasonable price? I already negotiated. Big law isn't my goal. If it happens, it happens. I want to be able to take a job I enjoy rather than whatever job will pay off my loans.

Thanks for the insight.




Yea, this ain't bad at all bro. Enjoy Pitt

User avatar
top30man
Posts: 1224
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:11 pm

Re: Debt level for TT

Postby top30man » Thu Jun 07, 2012 9:48 pm

Nova wrote:That is extreamely reasonable! 20k for a law degree is cake. Congrats on your scholarship!!! You are exactly the kind of person who SHOULD entertain the idea of attending their local TT.

Yeah definitely go for it.

User avatar
Tom Joad
Posts: 4542
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 5:56 pm

Re: Debt level for TT

Postby Tom Joad » Thu Jun 07, 2012 9:51 pm

1776 wrote:I calculated the final cost for three years at Pitt to be $19,500. I'm from Pittsburgh and want to stay for the long haul. With tuition increases it may jump a few grand. I have less than $10,000 in undergrad debt. Is that a reasonable price? I already negotiated. Big law isn't my goal. If it happens, it happens. I want to be able to take a job I enjoy rather than whatever job will pay off my loans.

Thanks for the insight.

With the exception of your political views, you sound like you should be in good shape.

User avatar
1776
Posts: 243
Joined: Wed Feb 29, 2012 3:49 pm

Re: Debt level for TT

Postby 1776 » Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:02 pm

Tom Joad wrote:
1776 wrote:I calculated the final cost for three years at Pitt to be $19,500. I'm from Pittsburgh and want to stay for the long haul. With tuition increases it may jump a few grand. I have less than $10,000 in undergrad debt. Is that a reasonable price? I already negotiated. Big law isn't my goal. If it happens, it happens. I want to be able to take a job I enjoy rather than whatever job will pay off my loans.

Thanks for the insight.

With the exception of your political views, you sound like you should be in good shape.

Trolol

User avatar
jenesaislaw
Posts: 996
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 6:35 pm

Re: Debt level for TT

Postby jenesaislaw » Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:18 pm

Just so we're clear, you're saying your expected cost is just 19.5k for three years at Pitt? Not per year?

User avatar
Br3v
Posts: 4174
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:18 pm

Re: Debt level for TT

Postby Br3v » Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:23 pm

Nothing fear for pit @ 20 IMO

User avatar
1776
Posts: 243
Joined: Wed Feb 29, 2012 3:49 pm

Re: Debt level for TT

Postby 1776 » Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:30 pm

jenesaislaw wrote:Just so we're clear, you're saying your expected cost is just 19.5k for three years at Pitt? Not per year?


All three years, not per year. So, roughly $19.5 total. More when tuition is increased. I'm looking at $5.5k in loans the first year. I'd like to set aside enough for books each summer. If I manage to get a paying position next summer, I would use some of that for tuition. Is 30-35k a reasonable amount of total debt? I'm planning to make 40k my first year out of school, although reported median is around 55k.

User avatar
jenesaislaw
Posts: 996
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 6:35 pm

Re: Debt level for TT

Postby jenesaislaw » Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:32 pm

Are there any stipulations on your scholarship?

User avatar
splitbrain
Posts: 656
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 11:38 pm

Re: Debt level for TT

Postby splitbrain » Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:33 pm

1776 wrote:
jenesaislaw wrote:Just so we're clear, you're saying your expected cost is just 19.5k for three years at Pitt? Not per year?


All three years, not per year. So, roughly $19.5 total. More when tuition is increased. I'm looking at $5.5k in loans the first year. I'd like to set aside enough for books each summer. If I manage to get a paying position next summer, I would use some of that for tuition. Is 30-35k a reasonable amount of total debt? I'm planning to make 40k my first year out of school, although reported median is around 55k.

I mean, it goes without saying that there are no guarantees, but this seems like a reasonable situation to me.

User avatar
jenesaislaw
Posts: 996
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 6:35 pm

Re: Debt level for TT

Postby jenesaislaw » Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:35 pm

I agree that this seems like a reasonable situation, provided there are no scholarship stipulations. And even then, depending on what they are, it might still be reasonable. (I would try to negotiate the stipulations away, of course. I would also do this when I noticed some WL action on LSN, so you know you're in a better bargaining position.)

User avatar
1776
Posts: 243
Joined: Wed Feb 29, 2012 3:49 pm

Re: Debt level for TT

Postby 1776 » Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:04 pm

jenesaislaw wrote:Are there any stipulations on your scholarship?


It's slightly below median. I've pushed a little too hard with their FA department, and am going to back off for another month before asking about the stipulation. I may be able to work something out with disability services, and I think that may help my case in getting a stipulation lowered to good standing vs. top 60%ish. BUT, on a tour of the school, the tour guide said the vast majority keep their scholarships. They don't section stack. He didn't know of anyone who lost their scholarship, and said the school works with students versus rescinding merit aid.

I emailed them about registering with disability services, and after that's arranged, I will ask about the stip. I don't want to ask for too much after how great they've been to me. I probably didn't deserve the amount of money flexibility they've offered. Don't look a gift horse in the mouth.

User avatar
Br3v
Posts: 4174
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:18 pm

Re: Debt level for TT

Postby Br3v » Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:06 pm

1776 wrote:
jenesaislaw wrote:Are there any stipulations on your scholarship?


It's slightly below median. I've pushed a little too hard with their FA department, and am going to back off for another month before asking about the stipulation. I may be able to work something out with disability services, and I think that may help my case in getting a stipulation lowered to good standing vs. top 60%ish. BUT, on a tour of the school, the tour guide said the vast majority keep their scholarships. They don't section stack. He didn't know of anyone who lost their scholarship, and said the school works with students versus rescinding merit aid.

I emailed them about registering with disability services, and after that's arranged, I will ask about the stip. I don't want to ask for too much after how great they've been to me. I probably didn't deserve the amount of money flexibility they've offered. Don't look a gift horse in the mouth.


What happens if you fall just below stop mark? Lose all or drop to different percent scholly?

User avatar
jenesaislaw
Posts: 996
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 6:35 pm

Re: Debt level for TT

Postby jenesaislaw » Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:11 pm

Ahh, but it isn't a gift! Don't underestimate how much they desire you. This is a business transaction. They need you this year, of all years, to enroll. They likely need one or both of your numbers, and may like you for other "objective" reasons.

You are smart to hold off when you've been more to handle than the average student. But don't be afraid. If they don't like you after all is said and done, it will be of no consequence to your time at the school except as far as it bothers you on an emotional level. (I'm not saying that's not worth anything, too.)

The school has data on the number of people who have lost scholarships -- they would have it anyhow, but now they are required to report it to the ABA on the annual questionnaire. Ask them for the data in a few weeks, and then a few weeks after that ask them about the stips. If the data show nobody loses them, ask them why the stip is needed. If the data show people do, say you're fearful and are going to need the stip to enroll. Again, the later this happens, the more bargaining power you'll have -- and remind them that you're not moving to Pittsburgh, you already live there and would only be out the deposit(s).

User avatar
1776
Posts: 243
Joined: Wed Feb 29, 2012 3:49 pm

Re: Debt level for TT

Postby 1776 » Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:27 pm

jenesaislaw wrote:Ahh, but it isn't a gift! Don't underestimate how much they desire you. This is a business transaction. They need you this year, of all years, to enroll. They likely need one or both of your numbers, and may like you for other "objective" reasons.

You are smart to hold off when you've been more to handle than the average student. But don't be afraid. If they don't like you after all is said and done, it will be of no consequence to your time at the school except as far as it bothers you on an emotional level. (I'm not saying that's not worth anything, too.)

The school has data on the number of people who have lost scholarships -- they would have it anyhow, but now they are required to report it to the ABA on the annual questionnaire. Ask them for the data in a few weeks, and then a few weeks after that ask them about the stips. If the data show nobody loses them, ask them why the stip is needed. If the data show people do, say you're fearful and are going to need the stip to enroll. Again, the later this happens, the more bargaining power you'll have -- and remind them that you're not moving to Pittsburgh, you already live there and would only be out the deposit(s).



Thanks for the feedback.

I emailed them multiple times about the amount they awarded me, appealed it, asked for a need based grant, and appealed that. I was polite, but maybe a little forceful, and definitely aggressive.

I put the deposit down, and I am, right now, going to attend. I won't back out if they remove the stip, because it is reasonable, and people there aren't complaining (publicly at least), about losing merit aid. I plan to ask for it to be lowered to good standing.

I am in the process of working with student affairs and disability services. I think (probably wrong though) that if I am granted accomadations, I may have a better chance at negotiating the stipulation, or maybe not? I wanted to go through that process first. I am working on getting the documentation for that. I was able to get those in undergrad very easily, but I don't know if law school's are as understanding.

I feel like I should take one step at a time. I have until probably July-ish to talk about the stip (it's right around median), so they have a month and a half to respond. I want to talk to students and see if anyone was successful.

Pitt has been really great to me the last couple of months, and I really don't want to piss them off. They've given me plenty of things I probably didn't earn, but got through luck. I got a lot more than my numbers should have garnered.

Thanks everyone for your feedback. I'm the first in my family to go to any type of grad or professional school, so this is very new.

gossard267
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2008 8:51 am

Re: Debt level for TT

Postby gossard267 » Fri Jun 08, 2012 4:29 pm

1776 wrote:I calculated the final cost for three years at Pitt to be $19,500. I'm from Pittsburgh and want to stay for the long haul. With tuition increases it may jump a few grand. I have less than $10,000 in undergrad debt. Is that a reasonable price? I already negotiated. Big law isn't my goal. If it happens, it happens. I want to be able to take a job I enjoy rather than whatever job will pay off my loans.

Thanks for the insight.


It's reasonable if it is an effective means to your desired end. Thus, a word of caution: do not assume you will be able to land a 'job [you] enjoy', just because you have relatively little debt. Do you know what would constitute such a job, and are there substantive, empirically-grounded reasons to believe that a Pitt law degree (and, presumably, bar passage) will give you at least a good shot at an interview?

For example, are there current job postings that you think you would enjoy and that indicate that, given Pitt JD + bar passage + summer legal experience, you would meet the minimum qualifications? Would you otherwise not meet the requirements? I really don't think people ask themselves this question when they decide to go to law school, but they should.

Many (most?) of the JD-required jobs that don't offer big-law pay and are genuinely accessible to non-T14 grads are just as soul-crushing as big law, if not more so, with the added bonus of potentially 'staining' your resume. In short, don't assume that those Pitt grads in the 40K to 60K bracket are working for the ACLU; it's far more likely they are working for ID/PI shops or temping at, you guessed it, big law firms.

User avatar
crossarmant
Posts: 1116
Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2011 8:01 am

Re: Debt level for TT

Postby crossarmant » Fri Jun 08, 2012 4:35 pm

Nova wrote:That is extremely reasonable! 20k for a law degree is cake. Congrats on your scholarship!!! You are exactly the kind of person who SHOULD entertain the idea of attending their local TT.

Could not have said it better myself.

User avatar
1776
Posts: 243
Joined: Wed Feb 29, 2012 3:49 pm

Re: Debt level for TT

Postby 1776 » Fri Jun 08, 2012 7:31 pm

gossard267 wrote:
1776 wrote:I calculated the final cost for three years at Pitt to be $19,500. I'm from Pittsburgh and want to stay for the long haul. With tuition increases it may jump a few grand. I have less than $10,000 in undergrad debt. Is that a reasonable price? I already negotiated. Big law isn't my goal. If it happens, it happens. I want to be able to take a job I enjoy rather than whatever job will pay off my loans.

Thanks for the insight.


It's reasonable if it is an effective means to your desired end. Thus, a word of caution: do not assume you will be able to land a 'job [you] enjoy', just because you have relatively little debt. Do you know what would constitute such a job, and are there substantive, empirically-grounded reasons to believe that a Pitt law degree (and, presumably, bar passage) will give you at least a good shot at an interview?

For example, are there current job postings that you think you would enjoy and that indicate that, given Pitt JD + bar passage + summer legal experience, you would meet the minimum qualifications? Would you otherwise not meet the requirements? I really don't think people ask themselves this question when they decide to go to law school, but they should.

Many (most?) of the JD-required jobs that don't offer big-law pay and are genuinely accessible to non-T14 grads are just as soul-crushing as big law, if not more so, with the added bonus of potentially 'staining' your resume. In short, don't assume that those Pitt grads in the 40K to 60K bracket are working for the ACLU; it's far more likely they are working for ID/PI shops or temping at, you guessed it, big law firms.


I enjoy law in general. Civil liberties and con law are my favorite. Id b happy working for the gov as a public defender, working for a non profit, anything political (I'd love to run for AG at some point or some other legal political position). Working for something in health care would be cool. Personal injury would be fine. I think I'd be happy in most fields.

I enjoy researching cases and making arguments based on prior cases, which sounds like it would be present in any JD job. Maybe go back to academics down the line. Id like to apply to a Phd program in pysch, Poli sci or anthropology, maybe history.

I want to practice law for a while definitely. I enjoy research and reading cases. I did That a decent amount in undergrad.

AcLu type jobs would be my dream.

User avatar
1776
Posts: 243
Joined: Wed Feb 29, 2012 3:49 pm

Re: Debt level for TT

Postby 1776 » Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:56 am

"Over the past 6 years, the average percentage of students not getting their scholarship renewed is 10%."

User avatar
thelawyler
Posts: 902
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2011 9:00 pm

Re: Debt level for TT

Postby thelawyler » Mon Jun 11, 2012 7:45 pm

Sounds like a good deal. Enjoy and congrats.

User avatar
1776
Posts: 243
Joined: Wed Feb 29, 2012 3:49 pm

Re: Debt level for TT

Postby 1776 » Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:56 pm

thelawyler wrote:Sounds like a good deal. Enjoy and congrats.


Thanks. When I glanced at the email, I thought it said 10% retain their scholarships, and almost shit my pants. Great sense of relief that it meant 90% kept theirs.

User avatar
JCFindley
Posts: 1283
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:19 pm

Re: Debt level for TT

Postby JCFindley » Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:38 pm

crossarmant wrote:
Nova wrote:That is extremely reasonable! 20k for a law degree is cake. Congrats on your scholarship!!! You are exactly the kind of person who SHOULD entertain the idea of attending their local TT.

Could not have said it better myself.


This.....




Return to “Choosing a Law School”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: B-Mo, existentialcrisis and 3 guests